English Cast for Magical Warfare

Sentai Filmworks has announced the English cast for the Magical Warfare television anime series:

  • Gabriel Regojo is Takeshi Nanase
  • Allison Sumrall is Mui Aiba
  • Sara Ornelas is Kurumi Isoshima
  • Scott Gibbs is Kazumi Ida
  • Clint Bickham is Gekko Nanase
  • Leraldo Anzaldua is Tsuganashi Aiba
  • Nancy Novotny is Momoka Shijo
  • David Wald is Kippei Washizu
  • Carli Mosier is Violet North
  • David Matranga is Kazuma Ryuusenji
  • Molly Searcy is Youko Nanase
  • Amelia Fischer is Nanami Hyoudou
  • Mike Yager is Makoto Hitouji
  • Andrew Love is Takao Oigami
  • Juliet Simmons is Hotaru Kumagai
  • Johnny De La Cerda is Ushiwaka
  • Brittney Karbowski is Futaba Ida
  • Katelyn Barr is Ena
  • Josh Morrison is Pops
  • Brittany Djie is Towa
  • Houston Hayes is Tsukiomi
  • John Swasey is Wiseman
  • Tiffany Grant is Mahoko

Christopher Ayres is directing.

Sentai Filmworks will be releasing Magical Warfare on DVD and Blu-ray on June 30, 2015.

Source: ANN

2014 In Review: Winter 2014 Season

Over the next few days, I’ll be publishing posts looking back at 2014. This first post takes a look back at the shows that I started watching during the Winter 2014 season. This post will also include series that I started watching in the Fall 2013 season that were still running with Winter 2014 started.

Log Horizon: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. This was a series that I admit to not being sure about when it first started in October 2013, but fortunately, I stuck with it and was rewarded with a series that made itself stand out from other anime series about characters who get stuck in a video game. I fell in love with this series by the time it finished airing in March 2014, and was overjoyed when the end of the final episode announced that there would be a second season that would begin airing in Fall 2014. I spent a lot of the year eagerly anticipating the second season because the first season had built such a strong foundation for the characters and their story.

Noragami: Noragami ended up being a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed the first four episodes, but then with Episode Five, I started feeling like the series wasn’t as strong as it was when it first started. My opinion improved a bit with Episode Six, and it kept improving through Episode 11. However, I was never entirely sure how I felt about Episode 12, because I couldn’t tell if it was meant to be a series finale or a season finale. As of this writing, there has been no word about a second season for Noragami, so I have to believe this was meant as a series finale. Unfortunately, there were enough loose ends that were left hanging which made it an unsatisfying note to end a series on. The manga for Noragami started being published during 2014, so I may need to start reading it at some point  and see if it might improve my opinion of the series.

Tokyo Ravens: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. When I first watched this series, I thought it had a slow start; however, enough elements were established in the first episode to interest me enough to come back to see more. With the second episode, I felt it was a little heavy on the “info dumping” side, but I was still willing to come back because the story that was developing showed a lot of promise. By the time I hit episode five, I found myself genuinely interested in Tokyo Ravens and decided that I’d see it through until the end. I ended up being interested in Tokyo Ravens for most of its 24 episode run; unfortunately, I started becoming a little disappointed in the series after a particular plot twist in Episode 23. I also ended up feeling rather let down and disappointed with how the final episode ended. FUNimation Entertainment, who had streamed the series as a simulcast, has recently announced that it has acquired the home video rights for Tokyo Ravens; unfortunately, I have no plans to purchase their release to add it to my anime home video library because of my disappointment with the final two episodes of the series.

D-Frag!: This is an anime I watched because the previews made it look like it’d be really hilarious. While there was humor in the first episode, there wasn’t as much as I had expected. And from humor I did see in the episode, I saw the potential for the series to rely on the same gags every week; unfortunately, I ended up being right with that assumption. And the gags that the series relied so heavily upon weren’t terribly funny the first time they showed up, and they wore out their welcome rather quickly. With episode two, I saw that maybe D-Frag! had potential with its story, but sadly, that potential never materialized. It also didn’t help that the series already started feeling stagnant by Episode Four. When I reached the halfway point, I decided I’d stick it out, but that the second half of the series really couldn’t go fast enough for my taste. The final episode didn’t feel like an episode to end a series on. Nothing has been resolved at all, and little to no progress had been made on the loose threads that were out there. I found this to be an unsatisfying ending for a series that had worn out its welcome for me several episodes earlier. And the final episode was the worst of the drudgery that I saw for that show. After that episode ended, all I could think was, “Thank God D-Frag! is over!”

Yowamushi Pedal: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. After watching the first episode, I thought I could see some potential in the series. Even though I’m not a fan of cycling, I found myself getting hooked on Yowamushi Pedal the more I watched of it. I especially found myself being riveted to the action that takes place during the racing scenes. I also liked how the characters developed over the course of the series. The main focus of the first half was on developing the members of the Sohoku team, with occasional development on members of the other two teams. However, the development for the other two teams tended to take place during the Inter-High race. The main selling point of this series to me ended up being the characters and the development they go through. While the pacing of Yowamushi Pedal was pretty typical for a shonen sports anime, it’s something I got used to with each race that appeared in the series. I was happy to hear that there would be a second season for the series in Fall 2014, especially since this season ended before the winner of the second day of the Inter-High was determined.

Hamatora: After watching the first episode of Hamatora, I felt that the series showed a bit of promise; however, I was little turned off by the character of Hajime, because it appeared her gluttony was going to be a major source of humor for the series. It turns out we learn later on why Hajime is such a glutton, and it also turned out that there was more in the way of humor than just Hajime’s gluttony. It was ultimately the second episode that sold me on Hamatora. I enjoyed seeing the various mysteries that came Hamatora’s way, and how several of the episodes were able to take what appeared to be two unrelated plots and find a way to weave the two together rather successfully by the end. Overall, I enjoyed the series except for Episode Five and Episode Eight. But when I saw that there was a cliffhanger ending and that there would be another season of Hamatora coming in the future, I was looking forward to seeing more episodes in order to find out how the story continued from the cliffhanger.

Nagi no Asukara: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. I have to admit that after watching the first episode, I had some mixed feelings. On the one hand, I kind of liked the story, although I was finding Hikari to be a bit on the annoying side. However, I was having problems with using my willing suspension of disbelief about people being able to live underwater; it turns out that the concept of Ena, which allows them to breathe underwater, hadn’t been properly introduced by the end of the first episode. I decided to continue watching the series, and went into the second episode using my willing suspension of disbelief and focusing on the storytelling. It’s a decision I’m glad I made, because I found myself being more impressed with the series and becoming genuinely interested in the characters and their stories. I’d become so riveted with the series that when the first half reached its climax with the Ofunehiki, I was a little frustrated that I had to wait two weeks in order to find out what happened. When the second half of the series started, I have to admit that it was a bit of an adjustment to get used to the fact that a five-year timeskip had happened between the two episodes and that some of the cast members were noticeably older. I appreciated how there was a focus on the confusion for both those who returned from the surface after a five-year hibernation and those who stayed on the surface and aged five years. There’s a lot of raw emotion that’s prevalent in the second half of the series, but I found these emotions and reactions to be believable. I have to admit that for the most part, I had basically predicted what directions the various relationships would go in. However, I still found the conclusion of the series to be satisfying and enjoyable.

Samurai Flamenco: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. At the end of the first episode, I thought that between the animation and the storytelling, there seemed to be enough there to keep my interest and make me want to come back week after week to watch more of Samurai Flamenco. I have to admit that when the King Torture arc was introduced and caused the major tonal shift for the series, I wasn’t entirely sure that I liked it. It didn’t help that it was also at that point that the animation quality went down noticeably, and that “off model” shots started becoming more prevalent and noticeable. By the end of the King Torture, arc, though, I had become so accustomed to the change in tone that I started enjoying the series a bit more again. Overall, though, I did enjoy Samurai Flamenco when all was said and done.

Magical Warfare: After watching the first episode, I thought the series had some potential. After the second episode, I thought it plodded a bit due all of the exposition included, 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 how the series was paced, 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. All in all, I have to say that Magical Warfare ended up being a steaming pile of poo and I think it was easily one of the worst series I watched during 2014.

Strike the Blood: This is a series that started during the Fall 2013 season and carried over into Winter 2014. I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely sure about Strike the Blood after watching the first episode, but I decided to give it a chance and continue watching it. After watching the second episode, though, I was more impressed with the series than I thought I’d be. The cliffhanger ending for episode three ultimately sold me on the series. As the series progressed through the various story arcs, more characters were introduced. Most of them seemed to have an importance to the series, although there were a couple of characters who were only truly important for one or two story arcs, and then basically all but vanished from the series. After making it through all 24 episodes of Strike the Blood, I have to say that overall, I was satisfied with how the series progressed and ultimately came to its conclusion. It was a series I came to look forward to watching.

Wizard Barristers: At the end of the first episode, I thought that Wizard Barristers showed a lot of promise. As the series went on, the story kept me interested in what was going on and made me want to come back and watch week after week. My least favorite part of the series was the animal familiars, because for the most part, they didn’t seem to truly add anything to the series. By the time I reached the final episode, I was overall rather satisfied with how the series progressed. My biggest disappointment with the series was the fact that we don’t learn what happened to Cecil’s mother. The viewer was left with the responsibility of assuming what happens.

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha: I have to admit that at the end of the first episode, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to like Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. However, I decided to keep watching to see if the story would improve. After finishing episode two, my opinion of the series started becoming more favorable. As the episodes went on, I continued to enjoy the series more and more; I’m so glad I didn’t let my initial unsure impression keep me away from this series. Overall, I thought the series was good, although the last couple of episodes felt a bit rushed compared to the other episodes; I have to say that Episode 10 had more issues with being rushed than Episode Nine did.  The action in the first half of Episode 10 felt stretched out, and then the story in the second half ended up feeling rushed. In the final episode, I appreciated the fact that it demonstrated just how much Inari has grown as a character over the course of the series. In a lot of ways, when Inari returned Uka’s divine power at the end of Episode 10, it symbolizes that Inari had grown up and no longer needs the “crutch” that she thought the power was giving her. In a lot of respects, though, there is some vagueness at the end of the final episode. Do Inari and Koji ever end up together? Is Touka still able to see Uka even though Inari no longer can? It appears that the manga series is still ongoing in Japan, so that might explain why the ending of the anime is a bit ambiguous.

Additional 2014 In Review posts:

Kadokawa’s English BookWalker Manga App Launches

Japanese publisher Kadokawa has launched its English BookWalker app, adding some manga volumes, as well as titles from VIZ Select and Dark Horse.

Kadokawa has added the following titles: Ga-Rei by Hajime Segawa, Magical Warfare by You Ibuki and Hisashi Suzuki, Riddle Story of Devil by Sunao Minakata and Yun Kouga, and Tokyo Ravens by Kouhei Azano, Atsushi Suzumi, and Sumihei.

