Originally Posted by mariprosa
I'm going to copy/pasta my review in this thread so that I could receive some feedback about it and then subsequently make any edits as needed to the site. Let me know what you guys think about it :)
Rental Magica screenshot
Want a series that revolves around the mystic arts and revolves around a cast of characters that blend a typical brand of harem comedy/romance with nice animation and music? <--- this is the weakest sentence of the entire review, because it's convoluted and grammatically flawed and has an unnecessary repetition (underlined for cutting). What you've said here is that the CHARACTERS blend harem comedy with nice animation and music - how could the characters do this? At a basic level, you could say it's the anime that does this - if you're being pedantic, it's the creators that blend these elements. Rewrite: 'Want a series that combines a typical brand of harem romantic comedy with the mystic arts, accomplished animation and beautiful music?' Although, these are no brainer demands. You're not really making an interesting statement here; moreover, nobody would actually go into an anime WANTING 'typical' harem romantic comedy - they might expect it to be and tolerate it because they just accept it as part and parcel of the genre, but they don't actually go 'Weeeee! Another typical anime!' I'd consider revising by listing more unsusual traits of the anime OR rewriting to something entirely different. Rental Magica might be a series worth looking into as long as you don't come into it looking for an overarching story that's both inventive and sets itself apart from peer series <--- you just said this was for viewers expecting a typical harem, so this line is redundant. Not really sure what you should do with it - change it depending on what changes you make to the first one. It takes quite a bit of patience to endure, <--- yes, cut the comma as well as some of the moments in the series can both run in the flame of cliches and filler stories, even for a series of average length. <--- 'can both run in the flame of cliches and filler stories' doesn't make sense. You want either 'many moments in the series involve cliches and filler' OR 'many moments in the series run in the vein of cliches and filler' - I recommend the former as that uses fewer words and is thus more direct. Still, it improves enough to be worth viewing at least once through, and if you can stomach certain elements of it, it can be an enjoyable series to watch.
Rental Magica tells the story of a rather haphazard protagonist, <--- 'haphazard' brings to mind that he is haphazardly put together or displays personality traits which are haphazard when looked at as a whole. What you mean is maybe that he is clumsy/blundering/graceless/awkwaed/indelicate/inept/tactless? Itsuki Iba, that inherits his father's demon extermination group, Astral. Itsuki may come across as a rather unlikable protagonist for some, because he's quite clumsy, a coward (runs away from battles a lot in the beginning), reluctant to become president, and he sits right between <--- cut 'between', replace with 'at the centre of' a rather predictable love-triangle rivalry - one that he's not too happy with at times. Between dealing with the persistent leader of a rival group (Addie, a savvy mage), the demons that threaten <--- cut 'that threaten', replace with 'threatening' the balance of things, <--- the balance of what? 'Things is not specific enough to be helpful'. What, of life? Of nature? Of society? Of his love triangle? and a demon eye that gives him pain at the exposure of <--- 'when exposed to' too much mystical energy and reverts his personality, Itsuki has a lot on his plate to sort through, so you can't blame the poor sap for how he reacts....at least on some measures. <--- run-on sentence. I recommend cutting in half somehow.
It's very difficult to break a conclusive story down for Rental Magica, <--- 'It's difficult to break Rental Magica down into a conclusive story' OR 'Breaking Rental Magica down into a conclusive story is difficult' and I would say this is one of the weakest parts of the series' considerations, in part for its sequence of events and another for the relatively slow pace at which it builds. <--- this latter part is vague and pointless padding, especially when with the next setnence you start to justify your initial statement It follows in an arc-like progression, transitioning between relevant plot points and filler. The true plot doesn't reveal itself until well into the series, and by that time, most who would want to take something out of the story besides the episodic pursuits the team makes <--- 'pursuits of the team' is less awkward OR 'team pursuits' and the bits of harem romantic comedy in the filler-style episodes will find themselves wondering if they should continue. To the series <--- insert apostrophe credit, however, it has an otherwise likable cast of characters to follow, and there are some genuine humorous and sweet moments to be had among the cast of characters. <--- the two parts of the sentence literally say the same thing, so one is redundant OR: 'To the series' credit, the cast of characters are likeable; there are some genuinely humorous and sweet moments to be had with them' I remember watching the Christmas episode and despite my gritting my teeth at a slow plotline so far into the series (I think it was about episode 12 or 13), I genuinely liked the interactions among the characters <--- 'I liked the character interactions' and that was the point that ultimately kept me watching until the end.
