Quiz Magic Academy

June 5, 2009

Hmm… An OVA to a game which I have never heard of? Oh heck, it’s not that I’ve played lots of games in my entire life before to know each and every one of them, whether popular or not. So when the game’s creator, Konami made this particular game Quiz Magic Academy into a 1 episode OVA, I was a little curious to see and find out myself what it’s all about.
I did a little browsing on what this game is about, though I may still not understand the overall concept. Like I will. The game is set in a magical academy on a floating triangular-like island. Though I’ve never seen how the game works, I read that players answer trivia and questions. Is it just a Q&A game or does it include dragon slaying adventures as well? Not really sure.
But whatever the game play is, you’re not going to see the characters answer any trivia or questions in this 30 minute OVA. That would be absolutely boring, wouldn’t it? Besides, if you really want to see such game shows, I’m sure there are quite a few of them over TV. What I can say about this single OVA is that it’s just a short adventure of the students in one of the many classes in this magical academy filled with some magic (of course!) and comedy.
The episode starts off with a quartet of boy students, namely Leon, Kaile, Lask and Serious (seriously, that’s his name) facing a ferocious fire-breathing dragon. All hope seems lost when a girl named Ruquia soars down from the sky on her broomstick to save the day. Claiming to be the magical academy’s first rate captain, she takes on the dragon as they both unleash high powered projection blasts. In the end, Ruquia emerges victorious and the dragon turns into a chibi self. Everybody rejoices as they are amazed by her awesome magic. They shower her with praises and respect. But when Ruquia opens her eyes, she is in bed cuddling her little red dragon stuffed toy and her alarm clock is broken. Haha, it was just a dream. She lets loose a blood curling scream.
Yep. Ruquia’s late for class as she rushes to the academy knocking down the gates. See lah. Dream some more ‘terror’ high and mighty dream of yourself lah. Ruquia manages to arrive at her class but since she brought her pillow instead of her bag, her teacher Amelia (looks like Tabitha of Zero No Tsukaima but with more expression and as later you’ll find out, a little child-like) zaps her as punishment. Later Ruquia is having a chat about her lateness with her girl classmates, Shalon (looks a bit like Anri from Happiness!), Clala and Aloe when a new transfer student Thanders interrupts them. First thing, viewers may mistake him for a student because he looks like an elderly General Commander! Anyway he gives them his passionate speech like as though he’s addressing his battalion before going out to a battlefield. After he leaves, the girls notice another of their classmate snickering, Malariya (hopefully she’s not named after that mosquito disease. She sounds ominous too by the way…) who thinks this class is interesting.
Meanwhile a teaching staff, Miranda goes to talk with Amelia about her class student’s unique personality (some may say they’re weird). Of course being a magical school, the teaching staff have their peculiarities too whether it’s their appearance or character. Like Garuda who is well, a Garuda bird. Romanov, your typical long white hair bearded headmaster. Mallon the magical girl teacher. Francis the nice teacher who likes taking down notes. Lydia the elf archer. Anyway, Garuda swoops down to tell them about his rebel young years (attacking some volcano?) but the ladies think of him as a little young chick in his nest. Romanov then comes by to tell Amelia that it’s okay to have some personality as long as they don’t neglect their work. But Amelia’s frowning expression indicates that she may have a lot of work to do.
In class, Amelia tells her student that they have to win the climax of the upcoming school festival – Class Crash Magic Battle. Leon gets excited because he thinks he gets to destroy other classes with his magic. Well, that’s not exactly how it’s going to be since it’s going to be a team work of using magic. In addition, Amelia tells her class how the number of magic stones of this class is the least. Why are they important? They are used to calculate each class and its students’ results. Magic stones are given when they perform tasks or do well in their exams. However, they can be taken away if they fail tests or do mistakes as penalty. Shalon is surprised because recently she scored high marks on her tests just a few days ago and wonders how they could lose so many magic stones in such a short time. Furthermore, most of the other students too did well. Maybe except for Leon and Ruquia (so much for her dream of being the academy’s honour student). So we see a short flashback on how these students make dangerous faux pax which contributes to their magic stones being taken away. Amelia is in despair. Malariya concludes that’s the reason why Amelia wants the class to win the magic battle so that they could make a comeback.
Thanders then starts his passionate speech. I’m not sure what he’s talking but I understand that he wants the class to be united. Since Leon and Ruquia are in a little panic, Shalon assures to help them so that they won’t be left behind. Of course, she has the rest of the class to help out. And thus Amelia’s hell training revision class begins. Lots of life threatening dangers if you don’t answer correctly…
Soon the day of the Class Crash Magic Battle arrives and Mallon hosts the event by asking Romanov to give his opening speech. You know he’s typical long boring speech but the thing which attracted my attention is that this is the 155,499th festival of the academy. Must be a very long time, huh? Even Mallon cuts short Romanov’s speech to start the event. Nobody wants to hear and old bugger blab. The magic performance starts and the teachers are equally impressed with the display. Finally it’s Amelia’s class turn. The gang starts off with an impressive magic display of lights, astounding the teachers. Then it turns into a little storytelling tale with Shalon as the knight slaying Ruquia who is playing a puppet dragon. The teachers are even impressed with their hard work in such a short period of time.
