Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R

(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Komugi started her life as a minor (if colourful) side-character in Soultaker, a 2001 anime series mostly notable as an early example of Akiyuki Shinbo developping what would become his signature style. (As a Shinbo fan, I loved it, but it’s a convoluted multiple-conspiracy paranoia-fest that often ends up lost into its own ass, and thus a bit of an acquired taste.)

In the following years, studio Tatsunoko inexplicably released a few OVAs starring Komugi (maybe the merchandise sales for her were strong or something), without Shinbo (now off to transform SHAFT into what it’s today), and recasting her as an actual magical girl. (In Soultaker, she was a looney experiment who behaved like a magical girl. It’s the contrast with everything else that made the joke work.) Some of the wider ST cast got randomly converted into supporting roles, with way too many inside jokes for the show’s own good. The end result was a parody of the genre which just wasn’t very funny.

And now, more than a decade later, for some unfathomable reason, we’ve got yet another retool of the concept, starting with the origin story. Can they make it work this time around ?

Characters

Komugi is now just an ordinary energetic middle-school girl, with a barely burgeonning idol career on the side. (As in, she’s doing advertising outside local shops, and her fanbase are those three old dudes.) She keeps dreaming about hitting the big time, though.

Kokona, her best friend, is arguably close to there. She’s PERFECT at everything at school, the student council president, has a decent idol career, and has even branched out into acting recently. She’s super-nice, too.

Usa-P is a weird critter stalking Komugi and coercing her into becoming a magical girl. He’s obnoxious and kinda creepy, of course.

The supporting cast is kinda big, between Komugi’s family, the people at the girls’ talent agency, their classmates, the two other critters who are obviously going to power Kokona and another girl up too… as a result, none of them rise above being one-dimensionally generic.

Production Values

Okay, I guess. At least the fanservice levels are positively subdued.

Overall Impression

Oh, dear gods. They’ve somehow managed to make it even worse. It’s blander and less energetic. In an effort to map more closely to actual magical girl shows’ structure, it’s become tedious and boring. It doesn’t even have the weirdness of the bizarre Soultaker cameos (which admittedly nobody would get now), instead replacing them with more generic Tatsunoko sight gags (which aren’t particularly funny either).

It’s terrible on every level. The jokes are beyond trite, and sparse on the ground. But it’s too self-aware to work as an actual magical girl show, either. And it’s just not funny, which is the worse sin a parody can commit.

Stay well away from this one.

Source: [In Which I Review] New anime, Winter 2016 – Page 3

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Jhiday

I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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