23 Apr 2004 11:30 am

Action! Excitement! Magical Girls! Cosplay Idols! As they say, hilarity ensues… I’m not really sure how to begin reviewing Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte. It’s an older series, released in 2002, and I’m informed that it’s a spinoff from Soultaker, but with more humour. Thankfully, this four-episode OVA starts with a funny and succinct encapsulation of The Plot To Date; namely, that Komugi-chan, Cosplay Idol and singer, has been entrusted by the magical powers of Vaccine World to catch rampant intelligent viruses loose on Earth. While that sounds similar to 99.999999999% (ISO-certified, dontcha know?) of all other Mahou Shoujo shows out there, the differences lie in the exceedingly wacky execution.

Komugi-chan is here!

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Henshin!

The show tends to be divided into two separate acts; on one hand, you have Komugi-chan’s day-to-day life as a schoolgirl and Cosplay Idol. She has her teenage crushes, her friendship with Koyori (who’s another idol, though more in the “hot babe” genre than cosplay, and who has the unfortunate tendency to transform into Magical Maid Koyori, who is Magical Witch Komugi-chan’s rival), and her job. From my perspective, her job’s one of the funniest aspects of this show, as she deals with (or is dealt with by) her manager, the uber-cool and mostly laid back Shiro; the president of their idol agency (whose name escapes me, but whose long-suffering demeanor severely amuses me); and by her other rival, Megumi, who constantly belittles Komugi on her breast size and inferior status as a Cosplay Idol. The animated character dynamics of this group tend to occur over very short periods, but packs a good chunk of the funny into the show.

Komugi-chan, snarkyKomugi-chan, Megumi, insults-aplenty
Agency president, a-tearySuper-cool Shiro

Komugi-chan’s workplace

The rest of the humour comes from the villains that Komugi-chan has to fight. Generally sent by Magical Maid Koyori (who has an endearing habit of floating about on giant pieces of dessert — I kid you not), these villains tend to be some of the funniest and most imaginative that I’ve seen; I mean, when you’ve got the 2chan ascii-cat and a transformed Giant Robot of the Comiket convention hall, then you’re definately gunning for the absurd.

2chan ASCII cat villain!

Aiieeee! Ascii-cat!

I especially loved the Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets) riff in Episode 2, where Komugi splits herself into all 5 members of the team (six, if you count their head scientist).

Komugi-chan Gatchaman!

Battle of the Nurse Witches!

The level of fanservice in the show is high, but appropriate and totally in-character. Her “service-off” against rival Magical Maid Koyori remains as one of my favorite scenes.

I hear ADV has licensed this puppy, and I’d love to get my hands on the DVD. I should probably try out Soultaker and see how that show goes, while I’m at it.

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