Manga / Magical Circle Guru-Guru

"A long time ago, the evil Giri, who controlled devilish black magic, attempted to dominate the world and unleashed many monsters. Confronted by a formidable enemy, the Kodai Kingdom asked for the help of a Dark Magic User from a particular tribe and succeeded in sealing off Giri. However, after 300 years, the evil Giri is now freed from the seal and once again threatens the world. To rid the world of this terror, the chosen Hero and Magic User began their long and tough adventure."
Episode Prologue

When the King of Kodai makes a proclamation demanding a hero come forward, a village man Bado sends his son Nike to see the local witch so he can take up the call. The witch tells Nike that to combat Giri he needs the power of the magic of "Guru Guru" which the Migu Migu tribe alone could use. Fortunately, it just so happens that the witch has been raising the last of the Migu Migu, Kukuri, in secret. Together, the reluctant Nike and naive Kukuri set out to face the evil Giri.

Magical Circle Guru-Guru (Mahoujin Guru Guru) is a sixteen volume manga by Hiroyuki Eto that follows Kukuri and Nike's adventures. Eleven volumes of the manga were covered in a 45 episode anime series and a 38 episode sequel series, Doki Doki Densetsu Mahoujin Guru Guru. A manga sequel, Mahoujin Guru Guru 2, started serialization in Square Enix' Gangan Online in November 2012 and, finally, a new anime adaptation began airing in 2017. This series starts from scratch rather than continuing from where the previous 2 series left off.

