Magical Sempai Episode 2July 19, 2019
Welcome, one and all, to my continued weekly review series for Magical Sempai, aka Tejina Senpai. This week, I’m looking at episode 2 which, much like the first episode, is split into multiple shorter skits with their own titles.
Okay, this one genuinely made me laugh out loud. The basis of the episode is that Assistant heads to the cafeteria for lunch and doesn’t like the idea of sitting alone. When he sees Sempai sat alone, he joins her, and she starts up her latest magic trick: spoon bending. She channels her inner Uri Geller and explains how the trick is actually based on physics. In a predictable but hilarious moment, Assistant manages to pull it off with ease and Sempai fails miserably, launching her spoon across the room. This action causes her to accidentally knock some hot sauce onto Assistant’s curry, and she tries to cover this with a bout of hypnosis. Assistant doesn’t fall for it though, and she ends up having to eat the overly hot meal.
Everything about this was really fun. From Sempai’s lack of ability to the ‘kill your asshole!’ tag on the hot sauce, it was all really good-natured stuff. If you want to look closer at it, there were a couple of little moments of solid friendship between the two too: One, Assistant goes to get Sempai a new spoon, and two, she is genuinely upset that he’ll be upset about the hot sauce. I’m not expecting a sprawling story of best friends or romance, but having moments like that are nice. Great job in this scene.
Part two falls back into the realms of relying on fan service. Unlike last week, it was actually worked into the joke quite well. You see, Sempai is attempting the coin penetrating a cup trick, but she keeps launching the coin across the room. This ends up with Assistant getting a face full of her panties twice. He tries to broach it with her and, being incredibly naïve, Sempai misunderstands and thinks he’s just referring to her messing the trick up when he asks if she’s doing it on purpose. So, of course, she says yes. Cue massive misunderstanding where Assistant imagines her as some sort of scantily clad demon girl, and we end up with him being hit in the head with a coin.
Fan service is still not an instant source of amusement for me, but the way it was used in this scene made it work far better. It’s not like Assistant was trying to see what he did, which removes the creep factor. The misunderstanding that followed was reliant on it having happened, but was played in a way that was really funny too. It was interesting to see Assistant acknowledge that he found her attractive too, as that kinda progresses from the first scene. Again, this was well done.
Sempai Shifts Responsibility
Sempai has decided to replace her pigeon with a stuffed animal called Behemoth. If you’re familiar with weasel balls, you’ll know the toy. It’s basically that without the ball. Despite her inability to perform tricks correctly, the idea of using Behemoth to find cards, etc. was actually a good one. At this rate, if she could avoid the lewd mishaps, Sempai could be a great children’s entertainer! Anyway, Sempai ends up ‘killing’ Behemoth by stepping on him.
In a continued progression from the previous two scenes, Assistant and Sempai appear to walk home together now. That’s sweet. More important though was Sempai shifting everything onto Behemoth. She blamed the toy for the card trick going wrong and made no effort to deny getting him due to a lack of friends. That’s actually pretty sad. She may be barmy, but Sempai seems nice on the whole. So, less big laughs this scene but still enjoyable.
The Lady Who Stinks At Magic
As if reading my thoughts, Assistant found Sempai in the park trying to entertain children. Unfortunately for her, the children were well aware that she was bad at magic, and have given up on her. The kids do agree to give her another chance though, with the proviso that if she fails again, they’re going to start rumours about the lady in the park that stinks at magic. Sempai’s big trick is a quick change under a cape but…she forgot to bring a change of clothes, leading to the birth of rumours about a cape-clad flasher in the park.
This was fine. Behemoth was back and no more useful to the pair, and the magic trick surprisingly didn’t lead to anything too over the top. The message was clear though: kids these days are more likely to be impressed by video games than magic tricks.
Sempai Gets Serious
The final part of the episode sees Sempai tie Assistant to a chair to prevent him from running away. Bar a slight misstep with sweat, she actually got her trick right this time. The main takeaway was that, after singing Assistant’s club application form for him, she reveals that the Magic club isn’t actually a real club! She needs an advisor and for Assistant to help her find new members.
The twist at the end was another good-natured funny moment. I also enjoyed the sudden darkness when Sempai declared her two sponge bunnies to be such good friends that they can’t bear to be apart, just like her and Assistant. Obviously Assistant will stick with the club. This was still fun though.
Overall, I enjoyed this far more than the first episode. The humour was mostly on point, there were some subtle pieces of character progression, and everything slotted together nicely as a whole. I also liked the short tutorials on how the first two tricks worked; these were worked into the scenes in logical ways and kept really simple. The animation is far from standout, but it’s done in a way that works with this style of show. The main thing is that there hasn’t been anything that I’d pick out as bad or overly lazy as yet. In all, this gives me more hope that I’ll stick with the series. Good stuff.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.
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