QUICK RIDE | #8 Super Power – Magic Panic

【 Mob Psycho 100 • Little Witch Academia • Flying Witch • Ao No Exorcist S2】

Magic Panic, I don’t know why. I wanted a sexy and evocative title! Anyway, after the superheroes two weeks ago, here are the super… magicos?

Quick Ride? Every weekend is the occasion to enlarge my otaku resume, watching a good amount of animes. I select a little more than half a dozen, randomly, then I purge the whole as in American Idol. Animes who pass this first casting are generally those who manage to convince me to view beyond the first 3 minutes… The following article is a collection of my first impressions, without filter or censorship. Good reading!

MOB PSYCHO 100 (2016)

モブサイコ100 (Mobu Saiko Hyaku)

mob_psycho_100Synopsis (wikipedia) : Shigeo Kageyama is an average middle school boy, called Mob (モブ/Mob means background character) for lacking a sense of presence. Although he seems like an inconspicuous person, he is in fact a powerful Esper. As he grows older, Mob realizes his psychic powers are dangerous. To avoid his power getting out of control, he constantly lives a life under emotional shackle. Mob wants to live just like others, but a barrage of trouble comes to him. With the suppressed emotions growing inside Mob little by little, his power threatens to spill over its bounds.

My review : What the poster sold me at the time of discovery (no trailer, no pitch, nothing but the poster) :

◼︎ A quite sci-fi title and rough graphics, which reminded me of the time when I was creating comics – in junior high school that is – loooooong ago that is. In my stories, there were always secret political projects, weapons of mass destruction prototype or cyborgs with a name like X-Sunshine-4000-Plus. It was enigmatic and stylish, I thought. So when I discovered Mob Psycho 100, bingo! it matched on the spot.

◼︎ Superheroes : we can clearly see that the protagonist has supernatural powers. The buildings around him inspire a Gotham City feeling.

◼︎ Something very funny or very strange.

And in reality?

Concerning humor, the tone is given from the first episode. A phony exorcist who exploits a mopy student with magical powers. A mopy student with magical powers who’d like to be popular among girls. Then zombies, ectoplasms, spirits, sects… In short, we’re watching a succession of amusing even crazy situations, and I hoped none the less, given the visual aspect.

As far as I’m concerned, I quickly clicked on the sketchy aspect of the drawings. I have the impression that anime that don’t bet on the graphic aspect (ex : Kemonozume, Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou, Mind Game…) generally compensate with originality, a strong humor, a fascinating intrigue… In short, they restore balance some other way and it seems that Mob Psycho 100 follows the same path.

Now, let’s talk about the superheroe side. On this point, it’s quite simple, it doesn’t exist! Here, it’s not a matter of saving the {city-planet-universe} nor protecting innocent citizens. There are no super attacks, no bad guys with an octopus head or whatnot ; simply psychic powers that serve to fight against the spirits. I don’t know why I thought it was a superhero thing, maybe because Shige – Mob – has a bit of Saitama’s face, the One Punch Man protagonist… However, things get interesting as the powers in question seem to serve a self-centered cause : make more money, seduce a girl in school… which contrasts with the classical, altruistic hero. I’ll see how the development supports this message, it can be interesting but it’s still early to judge.

In conclusion, I would say the 3 episodes seen so far seem very promising. For the moment, it’s good without being crazy but the anime fuels my curiosity enough to go to the end.

LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA (2017)

リトルウィッチアカデミア (Ritoru Witchi Akademia)

little_witch_academia Synopsis (wikipedia) : Little Witch Academia takes place at Luna Nova Magical Academy (ルーナノヴァ魔法学校 Rūna Nova Mahō Gakkō?), a prestigious school for young girls training to become witches. Having been inspired by a witch named Shiny Chariot, a girl named Akko Kagari enrolls at Luna Nova Magical Academy to become a witch, but struggles due to her non-magical background. This all changes when she discovers the Shiny Rod, a powerful magic relic left behind by Chariot. Both the short films and television series follow Akko and her friends, Lotte and Sucy, as they experience many magical adventures together.

My review : I chose this anime because it fitted today’s post quite well. We have witches, I needed magical powers so it was a done deal. Then in the first few seconds I had a “huh… what am I doing?” moment, given that I was about to watch something loaded with girls, meaning a high flourishes potential…

Contrary to my preconception, even if there are only female characters and we’re in a school context, we don’t fall into soppiness or soft porn (right, Keijo?). After a few episodes, I can clearly see this series has practically none of the feminine anime features that annoy me so much : nasal and squiking voices, flourishes, pink, lace and glitter (yet there’s a good environment for), boundless foolishness. We do have the airhead, the pretentious, the grungy girl… but it doesn’t fall into a lousy caricature, those girls retain a semblance of normality.

