This show reminded me of Dog Days season 2. Whether that’s good or bad readers will have to find out as we take a look at Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku.
Alternate Title: Mikagura Academy Suite
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural, School Life
Themes: School Clubs, Yuri
Number of episodes: 12
Plot Summary: High school student Eruna Ichinomiya enters the Mikagura Academy dreaming of a boarding school life filled with beautiful girls to befriend and court. However, Eruna finds out that in the culture clubs there is a rule where battles that are fought with special powers decide a club representative’s treatment. Through various circumstances Eruna becomes a representative of a club and is thrown into the fray.
Some of the cast aren’t present here.
As stated above Mikagura reminded me of Dog Days 2 in that it’s a show that’s more about having fun than a major world changing, epiphany invoking plot. It is simply a group of super powered teenagers doing whatever they feel like doing, occasionally engaging in cool friendly battles and sometimes a backstory popping up explaining more about the characters, though the fanservice is heavily toned down compared to DD despite their being one magnificent well endowed woman. The backstories aren’t meant to change lives or be catalysts of epic storytelling but more “this is what viewers need to know about these characters and why they are who they are”.
Now in my Show By Rock!! G-View I talked about the show’s pacing, especially during the second half, being flawed but in Mikagura the pacing is much better both because it is less complicated or mashed together so there’s enough time to do what needs to be done. Yes, by the end it kind of leaves a “I want more” feeling but that’s fine here because there was no dire, world saving type of ordeal, just the daily school lives of fun and quirky super beings and in that regard the show did a pretty good job.
I found the whole student progression being dictated by forming part of clubs and how well said clubs performed during “exam periods” of sorts ausing. In a sense it is a way of motivating students to enjoy their school lives to the fullest outside of worrying about their education. After all schools promote an environment where it’s not all about books and cramming your head with knowledge, it’s about using the time given to improve in other fields, hence the clubs’ purpose.Besides club activities and battles, Eruna and the people she meets in her quest to unite the world under one certain nation the gang engage in leisure school activities.
The animation quality is reasonably good during casual scenes. Again very little fanservice other than the basics. During battles though the animation quality differs with each one depending on length and combatants moving at regular or super speed. Whether viewers like what they see or not depends on perspectives. The OST is good along with an upbeat OP and some good EDs.
Like in most shows the cast’s appeal is subjective. Whether every single member of the show is likable or not depends on the viewer. I like them all for different reasons, even that guy.
Alright. I covered most of the show up to this point but as far as the yuri nation goes there is one major reason to at least give the show a try and that is the main protagonist herself. Eruna Ichinomiya. There are so many adjectives I could use to describe this character: optimistic, kind, cheerful, energetic, charismatic, (almost) fearless, shameless, inspirational, badass, strong, confident, beautiful, positively infectious, sweet, determined, adorably ditzy, clever, indiscriminate, righteous…and of course perverted. Besides all that Eruna’s main draw is that she’s a lesbian (or for those who want to nitpick, prefers women) and is the main character of a show that unless viewers looked it up had no idea its protagonist would be a gay gay. I can count the number of lesbian protagonists in initially non-yuri marketed anime in one hand, let alone likable ones that aren’t judged for their sexual preference. Heck the fact Eruna loves women doesn’t come off as a big deal to anyone. The only times actions are taken are when Eruna’s perverseness gets somewhat out of hand. Other than that everyone’s a-okay with her gay gayness. The adjectives mentioned aren’t exaggerations. Eruna is all that and then some. She is proud of who she is and has no issue holding back her desires though will not force herself on any woman when they tell her to slow down. She’s perverted but also respectable. Besides her ultimate goal she also aims to be a friend of the people above all else. She also prefers fighting for fun rather than grudges or vendettas. Oh and another pastime of hers is clobbering her equally perverted male cousin.
As one can tell Eruna’s the main source of yuri on the show be it in her vivid imagination or in her numerous attempts to court the cuties and beauties she encounters.
Overall Mikagura Academy Suite is a fun show that while not revolutionary has an entertaining cast, is pleasant to the eyes has occasionally good battles and it blessed the world with a lesbian protagonist who isn’t treated like a joke despite being quite funny herself. It is not meant to change the anime industry but an anime does not need to in order to be very enjoyable. Having said that though I cannot guarantee all yuri nation members or casual viewers will enjoy the show. Like most things in life there will be some who cannot get into it. However, viewers who like anime similar to the Dog Days series will have little trouble enjoying one in a school setting. Yuri fans looking for a comedy heroine kicking butt in a show initially not marketed to yuri fans can consider giving this one a shot. Who knows? Maybe you too will be blessed by the heroine of the millennium’s greatness.