BookWalker’s library currently includes:

  • Chibi Vampire 1-14 by Yuna Kagesaki (Viz)
  • Deadman Wonderland 1-5 by Jinsei Kataoka and Kazuma Kondou (Viz)
  • D.N.Angel 1-13 by Yukiru Sugisaki (Viz)
  • Fate/stay night 1-10 by Dat Nishiwaki (Viz)
  • Future Diary 1-7 by Sakae Esuno (Viz)
  • Ga-Rei 1 by Hajime Segawa (Kadokawa)
  • Kyo Kara Maoh! 1-2 by Temari Matsumoto (Viz)
  • Lagoon Engine 1-4 by Yukiru Sugisaki (Viz)
  • Legal Drug omnibus by CLAMP (Dark Horse)
  • Lucky Star 1-4 by Kagami Yoshimizu (Viz)
  • Mad Love Chase 1 by Kazusa Takashima (Viz)
  • Magical Warfare 1-2 by You Ibuki and Hisashi Suzuki (Kadokawa)
  • Million Tears 1 by Yuana Kazumi (Viz)
  • Miyuki-chan in Wonderland by CLAMP (Viz)
  • Riddle Story of Devil 1-2 by Sunao Minakata and Yun Kouga (Kadokawa)
  • St. Lunatic High School 1-2 by Majiko! (Viz)
  • Suki: A Like Story 1-2 by CLAMP (Viz)
  • Tokyo Ravens 1 by Kouhei Azano, Atsushi Suzumi, and Sumihei (Kadokawa)
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Ranmaru Kotone (Viz)
  • Trinity Blood 1-8 by Sunao Yoshida and Kiyo Kyujyō (Viz)

BookWalker also plans to add light novels in the future. The app is available for Android, iOS, and browser viewing.

Source: ANN

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.

Magical Warfare: Episode 12 – “Gone From This World”

Magical Warfare focuses on Takeshi Nanase, and what happens after a chance meeting with Mui Aiba and gains the ability to do magic. Takeshi’s friends, Isoshima and Ida, get caught up in what’s taking place and also acquire magical abilities. 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. During episode two, Takeshi, Isoshima, and Ida transferred into the Subaru Magic Academy to study magic.

There appears to have been some kind of a time skip between episodes 11 and 12, because Episode 12 opens with Takeshi running to his mother’s house. When he gets there, Gekkou comes out of the house with blood on his face. We learn that Gekkou didn’t kill their mother, and Gekkou also tells Takeshi the truth behind the accident that had injured Gekkou three years earlier.

The two brothers activate their magic and draw weapons, and end up fighting against each other. Suddenly, the Trailers appears behind Gekkou, while Wizard Brace and their allies appear behind Takeshi. The two sides battle it out with each other while Takehi and Gekkou continue their fight.

Somehow, Isoshima has managed to escape from Kazuma’s clutches and just happens upon the battle that’s taking place. Gekkou seems to give up, and heads toward Takeshi. Isoshima sees this and heads over to them. Just as Gekkou is about to strike with Twilight, Isoshima flies in and gets between the two brothers. Unfortunately, Gekkou can’t stop his attack and ends up getting Isoshima with Twilight. After Mui comes over to help Takeshi with Isoshima, Takeshi leaves Mui in charge so he can continue to fight Gekkou. Isoshima says something to Mui, which we never get to hear, and Mui starts crying and says Takeshi must stop fighting.

Director Shijou appears on the scene, and uses her magic and weapon to lay waste to the surrounding area. When I saw that she did that, I was like, “Say what?” No explanation was ever given as to why she decided to destroy the area around Takehsi’s house.

Then other unexpected things happen with no explanation to the audience as to why they’re happening, and then the episode ends.

I have to say that when I finished this episode, I thought it just ended up being one huge mess. First of all, we go from Takeshi, Mui, and Ida defeating Oigami and Hotaru in Episode 11 and learning that they don’t know where she is, to Episode 12 opening with Takeshi running to his mother’s house. No indication is truly given as to how much time passed between these two events. Also, last we saw Isoshima in Episode 11, she was with Kazuma; however, in Episode 12, she somehow managed to escape from his clutches and just happens to fly right to where the battle is taking place. How did Isoshima get away from Kazuma? Her part in this episode just felt a little too convenient.

