Magical Warfare is a supernatural and romance anime series based on the light novel series written by Suzuki Hisashi and illustrated by Lunalia. The story revolves around the high school boy Nanase Takeshi who is haunted by a troubled past involving an incident with his brother Gekkō and his distant mother. One day Takeshi comes across a girl in an unfamiliar high school uniform who collapses in front of him and he rushes to save her. The girl, Aiba Mui, it turns out, is a magician, and she inadvertently turns Takeshi into a magician as well by exposing him to magic when she fires her magical gun near him. From that point on, Takeshi is drawn into a completely different world he never knew existed. The world is actually split in two, the “existing world” and the “collapsing world” where a magical war that has been raging for 16-years has almost completely destroyed everything.
After Mui and Takeshi are attacked by a group of magicians in the so-called existing world, Takeshi’s friends, his pretend girlfriend and childhood friend Isoshima Kurumi, and his best male friend Ida Kazumi, are both exposed to magic also and turned into magicians. They all then make the decision to transfer to Subaru Magic Academy to train as magicians, where they must also one day decide to join one of the magical factions that are aligned in the war, mainly against Ghost Trailer, and its powerful leader Ryūsenji Kazuma, who wants to end what he sees as the tyrannical rule of the magical organizations at Subaru Academy and make magicians the rulers of both worlds.
I found Magical Warfare to actually be a quite engrossing series for much of the episodes, although it did take a bit too long to get heated. The two main characters, Takeshi and Mui make a good pair, but their sort of impending romance, or the possible love triangle with them and Kurumi, is drawn out far too long. To make matters worse, once the story really gets on roll, it comes crashing to a screeching halt with a perplexing ending that feels very open-ended. It’s almost like the previous episodes were a practical joke being played. This all may be rectified in a second season, but, without that follow-up, this is a very, very, unsatisfying conclusion. Truth be told, the ending does follow exactly what is written in the light novels, or so my research tells me, so there is hope.
Issues with the story aside, the animation is impressive, although it is not of the amazingly groundbreaking variety. It does catch the eye and look quite beautiful. The characters are really gorgeous, particularly Mui and Kurumi, and the action is breathtaking as well.
We get a basically good looking transfer of the digital animation for Magical Warfare on Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks in an AVC 1080p encodement. The image is pretty much free from noise and aliasing and is relatively crisp, but it does suffer from some color banding.
Magical Warfare comes with Japanese and English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) stereo soundtracks. Forget the English dub and go for the very engaging Japanese voice cast. Both mixes sound superb despite being limited to only two channels. Even so, they offer an abundance of dynamic range, vey wide stereo imaging, and clean dialogue.
Sentai Filmworks offers only the usual clean opening and closing animations along with additional Sentai Filmworks trailers on this release.
The Definitive Word
You may be drawn into this series after a few episodes and then find yourself disappointed in the end, but if there is a second season, it could mark a correction for all of that. The top notch animation and quality transfer could be enough, but maybe hold off to see if there is more to the story of Magical Warfare before making a decision.