I'll be a bit more forthcoming about the structure of the series, in case it isn't clear by this description. <--- replace with maybe 'Generally, Astral...' Astral takes on a number of mystic cases from clients, in which they investigate disturbances and extinguish threats as necessary. Some of the stories are decent (it does list itself as a horror series, <--- does it? Perhaps you mean 'Anime-Planet categorises it as horror, but nothing here...' OR 'Generally considered horror, there is nothing here...' but nothing here would classify as truly "scary"). I think the cliched elements take away from some of the mystic pull some of the stories may have. Some episodes, like Kuroha's introduction to Astral, are decent stories in their own right, as they bring you into <--- 'as they explain' how the character becomes a part of the team, <--- make this a period, then beging 'I liked that particular epsiode...' and I liked that particular episode in the beginning of the series because it introduced how her character, as a ghost, came to interact and become close with the group, <--- period, then begin 'The sequencing is awkward, however,... but the sequencing is awkward, as it has to backtrack to tell the story and then places it in terms of the present. It is never eerie or with dark humor intrigue like Vampire Princess Miyu (despite both having a "monster-of-the-day" format at first) (COMMA) nor does it have a whimsical, precocious pull <--- you used 'pull' before, maybe use charm/attraction/feel like Shounen Onmyouji, Mushishi, Mokke, or many other series that take that mystic element and develop it into something that has a bit of <--- replace with 'with' substantive focus <--- maybe just 'substance'? You get into a story, you come out of it, and the next episode is something different for the most part. This format doesn't change until well into the series, when the conflict against Astral becomes much more inclusive, and Itsuki starts taking his charge as President much more to heart. It reminds me of what I found to be true about Venus Versus Virus: interesting in some spectrums, but the cliched elements take a bit of the charm out of the picture.
It's a decent series to watch once or twice, but beyond that would depend on what you're looking for.
Rental Magica screenshot Rental Magica screenshot see more screenshots
Despite my criticisms of the plot/storyline of Rental Magica, it has very high production values with regards to animation. Matter in point, the cel backdrops, coloring, and character designs in this series are smooth and gorgeous to behold. I loved the clarity of the characters' eyes and the power transitions <--- transformation sequences? Power-ups? Your term doesn't make sense when the characters are engaged in battle, <--- period The series keeps this quality consistent throughout the series, for the most part, though one will note <--- I noted/viewers will note that the clarity certainly impresses in the beginning episodes of the series.
Rental Magica features a lovely soundtrack, particularly noting the strong OP/ED themes. There are two OP themes for this series, both performed by vocalist Lisa Komine. "Sora ni Saku" is featured <--- 'features' for the first half of the series, and it's a beautiful, lush song with a guitar edge interspersed throughout and soft vocals. "Faith" is the English version of the song performed through the latter half of the series. I think both themes are pleasant listens, and fit the opening sequence well, which doesn't change, <--- cut comma save for the Japanese/English characters across the ribbon crosses that stride across the screen as you watch it. <--- fix this repetition The ED theme Aruiteikou by Jungo Yoshida is a calm, reclining tune in a J-R&B stylistic <--- 'style'. There's a special version of it performed by the voice actors in one of the episodes that I found quite cute.
(The) Voice acting is decent, but I found it wasn't an element that made it <-- the show? the series? Rental Magica? stand out as a lone factor when compared to peer series. It works for the respective character personalities in the series, but doesn't go beyond that spectrum.
To expand a bit on the characterization: very typical cast in measurable notation, but in a spirit-busting format. <--- you're not expanding at all - you're actually summarising. Therefore: 'In sum, the cast is typical, but comes in an enjoyable/fun/unusual/whatever spirit-busting format'
Itsuki is a weak-willed protagonist, a bit quick to run away from battle and like many male protagonists that seem caught in events beyond measure <--- 'beyond their powers? beyond their control?'. I didn't quite like his character to begin with, and I imagine there will be quite a few that don't <--- 'won't' care for his character <--- replace with 'him' at first, but he comes into his own as his responsibilities, <--- cut comma and values, <--- cut comma with <--- replace 'with' with 'regarding' Astral come into focus. Konami is a powerful witch/mage that <--- 'who' is a childhood friend of Itsuki, so she continuously scolds him, yet has a fondness for him that could come from a childhood friend. <--- this sentence is awkward and roundabout, I recommend: 'Konami is a powerful witch and also Itsuki's childhood friend. She continuously scolds him yet has a fondness for him stemming from their enduring relationship' Nekoshimi (probably one of the characters I ended up liking, though I wish the series could have done a bit more with his character) derives his power from his love (for) and interaction with cats, hence the name. <--- not every anime fan knows that 'Neko' means cat, so maybe put in an exclamation e.g. 'hence the "Neko" in his name which means "cat"' Kuroha, a ghost who comes to join Astral and gravitates to Itsuki for his humble personality, is another character that seems to have a gravitating quality about her. Mikan is a bit of a cutesy character, hyperactive and a Shinto specialist that aids the team greatly in <--- 'with' her chants. Astral's team is really the main group you come to know as the series moves forward, and apart from a few other side characters (i.e. Addie, the leader of Goetia, Astral's rival group), the characters don't really jump out as readily as (those in) peer series of its kind, at least in the measure of mystic series.
I would give Rental Magica a 6 overall, because the animation and sound for the series, and considering its time frame, are quite on par <--- with what? 'On par' means 'equal to'. Do you mean 'above par'?, but those were very much the (only) stand-out elements about it in fair comparison. The story is more of a give and take depending on what the viewer seeks in an anime series. I think it could be enjoyed on some measures, <--- in some measure? to some degree? especially (by) those who don't mind a typical spirit busting series with harem/romance/comedy elements, <--- period, then cut 'so' so I would give it a hesitant recommendation. <--- although, in truth, you could make it less awkward with: 'I hesitantly recommend it.