October 4th, 2016.
I’d say that on the presentation end, this show is a resounding success. The voice actors all do credible work (Engrish aside, which wasn’t terrible either), and they all sell their characters pretty well, with their various schtiks coming off clearly. The music was tense during the two moments that called for it, and the transformation scene’s vocals were particularly good.
Visuals, the show is making use of “standard crispy slice of life” style animation and character art, but it’s crisp, colourful and well-done. There are some nice smear moments, but animation isn’t the show’s highlight thus far, it’s not that it looks bad, but it’s mostly colourful in more static ways, or slightly deformed animation. The CG sticks out only a little bit, which isn’t too bad either.
I’m a big fan of the lush backgrounds that could be seen in some instances, such as when they first go to the storage room, and all the deformed faces were also worthy of mention. All in all, nothing in the art is amazing, but it’s all capably done, pleasant, and high quality.
ED – I assume it’s the ED and not the OP – Lovely, small, close, quiet, and the visuals of faded pictures also fits this atmosphere of “small moments of ordinary life.”
Themes / Story:
First things first, when it comes to Magical Girl shows, one must discern whether they’re aimed at girls or at boys (or women and men, whatever). With all the boob-focus and boob-jokes (not least of which was the father groping his daughter in the end. Anime please) I feel pretty safe in identifying this show as one that caters to the male side. As such, the “Cute girls being cute” aspect wasn’t too surprising at all, and on that front it felt like a standard slice of life comedy, except that the solid voice acting (especially by Oozora Naomi as Yuma-chi) helped make it, well, funnier and more endearing already. I feel like I know these kids, and I feel like they’re alright.
The boob-focus was a bit unfortunate, I mean. It is what it is, but when you have an adult cop acting like this, I can’t help but feel it’s a bit unfortunate. And of course, we must have a whole scene dedicated to a naked 13 year old at the end. I mostly look at this as “Standard Anime Fare“, but let’s actually pull some of it into a thematic thread, shall we? This is still a magical girls show, where girls will save the day via occult powers, so it makes sense that all the male authority powers are rendered helpless, either through the power of “feminine wiles” or just through the power of the occult. I mean, soldiers are one of the prime examples of “progressive male power” (progressive from progress, technology, mind).
Back to themes and otherwise, the job kept on doing credible work of characterization by painting Matoi’s strained home-life through small gestures and moments, such as calling her father by his given name, and his reaction to being told he had a nice time with his daughter. I didn’t like all the Proper Names in the show’s opening, but hey, exposition gotta expose.
Overall, I liked it. It was enjoyable, even if not much happened yet. But it was pleasingly crafted.