The story is set in New York which is lit up with Christmas lights. Tokyo Metropolitan Police officer Akari Kido is directing traffic while on her international exchange training program, when a witch-like character pulls a "Christmas Party" prank. Just before a runaway trailer truck smashes into Akari, a mysterious girl suddenly appears and shouts, "I'm going to protect New York and Akari!"
(I am not a reviewer and I suck at grammar and spelling so take it as you will)
I had so much fun watching this story so I wanted to write a review for it. Let's see.
I have no idea what this movie is about. Legit the story is a fucking mess but it great. One minute we have a some hot sorcerer turning toys such as snowman and nut crackers into fucking 10 feet+ versions of themselves that can't be destroyed with bullets then Akari bear saves her from a train trying to kill her and then apple (the bear) fights that sorcerer that
I can't remembers name, next when their fighting the go into a museum and awaken a monster that drains the entire cities electricity and then the sorcerer lady and Apple fight together with Akari to defeat the monster.
That is the story in a nut shell but like if your the type of person when watching something thinks, "Why is this happening" and "The story seems to go way to fast and rushed" then don't watch this unless you like to complain to others about how bad this was.
Overall this was just some fun action 40 min movie about Christmas. I forgot to mention the animation is awesome. The action scenes are great and the backgrounds to me were gorgeous. Nothing to say about the characters and music they were just average but I fucking love apple, way to much then I should have.
Overall if you just want a fun short movie to watch that makes no sense at all then watch this. You will enjoy it.
Christmas just doesn't seem to hold the same place in anime that it used to. We still get our fair share of Christmas episodes, but the significance of hooking up or being alone on Xmas eve just doesn't seem to have the same importance that it used to. Which is why it's nice to see an ONA dedicated entirely to the holiday, even if it isn't anything to write home about.
Akari Kido is the new intern at the NYPD, having transferred from Tokyo just in time for Christmas. No sooner has she started walking the beat when a mischievous magical girl appears, bringing the
toys to life so she can have a big party &/or wreak havoc. It's up to Akari, her partner Emma & somehow transformed into a hero teddy bear Apple to save Christmas & discover how everything links back to her kind hearted father, killed on the beat fifteen jolly holidays ago.
Which is one of the nice things about the story (that sounds more morbid than it's meant to). For various reasons, anime tends to focus on romance rather than family as the theme of Christmas, with Christmas Eve being one of Japan's many "couples" holidays where companies sell them tat & expensive restaurant menus. This time, however, family is the focus, with Akari "returning" to New York treated as part of her coming to terms with her father's death by following in his footsteps (& nobody eats KFC). This theme does get a little lost in the action, but it's nice that it's there.
It's pretty easy to be critical about Sorcery in the Big City. It's rushed, mawkish & predictable, with little beyond the holiday theme & New York setting to make it stand out. Liberty, the magical girl bringing toys to life, isn't much of an antagonist herself & is soon replaced – because her motivations for unleashing violent toys on the streets were just misunderstood, obviously – by an even more pointless & forgettable monster for them all to team up & fight. The characters are all simple stock types with no real development & there really isn't any point or moral to the story, beyond being an excuse for action scenes.
But really, does that matter? It's a 40 minute ONA & as such it being little more than an excuse for some festively themed fights is fine. It's a shame, then, that the climax – despite being incessantly foreshadowed like it's going to be a huge deal - is just Liberty, Apple & Akari teaming up to fight some throwaway monster that has little to do with anything. They could have at least made it a giant evil Santa, or something. Maybe one of the toys Liberty brought to life that goes out of control after she joins the good guys? Something to make the final fight feel connected to the rest of the story? Call me, Japan; I've got so many ideas!
Being set in New York also means we get a chance to see a bit of the old accidental racism that doesn't happen much any more – given how Japancentric modern anime tends to be. If this was set in Tokyo, I'm reasonably confident in saying that Emma would be a big titted Osakan who's gregarious personality contrasts with the more straight-laced & reserved Tokyan (because that dynamic will never get old...). But this is New York so, turning to American media for inspiration, the creators decided the American equivalent is a sassy, fat, black woman who eats doughnuts. Oh no they di'int!
Like everything else though, it's harmless. Sorcery in the Big City exists because mobile game company Xflag teamed up with CGI studio SANZIGEN to make a fluffy, forgettable, action focused Christmas ONA using some Xflag characters. On that note, if you liked the CGI in BBK/BBNK, the visuals here are much the same. It's not going to make anyone's required Christmas anime viewing lists, but if like me you're currently besieged by snow & don't want to watch The Disappearance of Haruhi Snoozemiya or that ToodleDoodle episode for the millionth time, it's not a bad watch.
It's a relatively enjoyable little holiday "special" based primarily on Christmas and the feeling of being together, childhood wonder and family.
This is no anime masterpiece and it is likely it'll be forgotten about very quickly but it services its purpose very well for what it needs to be as a one off 40 minute ONA.
The characters are all fairly stock or basic but they are used effectively for comedic effect however they generally fail when attempting to make a more emotional effect for the "deeper" moments of the story. This is either down to there not being enough time for us to bond with the
characters or just down to forced writing where the father generally suffers the worst.
I enjoy the animation style however I've always been a fan of anime with CGI character models such as Knights of Sidonia or Ajin. If you aren't a fan of this animation style, I think too many of the characters will end up looking dead-eyed and lifeless for you with somewhat stiff movements.
The story is where I think most people will have issues, since there really isn't one. A character who inexplicably has magical powers shows up and causes mayhem in New York. The reason for this mayhem is mentioned towards the end and it makes no sense, instead seeming to go against what the reason would be. The ending occurred so abruptly for one of the more likeable characters in the show that it didn't leave an emotional impact and the sudden twist later on to cause the big final fight comes out of no where, isn't explained and then just ends when it's convenient.
If you're coming up to Christmas and want a Christmas anime to watch, I'd recommend this for a quick fun watch but you'll forget it within a day or so of watching it.
So, I wasn't sure what to expect when I saw this ONA. I thought it was going to be a weird kid's thing, but I couldn't pass up what I saw from the thumbnail and short description. The story had a lot going on in it, which I thought was the only downside, but to be fair it was all in a 40 minute block. I loved the art, especially the background (the CG characters took a little getting used to, though). I genuinely enjoyed this short little Christmas Special thing. I would recommend it for anyone who is open to the idea of
a short story and some interesting characters.