Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sasami: Magical Girls Club

Sasami has to be one of my longest running anime crushes, so when I heard she had gotten an entire series to herself I was all over it. Sasami: Magical Girls Club is such a departure from what we know of the character, both in design and personality, it almost doesn't feel like Sasami at all. And, I know a lot of hardcore Tenchi Muyo! fans who boycotted this show all together, and dismissed it as terrible without even watching it. I like this take on Sasami and the Tenchi universe and I feel it's another spin-off to be liked by the fans. Tenchi, as a series, has so many variations and fluctuations in it's storytelling, something like this was bound to happen, and I'm really glad it did.

Taking place in a continuity all it's own, Sasami is the daughter of a male witch and has connections to the Magical World. Eventually, she meets other girls at her school who have different forte's and skills with magic and eventually they team up with their new club mentor, Washu, who is a representative of the Magical World and is there to teach the girls how to use their powers. Aside from being adorable, this show is surprisingly well written, with well-rounded characters. Two seasons long, 24 episodes altogether, this show really does a good job at establishing a world for itself and has a greater depth than you could imagine. The only problem I could really see with this series is that around the second season a lot of the main cast is left almost unused because the plot really starts to focus on Sasami and Misao, so the other magical girls are used almost like background characters. And speaking of background characters, most of the main Tenchi cast appears as just that; aside from Sasami and Washu, no one else is there to contribute to the plot at all. They really were just thrown in as an easter egg for longtime Tenchi fans.

So in the end I really have to recommend this series to anyone who really enjoys the magical girl genre. It's much different than Sasami's appearance in the OVA series Magical Girl Pretty Sammy, which was a parody of both Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura. This show feels like a combination of Tenchi Muyo!, Harry Potter, and Ojamajo Doremi, but it also feels like it's own show. You can easily disconnect the characters from their roots in the Tenchi series, and you don't have to be preconditioned to know what's going on here. In the Tenchi universe, Sasami: Magical Girls Club is a constellation all its own and is unique to the other spin-offs from the franchise.
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