3 Reasons To Skip: Magimoji Rurumo

#1 Uninspired Pervert MC

If I had to describe Magimoji Rurumo in one word, it would have to be “dispassionate.” It feels like a product that was only made to fill otherwise empty space. No inspiration or ambition, just a generic story that can last until anything else comes around. Nowhere is that lack of drive represented more than with the anime’s protagonist.

Photo: Kouta stares intently at a classmate's panties while pretending to help her pick up papers.

Kouta Shibaki is an idiotic pervert. That’s it, basically. He’s a loser who ruined his reputation at school because he can’t help but harass women. He peeps on them, touches them when he can get away with it, and often voices his every lewd thought. His only friends are a club of like-minded losers who obsess over porn. That description could fit countless other ecchi protagonists, but most anime would have the decency of at least introducing some twist to this template. No such luck here.

Our story kicks off when Kouta one day uses a mysterious book said to grant wishes. He wishes for panties—as you do—and this wish is promptly granted. Not long after a small girl in a strange outfit shows up, claiming to be the witch who granted his wish. She is called Rurumo and, as per the terms of the book, he must now repay her with his life.

PHOTO: Kouta holds back Rurumo as she tries to whack him with a giant mallet.

What follows are 12 episodes of Kouta and Rurumo hanging out together, getting into all kinds of supernatural and ecchi shenanigans. Kouta is granted a literal leash on life, which shrinks with every subsequent wish he makes. A leash that he frequently wastes on perverted nonsense, because even the threat of death can’t cure lechery. Magimoji Rurumo frequently acts like there might be character development, but none of it ever sticks. Any lessons learned are reset the next day.

Even by the low standards for ecchi protagonists, Kouta is plain annoying. He’s an obnoxious douche without any charm or fun qualities. There’s nothing about him to like, so I sat through his ecchi adventures feeling detached and bored.

#2 Rubbish Character Designs

I am used to characters in anime looking generic, but it has been a while since I’ve seen a show where the characters just looked bad. A lot of the designs in Magimoji Rurumo look off in various ways. Faces that are out of proportion, strange anatomy, and oddly-shaped heads are par for the courses here. Topped off with no small amount of animation mistakes to make the characters even more horrid.

PHOTO: Tanako Kujirai's introduction

Even if you can bear the uninspired nature of the anime, these designs diffuse any appeal that ecchi would have. The anime will insist that a character is the prettiest girl in school and then you look at her and she’s got these soulless eyes that feel too spaced apart. I wasn’t on board for seeing fanservice of these characters. I didn’t even want to see them just normally.

#3 Tasteless “Sad” Episode

The point where my opinion towards the show turned definitively sour came in episode 6. In a departure from the series’ usual perversion, this episode is framed as a redemption arc. Kouta and Rurumo find a litter of abandoned kittens, which Kouta decides to take care off. It’s the 1 time we see a wholly different side of Kouta. One not driven by selfishness or unrelenting desire for sex. This sucks.

PHOTO: Kouta's friends holding him back at the beach.

Episode 6 really wants to be a tearjerker. I usually try not to spoil anything in these reviews, but you can probably guess what happens based on that description alone. It’s a miserable episode that feels like it should be a turning point for the story. Kouta went through a lot and appears to earnestly reflect on his behavior. Then episode 7 happens and—because it’s this fucking anime—none of that matters anymore. Time to go to the beach and pretend like I am only groping my classmates by accident again.

This turns a potentially-touching episode into a total moodkiller. There’s no walking back what happens in that episode. You can’t just slide straight back into carefree lechery like that and pretend like nothing is weird. It reminded me of that story arc in A Centaur’s Life set in a concentration camp, which was also followed up by a beach episode if I recall. It’s tasteless and makes everyone involved in the planning seem incompetent.

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