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Review: Mahoutsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto

This series is about a girl on summer vacation working as an intern. The only thing, really, that makes this unusual is the nature of her profession: she is practicing to become a professional mage.

Magic is a regulated profession illegal to practice without a license, like medicine or law. It is is a natural ability that pretty much everyone has to some degree or another, though relatively few are gifted enough to make a career from it. For those who are naturally magically strong, producing an effect is no more complex than formulating exactly what should happen. The curriculum that the main character has to study covers the nature and history of the legislation surrounding magic, rather than any particular spell or technique.

What’s most impressive about this series is that it almost always manages to dodge cliche. Characters act and feel like real people, and the show doesn’t bother to spend too much time on particular magical effects. Instead, it asks much more interesting questions: should someone in a service industry worry about doing precisely what the client asks for, or should they try to solve the client’s problem as efficiently as possible? What do you do if you give them exactly what they ask for but it’s not what they actually wanted? Is it worth dedicating one’s life to a profession that provides only transient benefits?

This is not a show about fight scene choreography. There is no fanservice. I wouldn’t say that it moves slowly, but if you’re looking for action instead of ideas, this show is not for you. On the other hand, I like it precisely because of all that. My biggest complaint is about the giant, sparkly, useless pyrotechnics that accompany the use of magic, and even those are kept brief. Overall, it’s a rather good show; not an instant classic, but well worth watching if you like the genre.

Genre: slice of life, with magic
Emotion: for a fantasy, everything is sensible
BTFS: .74

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Comment by Rourke Mac OS X Mozilla Firefox Subscribed to comments via email
2008-07-02 14:56:02

Ooh, interesting. Is there an English translation? Assuming I ever watch any anime, I’ll look for that. Also, speaking of which: Have you seen Paprika and is it good? (We rented it from Netflix.)

Comment by coriolinus Windows XP Mozilla Firefox 3.0
2008-07-03 05:29:55

I have not seen Paprika. As far as an English translation of this series, start poking around here.


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