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Manga / Magical Sempai

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Magical Sempai (Tejina Senpai) is a manga series by Azu. It was serialized in Weekly Young Magazine from February 2016 to February 2021.

The story begins when the protagonist is forced to join a club as part of school regulations. He ends up joining the Magic Club, where his senpai is precisely what a club president shouldn't be; immature and with Performance Anxiety so intense that whenever anyone is watching her, she flubs the tricks she's doing every time. Later on, Saki-chan, a street performer who has a less than sibling-like relationship with her brother, joins. Hilarity Ensues.

Kodansha USA published the manga in English. You can find a preview of Chapter 1 here. It can also be read on INKR on here.

An anime adaptation by Liden Films aired from July 2 to September 17, 2019. You can see the trailer here.

Magical Sempai contains examples of:

  • Bait-and-Switch. When Sempai says that she's going to be doing Chinese magic, Assistant assumes that she's going to be wearing a Qipao, similarly to how she wore a kimono when she did Japanese magic. She actually ends up wearing a scary mask thanks to the specifics of the trick.
  • Beach Episode: Chapters 61 and 62 focus on the Magic Club going to the beach and using it as a training camp.
  • Chest Burster: Parodied. While Sempai is attempting to get her pigeon Bahamut to cooperate with a handful of bird seed, it dives into her clothing through her breasts and starts tickling her before exiting through her skirt. Sempai attempts to pass it off as the "Giving Birth to a Pigeon" trick.
  • Disappearing Box: Notable in that in Chapter 12, Assistant tries to get Sempai to hide because visitors are coming, and he quickly realizes that there's nowhere for her to go; all of the props that she could hide in could potentially have a trap door that would let her escape. The disappearing box trick proper is introduced as early as Chapter 2.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Sempai tries to overcome her embarrassment by wearing an even more embarrassing Playboy Bunny outfit while performing the Cup and Ball trick to Assistant. It appears to work and she performs the trick successfully, though it's probably because he's failing to look at her in the face, and sadly the outfit slips off of her after she cheers triumphantly to the trick's conclusion.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Himika Akaneya, Sister's Japanese voice actress, sung the opening theme as a member of the idol group i☆Ris.
  • Doujinshi: On July, 2023, long after the manga series had ended, Azu decided to take online requests to draw art pieces under fan commissions; a seemly innocent move that had unforeseen consequences. Azu actually took a paid request to draw Tejina having a sexual encounter with a random older guy, this sparked a little controversy on the japanese side of twitter, with people in favor of Azu's freedom to do whatever she wants and those who felt Azu tainted Tejina's image with said art works. This level of harassment led Azu to delete her Pixiv and twitter accounts in August of the same year.
  • Ecchi: Panty shots are common, as is Clothing Damage, and there are some sexual innuendos and other lewd content.
  • Edutainment Show: The manga contains some information on how some basic magic tricks are performed. Later on, this is expanded to street performance.
  • Escape Artist: The "rope trick" is introduced in Chapter 1. The "handcuff escape" is the focus of Chapter 15. In Chapter 40, the "water escape" is introduced. In the latter two chapters, Harry Houdini is specifically mentioned.
  • Hocus Tropus: Each section goes into detail on almost every trick on this list.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Since Sempai is so easily suggestible, Assistant has a hard time snapping her out of hypnosis.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Chapter names for this series follow the pattern of "X Sempai".
  • Impossibly Awesome Magic Trick: Averted; there is not a single magic trick that is not explained somehow. Since Sempai flubs each trick anyways, there is no reason not to explain it, but this is also extended to street performance, which Saki-chan is not as bad at.
  • Incest Subtext: Saki-chan has an obsession with her brother Masasahi:
    Saki-chan: He's cool but cute, smart, and his looks are perfect? Whose future is pretty much guaranteed to be bright? You know the type!
  • Indirect Kiss: A subversion occurs in Chapter 27, which has Sempai fail to blow up a balloon and hand it over to Assistant to finish the job. This is his first thought, until he actually gets the balloon, after which he just finds it gross and doesn't blow it up.
