Hazuki Kagimura is a socially awkward girl with no friends; and having been recently adopted, she struggles to connect with her new family as well. Her only refuge from this painful reality is between the pages of stories where her vivid imagination allows her to live out her dreams of friendship and adventure. However, one day, an old and mysterious text appears in her book bag. On her way back to the library to return it, Hazuki sees a familiar girl who is seemingly invisible to everyone but her. Deciding to follow her, Hazuki is led a hidden library where a world she thought only existed in her dreams awaits her.
Märchen Mädchen tells the story of Hazuki's meeting with Shizuka Tsuchimikado, her very first friend, and discovering she has been chosen by the original print of Cinderella to become a powerful mage known as an Origin Master. Hazuki enrolls at Kuzunoha Girl's Magic Academy where she learns to conquer her fears and believe in her ability to create her own amazing story.
There is a lot that can be said about Madchen Madchens decline in quality to episode 9 where after a two week break it came out with animation that rivaled Animegataris' club's animation. It was disappointing and memed on by about everyone. And it makes sense. That episode was terrible.
But the show isn't just that episode. In fact the rest of the show is quite good and it's unfortunate that this episode will now overtime the good parts of the show with it's infamy.
Yes, there were lackluster parts to the show like the edgy subplot that
didn't fit in well or the plot in general which wasn't the greatest. But there was also a lot of good. Hazuki was able to gain confidence, friends, and did grow over the course of the series. And added onto that she made her story her own. She took control and even though she was associated with a story that didn't mean the show just copy pasted the story into her life. It was different. Her stepmother and sister were nice. They genuinely cared for her. So did her friends. While there are parallels they weren't all encompassing, but rather natural.
Not to mention the character interactions which were a lot of fun. The girls got together well and had this nice push and pull. Also teams like the Russians were very endearing and managed to show their comradary well. They were loveable dorks and I loved how they tried to support each other and i loved how silly they were. That add really shined especially the conclusion to that arc which was silly, heartwarming, and creative.
Sure there was a bad plot but the other points were good. And sure the animation and art took a nosedive but it was still nice to see at the beginning.
Especially with the unfinished ending and production issues I'm not sure I can recommend it. But I would like to remember the Marchen Madchen i really enjoyed watching. It's just a shame that this will at least for now be an uncompleted story.
On each season we are gifted with great anime, there are some anime that are okay, there are bad ones and there's Märchen Mädchen, a masterpiece found in the bottom of a trashcan. Märchen Mädchen has to be one of the most absurd generic anime I've ever seen, not because its bad, but of how ludicrous it is to the point of being insanely funny.
The Opening practically reveals what will happen in the first episodes (The very first one, later in the anime they add a visually different opening) But to sum it up, here's the introduction (Cringe warning):
PD: H= Hazuki and W= Witch (Applies
for multiuses) Skip to "End of introduction" if you don't want to lose your braincells
H: I'm so stupidly shy but I still want to get banged by the top girls on my school. Books are my friends, I love books, books are fun. Deep inside I believe witches are real. I have a glance of what a witch would look like, so I follow her because she reminds me of a book I once read.
W: Hey you stupid girl, don't follow me >:(
H: But I want you to f*@# me!, I mean be friends with me :(
W: (Is she on drugs?) Last warning, I will attack next. >:(
H: Meanie :c
W: Boom, I'm gone, don't even follow me >:(
H: Damn, she's gone, I don't know where she headed, but I'll go to the library because lol. Oh, I'm so lucky, the witch is in the library and she's staring at a book case. :o
W: "Magical words of wisdom to open magical libraries" I'm pretty sure no one heard me, so lets go.
