Magic-Kyun! Renaissance – Preview
Original Air Dates: October 2nd, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Kohana exists in a world where one’s ability to create artwork, be it paintings, calligraphy, or sculpture can produce a sparkle of magic that inspires passion and awe. They’re known as Artistas and Kohana’s late mother had a talent herself for arranging flowers that produced that sparkle of Magic Arts. Now Kohana Aigasaki sets about following in her mother’s footsteps by transferring to the Hishonomori Private Magical Arts High School. However, Kohana’s got a problem as her magical abilities are actually behind everyone else’s!
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Magic-Kyun! is undoubtedly vibrant and colorful, with visuals that are memorable and eye catching, easily allowing it to stand out amongst the rest of the season. Trouble is I don’t think Magic-Kyun! has all that much else going for it. For starters our lead, Kohana, feels bordering on a self-insert. While does she have the whole “my mother passed away and I wish to follow in her footsteps angle” to keep her from feeling totally bland, I might argue that the mother is representative of one’s own potential and dreams of success that Kohana is struggling to meet. There’s nothing wrong with a self-insert character, as it allows the audience to imagine themselves in the lead role and perhaps become more invested in the story by proxy. Trouble is, Kohana’s overall lack of persona and character is just the tip of the iceberg.
Linny: Magic-Kyun! is instantly recognizable as fantasy fodder, a show where the viewer can imagine themselves being seduced and romanced by a bevy of handsome hunks, each devoted to them because even though the main character is as basic as can be for easy self replacement, they’re also the most special snowflake that leaves a huge impact the way no other girl or guy can on the harem members. Kohana is especially special because she happens to be the daughter of a famous Artista and also is the ONLY student in history who has managed to join Hoshinomori High School as a transfer student. We follow her as she makes her way to the dorm, observing other special snowflakes and future harem members, letting the audience know just how special of a snowflake everyone is. It’s all standard fare for these kinds of shows but one has to admit that the art and colours are especially vibrant and eye catching, and thus sure to grab the attention of its target audience. On the other hand, the atmosphere of the show is all over the place. One moment, it’s fantasy like with Kohana marveling at a guy, then comedic, then melancholic and suddenly out of nowhere and towards the end of the show, she’s declared to be someone’s mortal enemy…All this jumping around in mood makes the show’s flow feel bumpy and rushed.
Tom: Magic-Kyun’s narrative takes a backseat here. Kohana transfers into a prestigious school, wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps, but has doubts and concerns about her abilities. Otherwise the episode is really focused on introducing us to the setting, the characters and the ultimate goal Kohana will be striving for, to become the prom– I mean magic arts queen. We’re introduced to a slew of male leads, just enough to give us the general flavor of their characters. We have the oblivious guy who’s talented, but never seems to be creating what he’s aiming for. We have the emotionless hottie who’s art reflects his monochrome personality, the stud who’s aloof and gets all the girls to swoon, and more. They’re all stereotypes, templates of common character archetypes for viewers to fawn over and categorize as their preferred husbando. The only other character we really get to meet is Kohana’s new roommate, but she’s namely there to explain the plot and does little else.
Linny: As someone who has never grasped the appeal of these kind of shows, all I can truly acknowledge about these characters is that if you’re on the lookout for a classic husbando of the season, you’re most likely to find it here (If not, there’s always Touken Ranbu: Hanamaru this season as well). The show lays it on thick about just how admired and sought after each of the featured men are, as is the norm for these shows. However, considering how each of them have personalities that one must have encountered a million times before in other reverse-harem anime, it’s most likely their physical appearance and voice acting that’s meant to melt the viewer.
Tom: I think my big problem with Magic-Kyun! is it feels boring, lacking in unique character. The whole thing feels almost like a formula of elements we’ve seen before, and while the idea that artistic talent and creation creates a blooming mist of sparkles is certainly visually interesting, it feels like such a weak gimmick to base a series around.
Linny: The episode literally starts with a flashforward so viewers will immediately realize what the end goal is exactly, taking away some of the mystery. But at the same time, the show does put effort into making it confusing as to how exactly one will reach that goal to prevent the show from feeling too predictable.
Tom: Magic-Kyun! is a mixed-media project, meaning it’s real goal is to sell you on all the expanded merchandise and namely, in this particular case, the upcoming Playstation Vita game. It’s similar to Monster Hunter Stories, in that the goal is to rev up excitement for an upcoming product. But in Monster Hunter Stories defense I don’t think it needs to try quite as hard when aimed at a younger audience. Magic-Kyun! is aimed at older teens, even adults and it feels like the bare minimum of effort has been put in here to transform a marketing ploy into something more engaging, more worthy of your attention. If you’re fine with that, and enjoy the reverse-harem aspects, even when they’re so archetype ridden without any unique flare to set it apart from the wealth of content already out there, then Magic-Kyun! should easily do its job, but if you’re a bit more discerning and looking for something with unique charm, Magic-Kyun! seems a bit lazy in that regard.
Linny: Its obvious who Magic-Kyun! is meant for: the anime viewer who enjoys self insertion reverse harem mechanics with stereotypical male characters for them to fawn over and romance. If you’re not such a viewer, then Magic-Kyun! is best left alone as there doesn’t seem to be anything that’s especially worthwhile otherwise.
Magic-Kyun! Renaissance is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com