Moreover, it’s very similar to the Disney universe (besides the theme, I think the soundtrack influences quite a lot) ; it’s nice when you’re five or you don’t want to think too much. I really think so and not in a bad way : it reminds me of Cinderella or Peter Pan, it’s cute, you can watch it solo to chill, or with the family.

In conclusion: frankly, I don’t think I’ll continue with the watching. I recognize it’s well crafted and not clumsy (basically, it’s not irritating and overly girly), but the anime didn’t convince me enough to go beyond episode 3. This theme, this atmosphere, this universe, I think they’re more suitable for a movie ; in the case of a series, I’m less hooked. In my list of anime to watch, I would put Little Witch Academia at the bottom. And who says bottom, says oblivion…

FLYING WITCH (2016)

ふらいんぐうぃっち (Furaingu Uitchi)

Flying WitchSynopsis (wikipedia) : The story is about Makoto, a young witch from Yokohama, who moves to Aomori to live with some relatives as part of her training. What follows is Makoto’s daily life as she gets used to her new environment. Her relatives and the new friends she makes there are introduced to the customs and peculiarities of witchcraft.

My review : After 2 episodes, my opinion is shared even though globally, I like it. I find it odd and funny at the same time, I find it sometimes contemplative, sometimes poetic. The colors, the animation, the decors confer a dreamy or romantic side.

On the other hand, dialogues and the way of speaking of certain characters give a certain monotony to the series : it makes me think of my first japanese courses, when we had to listen to audio tracks like kooo—niii—chiii—waaa— Tanaka saaaan…….. (pause)….. geeeen—kiiii—desu kaaaa—?*

* Hello Mr/Mrs/Miss Tanaka. How are you?

Anyway, I’ll see. The series intrigues me so I give it a pass for a few more episodes (why not until the end, who knows?).

AO NO EXORCIST (2017)

リトルウィッチアカデミア (Ritoru Witchi Akademia)

Ao-No-Exorcist-Season-2 Synopsis (wikipedia) : The story revolves around 15-year-old Rin Okumura, who, along with his younger twin brother Yukio, was raised by Father Shiro Fujimoto, an Exorcist. One day, Rin learns that he and Yukio are the sons of Satan. Witnessing Shiro dying to protect him, Rin draws the demon-slaying sword Kurikara, which restrains his demonic powers. From that moment on, Rin not only gains demonic features like fangs and a tail, but also the power to ignite into blue flames that destroy almost anything they touch.

Rin wishes to become an Exorcist like his guardian to become stronger and defeat Satan. He enrolls at the prestigious True Cross Academy exorcist cram school, which is actually the Japanese branch of an international organization dedicated to protect the human realm, Assiah, from the demonic realm, Gehenna. Much to his surprise, he finds that Yukio, is already a veteran Exorcist and is one of his teachers. Thus begins Rin’s journey to become an Exorcist, accompanied by his brother and his fellow students who quickly become his close friends.

My review : Ao No Exorcist… A series I’ve never found that dope, and yet I watch until the end of season 1 without difficulties. A series that annoyed me by the caricatural side of some characters, and yet I was hyped when I learned the release of season 2, like “oh really?? so cool!” (6 years gap between the two seasons). Perhaps it’s the exorcist with swords and guns side, sometimes you don’t have to search too far…

In any case, here I am connected today for this second season. After a few episodes, I feel like a “err… well, in fact, we were not ready” from the production. Basically, I don’t quite understand the link between season 1 and season 2 : it looks like the latter follows season 1 from episode 15 (I say that randomly, I haven’t re-watched), without taking into account what happened in the last 10 episodes. So I guess the production did not expect to do a sequel. Besides, I don’t read the manga but I remember seeing comments at the time saying the end of season 1 was a little fanciful, that there was no relation with the manga version.

In short, all this being said, what about it? Well as for season 1, I don’t find it awesome and yet, I click on “next episode” without batting an eyelid. And it’s all the more bizarre that I don’t get a thing, I don’t know who’s who (apart from the students), why they’re here, what forces are involved. For a startup, it’s confusing and loaded.

Will I keep watching? Yes… Why? I don’t know… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. It might be interesting to go through half or two thirds of the first season and then go on to season 2 right after to have a better opinion.

On this note, mata ne.

Chrys Prolls

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *