The aliens have been defeated, and the Bell has been transformed into a gigantic cherry tree. Now, the brave Magic User's Club must reconvene to deal with a new problem. Apparently, some inconsiderate persons left a skyscraper sized cherry tree in the middle of Tokyo, and it's become a major inconvenience to everyone in the city. Even though they have no idea who could have done such a thing, the Club feels strangely responsible and springs into action. Meanwhile, a mysterious person is spying on the magic club in the form of a small boy.
Have you ever come a cross an anime series, and your first thoughts were: Wow, the character design and artwork look great, but I bet the story is shallow and boring? Looking at the above picture you might think that to yourself, but let me just say that this series truly is just as good as it looks. I am so glad I took the time to watch this!
Mahou Tsukai Tai (Magical Users Club) first started out as a 6 episode OVA of the same name, then was later made into a 13 episode TV series. And as you would expect, takes place after the
events of the first series. After the giant bell is defeated! Now that being said, there really is no reason to not watch the TV series first if you wanted to, (the bell aside) there really isn't any kind of major plot change from the two, other than Sae and the gang playing more the role of rookie magicians in the OVA version. Also, the TV series has toned down the echhi-ness quite a bit when compared to the OVAs.
The characters are all fleshed out quite nicely in this anime; Sae is your typical girl who doesn't have the confidence in herself, Nanka has the spunky spirit of the group, and Akane flakes any chance she gets. With that in mind however, none of the girl's personalities ever come out as annoying, in fact the only character that ever kinda annoyed me was "Takeo." He rarely ever acts serious when the time calls for it, and falls more in the category of "goofy" than anything else. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just felt he tended to over do it at times. Oh and Ayanojyo? He will most likely crack you up with his hilarious pick up lines on Takeo. Sae is the one that stole the show for me though, she is the kinda character you just can't help but root for despite her self consciousness. Even though the story's main point is the magic, most epsiodes are split. In other words: half of the episode will be about magic, while the other half will just be about life's problems.
The clarity of the anime definitely shows its age when compared to now-a-days anime, but just because its an older title doesn't mean it can't stand up against some of the best series in this genera. And I personally feel it does! The art style is just great, each character has a distance look and reaction to certain problems, and (despite its age) is a quite colorful show, but never goes over board in that aspect, which is nice!
The soundtrack to this title is also quite charming. Both the opening and closing have a nice catchy beat......as does the main BG theme that plays throughout. The soundtrack is by no means the most memorable, but it does the anime justice! Though I only viewed the dub, it was quite well done and most characters did match decently with the voices they were given. Some may find a few on teh annoying side, but all in all they did their best.
As far as the story goes, there isn't any main plot for the first half of the show. A mysterious entity appears to Sae on episode one, but pretty much remains in the background until later on. So the first half is mostly just the club members trying to hone their magic skills. The episodes do a great job of keeping you entertained, whether it be Sae messing up a spell that makes every doorway one goes into, make them end up in another part of town, to watching Sae grow ever closer to Takeo. And trust me it has so much to offer in its short time; you will laugh, cry, be puzzled or even be down right creeped out at times. (yes, this show does have it's eerie moments) Everything is settled at the end, with the exception of the relationships between the various characters, which I did feel was a little disappointing.
Bottom line: 8/10
Overall "Mahou Tsukai Tai" is an endearing overlooked series, and deserves much more attention than it gets. If you like the whole magical girl genera, I highly recommend trying this series out. It will most likely grow on you, as it did me. I hope that one day they bring this anime back in the form of a movie, or even better.....another season!