Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Magic Knight Rayearth

Genre: Shoujo / Magical Girl
General Audience
Credits: 1995. CLAMP (Apapa Mokona, Nanase Okawa, Mikku Negoi, Satsuki Igarashi) / Yomiuri TV / Tokyo Movie Shinsha

Magic Knight Rayearth DVDs
Magic Knight Rayearth Manga
Magic Knight Rayearth Toys
Magic Knight Rayearth Music
Everything Rayearth
Cover Description:
Three junior high school girls hear a voice asking them to save a world called Cephiro. The voice belongs to Princess Emeraude, the Pillar whose will remains the peace of this magical world where belief is power. But the peace in Cephiro is now threatened as Princess Emeraude is imprisoned and monsters begin to invade the land. With her last bit of strength, the princess summons forth the three girls destined to become Magic Knights in the hopes of saving her world.

First Season: 20 Episodes
Second Season: 29 Episodes

Not your everyday Shoujo >>> by icesenshi (09.26.2001)
I initially thought that MKR was the typical shoujo anime. I think it was because its main characters initially smacked of Sailormoon, for Umi was aloof and elegant like Sailormars, Fuu was quiet and smart like Sailormercury and Hikaru was basically unremarkable if not for her unusual kindness-just like Sailormoon. But as the characters gained depth and got into relationships as the show went on, I began to appreciate the Magic Knights and their comrades better. One thing's for sure-the story gives all of the characters (whether protagonist or antagonist) ample space to mature and develop-unlike other anime whose formulaic, repetitive storylines force stagnancy on its characters. Truly, these characters are human. You will find yourself eventually liking all of the characters because of this dynamism; you'll find yourself immersed in the story as you witness each of them undergo changes of heart and mind.

Additionally, I love Magic Knight Rayearth for its stunning visuals! I've never seen such gilded, gorgeous mecha, and I love the exoticism of the series' character designs and costumes. There's simply no mistaking that CLAMP flair for detail, because even the backdrops are breathtaking. The bottom line is that this is not your typical shoujo anime. The characters have depth, are human and veer away interestingly from the usual anime archetypes; the conflict is more real and the art is simply spectacular!

10; Story & Plot: 8; Characters: 8; Sounds: 8; Overall: 8

Soap opera anyone? >>> by Shunichi Sakurai (01.20.2002)
Hello...this is my very first review for The Otaku Fridge.

When I first stumbled on Magic Knight Rayearth here in the Philippines, I was instantly taken by the lush visuals and great character designs to be expected from the talented all-female team at CLAMP. I thought it would be a lot different from typical shoujo like Sailor Moon. Little did I know that once I followed it, I would be sorely disappointed by the entire series as a whole.

I really wanted to like MKR but so many things just keep it from endearing itself to me. The art is extraordinarily beautiful, with great mecha design, wicked characters and sublime-if-not-ridiculously-absurd detailing (look at Hikaru's second sword). I also loved the fully orchestral music, which may get a little monotonous at times but is very grandiose nonetheless—it adds a lot to MKR's classy appeal.

MKR is personally hard to like because of the story and its lack of originality. It's probably the fault of the translation crew here in the Philippines, but the whole series is patterned after your usual Mexican telenovela. I appreciate the RPG-style episodes and very good main plot, but an abundance of dragging parts sorely tested my patience. There's a feeling of so much fuss being generated about the most mundane leaves me thinking, "Why don't the three girls just do something?!"

I mentioned the lack of's most manifested in the names (which I found quite hilarious). Many characters, mecha and even planets are actually named after Japanese cars. I thought it was simply a fault in the local translation at first, but these names are true . Eagle's "FTO" mech is a Mitsubishi coupe. Zagato's brother "Lantis" and the planet "Autozam" are Mazda cars. The battleship "NSX" is a pricey Honda/Acura exotic. Worse, the home planet "Cephiro" is a Nissan luxury sedan! Good grief. It seems the character designers were left
desperately wanting for "good" names...oh well...

The characters are fleshed out well enough, although I share another reviewer's sentiments of Hikaru being the sole focus of MKR. When you want to highlight the friendship angle of any piece of literature, you don't give the limelight to one person alone and leave the other "friends" high and dry. I personally wanted to see more of Umi's and Presea's characters because they possess the most enigmatic appeal (and because I got so damned sick of Hikaru).

I got to watch the MKR OAV later on. If you want your anime florid and languishing in its own welcome, the MKR series is for you. Ordinary otaku like me prefer the OAV even with its relatively weaker story—it cuts to the chase.

Too bad, CLAMP. The MKR series could've been a lot better.

Art: 10; Story & Plot: 6; Characters: 7; Sounds: 9; Overall: 7

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