Mahou Shoujo Naria Girls

February 17, 2017

At first I was sceptical of watching a magical girl show since currently this isn’t really my cup of tea. But what made me decide to watch Mahou Shoujo Naria Girls? No, there are no maid characters here. Well, it is this funny synopsis that I read. Three girls aiming to become nationally renowned characters by creating animation themselves. They choose this magical girl theme to appeal to adults and kids. So the challenge arises as they try to become popular characters in an anime that only lasts for 1 cour. Wow. That sounds interesting. It could be a parody of a parody. Magical girls trying to keep up their popularity via TV show? Well, we all know with the abundance of magical girl TV series, it’s not going to die out soon. But to stand out and be remembered for generations to come, that’s a different story…

Episode 1
Nariadia was once a lush green world but it has now become an icy one. The prince is frozen and Animaru is tasked to gather warriors to fight the Ice Queen and bring back light to the kingdom. Urara looks like your typical cliché main protagonist. Having such strange dreams and running late from school. Her friends are Hanabi who is an airhead and sometimes foul mouth and the busty Inaho who is supposedly to have things come out of her breasts?! WTF?! The trio discuss the meaning of objects seen in dreams like eggplant, hawk and Mt Fuji. So they conclude that the dream wants them to save the world? Whatever. Later they do more talking and I’m not even sure what the heck they’re doing. Are they acting out some sort of quiz or interview? That is when some beast attacks them. Animaru throws them gems and has them say certain words so they can transform into magical girls. That fast? That easy? No reservations or suspicions? Except strange cute things from a strange cute stranger, huh?

Episode 2
The beast runs away. What a bummer. Animaru explains to them how the Ice Queen has stolen the Naria of Winter that causes the kingdom to lose its power and thus her monsters appear in their world. Only the legendary warriors of spring, summer and autumn can stop her. The trio talk about becoming a magical girl especially the bad parts like getting muscle ache and the need to sacrifice and exchange something in equivalent value. Then they tell some joke and blame it on the camera because it didn’t get it. So do I. So is it my fault too? And Inaho is telling us she is just a girl with big boobs and not an airhead like the duo. I think I like her honesty. Anyway, the beast returns with a magic mirror that will make the girls fight over a cheating man although this is just an illusion. Okay… So the girls look like they are acting it out? Pretending to be a plant? Arguing about rent? Giving sexiest names for oden? Thank goodness Animaru snaps them out of this nonsense by throwing gems for them to transform. Immediately after their transformation, they blast away the beast. Sorry folks, no magical girl action. They reconcile and become friends.

Episode 3
Somehow the trio lost their powers. Then they are tasked to become idols and discuss about being one. What’s this about Urara and Inaho teasing Hanabi by changing her name to Nose Hair (Hanage)?! You bet the idol monster is going to wreak havoc. While the trio wait in the audition waiting room, the monster (disguised as a kawaii manager) is going to embarrass them in front of the audiences via this magic mirror that will have them act out as an evil talent agency head, sketchy fortune teller and a new idol. On stage, I don’t even know what the girls are doing. Maybe the magic is really in effect having them talk nonsense. Then they realize they suck and can’t get their act going like they did in practice. When the audience starts making fun of them, a group of girls from some popular high school chide them for laughing at those who are trying their best. The audience become embarrassed by their act and started cheering on them. This causes them to get their powers back as they transform and defeat the monster. Oh, they won the audition too.

Episode 4
There is a new transfer student in school. He is hot so naturally lots of girls like him. So Hanabi teases Urara about thinking about him but the girls detour talking about abbreviated terms before returning to the subject about that guy and making a promise they won’t steal him from anybody despite having a little interest. Of course the monster is going to wreak havoc by showing them an illusion and making them act out a play about a boyfriend who loves big tits and trying to ask a strange father for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I don’t know… The act and conversation are so weird I just can’t follow. Once it gets too awkward, Animaru throws them gems for them to transform and defeat the monster. They realize they almost fall for a bad guy and decide to focus on becoming better magical girls and idols.

