Anime Review: Magical Warfare

Magical Warfare
Directed by: Yuzo Sato
Produced by: Madhouse, Media Factory
Voice cast: Mamoru Miyano, Nao Toyama, Asami Seto, Jun Fukuyama, Kazuya Nakai, Kenichi Suzumura, Mikako Takahashi, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Toshyiuki Morikawa
Air dates: Streaming live on Crunchyroll, Thursdays at 2:30 p.m. CST.

Boy, who hasn’t wanted to just run away from one’s problems at one time or another? To be able to, as it were, just escape somewhere, anywhere, as long as it wasn’t here, can at times be a seductive daydream. However, there is a dark side to this fantasy; sometimes, you may not know what you’re wishing for, and that’s what the new anime series Magical Warfare tries to convey in a tale rife with magic, battle, and unintended consequences.

Based on the light novel series by author Hisashi Suzuki and the subsequent manga by You Ibuki in Monthly Comic Gene, Magical Warfare tells the story of a group of school friends who unwittingly get dragged into the middle of a battle between two worlds and two conflicting schools of magic. The story opens with protagonist Takeshi Nanase, a normal high school student and member of the Sakuraya High School Kendo team, whose relationship with his mother and younger brother are strained and distant owing to some dark past event that has come between them. “I’d go anywhere to get out of this house,” he tells himself, “even to Hell.”

Although it’s still summer vacation, Takeshi attends daily kendo practice at school. On the way there he meets his girlfriend, Kurumi Isoshima, who is also his childhood friend. Upon arriving on campus, Kurumi heads off, saying she’ll see him later at the dojo.

On his way to the dojo, however, Takeshi encounters a young woman in a school uniform whom he’s never seen before. Before he can say anything, she falls unconscious at his feet. Rushing the young woman, Mui Aiba, to the Nurse’s Office, Takeshi quickly learns that Mui is a magician from Subaru Magical Academy; that Takeshi’s been inadvertently given magical powers, and that Mui’s own brother and a group of rival magicians known as the Ghost Trailers are after her. In the course of defending her, Takeshi, Kurumi, and his friend Kazumi Ida all get exposed to and acquire magical abilities while fighting off the Ghost Trailers. To protect them, Mui must take them away from “the living world,” as Mui calls it, through a magic mirror to an alternate universe, the magicians’ realm, also known as “the ruined world.” Before he knows it, Takeshi’s wish to get away from home is fulfilled, but not in the way he expected.

Magical Warfare simulcasts every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. CST on Crunchyroll as part of their new Winter lineup. Despite the sometimes less-than-subtle nods to Hogwarts and other elements of J.K. Rowling’s world of Harry Potter, this appears to be an entertaining series, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story plays out. At the very least, it should prove to be an interesting escape.

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