I cannot believe I haven’t reviewed this title. If anyone seeks an example of shoujo that makes obvious almost every facet and/or stereotype of the genre, I can think of no better show to suggest. That doesn’t mean that Magic-kyun is some pinnacle of anime, but rather that it makes its shoujo elements so incredibly obvious that it serves as a perfect illustration of what makes shoujo…well, shoujo!
THE SHOUJO-Y-EST SHOUJO TO EVER SHOUJO! ❤
(I feel like I’m talking in the 3rd person!)
My point is, when I passingly mention “literal shoujo sparkles,” I’m talking about this show.
The show, like many I watch, is based on an otome game. (My otome-review index is viewable here!) I watched this show weekly back in Fall 2016 (so long ago! another time! another house!), and everything about it from its school setting to it’s reverse harem character cast to its vaguely self-insert-y protagonist screams shoujo even though I can confidently say that, while I greatly enjoyed it, it isn’t my favorite title.
I’ll provide a straight review re: why I loved watching Magic-kyun! Renaissance, but at the same time, I’m also going to walk through some of the shoujo stereotypes this show perfectly hits. (I promise, there are a LOT, though we might not get to them all today.) But first, I should probably provide a plot synopsis, yeah? I don’t like to write those, so let’s see if I can borrow one…
A world where art becomes magic. In this world, people who can inspire passion with their Magic Arts are called Artistas, and are employed in show business. In Hoshinomori Private Magical Arts High School, where Artistas are taught, a strange new student named Kohana Aigasaki transfers into the school.
Kohana is placed on the planning committee for the school’s yearly Hoshinomori Summer Festa cultural festival. She spends her romantic school life with six other boys who aim to become entertainers in the future. Each of the boys specializes in his own Arts, and aims to make Hoshi Fes a success. In addition, the boys also aim to be chosen alongside Kohana as the school’s Artista Prince and Princess, only chosen once a year.
A Magic-kyun for you! A new renaissance starts here! Magic-kyun! Renaissance is a multimedia project where you can create great memories with Artistas of greatly varying personalities!-Magic-kyun! Renaissance website
Okay! So, to expand on that, Kohana’s mother was a renowned floral Artista, and Kohana wants to follow in her footsteps. Regrettably, she often has trouble managing her own magical skills, and her struggle is also central to the plot as she and the boys do their best to make the festival a success. To correct the above synopsis, the boys aren’t necessarily gunning to be the Prince of the festival alongside Kohana. Only one of them really has that aspiration (though he could take or leave Kohana at the beginning of the series because FAMILIAL RIVALS!), though none of them would turn the honor down.
Now that we’re on the same page plot-wise, I’m gonna gush about some of the things I loved. Firstly, THE MUSIC! I adore the music! One of the main-love interest (He’s the game’s true route, guys.) is a singing Artista, and oh my gosh, his VOICE. Ichijouji Teika has the voice of an angel, and I won’t be persuaded otherwise.
The voice actor is singing in ENGLISH. That presents its own set of challenges, so we must forgive any wonky pronunciation or enunciation, right? There’s a lot of it, but no judgement from me! I can hardly sing AT ALL in Japanese.
Teika’s main song, “Walk in the Lonely Night” just… it gets me, people. It really does. (I’ve written about his lovely voice briefly while discussing the best anime singers if you’re interested in that.) Furthermore, there’s something so… I honestly don’t know. Now I’m rambling again, but I don’t know why I love his voice/singing so much. I mean, it’s not nearly as polished Shogo Yano singing Fuyu no Hanashi–who is another character singer that just MAKES MY HEART BOTH DANCE AND DIE, but I digress. Teika’s voice is not flawless, but even as I write this, I suddenly think that it’s the real human quality of his voice that gets me. Wow. Assuming his VA is the one singing, good job Umehara Yuuichirou. Amazing work.
This show brings me back to my Vampire Knight days, my Fruits Basket 2001 days, my Ouran High School Host Club, Black Butler, Hakuouki-for-the-first-time days. I only started watching anime in 2016, and so for me, listening to the music from this title returns me to a time when I’d only just begun to view and blog. At that time, there were SO many shows that aligned with my very specific interests that I hadn’t seen! I lived and breathed anime for a time when there was no shortage of content, and though pickings are slimmer now, Teika’s voice makes me nostaligic. ❤
I also enjoyed the art, which wasn’t novel but enjoyable all the same. It’s a very shoujo art style, a branched subset of what I once categorically dubbed Stylized “Bishie-Realism,” and I like it. It’s pretty. ❤
Anyway, for me, it’s really the music and art that makes this show such a joy, but the plot isn’t anything to scoff at. It isn’t super deep or anything, but it’s sweet, vaguely dramatic enough, and romantic. To keep things spoiler free, I won’t get too into it, but there’s plenty of light hurt/comfort/need-a-man-to-save-me (definitely no UraBoku, though) to keep an avid shoujo girl like myself entertained. (I’m a simple woman of simple needs, fam. Can I still say fam, or did that go hopelessly out of style?)
Wrapping things up, I want to run through a few notes in bulletpoint fashion suggesting how Magic-kyun! Renaissance (I have to look up how to spell Renaissance EVERY TIME I TYPE IT EXCEPT THAT ONE, WHAT??, so I’ll be glad when I don’t have to type it anymore.) really exemplifies the shoujo genre. You can almost go down a features checklist when you look at this title. (Oh, wow. Now I need to make a “Shoujo Features” checklist…) Let’s see some of the things that make this show one of the shoujo-y-est shoujos to ever shoujo!
Shoujo Notes & Observations for Magic-kyun! Renaissance:
- Reverse harem of solidly level 2 bishounen
- Idols (in this case, artists, but it’s a very similar vibe) & music
- Sweet, self-insertable MC with just enough personality to suffice if self-insert isn’t your thing
- Saved by/finds success and confidence through love
- Has one (1) female best friend to the MC (who, I must specify, doesn’t provide romantic competition)
- High-school setting
- Unassuming, pretty art style
- Branch of stylized “Bishie-Realism”
- Literal sparkles & beautiful magic illustrated on-screen
- Many slice-of-life episodes
- emotionally focused
- romantically focused
- Bonus! Romeo & Juliet subplot
I’m sure there’s more, but I have to go and clean up my living room before someone steps on the scissors I was using to wrap Christmas presents!
If you’ve seen Magic-kyun! Renaissance (Oh, NOW I’ve learned to spell it.), what did you think of it? What do you think about shoujo art styles in general? Also, how are you doing today, and what’s your favorite color? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading, everyone. ❤
You can view Magic-kyun! Renaissance legally and for free on Crunchyroll!
Say home when you can, wear a mask when you can’t, wash your hands, and stay safe!
(Like I said, just because this how exemplifies shoujo doesn’t mean it’s the best of the genre. If you’re looking for a gem, Fruits Basket.)
I fell down the anime music rabbit hole, again. If you’re looking for relaxing (and vaguely sad/quite emotional) instrumentals, might I suggest those found below from Diabolik Lovers. (Yes, really, the music is fantastic even if the show is beautifully, perfectly ridiculous.) I’ve been writing this post to them for a while now. (^-^)b