|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku
(All episodes watched):|
Just be fairly funny, and all sins are forgiven. That was the first impression I got from this show. As usual, the first scene was WTF, but afterwards it quickly became clear that, dammit, this show was funny (why can't a few more anime comedies manage that?). Eruna is a highly yuri but still likeable girl who acts in an humorously unpredictable manner (why can't a few more shows manage that, too?). Her response to meeting a talking cat is about the last thing you'd expect, but is funny because it actually makes some sense in that it's what some of us would like to do in the same situation. I enjoyed the way the show flitted back and forth between reality and Eruna's fantasies, and the fast-moving, densely-packed comedy. This is looking like a parody of the fighting school genre of anime (or maybe any show in that genre which actually makes us laugh feels like a parody of all the ones that don't). The premise resembles Maria+Holic except with martial arts added on. I quickly decided that this would almost certainly be my favorite anime comedy of the Spring 2015 season--just stay funny and don't substitute lame fighting for jokes. The thought occurred to me that I was enjoying this show so much that the reviewers at ANN would surely hate it.
I found that the novelty kind of wears off after awhile, and when that happens the show isn't nearly as wacky and LOL funny as it originally seemed. But this show still managed to make me LOL fairly often, and many supposed anime 'comedies' barely make me smile. Eruna is so daffy and incapable of making romantic advances on other girls that you can't get mad at her. The fighting doesn't completely dominate things, indeed matches are often surprisingly short, when the two contestants have markedly different abilities. People get punched and kicked at times, but not during these strange magical fights, and the violence isn't offensive, at least not to me. A number of new characters with some distinctive and interesting traits are being introduced. So, I looked forward to new episodes of Mikagura.
I wish the basic conflict of the plot was more clear; is this all about Eruna trying to get Seisa to fall in love with her? If so, Seisa doesn't get all that much attention. This lack of a clear objective almost made the show seem like a fight-of-the-week anime at one point, even though the fights don't get all that much attention--in episode six, two were barely mentioned. Maybe it was never supposed to be anything more than a comedy, but it is more 'amusing' than LOL funny. I did get some significant laughs out of episode eight, and Seira's attitude towards Eruna is slowly shifting, both of which are better than a mere lame-joke-of-the-week series.
I had heard that this show would lose it's direction in the second half, and while I would be hard pressed to remember exactly what happened in the episodes in question, I did have a good feeling at the end. The once wildly Yuri Eruna had developed into a person who was more interested in honest friendship than lesbian sex. I didn't completely understand what exactly had happened to bring things to the crisis that occurred in the final episode, or what bad things were liable to happen if Eruna didn't prevent them, but I got a definite feel that I liked the way things worked out. That takes some talent. I guess there was one ongoing longterm plot behind all the single episode stories after all, namely about the development of Eruna and Seira's feelings for each other. That left the series as a whole with a distinguishable meaning to it, which is something many comedy anime lack. Perhaps the key was that it wasn't just comedy, which was OK but insufficient to carry the show to a satisfying conclusion alone, no, it also had this second element as well. That was a pleasant surprise.
My favorite line: "Let's be close to the point where people misunderstand our relationship!" --Eruna
Last updated Wednesday, August 19 2015. Created Friday, April 17 2015.