Friday, May 28, 2010

Video Backlog: "Sasami: Magical Girls Club"

Publisher: Funimation (USA)
Format: Region 1 DVD, NTSC, Japanese Dialogue with optional English Dub and English Subtitles
Length: 26 Episodes x 24 mins
Production Date: 2006
Currently in Print (as of writing): Yes

Story Outline: Sasami Iwakura is a normal 10 year old girl, except she has magical powers. However she has been forbidden to use them by her father. Long ago witches and humans lived together, but the witches eventually went back to the magic world to escape prosecution by humans. However unions between those of the magic world and the humans still take place, and their offspring, such as Sasami are endowed with magical powers. They’re not witches, but magical girls (and boys). A new school nurse comes to her school named Washu. When Washu unexpectedly teaches the home economics club, she forces the student s to dissect and cook a rabbit/cat creature named Ryo-Ohki. But Ryo-ohki escapes and Sasami and shy unpopular girl Misao chase after the creature in order to save it from being cooked. The two girls discover both have magical powers and eventually Washu, who is also from the magical world, convinces them to forma magical girl club under the guise of a cooking club, so that they can learn to control their powers. Soon three more girls, Makoto, Tsukasa and Anri are recruited and the team of five works toward their goal of competing with other magical girl teams around the world with the magical world being the venue. However something isn’t quite right with the magical world and the high priestess has the girls in mind for a plan to change both the human and witches world.

Mini Review: One can only wonder why AIC decided to revive this part of the Tenchi Muyo franchise after so long. What made the TV series such a joy to watch is ditched for clich├ęs and a dull story for the most part. OK, I’ll be fair, the story is quite intriguing, it’s just that it’s written rather poorly and the pacing is pretty off. Even at the climax of the show, there is no real sense of urgency even when both the Earth and the magical world are headed for certain doom. Also the first half of the show (the first season really, as the show is divided into two sections) becomes a bit dull and stagnant. More time should have been used building up the plot. A lot of motivations of the adult characters aren’t really explained, nor are the real reasons why the humans might fear magic users.

Only a few charters are present from the original series; Sasami, Misao, Washu, Ryo-Ohki and Mihoshi. Unbelievably ALL have been recast. All of the actresses who play the five young magical girls really, really suck. They couldn’t act their way out of a wet paper bag. They do get a little bit better as the series goes on, but they certainly aren’t as good as the original cast. Chisa Yokoyama is Sasami. Her voice is so full of life and fun. Pity they didn’t consider for this show. Actually in this series Sasami is a really childish character. She speaks in the incredibly annoying third person all the time. In fact the show for the most part is pretty infantile. I did like the main character designs however. They were fabulous. The opening animation was a real treat too. Pity about some of the secondary characters and just about all of the males. It’s like their designs were complete afterthoughts. The music is good, but really has a bit too much of the “Harry Potter’s” about it. Look, I was rather entertained by this show, but there were a ton of problems with it. I was going to give it a 5, but I’ll be nice as liked a fair bit of it , 6 out of 10. But it’s a really mediocre 6 out of 10.

Remaining Backlog: 21 months (it's much easier this way than listing the number of discs).

No comments:

Post a Comment