Based upon the manga by Wataru Yoshimizu
Directed by Shin-ichi Misaki
- Clean opening animation
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Mischievous cats
- Schoolgirl crushes
- Miscast spells
Released by: Geneon
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Get it if you like harmless shoujo.
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The characters are pretty interesting, a little bit more than the usual anime fare. Yuta is hip to the human world and more powerful than Nina. It isn’t clear why he can do magic in human clothes while Nina needs the usual magical girl transformation sequence, unless it’s just because he’s much better than she is. Nina has a pure heart, of course, but her struggles to master her magic give her depth, and her sense of responsibility makes her more than a sheep. Ayu is a typical middle school girl, but her friendship with and admiration for her goofy friend Nina makes her less irritating than she could be, and her amusing response to her first kiss under extreme circumstances makes her utterly realistic.
The DVD comes with a small comic that details the origin of the manga and how Ayu and Nina meet. It might be good to read that before watching the DVD, as the DVD does not cover this information in any of the first episodes, which can leave viewers a bit discombobulated. Having not read the manga, I cannot comment upon how closely the anime currently parallels the manga. The only other special feature is a clean opening.
The sound is very nicely don: crisp and clear, with enjoyable voice acting. The young voice of Nina may seem oddly immature at first, but she is such an innocent that she should sound younger than her age would appear to indicate. The English voice for Yuta skillfully gives his character a great deal of personality, even in the short time he appears. The visuals are simply lovely; the backgrounds and character designs are stunning and great to watch. Facial expressions are typical for comedies, showing a lot of amusement in the mere rise of an eyebrow.
Fans of Marmalade Boy, also by creator Wataru Yoshimizu, will love this one. The series are rather different from each other, but their sweetness, wit, and humor will appeal. If you enjoy light romance, humor, and magic, you will appreciate Ultra Maniac.
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