Magical Sempai – Anime Preview
Synopsis: “I met her… a sempai who’s cute, but strange!” She loves magic tricks, but she fails every time due to stage fright?! She drags me into the Magic Club and makes me her assistant… and siblings Saki-chan and Ma-kun of the street performers club, and Madara-san of the chemistry club get dragged into it, too. Every day, Sempai fails in energetic yet slightly erotic ways! It’s a gag anime about crummy magic tricks that are painful to watch… but you can’t stop watching! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Even though the show isn’t tagged as such, make no mistake! Magical Sempai is quite lewd. Only one episode in and the show has already showcased its female protagonist, a girl who can’t help but fail at magic tricks, in several upskirt shots, making her repeatedly end up in situations where she’s on her back, legs in the air, underwear exposed for all to see. In fact, the show even goes so far as to have her get drenched in milk and turn her shirt see through, or then in the ending credits have her dressed in several extremely provocative outfits, including but not limited to what could be described as a kinky devil costume. Magical Sempai’s desire to titillate its audience is front and center, making it more prominent than any other vein of humor.
Tom: Magical Sempai is an attempt to balance a widely appealing premise (Magician who is bad at magic,) with its Ecchi comedy/titillation leanings and comes out the worse for it. The cheap fan service is frequent enough that it gets in the way of the otherwise good comedy, yet not ludicrous enough to appease the ecchi crowd, sitting in this awkward middle ground that pleases no one. The ecchi comedy often puts Magical Sempai herself in compromising positions, as Linny described, but isn’t mined for its total gag value, often making it feel cheap, forced, and exploitative for a young, horny teen audience that’s easily manipulated by such content.
Linny: All the perversion is really quite a shame seeing as the episode has some otherwise solid comedy sprinkled throughout. The incessant fan service shots and scenes are never funny and clearly meant to titillate, interrupting and even ruining what would have otherwise been a pretty hilarious and innocent joke. The comedy isn’t the most original though and you’ll quickly realize that a big chunk of the comedy is basically watching Sempai persevere even when she’s clearly making a fool of herself while the straight man kohai character either reacts to, tries to escape or save her from, the humiliation. However, because of how ridiculously devoted Sempai is to keeping up the appearance of success and perhaps because of how relatable Kohai character’s reactions can be, a fair number of the jokes work remarkably well all the same. If you are willing, or even eager, to have plenty of outright ecchi content pop up repeatedly throughout, you might find Magical Sempai to be the short series of the season for you. But if you cannot stand incessant ecchi content or any such content in general, it’s safe to give this series a pass as the comedy does not make it worth sitting through the ecchi for anyone uncomfortable with it.
Tom: Overall, despite failings, Magical Sempai has a fun premise and a few good jokes. If you at least kind of enjoy Ecchi it might still work for you, but if you’re an Ecchi fan looking for his (or her) next pervy watch, this isn’t going to offer nearly enough perversion to satisfy. Conversely if you just wanted an innocent comedy about a magician who’s bad at what she does, and finds constant new ways to screw it up, you’re out of luck, because there’s simply too much ecchi pandering to ignore.
Magical Sempai is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.