First Impressions: Modern Magic Made Simple

There’s more than one way to use magic.

These days you can learn spells online.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with a title such as Modern Magic Made Simple, but it looked promising enough. I dig magic, I dig anime; okay, let’s see what this is.

Koyomi struggles with the html of turning exes into frogs.

Episode one revolves around a girl named Koyomi. She and her stoic friend Kaho appear to be learning how to produce modern magic via computer under the tutelage of a bespectacled gal named Misa. However, Koyomi keeps sucking at it hardcore, and in fact the only thing that she ever manages to accomplish is summoning a washbasin. Enter Yumiko, a loud and proud classical magic user, who boasts that she can turn Koyomi’s unproductive magic around by giving her lessons in the basics of classical magic.

Maybe Koyomi and Yomiko could use those washbasins to fashion some pants.

Classical magic is, well, classical magic, in that you use your physical self to conjure. Modern magic is similar, only you use computers to write out magical codes and perform spells. The rest of the episode is a series of silly trials between Koyomi and Yumiko, first physical (to get Koyomi’s body in prime shape for conjuring magic) then attempting the spells themselves. Needless to say, there are a lot of washbasins involved. At the end of the day all the gals relax in a giant washbasin on the roof, until it disappears and they all go tumbling out in a giant naked heap. Such shenanigans!

Wheee, naked! Too bad no one could magic up some pillows for a soft landing.

Based on this episode alone, I wouldn’t continue this series. The comedy isn’t that funny, in my opinion, and the magic isn’t that magical. There’s already quite a bit of ridiculous fan service, which would annoy me in a better series, but in this one, why not? Nothing more interesting seems to be going on. I have yet to really like any of the characters, who all seem like standard clichés at this point without anything to make them personal and unique. I typically enjoy stories about magic, but we know so little about this world at this point that there’s not much more to go on other than “You can do spells on computers, too!” That’s a cool idea, but it’s the only one in twenty-five minutes of bland comedy and boring situations. I need more to draw me in than just that.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chris G.
    Dec 15, 2011 @ 14:18:22

    Half of all anime seems to be “fan service” these days…urk…


    • Miss Pink
      Dec 16, 2011 @ 14:05:55

      Agreed! It irks me particularly when an anime will have a successful first season with relatively little to no fan service, then season two will have it in spades. You were fine in season one, why add that ridiculousness for season two? Blegh.


  2. R. Chan
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 19:27:13

    I came by this post looking for more information about this series after watching the first season. In fact, I’m probably going to order the original manga and maybe the light novels. I would like to suggest you give this series a second chance. Judging by the screenshots and description, I think you watched an OVA that was meant as an epilogue to the series. The actual series is more serious (but not too much) and less “fan-service-y” than the OVA.

    I won’t go into the details of the series, but I did enjoy how they integrated magic into the modern world. At least in the USA, there has been a rash of ‘urban fantasy’ novels published, but those are almost always about vampires, werewolves, or demons. It’s nice to see a more benign take on the ‘underground’ world of mages in modernity.


    • Miss Pink
      Jan 05, 2012 @ 04:15:58

      Thank you for the suggestion! I love the idea of modern magic, and I could see the potential in the underlying story, but the silliness was a bit much for me. If I’d known it was an OVA I certainly would have looked for the first actual episode. Thanks again, glad to know that there’s more to this series! 🙂


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