H: Oh, that's cool, its magic :o, wait, what did she said? those words to Open it? "Magical words of wisdom to open magical libraries"
~The path opens revealing a portal to an unknown world~
H: OoOoOh, so cool, I don't want to go in, but its pulling me inside... Whatever, WAAAAAAAAAAAH D:
W2: Hey, who are you? Why are you here? what is that book you have in your hands? come here >:(
H: OMG ITS A BULLY GIRL! D:
W2: Come here you dumbass >:(
H: I don't wanna :c
W2: Woops I lost her >:(
~Hazuki heads towards a suspicious house, with a suspicious girl that offers her to stay in her home for a while~
H: Sounds Fun, lets also use the thermal baths because why not, she's nice and totally not suspicious, nothing can go wrong :D
~She nude, she baths, she forgets about her pursuer, most importantly she BATHS~
W2: BOOM I'm here, now you can't escape... wait, why are you naked? Gross D:
H: Waaaa, the Bully is back, OMG I'm naked, lets get to my clothes.... Wait, they are gone, damn it, I'll protect myself with the book I had and lets keep running. D:
~Naked girl runs away from a bully girl for several hours until she finds herself cornered~
H: She's gonna bang me, pls help.
(To Be continued...)
~End of introduction~
Yes, I'm not making that up, that's exactly how this anime starts: absurd events with convenient fan service and a very gullible main character. The amount of red flags I saw dancing on my mind at that moment, almost made me insta-drop it. I'm 99% sure that you have a "WTF" face printed after reading that. Now imagine if you actually watched that... it fails as an introduction because nothing relevant actually happened. According to the Synopsis, this anime was supposed to be similar to a battle royale were the winner of a certain event gets a wish, but the first episode didn't even settle that. Story: 1/10
This is not the worst part of this anime, the plot itself was already ludicrous, but what else could go wrong?
The animation was already bad, but it was bearable. But after some time, things gets off the rail. There is an actual shot of the crowd (because there is a crowd on a "Stadium" that watches these magical girls fight) that looks like a drawing of a 6 year old, faceless and completely soulless. What's even worse, is that they had a 2 week hiatus to "improve" the animation quality just to find out that the animation didn't improve, it got worse: Early Dragon ball super and Orange levels of trash animation. We got derpy faces, bad choreography, lazy shots and animation sequences that might be running on a calculator because its going at one frame per second... Ah yes, before I forget, The Character outfits are ludicrous, it looks like VIP clothes you see on a MMORPG that doesn't fit anything. Art/Animation: 3/10
There is nothing worth mentioning in the sound department 3/10
Here comes an example of how to properly nerf powerful characters, if your character is incredibly strong but you failed on pointing a significant weakness to it, then make him a retard. If you can't be creative enough with weaknesses, at least you are guaranteed that you will receive a lot of laughs if you make your characters stupid enough. That's exactly the case in this anime, each team that Hazuki's team encounters is full of retard girls, but don't worry, we all know that they will succeed no matter what. The character cast is full of cringe worthy and laughable characters. There is also a concept of Yuri between Shizuka and Hazuki (the concept grows stronger with the ending) Characters: 2/10
Enjoyment 5/10: Laughable despite being so bad, I'll never forget how a casual conversation on a bath ended up on naked girls fighting each other for no apparent reason.
What happens when you combine fairy tales stories, pre-established Anime tropes and stereotypes, and the magical girls genre? The end result is Märchen Mädchen, a battle magical girls show that uses minor aspects of fairy tale origins to create a cliched storyline, shallow characters, and subpar animations.
Story summary: Hazuki Kagimura is a shy and socially awkward high school girl, who doesn’t have any friends. Whenever, she gets upset, she finds a book and quickly immerses herself in it, a condition she calls, ‘Story Syndrome’. One day, she spots a cloaked figure (Shizuka) and follows her
to an abandon library. From there, Hazuki is transported to another world, where she learns that she is a Maedchen, i.e. a book user, and is contracted to the Origin book “Cinderella”, which possesses strong magical powers. She transfers to Kuzunoha Girl's Magic Academy, where she starts learning the basics of magic and what it means to be a Maedchen. And, along the way, she will encounter many other Maedchen and be involved in the most important magical tournament, the Hexennacht competition.
The story is simple and will feel very familiar to those that have seen many other magical girls shows. Numerous common themes noticed in those shows can be found here, such as friendship, willingness to change, determination, and forgiveness. It’s also filled with many cliches and is highly predictable. Let’s list out some cliches:
- Main character is an outsider, who possesses the strongest magical power.
- Main character is unable to use her overpowered magic, until just the ‘right moment’.
