Sasami: Magical Girls Club 2 DVD Review

Sasami: Magical Girls Club 2 DVD Review
Sasami – Magical Girls Club 2
砂沙美☆魔法少女クラブ2
Sasami: Mahou Shoujo Club 2


Sasami Season 2

***SPOILERS***

Sasami: Magical Girls Club 2 DVDIn Sasami, the goal was clearly to firmly establish the characters of the magic girl club (Sasami, Makoto, An-An, Misao, and Tsukasa) as well as set down a bit of the groundwork for a plot. In Sasami 2, plot takes over with most of the character stuff dedicated to Misao. How does it work? Pretty well.

Things pick up with the girls still training to be magic girls, even working on the poses seen in mahou shoujo anime titles or in sentai titles like Power Rangers. The story then follows the Chief Sorceress plan to bring over Sasami’s group to the Magic World, Washu and Daimon’s rescue of the girls, Itoki’s attempt to take them back from Earth, the older magic girl group’s (Shining Star) getting Misao to return with them, Sasami and the others coming to rescue Misao, the truth of the Witch Executives revealed, and then the Chief Sorceress’s decision to fix earth and place it under witch control no matter what the cost.

Certain elements of the story were pretty predictable. Considering Misao’s personality (introvert, not confident), it was pretty predictable that the Chief Sorceress would use Misao’s desire to be someone in her plans and that eventually, Misao would have to be rehabilitated. However, the surprise for me came in some of the execution in making this come to pass. The writers know that this is an old, predictable story so they worked on making the when and where elements the mystery. As a viewer, I appreciated that because then I never knew exactly when Misao would go to the dark side, nor did I know how she would return to the light. Good stuff.

I think another thing that surprised me is how much of a focus Misao is for Sasami 2. An-an, Makoto, and Tsukasa are relegated to supporting character status for the most part as the writers follow Misao’s struggles and then Sasami’s own struggles with her feelings regarding what is happening to her friend as well as her romantic feelings for Ami-chan (Amitav). As such (and combined with the plot elements), Sasami 2 is a darker, angst-filled title with not too many laughs.

Sasami: Magical Girls Club 2 DVDStill, I found Misao’s struggle for acceptance and to be something more of an element that the audience can easily relate to. I could understand why she didn’t want to leave the Magic World the first time. She had found an older-sister type mentor in Ayane (leader of the Shining Star group), she was having fun, and she felt special. I also understood how the darkness she felt at learning the truth of being used made her so powerful, but I also understood how she came around too. So while not a new story theme, I found it interesting nevertheless.

In one of the rare humor moments, I laughed out loud when Misao had reconciled with the group and insisted that they not be too friendly with Monta-kun, the boy she likes in school.

While there are no standout episodes, I do think that the general darker tone of this series makes it stand out a lot. The truth behind Ami-chan is pretty horrific when one thinks about what the witches did to him. Also, the truth of the Executives is something I can see being horrific to younger viewers, though as someone older, it is something I’ve seen before, specifically in an old episode of Doctor Who (“The Five Doctors”).

The child seiyuu perform quite well again. Sasami’s seiyuu even has to sing and does a good job of things. The animation of her and Ami-chan singing in one episode is bad because their mouth-movements don’t match the music at all (both in the Japanese and English versions). I think that was the only awkward, bad moment of the anime.

Bottom line:Sasami 2 sacrifices the joy and wonder of the first series in favor of a darker tone with a plot tied in with character explorations of Misao and Sasami as they struggle with their feelings. So while I do like Sasami 2, I don’t like it for the same reasons I liked Sasami (if that makes sense). Should there be another series (and I think there could be if the production team wanted), I’d watch it for sure.

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6 Responses to “Sasami: Magical Girls Club 2 DVD Review”

  1. MS says:

    Where are the screen captures? 😉

  2. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Yeah, grabbing screen captures off of a DVD is a bit more of a pain in the rear. Since I’ve not really been watching much anime lately outside of “Clannad: After Story,” I’ve just about burned through my entire backlog of reviews (anime and manga), so not getting screen caps also saved time.

  3. Morgeil says:

    Well, since no one on the AFC board seems interested in talking about this, I’ll just post my comments here! (And maybe on my LJ later, after I finish commenting on the last few eps of The Sarah Jane Adventures).

    I agree with you about the fresh, innovative execution of old, well-worn mahou shoujo concepts. The “friend being seduced to the dark side” subplot has been used countless times in the past. But SMGC took its time with it, adding intrigue and making Misao’s plight more introspective… which helped it to not feel as stale as it probably should have.

    Aha! “The Five Doctor’s” analogy is a very good one. That didn’t even cross my mind. Excellent point! The concept does make a lot of sense when you compare it to Rassilon’s Tomb…

    I think Washu Kozuka is now my second favorite Washu after the original OAV incarnation. I find it endearing that as much as she complains, she really *does* deeply care for the girls underneath and puts her neck out constantly to insure their safety. Defying the Chief Sorceress herself for the girls’ welfare and getting tortured as a result was probably her defining scene in the series.

    (I’m not sure what to say about the Washu/Daimon/Itoki… thing. That’s one of the most bizarre triangles I’ve ever seen. o_O)

    I love Tsukasa! Probably my favorite of the SMGC-specific characters. Her humor is just so offbeat and random, I love it! She make me laugh out loud several times.

    Bottomline: My favorite of the Pretty Sammy-related (er, sort of) universe by far. A lot of excellent writing and thought went into this. Not to mention some AWESOME CGI (Itoki’s water dragons look amazing!).

    Is is sacrilege to say that I might prefer another season of this than OAV 4? 😉

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Thanks for the comments. Glad to see someone knew what I was referring to regarding “Doctor Who” though. I was a bit hesitant at first to use it, but thought, “what the heck.” ^_^

    Is is sacrilege to say that I might prefer another season of this than OAV 4? 😉

    Not at all. “Sasami” and “Sasami 2” are good series and as such, I would love to see another series, should AIC go that route.

  5. mjhennessey says:

    Only recently have I been able to see both Sasami 1 and 2 and I really enjoyed both. Rather than being a rerun of Magical Project S, this show was rather quirky and interesting and had a lot of freshness that I haven’t seen in a Tenchi series in a very long time. The portrayal of each character’s inner turmoil, especially Misao and Sasami, was really well done. Magical Project S took a stab at this in a couple of episodes, but Sasami Magical Girls’ Club hits the mark! ^_^

  6. Kit says:

    I really loved this series but I would have loved it even more if they had gone further into Washu’s, Daimon’s, and Itoki’s past. They just left us with little teasers. It’s been driving me nuts trying to imagine just what their lives where like before the whole Magical Girl thing. So if another series is made I really hope they at least make that the focus of at least one of the episodes.

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