A reboot of a series I never expected to exist came to be. Question is whether it was worth the time invested? Let us take a look at Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R.
Genres: Comedy, Parody, Magical Girl
Themes: Idols, Magic
Number of episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Komugi Yoshida is a somewhat clumsy second-year middle-school student whose strong point is her spiritedness. She performs as an idol like Kokona Saionji (her classmate and close friend) and Tsukasa Kisaragi (an idol who dresses in male clothing). However, unlike Kokona whose popularity is skyrocketing and Tsukasa with her charisma in male attire, Komugi’s only gigs are low-end ones like those at the local shopping district. Still, Komugi has her “dream” as she lives her dual lives as a idol and a middle school girl. One day, a mysterious injured creature named Usa-P appears before Komugi and asks if she wants to be a Legendary Girl who can use magical powers. She reluctantly becomes Magical Nurse and fights waves of masked figures. Meanwhile, a Magical Maid and a Magical Sister also show up.
I compare this show to Batman v Superman, meaning it has pretty good parts but also pretty bad but the overall package is enjoyable for what it is. Let us take one step at a time.
First of all let us discuss the good. That being everything involving Komugi and Kokona. Komugi is an adorable optimist that continues being dealt “tough luck” cards but continues to persevere, work hard and be motivational all the while being an adorable genki. I guess some will be annoyed by her voice but that is to be expected. Anyway next is Kokona. She not only has the advantage of being cute, sexy and talented but she is also not a conceited jerk nor have a “look how great I am” personality. Like Komugi she has her flaws and obstacles, despite being a in a better position than Komugi and like her genki friend strives to get better no matter what. Both are fun characters to watch doing their best and generally have a good time doing so.
Second is the supporting cast besides Komugi’s friends in this image, my favorite of which being the rapper girl. The cast are all fun to watch as they each have a quirk and stick to it. The four friends are kind of the main source of yuri as the show does and does not have it. See, the four, via misinterpretation, suspect there being a yuri relationship brewing. Their interpretations are all quite amusing, especially with their added quirks. It does not reach Re-Kan levels of shipping greatness but it is still fun. Again the supporting cast rock!
To the surprise of no one my favorite secondary character is the English teacher whose English is as good as one would expect from a seiyu. Oh and she is also a former professional wrestler. There is one scene featuring her that reminded me why I love being a wrestling fan and also why I still want a second season of Sekatsuyo. My one disappointment is that I did not get to see her obvious six pack.
The animation and soundtrack are both decent. The former is colorful while the latter has a decent OP and ED while the rest of the tunes do their thing but little else. Oh and as the above image shows, sometimes there are CG idol musical numbers featuring the character getting the focus in the episode. After the first three episodes it takes a while for the next one to appear so they are not frequent.
Komugi-chan started off originally as a parody of magical girl shows and R continues that tradition. This comes in the form of making fun of magical girl tropes like explaining transformation sequences in great detail (even explaining the age old question of howlong one takes in real time), making fun of special moves having long names and the mascot characters being intentionally annoying and disposable. Other parodies include multiple references and appearances by Tatsunoko Production characters from series such as Yatterman, Gatchaman and Casshan. Tatsunoko fans will have some fun spotting both obvious and some well-hidden references.
Now we get to the bad part of the show…depending on viewers’ tastes. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice there is a middle line between the title in most posters featuring said title, meaning the movie can be split in three parts. The Batman v Superman stuff (Komugi, Kokona and friends) stuff is pretty good for the most part. The Dawn of Justice stuff (magical girl stuff) is decent. Then there is the line in the middle splitting the two titles…
The Tsukasa’s crush subplot is that middle line here. See, the gist behind Tsukasa is that she is a pretty boy cosplayer idol who happens to have a crush on her handsome male idol coworker Yuto but she cannot get close him because she thinks it would ruin her idol image. Oh and she is also secretly “girly”. It would not be a problem if it were treated like a random subplot that is brought up a couple of times…unfortunately it was treated like the second most important plot with HALF of the show dedicated to it. So unless the viewer likes this kind of het romance storyline…it will get old fast. During these episodes the show tried to add other fun stuff but this subplot got way too much unnecessary focus. Komugi’s little brother having a celebrity crush on Kokona is more amusing. It could have been worse; it could have been a lame het love triangle. Fortunately Komugi only saw Yuto as a fun sibling figure and vice versa.
Some readers may be wondering why I have not talked about the magical girl aspects of the show yet. That is because it is treated like a tertiary subplot. Basically an “We’re aspiring idols! Oh and magical girls too, I guess.”. Apart from the genre jokes the magical girl scenes are of little significance until halfway through the climax and even then it is nothing special. This is an idol show first and a magical girl show third, which would not be so bad were it not for the Tsumugi crush stuff.
Overall Nurse Witch Komugi-chan R is an okay show. It has several strong puzzle pieces and a few decent ones but the fact that half of the entire puzzle is a mediocre teen crush subplot cannot be ignored. It is a show I would come back to only to watch the fun parts and skip everything else, mainly the Tsukasa crush stuff. I assume the show wanted to be a fun mix of the idol and magical girl subgenres but did not really stand out in either one. I did not regret watching it though and the curious are welcome to check it out.