Episode 5
The girls are chosen to star in a chocolate commercial. They will star along with a new actress, Uika Majuuzaki. Excited to be on TV, the girls talk and make jokes about dieting and its fads. Of course, Uika is a monster and is going to give the girls trouble. She calls them to come in their normal clothes and at a certain time tomorrow. But when they do, the producers get mad for turning up late and in the wrong clothes. He drops them from the shooting. While depressed, Uika uses her magic mirror to make them play out as a conman trying to pass a married woman off as a high tech maid robot to a pure boy who can’t seem to refuse because he can’t resist maid tits. WTF… The act gets lamer and lamer… Melting cheese… WTF is that… Animaru snaps them out by throwing gems for them to power up and destroy the monster. The producer apologizes for having a wrong impression on them and reinstates them back into their commercial.

Episode 6
Urara dreams of her grandma whom she has been staying with since her mom passed away. As she is sick, she wants to go to her right now although she has practice. So we have the girls talk about using special effects and green background screen to make it look like she is flying over there to visit her. Oh hell, screw all that because they learn to use their magic and fly over there. Finally, a good use for their magical girl power. Urara is sad and doesn’t want grandma to die because she will be all alone. Grandma tells her about life and death but I guess it is too complicated for her to understand. This is when the monster takes advantage of this depression and has them act out as a weird boy dating a girl and his ghostly grandma appears to give unwanted advice. WTF. Even more WTF when they make puns about boobs bouncing like watermelons. As usual, they snap out and defeat the monster. Sadly, Urara’s grandma passes away and it wasn’t the monster’s attack as she suspected. As she cleans her house, she finds a letter from grandma addressed to her. It reads that her mother is still alive but living somewhere else but is always thinking about her so please don’t hate her. Urara realizes she was abandoned.

Episode 7
To help cheer up Urara, Inaho lets them stay at her rich beach villa. Inaho also has a maid, Fuji who will serve them but she is actually a monster. And like always, she makes them play out a silly act. Of all the acts, this is the funniest and tolerable one. It’s about Hanabi returning to her villa only to find that Urara the squatter has lived here since forever. Forever is like 2 weeks. You hear all the silly reasons the squatter gives as she claims the house is hers and even sold Hanabi’s old precious manga to rid of the junk. It gets ‘complicated’ with Inaho coming into a picture as a prospective house buyer. Since when there is a 2 week trial period? They have a contest to see who should get the villa. Read: Lame villa dance and puns. Animaru snaps them out as they transform and defeat the monster before heading to the beach for fun.

Episode 8
The girls are talking about monsters when fellow classmate, Usagi Yukino overheard them. They try to deny everything but Usagi shows them she a gem and is a fellow magical girl. They ask Animaru if there is a fourth one but he is certain the Naria of Winter is in the Ice Queen’s hands. For now, they let her join their ranks to fight monsters. Of course as you have come to expect, Usagi is a monster in disguise. When monster minions come to attack, Usagi launches her illusion attack on them. Yup, another lame acting about one of them realizing she is a perverted boy in disguise that will hinder the gang from fighting the monsters effectively and will eventually break up. So we’ve got Urara acting as the pervert even to a point wanting to take out her ‘magic stick’. Ugh… And some lame international pun contests too. Like always, Animaru snaps them out as they defeat the monster. The girls are sad realizing Usagi is a monster but Urara starts questioning what are monsters.

Episode 9
Urara even questions why they need to do all this. It’s not like she wants to become a magical girl in the first place. Then she starts asking deep questions why she is alive. A guy sits next to her and admits he is a monster. Don’t worry, he won’t attack when he is alone. He talks to her about himself that he isn’t good around other people (because he is a monster?) and in turn Urara tells him what is bugging her. But when her friends arrive, the monster decides to go back to his old ways to help the Ice Queen and make the girls do a lame play of a shopkeeper catching a girl shoplifting. It gets odder when her father comes into the picture. Urara kills it as that father. She’s saying how the daughter takes after him and have ‘sticky fingers’. Get that? Oh, apparently the father also slept with the shopkeeper years ago and will forget about this if they sleep together again. Yeah it might work since dad conveniently forgot all about the shopkeeper after their first time! Same routine of being snapped out and destroying the monster. The girls get a call from their manager that they will be performing at the Nippon Dome.

