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Anime / Magic User's Club

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The last hope of the human race. Oh, Crap!.

"Takakura, I... I swear to become a great magician! Just... like... you!"
Sae Sawanoguchi

Magic User's Club (Mahou Tsukai Tai!) is an anime created and directed by Junichi Sato. It tells the story of a plucky group of teenage Magical Students, and their quest to liberate the world from extra-terrestrial invaders. It was originally released as an OVA series produced by Triangle Staff in 1996, and was followed in the late 90s by a TV series that picked up the story where the OVA left off. It has since received both Manga and Light Novel adaptations. The anime series was licensed in North America by Media Blasters (via their Anime Works imprint), but is now licensed by Nozomi Entertainment.

One year ago, an alien spaceship known as "The Bell" invaded the earth, spreading a message to the humans of the world that it was here to take over. Though the planet's military forces fought desperately against the The Bell, they proved to be no match for the invaders' highly superior technology. All resistance was quickly wiped out, though the aliens seemed to be taking special care not to harm the human soldiers, and The Bell never made the first strike. Quickly realizing that the aliens would not attack without provocation, humanity quietly accepted defeat and sought to return to as normal a routine as possible.

Now, the people of earth have grown used to the The Bell, which has caused no further disruptions save for sending out probes to politely observe their day-to-day lives. Unwilling to accept the status quo, Takeo Takakura, the president of Kitanohashi High school's Magic Club, has declared that it is the duty of the club to single-handedly defeat the invaders and secure the freedom of all humans. Unfortunately, the Magic User's Club has only five members and of those, only he and his vice-president know how to use magic effectively! On top of that, the club president finds it to be a daily struggle to keep his perverted nature at bay long enough to focus on the task at hand.

But all hope is not lost, for Takeo finds an eager and energetic (though not quite able) student in new club member Sae Sawanoguchi. Seeking to overcome her clumsiness and low sense of self-worth, Sae declares that she will follow in the footsteps of Takeo, and become a powerful magic-user. Will Takeo, Sae, and the rest of the club learn to control their power and become the hope of humankind? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: wherever the Magic Users Club goes, hilarity is bound to follow!

The TV series continues the story. The main plotline is about Sae and a mysterious androgynous waif.

There are also two different manga. One is a shounen manga and maintains the same light feel in the OVA. The other is shoujo, and is much darker and has several different characters as well.