- A tournament (i.e. Hexennacht competition) is held annually that will determine the fate of the main character’s school; in this case, the Japanese school.
- Cue lots of expositions in the form of characters explaining why this super-ultra-mega-important tournament must be won at all cost.
- Cue obligatory fanservice scenes (i.e. bathes/hot spring, Hazuki running nude, characters wearing gym clothes, etc).
- Obligatory training episodes.
- Fight/conflicts are resolved through the “Power of Friendship” and the fulfilling of other people’s wishes.
Other problems with this show includes weak and lazy writing (lots of exposition and some Deus Ex Machina moments), lack of tension and buildup, lack of world building, unexciting fight scenes, and uninteresting dialogues with the occasional interesting discussion focusing on past details regarding our main characters. And finally, an incomplete ending (i.e. Episode 10 was the last episode for the TV series) due to production issues at the studio. The remaining two episodes (episodes 11 and 12) will be determined at a later time.
For those who might watch this show, here are some noticeable fairy tales: The Mitten, Ivan the Fool, Shuten Doji, Cinderella, Aschenputtle, Puss in Boots, Pied Piper of Hamelin, Kaguya-hime no Monogatari, Issun-bōshi, Der Freischütz, Shuten-dōji, the Little Matchstick Girl, the Gigantic Turnip, Arthurian legends, and The Ramayana, Little One-Inch, the grateful crane, etc.
Overall, the story is a cliched and recycled plotline seen in many other magical girl shows.
Most times, the art and animations were mediocre and bearable, however there were moments where both these elements were lacking and, as such, resulted in poorer character designs and shoddy animations. Such examples could be found in many scenes that require lots of animation movements, background or foreground characters, and character facial expressions and animations.
The art is sub-par to mediocre. The background designs are fine. The character designs, while appearing very cute and ‘moe’, are generic, simple, and uninspiring. Every girl appears similar to each other as they have few distinguishable facial details, beyond different hair styles and colors, different eye colors and shapes, and different skin colors. This is further reinforced by the general lack of diverse facial expressions, being limited to smiling, making stoic or slightly angry faces, and looks of surprise. The character’s appearance and school uniforms are based on their country of origin and created as stereotypical as possible. Sometimes the characters will look off-model, having pointy edges around the face or body, feet appearing like shoes, disproportional bodies and objects, distorted or derpy faces, etc, though they mostly happen in the background, still it’s noticeable.
The animations are also sub-par to mediocre, though, it’s more due to laziness than outright terribleness. For example, the transformation scenes are not noteworthy, detailed, or exciting compared to the transformation sequences seen in Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica or Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru. In this show, the girls just raise their books, recite the name of their fairy tale, which causes a large burst of energy to surround them, and then they appear in their battle uniform. Another example are the action scenes, particularly in episodes 4, 6, and 8. They aren’t full-fledged fights, but rather you’ll see some punches, kicks, and magical spells thrown around, and then something will interrupt it, cutting the fight short. It’s annoying and honestly frustrating to watch.
Furthermore, the animation was so poor that the studio had to delay episode 9 until March 22, 2018. Delays are usually a huge sign that the show has a low budget and mismanagement. And, even with the two weeks break, the animation quality is still subpar. Maybe, even worse than before.
The voicing acting was pretty good as every voice actresses was able to provide a wide range of emotions for each character. Although, hearing Hazuki and many other characters yelling and screaming in the early episodes was annoying, this was only a minor complain.
The opening song, sung by fhána, is your standard J-Pop that features numerous scenes found in the anime, such as Hazuki in gym clothes, some magical girls performing their Büchulle spell, two scenes of Hazuki running naked, etc, along with several “zoom-in-on-one-character-accompanied-with-a-screen-tone” scenes. By episode 6, the opening intro changes and feature many characters that Hazuki and her friends will fight in the Hexennacht competition, along with Hazuki’s transformation scene and magical girl form. The ending song, sung by Reina Ueda, has slow-moving music accompanied with soft spoken lyrics that feature countless still shots of characters in various poses.
