Mahoujin Guru Guru (2017)

Alt title: Magical Circle Guru Guru

TV (24 eps)
3.733 out of 5 from 568 votes
Rank #2,774
Mahoujin Guru Guru (2017)

Three hundred years ago, the demon king Giri was sealed away by a magician wielding a powerful summoning magic known as Guru Guru. Now the seal is beginning to break, and the only Guru Guru user left in the world is twelve year-old Kukuri, a naive girl whose magic tends to backfire a lot. The king sends out a proclamation offering a large sum of money for a hero to rise up and slay the demon king, and a lazy boy named Nike is forced to undertake the mission by his overzealous parents. He visits the local Magic Granny to get advice on how to begin his quest, only to have the bumbling Kukuri dumped on him as a travelling partner. Thus begins their journey filled with monsters, magic, and mayhem!

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*spoiler-free review* Adorable losers fight evil and sometimes there's magic. That invisible anime you never knew or cared existed in summer 2017, amidst all the trash that year, was this remake of a 90's nippon anime, Magic Circle Guru Guru. The premise is simple but since it doesn't matter to watching the anime itself, I'll give the premise on what the anime actually is: Several writers attempt to cram as many fantasy RPG references and absurd humor into a pseudo-chibi gag anime as possible. And... to be honest, it kind of works, at least better than any other gag anime of that type I know. If I had to compare it to something it would probably be Assclass's Spinoff KoroQ, it's like KoroQ if it was funnier and had more reliable gags. Story: It's fun and as I said, simple. The enjoyment comes from the jokes but the story is what kinda strings the gags together. It uses a story that any fantasy RPG would use, hero and mage gets partners beats evil demon king, but makes sure to make fun of it at every turn. They take as many side-trips as possible to stretch it out into 24 full length episodes, but it's still solid at times. I'd say the story is the weakest aspect. Animation: The animation is actually suprisingly better than you'd think it would be, and it really fits. Some of the sequences actually look pretty damn good when needed, and for a series that relies on visual gags just as much as written ones it does it well. Some of them are subtle, some of them not so much, but the directing in animation is what makes it. Sound: Voice acting, music, OPs and EDs are all fantastically fitting and the sound direction never stands out as bad at any time. Characters: Gags, gags, gags. Every character besides the main two have about one or two gags to their name, the old man has his dance (every frickin episode), raid and his goofy-ass dark magic, and a dude who's only thing is he weilds three swords, one in his ass. It's a silly cast for a silly anime, some of them coming in handy at unexpected times. The show's subversion humor relies on these guys, some of them fall flat but some of them are actually pretty funny. Overall: Worth it for a casual watch and a laugh every now and then, but not amazing or great. It's a completely passable comedy, and probably the best of its kind that I've seen that makes use of these RPG tropes.


Someone who doesn’t know anything about Mahoujin Guruguru and watches the trailer or perhaps sees the poster and reads the synopsis will most likely think it’s a show for little kids like Dragon Quest. And someone who goes in blind will most likely expect it to be a run of the mill fantasy adventure ala King’s Raid. Well let me tell you this. It’s an anime made specifically for fans of old JRPGs, while at the same time it pokes at the clichés of the genre. And even then it’s not just a plotless parody, since it has an ongoing plot and a solid ending. You are not going to find many shows that manage to do all that. Let it be noted that I knew about this anime thanks to the previous version it had during the early 90s. I liked even that one, since it was one of the better anime to come out at a time when the industry was in trouble and was given reduced budgets. And guess what, even as a remake the newer version manages to be better than the previous one, something which is also very rare. The animation, despite no longer being hand drawn, looks way more polished, the pacing has been improved tremendously, some of the not so funny jokes got removed, and they bothered to actually complete the plot instead of leaving it incomplete because the money ran out. This is what good reboots are supposed to be all about. Taking something that is already good and improving it. Speaking about improvements, most modern anime fans will look at the first episode and, spoiled as they will be by Demon Slayer and Jujutsu Kaisen, they will think ‘How is this and improvement? How bad was the older one?’ The artwork is simplistic and the songs are silly, and yet they fit the type of a show it is. It has an easy going fairy tale-like atmosphere, it has a comedic tone, and it does occasionally change the animation style to something else for the heck of it, such as making it look like cut scenes from an NES game. Prettier colors wouldn’t add anything to it. It’s all about looking crude like an old sprite-based videogame. Now regarding the comedy, it’s not exactly the smartest thing around. It has crude slapstick and basic fan service jokes you have seen a lot of times already. It’s not trying to reinvent the wheel, since the main point was to make you laugh with JRPG stereotypes, such as crisping enemy monsters and helping people only for food and money. And I know a lot of people will not like the sexual jokes, because the characters are drawn to look like they are five year olds and it comes off as pedoshit in some regards. It’s not that bad, since it’s not ever-present or extreme, and especially for something that was originally made in the 90s it’s fairly tame. There are no rapist villains or fully exposed nude scenes, which is what actually aged very badly when it comes to fan service. It’s mostly juvenile panty jokes, okay? If it looks offending to some nowadays, it’s because people became so sensitive they threaten to murder the animators over five seconds of something they didn’t like.By the way, all I said thus far are not the best part of the show. It’s the attention to the plot and the lore. Although it’s not the most complex story out there, since it plays out like a generic fantasy JRPG, it has a decent amount of world-building, it has actual plot progression, and a solid ending. As I said, it is not a plotless slapstick comedy and it is not left incomplete. Same goes for the major characters. Although they don’t have super amazing character development, they do change in simple ways as the story goes on, so it’s not like everything is dumb fun with no actual end goal. There are even a few sad moments regarding the past of the witch and what happened to her people. Even the supporting characters are funny and memorable in their own silly little way, such as the exotic belly dancing old man and the poodle archmage.These are the reasons for why I consider Mahoujin Guruguru a far better series than Made in Abyss, which came out in the same year by the way. It feels like a complete show with actual world building and character progression. It’s not an incomplete tortureporn about a hole in the ground with no lore and with little naked kids constantly suffering because the mangaka is a sick pedo.

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