Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R Review

Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R Review


Back in 2003 when I was still relatively new to anime fandom, I was looking for short anime titles to go through. I had heard about Nurse Witch Komugi-chan clocking in at five episodes, so I decided to give that a watch. I enjoyed the series well enough, but sold my DVD when I needed to raise money years ago. However, because of the nostalgia factor, I decided to give the reboot Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R series a watch. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much to it.

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As a mahou shoujo title, there’s nothing new or interesting about the magic girls of Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R. Because Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Magikarte (as its full Japanese title goes) was in part a parody of the magic girl shows that had been popular before it (taking elements from Mahou Shoujo Pretty Sammy and Cardcaptor Sakura) as well as a parody of other anime of the day, Nurse Witch Komugi-chan had an additional humor factor that is not present in Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R. That’s because Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R does not make proper use of parody. The type of magic girl shows mimicked here are perhaps too old for modern viewers, which only leaves us with parodies of idols, which didn’t do much.

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Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R attempts to draw on elements from its predecessor, only instead of two, rival high school idol babes, we have two middle school best friends. Unfortunately, I think this does more harm than good. For example, when Komugi’s best friend Kokona becomes Magical Maid (not that either know the other in magic girl form), Kokona as Magical Maid adopts the haughty, sadistic form of her predecessor. No real explanation is given to explain this shift in personality, other than the observer presuming Kokona has a suppressed, superior, ojousama element to her.

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In addition, when she’s introduced, Kokona has no memories of being Magical Maid, but then later in the series, she apparently knows she’s Magical Maid as the dictates of the story demand this. As a viewer, I’m just supposed to roll with this without knowing the why’s behind things.

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That leads me to what laughably passes as a plot. Komugi’s introduction into the world of a magic girl is pretty cliched when her mascot character Usa-P gives her the mission of collecting all of the magical Fan-C cards, Cardcaptor Sakura style. No real explanation is given for this card gathering quest, and the Fan-C cards are usually afterthoughts and an excuse to have a monster of the week to fight in a laughable fashion.

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The series “villain” is revealed in the final two episodes, but here too, it is mostly laughable. The writers attempt to provide some depth to the character, but everything comes off cliched. It really is a shame because there could have been more.

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That’s not to say everything was bad. The generic friend girls (who’s names are forgettable) provided a bit of humor here and there, primarily from the rapper chick, yo! However, they were mostly not needed for the series.

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As a character, Komugi was OK I guess. She was somewhat annoying at the beginning and one could see why she was a minor idol rather than a full fledged one like her friend Kokona. However, I did appreciate that the writers allowed Komugi to grow as a character and make her efforts to rise to the next level pay off.

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Kokona as a character gets a little development. While her Magical Maid modifications weren’t explained, Kokona being shown as an ojousama character who’s determined to not only be a top idol, but also decided to get into marathons and such was a nice touch.

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The butch character of Tsukasa gets the most character work done, and I appreciated that. As an idol, Tsukasa plays roles as boys on TV and such and is known to be more masculine, to the point that she’s addressed as Tsukasa-kun by most folks. However, because her true self is quite feminine, there’s a distance between her and the other idols. But when Komugi, then Kokona discover things about her, it was nice to see her become closer to the other girls as friends.

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Further, they allowed Tsukasa have a little romance arc with the male idol of the series, Yuuta. I wasn’t sure they’d provide a payoff here, but they did and I really liked that.

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Finally, while the series may only be average at best, at least the writers didn’t allow it to take itself too seriously. I think this is the element that keeps the series from descending into the realms of the truly awful.

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In the end, Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R was a disappointment to me, more so because I had a nostalgic liking of its predecessor. It wasn’t all bad, but it wasn’t good either.

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