Reviews & Columns
International DVDs
In Theaters
Reviews by Studio
Video Games

Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Anime Talk
DVD Savant
Horror DVDs
The M.O.D. Squad
Art House
HD Talk
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum

DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info


Magikano, Vol. 1: A New Witch in Town

ADV Films // Unrated // December 4, 2007
List Price: $29.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Todd Douglass Jr. | posted January 1, 2008 | E-mail the Author
The Show:

Originally released in 2003 as a manga, Magikano was created by Takeaki Momose (RahXephon). Three years later Tokyo Kids produced the 13 episode animated version which was met with moderate success in Japan. Here in America the show's release is being handled by ADV and looks to be spread across three DVDs, with five episodes finding a home on the first volume.

After watching the first five adventures I must say that Magikano really doesn't have a lot of uniqueness in its concept. In so many ways it resembles Maburaho with a touch of Girls Bravo and possibly some other run-of-the-mill harem shows. The end result is a series that proves to be a lot of fun but it's all very redundant if you're familiar with the genre. The jokes loose their impact and the episodes just aren't as entertaining. If you're new to harem comedies then you'll undoubtedly have more mileage with the series than someone who has watched one or two of them but even then the content isn't top of the line.

As the lead and almost entirely sole male cast member, Haruo Yoshikawa is kind of the black sheep of the family. Sure he seems like your average junior high school student but we soon learn that he doesn't possess the family trait of being able to use magic. Well, he doesn't know about it at any rate. He seems utterly inept in this department and it's up to his three sisters to keep him that way by bonking him with hammers that erase his memory. This was the way things were going for the Yoshikawa family until a new maid showed up one day.

Ayumi Mamiya comes to the Yoshikawa household under pretenses though she's actually a witch like Haruo's sisters. As it turns out she's cursed and the only person who can lift the curse is Haruo. Needless to say it's convenient that she comes to the male Yoshikawa in hopes of restoring his ability to use magic in an effort to assist herself. The show takes a great deal of time watching Ayumi attempt to turn Haruo into a "real man" which allows for gratuitous amounts of fan service to creep in. Ayumi spends a great deal of time during these episodes flirting with Haruo and that encompasses most of the show's humor.

The first episode of the show introduces us to the characters and sets up the premise fairly well though it certainly doesn't help the concept stand out much. The second episode follows suit and remains kind of generic with little more than random flashes of high school goofiness and fan service. The humor was light enough to be entertaining but the visual gags and reactions are nothing new. I have to admit that Magikano only got a few chuckles out of me during the first two episodes. For the most part I was bored and that's not a good thing coming from a comedy series.

Things get a little more amusing in the third episode as Ayumi uses her witching powers to affect Haruo's dreams. She does so in an effort to make him her kind of guy but in the end it backfires like you'd assume it would. Another interesting (and unsurprising) thing from the second episode focuses on Haruo's older sister's affection for him which borders on incestuous intent at times. The girls travel backwards in time in order to figure out exactly why Maika appears to be so smitten with him.

The traditional harem comedy hot tub episode is up next and in good form someone comes along and steals the girl's underwear. In the process they also nab something special of Ayumi's which leads the girls on a pervert hunt. The last episode shows a little more promise with a Witch Hunter coming to town. She's integrated into the series quite nicely but falls victim to the flat harem girl addition.

Throughout it all Magikano just doesn't pop as well as it should. The material feels very dry and unimaginative but the biggest killer is that all of the characters are stereotypical and one-dimensional. In successful harem comedy shows you want to root for the lead male and laugh along with the supporting female cast. Unfortunately I felt none of that here as each of the characters refused to bring anything new to the table and in the end Haruo was pretty weak. I suppose if you haven't watched a lot of harem comedy anime then you may find more mileage out of Magikano but in my opinion it comes up a too short on creativity to really stand out.

The DVD:


I must admit that I was pretty surprised when I started watching Magikano and discovered that it was presented with a full frame aspect ratio. The show was just produced in 2006 and the video transfer features quite the sheen to it so it only stood to reason that a widescreen treatment would have been in order. Despite that let down the image quality stands up to scrutiny with next to no grain, hardly any compression, and a nice contrast. With all of that being said I do have to admit that the design of the show is very humdrum and average. You could easily pluck any one of these characters out of this series and drop then into another with a great deal of success. That's not necessarily a bad thing but it certainly does lend credence to he "generic" feel that I was talking about earlier.


Thankfully the audio quality lives up to expectations from a technical standpoint. The Japanese dub comes with a 2.0 presentation while the English receives a 5.1. The overall quality of both is very decent and I have to say that the English cast seemed to have a lot of fun with the script. I didn't appreciate some of the hamming up but it certainly added a ton of energy to the show. The 5.1 English also provided a more robust experience though the sense of immersion wasn't quite as good as it could have been.


Clean animations and ADV trailers are the only things you're going to find on the first volume of Magikano for bonus features.

Final Thoughts:

With a straightforward concept, one-dimensional characters, and a load of harem infused chuckles Magikano is certainly an attractive show. Unfortunately the lack of originality and the overall flatness of it all leaves the series feeling more like space filler rather than something that stands on its own two feet. If you're well-versed in harem comedy then you'll most likely just want to rent this one though if you're new to the genre this is a good place to start. It's not the best by any stretch of the imagination but there are some very entertaining elements within these five episodes.

Check out more of my reviews here. Head on over to my anime blog as well for random musings and reviews of anime, manga, and stuff from Japan!

Buy from






Rent It

E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Popular Reviews

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links