A Dark Magical Girl | Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka
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Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka first impressions is part of my Ultimate Guide for the 2019 Anime Winter Season. A guide with more than 100 pages with a first impressions to every Anime coming out in the Winter Season. You can get your own here (it’s free!).
Title: Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka (MAL Page)
English Title: Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka
MAL Score: 6.49
Genres: Magical Girl, Drama, Gore
Number of Episodes: 12
Broadcast: Saturdays (JST)
Duration: 24 min. per ep.
Rating: R – 17+
Asuka is a former Magical Girl who saved the world from Disas – enigmatic creatures of soil from the land of the dead. However, she was only able to do this with a great cost. She lost many friends to the war, as also her parents, everything because of her gift. Due to this, when the war ended, she decided to retire.
Nevertheless, although she dropped the battlefield, she still feels uneasy and on edge all the time. In other words, she suffers from PTSD. Even so, she tries to have a normal life.
But, it doesn’t take much time for her to understand that there is still a lot of evil to fight in the World.
Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka First Impressions
The premise is quite intriguing. Contrary to the majority of Magical Girls Anime shows, Asuka has a darker twist which I’m loving. First of all, I love that the Dasis have the appearance of small stuffed animals. I mean, it’s common sense that teddy bears are supposed to defend children from monsters lurking during the night. So, taking this secure object and turn it evil is brilliant.
Moreover, I love how the story does not smooth things up. Even if their power is to be magical girls, it is a war and, with it, sorrow always come! This way, it’s interesting to see a Magical Girl show where some of the girls died in the process. It is also nice to see the darker tone such as limbs flying around. Is it glorifying violence? Hmm, I don’t think so! Let’s face it, these girls have powers beyond imagination and are used to fight monsters, so it’s normal that when they fight human beings end up doing a little bit of overkill.
On the other hand, having a fanservice episode right in the third episode was a little too early! Though it does develop the characters a little bit.
I still don’t have much to say about the characters besides Asuka. There have been some development in the other characters, but not something really that major. For now, all of them seem to be minor characters, though I’m pretty sure they will start to develop and get more screen time over the season.
Asuka herself is able to carry the show. She is an intriguing character to follow and see developing. For example, right in episode 1, we are presented with a girl that does not really talk with others and prefer to do her own thing (by the window as all main characters have to be). However, after a while, we start to understand why she is like that and the number of skeletons she has in her closet.
It’s nice to see a broken character who is doing her best to get better and enjoy a normal life, even if that means reading all the time so she can shut up her PTSD thoughts.
The animation is under what you could expect from a 2019 Anime show. However, I have to say that their over the top eye design actually works!
The girls are pretty nice to look at. However, besides the magical girls, the other characters actually seem a little bland. One example of that is Asuka’s school friends. Though they do look cute!
When it comes to movement, I would say it’s below average. I mean, in this current age, we are used to great movement when it comes to characters fighting each other. The amount of movement is not as huge as other Anime shows, but they are able to create a good perception of movement. Meaning, if you look closely when a battle is happening you will see that most of it are frames with not really much complex movement. However, the effects they add to the battle actually makes the scene flowing and give the perception of movement.
I also need to address the gore part, being a gore lover and all! It’s not really something that will make you feel nauseous, but it’s good enough!
The intro music could be better! The instrumental part is actually pretty cool, it really speaks Asuka all over the place. However, I feel that the singer’s voice is way too smooth for the hard instrumental happening in the background, which is a bummer…
Voice Acting does not have any kind of problems. In fact, conversations always have a smooth back and forward. The sound effects are also very well executed and help a lot when it comes to more action scenes.
However, the background soundtrack is on the average bar. First of all, there are many scenes with no music at all which would benefit to have a little more sound to it. The soundtracks that actually appear during the Anime are really not that impressive.
Although not the best Anime out there, Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka is an interesting one for you to watch. Especially if you like darker stuff. It’s one of those Anime shows that have both adult and teenager scenes which, if you like both, is a nice combination to have in an Anime. At least when it’s well executed as in Asuka.
I would say, though, that are better Anime shows following this route out there! For example, if you want to watch darker – horror-ish Anime and don’t have a lot of time in your hands, probably you will be better off with Yakusoku no Neverland.
Nevertheless, if you like magical girls combined with dark fantasy, you should try to watch this one!
Final Score: Average!