The seal that for hundreds of years had confined the demon king Giri has worn off. A young boy named Nike is chosen (against his will) as the hero. Together with Kukuri, a girl who is the lone survivor of the tribe that had used black magic to seal Giri, they set off to save the world, RPG style.
Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) is probably one of the most vivid and frenetic titles to have arrived in recent times. As the year in its name implies, it is a remake of a relatively popular franchise in Japan back in the 90s, that gave birth to a manga that spanned for more than 10 years as well as two anime series of 45 and 38 episodes respectively. Packing into 24 episodes a story that was originally fit into that much material undoubtedly sounds like a recipe for disaster. Therefore, how does this show manage to work (besides removing fillers)?
First of all it is important to
note that Guruguru is a goofy but clever, frenetic and never-stopping comedy. It’s a story based on a classic quest to save the world, adorned with constant RPG game references and tropes, which main purpose is making fun of itself. It’s probably the only type of narrative that can manage to move faster than what it used to, and yet only take advantage from it.
When it comes to the main protagonists, they benefit from the fact that they’re both as important and relevant to the whole picture. They also care for each other in an organic and noticeable way, which is rare for this type of shows where the characters tend to be quite flat besides their counted quirks.
In regard to the art, Mahoujin depicts an overly colorful world with an updated but faithful approach to its original character designs. These are peculiar in the sense people appear to be quite short and young, which might be appealing by itself after a while, but also help to transmit emotion and gesticulation in a more fluid manner. Really well animated to keep up with the inherent rhythm of the series, it does take some extra liberties like momentarily portraying the characters and world in a pixellated 2D version, as if they were part of an early 90s Final Fantasy game.
Most anime of this kind has a major inconvenient: it gets boring fast. Gags repeating over and over, episodic approaches, annoying secondary characters one always wants to ignore but can’t... Surprisingly, Guruguru is seemingly free of all these issues, affording the viewer a nice variety of lovely side characters and even villains that work nicely with the main duo, as well as a storyline that both for obligation and determination, moves in the hastiest of paces.
Who knows if bringing back gems like these is an attempt to capture nostalgic people, or simply to make old works available for the newer generations. What is clear is that, if all results were to be like this, nothing left to say but welcome!
Note: Even though this remake adapts the whole original manga and story, since 2012 a sequel manga has been publishing. Considering what the series hinted at the end, there is a possibility we get to see this in the future.
From the promotional art of this show it looked like it wouldn't be more than a boring kid's show, however, after seeing the (2017) besides the title, meaning this is a remake and the original is probably quite popular in Japan and after seeing it's rated PG 13 and after reading the synopsis of the manga I decided to give it a try.
What I expected, as the synopsis suggested, was a cute and somewhat fun show about video game tropes. However, what I got was a show that was far less focused of video game tropes or being cute and much more on comedy...good comedy.
This show is absolutely hilarious! In the beginning of the show the parents of MC tell him to become a hero and, when the boy refuses, shoot him of with a giant slingshot! Who thinks of this stuff? This show is comedic gold! And it isn’t just a good joke occasionally; this show is funny constantly. This anime is a remake of a 45 episode show from the 90’s and a 38 episode show from 2000, but this one is only 24 episodes, so they could skim all the fat and as a result this show is dense. There are constantly jokes flying left and right and you’ll find yourself constantly entertained.
The show mostly advertises itself as a show about RPG-tropes, but you don't actually need to have any interest in this subject. Sure, being into old jRPGs helps, but the meat of the story is the personality driven comedy. Old RPGs aren't the subject matter, but the theme. It can be fully enjoyed as a comedy show or even a fantasy show, without caring about RPGs.
The two main characters are a young boy and a young girl around his age (They’re 12 at the start of the story). The boy is lazy and easily seduced, but seems to at least have the heart of the traditional hero. The girl is a typical girl of around her age who is very concerned with her image and who is infatuated with the boy in a very endearing manner. The two are absolutely adorable together. Also, a lot of the comedy around these characters is based on the contrast between them being normal teenagers and the fact that it is expected of them to be capable warriors, ready to take on the big bad and any of his henchmen (which they are not).
One of the first things you'll notice about the show is the art style. The character designs look very young, which will turn a lot of people off, but if you take the time to look at it you will realize they are actually very nice to look at and incredibly cute. Also, a lot of work is put into their outfits. Half of the time they’ll be walking around in their usual clothes, but whenever they go on an adventure they put on cute outfits that look adorable and have a lot of work put into them. And also, because the designs are very simple, they are permitted to constantly be moving and often in interesting ways. The show is constantly animated and oozes style. Besides that, the backgrounds are fantastic and especially the landscapes are incredibly nice to look at. It’s a very visually pleasing show.
