Maburaho: Complete Collection (Thinpak) - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: B-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: TV 14
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 69.98
  • Running time: 600
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Maburaho

Maburaho: Complete Collection (Thinpak)

It’s Harry Potter meets I Dream of Jeannie!

By Erica Friedman     July 23, 2009
Release Date: June 24, 2008


Maburaho: Complete Collection (Thinpak)
© ADV Films

Shikimori Kazuki, an apparent doormat of a high-school student, has within him tremendous potential for power, which sets the stage for yet another harem anime with magic, made to sound worse than it really is by the salacious copy below.

What They Say
High school student Kazuki Shikimori attends school at the elite Aoi Academy where students learn the intricacies of using their magical powers. Blessed with highly sought-after DNA Kazuki is cursed. He can only use his powers eight times until he turns into dust. Enter three magical hotties Yuna, Kuriko and Yin. These lovely ladies join forces to help Kazuki increase his magical powers. But are they after his heart or his DNA?

The Review!
Shikimori Kazuki, an apparent doormat of a high-school student, has within him tremendous potential for power, which sets the stage for yet another harem anime with magic, made to sound worse than it really is by the salacious copy below.

The Review!
Audio:

The Japanese track (of which there was only one) sounds just fine and clear, with no interference or fuzziness. The English voice track is likewise just fine. Why the heck can't American VAs learn to pronounce names!!!!111111

Video:

The video quality is clear. The art is unsophisticated and, dare I say it, cartoonish,  so it will hold up well in nearly any resolution. This anime would probably look as good on an iPod as it does on a TV screen.

Packaging:

The packaging is the classic cardboard box decorated with as much service as possible, containing the 5 DVDs of the series.

Menu:

Vertical menu that lists the number of each episode, complemented by baum-chick-a-baum-baum background music. The only other choice is for Language, with one English and one Japanese soundtrack available.

Extras:

There are no physical extras. The final DVD of the set lists DVD Credits and ADV previews, with no additional video extras.

Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

At a famous school for magic, Shikimori Kazuki is a doormat of a guy, with failing grades and low magic levels. In fact, he can only use his magic eight times. At this school, where power and status are measured by how many times and how powerful a person's magic is, Kazuki is doomed to be a failure.

A girl from Kazuki's past, Miyama Yuna, arrives and claims to be Kazuki's wife. Kamishiro Rin, a powerful swordswoman, is ordered to marry Kazuki. School chairman, Kazetsubaki Kuriko attempts to seduce him. It turns out that Kazuki's genes

are chock-full of powerful magic and while he himself is not a high-status magician, his descendants are likely to be. When the truth is found out, all the girls in the school suddenly want Kazuki's genes.

The boys in the class protest, Kazuki is tried by his class, war breaks out. Yuna's proclamation of her marriage to Kazuki is not recognized, In order to go out with Yuna, Kazuki has to get consent of the entire class. Kazuki, convinced that Yuna only wants his genes, rejects her, until he is prompted by the school doctor, Akai, and remembers his past promise with Yuna. Running after her, he uses his magic to show her that he now remembers her and their promise to be together. They make up, but their class does not forgive them.

Yuna moves in with Kazuki. They discover the ghost of an exiled noble, Elizabeth, who lives in his dorm room. They find an abandoned building for her to live in. Kuriko says she'll help if Kazuki sleeps with her. The building is demolished, Elizaeth blames them for its destruction and goes berserk. Kazuki is forced to use his magic to save Yuna. Elizabeth decides that Kuriko looks like her mother and decides to stay with her.

Rumors of a strange beast's howls are heard around the school, while Kazuki dreams of  being attacked by a beast. Kazuki and the three girls investigate the rumors. The boys of Kazuki's class (who are obsessed with money and power) are raising an magic creature in secret. Kuriko confronts the Doctor, who admits that he has a summoned creature in the office to draw Kazuki's power out, and so he sent the prophetic dreams. Yuna discovers the boy's secret summoned creature. The creatures turn on Kuriko, Kazuki has to save her with his magic.