Episode 10
The girls meet Nastasha Satou who is the Dome’s producer. Before their concert starts, they brainstorm for ideas for this new concert. A few weird ideas that I think went off track. I wonder if they are really serious. During the concert, Satou has them sing a different themed solo song for the audience. For example, Inaho sings about world peace but as some roly poly insect? Hanabi sings enka style about illegal parking and Urara a Christmas song that is about not touching her azuki soba. I don’t know how she messed up and heard soda instead. Anyhow, the songs they sing sound like they are about to burst into laughter anytime. Like it’s all a joke. Are they really serious? If I was the audience, I would ask for a refund! At the backstage, the girls thought they have charged up their gems but it is still empty. They should have seen this coming from a mile because Satou is a monster and tricked them in charging up when they are actually charging up the Ice Queen. Even if they defeat Satou, their power won’t return. Yeah, it’s like these dumbasses never learn.

Episode 11
Urara looks through her photo album and asks dad about mom again. As usual, he dodges the question and this makes Urara upset he continues to keep it a secret. Urara meets up with her friends as they discuss if the monsters attack now, they cannot defend themselves. Then a knight appears and has orders from the Ice Queen to take their power. But aren’t they without power? Even so, they will not give up without a fight. The knight reveals the Ice Queen is Urara’s mom and this makes her upset even more as she wonders if she enjoys making her daughter suffer like this Yeah, suffer more because the knight makes them act out a silly play about biker ladies and the boss is being bossed around by his stupid subordinates. Uh huh. Because Urara is naturally filling up with power, this lame act is to prevent it. After the lame jokes, Animaru snaps them out to transform and destroy the knight. Urara’s dad finally tells her the truth. She was stillborn. They were devastated and mom sacrificed herself to make a great wish to Naria. He wants her to know that mom loves her dearly.

Episode 12
Urara asks Animaru if her mom is really the Ice Queen. He isn’t quite sure either because if she had some big wish, Naria would have absorbed her and unable to maintain her human form. Huh? The only way left is to go face her. But there are tons of snow minions before them. Can’t waste a single magic. So how? Do a lame act! About bras! WTF?! Yeah, those minions must be perverts because they’re talking about striping and showing their bra colour. WTF???!!! But you know what? It’s not like it’s going to work anyway so Hanabi sacrifices herself to path a way for the rest to go ahead. At the front gate, it is obviously a trap. How? Thank goodness no more lame acts. But Inaho sacrifices herself to blast it open. Yeah, the slab just fell on her. Urara is before the Ice Queen. The latter attacks but Urara breaks through with her own power. The sadness of losing her friends powers her up and brings her mom back to normal. She seeks forgiveness and dies. WTF???!!! At least she died as her mom. Even sadder, Urara now makes a powerful wish because she didn’t like the idea of sacrificing someone to make wishes to come true. So she wants everything to be turned back to a world without Naria! Animaru is against it because what about his world? Screw that, right? F*ck! Does she even have enough power?! In the final scene, we see Urara has turned into a boy named Urao. Yeah, he is a f*cking pervert! At least he has a happy family with mom and dad.

The Chronicles Of Naria: The Monster, The Magical Girls And The Horrendous Animation
Wait a minute?! As I was watching a few episodes into the series, it then occurred to me how different it was from the synopsis. Because it felt nothing like it. Unless you consider that lame acting as making a series. So was there some sort of deception?! Well, there is another synopsis which goes about saying about the land of Nariadia which was once vibrant and green only to be trapped in eternal winter by the Ice Queen. Therefore to restore its balance, warriors from the human world known as Naria Girls appear to save the day. Wow. That’s totally different. Had I read this one first, no doubt that I would have passed it up. But in a way it is a ‘blessing’ too because now I get to ascertain how crappy this anime is. That’s right. This is bad. Thank goodness they are not getting another cour out of this. Because this doesn’t feel like a magical girl genre but more of a stand-up comedy.

