Welcome, one and all, to the latest in my weekly reviews for Magical Sempai¸ aka Tejina Senpai. Thus far, it would be fair to say that I’ve found the series to be hit and miss. Not so much so that I want to give it up, but not enough to shout its praises from the rooftops. Let’s see if episode 5 is more consistent.
Observers and Sempai
We open up with Assistant telling Sempai that they have a major problem: they’ve gained some observers. You see, some of the kids in the school have heard about a total weirdo in the club and they want to check it out. Assistant tries to get Sempai to hide so that her wackiness won’t affect his school image, but she’s having none of it. The two girls in question wonder in just as she’s doing a trick where her head falls off and she vomits flags. The trick worked, the girls thought it was real, and headless Sempai ended up chasing them. That was genuinely really funny. The gag was simple, but it worked really well.
Sempai has been thinking about her failure during the quick change trick in the park, and her Big Sis has come to the rescue! She’s bought a bunch of cute outfits and rigged them up so that one pull of a string will cause Sempai to instantly change into another costume. Given how her sister apparently feels about Sempai, you can guess how this goes for her. The first costume is a red number that draws the attention not Sempai’s chest. Big Sis says it’s okay because part of the costume is a skin-coloured underlayer, meaning she’s technically still covered. Costume two is a bikini, and the final costume is nothing but the underlayer. Sempai had hoped Assistant would be indifferent, but he stares intently. This was less funny. If anything, it’s kinda bordering on harassment of poor Sempai. And the whole sisters angle is just plain not good in my eyes. Moving on.
We learn that the president of the chemistry club is called Madara. Assistant tries to strike up a conversation about magic and chemistry being similar, but Madara disagrees: even with similar techniques, magic tries to trick people into thinking it’s supernatural. Plus, she still thinks the magic club does shameless things. This leads into her showing a genuinely cool trick with a plastic bottle collapsing itself, then she pulls out a vacuum canon. Unfortunately, Assistant accidentally blows her skirt up, giving us a panty shot.
Okay, so this was a mixed section for me. The accidental panties thing isn’t a favourite gag of mine. However, on top of some cool science bits, we also got to see a flashback that kinda indicated that Madara knows Sempai. She even states that Sempai is unstoppable when she gets an idea in her head, and describes herself as a pushover. That was interesting. I wonder what their link is? The chemistry club seemed to be a little empty though. And boy does Madara have sharp-looking teeth!
Sempai starts off hiding in her box, planning to jump out and startle Assistant before performing some new tricks. Unfortunately, when he arrives, he decides to sit on the box, unknowingly trapping her inside! She decides to use her cell phone to get him off the box, but as she tries to find it, all her tricks start spilling out. Then she hears Assistant talking to himself about her being annoying and crappy at magic. She’s mortified. He goes on to say he can give her credit for one thing though, and pulls out Behemoth. He tells the toy that it’s cute and Sempai thinks he means her. He says it’s love and now Sempai is getting embarrassed. She forces her way out of the box and starts babbling about being flattered, only to find that he’s now left.
I actually kinda thought Assistant probably knew she was in the box all along and was teasing her. I would have found that to be a lot funnier than what we got. Assistant not knowing just meant that he was being more than a little mean. I’m not sure she should keep him around given his viewpoint there. Though she doesn’t realize that he’s not in love with her, obviously, so I guess she’s not going to be kicking him to the wayside any time soon.
Assistant has been invited to Sempai’s house. He’s shocked to find that her room is a magic-filled mess. How could he not expect that? Anyway, Sempai is planning to broach the subject of his ‘confession’ that she overheard. She thinks he’s done nothing wrong, so much treat it with care. She tries to get him relaxed with cakes, then starts to worry that home-baked snacks may be misleading and devours them all herself. She starts to try to talk about it all, but bottles it and segues into practicing the disappearing handkerchief trick. Being flustered though, she empties the wrong thing onto the table: all her panties. She finally blurts out what’s wrong and the truth comes out, leaving Sempai upset in bed.
In this instance, the accidental panties joke was quite good. Embarrassing for Sempai, sure, but still at least funny. Given what Assistant was saying in the last scene though, I really didn’t feel like laughing at her misfortune. If anything, I felt sorry for her.
That was as mixed an episode as you can get really. The funny stuff was well done, but the bits that flopped did so in a big way for me. Assistant, despite his previous gesture to keep the club going, actually got less likable this week. Sempai is a clutz with terrible stage fright, but she seems like a nice character. The way he’s turning is really mean. I know this is a comedy and all, and we’re supposed to laugh at this stuff, but I really feel bad for her now. As it is, I’ll keep watching because the series is perfectly capable of getting things right. I do hope Sempai has some better luck soon though.
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