Renkin San-kyuu Magical? Pokaan follows the daily lives of four young girls. There is just one catch: they are anything but normal. This group of friends—the energetic werewolf Liru, the joyful witch-in-training Uma, the motherly android Aiko, and the seductive vampire Pachira—are actually princesses from the netherworld who have traveled to the human world in search of a new home. Unfortunately, their naivety and severe lack of knowledge make living peacefully among earthlings much more difficult than they imagined.
As they attempt to adapt to their brand new lifestyle, they cause all sorts of trouble, and end up attracting the unwanted attention of a woman by the name of Dr. K-Ko. The scientist believes that these new residents of Earth are up to no good and attempts to capture the girls to prove the existence of the supernatural and gain credibility with the scientific community. Every day brings a new adventure as the girls deal with the insanity of her antics and all that the human realm has to offer.
I'm not really a fan of ecchi comedies, and at first glance that what Renkin San-kyuu Magical? Pokaan (or MagiPoka as it's more commonly known), looks like. However, the old aphorism about never judging a book by it's cover applies to many anime and manga titles, and this is one of them. Anyone who labels this show as an ecchi comedy has probably missed most of the humour in it. Yes, there are ecchi moments, but unlike many other shows (e.g. Eiken, Amaenaide Yo!, Girls Bravo et al), MagiPoka has very strong anarchic and surrealistic comedy elements.
In other words, this series has more in common
with Seto no Hanayome, Yoshinaga-san`chi no Gargoyle, Inukami, Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu and other strange and equally "wrong" shows than it does with the typical ecchi comedies.
The story is, surprisingly, very straightforward. Four princesses from the underworld (a witch, a vampire, a werewolf, and a female frankenstein type android), are living on earth and learning about humanity.
Cue the comedy.
The show is generally episodic in nature, but each episode is usually split into two individual stories so the viewer gets 24 episodesinstead of 12. This format suits MagiPoka because of the nature of the comedy involved, and although there will be detractors who want ongoing plot development, this show doesn't really suffer from any failings in that department as the main point of the series is to make the audience laugh.
The art and animation are pretty decent overall. There are some irregular moments in the animation, and the characters sometimes look like they were finished in a rush. In all honesty though these minor flaws are not really an issue to one's enjoyment of the show as MagiPoka has many hilarious moments that easily rival sketches and skits found in some of the big guns of comedy anime (that and you may be laughing too much to care).
The sound is pretty decent overall, and the show has a nice range of background tracks and effects which are usually put to good use (although some are noticeably off-kilter). One of the things that sets this show apart though (at least for me), are the OP and ED.
The ED shows one of the girls in (or on), a vehicle of some sort, but the entire thing (girl and vehicle), is actually a wind up toy, and all of it is animated in 3d. The ED songs are also tailored to each girl shown in the credit sequence (usually a different princess per episode), and the music is purposely made to sound like it's being sung in a karaoke booth.
The OP on the other hand, has been specifically designed to be misleading. The opening track is a half decent J-rock song that has dark and serious overtones. This is reflected in the animation of the opening sequence as it shows the girls with injuries or being seductive, implies nakedness, and even goes so far as to include a bit of shoujo-ai. After watching the first few episodes, then re-watching the OP, I couldn't help but laugh at the joke (feel free to ask if you don't understand it).
One area where MagiPoka excels is with the characters. All four girls have simple personalities, and are amazingly funny because of this. As they're from the netherworld, the misconception is that they're evil when nothing could be further from the truth. Each of the girls has quirks that are hilarious as well - the android sinks in water as she's too heavy, the vampire wears a large cardboard box on her head when she goes out in the sun, the witch simply doesn't understand anything and her magic only works well when she's ill, and the werewolf has a tendency to turn into a small dog when she's excited. There's more than just those quirks as well, but you'll have to watch the show to see them.
Now I'll freely admit that I'm a fan of strange, weird, and just plain silly comedies, and I honestly enjoyed MagiPoka immensely, especially the first half of episode 6 - coming back from the dead has never been funnier. The show won't appeal to everyone, but fans of Inukami, Yoshinaga-san`chi no Gargoyle, Seto no Hanayome, Jungle wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu and other shows of that ilk should may find something to entertain them here. The main thing that may put people off watching is the lack of plot and character development, but this is one of those shows that doesn't really need any of that stuff, and is probably better without it.
Renkin San-kyuu Magical? Pokaan is odd, anarchic, and very wrong at times. It's also extremely funny, and I'd recommend it to anyone with half an ounce of humour in their body. This show was never meant to be taken seriously, so don't be fooled into thinking this is something it's not.
Imagine a flat share with a female vampire, a female werewolf, a loli witch, a female cyborg and an invisible girl who all long for good looking boys and you have Renkin San-kyuu Magical? Pokaan (I'll use "Magical Pokaan" for the rest of the review).
Story: As usual for slice-of-life comedy series there isn't that much of a continuing story. To be precise every episode consists of two short completed stories which have nothing to do with the other episodes, which makes this series good for non-continuing watching. Magical Pokaan is good for inserting a random episode in your anime watching just when you need
a break of the anime you are currently watching.
Art: The character designs are good and the animation itself is nice and clearly. there is nothing to complain about it.
Sound: The opening song Senketsu no Chikai by Yousei Teikoku is quite catchy even though it is somehow misleading to what Magical Pokaan actually is (as well as the opening video itself is misleading). The ending songs are variations of the same song fitting the individual characters. These ending songs are much more fitting the style of the story since they are your usual standard jpop anime song.
