Magic of Stella

Alt title: Stella no Mahou

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2016
3.38 out of 5 from 759 votes
Rank #8,426
Magic of Stella

Tamaki Honda, a first year high school student, joins the peculiar SNS Club. With nothing but her wits and her artistic skills, she must traverse the world of doujin (self-published) game development. As new issues arise within the development of game making, Tamaki learns more about her club member’s odd personalities.

Source: Crunchyroll

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Magic of Stella was recommended to me by HIDIVE once I had completed my viewing of the four seasons of Hidamari Sketch.  And, to no surprise, by the end of the first season of M of S, I was totally unimpressed with the activities of the girls in the SNS Club.  Perhaps my opinion of these girls will improve as we get into the later seasons, just as I did with Yuno and the rest of the girls of the Hidamari Apartments. What?  There are no later seasons?  Magic of Stella was a '12-episodes and done,' like many other anime series? WELL, THAT EXPLAINS A BUNCH!! No really, I saw several problems with this series, particularly in the characters.  Nobody jumped at me and said, 'Hey, I am a unique individual!'  Tamaki (illustrator?)i is like many girls I taught in my years of teaching, unconfident in her own abilities.  The whole series was consumed with getting her to value her talents.  Shiina (programmer) was selected to be the leader of the SNS Club (Slack-eyes Night Owl Shuttle-Runners), a group dedicated to the creation of video games, self-published indie style called doujin.  Her stoic nature convinces her that she is not the leadership type, and this means the suppression of so much stress in all those layers of her stoicism.  Aya (narratives) is the irrepressible author whose erotic content is the rationale for most of the humor which drives the plots in sporadic jerks.  Aya (with glasses) becomes Iris (sans glasses) to thrill her fan-girl Mihana (who is Tamaki's artistic rival, as if this is what 'little miss insecure' truly needs).  Mihana, by the by, hates Aya.  Kayo (sound and music) is the pretty girl who fades into the background as she grinds out the tunes used in the video games developed by SNS. The premise of the series is Tamaki learning to trust her talents which she thinks is drawing, though she gained her skills through tracing 'old men' in her daddy's manga.  But drawing is not what moves her, and discovering her true drive is reserved for episode 12.  Too long a time to be off in the wrong direction.  And her senpai of the SNS Club are focused on the doujin conventions to help Tamaki find her right path.  But do they have fun in the interim?  Perhaps, though most of the gags in M of S is the fear and uncertainty the three senpai generate for Tamaki. The anime technique for M of S is fairly standard, with all the good stuff saved for the closing credits.  The music is lively, but just not gripping.  New Game! did better work in explaining the craft of game construction, and in sub, the girls were far too talkative.  One can only read so much sub so quickly; here it was next to impossible to catch everything.  And yet, for substance, did I miss much? Magic of Stella is not exemplary, nor is it deplorable.  It is in that middle ground where one can be indifferent about the subject and be completely honest.  Nondescript would not be far off the mark.

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