The events that take place right at the end of Episode 12 receive no explanation at all, so the audience is left to try to infer what actually ended up happening. Also, nothing in the series has truly been resolved at all. And I thought of at least one loose end that wasn’t even touched: what’s happened with Ida’s little sister? Last we knew, she had been taken by a couple of men in Wizard Brace during the attack on Subaru Magic Academy. Her ultimate fate is never touched upon in this episode, and she’s not even mentioned at all by her doting big brother. Did the writers forget that she even exists?

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 ended up becoming 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.

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

Additional posts about Magical Warfare:

Magical Warfare: Episode 11 – “The Battle of Pendragon”

Magical Warfare focuses on Takeshi Nanase, and what happens after a chance meeting with Mui Aiba and gains the ability to do magic. Takeshi’s friends, Isoshima and Ida, get caught up in what’s taking place and also acquire magical abilities. 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. During episode two, Takeshi, Isoshima, and Ida transferred into the Subaru Magic Academy to study magic.

Isoshima awakens and finds that she has transformed into Takeshi, but she has no idea how she did it. Gekkou comes in, and she transforms back into herself shortly after. When Gekkou says he loves Isoshima, she retorts the he doesn’t love her; he’s only interested in taking things from Takeshi to make himself feel superior. When she also mentions that he took Twilight, he becomes angry and lashes out. Isoshima manages to escape, and Gekkou chases her.

Isoshima runs into Oigami, and she learns from him that she’s in the Trailers’ headquarters. After explaining that Gekkou is chasing her, Oigami takes her to his room to hide from him. Hotaru bursts into Oigami’s room, and after she learns what’s going on, both Hotaru and Oigami agree to help Isoshima escape so she can return to Takeshi.

As they take her through the headquarters, they explain that the locations of the rooms change by the hour; when I heard this, I couldn’t help but think of the moving staircases in Harry Potter. They are almost caught by Gekkou at one point, but Hotaru is able to activate Isoshima’s new power so Isoshima can disguise as her as Hotaru lures Gekkou away. Oigami continues to lead Isoshima, now disguised as Hotaru, through the headquarters; unfortunately, Washizu has to call Oigami away, so Isoshima is left alone. She runs for a while, until she returns to her normal self. She is found by Kazuma and is taken somewhere else by him through the use of his magic.

Meanwhile, Takeshi is training with his mother, and she teaches him how to use an incantation to shorten the time it takes to cast a spell and to make his magic stronger. After he masters it, she suddenly collapses. His mother begins trying to explain the accident that took place when he was younger, but he says she can tell him later. A couple of scenes later, Takeshi narrates, “in the end, I never found out what my mother had started to tell me, but I made a lot of progress in my Evasive Magic and incantations.” From his narration, I have to assume that Takeshi’s mother had been training Takeshi so much that the ring she was given to unlock her magic drained enough of her life force to either kill her or put her into a coma.

Then, Takeshi is ready to try to rescue Isoshima. He is joined by Mui and Ida, and the three of them use the button that Oigami had given Isoshima earlier, which allows them to go directly to the Trailers’ headquarters. The three of them encounter Oigami and Hotaru, and a magic battle begins…

One of the biggest things I noticed was the fact that there were at least three times in the episode where Takeshi provides a brief narration of plot points so the story can continue. However, these narration bits could have just as easily been shown to the viewer as part of the story. This is usually a sign that the writer is having to rush the story along because they’re running out of time in the series. I know I said it in last week’s writeup, but I’ll say it again here: Magical Warfare probably would have been a stronger series if it had been scheduled for more than 12 episodes from the beginning. If there had been more episodes scheduled, then they could have slowed down the second half of the series, as well as had the opportunity to develop the antagonists earlier in the series.

I have to admit that I’m also a little baffled by the episode’s title. The only reference to Pendragon was the fact that the Trailers’ headquarters used to belong to Pendragon. Other than that, there was nothing in the episode to indicate why this would be called “The Battle of Pendragon.”

