Stella no Mahou

Title:Stella no Mahou
The Magic of Stella
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - SILVER LINK
On her first day at her new high school, Honda Tamaki is considering joining one of the clubs there. Despite a not entirely impressive appeal that she got there, she finds herself attracted to the odd SMS club, which produces Doujin (amateur) video games.

12 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch Stretch [series:3261#628]
(All episodes watched):

Episode one left me with mixed feelings about this show: on the one hand, I tend to like shows about the otaku culture, and am curious about how Doujin video games would be created. On the other, the jokes here fell almost completely flat--I sometimes wondered if things characters said or did were intended as jokes at all. In fact, it is so weak that the show might have been better off if it had dropped the comedy angle altogether and been just a modest, slice-of-life drama. The characters have confusing personalities that were apparently designed for the sake of comedy but left me wondering if some of them might have serious emotional health issues. Again, that was probably supposed to be a joke, but the effect was that I didn't know if I could like them. And I doubted if the plot would be very deep or moving, and indeed, it never is. The one hope for this show seemed to be that it would teach me something worthwhile about how these games are put together. So, I decided that I would watch the remainder of the show, but with a good deal of trepidation.

Fortunately, the characters' personalities shape up with time. The girls Homura has joined aren't perverts or total weirdos, no, they are likeable people once you get to know them. I wish this 'we seem like weirdos but we're really not bad at all' line had been pursued with more ambition, though; here, it just seems to happen, almost by chance, when it might have been a fun and intriguing development. The girls still aren't very funny, but at least they didn't rub me the wrong way. A modest story plods along, I learn a little, and I hoped the team will finally manage to complete their project, so I kept watching. It was clear that this show would never be anywhere near brilliant, but it has a little charm, and I found that I didn't mind watching. Being on as weak ground as it is, the show needs to keep focused on the lets-create-a-videogame plotline; a half-episode about how Honda met a friend (and not one of the SMS club members) as a child was distinctly boring, and I don't really know why the bit about the Iina family was needed. Basically, the plot wasn't interesting enough to be worth keeping track of all the details, so I wound up with just a vague understanding of what was going on, and was content with that. Anything more than that would have required watching some episodes more than once, and they definitely weren't worth that. I didn't bother to keep track of who's who and what their connections are. This was yet another show which wasn't worth paying close attention to, and as a result I took a casual approach to watching it. The sense of achievement at the end was rather muted and unspectacular, but the girls got the job done. Could have been worse.

Last updated Saturday, February 25 2017. Created Thursday, October 13 2016.

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