Magic User's Club! (1996 IMDb)

Categorization

Romantic comedy with heavy fantastic elements.

Subject

As told by the mute prologue in extremely serious style, Earth has been kinda-sorta invaded by a huge, uncommunicative alien ship. Its drones are still peacefully checking things out a year later. Everyone's gotten used to them, but there is a good chance the alien robots will finish their assessment and conquer Earth at some point. One bullied high-school student decides to use his knowledge of sorcery, gleaned from a chest in a litte-known cave by the ocean, to investigate. By his side, from time to time, is the rest of the magic club, which most people believe is just about parlour tricks. Oh, and various people have secret crushes on each other, which is far more important.

Commentary

Well drawn and really cozy. Good music. The many similarities to Castle in the Sky (1986) are a nice touch. Some of the fan service sequences are drawn out a bit too far, but on the whole, they are relatively even-handed and seem well received by female viewers.

References here: Arrival (2016).

Japanese production animation series

Sequel:

Magic User's Club! (1999 IMDb)

Commentary

Sillier and less well drawn. A somewhat darker overarching story.

Japanese production animation series