Gunjou no Magmell aired during the Spring 2019 anime season. Based on the homotitled Chinese manga of Dainenbyo and directed by Hayato Date, it started off with a very promising pilot episode, tricking us into thinking that something highly interesting is on the way. It consists of thirteen episodes and is created by legendary Studio Pierrot, so it seemed like it was gonna hit the right spots. Exploration, morals and humor managed to win its audience, but everything was about to change! Yet, allow me to elaborate.
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The story of Magmell begins when a new continent appears out of nowhere. This mysterious place is full of unknown species, new energy forms and astonishing landscapes. So, the era of exploration commenced once again and everyone wants to take advantage of it. However, Magmell is full of dangers and that’s when Inyou appears. Inyou, the main character, alongside with his little Loli, are ready to save the day. In exchange for money -or candies, they travel and help everyone in need.
This anime’s main idea isn’t something new. However, Magmell’s approach seemed to be just right, by combining fantasy, adventure, action and drama elements in the correct amounts. There are blur contrasts between good and evil and we soon learn that nothing is as it seems. This series tries to remind us the importance of respect towards nature and it manages to convey some clever environmental messages. It condemns every form of violence against animals, while it points out the importance of not using living creatures solely for our own benefit. Because, if we don’t, our arrogance and nonsense will be fatal for the whole planet.
However, aside from the environmental messages, this anime doesn’t offer much. Each episode is independent from the other and follows a specific and repetitive pattern, which is extremely tiring for the viewer. There is zero plot development, the pace is extremely slow, while the characters are dull, boring and tedious. I feel like I’ve seen them a million times already and I have no interest in learning their backgrounds. Plus, their interactions are usually meaningless, while their bonding is absent. Beautiful life lessons about if the end justifies the means or if it’s ever too late to correct the mistakes of the past, are drawn in this sea of monotony.
Sadly, the first episodes are misleading, since Magmell turned out to be very different than what it could have been. The small, independent episodes wouldn’t be a bad thing, if they had a proper climax and fewer cliches. In conclusion, this series feels chaotic and -the icing on the cake- is its’ finale. It might have been the worst finale I’ve ever seen, considering the fact that it’s poorly executed, it’s absurd and it doesn’t answer the majority of the remaining queries about the show. Studio Pierrot really did a bad job when it comes to adapting Magmel’s beautiful story into an anime.
When it comes to animation, this series started off quite promising. Gorgeous and detailed landscapes, natural movement and expressiveness were all over the place. Though, after a while, all these got replaced by bad lighting and drafts. It’s a big surprise that a director like Hayato Date is capable of such a badly executed work! However, I really enjoyed the series’ soundtrack, which is composed by Yasuharu Takanashi and is full of Arabian, intense melodies. Plus, the voice acting is enjoyable, since it’s performed by talented actors, such as Kengo Kawanishi and Toshiyuki Morikawa.
Gunjou no Magmell has a beautiful setting and an old-fashioned charm, yet it didn’t live up to meet my expectations, since it evolved into something very humdrum to watch. The production didn’t bother to create a decent storyline and zero thought was put into the dialogues. Of course, at times, it manages to convey beautiful messages or give us a good laugh, but it doesn’t worth your time. If someone wanted to watch Magmel, I would recommend him to go for the first 3 episodes and drop it there.