Majikoi vs. Horizon

Yet another in a long series of articles that started out as a comment at Steven’s, and had to be moved here. In this case, as the title suggests, I am talking in part about another series, and wanted to avoid the derail in his comments. (I’m a little more hands-off on that kind of thing, but his blog, his rules.)

Steven complains that Majikoi has degenerated from being Dog Days (edit: or BakaTest, if he’s not pulling my leg) to something that’s terribly derivative. I don’t quite get that complaint — after all, if it was all about harmless fights between rival groups of young people, it would be derivative of Dog Days, right? Don’t slam a show for not being the sequel to a recent fave.

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But let’s take the complaint at face value — it’s derivative. Even at that, it’s head and shoulders above Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere, which is taking “original” into “incoherent, with inferior fanservice.” Both shows have one thing in common — it appears that they started with an action-packed episode that didn’t really represent the tenor of the series. Bait-and-switch, as it were. But in Horizon’s case, it combines a too-large cast, a total loss of a male lead, complex-to-the-point-of-incoherent politics and background that make no sense, inconsistent technology, and motivations that make no sense.

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Why is all the world but Japan uninhabitable? Why did the rest of the world move into an alternate dimension that was shaped like Japan. How could it “fall to Earth?” What in the world would give these people the idea that they can recreate “Heaven” by reenacting history? And how are a bunch of schoolkids supposed to change this world? Lets not even get into the one that got featured this episode, who had to undergo a sex-change from girl to boy in order to take service with some great house, only to be laid off, mid-change when the lord replaced his staff with androids. Too much is being thrown at the viewer too fast — this might be salvageable if it were a two-cour series, and the concepts were added along the way — much like what Scrapped Princess did. But it was designed that way, whereas I suspect if I read the novels from which this was derived, the first 50 pages would read like a David Weber infodump.

In other words, fascinatingly boring as hell. (FYI: David Weber, if you didn’t know, has a habit in the Honor Harrington series, of starting an action scene, then pausing it for three pages of Context You Need to Have. Just start the damn missiles flying already!!!!)

Sometimes, derivative is better than the alternative. It’s just not possible to be original all the time. Sometimes, you just gotta give the audience what they’re asking for, and I think that’s the route they went with Majikoi. This is hardly surprising, seeing as it’s coming from a dating sim with little plot and prominent sex scenes. (I reiterate my complaint that not enough of these games that get made into anime are making it to American shores. Then again, I suspect there might be problems with some of the laws involving under-age sex and jail terms. At least, unless your the head of Houston Metro.

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If there was anything that I found disappointing, it’s that Momoyo “doesn’t want” Yamato, but she isn’t going to let any of the other girls have him either. So instead of hijinks of him fending off amorous girls while chasing his goal (Momoyo), we’re going to get Momoyo cock-blocking the competition while not knowing her own heart being indecisive. Blech.

Well, anyway, I’ll take MajiKoi for what it is — entertaining fluff, with a lot of really good cheesecake. Speaking of which, I’ll leave you with this racy last scene from the bath chase.

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