The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Maburaho
Genre: Comedy
Company: J.C. Staff
Format: 24 Episodes
Dates: 14 Oct 2003 – 6 Apr 2004

Synopsis: In a society where one’s magic capacity determines social status and respect, Shikimori Kazuki’s limited magic ability makes him, in every sense, a loser. Despite this, he attends Aoi Academy for the magically elite and gifted. However, in one of fate’s numerous bizarre twists, it turns out that lying dormant within Kazuki’s genes are unimaginable magical powers. This means that Kazuki will likely father the world’s greatest magician. All of a sudden, Kazuki couldn’t be more popular with the opposite sex. Unfortunately for him, all they want are his genes.

The Highlights
Music: Annoyingly catchy opening theme.
Humor: Sometimes funny.
Characters: Annoying.
Plot: Horrible attempt at drama.

Personally, I can’t see the dilemma. Maburaho is an anime I didn’t have great expectations from, yet it still failed to even deliver on those. In every sense, this is a series that just refuses to break any of the molds created by the tired loser-suddenly-surrounded-by-bishoujo subgenre. We can go through the infamous checklist that’s, unfortunately, almost required to analyze this type of series, and predictably, we find that everything’s there. Loser nice guy in the lead role that blasts the girls’ initial impression of him with a few gestures of kindness, causing them to go completely head over heels for him? Check. Sexpot with a rack you could rest your head on who uses her overbearing sexuality to cover for the fact that she actually has feelings for our heroic protagonist? Check. Annoying childhood friend? Check. Check twice, actually, there were two of them. They even throw in a callous samurai girl with a hidden cute side, a lazy teacher and a lolilicious ghost, just for good measure. With a rich cast of interesting characters like that, this show just can’t lose, can it?

Trying to find some good points about Maburaho is a tough task. There were some points I chuckled at, some jokes I found mildly amusing. That was, until they were repeated over and over again. The formula for the main joke just became so predictable, you could see it coming from over a parsec away. Kazuki finds himself in a compromising position with a girl, Yuuna (the annoying childhood friend) walks in, puts on her “jealous clingy girlfriend” hat, jumps to some bizarre conclusion before anyone has any sort of chance to explain themselves, and uses her magic powers on Kazuki to express her rage. Zoom out to nearby street to see massive explosion. Repeat two or three times an episode for an unbeatable recipe for successful comedy.

Oh well, the opening song grew on me after twenty odd times of hearing it. I guess that’s a good point. Never mind the comedy though, where Maburaho truly fails is its pitiable attempt at drama. It had an uphill battle to start with, trying to make us sympathize with the plight of these uninspired characters. But watching these girls run around, trying to help Kazuki in spite of his almost complete unwillingness to help himself just had me constantly rolling my eyes. The attempts at possible solutions they come up with, just like the direction the plot takes after a twist half way through, is guaranteed to insult your intelligence. And just when you think your intelligence couldn’t be insulted any more, we are presented with an ending that will make you wish you had your own magic powers, so you could magically make yourself forget you ever saw this.

Fortunately, so forgettable is this series, all you’ll need is time and it will take care of itself. Which is why, if you’re feeling particularly masochistic, I can’t recommend against Maburaho. Given time and the bland nature of this series, there’s nothing that will keep this in your memory, even a short time after you finish boring yourself with it. Or you could just have your boss spank you for being a bad secretary. Whatever works for you.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Sorrow-kun

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