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Exclusive review: Inu-Yasha:
Rumiko Takahashi's (Ranma 1/2, Maison Ikkoku, Mermaid Tales) new hit TV series in Japan
  Rating: PG-13
  U.S. Distribution Rights: Media Blasters
  Genres: Comedy, Action, Romance

Mahou Tsukai Tai! (OVA)
Alternate Titles: I Want to Learn Magic!, Magic-User's Club

Description:    A strange alien object invades the Earth and then does nothing but watch. Meanwhile, Takeo-kun forms a "Magic-User's Club" in school recruiting close friend Ayanosuke, sophomore Sae and Nanako, and Akane. In an effort to impress the girls, Takeo leads the inexperienced club on an attack against the space invaders, while trying to get the hang of their magic and trying to keep them from quitting. Then there's the school's Manga club, taking their room space. All the while Sae tries to make herself feel useful while trying coming to grips with her "respect" for "Takeo-sempai".

Overall Grade: 91% (A-)

The Mahou Tsukai Tai! TV (TV) Review

  Reviewer #1: Kane Tung
  Episodes reviewed: OVA 1-6 (subtitled)
Grade: 92% (A-)
   One thing about being in a close-knit group in school (or church or anime clubs...), there are always several things going on. Hidden feelings, secret romances, tested friendships, and self-doubt are some of the biggest things that go on in groups. They're also one of the most popular themes in anime, so it's natural to create an anime that's specifically about a club. And this light-hearted, but touching series does it so well.

There's the leader Takeo-kun, who is one of the founders of a Magic-User's club. He's a geek whose best traits would never be seen other than this club. There's his friend Ayanosuke. The "cool-cat", smartest person in the group. He sees the special traits in Takeo. He's also in love with Takeo.

Then there's sophomore Sae. She also sees Takeo's "specialness," but her clumsiness and self-doubts keep her from voicing her feelings as well as utilizing her full magic— even though she's potentially the strongest Magic-User there. It's a heart-fult and not-predictable path that she and Takeo take together.

There's about a hundred other things going on: there's gorgeous Akane, who doesn't really participate in the group but is part of it. And Sae's best friend Nanako, who's in love with Ayanosuke. I wish I could describe it all because every thing going on could be an anime series of its own, but they're all wonderfully blended into one rich anime.

Oh, yeah. There're the Space Invaders that Takeo proposes to attack to impress the girls (and regrets it immediately). The action is realistic, the story is funny (imagine how much your butt hurts sitting on a broom or bar high in the air), and the characters are touching. What's so wonderul about this is how the characters actually change as they experience and learn, and how the lessons they learn changes the viewers they touch as well.

  Reviewer #2: Clyde Adams III
  Episodes reviewed: 1-6, subtitled
Grade: 90% (A-)
   This is a very funny, delightful, engaging fantasy, highly recommended. The art is beautiful, and the music, production values, and character designs are all of very high quality.

The story focuses on the characters and emotions of the high-school-age sorcerers. Their friendships, their unrequited and/or unexpressed loves, their fragile egos, and their humiliations are touchingly portrayed. Their characters are developed in loving detail, and we can't help but identify with them, even as we can't help but laugh at their mostly self-made predicaments. While there are real life-or-death crises that arise, the most important crises in the series, the crises that get the most attention, are crises of confidence. The message-- "believe in yourself"-- may seem trite, but it's expressed superbly here.

The style of the art is flamboyant, rather than pseudo-realistic, contributing to the comic effect. The huge, silly-looking peaked witches' hats, the thunderbird-shaped magic wands, and the often rubberlike faces of the characters are all part of this style.

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