Majimoji Rurumo – Series Review

Majimoji review lead in

Let’s wrap up the cutest little witch show of the Summer of 2014

For those keeping score, this is going to cover episodes 7 to 12, the series finale. But I’ll be wrapping up the entirety of the show as well.

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The heart of the matter

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Rurumo is a tough nut to crack

Just to bring us up to speed and up to date, this is a show about Rurumo, the Witch in Training. She used to be, more or less, a full fledged witch, but a series a bungles lead to her demotion from the Underworld hierarchy. Now she has to complete a contract with someone from our mortal world. Said contract involves enticing the contractee into using a booklet of magical tickets to grant wishes; specifically it give the user access to Rurumo’s witch powers, something she cannot do on her own. But this all comes with a catch. Some wishes take more tickets than other’s do, and each ticket use drains the contractee of some of their life force. Also, use up all the tickets, your life is forfeit. Seems like a deal no one would ever get themselves involved in. But Shibaki is not just any old person. He’s an anime MC! And a rather perverted one at that. But he seems to be a decent fellow as ogling is about as far as he is willing to go, he’s ecchi with a bit of gold in his heart.

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When it comes to panties…this guy has a one track mind…usually…

But there is one more twist to the tale. Shibaki becomes aware of the death penalty through Ruru’s familiar, Chiyo. The little witch, herself, remains ignorant, with all parties involved reluctant to tell her. This would be one sort of pickle if Ruruomo displayed any sort of emotion, but she’s not one to frankly display emotion. Or reaction. Or….well, she’s a pickle she is. The series is marked by both this emotional state and her complete and utter helplessness in most cases. She strives to work part time jobs as part of her witch in training state of affairs, and is to clumsy to see any of them trough without major incidents happening. This is shown again and again as her non-social skills rub right against practically everyone she encounters trying to help out at most, or being sympathetic at the least. The is Gap Moe in caps, ya’ll.

Fanservice and Character Growth

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…and you have to get this joke…

I think what I loved most about this progam is that it took great pains to show, not tell, that this was a person struggling to find an identity. And it did that with a quirky charm that has become the hallmark of many JC Staff romances, comedic or otherwise. They don’t shy away from the awkwardness we feeling going into and growing out of these hormonal years. And this is readily on display from the requisite beach and onsen episodes, and many other moments of Shibaki’s pervert routine. He has the exact same feelings and urges as any other teenage boy…he’s just upfront about them, and unapologetic, but only to a point. So at this point, who was finding identity. Shibaki or Rurumo? Or both?

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Dawwwwwww

It was no coincidence, nor just an off hand joke, that Rurumo was magically cast as Shibaki’s younger sister. It was a good storytelling decision as it stayed his hand. Not that it need that much, but it rather needed pause. It put him into the perspective of a responsible older brother. Ok….the persective, if not the outright action. Yes, he was a horn dog at both the beach and the hot spring, the former working against him (men don’t like women on the offensive?) and the latter literally turning him into a “dog”. And that was one of the most endearing moments of the series as both learned to trust each other, and learn that mutual affection was there. An identity as a potential couple.

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Don’t‘ tell me you don’t get my reaction face!

And yeah, I’m just gonna say it here. I’m skipping the most of episode nine, ten and eleven, as I felt they were pretty weak, and didn’t do much to advance the story.  The student council cosplayer episode had some heft to it, as Rurumo made a girlfriend, but the execution didn’t quite make it there for me. The band episodes felt like they gave up about the supporting cast and decided to shoe them in to….something. All these episodes maintained the characteristic charm of the show, but the telling of it fell rather flat to me. But, fortunately, the final episode more than makes up for it.

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…the story behind the kimono was lovely….

We’ve seen these sorts of George Bailey, “life without me” types of stories before. They do what they do, and are troperiffic in the extreme. But a good story can make it work, and I feel that this one did a good job of it. For the most part, it struck me as freeing Shibaki from this merry little curse he found himself under, while reinforcing what it all entailed. He’s a better person with this responsibility, a bit more cautious, and perhaps a bit more mature. But since I’ve been talking about the growth of both these characters, Rurumo gets quite a bit from it as well. It ties into Haurlily’s appearance in episode eight. She knows that someone cares deeply for her. In her state I think this is something she forgets or more accurately doesn’t know if she could or should respond. And so these two world-crossed fools find each other, and grow a bit closer, and we are happy for it. Even Shibaki’s regret near the end of the series, a regret that he cannot fully help her get her witch status back, leaves us with a somewhat optimistic feeling….she can change…

Majimoji Rurumo was a mixed bag wasn’t it? Equal parts romance, comedy, ecchi, and the supernatural. I have a soft spot for these sorts of shows, with last year’s Witch Craft Works being a favorite, and Is this a Zombie Desu Cars! going right along with it. They have such an incredible charm to them. WCW got by an some brute force characterizations and balls to the wall plots and action, and so did Zombie. It’s nice to see a show take a different direction, not giving into harem antics…even though they could have, and keeping the story in a simple place of character growth, and a touch of ecchi nonsense. It was quirky, fun, endearing, and a pleasure to watch despite a few of my nitpicks. I’ll miss it, and very much want a second season. Am I just to hopeful? After all, they had that ominous ticking of the clock at the end….

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Thanks for Watching!

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All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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9 Responses to “Majimoji Rurumo – Series Review”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Let see… where to start…

    Overall, the production values for the show are excellent. It reminded me of Henneko, not surprising as its the same studio that did it. The series did have some of its more poignant and heartbreaking moments particularly the middle episodes. (Who knew Chiro was a unwanted cat…)

    Now the iffy bits. I would say the character development went in start and stops. It didn’t start out well in the first few episodes, then unexpectedly turned serious midway. IMHO, it relied too much on the perverted hentaiservice to keep it going; much like too much seasoning on food. Where Henneko had the waranai neko wishes as the plot device, this one relied too much on ecchi which kind of dulled the good points about the show. Yokodera is a more ‘refined’ pervert (if there is such a term, as he is more suave and tactful regarding his perversion whereas Shibaki is more unrestrained.

    If I had to chose between the two emotionless girls, Tsukiko is way better. Tsukiko still shows her displeasure at times in other ways despite her poker face, whereas Rurumo is kinda bland. (Disclaimer: Azuki Azusa is still #1!)

    The other interesting character in the show is Chiro (Chiro, not Chiyo the loli) who unfortunately needs more screentime. A CAT IS DEFINATELY FINE TOO.

    Still, overall it is a show I would recommend to watch if you can filter out the excess ecchi. Henneko still is the better of the two(the fact that I have the bedsheets from the BDs is not an influence) but this would get an overall B/B+ recommendation.

    • skylion says:

      I very much willing made no comparisons to Hen’neko.

      But as far as emotionless girls are considered, I won’t say your two examples are as different as night and day, but one might be dusk…the other the light of the moon. Tsukiko was aware of her state, and acted accordinly whereas Rurumo sees herself just as she is with no problems, more or less. By contrast we end up impressing more on Ruru then she gives.

      ….and bedsheets….Goodnight everyone!
      Bedss

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    AAAAAAND spammy went *munch*

  3. akagami says:

    Quirky fits the series perfectly. I was going to drop it after the third episode, but the MC managed to be less annoying and the show had this odd quality that I kind of wanted to see what Rurumo would get up to next. I’m not a big JC fan, but this ended up being better than I had initially thought at the beginning.

    And that transforming-neko ^^

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