The climax of their show has Amelia starting to panic because she doesn’t remember doing this during their training. Ruquia does a summoning technique to summon a golden dragon from another dimension. Amelia then rushes down to them and asks what in the world they are doing and Ruquia’s reply is that they wanted to give her a big surprise as they had just added that to the script. Uh oh. Not good. A golden dragon did appear albeit briefly. Then it vanishes before several tentacles start appearing from the sky. Then it’s revealed that Malariya may have messed up in mixing sugar and salt. Not sure whether it’s done on purpose or not seeing her sly facial expression. So looks like they’ve summoned demons from another world instead. Definitely not good. The tentacles start wrecking havoc on the academy so Leon and the guys decide to put a stop to all this but got taken out when a tentacle smashed them on the first hit. Then Thanders flew on his rocket missile towards it but it ran out of gas. Bummer. Since the guys are useless, Shalon leads the girls in counter attacking the demon but was quickly met with the same fate as the guys. What a quick defeat.
A little fanservice here as the tentacle grabs Miranda. So it’s now the teachers turn to show why they’re masters of the magic academy as they unite and combine their magic to subdue the menacing threat. Seeing how cool and awesome they are, Ruquia and her classmates decide to help them as they too combine their magic. However Amelia knows best as she wants them to just stay put and do nothing. Too late. However, their magic has several basins dropping down on each of the teacher’s head. Messed up again, eh? Oh who is going to save the academy now?! Amelia is pissed off with her students’ stupidity as she zaps them all with her electricity. But she misses and zaps the core of the tentacles instead. Garuda’s remark: "A once in a lifetime critical hit". Unfortunately, her zapping causes the gravity device nearby to be destroyed. The other teachers are saying how her class overdid it and that she’s really amazing. Not sure if those remarks are supposed to be praising her.
Because of that, the floating academy crashes down on to the ground below. In addition, Romanov announces everyone in Amelia’s class to have points deduction. So much for that comeback. Amelia’s not spared either. Romanov is going to have a good talk with her later. Better say your prayers. The final narration tells viewers what a magic academy is. It’s a place for people who thirst for knowledge and for those who wish to become a sage and learn. In the aftermath, Amelia’s students are seen repairing and repainting the academy, and Amelia receiving a new bunch of students under her wing.
I guess for a short show, it’s just pretty much okay. It’s the kind of show where you see it once and then leave it behind as memories. Though the drawing and art are mainly contemporary Japanese anime type, during the episode, there are several short skits in between which have the characters drawn in chibi mode. These skits do not really influence the main storyline and serves as a short comical intermission. For example, remember that Thanders guy being mistaken for not being a student? Yeah, everyone thinks he’s part of the teaching staff. He thinks his battle-worn face made him look more mature than others but Malariya quips he’s just got an old-looking face. Other short skits include the one whereby Leon, Kaile and Serious are ordering their lunches when Garuda swoops down and orders everything, leaving those guys with nothing to eat. Many of the female students are excited over a new fashion fad, a pair of cat ears. Except for Shalon who thinks it’s stupid and childish. However alone behind the building, she herself puts on a pair and gets all excited over it. Tsk tsk tsk. Malariya’s watching… Then there’s the one where Mallon is using her magical powers to solve mysteries. So when Amelia asks her real age, Mallon evades answering it and makes an excuse to go solve some other mystery. Some mysteries must be protected no matter what.
There are some fanservice pose in this series but nothing serious and going as far as those ecchi panty shots. Well I suppose the producers can’t resist doing so seeing that there are some pretty looking girls here. Also, I know that this is supposed to be a fantasy magic genre so the names of the characters aren’t your traditional Japanese Haruka or Takeshi. But some of them are a real eyebrow raiser especially Serious. I wonder if Ruquia’s name was taken after that character in Bleach since their pronunciation is the same. Nah, maybe not. The opening theme, Kenja No Michi by Houko Kuwashima sounds lively and your typical song for such a magic series. The ending theme, Mirai No Minna by Masumi Asano sounds like a cabaret or Broadway style.
Surprisingly there are quite a few famous seiyuus lending their talents for this short OVA. My favourite one is still Norio Wakamoto who voices Garuda. Still love his low sexy voice like the one he did as Onsokumaru in 2×2=Shinobuden and Matsudaira in Gintama. Other seiyuus include Houko Kuwashima as Ruquia (Miya Miya of Bamboo Blade), Masumi Asano as Shalon (Hakufu of Ikkitousen series), Nobuyuki Hirama as Leon (Ikkaku of Bleach), Takehito Koyasu as Serious (Kururu of Keroro Gunsou), Yukari Tamura as Clala (Nanoha of Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha), Tetsu Inada as Thanders (Kurogane in Tsubasa Chronicle), Yuko Nagashima as Malariya (Natsumi of Rizelmine) and Chiaki Takahashi as Amelia (Nanami of School Days).
For a short anime, there are quite a number of characters here. Too much for a short series. Some just for a short moment while some have appearances scattered here and there. Not that I can keep up with them. I’m wondering if the game has more characters seeing that the ending did introduce several of them. But overall, the characters are the one which made this series funny in the first place. Amelia sure has her hands full with her bunch of weirdos and failures. Is it worse than Louise of Zero No Tsukaima? Ah well, better start working harder. There is even no magic for shortcut to success. It’s a long and traditional path of hard work and perseverance. Ganbatte minna!

Quiz Magic Academy
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