Posted on 5 April 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai


As a continuation to Mahou Shoujotai, Studio 4C brought out a six-part OVA called Arusu the Adventure. There are a few things you should know before watching it: it’s in no way as epic as the original series. Everything about Arusu the Adventure is light-hearted, and if you were put off by the childish moments of the original series, then you certainly won’t like the OVA. Arusu the Adventure has no main storyline, and instead is a string of standalone episodes, all dedicated to either flesh out certain points of Mahou Shoujotai, or showcase some more cultural habits in the world of the witches. Ever wondered where the dragon house came from? Or the background of Grand Master? Well, this OVA provides the answers.

The best parts of this OVA, however, are the stunning visuals. Mahou Shoujotai already looked absolutely gorgeous, but Arusu the Adventure looks even better, and it made perfect use of the experimental nature of the series. Throughout the six episodes, the creators keep changing from one art style to the other, and each and every episode, no matter how strange they may look, turns into a visual feast. The soundtrack also got updated with a few new tracks, and they too fit this series perfectly.

Standalone, Arusu the Adventure isn’t anything special, but it does contribute to my most favourite series ever and for that I’m more than willing to call it a success. The storytelling may be very sloppy at times, but this is a perfect OVA to watch if you want to relax, as opposed to the chaotic nature of Mahou Shoujotai, and it still shines in terms of graphics, music and creativity. I’m really looking forward to find out Studio 4C’s next work. Pleeaase let it be another tv-series!!!

Posted on with categories: Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai


Ah, and so it’s finally ended. With this, after 52 episodes of 10 minutes, or 26 episodes of 20 minutes, whichever way you look at it, Mahou Shoujotai is now really over. This episode was like the others: light-hearted, yet strangely compelling. And finally Alice plays the part of main character again. And is it me, or did this episode feature some brand-new tracks of soundtrack?

I’m going to keep this entry short, because everything I wanted to say about this series has already been said in my entries of the previous five episodes, and I still need to write a spoiler-free review about this one. I do want to say, however, that the graphics for this episode yet again looked awesome.

Posted on 29 March 2008 with categories: Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai


Ah, finally I had the chance to watch another episode. This episode can basically be called “Eva the Adventure”, as Alice basically didn’t make any appearance in it at all. Instead, it tells about the origin of the dragon-house, and why Sheila started living with Eva in the first place.

It was quite a surprise to find out that the dragon house originally belonged to Eva, and not Sheila. It started as a pet dragon she took care off, and during one incident it got hit by some kind of laser-beam and grew many times its size. Like the other episodes of this OVA, it was a bit rough around the edges, but I’ve long since understood that for Arusu the Adventure, it’s the big picture that matters, and not the small one, because this episode does give quite some interesting background to Eva.

And as it turns out, Sheila actually started living with Sheila for not that deep of a reason. She just wanted to be near Eva due to the fact that she got a flying dragon house from out of nowhere, and she saw the potential in Eva to grow. That also explains why she was so cold to Eva, even though they lived together. They weren’t good friends at all, and I can understand how Eva would grow on Sheila’s nerves because of her uncertainty.

Studio 4C seriously needs to start working on another tv-series. These guys are really talented at storytelling, though they spend most of their times on just short stories and movies. Mahou Shoujotai showed that they are very well able to deliver a full-length anime. Now that they’ve finished working on Tekkon Kinkreet, Arusu the Adventure and Genius Party, they should be already working on their next unannounced projects. Please let it be a tv-series!

Posted on 8 March 2008 with categories: Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai


A small announcement, in case you will be wondering: the next episode of Shigofumi and Shion no Ou will be delayed for about a day, as I’ll be too busy for anime tomorrow and some share-users decided to upload fake raw-versions again…

In any case, this was definitely the best episode yet, because for once, everything felt right. The current episode yet again comes with a different art-style, as it takes us back to the younger years of Grand Master, and the other two older members of the Witches’ Council. To think that Grand Master used to have a younger sister at one point.

I think I already did this, but I must thank Arusu the Adventure for reminding me why Mahou Shoujotai ended up being my favourite anime ever. Looking back, there is no other series where I can find so much to praise as this with this one. Terrific art-style, great music, engaging characters, perfectly paced, an outstanding storyline, experimental in every single way, an imaginative setting, full of creativity, terrific storytelling, and I could go on and on like this. This is really the series that showed me the amazing things you can do with anime, and what happens if you let go of all boundaries.

