Nurse Witch Komugi Complete Collection (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Mark Thomas
Review Date: Thursday, February 05, 2009
Release Date: Tuesday, December 30, 2008

 

What They Say
A magical nurse is born. The Earth is in dire peril.

The evil Ungrar is poised to unleash a horde of viruses upon an unsuspecting populace. The Goddess of the Vaccine World, Maya, has sent her helper, Mugimaru, to find a defender to save the Earth and eradicate the viruses plaguing it.

Enter Komugi, a seventeen-year-old cosplay idol. She's not really much of one, but she does her best. Now that she's empowered with magical Nurse Witch skills, she's going to have her work cut out for her. Between doing her cosplay jobs, fighting disease and dealing with all the weirdness, it's not going to be easy. And it doesn't help that Ungrar has singled out her best friend Koyori to be the instrument of his infectious plan. Let's hope Komugi wins the fight to make the Earth safe again - stat!

The Review!
Audio:
For this viewing, I listened to the English dub, which is offered in 5.1. A Japanese 2.0 track is also available. The audio was really well done in this; the different tracks were clear, with no dropout on the dialogue. There was some nice directionality present in the sound effects, though speech stayed on the center track. It was a bit surprising that this was given the 5.1 treatment, but that is never unappreciated.

Video:
Shown in 4:3, this title has a gorgeous transfer. It is a very colorful show, and the colors came through beautifully. There are no technical problems, and the images are crisp and clear, with clean lining. It even does a really good job with the many effects from different genres that come on display during the parodies. All in all, it was really well done.

Packaging:
The packaging is nice, though fairly standard. Both discs fit in a standard size Amaray case. The front has a picture of Komugi and Koyori posing in their magical outfits, with Mugimaru and Posokichi hanging off of them. Komugi’s skirt is being pulled up in the back, which Mugimaru is actually doing with a fishing rod, though that is cut off on this cover. The back has a shot of Komugi laying in an attempt at a sexy pose in her magical nurse outfit along the top, with series summary, screen shots, and technical details all below. There is one minor typo, as the back says the series is approximately 120 minutes, but it is in actuality closer to 180. The discs have close-ups of Mugimaru (disc 1) and Posokichi (disc 2). Overall, the imagery reflects the mood of the show pretty well.

Menu:
The menu is pretty amusing. On the first disc, the menu is slightly animated, as the first second or so zooms in on Komugi sleeping at a desk, while Mugimaru floats in the night sky through the window behind her. Selections are to the left, with one for each episode, along with languages and extras. The second has Komugi standing in her bathing suit, with a ring float around her waist, while a close up of her in stealth camouflage is in the background. This time, the selections are along the right. The selections and highlights stand out well. While the menu is up, the opening theme plays. My only real beef with the menu is that the loop is fairly short, so the opening half verse of the theme song plays over, and over, and over…

Extras:
There are a fairly decent amount of extras on this release. Aside from a clean opening and closing, there are also character introductions, production sketches, and Japanese TV spots. There is also a director and cast commentary for episode 2 and a 20 minute documentary called “How to Anime,” which is essentially a behind the scenes look at the making of Komugi. There is a fair amount here to get through.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Nurse Witch Komugi is a six episode OVA series based on The SoulTaker anime series; it even uses the same characters. However, while The SoulTaker was a pretty dark series, Nurse Witch Komugi is anything but. It is instead a parody of both The SoulTaker and of the Magical Girl genre, with a healthy dose of fanservice thrown in for good measure. In the end, it is what it is, it does not pretend to be any different, and it manages to be pretty enjoyable without overstaying its welcome.