Despite all that, the show is still a comedy show and the main appeal of the show is this comedy. If you watch one episode of the show and you didn't like the comedy you'll probably not like the show at all. If you do find it funny, then you'll love the show as it just gets funnier and it stays funny throughout.
To be honest I don’t really like the pure comedy anime that all that much. One of the reasons why I don’t these types of anime because the comedy/gags can get really repetitive to the point where the comedy/gags become predictable, unfunny and at worse annoying. Konosuba 2 and School Rumble, in my opinion, are the worst examples for this because not only they kept the same jokes to the point where they overstayed them welcome but those shows ended up being wasted potential. You can the viewer laugh all they want but if you don’t have any substance to back it up as well
timing your comedy/gags then you have screw up your comedy series director. As much I don’t like the pure comedy anime there were a few pure comedy anime that I actually liked such Excel Saga, Baka and Test and Osomatsu San.
Now I am here talking about Mahoujin Guru Guru (2017).
Now I was originally going to avoid this show altogether because since I didn’t like Konosuba 2 all that much and I thought this show would just be a repeat of that. However, some of my friends have recommended this show to me because they said its really great comedy/parody series that is really funny and it doesn't have problems of other comedy series such as Konosuba and School Rumble.
Since my friends have told me great things about I decided to take the bait and watched it and after watching al 24 episodes of Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) all I can say is its one of the better comedy animes out that I have seen but at the same time it does have some problems which I will explain throughout this review
Now with that hello everyone this is Shawn aka KurataLordStage and welcome to of Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) and with that out of the way let’s get started.
The story follows a young boy named Nike who gets sent along to a quest against his own will to defeat the newly revived devil king. He soon meets a magical old woman where he gets entrusted with caring for a young girl called Kukuri, who still doesn’t know how to control her mysterious Guru Guru magic. From there Niki and Kukuri head off for an adventure together.
The story of Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) is not that special in fact it's pretty generic. However, while the story is generic it makes up its comedy, gags, and RPG (Role-Playing Game) references which for the most part this show does a good job.
The best part of Mahoujin Guruguru is the RPG references that this show does. From the word, items are “acquired” instead of Nike has picked up a bunch of items.
As for the comedy itself its pretty good for the most part.
Now unlike most comedy anime ever made this show, for the most part, knows to times its jokes and gags. Because of the jokes and gags being almost well timed the show can be really hilarious at times.
However, the show has some problems.
For starters, the show is not always consistent with its pacing as the show sometimes the show goes way too fast for its own good and it makes the average viewer feel confused about what is happening on screen. I also find that ironic because the original series had the slow pacing and not to mention filler.
Another problem that I had with the show that shares with other comedy animes such as School Rumble and Konosuba 2 is some of the gags/comedy start to get repetitive over time such as the Kita Kita dance gag which got annoying as the series went on and that gag alone made me heavily dislike certain charter in this show which I will get in a bit.
Overall the story while being generic was still pretty funny thanks to its comedy, gags and RPG references.
When it comes to the characters I thought they were pretty great overall minus a certain character which I will mention in a bit
First, we have Nike. I liked him as a character. Yes, he’s just your typical male fantasy protagonist but what makes him so enjoyable to watch is he’s gags, reaction to situations and character interactions with other characters especially with Kukuri.
Next, we have Kukuri.
She is easily the best character mainly due to her character development which was great. Yes, Nike gets a bit of character development as well but Kukuri character development was more impactful.
As for the rest of the characters, they were range cool to annoying.
Udberg Eldol is easily the most annoying in this anime. His gags were funny for the first couple of times but after the 6th time, it got really annoying to point where I cringe every time he appeared on screen doing that god-damn Kita-Kita dance. Not only has the Kita Kita decent that it general became unfunny and repetitive had hell. The only redeeming thing about this character is some of his references that he does throughout the show. Other than that this character is an annoying piece of shit who actually ruined my enjoyment of the show quite a lot and every time I hear the Kita Kita I just close my ears. Because of that he’s easily one of my least favourite characters from 2017 period.
Juju and Raid are funny characters overall that being a lot of good comedy. I just wish Raid and especially Juji had more screen time in this show over a certain character that I really dislike throughout the series.
Overall besides from Eldol the characters were funny, likable and enjoyable to watch.
Visually this show looks good but at the same time, a bit disappointing.