  • Japanese School Club: In addition to the Magic Club, the Chemistry Club is also part of the plot, as the Magic Club doesn't become an actual club until after Saki-chan and Masashi are introduced. This is mostly an excuse for Assistant to stick around when the deadline comes and the Magic Club is still not official, as while he's a member of the Chemistry Club, he doesn't have to actually go there. However, Madara-san, the president of the Chemistry Club, becomes a recurring cast member starting with Chapter 53.
  • Kimono Fanservice: In Chapter 17, the focus is on "wazuma", or Japanese magic, so Sempai is wearing a kimono.
  • Male Gaze: Especially notable when Sempai attempts to do the Cup and Ball trick, and the camera flicks over to the trick occasionally, but mostly just focuses on Sempai's breasts barely being held back by her bunny outfit.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 41 sees Sempai trying to practice quiet magic as Assistant takes a nap. After she's done, she tenderly decides to let him sleep a bit longer. A few minutes later, she builds a house of cards on his head.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Happens on several occasions:
    • In Chapter 28, Sempai gets stuck in a box and overhears Assistant talk to himself about how cute her stuffed animal prop is and assumes he's talking about her. When he explains to her what he was really talking about, she doesn't take it well at all.
    • In Chapter 50, Sempai is seen with a shady-looking man. Saki-chan and Masashi assume the worst, the worst being that he poses as a married man looking for an affair while he really seeks to seduce high school girls to film and produce pornography with them in a minivan. Assistant initially declares this concept to be non-existent until he clearly starts to worry that this might actually be the case. It turns out that the man is actually her older sister's husband. They were out to buy a present for her.
  • Oblivious to Her Own Description: When talking about her older sister, who is Assistant's homeroom teacher, Sempai describes her as somebody who "acts like she knows what's doing, but deep down is a total goofball". Assistant dryly notes that such description also fits Sempai.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Sempai, Assistant, and Sister's real names aren't mentioned.
  • Pick a Card: The very first trick in the very first chapter. This is one of Sempai's favorites, but that still doesn't keep her from flubbing it nearly every time. It's also the focus of Chapter 13.
  • Playboy Bunny: Sempai wears one in Chapter 10. It's incredibly tight, mainly because it was meant for her flat-chested older sister.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Sempai asks Assistant for a 1,000 yen bill for a "cut money in half" trick, he refuses, having seen her botch the other tricks she performed. She asks what he has to lose, and he says, "1,000 yen."
  • Saw a Woman in Half: The "sword box" trick, which is a variant of this, appears in Chapter 29. Because Sempai refuses to accept that it's accomplished by escaping through a trap door, she gets her clothes ripped.
  • Sexy Jester: Sempai ends up wearing an outfit like this as part of Saki-chan's suggestion that she become a Pierrot in Chapter 46.
  • Sleep Cute: Sempai and Assistant on the ride home from their summer training camp.
  • Spoon Bending: This trick is the focus of Chapter 19.
  • Status Quo Is God: No method in order to cure Sempai's stage fright works, not even hypnosis. In fact, this is the first thing they try.
  • Street Performer: Saki-chan and Masashi both practice street performance. Saki-chan is good at it. Masashi is not very good, but Saki-chan pretends he is.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: A large part of why Masashi is so rude towards his loving older sister is because he finds her obssession with him to be extremely creepy. Furthermore, despite being completely willing to help Assistant with schemes that involve getting Sempai or Madara-san to wear skimpy clothing, seeing his sister in similar outfits (or naked) makes him extremely uncomfortable.
  • World of Buxom: Downplayed. There are only four female recurring cast members, and two of them are flat. However, both of the female members of the Magic Club have large breasts. As a result, the notes for Chapter 44 joke that it should be called the "Big-Boob Club".
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In Chapter 54, Sempai puts on a successful show for a group of children. She still does poorly, but the children don't judge. For her final trick, Sempai makes a piece of candy disappear by using her tiny wand as a distraction. As she's celebrating her first success, the children rummage through all the clothes she's wearing in order to find the candy.