First Impression – Soushin Shoujo Matoi

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More magical girl mayhem…

Well, if it isn’t a sport/competition show that’s on this season…then it must be mahou shoujo. Let’s dig in and find out what makes this one tick…

A World of Stark Contrasts….

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I could kill you, but my master says to wait…for reasons…

You know, when I was watching this show’s open I was taking note of all that gratuitous Engrish, along with that very arch military style, and then the less than obvious “church exorcist” John 10:9 advertisment. This didn’t seem to match up to  my expectations of magical girls and miko and bright colors and cute antics. I kept expecting the direction to pull the camera back and reveal the insert shot of a kid sitting in front of a TV watching the same thing I was watching. It was a bit over the top, and more than a little arch and silly, even for a show that promised me magical girl shenanigans and antics. But it served it’s purpose in retrospect as it not only let us see the “Vatican” magitek side of things, but it also introduced us to the shadowy side of the supernatural, and the need to fight it. It also showed us that for reasons yet to be discovered, they aren’t taking the full fight to the monsters. “Someday I’ll let you kick it’s ass…..Someday”

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A fairly typical shinto shrine despite it’s head priest…

But soon after that were tossed into the world of the Tenmen shrine, where the bulk of the episode takes place. Both Matoi and Yuma ran off with the cake. The red/blue dynamic between these two friends is pretty much established from the get go. The girls move the plot along naturally just by being themselves. Both have a youthful curiosity and activity, with Yuma busting out in the lead in those department; Yuma would have put to much..I dunno…cinnamon or chocolate into the curry! Her father is, well, he’s not the typical shinto priest that’s for sure, he’s doing his best despite his wandering eyes. Matoi’s father, Shingo, is also a bit of an outlier, with a somewhat gruff and quite exterior to go with his job as a police detective; and he admits he’s a coward or at least not the type to do stupid-gets-you-dead cop stuff? This is a good mix, as it allows the two girls to be somewhat normal, and have them react off the somewhat more weirder/more serious adults. When it comes to antics, that’s a good contrast, as weirder on top of already weird can be exhausting.

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The deep end of madness…

But that sort of peace can’t go on forever, it seems. And Shingo is in the thick of a spooky murder investigation with a somewhat deranged artist at it’s center. That’s downright Lovecraftian! Poets, painters, and madmen, you just can’t trust them to tie people up and not bring unspeakable things out from the other side of crazy space, and our perp is being haunted by that very sort of thing – the sort of thing that was featured in the show’s open. The latest killing is the tip of the iceberg, and it’s not just local, it’s international, and Shingo is just at the start of that path. So with the adults investigating, and an added layer of Anomalous Crimes in the form of the ravishing, and gadget toting super cop, Haruka Lucelia, it’s only a matter of time before these two plot-lines converge at the shrine itself.

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Magical Girl Squibbidy Flabbidy Do!

So at the outset, this strain of magical girl magic looks like a power that responds to need more than anything, at least for it’s first activation. Yuma couldn’t summon it, but then maybe she doesn’t have the right connections. I mean, she gave it her best shot on more than one occasion, so she was owed that massive surprise animation. Given that Matoi’s transformation – Fatima? Divine Union? Just toss those words any-old-where! –  looks like a portrait of her missing mother, that could be one connection; her father may have provided a clue..and that was awkward. But the showdown of the episode was handled with great flourish. It had lots of things happening at once, but they did build the threads up and wove them together nicely. It was a bit typical of a magical girl show, but still entertaining and engaging. Matoi’s actions also shut down supercop, so that’s a neat wrinkle they can exploit later. All in all, it’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it. Unless, you’re Yuma, and then you don’t get either….Poor Yuma.

Some very nice details….

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Oh, such a poor dejected thing she is…

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I think White Fox has a bit of a sleeper hit going on here. There is quite a bit they could do with the mix they have and this first episode introduced us to a great deal of that. It looks like Matoi is going to be that reluctant sort of Magical Girl, and that means it’s going to be Yuma to the rescue? Something tells me that Yuma will at least mean well…come what may, she will have good intentions that’s for sure. How well that “helps” Matoi, depends on the story they’re going for. The villain portion is pretty dark, so I count on them playing the protagonist end for humor as a balance until they need to get serious. With that final bit in mind, could White Fox be giving us another grim show? Maybe, maybe not, but time will tell…

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Yuma wouldn’t have been caught like this…


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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7 Responses to “First Impression – Soushin Shoujo Matoi”

  1. Foshizzel says:

    Now this is how you set up a magical girl series! I loved just about all of this from the visuals, characters and music~

    I love the two main characters and the moment I saw the two main characters from this series it reminded me of HeartCatch Precure which also has a girl with pink hair and one with blue hair and all both girls from both series sorta act the same, but of course that type of duo exists in just about every other series ie one hyper while the other is more level headed.

    Fun start so far and i’m with you on team Yuma, but i’m sure were gonna like both girls.

    • skylion says:

      It’s kinda hard, once you have a magical girl show, to get away from all the stuff that’s in a magical girl show. It can get “samey”? But that really doesn’t matter, when you give it a good spin like this one. They didn’t forget to make it fun.

      • Foshizzel says:

        Well like I said on Magical Girl Raising in reply to Hwy honestly there isn’t a whole lot to add to any magical girl series to make it different sadly most have to do the same thing over and over again…

        Matoi I think is different if the main girl really becomes her “mom” when she transforms that totally opens the doors for some emotional bits like bringing up sad memories of her death or the happier moments.

        That and I consider this more supernatural than actual magical girl, but since she transforms I guess it sorta counts as magical girl.

  2. Sumairii says:

    The cold open was a bit messy, but the rest of the episode was a very solid opening act for the show. The concept here is miles ahead of any magical girl despair and suffering act.

  3. Namaewoinai says:

    So There’s Another Magical Girl Show…With Religious Involvement…Uh, Yeah…so…rare it seems!

    UGH, I can’t go with this, but fine…i go take it, and ti seems had No Despair/Suffering elements there, too bad we won’t get a camera for this… 🙁

    • skylion says:

      It looks like Matoi is leaning heavy on Anime Catholicism in most respects. It’s basically a hardcore/military-disciplined magic organization that follows it’s rule to the absolute letter. I predict they will be reluctant allies soon….cause that’s how these things work out…

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