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Light Novel / Maburaho

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"I'm Shikimori Kazuki, a seventeen-year-old attending Aoi Gakuen. Really, I'm such a worthless guy that girls won't even look at me. Then, all of a sudden, three beautiful girls appeared in my life out of nowhere! But, what they were after wasn't really me... it was my genes!"
Shikimori Kazuki, Maburaho intro

Maburaho is a series of Light Novels written by Toshihiko Tsukiji and illustrated by Eiji Komatsu, which was serialized in Dragon Magazine from 2000 to 2011 and compiled into 30 volumes. A 24-episode anime adaptation aired from 2003 to 2004.

The intro sets nearly every expectation for this series as a run-of-the-mill harem comedy with a little magic thrown in...which it is, as far as that goes. The real hook is that every person in the world has a set number of uses of magic that they're born with, be that a handful, to a few hundreds, or well beyond. Once a person uses their last magic, their body turns to ash and they die. Aoi Gakuen is a school which prides itself on the fact that the average number of uses of magic of its students ranges well into the tens of thousands. Meanwhile, Kazuki's grand total is... Eight. However, because of a coincidence of powerful mages in his family tree, each of his eight spells is more powerful than anything any other mage in the world is capable of.


So, Kazuki has three girls fighting over him, and his whole class mad at him, since no one can figure out any good reason why any of the (arguably) three most beautiful girls in the school are suddenly hanging all over him. Beyond that, he's such a happy-go-lucky fellow that he burns one of his eight uses of magic to save a girl's bentou (box lunch) from falling on the ground, and thinks nothing of doing it.

The supporting cast is arguably more humorous than the main characters most of the time, with the antics of the school doctor, Akai-sensei, particularly not to be missed.

Not to be confused with Mahoraba, or the town in Destiny of the Shrine Maiden, Mahoroba.


Maburaho provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Kazuki, in one hilarious incident, he accidentally walks into a room where Yuna is changing. While he quickly steps out, he realizes shortly afterwards that she was changing in his room.
  • Apologizes a Lot: Kuriko tells Kazuki he does this too much in one episode, and his response is to apologize.
  • Back from the Dead: The point of the second half.
  • Balanced Harem: For the most part. None of them have a significant lead over the other girls.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Most noticeable in episode 9, when they visit the hot springs.
    • Averted in episode 19 when you see nipples on Kuriko and Yamase.
  • Battle Aura
  • Cast From Hitpoints: The amount of times one can use magic in the series is dictated by a strict set spell count determined at birth. Once someone uses all of their available spells, they die and are scattered to the winds in ashes. This spell count can't be increased under normal conditions with the only confirmed method is to win a baseball game against a team of yokai. The average spell count of a normal person is roughly 500 and the highest known spell count is Kuriko's at the start of the series, which is a whopping 140,000.
  • Childhood Friend Romance:
    • This Unlucky type is debatable, as he splits himself into multiple persons after becoming human, and Kuriko mentions keeping 5 or 6 of them to herself while giving Yamase one, to which she's perfectly okay with.
    • Depending on your POV, Yuna and Yamase are both Victorious since Kazuki being split up into clones means they could both have one to themselves. Yuna doesn't like the idea, but Yamase seems happy to have one of him.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Yuna becomes this due to Flanderization
    • Particularly hilarious at the end of the series.
  • Clothing Damage: In one episode, a summoned monster manages to claw through Kuriko's blouse and bra without scratching her skin.
  • The Collector: Shino seems to be a bit too obsessed at trying to capture Kazuki as a ghost.
  • Contrived Coincidence: In episode 9, Yuna, Rin, and Elizabeth are taking a taxi to the hot springs hotel where Kazuki and Kuriko are (to increase his spell count). Their vehicle dies in the middle of nowhere, and the driver says he can't get it fixed right away. They wonder what to do next. Cue their gaming teacher, who JUST happens to be driving that way (to pick up a game), and gives them a ride to where Kazuki is.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Rin.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Elizabeth
  • Delinquents: Kazuki's whole class, pretty much.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Lampshaded.
    Kazuki: Stop, or I will scream!
    Kuriko: That's a girl's line.
  • Evil Twin: A magic-generated polar opposite.
  • Expressive Hair
  • Fanservice: Tons of it.
  • Gamer Chick: Kazuki's teacher, Iba.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Yuna seems to display these from time to time.
  • Gratuitous English: In episode 9, while Kazuki is away on a hot springs trip with Kuriko, Yuna reads a variety of books in an attempt to distract herself. Then she reads an English book, and has an Imagine Spot where she thinks they're doing naughty things.
    Yuna: Tom has a girlfriend, her name is Nancy...
    Yuna: (gets angry) Kazuki-san has a girlfriend, her name is Kuriko-san.
  • Hand Behind Head
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kazuki sacrifices his last spell and subsequently his life to save Yuuna's.
  • Idiot Hair: Yuuna.
  • Jerkass: Pretty much the entirety of Class B with the exception of Kazuki and Yuuna. Note that two of Kazuki's precious eight uses of magic are the direct result of the careless antics of Class B.
  • Kansai Regional Accent: An odd usage, for the two episodes of the class trip to Kyoto, the episode previews are in Kyoto-ben... which for some reason in the R1 English dub is rendered as a cliche US Deep Southern accent - complete with a "ya see" tag for each spoken line.
  • Last Episode, New Character: Maiho shows up right before the anime series ends, declaring to be Kazuki's bride. Yuna is not pleased about that.
  • Little Miss Badass: Elizabeth
  • Lover Tug of War: Poor Kazuki.
  • Magical Girlfriend: All of the main girls fit this trope.
  • Measuring Day: The first episode.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Kuriko
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: Sans the char effect, explosions can take out walls of buildings but not characters.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: Kuriko again.
  • Ojou: Kamishirou Rin, Japanese-type and Kazetsubaki Kuriko, western-type.
  • Old School Building: Shino lures Kazuki here when she first attempts to capture him. Yuna destroys it in a fit of jealousy.
  • One-Word Title
  • Our Hero Is Dead /The Hero Dies: The Wham Episode.
  • Outrun the Fireball
  • Polyamory: Implied at the end of the series after Kazuki somehow manages to split himself up into multiple copies. While none of the girls seemed to mind it, Yuna seems to only want one of him, and she wants him to herself.
  • Prehensile Hair: Yuna and Kuriko engage in a spot of ahoge wrestling. Yuna's also functions as a Kazuki radar.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Inverted. The ghost "child" Elizabeth takes Kuriko as a replacement mother.
  • The Rival: Rin, Kuriko, and Yuuna, though they outgrow it to an extent.
  • School Festival: episode 7.
  • Shout-Out: Kazuki’s family tree is shown at one point, and among a variety of names is the name H. Potter.
  • Side-Story Bonus Art/Eye Catch: Beach Episode pictures for the commercial breaks.
  • Skinship Grope
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: Initially all 3 girls, although Yuna loved him since childhood and the other two come around eventually.
  • Super Weight: Every magician in the setting is a Type 3, with various spells of differing elemental attacks and utility. Kazuki is a Type 4, his magic is so powerful it can affect the entire city he lives in and alter normal physics.
  • Two-Teacher School
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Kazuki's Superpowerful Genetics makes him the mage equivalent to a rocket launcher. That said, he's only able to use eight spells before he dies.
  • Ur-Example: This series is the granddaddy of all Harem works that take place in a magical school of some sort. Basically every trope you see in those modern works originate from Maburaho in some fort or another; from the idea of the setting itself making its magic known to the public, to the protagonist being a self insert loser who secretly holds grand power, to several of the female leads being tried and true archetypes vying for the protagonist, it all began here.
  • Unwanted Harem
  • Unusual Euphemism: The dub goes out of its way to avoid directly referencing sex in any way. It instead refers to it as “Doing this and that”.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Yuna, after learning that Nakamaru had less than pure motives for checking up on Kazuki in the nurse's office, beats him up a little bit when he's caught spying on Kazuki again.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Subverted, Yamase is introduced in one episode, then seems to be promptly forgotten. She shows up again in later episodes, and she gets much more screen time and character development.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 12. Kazuki uses his last spell and turns to ash, although he "survives" as a ghost.
  • Wizarding School: Pretty much the whole point of the school. Everyone there has a vast pool of magic aside from Kazuki. Subverted in that there's little, if any indication that magic is being taught. Aoi Academy likely teaches it's students about the history of magic and the ethics of its use instead.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: At the rate most of the students use spells, even the more powerful ones would be out of magic by their mid-20s.