I’m still wishing for an anime like this to appear some day. A series that doesn’t care about conventions (just like how Alice tried to go against the witches’ traditions in the original series). I admit that I often get annoying during the seasonal spring-season previews, where people dismiss a show, only because the character-designs aren’t mainstream. More often than not, it’s these series that really end up outstanding.

I guess that that’s why I like what Gonzo is currently doing. They too are trying to go in their own way, even though this isn’t always the right one (Dragonaut), and they often get lazy (Romeo x Juliet). Amidst all the dross, they did manage to pull off Bokura no, a series that also tried out lots of different things, and wasn’t afraid of going away from the mainstream. In fact, the simplistic character-designs still strike me as the best of 2007, and Gonzo managed to combine this with a terrific premise and storyline.

Okay, so basically the post of the fourth episode of Arusu the Adventure turned into some kind of mini-rant. These are of course just my own opinions, and they’re what I find really important in an anime. Sure, there are other ways to become an excellent series (I fell in love with the third, mainly because Honoka is just an amazing character), but this OVA reminded me that outstanding anime are basically created by letting your imagination run free. Of course, this doesn’t work for slice-of-life series, as they usually take place in a normal world without anything mundane happening, but it’s a good guideline nonetheless.

Posted on 23 February 2008 with categories: Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai


Ah, now I understand. Just like Mahou Shoujotai, the episodes of Arusu the Adventure are directed by different people. Now everything makes sense: the major difference between Mahou Shoujotai and Arusu the Adventure is that there seems to be hardly any communication or cooperation between them. The bad point for this is that there’s now way to get a good continuous storyline out of it. The good point is that now, every director can go for something that he or she finds important. Episode 1 went for humour, while forsaking any storyline. Episode 2 went for flashy graphics and symbolism with rushed storytelling, and for the third episode, the storytelling and direction rocks, but the art style is all over the place.

It’s interesting: when you paste all these good points together, you get what I loved so much about Mahou Shoujotai, and I suspect that the final three episodes will only confirm this. It’s quite interesting how each episode had felt so incredibly different, and yet similar somehow, because of this. While the previous episode felt rushed, this episode knew exactly how to use its time. The two highly ranked witches run into a new kind of sprite that just hatched, though they can’t yet deliver it to the sprites-tower because it’s too young and it couldn’t be used for magical ingredients yet.

The sprite is a very delicate one, and needs careful attention if it needs to grow up, so the two witches decide to take care of it until it’s fully grown. This proved to be a more difficult task than they imagined, as they can’t get it to eat. They then heard of some rumours that Sheila once took care of the same sprite, and with that they get enough pointers to take care of it well. In the process, they get really attached to it.

As it turns out, when Sheila took care of her version of the sprite, it turned into a huge disaster. It turns out that she did transfer it to the sprites’ tower, and after that it became incredibly angry at her when they took away its horn, and went on a rampage. Because of this, Sheila’s superiors ordered her to take the sprite away as soon as it developed its horn.

Overall, this was a lovely episode, and you can really see that the director of this one really liked to experiment with his shots. There were some really creative shots there, and they’d even make the art direction in Hakaba Kitarou and Mononoke look uninspired. Seriously, I’d wish that more other series would adopt such a daring style of direction that’s all over the place. It’s another reason why I fell in love with the original series. Still, I think that the director took a few too many liberties with his messy art-style, as Arusu, Sheila and Eva look a tad too disproportionate at times. I now understand that it takes a while to see the real charm of this OVA, and after the disappointment of the previous episode, I’m hungry for more!

Posted on 22 February 2008 with categories: Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai


This episode was a more serious story. Unfortunately, it wasn’t some kind of continuous story, and got solved at the end of it. It also felt a bit too rushed. It seems that the creators wanted the same addictive pacing as in the TV-series, but this time, they failed a bit at that. Even the original series had building up, but it was one of the rare series that could push its story forward and build up at the same time, and I missed that a bit here.