While Kyosuke Date was the main character in The SoulTaker, Nurse Witch Komugi instead follows his secret paramour, Komugi. In this version, Komugi is a popular magical girl idol whose specialty is dressing as a Magical Nurse. All of the guys love her, and she is called upon to advertise and promote many events and products. Unfortunately, she is a bit of a klutz, and so she usually manages to screw everything up, much to the chagrin of Ms. Yui, the president of Kiri Pro—the talent agency at which Komugi works, and Shiro, Komugi’s manager. However, her fans love her nonetheless despite her ditzy personality

But Komugi has a secret. With the assistance of her perverted rabbit sidekick, Mugimaru, Komugi has been chosen to defend Earth from a plague of viruses released on it by the evil Ungrar and his helper, Koyori. Koyori is another magical girl idol, though a Magical Maid, who in real life is Komugi’s best friend, but she unknowingly changes into the main antagonist when viruses need spreading. Koyori is also helped by a small animal friend, the raccoon-like Posokichi, but Posokichi does not have as big a part as Mugimaru.

When called upon, Komugi goes through the standard magical girl transformation scene to become the Nurse Witch, though in reality, her Nurse Witch outfit is the exact same as her Magical Nurse Idol costume. Much like her daily job, Komugi typically messes up everything she has to do to save the Earth, but she is lucky enough that her ineptitude always puts her in the right place at the right time, allowing her to ultimately defeat the evil.

Each episode is a self contained storyline. Usually, Komugi is on some job when a virus hits where she then has to leave her post to save the world, making her job a failure. Interestingly, she never seems to notice that her arch-nemesis is the same person as her best friend, despite Koyori’s idol costume and magical outfit being the same too. It just adds to the ditzyness of Komugi. Oddly, Ungrar never makes an appearance, not even his voice, but that just adds to the amusement.

Where Nurse Witch Komugi really shines is with the parodies. While the entire series is a parody of the Magical Girl genre, each individual episode also tends to parody another popular property or genre. For example, my favorite is in the second episode, when Komugi becomes all five members of G-Force from Battle of the Planets (Gatchaman): Mark, Jason, Princess, Tiny, and Keyop, including a brief appearance from 7-Zark-7. She even sends the Phoenix through its transformation stage, by collecting each of the other G-Force vehicles, and into Fiery Phoenix mode. Since she cannot do anything right, though, she actually causes an explosion for the Phoenix to catch fire. Each episode has a similar theme, but I particularly liked this one because at this point, Battle of the Planets is a fairly obscure property. They really reached back for that one.

Each of the characters thus far mentioned first appeared in The SoulTaker; all of the other characters make an appearance in Nurse Witch Komugi, as well. Kyosuke is a popular teen idol whom Komugi still has a crush on, as does everybody else. Then there are Megumi, Runa, and Asuka—all of whom also work with Komugi at Kiri Pro. Megumi is Komugi’s rival, as she has much greater sex appeal than Komugi and is continually jealous of the attention that Komugi gets. Runa is a child star who is young enough to get everything she asks for, but also old enough to understand how to use that to her advantage. And Asuka is a failing movie actress, who does modeling with Kiri Pro to keep herself in the business. These characters are mostly window dressing to the overall plot, but much of the humor comes from Komugi’s interactions with them.

At six episodes, Nurse Witch Komugi is also just the right length. Much of the humor is physical and perverted, and it is funny at first, but it slowly starts to lose its charm as many of the jokes tend to repeat. Komugi’s flat chest is a constant punch line, for example. The different parodies help keep the episodes from being completely repetitive, but the humor does start to wear thin after a while. If it had been any longer, I would have started to get annoyed; as it is, it probably could have done to be a little bit shorter—episode 2.5 was particularly pointless as it was just an excuse to play some music videos—but it had not yet started to irritate me, so it works out.

In Summary:
Nurse Witch Komugi is a title that ends up being what it is, and not much more. It is a parody of Magical Girl shows with a lot of repetitive perverted humor and some truly great parodies of older anime properties. At six episodes, it does not ask for a huge time commitment, but it certainly ends at just the right time. Any longer, and it would have started working on my nerves. As it is, it might be worth a look if the premise sounds at all interesting. Mildly recommended.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Memorex MVD2042 Progressive Scan w/ DD/DTS (Component Connection), Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System



Mania Grade: B
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B+
Extras Rating: B+
Age Rating: 16 and Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: ADV Films
MSRP: 34.98
Running time: 120
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Nurse Witch Komugi