Thursday, March 1, 2012

Magical Play Anime Review

Magical Play
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 2 discs
150 mins. - 5 episodes
$24.98 (2004)
ISBN 702727065620
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Hiroki Hayashi
Studio - AIC

Synopsis: Padudu comes to Sweetland from her home in Sea Heaven to compete and become a magical girl on Earth.  She's full of pluck and good spirits, but not the sharpest tool in the shed.  She must participate in magical battles and earn Hanamaru (stamps on an official scorecard).  She is accompanied by her animal life-companion, Uokichi, who is a fish she wears as a cloak and uses as an emergency food supply (much to his horror).

She interrupts a match in progress causing combatant Pipin to lose and earning her as a lifetime arch-nemesis.  The Dance Village police officers Ketchup and Mustard are constantly trying to arrest Padudu, but keep getting distracted by #1 criminal Nonononn.  Padudu partners up with Myu-Myu, a participant with a killer winning streak who wears two cats as a fur bikini. 

Pipin, Myu-Myu, and Padudu on their quest
Meanwhile Queen Purilun sends her lackey Zucchini to halt Myu-Myu's winning streak before she can become a threat.  Zucchini is pathetically inept and constantly distracted by Myu-Myu's nudity.  Will Padudu ever become a magical girl and fulfill her dreams despite her incompetence?  What is Nonononn's secret history with the Queen?  Join in the outrageous fun at the Forever Shopping District and the weird lunches at the Dance Village police station!

Pros: Comedy as only a zany anime like this can offer, mild fan-service with Myu-Myu's cat bikini, catchy opening theme song (ending theme is okay), Padudu eating bites off Uokichi is pretty funny, extras include clean opening/ending, character bios, previews
"I just noticed you're wearing two cats as a bikini.  Kinky!"
Cons: Weird and wacky, no real ending to series (come to think of it, nothing really happens throughout the entire series), could have been longer, 3D episode didn't fit very well with the other episodes (and the CG is outdated), second disc had the 3D episode and not much else - could have easily been consolidated onto one disc

Mike Tells It Straight: Originally webcast (an ONA - original net animation) in 24 episodes (plus a 3D special), Magical Play is a frenetic magical girl parody with equal parts nonsense and fun.  Padudu is an innocent bonehead and poor Uokichi is constantly being tortured (and eaten).  Myu-Myu and Nonononn were good characters (loved the cat bikini).  I found this show oddly compelling for the first two episodes, but then it grew tiresome in the last half when the story stalled. 

The 3D episode didn't fit continuity and was a retelling of the first part of the series (if you can call it a series).  Overall Magical Play was cute and wacky, but lacked any real story progression and will be easily forgotten.  Too bad, it had potential.

TO BUY and Recommendations: