Note: Review copy supplied by MVM Entertainment
Title: Mysteria Friends
Anime Studio: Cygames Pictures
Publisher: MVN Entertainment
Genre: Fantasy / Yuri
Released: August 17th, 2020
Language: Japanese / English
You’ve heard lots of stories about dragons and princesses …
But this one is an entirely different kind of bedtime story!
Welcome to Mysteria Academy, where the secrets of magic are taught to an eager student body composed of humans, gods and demons. Of course, it takes an unusual degree of tolerance for these groups to mingle freely, but thanks to this unusually diverse and inclusive educational experience, the most unlikely friendships are bound to spring up. Which is how Anne, a human honour student who happens to be a Princess, finds herself growing increasingly close to Grea, a half-human/half-dragon who also happens to be a Princess. Sure, fairy tales would have you believe that relationships between Princesses and Dragons are bound to end up badly, but that doesn’t take bonding while shopping and trips to the beach into account, let alone the fact that what they’re feeling may be a little more than just friendship.
While based on an event in the Rage of Bahamut mobile game, you don’t need to be familiar with the game (or its anime adaption) to be able to jump in. This is very much its own thing, and that is a real bonus in my eyes, as it makes it more accessible. That the episodes are shorter, clocking in at around fifteen minutes each, also helps in that as you don’t get bogged down by clear filler so much.
From a technical standpoint, I was pleasantly surprised. The backgrounds are nice, the soundtrack is fine, and the animation looks really nice. Great care has been taken with both leads, and I thought the show did a great job with eyes in particular.
The story is really a set of loosely connected vignettes about Anne and Grea. Like Miss Koboyashi’sDragon Maid, this has an air of yuri to it, with our two protagonists clearly having a close bond that leans towards romantic. The way Anne and Grea interact is actually one of the best parts of the series because they complement each other and maintain an air of sweetness.
In truth, I thought that was really only trumped by the absolutely adorable moments that we sometimes get with Grea. Case in point, her being self-conscious about hugging her tail when she sleeps was absolutely adorable. On top of that, when the series gets it right, the humour is really fun. I mean, seeing one of the other students using a voodoo doll to manipulate her volleyball partner to ensure victory was great!
The show isn’t perfect though. It’s a good job Anne and Grea are enjoyable leads because we don’t really spend much time with anyone else. That’s the downside of the shorter episode length, I think. On top of that, some of Anne’s behaviour – such as potentially using a love potion on Grea, or when she stole Grea’s shed tail skin to sniff – won’t go down well with everybody. If you were expecting a ton of fantasy action too, then you’re going to be disappointed as this veers more towards slice of life. There’s also the issue that the yuri aspect of the show isn’t fully explored, so with the series ending on a note that clearly indicates a second season is being sought, we don’t actually see the girls get together.
For the most part, though, Mysteria Friends is both charming and delightful. It’s a quick watch with decent protagonists and some nice visuals. Despite a few flaws, I’m still happy to give this a respectable 3.5 out of 5.