Reviews of Mahoujin Guru-Guru (1994) and related work

Mahoujin Guru-Guru (1994Moving picture, 19 hours)

The hero parties up with his adoring magician and sets out to defeat the evil lord who threatens the land again after 300 years of peace. Cowardly, shy and often lazy, the two adventurers eventually find themselves allied with the Society of Black Magic while a creepy old hula-clad man stalks them around the world, looking for disciples who can pass on his ritual dance. The party’s magician, 12-year-old Kukuri, soon becomes the primary protagonist. Because she is the last of a powerful though not always dignified tribe, Kukuri’s magic is the only kind that can harm the evil master at the end of their long journey.

Fantasy console-CRPG parody in a cute mode. Primarily a children’s series, perhaps aimed at the 12-13 age span of the protagonists, but remarkably extensive and coherent for its genre.

Apart from having lots of good jokes and exuding highly infectious nostalgia applicable even to TRPG veterans this show exhibits exactly the right amount of actual worldbuilding and causality to go the distance, remaining almost consistently funny for 45 episodes.

A note on the title: A mahoujin is a magic pattern, which is what Kukuri draws on the ground to cast her spells. Her patterns are based on large circles and she therefore turns round and round to make them, even dancing while doing so towards the end of the series. Guru-guru is an informal onomatopoeic expression for spinning around, and it’s also the technical term for Kukuri’s school of magic.

References here: Berserk (2016), Disenchantment (2018).

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction series

“Mahoujin Guru-Guru: The Movie” (1996Moving picture, 30 minutes)

The duo sets out to find the Pickle of Happiness.

Half-hour “film” version. In effect a slightly extended extra episode with a bigger budget. It’s sad to see both girls fawning for Nike like that.

moving picture sequel animation Japanese production fiction