(12 episodes, first two aired at once)
What’s it about ?
While this looks at first like yet another “cute girls doing cute things” slice-of-life series, this is really a magical girl show.
The series revolves around a middle-school Hero Club, whose seeming purpose is to be communicatively cheerful and lift everyone’s spirits up. Puppet shows for elementary schoolkids, finding new owners for abandoned kittens, the like.
– Yuuna, the titular main character, is the one with the most enthusiasm. Good at improvising, too.
– Togo, her new neighbour and “best friend”, lost the use of her legs in a traffic accident. Nobody says anything about her being confined to a wheelchair, and certainly not Yuuna, who takes care of her a lot, but she’s obviously frustrated by everyone being so nice to her and her own impotence. (Also, good with computers.)
– Fu, senior and club president, seems quite genial, but it quickly becomes apparent she’s keeping secrets from the others. (This includes her cute little sister Itsuki.)
The twist is that the four of them have been selected to deal with attacks from abstract otherworldly creatures called “Vertexes”. But Fu never told them, so they get to learn the job in the middle of an incursion. Itsuki deals as best as she can with her sister’s instructions, and Yuuna is a gifted natural, but Togo is such a bundle of insecurities that she just freezes and stays behind.
Fu eventually explains that they’re part of an official program (with heavy religious overtones), and there are a bunch of other teams all over the countries (so it’s entirely random who gets to deal with incursions), but frankly it’s still a bit vague.
Decent enough. The “battle scenery” backgrounds are a sharp contrast from “reality” ; not exactly Madoka-levels of weird, but still quite strange. The fight sequences are fine if a bit confused, and the transformation sequences have a bit more fanservice than I’d like.
I like that the OP sequence (shown at the end) doesn’t show a powered form for Togo, keeping it ambiguous whether she’ll ever get to fully participate.
Oh, look, a Madoka clone ! (Complete with the deliberately vague promotion, I see.) Now, that’s probably an unfair comparison, as this looks like a much more straightforward magical girl show, with much blander designs… and hey, there’s nothing wrong with taking a few cues from one of the best shows of the decade.
Taken on its own merits, this is a perfectly decent series. It’s got some good sequences (such as the scene where everything just stops in mid-air as the incursion starts), and the melodrama isn’t too overwrought yet. (I wouldn’t usually trust Seiji Kishi on a dramatic series, as he’s more of a comedy director and often inserts inappropriate mood whiplash, but he’s doing fine so far.)
Okay, I’m intrigued. Show me what you’ve got.