Rental Magica – All of the Anime

April 28, 2024

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By Andrew Osmond.

Rental Magica begins like a gentler, much less assertive, however truly extra skilled Ghostbusters. The setting is trendy Japan, the place many alternative teams of magic customers exist to take care of paranormal imbalances, or because the characters put it, spell wave contamination. In a single episode, it’s talked about such contaminations have induced all the things from the Marie Celeste thriller to the Tunguska cataclysm in Siberia in 1908, exhibiting how wide-ranging and spectacular such phenomena are.

The anime focuses on a selected magic-user group known as Astral, an underdog staff. Its extra gifted members embody a lady witch known as Honami who’s first seen jetting on her broomstick alongside a wet freeway in pursuit of a black hound of hell, hurling pins which explode like missiles. Compared, the staff’s “chief,” a boy known as Itsui, appears hopelessly out of his depth, as he’s yanked alongside on a Shinto shimenawa rope by the offended canine. It’s not stunning when the creature is dispatched by a rival magic-user, the lady Adelecia of the Goetia society.

Nonetheless, it’s quickly obvious Astral isn’t fairly the bunch of no-hopers that they first seem. Honami is seemingly overpowered for such a low-level outfit, however she stays with Astral due to a terrifying childhood expertise that left her with a debt to Itsui. Itsui himself could seem solely the unsuitable man for the job, which he’s solely in as a result of his dad (lacking) was Astral’s former president. Because the heir, Istsui appears to don’t have any particular magic abilities or information – we see him frantically cramming like another overloaded scholar. However he wears an eyepatch, and when it’s eliminated we see his proper eye has an unearthly glow and it offers the boy a second persona that’s way more commanding… although in his “regular” state, Itsui appears barely conscious of it.

The early episodes focus particularly on Honami, Itsui and their rival Adelecia. They’re all teenagers who go to the identical faculty of their non-magic lives. Honami and Adelecia are former mates, each hailing from England; whereas Adelecia is supposedly the enemy now, their relationship will get difficult quickly sufficient. We additionally meet Astral’s different members, together with the petite however very plucky junior Shinto practitioner Mikan. There’s additionally the hyper-elegant Nekoyashiki, who’s as enigmatic because the cats he instructions, whereas extra Astral staff members take part time.

In reality, some flip up in episodes earlier than they’re truly launched, because the episodes aren’t in chronological order. The second episode takes place earlier than the primary, for instance. You would possibly consider Haruhi Suzumiya, which got here out the yr earlier than Rental Magica, but it surely feels extra like a precursor to a different staff sequence, the steampunk Princess Principal.

As famous, Mikan works in Shinto, whereas Honami is a specialist in Celtic magic from components of Britain and Europe. (That is hardly anime’s solely illustration of Celtic tradition; it suffuses a lot of Historic Magus’ Bride, whereas the headless bike-riding heroine in Durarara!! is a “dullahan” from Irish lore who’s truly known as Celty.) In a single episode, the Astral characters are requested to placate a god which resides in a Shinto shrine, and its priestess apologetically tells Honami that, as a overseas witch, she’s barred from the shrine’s internal sanctum. A consummate skilled, Honami accepts the rule with grace.

In Rental Magica, different magic methods are in play – as an illustration, Adelecia is a practitioner of European sorcery, as steered by her society’s identify, Goetia.  The present’s tone is mild, however not irreverent – the forces the characters are dealing with are profound and harmful. One early episode has a formless soul-eating monster that prowls a hospital at evening, utilizing city legends as its sustenance, like one thing from Boogiepop Phantom.

The sequence was based mostly on a lightweight novel sequence by Makoto Sanda; considerably unusually, he was additionally one of many lead writers on the anime model. Animation manufacturing was by the ZEXCS studio, which largely did below-the-line work in anime. The pastel-coloured sequence appears to be like like a proficient however unassuming product of its time – it was broadcast in Japan in 2007-8. Nonetheless, ZEXCS would go on to make probably the most uncommon TV anime ever made, the rotoscoped Flowers of Evil.

Acquainted Japanese voices within the solid embody Jun Fukuyama, Lelouch in Code Geass, as Itsuki, and Rie Kugimya, who voiced Al in each anime variations of Fullmetal Alchemist, as Mikan.

Andrew Osmond is the writer of 100 Animated Characteristic Movies. Rental Magica is launched within the UK by Anime Restricted.

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