After a strange dream of a mysterious ancestor, high school student Yuuko Yoshida wakes to see that she has grown demonic horns and a tail. Dazed and confused, her mother reveals to her a dark family secret: her family is descended from a Dark Clan that was banished to live powerless and destitute by their mortal enemies, the magical girls of the Light Clan. The only way to lift their ancestry's curse is for Yuuko to find a magical girl, murder her, and splatter her blood all over her ancestor's Demon God statue.
Fortunately for "Shadow Mistress Yuuko," a magical girl saves her from being run over by an oncoming truck. Unfortunately, Momo Chiyoda happens to be Yuuko's classmate at Sakuragaoka High and is much stronger than her in both strength and endurance. Taking pity on her wimpy assailant, the magical girl agrees to train Yuuko and help her unlock her dormant powers. Now, Yuuko must rise up and defeat her generous frenemy to save her family from the terrible grip of poverty.
There was same nature of anime this year called Endro, its like that anime but with better comedy.
The whole anime basically revolves around just two characters, and that is lot of burden of on those characters. They have to be funny and show chemistry between them to carry the show. Lucky for us Yuuko (as known as shamiko) and Momo are the cutest things I have laid my eyes on this whole year. The funny moments between them keep the anime fresh and want to make me come back for more, specially yuuko is so funny and cute and momo's laid-back attitude is what drives
this whole anime. There are others characters too but they for me do not come as important or are funny for the most part.
I do not know how but this anime looks visually this good and have decent animation despite its coming from the same studio who gave us abomination called OPM S2, thats right studio J.C staff is behind this anime. Maybe it looks and have best animation because director knew what was he doing and kudos to that director.
The only problem I have is that, characters talk fast, I mean really fast that I had to stop 2 times for a single sentence. I do not know why characters talk so fast, maybe budget was narrow thin or director wanted to add more into the single episode.
This anime is at core is what people call cute girls doing cute things, if you like that kind of anime then you will enjoy this one too.
"Don't think this means you've won!" - Yuko a.k.a Shamiko
If the Summer season hasn't been graceful to comedic slice-of-life anime, it's because of how it has become the fad in recent years due to the overwhelming and continuing trend of Isekai series (which should be stopped). Remembering how Grand Blue and Asobi Asobase did wonders last Summer in the comedic space, we have Joshikousei no Mudazukai and Machikado Mazoku this year. Unlike the former's increasing attention, the latter (which is this series) is constantly being forgotten on the wayside. But that's why I'm here to tell you that this is also a damn great SoL
comedy series that is definitely worth a watch too that doesn't take itself seriously. Hell, I'd pick this super underrated series over the other show anyday (what's up with underrated series being the most enjoyable ones this season?).
You know how Mahou Shoujo series go with the Magical Girl and Demon Girl, that's pretty bog-standard. What sets this episodic series apart is in its spin/take of the parody that is the ever popular Mahou Shoujo genre. Gabriel DropOut is one prime example of this, and this series retains both the character casting, with the comedy and feelings as if you're watching a heartwarming SoL series, and mainly being character-driven as well. Ara ara, did I forget to mention that it's also a CGDCT series?
Starting off with what is easily the most adorable but very Zannen (unfortunate) demon girl, Shadow Mistress girl Yuko Yoshida a.k.a Shamiko (guess where that name came from) is more than just your average demi-human. Due to unfortunate circumstances with her family, she is constantly having to fight against "undesirable forces" just to make a living, and she has to lead the daily life of misery and poverty. Compared to her, yet another cute Magical Girl Momo Chiyoda enters her life to wreck...er I mean, help her improve her life for the better. More than just being rivals to each other, the smart and intelligent Momo finds that Yuko is TOO WEAK to fight her, even in the bestest of conditions (plus saving her from being isekai-ed as a first meeting), so Yuko pacts a truce with Momo to be frenemies in alliance until their (supposedly) "final" (and friendly) battle.
Adding to the insanity is the partners of Shamiko and Momo, Ancestor Lilith from her support Demon God statue on Shamiko's side and Mikan from Momo's side. Ancestor Lilith is the epitomy of dumbness, whatever she could think of is constantly derided by Momo, and even thrown into oblivion. Mikan is the type of friend who is blur and situationally unaware of everything around her, so much so that Momo has to get her into awareness and asks of her basic understanding.