Meanwhile Rin has a crush on Nanba, a science geek. Yuna hears weird noises at night, she and Kazuki investigate the basement, but it's Kuriko, watching Rin cook in secret. She wants to cook for Nanba, who is transferring soon. After some cosplay scenes with Rin,  Kazuki uses his magic to stop the lunch from spilling and ruining Rin's dream. In the end, Rin never gives Nanba the lunch, but gives it to Kazuki, who says it's terrible.

Kazuki gets a phone call, his parents are coming this weekend. Rin, Kuriko and Yuna compete to be recognized as his wife by them. After each girl practices a skill she has difficulty with, Kazuki's parents have to cancel.

4 days to the school festival. Yamase Chihaya, a childhood friend, reminisces about howKazuki has always been kind to women. She comes to ask if Kazuki's class would do a play with her class. Kazuki's class agrees, but only so they can sabotage the play and make her class look bad. Kazuki uses his magic to be the hero and save the play from the beast his class summons.

A little boy  tries to steal important jewels from the greediest, most duplicitous guy in Kazuki's class, Nakamaru. He tells the class that they are worth millions, but they were lost and he just "found" them. This episode is a vehicle for Kuriko, Yuna and Rin to reflect on why they find themselves falling for Kazuki for real. It turns out that the jewels were lost by three girls in the boy's class and, like Kazuki, he was just being kind.

Kuriko's network finds a hot spring that will increase Kazuki's magic count. Kuriko makes it a condition that Yuna can't come. Yuna comes anyway, of course, and she, Kazuki and the rest have to play baseball against spring spirits, to gain spell count. Kazuki uses her magic in order to not lose, but gets a spell count of one as a replacement.

The three girls plan on how to save Kazuki and restore his magic. Weird potions, exercise, medical treatment, they try it all. They identify a magatama that had been worn by  a former student, which could give him more power. They trace it back to Dr. Akai, who tells them about a girl and her sister. They learn the connection between the sisters, a tree and the magatama. The three girls use their magic to heal the magatama, and thus the tree, so Kazuki doesn't use have to use his magic.

Yuna's father sends a spell that should increase magic, but Yuna mistakenly opens it. Her shadow into a "bad girl" version of herself. The bottle was not to restore Kazuki's magic, it was a magic virus that takes the form of the person who opens it, but with the opposite personality, so it will hate Kazuki as much as she loves him. Yuna is now infected with a terminal disease. Kazuki (shall we all say this together?) uses his magic to save them all.

Yuna's cough is worse. She asks Kazuki to not use his remaining magic no matter what. Kazuki, Rin and Kuriko realize something serious is up, so they ask the doctor, who tells them she will turn into ash from the virus. The Doctor tells them that the only way to save her is to overwhelm the virus with strong magic. Kazuki uses his magic, but Yuna is still sick, so he uses it once more, using his magic up and causing his own body to turn to ash, but he does not disappear - he has become a ghost.

Although he is now a ghost, Kazuki is still trying to participate in school life. He meets a woman who wants to make him a complete ghost then add him to her collection. The girls all think he's two-timing them - Yuna follows and saves him, in order to scream at him.

The woman comes back for Kazuki and tells him he might be able to return to human form, but says she'll persuade him to stay a ghost.  Kazuki rejects her, determined to become human again, while the girls fight their way to save him and are captured. The woman says that if he becomes part of her collection, the girls will be released. Before he can agree to become part of the collection, they are all saved by Rin. Ghost turns out tobe Dr Akai's sister, Shino.

Rin is being tested, she's being attacked every day by the man who is her guardian and teacher - a demi-human named Shunji over a hundred years old. Rin says she's engaged to Kazuki, who will have to endure a test to be proved worthy. Shunji is defeated. Rin realizes her feelings for her "older brother" as he dies.

Kuriko has a secret. They all follow as she meets a suspicious guy, takes money from him and head off on what they assume is a paid date. They see him offer a ring and ask her to marry him - she says yes. Elizabeth  throws a fit that she won't be able to be with Kuriko anymore. They discover the guy is a scammer, try to "warn" Kuriko, who gestures that she gets it and they should leave.  They don't clue in at all, but the place is now surrounded by police. When they learn thatKuriko was hired by the police to catch a notorious fraudster, she and Elizabeth are reconciled.

