Mahou Sensou

Title:Mahou Sensou
Magical Warfare
Mahō Sensō (Japanese)
魔法戦争 (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
In this modern magic action story, Nanase Takeshi is an ordinary high school boy who has a somewhat dark past. Due to certain circumstances, he formed a fake couple with his childhood friend Isoshima Kurumi, but otherwise, he lives a normal life. However, one day, he comes across a girl named Aiba Mui, in a uniform he has never seen before, collapsed on the school campus. This encounters changes Takeshi's destiny completely. Mui tells Takeshi that she is a magician, and she apologizes, for she turned Takeshi into a magician, too. What Takeshi once knew as one world is actually two — the world where magicians live and the world where humans live.

Sourced from ANN.

[TV series, 2014, 12 episodes, 24 min; based on an ongoing light novel series with 6+ volumes since 2011]
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2846#628]
(Two episodes watched):

God, another magical themed show? Why is magic all the rage nowadays? Are people discontented with reality and want to escape from it?* It seems to me that magic, like fanservice, is liable to be used as a cheap substitute for talent and quality. Anyway, the premise of Magical Warfare seemed a little hard to take seriously; Takeshi accepts all this crazy stuff too readily. I don't know; a group of teens all being made into magicians against their will and to their surprise seems kind of fresh, and might work. That's a fairly original spin which might go somewhere interesting. But the remainder of the show didn't impress me all that much; so much confusing stuff (like different types of magic) are pitched at us in such rapid succession that it's hard to keep track of it all or take it seriously. It felt like too much gadgetry and fancy terminology versus too little solid storytelling and character development. When bad guys show up and a fight ensues, but I have no idea why they are 'bad', it just feels tiresome and I want to get it over with and get back to the main plot. I guess this show does do one thing which most magically themed ones don't, which is to provide a semi-plausible explanation of where magic came from. I doubt if the premise will be all that great once it is made clear. But anything could happen, since the story transfers to the 'Ruined World' at the very end of the episode. And this seems to be just a twelve episode series, so watching it wouldn't be all that large of a commitment.

Resetting the story to the Ruined World meant the real premise had yet to be revealed. But when it was, in episode two, it didn't interest me at all. There was too much magical nitty-gritty and not enough of the traditional, indispensable stuff like character and plot development. I think that unless it is playing a supporting role to likeable, interesting characters and a good story, magic makes a show less interesting, because it makes no sense in and of itself and, again, is often a substitute for quality writing. Magical Warfare seems so pedestrian that I don't really care who wins this supposed magical war, or see much point in watching.

*a search at ANN revealed no less than 74 entries (anime & manga) which included the word 'Magical' in their titles.

Last updated Monday, October 30 2017. Created Thursday, January 16 2014.

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