Alternative title(s): Mahou Shoujo Ore
Manga Adaptation by Pierrot Plus
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Saki is a normal teenage girl who spends her days crushin’ on a boy and failing miserably at being an idol, as you do. One day the boy she likes gets carried off by a group of adorable, super buff teddy bear demons, and to save him she contracts with the Yakuza to become a Magical Girl… of sorts.
Jel’s verdict: Do Not Sign
This is a good example to use when people say writing comedy is hard. It does all the technical things you would expect a funny show to do. The jokes are well executed with good comedic timing, and the sense of humor manages to be irreverent without being mean spirited. Seeing as we are also skewering the magical girl genre and anime in general, it seems like something I would love.
I didn’t love Magical Girl Ore though, and it took a bit to realize why. I think the main thing is the jokes don’t really tie together in a way that makes sense with the show’s overall concept. Basically, they are doing absurd, contrarian things simply for the sake of the shock value without tying them all together. For example: at one point Saki is late and rushing out the door and her mother hands her breakfast off camera. Our anime trained brains automatically prepare us for a joke about running with toast in her mouth, and sure enough, she’s sprinting to school while trying to juggle a plate of huge pancakes. The joke is visually sound and it is kind of amusing, but you can see it coming from miles away and it has nothing to do with anything else going on.
By contrast, take a look at a similar gag in fellow new show Uma Musume. Having our main horse girl run with a carrot in her mouth makes sense in context of the show and it uses a familiar gag to tell us a lot about this character and the weird version of the world she lives in. It’s funny and it serves a purpose. (For the record, I’m not saying Uma Musume is good or bad, just saying that’s a good gag. More on that show later.)
The other thing that bugged me is the main “joke” of the series: Saki turning into a buff dude. I feel like sticking a guy in a dress for laughs in 2018 feels ignorant at best. The show tries to justify this by saying “men’s bodies are better for fighting”, but that’s just bad in a different way. Had Saki simply turned into a super buff woman, I think they would have still gotten their laughs from the sheer absurdity of it without bringing up gender discussions that they are clearly not prepared to handle. That alone might make this a hard pass for some people and I can’t blame them.
I did want to like this show, to the point where I actually watched both episodes that were released early. Sadly it just never comes together in a satisfying way. There’s still a lot of new shows on the way and many of them are comedies, so hopefully something else will scratch my funny anime itch this season.