In the world of Maburaho, everyone is born with the ability to use magic and are thus labeled magicians. However, the magical ability of each person is not equal. The number of times you can use magic determines the amount of respect you receive, and since one’s magical power is determined at birth by traits and genetics, those who have a bloodline stemming from famous magicians are highly sought after.
Having the lowest magic count in Aoi Academy, Kazuki Shikimori is looked down upon by his classmates and seen as a nearly worthless magician. However, his bloodline consists of many great magicians throughout the ages, meaning that while he may not be a great magician, his offspring could be. This leads to him being sought after by three different young women: Yuna Miyama, a transfer student who declares herself his wife upon arrival, Rin Kamishiro, a prideful swordswoman of a traditional family who wants to kill him so she will be free to pursue her own desires, and Kuriko Kazetsubaki, a member of an influential family who bluntly tries to seduce him for his genes.
Now he has to deal with not only the jealousy of all the guys in his school, but also various women chasing after him!
Hmmm, as I sit down to write this review, I notice that a lot of other viewers say that this anime is un-original, simple, and all together a decent but under achieving anime. I don't see it that way however, for I think Maburaho embodies exactly what a harem - ecchi anime should be. Now as far as harem animes go, you have over a million and one to choose from, but I think that Maburaho is the one that perfected the formula, the one that got everything just right.
Now, people will complain that the story is simple and rather un-original, but what did you
expect. When I watch a harem anime, I expect pure unbridled comedy, not some deep fulfilling story, it'd be like going into a Home Depot and expecting to find a sales associate, it just isn't there!! Anyways... the plot is simple but effective, a boy happens to inherit the genes of some of the strongest wizards in the world, and while he is rather pathetic in that he can only cast 7 spells in his life time, he will apparently give birth to the potentially strongest wizard ever. As such, 3 daughters from 3 prestigious families decide that the best thing to do would be to bear his child. Now... if you can't read that and at least get a little bit of a chuckle (even if it is while you roll your eyes at the sheer stupidity of it), then there is something seriously wrong with you. Its simple, but exactly what the situation calls for and fits the harem perspective perfectly.
The characters are also in play, and also work well for the story. Kazuki, our hero, is the epitome of harem leads, in that hes pathetic, stupid, but extremely nice. Its not all bad for him though, as he actually has some deus ex machina powers at his disposal. You see, while he can only cast a spell 7 times, the spells happen to be freaking powerful, and if he willed it, he could destroy the earth 7 times over. But nobody cares, because you watch a Harem anime for the girls, and thus we have Rin, Yuuna, and Kuriko. All somewhat cliched but still powerful characters in their own right, Yuuna (the main) is the only one who is originally in love with Kazuki, and is nice and cutesy, but has a strong jealous side to her. Kuriko's next, and shes the sex appeal girl, with the perfect figure, who at first just wants to get in Kazuki's pants to have his baby, but later figures out she actually kinda likes him... and still wants his baby. Finally, Rin, the sword wielding angry girl, who's absolutely terrible at being a woman, and tries her best to appeal to Kazuki without ripping off his face. Each character slowly but surely will grow on you, and have some of the funniest moments in anime history. And as far as harems go... they actually have some pretty decent growth to them. Most've the growth is just accepting that they love him, but still its not bad.
Finally I'm gonna add a end note here before I rap this thing up and say that humor is the main reason to watch maburaho. People seem to find the boring plot a turn off for this series, but really, if thats what turns you off the series, then your watching it wrong! You don't watch Death Note for the humor, you watch it for the epic mystry, the battle between L and Kira as the best each other at ever corner. You don't watch Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann for the girls (well maybe you do... but you shouldn't), you watch it to get hyped up at how great it is to be a man with manly things to do! So the whole reason you should be watching Maburaho, is so that you can enjoy a fabulous cavalcade of humor. In fact, ill go as far as to say that Maburaho, while not being the funniest anime ever, has the funniest episode of an anime ever. And that is episode 18. Many people will argue with me on that but no other has ever made me laugh so hard.
As a harem, I will always consider Maburaho to be one of the, if not THE, best there is. I'll recommend this series for all its worth, and say at least give it a chance to surprise you.
The story, it's good, mostly like your regular harem but has a type of hidden charm that you just can't put your finger on.
Art is good, nothing outstanding like Madhouse or Bones production, but who cares? It is good animation for the type of genre it is. You wouldn't want to see Death Note drawn like Maburaho and Maburaho like Death Note would you? It would completely ruin the atmosphere.
The soundtrack is good, nothing outstanding but short of great. Character voices are good as usual, fits the characters perfect.
What can I say, I'm a sucker for a person with hidden powers, and when the time comes completely owns. The main character is great, another loser with hidden powers is always a plus. All the girls are like any other harem anime, all different personality's, oh look... There's another girl with a sword...
Why did I like this anime?
The story wasn't great, but the feeling and the characters themselves make up for it. It is a good breather type anime between series. Hidden power guys surrounded by beautiful girls has it's charms. Anyways this anime gives off a good feeling and that makes up for all it's cons. Why all the characters in the op song but not in the anime? Because the production crew only wanted to focus on the relationship between the main character and all the girls, if you want more substance go read the manga.
Another ecchi harem anime? Don't go rolling your eyes just yet as this harem has some class.
There's usually a very thin storyline that's used as an excuse to bring the harem together. In Maburaho's case, that lies within the desire of strengthening the family heritage with a very powerful magician that could only come from the genes of our male lead, Kazuki Shikimori. Accompanied by a decent array of women with similar intentions, the harem unfolds and evolves into a more dramatic love story where Kazuki is fought over time and time again. The characters are very dynamic and you will see the change towards
the middle of the season when... ah, never mind. That's a huge spoiler. Anyways, it's a very basic storyline to get the harem together and I didn't go too much into it since there is already a description of the story.
