Magical Destroyers – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

I don’t do a lot of research for seasonal anime these days so the only bit of marketing I saw for Magical Destroyers is the key visual currently used on LiveChart. I took one glance at it and figured this show would be occasional dark magical girl series. After seeing the first episode, I don’t believe the show to be that…but it is certainly out of the norm.

As far as I can tell, Magical Destroyers takes place in the futuristic year of 2011. Otakus across Japan have been at war with a government faction that has confiscated everything nerdy and imprisoned members of the former. The show particularly centers around one resistance movement led by a young man simply known as Otaku Hero (Makoto Furukawa). Accompanying him are a talking, flying creature named Kyotaro (Tomori Kusunoki) and three magical girls: Anarchy (Ai Fairouz), Blue (Ami Terakawa), and Pink. Anarchy is initially the only magical girl available to fight though she and Otaku Hero rescue Blue from imprisonment at the end of the episode.

If all of this sounds really stupid, that’s because it is. It’s entirely possible that this show may get dark down the line but right now, it is really darn silly. There currently isn’t any logical reason as to why the government decided to rid Japan of otaku culture or detain a bunch of otakus. My only guess is that they think otakus are bunch of degenerates, which would admittedly be accurate but that probably shouldn’t warrant an all-out war. Also absurd is the existence of magical girls. Everyone in the resistance appear to have known about them for some time and we the audience are just expected to go along with it. How do these girls have their powers? Your guess is currently as good as mine.

Admittedly, I’d be lying if I said some of the absurdity didn’t work for me. To this premiere’s credit, it does deliver some pretty entertaining moments towards the end. I particularly enjoy the rescue mission where Anarchy gets to show off her magical girl powers to comical effect. A giant robot attempts to take her down and not only does Anarchy come out of it unscathed, she sets up a kotatsu and enjoys a cup of tea just to make light of her enemy. That’s so ridiculous and the show times it so well that I can’t help but find it funny. Also amusing is the revelation that Blue only got kidnapped because she’s horny and the enemy lured her in with the false promise of a date. It’s dumb but I thought the anticlimax made for a good joke. Hopefully, the show can keep piling on jokes such as these.

One major concern I have with this show is its main character, Otaku Hero. I can see him working as the everyman and a comically useless character when the magical girls are off fighting something. Thing is though, I don’t really get what makes the girls so attached to him. This episode has Otaku Hero feeling weary of the war and handing his leadership over to Anarchy. He resumes leadership after seeing Anarchy risk her life but the show doesn’t really specify how much better he is for the role than Anarchy. His plan to rescue Blue is simply using a blimp and having Anarchy do all the heavy lifting. Ultimately, it feels contrived when Anarchy says she wants to Otaku Hero as her leader. Maybe if we saw more of these two’s shared past, the relationship would work more but the best we get is a quick flashback montage. Right now, I don’t see how integral this guy is to the plot. And if the joke is that he isn’t, I’ve yet to to find it hilarious. Hopefully, with more episodes, this gets ironed out.

Watch Magical Destroyers on Crunchyroll

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