This series contains examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The limited mid-90s CGI makes the alien ships more... alien.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Minowa and Yoshito doesn’t help finding out more the Bell. In the end, they have to ask Akane to read the Bell’s mind(s).
    • Katsuhito Kubo, Miyama and Takakura’s club supervisor, does nothing to settle their disputes.
  • Agent Scully: Minowa initially, but the increase in magic activity makes it hard to ignore.
  • Alliterative Name: Every. Single. Character.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The club usually does this together as a group activity or to improve their success on more powerful magic.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents:
    • Aburatsubo's mother, Akiko. He is absolutely horrified whenever she shows up at school.
    • Nanaka's mother also is this for her, when she shows up to a parent-teacher conference still wearing her gardening gear. For bonus points, she was wearing her still muddy boots on her hands.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Takakura fantasizes Aburatsubo stripping down, even though he rejects his advances. He also gets a little crisis when thinking about Jurika.
    • Aburatsubo might return Nanaka's feelings towards the end of the series.
  • Anime Hair: Akane has pink streaks in her long white hair, and Sae's hair looks like a bunch of tiny Raggedy Anne-esque squares.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: To Aburatsubo, from Nanaka. He rejects her feelings. In the kindest, sweetest way ever, doing what he can to not break her heart further. The frame doesn't change from a closeup on Nanaka's face while he gives her his reply. You can watch her emotional state shift from nervousness to surprise to sad realization to resignation.
  • Apologises a Lot: Sae says it more often than most, on account of her lacking self confidence. In one scene, being stuck in a room and trying to teleport out, she continually says it for around two straight minutes as things teleport in, crowding up the room.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Happens to Akane on account of magic gone wrong and some emotional turmoil. Resolving the turmoil returns her to normal.
  • Art Shift:
    • The OVA was made with cel animation with more detailed character designs compared the TV series' digital animation and simpler designs.
    • The opening scene with the Bell is much more realistic and CG heavy then the rest of the series. It's enough to make you think you're watching a different anime till the opening theme hits.
  • Benevolent Alien Invasion: The aliens have invaded at some point before the story begins. They don't really do anything unless outright attacked at first, and even go so far as to obey traffic laws.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Played with.
    • OVA Episode 6, The Magic Club tries to switch Minowa with Sae after being captured. Though because Takakura's tendency to show off, the whole club and Minowa gets switched instead.
    • TV Episode 1, Miyama showing up in the blimp to negotiate with the Bell-Turned-Crazed-Cherry Blossom Tree. Though the military simply shoo her away.
  • Big Sister Instinct: This is what Akane expects from Nanaka as she would scold her like she should. Unlike Sae who's too nice to discipline her properly.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Akane is one of the more gifted members of the club when it comes to magic, and, spin aside, her spells almost always go well. She is also the only one who is able to cast magic with only a picture of the magic wand that is required for said spells, even making her own in episode 2 of the TV series. The problem is she's a teenage girl who has her mind on things outside of the club most of the time.
  • Broken Ace: Aburatsubo. At one point he tells Sawanaguchi that although he's good at everything, he doesn't enjoy much of anything, because there is little challenge.
    "Does a fish think anything if it can swim?"
  • Camp Gay: Aburatsubo is a mix of this and Straight Gay. On the one hand, he is a long-haired Bishōnen who flirts outrageously with Takeo. On the other, he's the school's star athlete and only acts camp around Takeo.
  • Character Development: Akane starts of as fickle, aloof, and rather solve problems by herself. However when her friends help her out when she gets into trouble, she starts committing more time with them.
  • Chivalrous Pervert:
    • While Takeo may burst into perverted fantasies at the drop of a hat, he's very protective of his fellow club members, especially Sae, and tries his best to perform his duties as president.
    • Also Aburatsubo, whose Single-Target Sexuality on Takeo doesn't deter him from being a reliable friend and magic club member.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The journalist, his photographer, and the teacher who tells his students 'education is love,' are completely absent from the TV series with no mention of them at all.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The three main characters: red for Sae, blue for Akane, yellow for Nanaka. The only things keeping the Magic Club from being a full-blown Sentai are a repeated color in the team (both Takeo and Aburatsubo wear black), the lack of posing, and the fact that the Bell never really attack anyone (at least until towards the end).
  • Cool Starship: The Bell.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Takakura being distracted by Miyama’s two ‘’friends’’, but Sae thinks he’s bowing his head.
    • Takakura confesses that isn’t trying to fight the Bell, but Sae thinks he trying to protect everyone by going alone.
  • Covert Pervert: Club President Takeo Takakura tries to hide the lustful thoughts that spring up at even the most inopportune times, however the truth is obvious to pretty much everyone else except Sae.