Since this is an ecchi anime you will see a good amount of ecchi moments (kind of a no brainer, actually). However, these ecchi moments aren't ridiculously made and there aren't many of what I like to call "forced ecchi moments" where the anime throws in a very unnecessary panty shot which makes this ecchi harem a more refined piece of work. The ecchi aspect isn't all too distracting but it still should suit your fancy if you happen to like what they show, like the school festival.
The background music was very catchy and very fitting from what I remember, but since it has been quite a while I'll just leave it at that since background music isn't exactly the first thing people look at when deciding anime. The voice actors (Japanese) were very well fitted to the character and I didn't have any problems listening to them. The dub (English voice actors) gave me ear-bleeding moments but I think they did a decent job dubbing. It's just that dubs usually aren't my cup of tea.
The OP is a love-it-or-hate-it OP (I loved it, if you were wondering). Ichiko has a very... unique way of singing so it's up to you whether you want to listen or hit that 1:30 mark. The ED, however, is a beautiful arrangement and will get stuck in your head after you've finished an episode. I myself stuck around to listen to the ED and it's a very calming yet emotional way to end the drama.
Right off the bat you will see there are 3 main heroine to claw each other for Kazuki. There are other females that will join the harem, each satisfying the general standards for harem females. We've got most of the dere types, childhood friend, and the sexually provocative type. Overall, the females hit the mark on the character types but since these characters are dynamic you might see your favorite female change into something you hate. Despite that there's enough of the harem types to suit your harem needs.
So... how about the male lead, Kazuki? In my opinion, he's one of the more acceptable harem leads. He's not incapable of handling the harem nor is he dreadfully dense that he can't sense emotions or drama. Helpless is also one of the furthest things from the list due to his powerful yet limited supply of magic uses. His only problem is that due to his limited supply, he's very hesitant and usually when he uses it you may find yourself smacking the screen at the reason why he used it.
In regards to the supporting characters, they were generally acceptable. I think the supporting characters had a very huge role in the drama and it's very pleasant to see that they're not just tossed away like yesterday's cleaning rag. Again, we have the standard archetypes in harem anime such as the perverted best friend(s), elegant motherly figure, and the mysterious sensei. I applaud Maburaho's use of supporting characters and I believe this is a prime example of how to accurately execute supporting roles into the main story.
Despite the pros, there are still many cons. There were numerous cliches in Maburaho such as "I will always be with you/protect you." At the time I didn't mind it too much, but nowadays there is enough anime that revolve around this theme that it could make you sick. The pacing of the story seemed to drag heavily towards the end. Speaking of the end, Maburaho took a very disappointing one and one of the sorriest excuses to end an anime. Since there wasn't much of a final goal in the anime it was very aggravating to see how flimsy the ending was. If you're willing to get past the bad ending and enjoy everything else, go for it. If you're one of the types that will linger upon endings, don't watch the ending.
Thank God it wasn’t longer than 24 episodes. It was just bad. I don’t even know why it was in AnimeNfo’s top 194.
The story had its highs and lows. Its highs were average, and its lows were really bad – catch my drift? Most of the time it was almost unbearable to watch, and there were episodes that almost got me (Just the ones with Rin and Yamase in it) but still came up short. In a word, disappointing. It was bad execution all over again – the concept was almost acceptable, but the concept was disappeared along the series to who knows where
(Specially during the second half of the show). The realm of bad execution, maybe. It ended up to be a set of really shallow topics. Speaking of end, that was a really bad last episode. It was surprising, sure. No one expected it would end up that way, but the last episode made you go “What the f*ck was that? Where did you get that idea?”
Huge cast of characters? Yeah right. Most of the characters that were shown in the opening theme, roughly 80-85%, didn’t even have a speaking role. They had distinct looks, but I never got their name. What was the name of the girl with the glasses, or the guy wearing the Simon Cowell tank top who was flexing? No one will ever know. If the characters didn’t speak, they were either useless (like that manager/caretaker person looking all goth-like) or irritating – specially Yuuna, who did nothing but be jealous and stupid. That Nakamaru guy was equally irritating. He was just insecure and jealous – of Kazuki, a loser with an irritating voice (By the way, I wanna take note of the bad voice acting. It’s just bad, and nothing more can be said about it.) and is just as insecure of himself.
The drawing style was good, but something is wrong with it. Can’t point out what exactly, but I think there was nothing exciting or new about it. I did notice that the characters heads were bigger than their bodies. Although this is acceptable in anime, I prefer it that the anime characters I watch have proportions that are at least a little close to reality. Everything was just blown out of proportion, specially Kuriko’s boobs.
Music was ok, but still sub par. Most of the time, I found myself recognizing similarities of Maburaho’s music with other series, or other songs in general. For example, the opening song sounds a lot like the third opening of Yakitate!! Japan – in fact, my brother noticed this too. Then there was this BGM that sounded a lot like lady marmalade. It was used more in the second half of the series, usually in the scenes with Kuriko in it.
And now for the part that I hated the most – the fan service. It was just too all out – literally, thanks to Kuriko and the other girls unnecessary showing of skin. Maybe I didn’t like it too much because I’m a girl, but really. Are guys willing to overlook the lack of substance to the stories just so they can ogle at genitals – lacking bodies? Men..
I can’t believe J.C. Staff is responsible for something like this. I’ll give them an A for effort though, since on the surface, it does look like it’s nice. Beneath the surface, definitely a different story – literally.
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