Alternative titles: Maji-Kyun! Renaissance
Anime Original by Sunrise
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Kohana Aigasaki is a new transfer student at Hoshinomori Private Magical Arts High School, where teen Artistas – people whose magic allows them to create sparkly, sparkly art – are taught how to create even better sparkles and maybe also get into show business.
Artemis’ verdict: Needs More Sparkles
Man, what a great first episode to such an original and innovative show! Japan has really outdone itself this time – I can already tell that Magic Kun! Renaissance will be as rich in art and culture as its cast and have a lot to say about the nature of the creative process.
I admit I was a little disappointed at first with the main character, who at first glance appears little more than some kind of audience stand-in. However, then I realized that her name literally means ‘little flower’, which is really clever because her magic is creating sparkles through flower arranging, and it soon became clear to me that Kohana is actually a very hard-working and earnest girl. Her tendency towards clumsiness gives her character a lot more depth and is actually quite endearing; I especially liked the part where she fell off the balcony and straight into the arms of the school’s most promising student. His real name is Ichijouji-kun but his nickname is ‘king’ because of his good looks and talent, and although he might appear rude and unfeeling, I can forgive him since he’s only trying to mask his inner pain.
Kohana and Ichijouji-kun only make up one small part of the cast though. There are four other boys who I think have a lot of promise, and I can’t make up my mind who I like best. Mone reminds me a bit of Ichijouji but he’s a painter instead of a singer, and he only paints in monochrome which is gorgeous but hints at a troubled soul beneath the uncaring façade. Plus his pet hedgehog is adorable! Suminomiya’s really cool too though, I love his blue hair and equally expressionless face. Also like Ichijouji-kun, he’s probably hiding a lot of emotional turmoil. I don’t like the other two boys as much because I prefer angsty backstories, but one of them is a sculptor. His scene was funny because you couldn’t tell whether he was making a wild boar, a tiger, or a cheetah.
Anyway, I’ve been highly impressed by what I’ve seen of Magic Kun! Renaissance so far. Even the music in this show is impressive, catchy but at the same time very soulful. I’ve never heard anything quite like it before, and it matches the imaginativeness of the rest of the series. Definitely recommended!
Jel’s verdict: Sparkly?
Just in case Artemis’ sarcasm didn’t come through hard enough, this was pretty bad. It’s not the premise so much as it’s so painfully on the nose it had me longing for the over top absurdity of Dance with Devils. Yes, I just said that. I mean, the ingredients are there. If you can imagine a world that creates a reason to make shoujo sparkes actually exist, a world where a dude dances so beautifully he grows literal wings or another guy sings so sweetly the music turns into diamond roses, that could be fun right? But instead it’s just very… meh. Everything solely exists to make you feel like a princess surrounded by cute boys dressed like princes, right down to the audience proxy girl getting caught by the dreamy but prickly main guy as she falls down the stairs. It has no other purpose and everything happens as expected. I guess that’s cool if that’s all you want out of your anime, but otherwise there’s just not much more here than sparkles.