What They Say:
“I met her… a sempai who’s cute, but strange!” She loves magic tricks, but she fails every time due to stage fright?! She drags me into the Magic Club and makes me her assistant… and siblings Saki-chan and Ma-kun of the street performers club, and Madara-san of the chemistry club get dragged into it, too. Every day, Sempai fails in energetic yet slightly erotic ways! It’s a gag anime about crummy magic tricks that are painful to watch… but you can’t stop watching!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a lot of episodes being divide up into four or five stories, this one as we get closer to the end sets us up with three stories that come in a little longer each. I still contend that the series would be better if they broke out the stories into their own episodes and ran for a year, keeping the property in view. Which I know sounds weird in our binge culture, but shorts tend to be like the daily comic strip or your Sunday funnies, better in small doses. And as much as I enjoy Sempai and the rest of the group, smaller doses is definitely better for some of this, especially with Sempai’s personality and how she’s presented.
The opening tale has her working with the four-ball trick as she’s trying to master all aspects of it but having little luck as her hands get too sweaty. She’s educating Assistant on all of this so he at least understands she’s not just goofing around. Part of the problem is that her hands are pretty small so that makes tricks like this designed by men with larger hands harder for her to do. Amusingly, she presses her hand against his to show the size difference and with as nervous and sweaty as she is from the trick it just gets him completely red in the face. It’s definitely amusing watching the slow relationship build between the two.
The show has some fun with Saki as well, first with a problem with Ma and then going into the reveal of a doll of Sempai that she created. It’s utterly adorable to be sure and there’s some cute stuff with that even if it is traditionally creepy. Surprisingly, it’s a brief before that shifts to the lst one where the group decides to tail Sempai as something suspicious has happened and they must find out what. Naturally, she leads a pretty easy life overall but we see how she’s always practicing her tricks along the way all while they all think something nefarious is going on. The theories they come up with in regards to what she’s really up to are fun once she connects with a guy her own age and go shopping as even Assistant loses his mind a bit as he’s feeling very protective. Not that he has any right to or anything but it’s played so over the top as to be comical.
As with most of the series, Magical Sempai has a lot of cute moments but an episode as a whole continues to just feel like too much at once. Each of the storylines have their moments of silliness and fanservice and go to various extremes in their own way. The third one takes things further than the others as it really lets Assistant go all out in showing how upset he is over the potential of Sempai seeing someone, which isn’t a surprise but is still way too outsized considering their platonic relationship as it stands. Overall, it’s got its moments, continues to look great, and offered up a lot of good laughs overall.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll