OP: 「町かどタンジェント」 (Machikado Tanjiento) by shami mono
「優子の目覚め!!家庭の事情で今日から魔族」 (Yuuko no Mezame! ! Katei no Jijou de Kyou kara Mazoku)
“Yuko Awakens! For Family Reasons You’re Now a Demon Girl”
With the swath of heavy hitters now making their appearance it would be easy to forget summer has a few other shows resting under its belt, but Machikado Mazoku is here to remind us that not everything good must be a blockbuster production. There will be no surprises here for anyone remotely familiar with everything comedy and magical girl, but as a hilarious bit of weekly downtime, oh boy is this one set up for fun.
As mentioned in the always faithful RC Preview, Machikado Mazoku is incredibly simple at heart: ordinary schoolgirl Yoshida Yuko (Kohara Konomi) is one day transformed into a demon in order to destroy the magical girl Chiyoda Momo (Kito Akari). Doing so will free Yuko and her family from a perpetual curse of poverty and deprivation, but succeeding is another matter entirely when Momo is about as overpowered an opponent as they come—and that’s before she transforms. It’s a premise well-fit for a serious story, however Machikado Mazoku veers the other way by taking it firmly into comedic territory. Yuko couldn’t hurt a fly if she tried, her mama is nothing but encouraging in the best way possible, and Momo, for all that power, has some hilariously overbearing sympathy which turns Yuko into an adorable bundle of fail you just want to help succeed. It’s pretty much Gabriel Dropout without the hikkikomori gamer twist, and it never fails to remind you of the fact.
What arguably makes Machikado Mazoku work so well in practice though is its nonchalant deadpan attitude. From the get go everyone—and I mean everyone—is fully cognizant of what Yuko and Momo are and treat them no differently from their original “normal” state. Long winded introductions and complex attempts at hiding one’s powers? Not in this series, because if first appearances are anything to go by such multigenerational magical struggles are par the course of any healthy school experience. Such a setup allows Machikado Mazoku to dispense with the usual comedy setup requiring some measure of explanation before hitting with the punchline; because all these characters know exactly what’s going on (or at least accept it at face value), we can jump from gag to gag without them ever feeling forced or ill fitting. Given the type of material on and the likely route the story will take—i.e. Momo helping train Yuko before both wind up teaming together against Yuko’s ancestor Lilith—we’re looking at some seriously outrageous comedy before all is said and done, but the risk of course (much like with all comedies) is Machikado Mazoku burning itself out before reaching the end. Not hard thinking for example those plentiful sound effects will wear out their welcome before too long.
In the end however Machikado Mazoku is certainly set up well to be this season’s main comedy feature. We may have seen this premise a million times before and enjoyed these jokes many times over, but with execution this good and the promise of even greater shenanigans to come, need look no further for a summer show to satisfy that comedy itch.
ED: 「よいまちカンターレ」 (Yoimachi Kantare) by Coro Machikado