This series features examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Inverted and Lampshaded when Kukuri and another girl walk in on guys changing clothes.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The original anime gave Geil and Ena dark brown and purple hair respectively. The 2017 series brightens Geil's hair and turns Ena's pink.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Latin American, Arabic and Italian dubs have completely different intros from the Japanese version
  • Art Evolution: Having been around for 25 years (as of this writing) Hiroyuki Eto's art style has changed drastically over the years.
  • Art Shift: The 2017 series regularly has characters turn into 8-bit sprites and travel is represented by travel across an RPG map similar to NES RPGs like Dragon Quest.
    • And then there's the whole todo with the Blue Peppers. That fact that Studio 4C did work on that episode is not a great suprise.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Parodied with Nike's "Cool Pose."
  • Belly Dancer: Ena wears a outfit like this most of the time, but doesn't actually do much dancing. That "honor" is given to Old Man North-North, an old man who dances around in a grass skirt.
  • BFS: Nike pulls one out of a box (with branches) in the second episode. Though he buys a regular sword soon after.
  • Black Mage: Kukuri is this in ability, but a White Magician Girl in personality.
  • Blessed with Suck: Raid's magic is formidable, but casting requires he perform really stupid dances.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Nike and his party realize the weapons they brought with them are missing, they rewind through the last episode to try and locate them.
  • Butt-Monkey: Old Man North-North, who tends to suffer when he inflicts his dancing on other characters.
  • The Chew Toy: Geil & Ena. Geil's first appearance has him getting humiliated by Nike immediately after his skills were talked up.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: A hideous award statue Kukuri won keeps finding its way back to her and Nike, despite Nike's repeated attempts to get rid of it.
  • Competence Zone: With the sole exception of Runrun, anybody older than the heroes is generally useless in a fight.
  • Cool Sword: Kira Kira
  • Cute Monster Girl: Chikuri the snitch demon, a cute little pigtailed monster girl with a book hanging around her neck.
  • Dance Battler: Old Man North-North. Well... he dances whenever fights are going on, anyway... The battle in the fairy realm has him dancing atop Kukuri's summon Behm Behm with every indication he thinks he's the one blasting all the monsters.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Kukuri is a "Dark Elemental" type, her magic is considered black magic, and there's a whole society of Dark Magic practitioners who are allies of her and Nike.
  • The Ditz: Kukuri starts out as this, coming up with such ideas like the king must be a giant because of the size of his castle and sticking coins on her face because she doesn't know what money is for.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Runrun, which is the sound one makes while singing, akin to "La-la".
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Nike (Hero), Udberg Eldol (Old Kita Kita Man), Runrun (Dark Magic Society Lady), and Sly (Boss)
  • Expressive Accessory: Old Man North-North's headdress has a face on it whose expressions frequently match his own.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Kukuri, most notably on Level 4 of her Training Tower. She's expected to tame a fearsome tiger and it's taken her months to get past the tests before this one. She's got the beast giving her rides before her guide is finished dancing. She also starts calling her single most dangerous summon, an Eldritch Abomination that summons lightning, "Li'l Behm Behm".
  • G-Rated Drug: Blue Pepers make humans who eat them (Like Nike and Kukuri) go on a mad, Studio 4C animated drug trip and wreck the place like a bunch of wild cats.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Toma is training as a magical version of this.
  • Geometric Magic: Guru Guru magic relies on Kukuri's tracing of magic circles to function.
  • The Hero: Nike, whether he likes it or not as his parents trained him for it since birth. "Hero" is the only thing Kukuri calls him.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Nike's father, who trained Nike to be a Hero because he himself couldn't do it. Also Gail.
  • Idiot Crows: The "Got Nothing" Fairies serve this purpose, popping up and chanting "he's got nothing" or some variation of when a character is confused.
  • Involuntary Dance: Yondor Village is cursed to constantly do this when Nike and Kukuri arrive. They soon defeat the monster causing it, freeing the village. However the mayor continues to do it anyway for reasons unknown.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Juju and her combat altar, which aids in her spellcasting and even allows her to see far distances to target her spells.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Unbell, he actively grows larger the more he's attacked or taunted, and vice versa. He taunts people specifically to provoke this effect.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Subverted as Nike turns out to be thief class.
  • Last of His Kind: Kukuri's the last known Migu Migu.
  • Leave Him to Me: Raid insists on this in episode 43. Nike does it because Raid did it.
  • Lethal Chef: Sly, Ookashira (boss) of the Gaba thieves. Criticizing his cooking will cause him to become lethal in more traditional ways. He allows Nike to become his disciple solely on the basis of making Kukuri teach him to cook better.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Nike and Kukuri are fairly capable when need be. Otherwise, they're very easily distracted to say the least.
  • Magic Dance: Raid uses these and, to a lesser extent, so does Kukuri. Raid's are ridiculous but effective. Kukuri's are occasionally incorporated into drawing her magic circles.
  • The Millstone: Old Man North-North is this more often than he's useful. The heroes are frequently inclined to just leave him to whatever fate he's found himself in. As one example, when the heroes set up a business to make money and they start selling rice balls, the old man offers to help and things are going great until everyone discovers he's shaping them by stuffing him in his armpits. Business dries up immediately.
  • Moment Killer: Gipple. He finds heartwarming moments legitimately sickening and actively works to kill immediately.
  • Mundane Utility: During the Endless Tower, Kukuri uses her new flying summon to fly back to Gatari's house so she can use the bathroom.
  • One-Winged Angel: Subverted by Gizaier, who transforms into a fire-form and is promptly eaten before he can even finish introducing himself.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Gaba thieves deliberately only use code-names instead of their actual names.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: Seven at once are used on Old Man North-North in episode 43
  • Pixellation: When Kukuri forces herself to watch the Kita Kita Man dance, the images are censored for the viewers.
  • Rebellious Princess: Juju is a rebellious priestess.
  • Role-Playing Game Verse: We're constantly shown the levels and stats of characters and equipment. The narration also incorporates lines like "Hero attacks" and "Nike is paralyzed"
  • Schmuck Bait: Prince Ron Ron of Jaba kingdom violated the kingdom's rule that you must not stand in front of the guardian statue Pura Pura and tell it "Take care of your health" while boxing with your left hand, picking your nose with your right hand, and having a loaf of bread wedged up your rear. Nike has to be prevented from doing this three separate times.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Demon Lord Giri. His return is the background danger throughout all the comedy.
  • Shipper on Deck: Fairies love love, and love to help love, whether the potential couple likes it or not.
  • Spin-Off: Currently in the works: Buyuuden Kita Kita, starring Old Man North-North.
  • Summon Magic: Guru Guru magic. As the name suggests, it works by drawing circular patterns in the ground. After that, Kukuri puts her magic into it and summons a creature. There are specific patterns, but messing them up causes random results.
  • Sweet Tooth: After Kukuri discovers chocolate
  • Training from Hell: Nike's Heroic Wannabe father put Nike through this growing up.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: After receiving an upgrade from Gatari, Kukuri has even more trouble controlling her magic than normal. Attempting to use it sends her flying off randomly. After her visit to the Migu Migu Ruins and getting the idea to incorporate dancing into her drawing, her next summon is a flying beast that takes them right where they need to go and away from Raid.
  • Vocal Dissonance: At Yondor Village, Kukuri wins a doll that cries out when monsters close by. The doll is cute enough, but when alerting them of foes, its face becomes super serious and its voice is very deep.
  • White Magician Girl: Kukuri, sweet and bubbly as she is, has the personality, but is a Black Mage in ability.
  • With This Herring: The king loudly disavows any responsibility for Nike and Kukuri after providing a tiny amount of gold for them.

Alternative Title(s): Mahoujin Guru Guru