Okay, the first thing that will strike you as the worst offender is the very badly animated scenes. If I should even call this generally. The series is divided into 2 types of animated scenes, the 3D CGI type with motion capture and the traditional 2D hand drawn type. To cut short a long story, it is horrible as f*ck!!!!! You know, it almost feels like the one who made the 3D animations did not have any programming knowledge beforehand or they had their kids practice their computing skills here. Or maybe it was just the bad acting of the motion capture. I was thinking if this horrible 3D animation is to make us laugh but it is so terrible that my laughter turned to despair. They are so bland that it makes me also wonder if they lack any budget to invest in this CGI part. Coupled in with their lame acting, the CGI animation feels like as though it might go into some glitch anytime! Serious! It looks as though the movement of the girls are on the verge of turning into a glitch. Even if that didn’t happen, it makes their overall movements still as stiff and as lame as ever. Not only zero points but negative points for this!

Although the 2D drawing fares better, however the girls look quite odd in a certain way. As if this is the art style trademark of this series. I don’t know. Just take a look at Urara. Doesn’t she look a bit weird in her 2D form? I know she is cuter than her 3D form but it still looks freaking weird. Besides, the 2D animation is not really animated. They are still pictures and some are even recycled throughout the series. Yeah, what a waste of talent. Therefore it feels like a big deception because the promotional poster of the series is by far the only and I mean the ONLY best looking art ever for the series. I’m not kidding. You thought you might at least see some sparkly special effects and maybe not put your hopes too high. But none can prepare you for this horrendous visuals. Oh, thank goodness they never got another cour.

Next in line to how bad this anime is the voice acting. I might not be very well versed in the voice acting industry but something tells me that the voice acting isn’t really up to anime standards. For example when the girls go into their lame act, the way speak feels like as though they are talking at some live variety show. There is some sort of feel that their voice acting isn’t too polished. Because of the fact that sometimes you could hear that they are about to burst into a giggle over their ‘funny’ joke but trying to hold it back. You know, like what a live show is like when a host is talking to a guest. So it is just freaking lame to hear them speak this way like as though this isn’t something serious enough. At first I thought they were going to pull off some twist like how they are just putting up an act in front of the cameras (because I noticed sometimes they are a bit shaky) as this might be one big show but nope. Just bad voice acting and bad animation. They really trolled us.

Thirdly, that horrendous ending that just leaves us screaming WTF. You know, it is like undoing everything that has happened so far and by the sound of it, I won’t even discount that this Urao ending could be a parallel world. They should have just killed everybody and destroyed the world. I think that even sounds better despite it is sad to kill off magical girls. But with everything going south like as though the producers were running out of time and needed something to end the series with a bang, they thought up of this crap. Worst of all, I don’t even understand what it all meant or why Urara’s mom turned into the Ice Queen in the first place. If there was, I wasn’t paying attention. Lame acting got me turned off. Serious. And we don’t even care what happened to Nariadia eventually. Screw that land! It never existed! Oh yeah. It makes things so much simpler. Oh Animaru, you really failed your mission.

Talking about the plot and characters, the bad animation and voice acting is already enough to eclipse this. Because if you think about it, our Naria Girls are just weak and useless as they are. I mean, in every damn episode they would fall for the monster’s stupid spell to act out a stupid act. I believe this is supposed to be the plot and feature of the series but come on. To have the girls fall into this damn trickery each time and then they have to depend on Animaru to snap them out and finish the job? There has got to be a better way than this. Maybe a few times at the start it would be alright, but all the time falling into the trap of stupid lame acting? And why the heck do monsters want to make them do this? Such humiliation would prevent them from powering up? Yeah, it might just work… By the time the series reaches halfway, the girls should have guessed or at least be cautious with all the people they deal with. But no, they continue to be trusting and hence you can’t blame anybody but them each time they fall into this silly trap. Sure, they are nice girls who would prefer to show us they trust everybody instead of letting the cynical nature of society darken their heart. But at this point I was already hoping that they would forever get stuck in this silly acting and spare us the misery. Oh wait, does this mean we are doomed to watch that when that happens? No way! And if you’re wondering why most of their lame acts sound perverted and a bit horny, yeah, maybe that is why that gender changing ending explains it. Their boy alter ego is perverted in the first place. Or maybe they are just perverted from the start. Once a pervert, always a pervert.

