Nurse Witch Komugi R

Nurse Witch Komugi R

img_4329.jpgKomugi Yoshida is an energetic but clumsy middle-school student who performs as an idol. Although her popularity is lacking, Komugi lives a dual life between her two worlds, until a mysterious creature named Usa-P appears before Komugi and grants her the powers of a Tombo-E Girl. Now Komugi has reluctantly become a magical girl, and must add a third life of fighting monsters and collecting cards to her already crowded lifestyle.

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Nurse Witch Komugi R comes across initially as the parody lovechild of Sailormoon and Cardcaptor Sakura. Upon watching it initially, I wasn’t sure how it would fare as a full-length anime when we have similar shows such as Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara this season that are only short shows and sometimes struggle even then to bring enough story each week to keep an audience entertained. I had my initial reservations about this one, but I quickly found myself not only enjoying the amusing parody aspects, but also the small story lines and characters that they make their own.

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As soon as we were introduced to Komugi, I could see that she was going to be very similar to how Usagi Tsukino was throughout Sailormoon. She’s very cheerful, optimistic and sensitive but is prone to being lazy, clumsy and doesn’t usually need much of an excuse to shirk her magical girl duties. Cue the teenage hijinks, hanging out with friends and fighting a list of curious monsters that are showing up for a sketchy reason that a talking animal casually mentioned to you in an info-dump in the first episode.

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Of course, since this is a magical girl anime, outlandish costumes are the name of the game. Our girls dress up as rabbit nurses, raccoon maids and cat-themed evening wear and yet, despite them all being really close friends, they’re still unable to identify one another when they cross paths on the battleground attempting to collect Fan-C cards. Another thing this anime does well is poking fun at the way that magical girls always have to get creative when it comes to having to quickly duck out of social situations when they sense that a monster is running amok. The only reason why the other two reminding girls aren’t getting suspicious is because they’re all trying to run off from one another separately!

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There’s also some amusing references to the sheer length of magical girl transformation times and sequences whilst they’re hurrying to fight off bad guys. They also have some very creative ideas when it comes to mocking the lengthy, elaborate names that often go with magical girl superpowers.

If I were a magical girl, I'd like to have this attack.
If I were a magical girl, I’d like to have this attack.

Like a typical magical girl formula, things are very monster-of-the-week with the monster in question only being loosely-based to the slice-of-life story the characters are experiencing for that episode. If Komugi and company are making cakes, a baking monster seems to show up. It’s difficult to accuse this anime of not having any imagination when you’re painfully aware that this often happens in magical girl anime and the writers are most likely poking fun at this. It also has the added bonus of being set up against the backdrop of otaku fandom and often features other idols, card games, cosplay, conventions and doujinshi. There’s also a shameless parody of Gathchaman, where Komugi plays all five members of the Science Ninja Force and goes God Phoenix on her adversary.

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For me, Tsukasa really makes things interesting and keeps me watching. She seems to be the only character with relatable trials outside of being a Tombo-E girl. She’s an idol known for her handsomeness, and so she usually plays masculine roles such as princes and knights; however, she’s actually a very girly-girl underneath and she’s just waiting for a chance to show everyone who she really is and try to evolve her career. Her budding relationship with Yuto is also very cute, how she struggles to be herself around him and how she uses her magical girl persona to communicate her honest feelings with him. The White Day episode was both funny and honest.

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But somehow I have watched this one initially struggle before finding a strength in fleshing out its characters and going beyond the shallow-yet-amusing parody path and turning into a generally funny anime with characters that you can both laugh at and get behind. Though I don’t expect much from this one when it comes to dramatic or wonderfully conclusive endings, this is one that I’m more about enjoying the ride with and watching the characters poke fun at the canon oddities that have come to be ingrained in the magical girl genre.