The backgrounds were great and they have that nice flat retro color feel to it that perfectly represents the classic JRPG games from the 90s but in an HD format.
I also loved the 8-bit style of the show as it reminds of the fantasy games from the NES library like the legend of Zelda to Final Fantasy.
As for animation is pretty basic and it fits well with the show however I wish they did more with it.
Now the things that I don’t like about the visuals.
For starters, if you compare to other anime from Production I.G such as Haikyuu, Guilty Crown and even to Ghost in the Shell stand-alone complex from 2002 you find out the animation is kind limited especially for Production I.G standards which are known for they great productions values. Am not trying to say the animation of Guru Guru was bad or anything. In fact, I would it has unique animation, however, I still have to say it’s one of Production I.G weaker animes in terms of production values.
Another problem that I had with the art-style constancy. I have no issues with the many art styles of the show as it fits with the show, however, the show like to change its art style way too often.
Overall the visuals were good for what they were but it could a lot better if it was more consistent.
The soundtrack is good for what it is but ultimately is not that memorable.
However, the sound effects in this anime are amazing and well executed. It feels like you’re playing a real JRPG game with these sound effects.
The openings are pretty great overall.
Opening 1 Trip Trip is a great catchy theme that fits well with the adventure tone perfectly.
Opening 2 Ryuusei Dance is good but I prefer opening 1 more.
As for the ending themes. Both of them were fine but they were not that memorable.
The voice acting is great overall as each of the seiyuu did a great job with the roles that they were giving. My favorite performance of the show was Konomi Kohara as Kukuri. She did a wonderful job voicing this character.
Mahoujin Guruguru (2017) is a pretty good series overall.
The show has a lot of good things in it but at the same time, it has its fair share of problems. The pacing of the show could have been a lot better, the comedy/gags were not always great as some of them got repetitive as the series went on, Some of the characters became annoying over-time and while the art style itself was unique as it represents an RPG world it actual animation was pretty lacking for a production I.G as well its art style constancy where the show likes to change its art-style way too much. Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad as the show had pretty good comedy overall that when it was done right it made me laugh quite a lot as well having great JRPG references and great characters like Nike, Kukuri, and Juju.
If you a fan of pure comedy anime then you will definitely like this show.
This is possibly the most underappreciated show I've watched. For how good it is, it is criminal that more people have not watched it. If you want to know if you should watch it, the answer is yes. It's consistently funny, the characters are charming, it has enjoyable action, really in most senses it's a worthwhile trip.
The premise is every 80s JRPG ever. Evil lord is risen, go slay it hero! And this series is a deliberate parody of those, from occasionally shifting to a pixilated art style to mocking the tropes of said genre to even the fact that there's 4 elemental swords
to collect. (Gee, an epic RPG where you collect four items representing the elements. I've never heard that one before) And while it definitely spends a lot of time mocking those tropes, that's not the only trick in the shows bag of jokes. Trying to describe why the jokes are funny kinda defeats the purpose, but suffice to say they consistently are. I won't say every joke hits bullseye, particularly the ones about bodily functions that pop up every once in a while tend to miss, but there's lots of great ones.
The real meat of the show is the characters, and these two leads are adorable. They both are insanely likable, with Kukuri, the heroine, being more innocent but having a kinda immature streak, but also being really fun and hard to get angry at, and Nike (or Hero as he's called 99% of the time) being a bit selfish and cowardly, but also earnest enough that you love him, and the romance between the two leads is adorable. And then the side cast..... honestly, they're all great. Violent priestess Juju, cynical Gipple, inventor Toma, and perpetually useless Old Man North North are all great. And almost every episode had me with a huge grin on my face, just from watching these characters bounce off each other.
The action is the weakest part of the three I mentioned above, but it's still cool enough to be fun. The best part is how bizarre and unconventional a lot of the fights can be. Like Kukuri's magic manifests in kinda strange spells that are surprisingly effective, and Nike never plays by the rules. Usually the fights are more excuses for comedic bits, but it is genuinely satisfying to see them beat up their opponents.
I'd say the biggest criticism of the show is it's pacing. The show condensed a lot of material into 24 episodes, and there's definitely times where you can feel it. It's rather quickly paced, and while it never drew me out, it can be a bit distracting. Although you never miss plot points because of it and it's MILES better than having everything drawn out forever.
Magical Circle Guru Guru is a great show that got overlooked because.... probably the artstyle, and that's a shame. This is much better than a lot of what I watched this year, and not just that but is something unique and not redundant like so many other shows. At the very least, TRY THIS SHOW. It deserves more attention than it got upon it's initial airing.