With only one episode remaining for the series, I expect that it’s going to be a rushed ending. At this point, Takeshi needs to save Isoshima, Gekkou needs to be defeated, the Trailers need to be defeated, and Ida needs to get his little sister back. It’s really too much to try to squeeze into one episode, but it appears that’s what’s going to happen. It’ll be interesting to see how Magical Warfare will ultimately come to an end.

Additional posts about Magical Warfare:

Magical Warfare: Episode 10 – “Vanishing Boundaries”

Magical Warfare focuses on Takeshi Nanase, and what happens after a chance meeting with Mui Aiba and gains the ability to do magic. Takeshi’s friends, Isoshima and Ida, get caught up in what’s taking place and also acquire magical abilities. 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. During episode two, Takeshi, Isoshima, and Ida transferred into the Subaru Magic Academy to study magic.

The beginning of the episode sees Mui finding Violet by a collapsed Takeshi. Violet attacks Mui and tries to take Takeshi, but they are saved by a group of three girls. We learn they are fourth year students at Subaru Magic Academy and witches of Camelot. It turns out Kisaki Ena, one of the three girls, is Tsuganashi’s ex-girlfriend. Kisaki offers to take Takeshi to Camelot’s medical facility so he can receive some curative magic. As they’re leaving, Mui sees something on the ground and picks it up.

After Takeshi regains consciousness in Camelot’s medical facility, Ida comes rushing into his room and is extremely upset because his sister Futaba has been taken by Wizard Brace’s Inspection Bureau. This scene would have had more impact if Futaba had been developed a bit more as a character before this scene. At this point, we saw her briefly in a flashback of Ida’s, and then she made a major appearance a couple of episodes back when she arrived on the first day of school.

In the middle of the night, Takeshi gets up and wanders around. He overhears Kisaki and Tsuganashi talking, and Kisaki says that Camelot wants Takeshi gone as soon as possible. Tsuganashi argues with her that it wouldn’t be a good idea for Takeshi to return to Wizard Brace due to his condition and the chaos going on in Wizard Brace due to Director Shijou being missing. Kisaki relents and says she’ll try to persuade her supporters to allow Takeshi to stay a little longer.

Meanwhile, Washizu kills the Wiseman who granted The Gift that kept wizard battles out of the Living World. With the Wiseman dead, wizard battles are taking place in both the Ruined World and the Living World. When Takeshi gets word, he wants to go to his home to check on his mother in response to a vision he had of her in the previous episode.

When Kisaki and Tsuganashi accompany Takeshi home, they find his mother is alive and well. However, Kisaki has brought a message for Takeshi’s mother from Bishop; it’s a formal request for his mother to continue Takehsi’s magic training. His mother argues at first, saying that she’s no longer a magician. After Takeshi says he wants to train and become stronger, she looks at the message from Bishop and discovers a ring inside. The ring allows Takeshi’s mother to use magic again, and she begins training Takeshi.

And as should be expected, a magic item to help someone use magic has consequences. Unfortunately, I think that by returning home and having his mother training him by using the ring will be what allows Gekkou to do what Takeshi saw in his vision.

Introducing Kisaki as an ex-girlfriend of Tsuganashi’s was a neat idea, but I kind of wish she had somehow been introduced just a slight bit earlier, perhaps shortly after Tsuganashi returned to Wizard Brace. Kisaki could’ve had more potential as a character, but at this point, she’s only going to appear in at most three episodes. So much potential for this character is wasted due to the late introduction.

It was nice not to have any real timeskip between episodes this time. I think at this point, there won’t be any more. Pacing has definitely been an issue for this series, and I’m wondering if maybe this could have been alleviated if there had been more episodes produced from the get-go, because this could have potentially allowed for more time to develop both the protagonists and antagonists, as well as made it so there would have been less of a need to have so many timeskips that the series ended up having in order to get to the climax of the series within 12 episodes.

At this point, I’m looking forward to seeing Magical Warfare conclude over the next two episodes. At this point, it’s not a bad show, but it’s not exactly terribly good, either.

