OP: 「Calling U」 by Buzz Vibes
ED: 「Yosokufunou Days」 by Fuchigami Mai
「追憶の呼び声」 (Tsuioku no Yobigoe)
“A Vestige of the Past”
It’s difficult to know where to start with Majutsushi Orphen Hagure Tabi. Would it be the 1994 light novel series that started it all? Would it be the multiple adaptations that have been created throughout the past three decades? Or how about the PS2 video game from 2000 that I recall seeing propped up on the shelves of Blockbuster for a good 13 years before that location went kaput? Regardless of the long journey we’ve had with Orphen, a new anime has been created to adapt the light novel in celebration of its 25th anniversary. While it does speed through the initial chapters, it helps us get familiarized with the main cast, who Orphen (Morikubo Showtaro) is, and what his relationship is with the world of sorcery.
One of this anime’s bigger strengths is playing into the retro feel of the anime by calling attention to the late ’90s & early 00’s aesthetic. It might not be as polished as the Fruits Basket remake, but has some cute touches that give it a throwback vibe. It was a pleasant surprise to see some of the art shifts during humorous scenes and the bouncy background music that occurred throughout the episode.
It was also nice to see how Orphen has a larger skillset to pull from right away. With so many shows focusing on complete novices, it’s a relief to see how many incantations he has under his tool belt such as the chants he used to repair the carpet or disable the other sorcerer’s offensive spells.
The remake does an effective job of keeping you up to speed with the main cast by giving us a quick rundown on their motives and abilities. We learn right off the bat not only what makes Orphen special, but what his main goal is as he tries to protect his old master Azalie from sorcerers trying to kill her after transforming into a dragon.
For this type of show, it had some amusing humor along with it. The bandits might be a little generic, but the chemistry that Orphen has with the people he interacts with really elevates much of this material. It’s funny to see Orphen go from being completely oblivious to the marriage fraud scheme to using the situation of getting busted as a means of throwing it back at his co-conspirators’ faces. Characters such as the blunt yet bubbly Claiomh (Ookubo Rumi) adds to Orphen’s character by fleshing out his personality and giving us both his skillful and flagrant sides.
There might be more mind-blowing or game-changing anime of this season, but Majutsushi Orphen Hagure Tabi is a fun and entertaining remake that should help its audience be better associated with the source material. It should be interesting to see how the plot unfolds in the next episode now that he’ll be invested in a nonlethal fight against Azalie.