Cute but Cliched -- for young kids only
Mark Allen Davis | Seattle, WA USA | 07/26/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Because I liked the manga author's other series (such as Marmalade Boy) I really wanted to give this series a chance, so I stuck with it through volume 2. I have to say, it's cute, but if you've seen more than a few magical girl shows and/or shows in which a person with special powers must hide those powers from their classmates... well, this show contains every last cliche in the book. I'm sure that young kids who haven't seen a lot of these other shows will enjoy this show, but for me there was very little here that was original or creative.
We have the main character, a normal girl who is in love with a boy but doesn't know how to approach him. We have the magical girl sidekick that shows up to cause trouble for the main character. We have the somewhat sarcastic cat familiar who turns into a cute young boy. We have the nerdy boy who suspects the magical girl and is always trying to gain proof that magic exists. We have a quest for "holy stones" and a rival witch to interfere with the quest, and cause more chaos with her own brand of magic. I mean, the show is so generic that the place the witches come from is known only as "The Magic Kingdom" and the spells are rarely even named, or if they are, it's something like "The Doll Spell", and their very first episode involves a magic love pill that (naturally) gets swallowed by the wrong person.
Otherwise it's not a bad show at all. But for something far more original and innovative, I'd reccomend Card Captor Sakura (the original version, not the butchered-for-American-TV version), or perhaps Ah! My Goddess (there is a new tv series in Japan, coming soon to the West I believe), or Magical Project S, Magic User's Club, etc. Not all of them are as cute visually as Ultra Maniacs, but all of them are more creative story-wise.