I feel like getting some use of my Crunchyroll subscription (which in Italy isn’t a great deal like it is for the States), so let’s talk about the first 3 episodes of Magical Senpai, let’s do a “first impression sorta thing”.
The premise is quite simple: non-Hotaru Shidare of Dagashi Kashi is not a publicity stunt weirdo obsessed with candy products, but a girl that opened a Magic Club in the school, and wants to recruit other members by just being obsessed about magic instead of candy. But as a random freshman finds out when deciding to see what the club was like…. she is awful at doing magic tricks. She tries her best, but she’s still awful, really, really catastrophically awful at it.
The freshman is basically strung along her well meant but failing attempts at magic and excessively talkative behaviour, and their hijinxs (eventually, going by the opening and the mediocre song used for it) attract other weird characters to the club..
The episodes are basically a collection of 4 to 5 vignettes/self-contained chapters, which is a common method for adapting a slice of life manga like the omonmous work of mangaka Azu. So there’s really not much of a story to talk about, which is kinda to be expected for this type of anime/manga, and this is no exception, for better or for worse.
And the bigget magic trick of all is that this isn’t based on a Kotoyama’s manga, the graphic style sure doesn’t feel like his, but the titular character is such an obvious rip-off of Hotaru Shidare (in the manga she has greyish hair, here they have a more purpleish gradiant), and i didn’t called her “Senpai” just for convenience, she doesn’t have a proper name, like the freshman who ends up assisting her, just called “Assistant”.
It definitely knows his audience, since ALL of the attemps of Senpai at magic backfires and we get fanservice of some kind (pantyshot, wet clothes, shibari, that stuff), it’s a scattershot approach of trying all the fetishes to see if it gets more attention that way. Which of course of it does, since this seems to be the main selling point of the anime, given how the ending is nothing but a montage of this stuff, “non-Hotaru” is big boobed and clumsy, and has one of those “flesh fang” thingie.
Actually she IS Hotaru if Hotaru Shidare was obnoxious on purpose or had any self-awareness of how tantalizing is to Kokonatsu, and used it shamelessly if it meant she can have what she wants, which is just to open a Magic Club in school.
That said, some of the jokes are fun, as at every chance something goes wrong, and it does in a mildy amusing way, with non-Hotaru being on an endless streak of embarassing failures, or strings of obvious innuendos and/or misunderstaindgs made with non-chalance, or just cutting to the chase without lingering on the punchline.
I was surprised to get more of a chuckle out of it, gotta admit, i was expecting to groan at the endless fanservice, but they actually decided to not pass it as comedy just for pretense, and actually wrote jokes and rebuttals, some of which are admittely lame, but – again – at least they don’t really linger on it.
Admittely, Magical Senpai it’s kinda garbage, but the animation (done by Liden Film) is alright, and i struggle to hate it, because it doesn’t try to stretch a 2 minute gag into a 24 minutes episode, there’s some good timing to the comedy, and knows what its target audience wants. The opening “promises” more characters joining the Magic Club, but i doubt this will change the show in any significant way.
Maybe i’ll do a review of the season later, i’m not ruling it out completely.