[TV series] Magic Knight Rayearth, season 1
Type: TV series
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi
Episodes: 26 (first season only)
Hikaru, Umi and Fuu are three ordinary junior high girls. All three girls come from different schools, have different personalities and have very different lives. One day, however, when all three girls go to Tokyo Tower for a class field trip, their lives change forever. A blinding light and a voice transports them from Tokyo, to Cephiro, another world in which the will is the strongest power. Hikaru, Umi and Fuu soon learn that they are the Magic Knights, who are destined to save the magical world of Cephiro, with the help of the Runegods, powerful deities that respond only to the Magic Knights. Even though all three girls aren't even in high school yet, they must go on a dangerous adventure to save Cephiro, or they'll never see Tokyo again!
The story is actually very, very simple. Umi, Fuu and Hikaru must save the world of Cephiro. Sounds easy, right? Well, actually, for the audience, it is. The entire series is as straight forward as you can get; the three girls must overcome many obstacles and hardships in order to even get the weapons they need to save the world. However, the end of the series provides a plot twist unlike anything else. While the series is the normal length (26 episodes) it is worth waiting for that end twist. The story isn't very hard to get into, but it isn't that good either. You'll never be sucked into the plot, but you'll rarely become bored.
The geniuses known as CLAMP provide quite a variety of characters for this show. From the smart Fuu to the sexy Caldina, you'll have your share of villains and protaganists. But while there are many characters, only a select few have any depth. Character growth is seriously limited to the three main characters, who slowly grow-up throughout their journay. By the 26th episode, you'll be buying a poster of some characters, and wanting to choke some others. Almost all of the characters are EXTREMELY happy all the time, so be prepared for a series that is filled with annoying teenage girl-like stereotypes.
MKR is far from the prettiest anime out there. In the manga, the audience was treated to much eye candy, from the large, gorgeous eyes to the wonderfully drawn costumes. But it all dissapeared in the anime. The large eyes are still there, but they don't add any prettiness. The character designs are true to the original manga, but they are much, much simplier. The backgrounds? Barely enough to keep one interested, really. To sum it up, this anime is basically a waterdowned version of the manga. It isn't ugly, but with the manga being so beautiful, it could have been much, much better.
Voice acting, music (7/10)
There are two kinds of voice acting in this series: bad, and okay. Many of the girls characters seem to have the exact same voice. The exact same sqeaky, high pitched, totally annoying voice. The men of the series were a little better; most sounded like some guy with a very deep and monotone voice was in the booth, but still. That won't make your ears bleed like the girls voices. Between Caldinas horrid southern accent, and the painfully preppy voice of Umi's, deciding whether or not to just watch it in Japanese is hard.
However, the music is quite decent. It's actually good; the beginning song will stick in your head all day long, and will haunt you for forever. Many of the tunes heard in this series are quaint and delicate. No heavy metal sounds here!
Finally! A series that has as much depth as a pre-teen girl can handle! This series is excellent if you need to entertain a little sister or brother, but the more mature in the audience may be wishing for something a little more... mature. While there is action in the series, it never gets gory. There is NOTHING in this series you couldn't show to your grandparents, it's that simple. If you want something with blood, gore, or other mature things, go look at something else, 'cause you won't find it here. MKR is a solid watch, but I would advise renting it, versus buying the series. It will fill your appetite for anime, but not for very long.