What this all comes down to essentially, all characters are idiotic and stupid, but yet funnily memorable in their own unique ways that sparks the endless amounts of heartwarming joy in the hearts of people.
I remember the times of (former) J.C.Staff who are just willing to be just random and make anything worthy of their stellar quality in both visuals and overall production, and this series harkens me back to the times where time and money aren't a major concern, and the people there are willing to dabble into such random stuff and still be remembered to this day. Unfortunately, as much as memorabilia serves, this series only has decent art quality and animation that doesn't stand out for reasons I will never know. Maybe it's that "comedy is subjective" notion, and that the current J.C.Staff is absolute trash.
The music here doesn't scream wonders, but more of its cuteness overload. The OP featuring both Shamiko and Momo's VAs is easily one of my uncontested favourites this season, not just for the happy hoppity-boppity music, but also how heartwarming and enlightening it is always to not skip it every episode. The ED is fine though.
What all this boils down to, is that this show teaches kindness and positivity in the most cutesy of ways possible, and that giving up is never an option to achieving the power to be your best.
It's been a great experience watching this stress reliever of a show, and i highly recommend this series to people whom has too less time of their hands watching anime, and need this as a means of a cooldown.
When a show focuses on making a particular character the butt of the joke it can be hard for the show to fit into the mold of a typical CGDCT. CGDCT strive to be lighthearted and fun, rather than mean. Having a character get "bullied" can easily change the tone of the show and in a genre that lives off of the heartwarming and/or lighthearted vibe, like CGDCT, it can be a delicate balance. And while there are shows that I have watched that have tried it and failed, Machikado Mazoku is able to blend the two of them very well and creates for a
very enjoyable viewing experience.
What really makes this balance work so well are the characters. To have a character being "bullied" you need someone or something to do the bullying. And while circumstances can be a less mean way to do it, often when shows go this route it feels forced, and can be frustrating to see the universe conspire again and again to pick on the victim. Certainly circumstances do happen to Shamiko many times, but a good portion of it also happens to come from her magical girl friend, Momo. And when I say friend I mean actual friend and not "friend" as can often be the case in this sort of set up. Despite some of the tricks, although much more tricks of wit than actual tricks, that Momo inflicts on Shamiko, it's clear that Momo cares for Shamiko a lot, and more than anything enjoys her over the top reactions. Most of her tricks aren't just for her fun but actually help Shamiko out as well, whether it be to get Shimako stronger, or to postpone their pointness matchup in which Shamiko would lose badly. And when they aren't Momo usually goes to great effort to plan around the curse and make sure no serious harm can come because of the curse. This makes these tricks fun to watch. By knowing that Shamiko will be ok and that she isn't going to get screwed over, we can enjoy what happens without having to feel bad for her or worried about her, because she will be fine, if not better off, by the end of it. In fact one thing that sets Machikado apart from other alike shows is how willing the show is to progress. Rather than kep Shamiko stuck in the status-quo so she can be bullied to infinity, the show does let her grow. She isn't forced to stay at level 1 forever and while she is still the lovelable pathetic Shamiko her circumstances and traits do get better throughout the show. Shamiko is allowed to have her victories too, even if it's not Shamiko's skill that lets them happen. Despite being in the bully role Momo also is used as the butt of the joke as well, keeping the show feeling more balanced than if it had the rigid power structure of Momo always winning and Shamiko always losing.
The characters aren't just good in their roles but are generally good characters overall. Momo is a very good example of this. Despite being a pink haired magical girl she isn't insanely cheerful and optimistic, which is very rare for a pink haired magical girl. And it's not as if they make her super edgy to "subvert" the trope. Rather she is a kuudere and a realistic kuudere. Because while her emotions don't really show through in her expression or voice, she does have emotions, sometimes strong ones, that are easy to read if her reactions are watched. There are subtle reactions that she has, and differences that do show how she feels about the various items and events around her. For example it's easy to see when she is trying to bait Shamiko into doing something she wants or would find humurous. And while her reactions and expression is muted for it, it's easy to see her gameplan and how much she likes it. In a sense Momo feels more drained than anything, a side effect of being a magical girl for so long and having to protect the town. While the lack of luck and skill of the main character, Shamiko, is a decently overused trope, I think that they do well with that trope and use it to faciliate her position and manage betwen the more bullying ascepts of the comedy while also using it for the lightheartedness. It's also interesting to see a good-hearted character try to do her best to be "evil" and fill the role that she now has to live up to. She has a good balance between her pureheartedness and her insecurities and desires, allowing her to be swept up by her role and try to do her best as a demon of the dark clan.
