Posted by psgels on 29 July 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




Ah, the nineties: a time where you still could make huge series based on a simple premise that aren’t kiddie shows. Mahoujin Guruguru couldn’t possibly have been made in today’s age: it’s a non-stop series of 45 episodes, devoted to nothing but RPG-parodies. And this review doesn’t even include the 38-episode sequel that aired six years later.

Let me tel you one thing about this series though: the jokes in Mahoujin Guruguru are quite brilliant. It may be that I’m a big fan of parodies and all, but even taking that into account I have to praise at how creative this series can get with its gags. This series is sharp, witty and has a great time poking fun at all kinds of RPG cliches. It goes far further than just having characters act silly or have them engage in quirky banter: this show is always looking for situations to make actual good and well thought out jokes and clever situations. This is definitely the biggest selling-point for this series.

The length also allows the creators to tell an engaging storyline that brings the characters to all kinds of places and worlds. The storyline here is pretty simple (bad guy evil. kill him), but the various subplots and side characters keep this series moving. There’s even a bit of character development, albeit nothing special, although it remains a nice twist to see that the creators actually used the RPG leveling-system for the two lead characters.

With the length also come a number of problems, though. The jokes of Mahoujin Guruguru are really good, but it does not have enough material for 45 episodes. The result? Running jokes and repetition, while refusing to repeat jokes that had the potential to be even funnier with more fleshing out. It’s not like this series suddenly features a dip in quality along the way: it’s pretty consistent with alternating its good jokes with its overused jokes and its jokes that just don’t work. That doesn’t prevent that from really weighing down on this series.

the mostt notable of the overused running jokes is the old man. This guy. This guy is beyond obnoxious: he will do everything in his power to annoy both the viewer and the characters. And he just. refuses. to. freaking. quit. In the same way there are a few more jokes that are used way too much, and on top of that there are a number of episodes that just aren’t interesting. I’d say: cut this thing down to about 30 to 35 episodes and you’d have a classic.

Right now, this series is fun, but long-winded. On one hand you don’t want to watch this if you’re looking for something exciting, because the good jokes are just a tad too far in between compared to today’s standards. If you want to watch a laid-back series and don’t care about time though, then this is a great recommendation for light-hearted fun. Most shows that claim to be just light-hearted fun hardly have anything that makes them worth watching. Guruguru however has plenty of them.

Storytelling: 9/10 – This show has aged: its pacing is a tad too slow for today’s standards. In terms of the joke department though, this is really, really good.
Characters: 8/10 – There is character development, but again: this is small for the standards of a 45-episode series. Then again though, it does have quite a likable cast that are fun to watch throughout the entire series. WITH a number of exceptions, though.
Production-Values: 7/10 – Again: dated. Very simple graphics and animation that doesn’t make use of this. Good Monster designs, though.
Setting: 8/10 – Has a ton of fun poking, subverting, averting and analyzing the RPG-genre.

Suggestions:
Kero Kero Chime (This is what I’m talking about with more compact: the characters are a tad more annoying, but it is shorter and its good jokes to unfunny jokes ratio is a lot higher)
Mysterious Cities of Gold

3 Responses

  1. Airi says:

    :) This is why I like this blog. It talks about things other than the current season and exposes me to older anime!

  2. kurini says:

    Omg, this is my childhood series! I still have somes video tapes of it :)

    HAHA, the old man? The one that dance REALLY weirdly? I remember the time when my brother and I imitate his dance… cough cough

  3. asdf says:

    I remember watching this show as a child. Maybe it was because of my age but I loved that old man and his crazy dance.

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  • reaLjustified
    (Sunday, Jul 24. 2016 02:59 AM)
    @Mike It’s really interesting how much success he found as an illustrator after essentially quitting manga. I have a really old pencil case by him that I’ve had for years.
  • Mike
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:14 PM)
    @Kaiser Takahashi was one of the first to take it out of “smut” made for men and gave the genre to girls.
  • K-Off
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 09:34 PM)
    My palette is cleansed after Legacy. I think I can make a push and finish Mirage Sessions by Monday.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 06:25 PM)
    Altogether there is no good explanation as to why Berserk has been on the fringes for the last 20 years. The silver lining is that it looks like things are picking up for the franchise- with a new series, two new games and frequent manga releases- so here’s hoping we get a much bigger budget for the next cour, and god willing maybe even a studio change. And I’m getting greedy, but gimme that From Software Berserk game! That would be an instant cash mine.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 06:18 PM)
    @Vyse: I was actually thinking of that, and the dark mature content is definitely a factor. Yet looking at what’s trending at the moment, with AoT and Kabaneri, it seems that the more violent stuff are bankable now. And it’s not like anime is stranger to adapting material that hasn’t finished yet. So I’m guessing that Miura is hard to work with probably, and maybe he’s tight about giving studios the license.
  • Rusty
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:16 PM)
    I like it better when animes are different then the manga because normally i know how everything will end after reading the manga.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 05:07 PM)
    And I’m more than open for an anime to do things a bit differently from the source, I mean look at the new berserk they included an action scene that wasn’t in the manga, I liked that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:59 PM)
    @Mike: Makoto Takahashi! Makoto Takahashi! I know who he is, I spent a while looking at his art, best example of good oldschool shoujo style. He also is credited with kickstarting the shoujo-ai genre I think…
    @Bam: flowers of evil both improved on and took away from its source material.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:16 PM)
    Furthermore, it’s not as if Berserk is so special by itself that a decent adaptation is automatically impossible. You’re watching one right now. If you think otherwise than it boils down to personal preference.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Vyse It’s obviously not trying to cater to children, the studio knows its audience. I wouldn’t automatically assume that just because it’s an anime adaptation that it’s an attempt to please everyone.

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