Magic Knight Rayearth Anime Second Season, Disk 2 (English)

March 15th, 2012

For some reason, the Second season set of Magic Knight Rayearth is numbered as if it is the continuation of the first season, so the the individual disks are numbered 5,6 and 7. So this review is of the Disk labeled 6, just so you don’t get confused.

On Disk 6, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu set off to defeat the enemies that crowd Cephiro now that their Pillar is gone. Accompanying Hikaru is Lantis, Zagato’s younger brother. The three girls battle another giant robot in space and we meet our honorable foe – Eagle of Autozam. He tells us of the tragedy his planet faces if he doesn’t get the resources of Cephiro. More interestingly, we learn that he and Lantis were friends.

The girls run into multiple minions of Debonair-sama, our newest evil sorceress; among them is Halcyone, Zagato’s former minion. And, we meet Nova, the evil-twin-like character, whose power echoes Hikaru’s and whose one desire is to kill Hikaru – because, she says, she loves her.

There are two really excellent things about the battle being taken into space – way less of Puu, which can only be considered a victory for sanity, and Eagle and Lantis. Their backstory is by far the most interesting piece of the story yet to be told. I’m sorry to say that Nova remains, for me, an utter bore. However, if you like evil/alternate-twin Yuri, then maybe she will do it for you. My attention is rarely captured by monomania.

Fuu and Umi has been relegated to the position of Hikaru’s backup team, and the fight between Debonair and Cephiro (and every other country and Cephiro) takes a step back to let the battle between Hikaru and Nova become the plot driver. Hikaru suffers more hit points than her magic can handle and, as the disk comes to a close, she is bereft of sword, Ma-shin and confidence.

Obviously for Cephiro to survive, Hikaru will have to power up. And we still have one disk to go.

I find watching this series invokes a kind of nostalgia in me. Although I never really watched it the first time around, Media Blasters glowly yellow subtitles that always looked so old-school, are very much at home on this hand-drawn, no CGI to be seen, anime. It’s easy to get caught up in a fantasy where that was a purer time, but realistically, for the folks making the anime, the deadlines were just as tight and there was just as much – if not more – work to do. Also, wow are the body shapes on all the characters weirdly out of proportion. Any one one of the girls would be too thin to hold up a shoe, much less a sword. So, nostalgia be damned, in many ways the animation being put out now is a million times better than this. Just sayin’. Nonetheless, for family friendly anime – especially for girls who want to be the hero – this kind of thing can’t be beat.

Ratings:

Art – 6
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 4, but it’s all creepy
LoserFanBoy – 1

Overall – 7

My favorite disk so far, as Eagle loses it after Lantis confronts him. ^_^

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One Response

  1. Eric P. says:

    “It’s easy to get caught up in a fantasy where that was a purer time, but realistically, for the folks making the anime, the deadlines were just as tight and there was just as much – if not more – work to do. Also, wow are the body shapes on all the characters weirdly out of proportion. Any one one of the girls would be too thin to hold up a shoe, much less a sword. So, nostalgia be damned, in many ways the animation being put out now is a million times better than this.”

    Great point on the deadlines thing, but I don’t totally know about animation being “better” nowadays. To be fair, it’s probably not “worse” either. Plenty of newer shows look better than most others, but characters can still come across off-model even now. In general, just speaking for myself, with cel-animation it sometimes *feels* like there’s more hard work done and life added to everything. Meanwhile the current digital route would feel more cheap and easy, which probably couldn’t be helped with the changing times. I usually get this sense when I watch a bunch of newer series in a row before revisiting an older one. Again, that’s me.

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