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Magic User's Club
Reviewer: Rowema Lim Lei 02/28/2002

A gigantic alien object appears on earth seemingly out of nowhere, and with it are mysterious robots so powerful that they managed to destroy battalions of UN forces in a single blast. Since nothing could be done to make the aliens go away, people learned to co-exist with them... as they seemed harmless enough when un-provoked. But a group of high school students have banded together to form the Magic Users Club, and their goal is to get rid of these aliens through magical means!
When I first saw Magic Users Club's prologue, I thought I was watching the wrong video. Various military forces, missiles, and explosions greeted me -- which is a far cry from the cutesy characters and antics I was expecting. But after that was done with, the magical girl-ish intro sequence confirmed that I was on the right track.
Magic Users Club (or Maho Tsukai Tai for those who've been fans way before the US video release) is a truly unique OAV series. It merges two genres which are at odds to say the least -- sci-fi and magic. Here we have alien forces looming over the earth, and our would-be heroes are a group of young magicians. The plot is admittedly far out, and there were times I was at a loss for reaction.
There are only five members in the Magic Users Club. The nerdy Takeo Takakura leads the group as the club president, with the dashing Ayanojou Aburatsubo (played by seiyuu Koyasu Takehito, who's also Hotohori in "Fushigi Yuugi" and Zechs Merquise in "Gundam Wing") as the vice-president. Three girls comprise the regular members: the diligent but clumsy Sae Sawanoguchi; Sae's tough-as-nails best friend Nanaka Nakatomi; and the lovely Akane Aikawa. The series pretty Magic Users Club covers all the characters evenly, but it is actually Sae and Takeo who are the main protagonists. Sae is your typical anime heroine -- cute and clumsy, but possessing a heart of pure gold. Takeo isn't the usual hero though. He's not the least bit handsome, nor is he blessed with exceptional talents... but people love him all the same.
As is the case in "Kiki's Delivery Service", magic and magic-users flying around on brooms don't seem to bother people in the least. Takeo's Magic Users Club is even an official school club, in the same league as the Tennis Club and so forth. Magic Users Club also features a sprinkling of humor, homosexual themes (Aburatsubo is insanely attracted to Takeo), and fan service (mostly boob, butt, and leg shots). One particular question plagued me as I watched Magic Users Club. Could virtually anybody just join the club and use magic?
The art and animation are consistently of excellent quality. The characters, backgrounds, and movements are all rendered without fault. The music is pleasant to the ears as well. Magic Users Club takes a supposedly serious situation and treats it in a light and almost joking manner, which is a good change of pace. It's altogether a novel and above average series, albeit its approach is a tad too airy for it to have sufficient impact (on me, at least). Recommendable, but not exactly addictive.
This OAV series spans six episodes, and continues on in the TV series. The Box Set below contains both.

Magic User's Club
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Review Title:
Magic User's Club
Alternative Titles:
Mahou Tsukai Tai
260 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Comedy, Magic, Romance,
Sci-Fi, Shoujo
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