During the annual Magic diagnostic. Nakamaru learns he's got powerful genes.  Kazuki reacts badly and wanders off, dejected. Rin and Kuriko are ordered to get Nakamaru's genes and he becomes even more of a megalomaniac that usual. Kuriko and Rin agree to ignore the orders. The dorm andlady convinces Kazuki to not try and disappear. The girls and boys beat up Nakamaru, then they all learn it was all a mistake, it was Kazuki's genes after all that had that potential.

During a school trip to Kyoto, Kazuki and Yuna are visiting temple with the class president, Morisaki, when they are suddenly surrounded by assassins. Morisaki is attacked again, but Rin arrives and stops them, even though their families are enemies. The kids in class set up a duel between Rin and Morisaki to try and make money. Chaos occurs, the place is wrecked, and the class is actually out money. Kazuki's old friend Chihaya, who transferred after she was attacked at the school festival shows up, but before he can say anything all four of the girls drop to the ground, possessed.

Every time the girls are near Kazuki, they become possessed by a need to 'touch him. Each girl gets a few moments alone with Kazuki. Shino, who created the spell, still wants to make him into a perfect ghost. Yuna and Chihaya save Kazuki, and in doing so return some of his ashes to him.

A clip episode replays Kazuki's relationship with Yuna. Using the landlady returning abox lunch to Yuna as a vehicle, the story of Kazuki's magic is recapped.

Kuriko uses the occasion of a "Cinderella Party' to try and find a way to return her part of Kazuki's ashes to him. Kuriko blames herself for not truly loving Kazuki, so he can't be human again. She goes to kiss him goodbye and his ashes return to him. Shino tells Rin that as soon as all of Kazuki's ashes are returned to him, he'll lose his memory and forget about everyone.

They all go out on a date in order to allow Rin to restore her part of Kazuki's ashes. Rin blames herself for Kazuki becoming a ghost. Kazuki promises to do something nice for everyone when he gets his body back. Rin goes through her crisis of feelings for him, as Kuriko did, but in the end, restores her part of his ashes. As he becomes human again, she makes him promise to remember everything, He is restored, and remembers everything.

However, Kazuki begins to fade again almost immediately, because he is still missing a part of his ashes. After  investigating in Kazuki's memories, they find that his affection is split between Chihaya and Yuna and that they each still have some of his ashes.

Yuna wants to restore the ashes, Chihaya does not. Chihaya resents the fact that Kazuki had to use his magic for Yuna, especially as she herself worked so hard so he would never use it.  Yuna and Chihaya argue, Rin and Kuriko go off to get them, they fight with Chihaya to bring her back to Kazuki's side. They all share their thoughts about Kazuki and convince Chihaya to  give up the ashes. They restore him to his human form.

In the final episode, Kazuki wakes up. He greets the landlady and gets yelled at by Yuna. Shino checks his family chart and realizes that his genes are great and is now among the ones that want his genes. He eats Rin's terrible cooking, gets yelled at by Yuna. Kuriko tries to seduce him, he gets yelled at by Yuna.  After he was restored to human form,  there are now multiple Kazukis. The Doctor says it's his magic - he created multiples of himself so people wouldn't fight over him. Bwa~wa~ waaahhhh.

In summary:

Get yer muted trombone and a pile of sweatdrops, rightchere! Most of the gags here are ancient. On the other hand, for a series full of fanservice, little of it is breathtakingly awful. It's hardly high art but, if you're a fifteen-year old guy, or the emotional equivalent, I can think of way worse to suggest.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, 3 discs of Extras, Textless Opening/Ending, Tokyo University Lectures, "Today and Tomorrow are the Same" Music Video, Original Promotion Trailers. Tokyo TV Cast Discussion.

Review Equipment
RCA F32648 33" TV, Phillips DVP140/37 DIVx Ultra DVD player, no additional sound system.
 

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