Posted on 27 March 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Mahoutsukai no Yome, Reviews by Lenlo

Fantasy is a rather prolific genre in anime, with a vast majority of Isekai and Shounen fitting snugly into it. Most take place in their own unique setting, either Amestris of Full Metal Alchemist or the made of world of the latest Isekai trash. Few however try to set themselves in our world. To peel back the mystery of our own myths and legends of lore. Mahoutsukai no Yome attempts to do just this. To bring magic into our regular dreary world. However it Mahoutsukai stretched itself to thin, attempting both a fantasy epic and a sweet character drama, only to fail at both.

Lets jump in!

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Posted on 25 March 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Welcome to the finale of Mahoutsukai no Yome, a rather lackluster end to a rollercoaster of a series. For the last time, lets jump in.

To put it simply, Mahoutsukai chose to end with a whimper rather than a bang. This may sound harsh, yet nothing in this ending really had much weight. Chise solves her Cartaphilus problem with the typical Shounen “I will hit you to fix our mutual problem” attitude. Ashen Eye is brought back in for a 2-minute meaningless combat scene, as if his involvement with Cartaphilus was some great hinted mystery. Chise gets stabbed through the chest, sings a song, and suddenly everything is A-OK. And of course what little emotional value the scenes had is immediately undercut by the great destroyer of Mahoutsukai, the Chibi. It all compacts to create an ending that just falls flat. The largest contributor to this ending however isn’t any of this specific episodes many failings, but rather the structure of Mahoutsukai as a whole.

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Posted on 20 March 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Welcome to the penultimate episode of Chise and friends, the premier hollow friendship simulator of the season. This week on Mahoutsukai we have biblical backstories, every named character shows up and a general decline from last episode. Lets jump in!

In terms of general quality, its a step down from last week. That isn’t unexpected, not because Mahoutsukai is a terrible show, but because last episode was simply its best showing. I would have been surprised if it managed to do that level of quality again. That said this episode is filled with stills, panning shots and low-detail characters everywhere Mahoutsukai thinks it can get away with it. Even the effects have mostly been downgraded to flashes/glows of color. It lacks the visual punch needed for our upcoming finale next week. As far as story goes this week it was, at best, acceptable. Both Cartaphilus’s backstory and Elias’s side plot have problems. From feeling rushed/condensed to just being unnecessary. And after last week? That’s just disappointing.

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Posted on 14 March 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Mahoutsukai no Yome

These past few episodes I have been rather critical of Mahoutsukai, and rightfully so I would say. The new characters are lackluster, the plot/stories dull. A 7/10 series at best. It is with this mindset, this frame of reference, that I can see “As you sow, so shall you reap” is the best episode of Mahoutsukai across the board. Lets jump in.

Overall, Mahoutsukai did a lot right this week. The story of this episode, Chise’s family, was concentrated while still fitting in/progressing the meta-plot. In terms of animation, there wasn’t anything mind blowing, but there were plenty of beautiful or compelling shots. My personal favorite however was the restraint Mahoutsukai showed with the audio. As if finally realizing that sometimes less is more. The complete lack of music during the Chise’s mother’s fall into depression made the swell during the penultimate scene really hit. The flower motif as well, while already used once in the season, still worked as the colors set it apart enough. The only real issue I saw was in some characterization of her family, specifically her father. But I see no way to fix it without ruining the already good pacing of the episode. General goodwill out of the way, time for some specifics.

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Posted on 7 March 2018 with categories: Mahoutsukai no Yome

Hello and welcome to Mahoutsukai’s newest attempt for the title of “Greatest quality disparity in a single episode”. This week we have the start, and end, of the Witches sub plot, a silent scene with to much dialogue and my favorite Elias scenes yet. Lets jump in!

To start off, I have to write once again about Mahoutsukai’s new tendency towards disappointing first halves. The first 10-12 or so minutes of this episode was either pointless, in the Witches case, or just plain bad. Why even bother with the Witches when they don’t affect the plot at all and are resolved in 5 minutes? They don’t need to be in the plot, all they do is take away from everything else. They steal time that could have been better used elsewhere in the series, for no payoff. It’s not just the Witches Mahoutsukai does this with either. The two scientists, Adolf and Torrey, have no place in this story and with only 3 episodes left I don’t see them doing much to earn their place. I only harp on this so much because its such a waste and I truly think Mahoutsukai would be better without these side-plots/characters.