The background music features mostly fantasy-sounding tones, through the use of orchestras and pianos, to reinforce its fantasy-like setting. Sometimes the background music could be haunting to emphasize dreadful events, or when an action scene appears the music becomes heavy and rock-sounding. In other words, the background music is suppose to match the tone of the scene. And finally, expect many action sound effects, such as swords clashing or clanging, explosions, cannons firing, objects falling or cracking apart, etc.
There are two words that could easily describe every character in this show: stereotypes and tropes. There are other words, such as two-dimensional, undeveloped, or unremarkable, however these terms do not apply to our main characters, mainly Hazuki Kagimura, Yumilia Qazan, and Shizuka Tsuchimikado.
Tropes and stereotypes are a common occurrence in the world of Anime, and this show has several of them. For example, the Russian characters will usually have short silvery hair with a military uniform and likes to drink vodka; the Indian characters will usually have tan skin with braided hair, and wear some Indian headpiece jewelry and robe; the Chinese characters will usually have a flower piece in their hair, while wearing silk dresses; the British, German, and American characters will usually have blonde hair and act very competitive. These are some of the tropes and stereotypes that I noticed, however there could be more.
Every character’s personality, weapon, and battle uniform are all based on their fairy tale origins. For example, Charles Giovanni’s fairy tale is Puss in Boots, her personality is trickster-like with hints of confidences and fierceness, her battle uniform consist of french clothing, and her weapon is a Tizona Cup Hilt Rapier Sword; Molly’s fairy tale is the Pied Piper of Hamelin, her personality is mysterious and avenging, her battle uniform is a green hunter suit, and her weapons are rats and a flintlock blunderbuss; Tatiana’s fairy tale is Ivan the Fool, her personality is naivety, kindness, and daring, her battle uniform consist of farmer’s clothing, and her weapon is her magical spell, i.e. the Joys of Physical Labor, that negates the opponent’s magical transformations. These are only a few characters that I listed, however every other character follows the same concept.
Besides the three main characters, most characters will lack a proper backstory and be unmemorable, and most will not have any growth or character development. However, all members of any particular team will have a goal and an ambition in the form of granting a single wish. For example, the main wish of the coalition team was to find a ‘home’, and the main wish of the Russian team was to restore Tatiana’s magical origin. Each wish may be simple, but each carries a lot of meaning for all the members of that team.
Our main character, Hazuki Kagimura, follows the classic “main character has the best magical power (i.e. origin and spell), but is unable to use it” trope, making her useless and annoying in the first 6 episodes. However, because of this trope, she later gains insight about herself and changes for the better. Yumilia Qazan follows the classic “villain turn friend upon realizing how wrong she was” trope. And finally, Shizuka Tsuchimikado follows the classic “serious and hardworking person who doesn’t need help, until serious shit happens to her” trope. Overall, the characters are okay, despite being created from overused tropes and stereotypes.
Watching Märchen Mädchen reminds me of several other magical girl shows, such as Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica, Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru, Soushin Shoujo Matoi, etc, and, when compared to those shows, it pales in comparison. The story rehashes the same cliched plotline seen in many other magical girl shows. Similarly, the characters were created and ’inspired’ from pre-established tropes and stereotypes that have rooted itself in the anime industry. Even the art and animations are sometimes lacking. Overall, I found this show to be subpar and a chore to watch. I don’t recommend watching this show, unless you’re a huge fan of the magical girls genre.
It's not a bad anime but it's not an excepcional either. It's a pretty much clichê anime but despite that it's still interesting.
The MC is strong but not strong as in "I can kick every one's arses" but in a loving way, treating other people's wounds as we could see on the latest episode (episode 7).
It's a funny anime with cute girls. despite missing a bit of actual story, it's a good anime to watch while it's releasing.
It's just sad that the team behind this anime gave up on the idea. They took a two or three week break in order to improve animation
(since a lot of the episodes had really bad drawings) that resulted in no improvements and, a week after that, they totally shut down the anime, which killed the entire story. This anime as no ending, leaving us, the weebs, to imagine what would happen to the characters, if they'd succeed in their fight or if they'd lose and accomplish nothing.
(This was an old review that I made when the anime was releasing and was at episode 7, but changed a couple of things. Sorry if it's confusing in some way).