It is time to check out the moerific show of the Fall 2016 season that is Magic of Stella.
Alternate Title: Stella no Mahou (JP)
Genres: Comedy, Slice of Life
Themes: School Life, Video Games, Doujin Games.
Number of episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Tamaki Honda is a first-year high school girl who joins a somewhat peculiar “SNS-Bu” circle that makes dōjin (self-published) games.
The best way to describe Magic of Stella would be New Game!‘s younger sister. The show is half about a video game developing high school Girls Club and half about “cute girls being cute while going wild with their hobbies“.
Let us first talk about the doujin game half of the show. Viewers will learn a thing or two about making games though it does not go into great detail. It is more about showing the challenges of being a small club who make games on a strict schedule, that being in time for seasonal comikets. As mentioned above the girls have their own duties in their respective clubs and they give it their all…and I do mean give it their all.
One example is Yumine here who is a fujoshi. The passion this girl has for boys love is so great it may be insane, in a good way. That goes for the other characters and their duties/passions. That is one of many instances of moe, cuteness and hilarity the show has to offer. Besides the crazy passion there is also a strong emphasis on a kind of humor that I do not know if it has a name but for now I will refer to it as “prolonged silence” jokes. To best explain the style of humor I will give an example in episode 2: Seki is passionately reading out loud the script for the next game because it helps her think clearly by doing it out loud. During that time Tamaki quietly observes her at a loss for words. When Seki notices Tamaki watching, the “prolonged silence” joke activates, lasting about 5-6 seconds before Seki starts crying out of embarassment. It is best seen than described but the show likes using this kind of humor once or twice per episode. Personally I love this kind of humor when done well, mainly because I enjoy “talk show style” comedy anime and thankfully Magic of Stella’s instances of using this joke is well timed most if not every time it is implemented. Other than that the rest of the humor is basic “cute girls doing cute things” and fans of Girls Club shows will have no trouble enjoying the funny and cute moments.
The animation quality fulfills its purpose of being adorable both visually and with its cast. The high school girls are adorable and likable, the little brothers do their thing and are not annnoying, the senior citizens are neat and the moms are adorable. They are sadly not super sexy moms but they are as cute and fun as their daughters. The soundtrack does its job well. The OP is fun and the ED is a personal favorite of mine. Do not ask why though. Personal prefrerence I suppose.
Before we get to the yuri let us briefly mention the most fleshed out character arc on the show, Tamaki’s. Her journey to become a wonderful artist and game developer is both fun and worth getting invested in. She goes on a journey of discovery where she must find what kind of artist she wishes to be and what it is that motivates her to draw and how it is related to becoming a video game illustrator. Oh and there is one thing readers should know about Tama-chan. She is a “daddy’s little girl”. It explains her favorite character archetype to draw. Keep this in mind. It is not unhealthy though, just a part of her.
The yuri is centered around Tamaki. She has two or arguably three potential wifeys to hook up with. Which one is the best depends on the viewer. I said three because the third wifey may be better off hooking up with a certain redhead. I will leave that to readers to decide should they choose to pick the show up or already have. Besides the yuri ships there also pro yuri and yaoi comments made by several people so the jokes are both amusing and welcome by the cast.
Overall Magic of Stella is not a game changing Girls Club show but it certainly fulfills all the necessary quotas to be a memorable one. While it will most likely not achieve the same popularity of its older sister New Game! it should not be overlooked either. The cast are totes adorbs, it was fun seeing the club work hard to successfully finish the games in time for comikets and the pro yaoi and yuri attitudes were most appreciated. Highly recommended to Girls Club fans.
PS: SNS is translated to