Maburaho, Vol. 1: Bewitched and Bewildered (2003) – DVD Review

DVD cover art for Maburaho Vol. 1, Bewitched and Bewildered

Film:
DVD:

Original story by Toshihiko Tsukiji
Directed by Shinichiro Kimura

Features:

  • Clean opening and closing
  • Translator interview
  • Informative insert
  • Original Japanese promos

Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:

  • More panty shots than in a Victoria’s Secret catalog
  • Jealous friends galore
  • Forced fondling of a doofus
  • Suspicious school doctor behavior
  • Bouncy spherical boobies
  • Cute wittle fuzzy wuzzy behemoths

Released by: ADV
Region: 1
Rating: 14+
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Check it out if you like the harem genre or magical comedies.

Screen capture from Maburaho Vol. 1

In Maburaho, we meet Kazuki Shikimori, heir to a prestigious magical pedigree. He attends prestigious Aoi Campus, the type of place where “do not use attack magic inside the school” signs are common and where he will learn to use his awesome powers. In this magical world, a given magician can only use magic a set number of times before they turn into ash, and person’s worth is determined by this amount. Alas, Kazuki’s number is merely nine, whereas other characters have numbers up to 140,000 (average is 8,000), such as the school’s female heartthrob, the powerful Kuriko.


In addition, Kazuki’s best friend is the charming loser Nakamaru, whose interests lie more in peeping at girls than in learning. Then there’s sweet-tempered Yuna and violent-tempered Matsuda, who have their own ideas about how Kuriko and Nakamaru should behave. And of course, there’s the mysterious Rin, who travels with a katana, not schoolbooks. And when the bombshell, the samurai girl, and the ingénue start to duke it out over who gets to be Kazuki’s wife (or executioner), he has no idea what to think. Class 2-B will never be the same.

The characters are pretty stock for such a series: Kazuki is clueless and inept, like an anime Hugh Grant, and everyone else knows more about him than he does. Dr. Akai, the school bishonen and physician, likes to see the student girls and teachers naked and has a little bit of insight into Kazuki’s lineage, which is the root of his woman problems. Although the plot is contrived to make gorgeous girls fight over a loser, it’s still fairly clever and interesting. Kazuki is nothing exceptional, but his progeny quite likely will be, so everyone wants to be the mother of said progeny. Unlike a real-world seventeen-year-old boy, Kazuki wants nothing to do with “forced matings,” leaving the door open for the requisite hijinks.

Screen capture of Maburaho Vol. 1

Also, there’s the slight problem that each character can only use his or her magic a set number of times, though the way they sprout wings or blast at each other would make you think they have no fear of the fabled turning-into-ash part. There is even more to Kazuki than his genes, however, though only Dr. Akai knows this.

The visuals are typical of comedy serie: bright, cheerful, with rounded edges and little detail. The character designs have a great deal in common with the director’s other shows, including Hand Maid May. The boys are wearing something akin to typical male school uniforms, while the girls wear, at most, sexy uniforms and/or lingerie. The audio quality is standard for a newish series; the music is cheerful and poppy, while the voices are up to their individual tasks: Kazuki sounds beleaguered and stressed; Yuna sounds saccharine sweet and determined (shades of Ayeka Jurai); Rin is softer and more sinister, and Kuriko just sounds older.

The extras include a small “Magic Times” newspaper inserted into the disc case. This provides some nice insight into the characters of the series. We also get an art gallery of the characters and items in the show, some original Japanese promo spots that are quite fun to watch, a clean opening and closing, and a fifteen-minute interview with translator Richard Kim in Q&A format. Kim talks about his work process, the meaning of the title “Maburaho,” how he derived the episode titles, and so forth. Quite interesting stuff and great for people interested in behind-the-scenes methods and creative processes.

In short, if you enjoy silly slapstick, ensemble romantic comedies along the lines of Tenchi, then this series will be a solid bet for you. Everyone wants to give birth to the most powerful wizard in ages, making poor Kazuki the most sought-after boy in the world, including his ectoplasmic female roommates. Not the most clever or funniest series in a while, Maburaho is still mildly entertaining and good for those nights when you just want some brainless, harem fun.

By | 2017-09-24T23:56:31+00:00 July 29th, 2005|DVD, Reviews|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Cameron July 20, 2006 at 1:07 pm

    Well, you’re advice makes sense. The plot is rather simple, however it’s pretty amazing that someone can get a whole series with several volumes out of a plot of that simplicity (think about that next time you call this brainless). Considering how many people though The Wizard of Oz was a good movie, I’d have to say this is a good series because I’d rather see Maburaho one hundred times over than watch that piece of crap again. I’m only making this reference because Volume 7 is called “Wizard of Ahhhhhs”. Wizard of Oz had a plot which is difficult to fit into one sentence, but it sucked as far as I’m considered. Maburaho has a one-line plot but many episodes and good-lookin’ characters, especially the blonde bombshell with an active libido (which is the way most, if not, all women should be). I understand your opinion, but as far as my standards go (maybe they’re lower than they should be), this is a good anime.

  2. jyssica blackwell September 14, 2006 at 6:23 am

    It was really cute! ILoved It!

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