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Sasami: Mahou Shoujo Club

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A recent (April 2006) 26-episode spin-off from the Tenchi Muyo! cycle, this series features avatars of several of the series' well-known characters, notably Sasami and Washu, in a new alternate universe. The gist of the plot involves five girls who have latent magical powers, which they have been discouraged from using. Their teacher Washu, who has actually come from the world of witches, forms them into a school club, named "The Cooking Club." In fact, though, neither she nor the girls (except Sasami) know the first thing about cooking. So the group becomes a "Magical Girl [Mahou Shoujo] Club," where Washu trains her students how to control and use their powers and takes them periodically to the witch world for a series of competitions.

For a long time the series managed to stay under the radar in the English-speaking world. Those who saw it, mostly through raw unsubbed downloads, agreed that this neglect is undeserved. "It's a pity so little people know of this series. It's brilliant," said Star Crossed Anime Blog, one of only a few online discussions of Sasami from beginning to end. A French anime blogger enthusiastically agreed, saying "Le style graphique reste simple mais assez beau. Certains passages sont meme superbes, dommage que ce soit assez rare." [The graphic style is simple but extremely beautiful. Certain episodes are indeed superb; a shame that it should be so hard to find.]

But now, following a licensed US release of both seasons from Funimation, it is beginning to receive its due. Despite hostile reviews from critics used to magical girl series intended for older audiences, it has gained an appreciative audience: ratings on ANN fall generally in the "good" to "very good" range. I'd rate it the latter -- quick-moving, quirky, full of self-referential play with mahou shoujo cliches, yet with a distinctive flavor of its own. And the artwork -- indeed -- simple yet exquisite, and, as I could see when production art first popped up on YJ, well worth collecting and displaying.

 Sasami portrait

 Misao Casting 1

 Misao Casting 2

 Misao Casting 3

 Makoto and Anri

 Monta Shocked by Itoki's Magic 1

 Monta Shocked by Itoki's Magic 2

 Mokoto Uses Her Magic


 The Mahou Shoujo Club


Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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Presentation 8.80/10   Collection 9.45/10   Overall 9.02/10   Votes 81 votes
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