Still, even though the storytelling left things to be desired, the story itself was very good nonetheless. It features a witch who had been sealed in the past, because she gained too much power and went berserk, a bunch of decades ago. Ever since, she split off herself into two personalities, a good and a bad one. The bad one wants to be unsealed, and wants Alice to do this for her. She picked Alice because she was just about the only one, along with the children, who didn’t know about this witch.

In the end, Alice does what she’s good at: believing in her own ideals, naive as they may be and unseals the witch, because in the end, both the good and the bad personalities were nice to her. It’s an interesting idea: the “bad” one just wanted to be noticed, while the “good” one tried a bit too hard to prevent the “bad” one from reaching her goal. In the end, they both acted, based on their own morals and values. Oh, and nothing goes wrong in the end, because while she was sealed, the witch had learned to control her great power. While this may be a nice idea it did come from nowhere, actually.

Well, it seems clear now that Arusu the Adventure will never become anything special, but I’m happy enough to see the characters, getting fleshed out some more. It’s clear that all of the major trump cards were played in the series already, but at least this episode reminded me again why I fell in love with the original characters. Every single one of them was forced to seriously look and reflect at his or her own morals and values as the series went on, and there isn’t just one kind of right. This episode featured the same, though the storytelling just wasn’t up to the sky-high standards of the original Mahou Shoujotai.

Posted on 21 February 2008 with categories: Arusu The Adventure, Mahou Shoujotai


Finally! After more than TWO YEARS of waiting, with numerous delays, Arusu the Adventure is finally here. I originally intended to wait for the subs, but I’ve gotten so impatient that I couldn’t wait to check it out. In the end, this OVA consists out of six episodes, all about 20 minutes long. I’ve got all of them on my PC, and I’ll be blogging them whenever I have the time. After watching the first episode, my initial verdict of Arusu the Adventure is simple: it’s awesome, but totally not what I expected from it.

It turns out that there isn’t going to be an overall storyline, and instead this OVA will feature random adventures of Alice, Shiela and Eva. Ah well, the story of the original Mahou Shoujotai may have been one of the best I’ve seen, but that wasn’t the only thing that originally made me fall in love with this series. The art-style was amazing, the character-designs were excellent, the setting was really imaginative. In short, it was outstanding in every single way.

I’m not going to say what happens in this episode. It’s really one of these things that you just need to see for yourself, otherwise it’ll ruin everything. Seriously, I really hope that this gets subbed fast, because I laughed really hard at times. I admit that I didn’t like waiting so long for this OVA to come, but it was SO WORTH THE WAIT. It’s the perfect chance to showcase a few of the ideas that the creators couldn’t use for the original series.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:32 AM)
    @Mario: This made me laugh far more than it should have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kno3xDw27bY
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:30 AM)
    Anybody else seen Jungle Book yet?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:25 AM)
    @Kaiser: I see. Look retro, so I might actually enjoy.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:24 AM)
    I don’t wanna hyperbolize, so I admit that some of the Disney/Marvel stuff has ingenuity to it. Guardians and even Antman had their moments of disarming charm, and genuine sentiment from the cast and crew, that made it special and not just another superhero flick.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:22 AM)
    @Aidan: Marvel movies feel like a very nice amusement park ride- they are always fun, but the return diminishes after successive exposure. Everything in the movies, from the fights, to the dialogue, and plot is incredibly formulatic. You just don’t get the same effect when you know what’s coming.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:17 PM)
    The one liner Dialogue is getting on my nerves, the lack of a great villain characterisation(Zemo is a step in the right direction but still not enough) and most of all that each movie is setup to a another movie.
    Deadpool was a step in the right direction(Yep I knew it was fox and not disney) and was as good as it was because it shook things up. At the moment marvel movies are just too…safe.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 04:13 PM)
    @Bam, I am very much in agreement. I like what the marvel cinematic universe has done but things are getting out of hand. They have prefected the superhero formula too well and it’s causing the flims to be popcorn fodder. I am walking out of their movies admiting that I enjoyed them but I don’t really think I will remember them highly. Plus the thrends of the movies are really starting to bug me.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 02:27 PM)
    Deadpool belongs to Fox, not Disney, but there are rumors circling of the two studios opening up to negotiation. The success of Spiderman Homecoming will greatly precipitate another such lucrative cooperation.

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