Despite the bullied and victim roles that the two of them have they actually make a great pair and show geniune concern and care for each other. The two of them balance each other out well and make a pairing that I think is mutually beneficial to the both of them. Shamiko may lack skills and have dire circumstances but she is a pure kind soul and has the optimisim and heart that someone like Momo needs. In a sense she is able to bring light to Momo and allow her to have fun and bond with someone. And on the other hand Momo with all her skills can protect Shamiko and help her overcome her weaknesses and her circumstances. Despite all the skills Shamiko lacks that Momo has the two of them come off as equals in their friendship. The two of them are able to help each other in the ways that only they can.
The art also helps out the show a lot. The art style looks really vibrant and warm. It matches very well with the type of show that Machikado is. It's very cute on top of that. They did a great job with the character designs, not only making them look really cute and nice but also having them match well with the characters. Shamiko wouldn't be as fun to bully if she wasn't so cute and precious and didn't have such dynamic and adorable reactions. Momo's height advantage and Shamiko's shortness do well to highlight the differences between the two and give Shamiko more insecurities that she tries to fight against in her battle with Momo. The characters look great and work very well for the show. Overall the art is really nice and well done and fits a very good package. The sound design is also pretty good and works well for the show.
For all the benefits the show has there is one significant detractor for me, and that is the pacing. Handling both the serious, comedic, and heartwarming moments can be a hard task espeically with only 24 minutes per episode. However, I do wish they handled it a bit better. In several key episodes it felt like the pacing was going too fast. And while it was fine for the comedic moments, the more serious and heartwarming ones were hurt by the speedy pacing. At times it felt like there wasn't enough time to feel the mood of the scene and really let the feelings of the characters sink in. And while the moments were quite good still, I think they could have been even better if there was more time alloted to them.
Overall, Machikado Mazoku is a very enjoyable watch that gives us all the fun of watching a character get bullied while also being heartwarming and pleasant. The characters are quite nice and their dynamic and bond is a big highlight. I'd recommend this to fans of the CGDCT genre and for those that like this bullying style of comedy. The show has a lot to offer in my opinion and does well to have a show that gives us the joy of bullied humor while also being heartwarming and pleasant at the same time.
Machikado Mazoku is incredibly cute and at times brings a warm smile onto my face.
Now this sentence doesn't explain my score on the show and you'll see why in a moment.
It's a cute show, don't get me wrong. But the contents and delivery of said contents are difficult to swallow. The direction and pacing are all over the place. Sometimes its too slow and scenes/jokes drag on for far too long, and other times its too fast giving you hardly any time to take in the information. The story itself (or premise at least) is cute but it's nothing special. Honestly most of these slice
of life with fantastical elements type show have some basic structure and predictable plot elements to them, with the delivery and execution of its contents differentiating them from one another. Like, Endro had a very similar premise (with a switch in perspective), but that show at least felt good to watch and was pleasant to sit through. Machikado on the other hand felt downright claustrophobic at times. The characters are fine, but I never really liked Shamiko. Her being the tsukkomi to most situations just boil down to her explaining what just happened to the audience. A very lousy way of setting up jokes. I quite liked Mikan breaking up the monotony but she appeared far too late into the series by which I was already exhausted. Similar shows would typically incorporate characters like these somewhere in the middle as that's usually the point where they would exhaust the standard jokes and setups with the existing cast. In either case, the narrator is surprisingly my favourite character of the bunch. His optimistic "Ganbare Shamiko!" never fails to make me smile and out of all the cast, he is the only one to receive any payoff by the end of the show. The music was surprisingly nice, although maybe I tend to notice it more since I usually zone out watching the show and start paying attention to the background elements.
I deliberately didn't include any paragraph spacing just now to demonstrate how it felt watching the show.
Ganbare Shamiko! May you receive better adaptations in the future.