New: Karneval, Majestic Prince, Maou-Sama

Karneval … I dunno. Probably not.

First explosions at a mansion, now a train hijaking, the Circus is busy tonight.
First explosions at a mansion, now a train hijacking, the Circus is busy tonight.

There’s nothing really wrong with the story so far, at least what we can make out of it. Our hero, I guess, Nai, an innocent who talks to the point of annoyance about his missing friend Karoku, finds himself tied up in a mansion with a woman on top of him. He’s “rescued” by Gareki, a grumbling, laconic boy who’s there to rob the place. The woman turns into a monster, things blow up, and meanwhile we get quick cuts of other plotlines, including guy pointing a gun at another guy’s temple. That’s part two of the story here, just thrown in as enticement, I suppose. There’s also Hirato and Tsukumo, tailing various people and eventually involving themselves in the train incident that comes next, as do Gareki and Nai, and soon everyone’s interacting and more stuff blows up. In spite of its circus elements this looks like a fairly routine show. Most interesting was that the Circus that Hirato and Tsukumo work for are in the hire of probably bad people. What’s more, the civilization they live in looks nice and oppressive, and how did it get that way? But Gareki and Nai remind me of those guys from No.6, and not in a good way. I’ll see if I want to watch any more next week.

The team's thoughts on their new leader.
The team’s thoughts on their new leader.

Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince is a Mecha series where a band of misfit trainees are sent to the front lines and wind up doing heroic things. That part of it is ridiculous. After some battle scenes involving Undina base, being overwhelmed green alien ships we see our team screw up a simple training exercise. Next thing you know they’re being shipped off to that doomed base to delay the enemy while the earthlings evacuate. Is Earth really that desperate for soldiers? And after they get used to their new robot suits (which takes about ten seconds) they’re battling away like seasoned combat veterans. And then it gets more ridiculous. Still, I had fun watching this episode. The characters, especially the kid soldiers, look cartoonish. The first look at a human we get (Undina’s commander) looks like he should be in something for small children. And the kids often behave the same way, with grumbling asides and adolescent emotions, that is, until the battle. The battle, however, looks great, and even if we can’t believe these misfits should be on the front lines, they’re a fun dysfunctional team. I’ll probably drop this soon, but it’s worth another episode.

Alsiel learns that magic doesn't work in Tokyo.
Alsiel learns that magic doesn’t work in Tokyo.

Hataraku Maou-sama! brings us Satan, the demon king of terror and cruelty and other bad things, escaping his realm as the humans invade and winding up in Tokyo, like one does. I’m not a fan of fish-out-of-water stories, but they make this one mercifully quick by giving Maou (new name) just enough magic power to pull a few strings and then flash-forwarding a few weeks. So now he’s a fry-guy at the local, um, MgRonalds. The challenges he and his lieutenant Alsiel now face are making rent and figuring out how to get back to their own realm, though rent comes first, and the episode’s biggest crisis, apart from being transported to this world in the first place, is whether to use his remaining magic power to repair the fryer and win a sales competition. This setup can’t last as it is. If the series is going to be about how they acclimate it will get dull, and I’ll wonder how he became a demon lord in the first place. But at the end they introduce another transported character, but from the other side. So maybe getting back is going to be a goal in the series after all. Like the other two, worth another look.

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