Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Magical Sempai

Original Run: July 2, 2019 - September 17, 2019
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Comedy
Based on the Series Created By: Azu

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Magical Sempai. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Looking for a club that will allow him to do whatever the hell he wants, an unenthused first-year high school student (voiced by Aoi Ichikawa) stumbles upon the club room that is going to change his life forever. Inside is a beautiful upperclassman (voiced by Kaede Hondo) practicing magic.

The Senpai, upon realizing the first-year’s presence, is immediately struck with crippling stage fright. However, that doesn’t mean the show has to end.

Senpai offers – a.k.a., pesters – the first-year to become her Assistant. Begrudgingly, Assistant sticks around. Now the pair are on a mission (or, at least, Senpai is) to create the perfect magic act.

Easier said than done.

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Series Positives

Magical Sempai wasn’t all that bad.

As long as you go into this series knowing fanservice and slapstick will be its mainstays, then you’ll most likely find it to be a lot of fun. But even if those concepts do bother you (which, if they do, you made a gross miscalculation when you decided to watch), there was still a considerable amount of charm to this show to have it be more than ridiculous boob physics and penis jokes.

Getting right to the heart of the matter, I enjoyed Magical Sempai far more than I ever expected.

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If I were to narrow down this show’s success to a single element, I would have to give the credit to its simplicity. Nothing ever became complicated. This series never bothered to delve into the personal lives of its characters. There was no great obstacle to overcome. Heck, there wasn’t even any fan fair to indicate the anime had reached its final episode.

It would not surprise me in the slightest if Magical Sempai managed to obtain a second season. Not because it was a surprising gem, but because it worked, plain and simple.

Magical Sempai’s straightforwardness was only part of the equation, though. I wouldn’t argue with anyone if they said, “This show’s characters were one-note.” Where I might differ is by countering with, “Exactly. That was the best part.”

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Everyone in Magical Sempai was based on a single personality trait. However, this series went all-in on that one trait.

With Senpai, she was high-energy and gung-ho. She was enthusiastic about magic and did put a lot of hard work into her act. With a natural desire to perform, she was always on stage, and when things went wrong, she refused to let the trick die. Therefore, when you mix stop-for-nothing ambition and crippling stage fright, you get Senpai, who was actually a decent magician when no one was looking. The second she had eyes on her, though, nothing would go her way.

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To counter Senpai’s unwitting but nevertheless destructive forcefulness, this series had Assistant who could just absorb the insanity. I love me a good straight man routine, and Assistant nailed that. It wasn’t so much that Assistant didn’t react to Senpai’s antics, it was that his energy levels were the polar opposite to hers. Why have an overdramatic freak out when a more subtle sarcastic comment could be so much funnier?

Together, these two created a perfect balance of give-and-take. It was this balance that allowed Magical Sempai to be as funny as it was. Senpai and Assistant were precisely what this series needed to better complement its sketch-comedy presentation. And that was another thing.

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No one episode followed an overarching storyline. Everything was quick and to the point, and once a joke was done, that was it; time to move on.

Magical Sempai, being only thirteen minutes an episode, was the ideal length for the type of show it wanted to be. This series isn’t something you’re meant to invest your time in. It is merely a way to pass a few extra minutes with something fun. If you can accept that, then I think you are going to find this to be sufficiently satisfying.

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Series Negatives

Do you want to know the level of fanservice you would be getting with Magical Sempai? Well, here it is:

The sweater Senpai wore throughout the show was the most latex-looking cotton top I have ever seen. The way the light shone on the stitched fabric was something else, I tell you what. Oh, and Senpai had a massive set of boobs. Like, damn, they were big.

Now you know. Plus, I didn’t want to release this review without commenting on the sweater.

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I am going to go on a limb and assume most of you reading have already decided whether you will watch Magical Sempai or not. If you haven’t and you were waiting for me to expose some sort of Achilles heel in this section, let me disappoint you.

Nothing was infuriating, troublesome, problematic, or annoying about this series. This show was what it was.

Thus, it would be fruitless to criticize how absurdly sexual the situations Senpai found herself in were. There would be no purpose explaining why certain jokes were funny and why others weren’t (I laughed while watching and, to me, that was good enough). There would be zero reasons to explain why this series isn’t going to be the breakout hit of the 2019 summer season.

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Magical Sempai was purposely fanservice-heavy. Its jokes were low brow. This was a short-form anime that ran at the same time as far more outstanding shows, like Demon Slayer.

If you wrote in the comments, “Odyssey, this series didn’t work for me,” I can understand that. Magical Sempai really is a coin flip that will either land on your sense of humor or it will not.

In the end, there needed to be something irredeemable about this show for me to rip into it. I mean, yeah, this wouldn’t be the anime I would use to introduce people to the medium. But if you have three hours you need to kill, this will do that nicely.

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Final Thoughts

I liked it, and I think that is far as I can go with this review.

For how short this series was, it was funny, silly, and, dare I say, charming. Granted, there was a bunch of boobs and sexy fun times, but you must decide if that is a plus or a minus for yourself.

The truth is, there wasn’t much to this show. However, in the end, that was alright.

Magical Sempai has earned a recommendation.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? How would you advise Magical Sempai? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

1 comment

  1. Mmm honestly I lost interest after ep 3 cause the real negative I had was while plain and simple is a good way to describe it which is fine but the issue for was in the fact it was pretty much the same kind of set up and joke where I get Japan has that philosophy of repetition in comedy but even that can get old when you know the characters and set ups it’s going for.

    If I had more variety and subversions I probably would’ve stuck out for more but that’s just me though.

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