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Magical Warfare: Episode 9 – “Prelude to Destruction”

Magical Warfare focuses on Takeshi Nanase, and what happens after a chance meeting with Mui Aiba and gains the ability to do magic. Takeshi’s friends, Isoshima and Ida, get caught up in what’s taking place and also acquire magical abilities. 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. During episode two, Takeshi, Isoshima, and Ida transferred into the Subaru Magic Academy to study magic.

We learn at the beginning of this episode that roughly two months have passed since the end of episode eight. Kazuma, the leader of the Ghost Trailers, finally reawakens after a 17-year slumber. With his reawakening, the Second Great Magic War begins.

Then, the rest of the episode sees Pendragon allying with the Ghost Trailers and launching an attack on Subaru Magic Academy. There are two particular battles that get focused on a bit during the episode.

The first sees Director Shinjou going up against three members of Pendragon, a three-man cell that none could stand against in the battle of the Ruined World. After a rather impressive battle, the director finds a way to defeat them. Unfortunately, victory is short-lived with Violet makes an appearance. After being fired by Director Shinjou, Violet launches an attack that causes the director to be knocked unconscious.

The other battle is between Takeshi and Gekkou, with Isoshima watching what unfolds. They both learn that Gekkou is with the Trailers and the magical abilities he has gained. The brothers have an epic fight, but it ultimately ends with Takeshi losing. Gekkou takes Isoshima and Twilight, while Takeshi lays unconscious. Eterna wakes Takehsi up, and says there’s only one thing she can do for him. She throws a sphere of light at him, which hits him; after being hit by the sphere, Takeshi sees images of Gekkou killing their mother. Eterna then tells Takeshi to come find her.

This was definitely one of the most action-packed episodes of Magical Warfare that I’ve seen up to this point. While there were some explanations given during the two major battles, the explanations didn’t bog down the action of the fights as much as they could have.

With this episode, I’ve come to realize that Magical Warfare has been suffering from a pacing issue. The early episodes took a while to get going to establish things; then, around episode five or six, there are very noticeable jumps in time between episodes. So around the halfway point, it feels like the writers are trying to rush us through the rest of the story in order to reach the endpoint at the end of the series. These constant jumps in time are starting to feel a little dizzying.

Episode nine was as good, if not better, than episode eight had been. So far, it appears the second half of Magical Warfare is stronger than the first half. I’ll keep watching the series in order to find out whether or not it continues to get better or not.

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Magical Warfare: Episode 8 – “Wizard Brace’s Darkness”

Magical Warfare focuses on Takeshi Nanase, and what happens after a chance meeting with Mui Aiba and gains the ability to do magic. Takeshi’s friends, Isoshima and Ida, get caught up in what’s taking place and also acquire magical abilities. 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. During episode two, Takeshi, Isoshima, and Ida transferred into the Subaru Magic Academy to study magic.

Episode eight begins at the start of a new school year at Subaru Academy. We learn that Ida’s little sister, Futaba, is entering the academy’s elementary school. Over the break, Ida had gotten into an argument with her and he flared up and accidentally used his magic and singed her hair, so she became a magician. Gekkou also arrives, and both Takeshi and Isoshima are shocked. Isoshima shouldn’t have been, since Gekkou had told her over Winter Break that he’d be coming. Either she forgot, or she was acting in order to hide the fact that she already knew about it from Takeshi.

One day while Takeshi is in the bath, he runs into Gekkou. The two of them talk, and Gekkou claims that he wants to apologize and asks for Takeshi’s forgiveness. Takeshi gives him the forgiveness, but his Strike Vision shows him something about Gekkou that he tries to ignore.

That night, Takeshi has a nightmare of Gekkou attacking him and telling him to stop stealing his things: Isoshima and Twilight. When Takeshi suddenly wakes up from the dream, he sees Washizu from the Ghost Trailers sitting on his window sill. This is followed by a lengthy “info dumping” scene that reveals information about Kazuma, the leader of the Ghost Trailers, as well as information on Wizard Brace and a revelation about Takeshi’s mother that even Takeshi was unaware of.