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Posted on 27 February 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Hello and welcome another episode of Mahoutsukai. This week it makes the best of a bad narrative decision, introduces more tertiary characters and sprints through story arcs like nothing. Lets jump in!

Starting off, I am a bit disappointed in how quickly the auction/dragon bit was resolved. Its as if Mahoutsukai can’t let any given story or arc last longer then 2 episodes. At this point Mahoutsukai is less of a drama and more a “monster/problem of the week” type show. That might be an unfair criticism, as many drama such as Rakugo, Steins;Gate and Your Lie in April also lack the typical “arc” format. However in those the story always seems to make sense, it… it flows, for lack of a better word. One event always lead into the next. In Mahoutsukai just feels like its moving from one story beat to the next, trying to hit all the notes it can along the way, without considering how those beats link up. Regardless how good those stories are alone, they often don’t fit together well.

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Posted on 19 February 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Hello and welcome to a very… contentious episode of Mahoutsukai, at least for me. This week we have two halves of the same episode, with wildly different tones and quality. The first half being inconsistent and dull, while the second is interesting and successfully, but slowly, ramps up its tension. Overall concerning, but lets jump in.

First up, I want to talk about Mahoutsukai’s tone this week. Specifically how ridiculously all over the place it is. I had no idea how to feel about this episode as we go from brutal surgery, to jokey side characters, to dream sequence and back to silly scientists. During the first half at least, nothing was consistent. There was no slow progression, just fast cuts up and down the spectrum. Add to that the general flop of the comedy in the first half, pretty much any scene with the scientists, and it just feels lacking. Easily the worst opening/12 minutes of Mahoutsukai across all episodes. Even the time with Cartaphilus in the dream felt lacking. Like it was condescend, that information was cut for the sake of time. It happens in every adaptation, but this particularly bad timing.

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Posted on 13 February 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Mahoutsukai. This week we some follow up story time, a return of older characters and what is hopefully the start of an actual story arc. Lets jump in!

Overall, this week was adequate, or maybe slightly above.  They story was quaint, with some nice follow up, and with the reintroduction of our supposed main antagonist the ball might be rolling again. In terms of animation and such, not much really happened. There was a lot of very pretty stills, really showing off the background art and detail Mahoutsukai has when it wants. But there wasn’t much movement, aside from terrible chibi as usual. For sound design, I think everyone knows what the best part of was for this. Chise’s lullaby was great, for more than just its music which I will get into later. Say what you will about the new OP’s art, but from Lindel to Chise and the OP’s Mahoutsukai has a knack for music. With general critique out of the way though, lets get into the meat of the episode.

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Posted on 7 February 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Welcome to another, better, week of Mahoutsukai no Yome! For the first time in weeks we have an episode I actually enjoyed, with my favorite character in the series and a new spin on Mahoutsukai’s standard relationship commentary. Lets jump in!

To start off, I must say, this was the best episode in weeks. The story was concise and explored a new type of relationship, that of family, without shoving it down our throats to much. We also got more of the magical lore aspect, which I have wanted for weeks. The bartering with the forest Fae was brilliant, actually using the crystallized magic from the teddy bear we opened on. Progressing, once out of those, to trading blood. I enjoyed how the Fae were actually used rather than being background or antagonists, and how Stella couldn’t see them. It was interesting. The problems with this episode, of which there are few, are mostly the fault of prior episodes. The reused cliffhangers and “Chise cried danger” problems of earlier episodes hurt this one. Its a shame, as we finally saw what Chise can do on her own here as well.

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Posted on 30 January 2018 with categories: Finished Series: Adventure/Fantasy/Science Fiction, Mahoutsukai no Yome

Welcome to another week of Mahoutsukai! This week we have an anime staple, the Christmas episode, with a dash of tragic backstory. Like always there are ups and downs this week, so lets jump right in.

As I said, this is our token Christmas episode. There are presents, shopping, misunderstandings and snow. Such pretty snow. There are some interesting bits though. The time spent prepping for Yule, with no dialogue just music and motion, was good. I enjoyed that not everything was explained, like the Centaur and his Lady, and how Elias hid from this. It reintroduces some mystery that Mahoutsukai had lost. The same goes for the Yule Twins. When it comes to the world and magic, sometimes a little whimsy goes a long way. The other half of the episode consists of a shopping trip, which is fun enough. There is more random danger for Chise, as she can’t seem to leave the house without something happening. However this time it served a purpose, allowing us to get Alice’s past. That story has its own issues, but the danger at least had purpose.

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