Magic Knight Rayearth

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Genre:

Fantasy/Mecha
Studio/Creator: Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS)/Clamp
Distributor: Discotek
No. of episodes: 49 (Note: this anime is divided into two parts. Part 1 is 20 episodes, and part 2 is 29 episodes)
My Review: 9/10
Summary: Three 8th-grade girls named Hikaru, Umi, and Fuu are on a field trip to Tokyo Tower. They are suddenly transported to a magical world called Cephiro to rescue its ruler, Princess Emeraude, from the evil Lord Zagato. In the second season, the heroines must not only defend Cephiro from its bordering enemies, but also help rebuild the land from Zagato’s destruction.

Review:This was an anime that I’d heard was one of Clamp’s most celebrated creations. For that reason, I decided to try it.
The first thing I liked was that each of the girls’ elemental powers tied into their personalities. They also had to earn their weapons and powers, despite being chosen to save Cephiro. I thought this was a unique twist on the trope. The chosen hero is a trope I really enjoy. Let’s look at each of the trio so you’ll see how their powers fit.
Hikaru is the leader of the trio. She is compassionate, but headstrong. It’s logical that someone with this kind of passion and temper would wield fire.
Fuu is the brains of the group and is a well-skilled archer. She is the team’s heart, so she is given healing and wind-based powers. She is usually blunt and formal.
Umi is an only child from a rich family. She is quite graceful, and is usually the comedy relief of the trio. She uses water-based techniques, which ties into her graceful fencing techniques.
The second thing I liked was the second season’s emphasis on rebuilding Cephiro. As Cephiro was now more vulnerable from the events of season 1, I thought this was a great idea. The villains in the second season were a great mix. I especially liked Nova, who was a doppleganger of Hikaru who wanted nothing more than to cause Hikaru as much physical and emotional misery as possible. She was a great villain, and I loved how relentless she was towards Hikaru.
If you’re a Clamp fan, this is well worth your time.
Music/Score: Very orchestral. The three opening themes were great, but I think the first part’s theme was the best of the three.
Sub/Dub: I prefer the sub. Once again, we have a dub where a Japanese character is given a Southern accent, which is a pet peeve of mine.
Violence: (5/10)–Mostly magical violence
Language: (2/10)–Mild swears
Sexuality:none
Nudity:none
Religion:(5/10) Cephiro’s very life force is magic, but this is not presented in a religious sense.
Related Media:This is based on the Clamp manga of the same name. Motoko, the little rabbit-like creature that accompanies the trio, is also seen in the mega-crossover series Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (actually, it’s hard to find a Clamp franchise that doesn’t tie into Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle). There was also an OVA. A video game based on the title was released on the Sega Saturn.

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