  • Credits Montage: The TV series combines clips from the current episode with clips from the next episode in the ending theme.
  • Creepy Child: Jurika constantly stalks the Magic Club.
  • Crossover: With Shamanic Princess for a one episode OVA.
  • Cute Witch: Sae, Nanaka, and Akane dress this way, at least.
  • Darker and Edgier: The later quarter of the TV series when Jurika takes a more active role.
  • Every Episode Ending: The opening verse of the Ending Theme "Mata Ashita" can be heard in the last moments before the credits in each of the OVA episodes.
  • The Everyman: Nanaka serves as this for the group. She lacks Sae's raw magical potential, Akane and Aburatsubo's talent, Takeo's expertise, as well as any investment or motivation with the club outside of her friendship with Sae and her crush on Aburatsubo. Most of the time she simply wants to live life as an ordinary girl.
  • Fanservice: From all of the main girls, and Miyama. And occasionally Aburatsubo.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • Takakura is The Leader of the Magic User's Club as well as being The Smart Guy.
    • Sae is The Heart as most of the club activities resolve around her, and whatever trouble her magic causes.
    • Aburatsubo being The Ace who has both brains and beauty to back it up and the token Camp Gay.
    • Nanaka takes the role of the Only Sane Man as she often questions the absurdity of the club's activites.
    • Akane being the Girly Girl who works as a model and often goes on dates.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Jurika eventually joins the Magic Club due to his knowledge on magic. Though he makes everyone uncomfortable by invading their personal space and prying into their thoughts.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang:
    • Aburatsubo and Aikawa has only one conversation in the TV series. Given Aikawa's attendance record and Aburatsubo's clinging to Takakura, the two don't exactly have an excuse to talk to each other.
    • While Miyama isn't exactly a friend per say, Takakura is the only one she has a one-on-one conversation with out of all the club members. Even when Sae tries to talk to her, she doesn't respond to her directly.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Takakura looks the part and has attracted no less than three people with vastly different personalities: Aburatsubo, Sae, and Miyama.
  • Gonk: Mitsuru Minowa is rather homely compared to the lovely Akane. His saving grace is being voiced by the hammy Mike Pollock and Akio Ōtsuka in English and Japanese respectively.
  • Gone Horribly Right: OVA Episode 3, to rescue Akane from a Whirlybird, Takakura and Sae decide to shrink it. They indeed shrink it, except the propeller. This throws everyone off balance and knocks Takakura and Aburatsubo off their broom.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Aburatsubo has actual green eyes, and they’re usually eying on Sae.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: Seriously, check them out.
  • Honest Axe: This fable is invoked in a bathroom scene, in which Takeo is asked by Jurika if he was using the gold or the silver toilet paper.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Takakura shows some attraction towards Jurika despite being a boy. Which makes sense as Jurika is a part of Sae, who he is clearly in love with.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: The weird part is that Mizuha isn't even trying to invoke this trope but Takeo is often too distracted to hold his own in an argument against her.
    Sae: "We have to help him get over those horrible memories!"
  • Inept Mage: Sae Sawanoguchi, though not for a lack of trying. Her magic is by far the most powerful, if she can control it, and if it comes out in the first place. She slowly gets better over the course of the series.
  • Instant Fan Club: Aburatsubo has this in the TV series, even though he's gayer than a Broadway musical. (Although, you never know, maybe that is why he has them...)
  • Intrepid Reporter: A pair of them in journalist Mitsuru Minowa and his sidekick/photographer Yoshito Yoshimoto. They stumble upon the antics of the Magic club while trying to investigate The Bell.
  • Imagine Spot: Takakura does this frequently with whatever triggers his perverted fantasies. Often times, he'll lose his grip on reality.
  • The Klutz: Sae Sawanoguchi, who not only manages to fail at nearly everything she tries, but often fails in the most spectacular way possible.
  • Lethal Chef: Sae's big sister Saki. When asked why she is using red chili paste while making Tomato Stew, she responds: "... What's that?"
  • Made of Magic: Jurika and Jeff are made from Sae's raw magic, albeit subconsciously. Revealed in the final episode of the TV series, they are based on dolls that Sae used to play.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: All it takes to do magic in the Magic User's Club universe is a weird looking wand, some Latin-like chanting concentration and self confidence. The main reasons for Sae's magical misfires are either from her lacking self confidence or her mind wandering.
    • While the cast mostly use the wands Takeo has recreated, they seem to serve as a focus more than a hard requirement. Akane accomplishes some magic with makeshift wands that merely resemble the original (albeit with mixed results), and Sae learns to cast magic without a wand at all in the TV series.
  • Magical Incantation: Most if not all the spells are cast with varying Latin(esque) chants. Among the most common is the spell for flying with a broom, "Izatai Abamehinam Etokafe Nan!"
