Anime Spotlight: Magical Warfare

Magical Warfare is an anime based on a light novel written by Hisashi Suzuki and illustrated by Lunalia. The anime is produced by Madhouse and is directed by Yuzo Sato. The series aired on Japanese television from January 9-March 27, 2014. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American distribution license for the series.

Magical Warfare focuses on a boy named Takeshi Nanase, and what happens after a chance meeting with a girl named Mui Aiba. Through this encounter, he gains the ability to do magic. Takeshi’s friends, Isoshima and Ida, get caught up in what’s taking place and acquire magical abilities as well. Mui takes them to the world where magicians live; it’s a place where time has been distorted and it’s known as the Ruined World. They are taken to the Subaru Magic Academy, where they become students.

Mui’s older brother, Tsuganashi, has been tricked into joining the Ghost Trailers, who are basically portrayed as being the villains of the series. Mui, meanwhile, is part of the magic community known as Wizard Brace. She has made it her goal to rescue her brother from the Ghost Trailers. About halfway through the series, Mui succeeds in her goal with the help of Takeshi and the others.

Takeshi has a younger brother named Gekkou, who was injured in an accident a couple of years before the start of the series and has sustained some damage to his leg. He holds a grudge against Takeshi, because he believes Takeshi pushed him into the street. Gekkou is also jealous of Takeshi because he is in love with Isoshima. While Takeshi and Isoshima claim to be a couple, he’s only claiming to be her boyfriend so she doesn’t have to deal with unwanted attention.

The second half of the series sees Gekkou, as well as Ida’s younger sister, becoming students at Subaru Magic Academy. Gekkou also becomes a member of the Ghost Trailers. Kazuma, the leader of the Ghost Trailers who has been in a coma for 17 years, awakens, and the second Great Magic War commences.

After watching the first episode, I thought the series had some potential. After the second episode, I thought it plodded a bit due to the exposition, but I still thought that the overall concept still showed promise.

At the end of episode three, I said that while Magical Warfare wasn’t one of my favorite series of Winter 2014, I couldn’t say that it was the worst one I was watching, either. By the end of episode four, I was already at a point where I wasn’t looking forward to watching the series week after week.

As the series continued to progress, I became frustrated with the pacing of the story, the fact that the villains weren’t very well defined by the halfway point of the series, and how the character development wasn’t where it needed to be for me to truly care about these characters.

The final episode was a major letdown, due to how little was explained for what was happening throughout it. The ending of the final episode was so vague that the viewer was left having to make a lot of assumptions just to figure out what the heck was going on. Honestly, the way Magical Warfare ended was just so vague and bizarre that it makes the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion seem like it makes sense. And considering the reputation the ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion has, it’s really saying something.

In the end, Magical Warfare is a series that had a concept with a lot of potential, but the execution ultimately failed. It became a victim of bad pacing, bad writing, and underdeveloped characters that became harder and harder to care for as the series went on. I really wish I could get back the time that I invested in this series, because I feel rather ripped off right about now.

Magical Warfare ended up being a steaming pile of poo, and I would recommend staying away and not wasting your time with this series.

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