Padudu is a 12-year-old apprentice witch, chosen to represent her town in the coliseum. Donning her magical fish costume, which keeps her warm and fed, she sets off on her journey. But on the way she's swept away by a river to Dance Valley. Mayor Koffy captures her and throws her into the dungeon, hoping to eliminate the competition for Dance Valley's own coliseum candidate. Luckily for Padudu, this dungeon holds the mysterious witch Nonononn. They join together in a magical fight for survival. At the end of Blue Gender Trailer, the Magical witchland word came out!
Did you like Mahou Yuugi 2D? If no, skip out on this one. If yes, also maybe skip out on this one.
Story - 4: This OVA helped my main complaint with Mahou Yuugi 2D's story, which was its lack of direction. It has a distinct 3 act structure, and an ending that resolves the episode's conflict while leaving tons of room for more material. But that goes back to another complaint I had with 2D's story, which was that it not only lacked direction, but that at least somebody working on it desperately wanted it to have direction. There is an idea to be explored
with this setting and characters, and this OVA teases at that more than I think the ONA series did, but none of it ever gets its conclusion.
Character - 6: While the characters may not be as fleshed out as in the OVA, this one's getting a higher score. Mahou Yuugi 2D had a good variety of chemistry and relationships, but this OVA has far less time to do all that. However, it seemed to succeed as well as it could. It had to establish three characters, their dynamic, make the protagonists likable, and give us an interesting quirky villain. That seems pretty difficult for under 30 minutes of screentime. It's still not great, hence the 6, but there was a good effort.
Art - 4: The main draw of 2D is sorely lacking in 3D. As you can guess, that's largely due to the transition from hand-drawn to CGI animation. 2D had some CGI in spurts but it was never all that obnoxious, and one of my favorite episodes of it had a lot of meta jokes about 3D animation. But here, as well as in the main series, the 3D ranges from weird but passable to weird and pretty janky. And I don't know what it is, but it's a lot harder to forgive bad 3D than it is bad 2D animation.
Sound - 6: Honestly didn't pay attention, but it seemed about the same as the ONA.
Enjoyment/Overall - 7/5: A longer, more serious prequel to the OVA without the visual charm but seemingly with slightly higher writing quality.