The main magical girls are as shallow as they are. Urara only has some depth because of her links with the Ice Queen. Her other friends aren’t as likeable because their personalities don’t really stand out. Animaru I believe is supposed to be the animal mascot but he fails since I figure his primary job is to snap the girls out of their lame hypnosis and let them finish their job. That’s all he ever does. As for the monsters, sometimes I feel they might have even more personality than the girls despite their single appearance. Because for the eye-catch, they will have a short rant about themselves or at least do some sort of promotion of movie or music release. Yeah, blatant advertising. But it makes them a little more interesting although they are as silly. Another thing I want to say about the monsters is that some of them have voices that don’t really match their looks. I mean, they don’t look scary and ferocious and look more like the monsters that would most likely appear on a children’s Sunday morning cartoon. With some very odd voices trying to go with it, I’d say that it makes them overall weird. Really. And to think that those monsters are supposed to take after Urara’s favourite things when she was young, doesn’t this mean Urara is a twisted person?

Action wise. WHAT ACTION???!!! There is no magical girl action whatsoever here!!! You will be sorely disappointed. Because once they transform, all we are shown is a single still picture of them defeating the monster. Too bad about seeing their special magical girl moves which are none. Heck, at least they have a transformation scene. Despite all the scene being the same, it is the nonsensical themes that Animaru has them spew while they transform. And then they say some random lines as their magical attack to destroy the monster. And the monster will have one final say like all villains should have before they die but it is mostly some promotional items. Damn blatant advertising.

The opening and ending themes are sung by the Naria Girls. They might not be the best anime pop song but at least it offers a little respite to all the horrendous things that this anime has to offer. The opening theme is We Are Naria Girls while the ending theme is Mezase! Kokumin-teki Chara. Note, the ending credits animation is CGI animated with the Naria Girls doing a concert. Yup, crappy sh*t animation. It makes me wonder if the audiences are just cardboard cut outs. Harsh… For the record, the main seiyuus are mostly newbies. They are Seria Fukagawa as Urara (Touko in Glasslip), Aoi Koga as Hanabi (Momoko Ogi in Beyblade Burst), Yuuki Kuwahara as Inaho (Hakua in Shomin Sample) and Koutarou Ishidate as Animaru. Interestingly, there are a handful of popular seiyuus making their cameo as the monsters. For instance Kenichi Suzumura, Mikako Komatsu and Tomokazu Sugita. It is nice to hear Kana Asumi as the Ice Queen as I haven’t been hearing much of her lately and her character only had a voice in the final episode. Funnily most of her lines are screaming roars and I instantly recognized it was her. Yeah, her trademark voice still resonated within me after all this time.

Overall, this is a horrendous production that should not have been made in the first place. It is as though a bunch of drunk guys got together and wanted to animate their silly jokes they told each other but hide it in a form of magical girls (which makes them looking uncouth when they’re acting it out). Everything feels lost here and sometimes the laughter will turn into tears and then back to laughter again because by this time if your mind and heart aren’t strong, you’ll go crazy with all the lameness and silliness that the girls go through. Which reminds me, the lame acting could have been people like me who have stage fright when go up there to put on a simple act. Yeah, not a laughing matter. I’ll never return to showbiz again. And at this rate if I was their manager or the show producer, I would have immediately drop them or cancel their show off the air, earning them a spot on the top 10 list of series that got cancelled before they even finish their run.