Due to his father's disappearance, Itsuki Iba has to take over the family business: a magician dispatch service. Their family employs countless magicians and other supernatural beings in order to send them out to help those who need magical assistance. As a leader, Itsuki now has to be tough, commanding, and reliable, but there's one problem, he's a coward. Also, in order to run a successful business, he must connect with his employees, which is more difficult than it seems due to his personality. But not only does he have to deal with his own employees, he also has to deal with those who threaten the family business.
Rental Magica is a bit of an odd anime. It's mainly a series of one shot episodes relating the exploits of Iba Itsuki, the 2nd president of Astral, and his various employees as they combat evil spirits, demons, rogue mages, magical pollution, etc.
What makes the show a bit odd is the fact that it initially can't decide if it wants to be a combat anime, or a highschool romance, a purely supernatural thriller, or a comedy. It literally has a bit of all those genres. Because of this, many people may be put off watching the show after a few episodes. Bear with it though, as it does get progressively better.
The story in itself, as explained already, is mainly a series of one shot episodes. There is, however, an underlying story which is hinted at throughout most of the series, and becomes clearer towards the end (which is why I said bear with it).
The art and animation in the show is generally quite good. The characters and backgrounds are generally very well done, and the majority of spirits/demons/etc, are very well depicted. The combat scenes are very well animated and should satisfy most people.
The sound is also well done. The opening theme is a catchy J-rock song which has become a favourite of mine (both in japanese and english). The sound effects and atmospheric music are generally good throughout the series.
The characters are reasonably well realised. The characters of Itsuki, Honami and Adelicia are generally quite good, and an effort has been made to focus on specific characters in several episodes scattered throughout the series. This helps to round out the characters afair amount, but otherwise there is no real effort to develop the characters more - but then again, this type of anime doesn't really need character development.
I'm a bit of a fan of episodic animes (Mushi-shi, Aria, Mokke, Ghost Hunt, to name a few), so watching Rental Magica was an enjoyable experience for me as I didn't expect any distinct plot to appear. I also liked the fact that this show highlights one thing that is commonly left out of other "magic" based shows - the rules.
I'll explain. Astral is an organisation made up of practitioners of various forms of magic (Celtic Witchcraft, Shinto, Onmyoudou, etc - they even have a ghost working for them). Astral isn't the only magical organisation though, as there are numerous others (Goetia - the descendents of Solomon, is the most notable). All of these organisations are governed by a mysterious organisation simply called "The Association", who enforce the rules regarding the use of magic. Certain acts are considered taboo, and the show covers some of these very well.
The other side of the "rules" coin are the rules governing a particular form of magic. The show very clearly highlights the differences in the various forms of magic used, and also covers some of the dangers of misuse or breaking one of the taboos. This is what really sets the show apart, as it is one of the few shows that covers the technical side of magic, and it covers it quite well. The creators of the show went to a lot of effort researching the various forms of magic in an effort to make the various rituals as accurate as they could, and for me at least, the effort paid off.
The only thing I didn't like about the show was the character of Itsuki Iba, as I found him to be a bit too shy/reticent/cowardly/etc. This is supposedly balanced by his alter ego (when he removes his eyepatch), but initially the difference didn't sit well with me as I kept wanting to punch him in the face (I should point out that he does improve later in the series though).
This isn't a straightforward combat anime. Nor is it a truly supernatural thriller. It most definitely is not a horror, although some of the uses of magic in the show can be called horrific. It's a complicated mixture of several genres which may, or may not, sit well with most people, depending on your preference.
If you like coherent, sensible storylines with good plot and character development then you may not enjoy this (doesn't hurt to give it a try though). If you're after thrills, action, chases, etc, then you may not enjoy this either.
If you're after an enjoyable anime that isn't too serious, and is sometimes a bit tongue-in-cheek with it's humour, then you may actually like this show.
I can think of worse ways to spend half an hour.read more
Since I'm almost done with the series (just waiting on Eclipse for the last episode), I thought I'd write my take on the whole thing.
Story: What story? While we end up seeing background story for all of the characters, the feel of it all remains the same. The over-all driving plot point is a bit thin, and by the end, I found myself wishing there had been more.
Art: The animation is great. There are a few jerky moments - most noticeable when Itsuki starts using martial arts - but the majority is clean.
Sound: I love the opening theme to this. Otherwise, I hardly noticed the music at all. It fades into the background as the action progresses. Could be better, could be worse.
Character: One-dimensional cardboard cut-outs, propped up and made to look cute. No, really. The only thing distinguishing them all is the system of magic they use - which stays true to the actual tradition it was based on. Otherwise, you could super-impose some of them over each other and not notice a difference.
Enjoyment: Despite the lack of certain factors, I still found myself enjoying it. It's light-hearted, and where it's not, it tries to be endearing. The whole thing is meant to be taken with a spoonful of sugar, and is best served with a warm cup of tea.
Overall: It's saved from a mere "Good" by its replay value. It's so off-the-cuff and relaxing that you could throw this in, sit back, and relax the day away to it. In fact, I did. Twice.read more
This show's story makes no sense and is boring. The art is typical and mundane. The sound is fine but the opening and ending are typical Anime junk. The characters don't stand out and are average. The show is one of the thousands of Harems with average video quality, stereotypical characters, lame plot twists, and cheesy production values. Overall, I had to drop this series because it was so unpleasant to watch. If you're really into Harry Potter, then I guess you could love this series though.
Although this was a great series, there is much to criticize about. For one, the chief character, Itsuki, does nominal developing, and is not once thought of as “Most Powerful” as you would anticipate from other series’. Instead, the series relies on the supporting characters for that feeling of triumph over the opponent. Also, the series talks much about the preceding generation of Astral mages, but not once decides to go into detail about it, which is not a good plot hole in my outlook. On top of that, it takes about half of the entire series to start getting the true experience of the story. Upon the many other things I can nitpick, my very last complaint would have to be the fact that… we didn’t learn there were any “normal” people on the entire planet until very late in the series.
This series is great, and should definitely be watched for the sake of the last episode – which is great for a finale.
My favorite scene was the fake “Taking-off” of the eye-patch in the wedding episode. I was surprised there was nothing better than that.
Definitely a series to watch if you have the patience to get over the "lack" in the beginning few episodes ~ much better than some of the other stuff out there.
If you did in fact find this review helpful, I do take value in my “Helpful” rating, so please take a moment of your time to tell me how you liked this review.read more
Who says all ghost girls in anime are stringy-haired, pale-faced terrors that chase the living with a vengeance? Some are quite cute, nice, and shy, looking out for their friends or even falling in love. In this list, we'll look at 15 anime ghost girls that you wouldn't mind being haunted by!