Welcome, one and all, to a new weekly anime episode review series. I’m going to be taking a look at Magical Sempai aka Tejina Senpai. This one was selected at random from the currently running new seasons and is listed as a comedy ecchi series. I suspect it may be a bit hit and miss for me. Anyway, the series is produced by Liden Films, who have a diverse array of anime to their name, and is based on the manga by Azu.
Now, the episode itself is split into four shorter skits, which is really quite impressive when you consider that this is a twelve-minute show including the opening and closing credits. We’ll be looking at each one in order, but if you look at the opening video, you can get a good idea of where this show is going in terms of the humor. Oh, and the characters are officially referred to as Sempai and Assistant, so no need for real names here.
The Unknown Sempai kicks things off. Basically, Assistant ahs started a new High School, and after school club participation is mandatory. He’s not thrilled by that but becomes intrigued when he sees a sign for the ‘magic club’. When he peers in, it causes the magician known as Sempai to get a bought of stage fright and vomit in a bin.
From there, things pretty much become a disaster for Sempai. She tries to welcome him with a magically appearing pigeon trick, and it escapes before she even starts. She tries to cut Assistant’s money in half and accidentally does so for real. Then she tries her main event: The Adorable Sempai in Terrible Bondage trick. You read that title right. She basically gets her hands tied behind her back with red bondage rope, tries to free herself, and somehow ends up tied up fully on the floor, displaying the first panty shot of the episode.
Sempai in a Box is up next, and here we see Sempai trying to entertain a crowd. She spots Assistant and chases after him – with anime physics turned up to eleven – eventually forcing him to help out with the routine. While she gets ready, he tries to keep the crowd happy with some basic routines. Once ready, Sempai climbs into her magic box and Assistant locks it and drapes a cloth over the top, with the obvious intent being for her to escape. After ten minutes of trying, she gives up and Assistant ahs to push the box away to a safe place and let her out. Of course, when he does so, she’s positioned to give us more fan service.
Part three is called Sempai Calls, and it starts with Assistant pondering here his house key is. Suddenly, Sempai cut sin on the PA, requesting his presence. She actually calls him Assistant too. Anyway, he finds her in the club room and she’s baked him some bread. He’s suspicious and won’t’ eat one unless she does first. She does so, so he tucks in, only to find that she’s baked the missing house key into his roll. She bounces around in celebration, and he locks her in the box. When she breaks out, she announces that she’s going to do the Blood-Drenched Thumb Severance trick, which causes Assistant to start coughing. Sempai rushes off to get him some milk but is insistent that she pours it into a newspaper. A struggle ensues and they end up spilling the milk all over Sempai, leading do a shot her drenched shirt.
Finally, we have Sempai and the Pigeon. Taking her craft seriously, Sempai has spent time forging a bond with the escapee pigeon. She tries to demonstrate this, only for the pigeon to bite her and take off, running amok in the club room. It’s okay though because Sempai has some birdseed to lure it back. The bird dives right down her top, because, of course it would. In the end, Sempai falls to the floor and the pigeon, who is called Bahamut, escapes from under her skirt, leaving the pair to place missing posters around the school.
Okay, so that was something. In terms of the music, I do think that the show is onto a winner. Both the opening and closing themes are pretty funky. They have the right sort of quirkiness to them to sound fun but still feel like they should fit in a magician based show. The background music is also fine, fitting a similar whacky feel without issue. I also thought that the small voice cast did a good job.
In terms of the content of the show, it’s mixed for me. Long term readers will be aware that the whole fan service = laughter routine doesn’t really work for me. If it is something you enjoy, then you’ll be very much at home here, but it just isn’t my thing. That being said, the show did make me laugh a few times. The scenes where Sempai accidentally cuts Assistant’s money and the pigeon escapes were obvious gags, but I did enjoy them.
The whole concept of a magic club being run by an inept magician is also one that I think has a lot of potential. My worry is that the joke will wear thin. I’m not expecting too much in the way of character development here, more that the tricks go wrong routine will be the focus of each episode. That the episodes are kept short will help with that, as will the additional cast members when they appear, I’m sure.
So, overall this wasn’t entirely to my taste, but it didn’t make me switch off entirely either. I’ll be sticking with it, for now, to see if it manages to surprise me.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy these episodes? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.