Four princesses from the Netherworld- Liru the werewolf, Pachira the vampire, Aiko the android and Yuuma the witch- have all left their home to come and live in the human world. All they want is to lead (fairly) everyday lives and maybe score a nice boyfriend in the process, but when you have special powers and a not-too-good understanding of how human society works, sometimes you just can’t help causing a little mayhem along the way…
When I first heard of Magical Pokan, it didn’t sound like it would be to my tastes; if anything, it looked like the kind of fanservice-filled fluff that I had already wasted too many hours of my life on. Nonetheless, after receiving all twelve episodes courtesy of Necromancer, giving it a try was made infinitely easier, and to my surprise, the series was far more enjoyable than I had been expecting.
Although the misleading OP may lead you to believe that the series is going to be a mix of action and drama, Magipoka is actually a light-hearted comedy, and in this department, it proves to be one of the best of its kind. Each episode is divided into two ten minute segments, dealing with everything from everyday misunderstandings such as an attempt to get mail by building numerous post-boxes to more fantastic elements such as a mecha parody or Yuuma’s trip through different layers of hell. It would be an exaggeration to say that every single segment is laugh-out-loud hilarious, but nonetheless the series remains consistently amusing and entertaining- and with only twelve episodes to hand (plus an OVA), you’ll be wanting more rather than feeling that it outstayed its welcome.
As mentioned above, Magipoka is no stranger to fanservice- every time Yuuma casts a spell, for example, her skirt flies up to reveal her panties (something that impresses the audience far more than the results of her spell). Even if such things are not to your taste, however, the ecchi content is far tamer than the likes of Negima, and certainly should not detract from your overall enjoyment.
Of course, humour is nothing without some memorable characters to carry it off, and in this department, Magipoka is in good hands with its four leads. Each of the girls has their own likeable and distinctive personality, and it is through their interactions with each other and the outside world that the series truly comes to life. In contrast, recurring characters are somewhat minimal, although there is a rather bizarre inclusion in the form of Keimi, the girls’ invisible guardian and integrated narrator. Since she is never properly introduced and appears inconsistently throughout, she stands out as something of a convenient foil to speak the lines that wouldn’t fit anyone else, making her inclusion seem more than a little sloppy.
Visually, Magipoka is always easy on the eyes, with some beautiful character designs and no slip in animation quality throughout. The trade-off for such eye candy is that the series often has to rely on stills, looped frames and recycled animation, but given the nature of the show this is an acceptable price to pay. Background music is simple yet appropriate to the tone of the series, and whilst the serious OP and light ED are nothing special in the general run of things, they do become rather catchy after repeated listening.
I’ve watched many series in search of light and simple entertainment, and where most of them turned out to be mediocre and tiresome, Magipoka is the first one to keep me genuinely entertained and asking for more. Anyone looking for a comedic break from darker and more dramatic fare should prioritise this series immediately.