The seiyuu cast is good including Hirano Aya as the vampire Pachira, they did a good job at voicing the characters.
Character: As mentioned earlier the characters are all kind of supernatural girls living together in a flat share. The characters of this series are making it as enjoyable as it is since they are all very likable and funny in their unique ways.
Enjoyment: I really enjoyed watching this show. Magical Pokaan is a good anime to watch when you just want something entertaining where you don't have to think that much about it. It's good for an anime evening with friends or just for randomly watching an episode. You don't miss anything when you let Magical Pokaan rest for some weeks and continue watching it afterwards.
Overall: Magical Pokaan is fun to watch. As allready mentioned in the enjoyment part it is nice for randomly watching it. If you want to watch a comedy series which is very easy to watch and has no deep plot, Magical Pokaan is the right anime for you.
Renkin San-kyuu Magical? Pokaan is a magical girl comedy from 2006. It was brought to us by Remic. Never heard of them? Well, they don't have many credits to their name so that's not a surprise. Let's hope it gives as favourable first impression.
We follow four princesses from the Netherworld. The witch, Uma, the vampire, Pachira, the werewolf, Liru & the android, Aiko. One of these things is not like the others, not like the others, not like the others. The four of them are living in the human world and all kinds of shenanigans ensue. That's the basic crux of the comedy in
the series, the bizarre outsiders getting into strange situations.
The biggest weakness in the comedy is simply that the series sometimes puts its desire for more fan service over its humour. Its “jokes” that revolve around under garments or nudity tend to be the weakest. Sometimes they get a funny one out there, but they're mostly just too predictable and not in the Space Balls, I can quote this by heart because it was just so memorable, way. No, it's in the “this joke was obvious and really heavily telegraphed” way.
With that aside, this series does have a lot of funny moments. It melds the zany absurdism of a series like Galaxy Angel with the supernatural outsiders trying to engage with humanity aspect of Bottle Fairy and the two do mesh well. The whole “drinking game” episode is really funny. So is the sentai team parody episode. Actually, those two both remind me of episodes from the aforementioned Galaxy Angel but with completely different execution. The tanuki bit is one that involves some more ecchi elements, but still manages to be a surprise and pretty funny to boot. There are plenty of other funny bits as well.
The series has one of those casts that only works in a comedy. The characters are zany, a bit shallow and, fortunately, have a good amount of comedic potential to their interactions. Remic could do a good four series more of this and not exhaust the possibilities. Even the minor characters who show up once or twice tend to have enough moments to be memorable. The invisible girl being the prime example. Which effectively makes them a strong cast for a comedic work. Although Aiko's desire to become human is a bit odd. It's like they were inspired by the best series of Star Trek but couldn't be bothered to put in the more substantial characterisation that makes that motivation make sense.
All of you who are familiar with my reviews know exactly what my complaint is in regards to the art. Yes, it's our old nemesis, excessive fan-service again. At least in a totally not serious series like this the only way it detracts is just based on the general crassness rather than being detrimental to the tone or impractical. I also have to give them credit for trying to blend the fan-service with the humour to make it relevant, even if that is the weak point of the comedy. I kind of like the character designs (they might've overdone the invisible girl's make up though) and the artistic direction is generally really good.
For our main cast we have Nabatame Hitomi (also Aida Mana), Hirano Aya (also Haruhi), Saitou Momoko (also Solty) & Akesaka Satomi (also Korokoro) as our main characters. The four of them give really good performances and work well together. Then we have the music. This is one of those series where the theme tune doesn't remotely fit. Maybe Remic thought it would be a nice jape to put in a really serious looking theme tune, but it kind of doesn't work when you use the same tune with every episode. It would be another thing completely if they kept changing it to other tunes that ran completely opposite to the tone but they never do. The ending theme tune changes regularly, but the opening is just the same overly serious thing every time and it just comes across as inept.
There's a little bit here and there, but the series is always quick to remind you that all of these girls are looking for handsome boyfriends. Because, you know, it's a comedy about a group of girls and if you didn't remind people they were straight they'd be shipping them all together. Although, let's be fair, it could have very well just been that they had some good jokes about their romantic misadventures. This series does have quite a few of those. What are they supposed to do, have the same kinds of jokes about them pursuing other girls? That sounds like something I'd write. (New comedy, Tuesdays after the case files of Detective Hildegard. Except not really.)
Magipoka, is a pretty solid comedy. Not the greatest one of all time, certainly, but it is quite good. If you enjoy zany absurdity, or the whole outsider trying to fit in types of comedy, give it a go. You'll probably get some laughs out of it. My rating stands at a solid 7/10. Next week, So Ra No Wo To.
Majipoka isn’t exactly what you might think it is. Unless, of course, you think it is a mostly disconnected set of episodes filled with absurdist humor, and largely free of ecchi content. Majipoka is more cute and/or moe than ecchi. There are some mildly ecchi moments, but they serve the humor rather than distract from it.
The show makes great fun of the modern world and of pop culture. I like that kind of humor, especially when it avoids specific references to other media. Majipoka does just that. Enjoying it requires no familiarity with any other shows or media.
Even if you aren’t immediately thrilled with Majipoka,
you may want to keep watching. It is made of pairs of half-length episodes. They are only marginally related, and each brings something new to the show. The downside of this is that people who insist on having some grand overarching story will not like Majipoka, but for those of us who can enjoy what is right in front of us, the show is excellent fun.
Given its pacing, I would recommend Majipoka to anyone who likes slice of life anime. I would also recommend it to anyone who likes its brand of humor. Try a bit and see.