Gee, who would have thought the kid named Majic might be good at magic?
What They Say:
Episode #5: “Deep Dragon”
Orphen, Claiomh, and Majic try to get through Fenrir’s Forest to get to Tafrem. However, Majic ends up lost in the forest and runs into a mysterious girl.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Orphen is about as annoyed at his unexpected traveling companions as I am at this adaptation. What is supposed to be good-natured ribbing on his apprentice and hanger-on instead becomes a lesson in banality? The young Majic uses his new talents to spy on Claiomh while she bathes in a river. (Orphen is about to put up with any of this bad behavior nonsense, in a surprisingly mature take on the whole thing.) Orphen is likewise annoyed with Claiomh, and the fact that she’s not exactly used to roughing it. Not to mention the fact that despite claiming to have practiced the sword she’s utterly useless in a fight.
There are plenty of moments in this episode where the cast takes the viewer aside to explain politics and religion in their world. Despite Claiomh being a resident of said word, she isn’t knowledgeable about how any of these religions/politics/magics work. Orphen’s annoyance soon becomes our own as the exposition drips off his tongue.
Things start to become interesting when the group cuts through Fenrir’s Forest. The forest residents worship the wolf dragon Fenrir as a god. For reasons that are explained but make little to no sense, they hate magic users with a passion. Capturing Majic when he wanders away from the wagon they take him hostage. Orphen and Claiomh have to launch a rescue to get him back.
Beyond the comedic moments in this episode not being funny there’s a whole other element dragging the experience down. The CG horses in this episode are almost laughable, the hand to hand combat looks overcranked (which is common in live-action but wow, it’s not supposed to look that way in animation) and other middling shots are doing this show a huge disservice. It’s not the worst looking show out there, it’s just horribly average.
This episode closes with Orphen being mentally attacked by Fenrir, which despite being a massive menacing black wolf just stands there being scary while Orphen collapses to the ground with a migraine aurora.
In other news, Funimation has released the simuldub for this series which has David Matranga returning to voice Orphen. It’s a perfectly decent dub and better than the show probably deserves.
Orphen and reluctant friends head north through a forest ruled by a dragon. The travelers already had a strained relationship even before they set out on this journey. The hardships of travel turn into a dangerous situation when Majic is captured by dragon worshipping locals. The sloppy direction of this series, combined with stiff animation and a dated story drag the whole production down. In another studio’s hands, an update of this magical adventure might have been a lot of fun. Instead, the bickering and awkwardness are just grating.
Episode Grade: C
Streamed by: Funimation