Later, when Takeshi talks to Director Shinjou and receives confirmation about what he learned about his mother, his Strike Vision reveals something about Director Shinjou. Takeshi quickly excuses himself. After he leaves, the Director thinks to herself that Takeshi must decide things for himself and that he will be put to the test to find out how much he can endure.

I have to say that by far, episode eight has been the best episode of Magical Warfare that I’ve seen. The only black mark I can give it is the info dumping that took place after Takeshi’s nightmare. All of this information was important, but I wish there had been a way to somehow spread some of this out earlier in the series. Honestly, if I had known some of this information earlier, I probably would have been more interested in this series a few weeks back. It was during this episode that we finally got the development for the antagonists that I had wished we’d seen earlier in the series.

Magical Warfare definitely suffered from some pacing issues early on, and ultimately took too long to get to this point. I have to be brutally honest and say that if I wasn’t watching this series in order to do these write-ups every week, I probably would have dropped the show about two or three weeks ago and would have missed out on these revelations.

Now I’m curious to see whether or not the remaining episodes of Magical Warfare will continue to be as interesting as episode eight was.

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Magical Warfare: Episode 7 – “The Magic Sword’s Secret”

Magical Warfare focuses on Takeshi Nanase, and what happens after a chance meeting with Mui Aiba and gains the ability to do magic. Takeshi’s friends, Isoshima and Ida, get caught up in what’s taking place and also acquire magical abilities. 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. During episode two, Takeshi, Isoshima, and Ida transferred into the Subaru Magic Academy to study magic.

This episode sees Takeshi having nightmares, but he only tells Tsuganashi about it. Tsuganashi tells him that sometimes nightmares are caused by magic and that he should see the school nurse. He ignores the advice and ends up collapsing from exhaustion. The school nurse makes him sleep in the infirmary. When she discovers that his weapon is causing the nightmares, she orders him not to have the weapon by his bedside at night.

Takeshi ignores this order, because his dreams seem to be able to foresee the future; by ignoring the order, he still has the dreams. The Director calls Takeshi into her office and says he either gives her the weapon or he follows the order to not have it by his bedside at night. When he refuses, the Director says that the only way to get past this is to defeat the weapon when it manifests itself in his dreams in its human form.

The Director has Takeshi put into a deep sleep, and Mui is sent to be with him as a backup. When they find the weapon in its human form, Takeshi begins to fight with it. During the fight, he comes to realize how he might be able to control it without having to destroy it…

I couldn’t believe how dumb Takeshi was acting throughout most of this episode. For whatever reason, he seemed to decide that he didn’t need to listen to other people. First, it was ignoring Tsuganashi’s suggestion to see the school nurse, followed by not following the school nurse’s order not to leave the weapon by his bedside.

There was a section when Takeshi and Mui are in the dream trying to find the weapon in its human form, when a “fanservice” scene takes place. They find themselves at the beach, and Mui’s uniform turns into a bikini, and something happens to the bikini that makes this a fanservice moment. To be honest, I didn’t feel that this fanservice truly added anything to the story; to me, it felt more like a way to kill a couple of minutes because they couldn’t quite get the episode to the right length without it.

As I watched Magical Warfare today, I finally realized what it is that is keeping me from enjoying this show. We’re now a little over halfway through the series, and many of the characters still fee l rather one-dimensional. And while some characters have gotten development, such as Takeshi and Isoshima, they’ve hardly progressed as characters this far into the series. There’s also times when it feels like the characters aren’t acting naturally, and they’re only doing what they’re doing because the writer told them to act that way. I also don’t feel as if there’s much in the way of any real chemistry between the characters.

Oh well. I’ll see Magical Warfare through to the end, but I’m going into it at this point without any real high expectations.

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