Magikano: Oh God, The Pain!

Mike Ferreira (Editor) — March 19th, 2010
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Every so often, a series comes along that's so terrible, one can only wonder why it ever left Japan. Everybody's seen at least one series like this — anyone who claims otherwise is either very easy to please, or a filthy liar. Magikano, Gonzo's clumsy attempt at a harem series, is the latest series to climb into the trash pile. With so few positive aspects, it's hard to imagine any viewer tolerating more than the first few episodes, let alone a full season.

The series revolves around Haruo Yoshikawa, an average schmuck that lives with his three sisters: Maika, Chiaki, and Fuyuno. They're witches, and they have bludgeoned poor Haruo with enchanted hammers ever since he was young, in order to prevent him from learning (or retaining information) about magic. Life is pretty sweet. They have a passive big brother to fawn over, no need for wants, and a seemingly normal day to day life. Everything is disturbed, however, when Ayumi Mamiya arrives. Ayumi is a cursed witch, doomed to lose her powers unless she can turn Haruo into a "real man." Ayumi must find a way to sex up Haruo while avoiding the wrath of his younger sisters.

From the get-go, it's clear that Magikano's plot is far from what one would expect from the studio behind gems like Last Exile, Welcome to the N.H.K,, and Afro Samurai. It's not witty, thoughtful, or even entertaining. To the very core, it's the embodiment of a generic, fairly stupid harem series. Really, the series gives Angel Tales a run for its money in "biggest waste of this reviewer's personal time." But I'm being too kind. The series starts as merely "silly", with the usual genre trappings, but the situation quickly jumps into the realm of full-blown idiocy after revealing that just about everyone is some sort of magical genius. Throw in an over-reliance on fan service, a general lack of direction, and a sense of humor that falls flat more than it succeeds, and it's easy to see that the show becomes more a chore than an amusement.

The generic concept, neanderthal humor, and overall atmosphere of pointlessness could be overlooked to an extent, if the characters weren't as boring as they are. The major players are little more than shameless representations of popular archetypes. Ayumi is the bitchy one that wants to have the main character for herself, Maika is the older sister that wants to get into Haruo's pants, Yuri is the cool student council president that lusts over the main character, and so on. There's little else to mention about the cast. They don't grow, they don't change, and they don't endear the viewer to them in any way. The cast is window dressing: a means to provide banter, show some T & A, and prop up a weak story.

For a series that falls on its face in every regard, Magikano should at least look good. Unfortunately, what should be is far from the reality. Magikano fails to dazzle the eye like Gankutsuou; neither does it offer a detailed setting, like Last Exile. Instead, the series rarely rises above "good enough." Average animation, passable-if-bland backgrounds, and the occasional interesting CG effect. In a way, it seems fitting that a mediocre series should be presented in the most half-assed fashion possible.

No matter how one approaches it, Magikano is a terrible show. The series may provide fodder for a few parodies, or even a decent watch on "bad movie night." It's a far cry from the quality productions that Gonzo gained a reputation for, and harem fans are better served by titles like Love Hina or Ai Yori Aoshi for their many-girls-on-guy fix. With alternatives presented, the answer is simple: there is absolutely no reason to watch this show. Or, to quote a popular colloquialism: "A fool and his money..."