You know, I’ve never really been a big fan of magical girl shows. I just haven’t. You could say it’s because I’m a guy, sure, but I feel that any show should be able to transcend the gender and age gap and still be good. I mean Pretear sucked but Madoka was okay…. and um… I’m sure I’ll think of another one at some point. (Other than Sailor Jupiter, Venus, and Jedite, I found Sailor Moon to be REALLY REALLY boring)
However, about a decade ago, I saw an OVA called Nurse Witch Komugi. And I loved it. Why did I love it? Well, it was short, sweet, and it was extremely self referential and treated itself as a parody of the genre with over the top comedy and flat out making fun of how insane the genre is in itself. So when I heard that they were going to make a series based on it, I was really excited. Yes, a lot of it was nostalgia, but that can be a strong tool.
Unfortunately, this can lead to some major disappointment if the material isn’t treated with the same care the original was. to me, THIS is Nurse Witch Komugi
Instead, for some reason, to which I cannot understand or figure out, this series….gets toned down. So yes. Instead of being a comedic parody, They decide, at least in the first episode, to take this pretty much as a straight, generic, magical girl show. And honestly, it is really really lackluster and disappointing. However, I guess I should tell you the plot. All right fine.
So the episode starts up with Komugi having a generic dream about becoming a famous pop idol.
She wakes up to find that she has to go to school. It turns out that she actually IS an idol, but not a very famous one. Her friend Koyori is also an idol, but is more popular than her and actually has made appearances in some movies.
After Koyori has to go to work on the movie, Komugi is walking down the street and sees a little mascot, rabbit thing being picked on, so she saves it and puts bandages on it.
Okay. Before I move on. A few things.
- If they were trying to make it a joke that this is overdone, they make no joke here. They play this ‘saving the small thing’ entirely seriously like it’s the first time anyone’s done it. I didn’t sense any tongue-in-cheek and there was a LOT of missed potential in this scene
2. HOW did they fuck up his design? I mean look.
How exactly did they fuck that up? He looks NOTHING like he did last time. It’s not exactly a hard design to copy. I mean, I can’t draw and “I” could draw that. You made everyone else look the same so why did you change that? Oh no wait. Hang on a sec. They didn’t, did they? This is Koyori now.
This is Koyori from the original OVA
Now, I’m not saying that it’s necessarily BAD to de-sexualize a character that was originally a certain way, but the entire point of her character in the original OVA was that she had two personalities and was basically batshit insane evil half the time. She was SUPPOSED to be crazy and over the top. Her entire POINT was to be super hot, over the top, and comedic.
Direct from Wikipedia “The story of the anime itself is basically a parody of the magical girl anime genre.”
They literally take EVERYTHING out of it that makes it a parody and are turning it into a generic, boring magical girl show to which I say “Why the fuck would you do that?”
Anyway to continue, the mascot says that he’s grateful and wants to make her a magical girl to thank her. She refuses and goes off to her concert, which is really singing for a pharmacy. She finishes it well enough and decides to go home.
The mascot shows up again and asks her to become a magical girl again. She refuses but then a cockroach shows up and she agrees to become one if he’ll get rid of it.
He does, but she has to head over to the movie studio because it turns out that she has received a small part as a middle school student.
However, upon arriving at the studio a movie camera gets turned into a monster through some weird magic and the mascot senses it, and tells her that she has to transform. She does and then we get to pretty much the ONLY funny part of the episode that if you blink, you miss it. This villain’s power is to transform something into its funny film version if it hits it with its beam. and he fires at a standee of these guys
Which….if you’ve been reading my reviews, you’ll find this funny, and they turn into this.
Yep. That’s right. In a quick second joke, they decided to rip on Yoru No Yatterman. Which….Is funny to me because I find it amusing that THIS show has the balls to rip on Yoru No Yatterman. Their first episode kicked ass. What’s your excuse Komugi?
Eventually she defeats it and gets its card. Because…you know…THAT’S never been done before.
She goes back to do her scene but oh boy, she missed it. And that’s where the episode ends basically.
This first episode…did not impress me. The original OVA had such a fun, parody charm to it that made me laugh and find amusement in it, even though i’m not really a fan of the magical girl genre. However, this series seems to have ripped out anything that even remotely existed in the original.
You can’t just copy ideas from other magical girl shows and call it “a parody”. If you don’t bring attention to it, and it isn’t for comedy, that’s just you blatantly ripping things off. A parody scene would be her getting her getting the card, then saying “that’s fucking stupid” and ripping the card up watching the mascot freaking out. THAT’S an attempt at comedy. Goddamn it man, MOETAN was more of a parody, and that show was pretty goddamn creepy as it was.
They can’t even get the original source material right. The whole point of her being a NURSE WITCH was that she fought viruses from powers from the planet Vaccine. Not that she fought random evil. She heals people and fights viruses. Hence the NURSE part.
I know people sometimes want to take series on different routes. Hell, as you know, I LOVED Attack on Titan Junior High, but that had a purpose. I just don’t see the need to take a show that was basically made as a parody, and turn it into a generic magical girl show. I..I just don’t see it.
Head: They really dropped the ball on this. A full on parody series of the magical girl genre had SO SO SO much potential. Especially with the series that have come out recently? You could have made this batshit insane and made some great jokes, including of Madoka! I don’t know WHY they toned everything down 90% to the point that this series, other than the artwork is COMPLETELY unrecognizable. I don’t even know what this show is anymore. This episode was VERY generic, VERY long, and VERY boring. The plot dragged, it has been done 1000 times before, and failed at the one thing it was supposed to be. Funny. 3/10
Eye: The art in the original OVA was better (as OVAs tend to be) but this is really the one thing I can’t complain about. It’s still very pretty and the artwork does remind me of the old days. So it gets points for that. Eye: 7/10
Heart: As of the first episode, I don’t give a single solitary crap about any of these characters. I know I’ve used the word “Generic” a LOT in this review, but that’s the best way to describe it. I remember everyone in this OVA having emotions that were larger than life. Here they’re subdued and act like every magical girl character ever. This isn’t Nurse Witch Komugi, this is “Generic Magical girl show #492”
I am not saying that people shouldn’t take chances on old properties. I’m not saying that. I’m also not saying that everything should stay the same as it was due to nostalgia. What I AM saying, is perhaps taking a parody series and revamping it to be serious……isn’t the best idea. That would be like taking Excel Saga and remaking the entire series to be as serious as the one where she gets shot. It’s odd, and it doesn’t fit for longer than a joke. If they ran most of this episode as serious as a JOKE and towards the end they realized they couldn’t keep it up anymore and broke down, THAT would have been hilarious. But they don’t. They play it straight and every character I come across is a boring, useless nothing. I don’t care about anyone, and I don’t even know what their plight is. 3/10
Honestly, this show made me sad. I expected so much and got so little. Am I going to keep watching? Well….I’m going to try at least a few more episodes and see how it goes. I’m not ready to give up yet. Maybe it gets better….I don’t know. I’m just hoping that somewhere in there is the show I loved. Maybe it will come back…maybe.
Watching: I guess
Blogging: ….for now.