  • Magic Versus Science: The Sufficiently Advanced Aliens are nigh indestructible, with a scientific mastery of space travel and weapons that can disintegrate aircraft carriers. They are countered by high school kids who can fly on brooms and magically transform them into pillows. This is what gets the Bell to start searching out for the kids in the first place, in spite of previously being fine to simply follow societal rules.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first OVA does a cold open of The Bell forcing its way through Earth's orbital defenses and effortlessly defeating utterly a US Navy taskforce in San Francisco Bay. Cue the peppy catchy opening theme! This opening is repeated for episodes 2, 3, and 4. Episodes 5 and 6 don't have the Cold Open.
  • The Mothership: The unknown alien vessel that invades Earth is called "The Bell".
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Takakura's rival Mizuha Miyama is a constant user of this laugh, normally when she's finished knocking him down the only peg he has left.
  • No Bisexuals: Slightly averted in that Aburatsubo seems to be having feelings for Nanaka towards the end, which, while not discussed with the rest of the cast, seem to confuse him.
  • Nosebleed: Takeo should win some award for how many times this happens per episode.
  • Ojou: Akane, who models in the TV series and appears to be independently wealthy.
  • Only Sane Man: Nanaka isn't entirely sold on using the magic of the club to fight the Bell, for rather obvious reasons, and is often the one to reign in Sae from her less well-thought-out actions. However, her loyalty to her friends and her crush on Aburatsubo means she ends up going with it anyways.
  • No Sense of Personal Space.
    • The Bell's Whirlybird and probes have no sense of personal space, much to the ire of everyone else when it tries to check under their clothes. Though they do not seem to have any sense of arousal the way humans Takakura.
    • Aburatsubo however invades Takakura's space at every opportune moment.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Jurika is always shown with a smile with a giggle not too far behind. Until Sae proclaims she hates magic, which shatters his smile into a wistful frown.
  • Potty Emergency: Sae has one in episode 3 while being Locked in a Room with Aburatsubo. Once again during Episode while handling patrons when the other club members are busy.
  • Running Gag: Takakura's perverted fantasies.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Bell once messing with magic is deemed too risky.
  • Self-Insert Fic: In-universe example. Miyama creates a manga series based on herself and Takakura in a romance scene.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: In episode 5, Akane starts to hiccup, causing various strange things to happen. At one point, she shrinks down, leaving her clothes piled on the club room floor. The same happens to Takakura in episode 3, when he eats a magically-shrunken apple and inadvertently shrinks himself as a side-effect.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Quite a few to Kiki's Delivery Service. OVA Episode 2, Akio Ōtsuka's plays Minowa who flies a blimp. Then crashes it into the school at the end. TV Series Episode 12, Sae asks a takoyaki vendor to borrow a banner pole to fly on.
    • OVA Episode 1 is full of them for Castle in the Sky. Right down the propeller sound effects used by the Whirlybirds and Sae falling slowly onto a boat.
  • Skintone Sclerae: Yoshito Yoshimoto.
  • Space Is Noisy: Averted nicely in the OVA intro.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Whenever Akane casts a spell on something or someone, the object/person will spin rapidly for a few seconds before the spell takes its intended effect. It's never explained why this happens, and she appears to have no control over it. She does complain about it, though.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Bell aliens. There is a brief insight into their thought process: the Bell apparently makes decisions with two 'leaders' (shown as a red light and a blue light) arguing over different logical courses of action until they are both in agreement. See Twin Telepathy for more.
  • Take Me Instead: OVA Episode 6, the club members debates on who to switch places with the captive Sae. Though Minowa convinces them that is better to send a non-magic user like him instead. Nanaka switching would not change the situation, and the chances of the spell succeeding would be higher with Takakura.
  • Twin Telepathy: In OVA Episode 5, Akane uses a mind reading spell on the Bell which has two minds. The side effect causes her to split into two halves for the duration of the spell.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Sae, on many occasions, shows herself to have the most raw power when it comes to magic and does incredible things with it. However, she lacks the skill and focus to tap into her full potential throughout most of the OVA and TV series.
  • Vocal Evolution:
  • Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: Or rather, the common apostrophe; the title suggests that the club belongs to just one magic user. "Magic Users' Club" would be accurate in this case.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Nanaka's raw magic power dwarfs against Sae, but her ability to fly is much more consistent and keeps accidents to a minimum.
  • Wild Magic: In the TV series Jurika, the mysterious person who appears and disappears, is revealed to be an anthropological manifestation of Sae's magic.
  • World Tree: The giant cherry tree The Bell is transformed into certainly looks like one. Episode 1 of the TV series is spent trying to find a way to remove it from the city, since its massive shadow and endless flower petals are causing a significant inconvenience for the civilians.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Magic Users Club


Magic User's Club

Next time, Sae, go BEFORE you get stuck in a closet with some dude!

How well does it match the trope?

4.8 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / PottyEmergency

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