Rental Magica

The Boring Info The Characters The Songs The Opinion
Iba Itsuki
Honami Ambler
Katsuragi Mikan
Nekoyashiki Ren
Kuroha Manami
Adelicia Mathers
Sora ni Saku
Aruite Ikou

The Animoo

After the mysterious disappearance of Iba Tsukasa, the first president of the magician dispatch service and Mage’s Society known as “Astral”, his son is forced to take his place as president despite having no knowledge of the world magic. He is in fact, quite ironically considering his position and company, not even a mage. Nevertheless, he manages to get himself and his team thrown into various supernatural problems, whether it be intentionally (by accepting a paying job or formal request so the company can meet its quota) or unintentionally (due to his self-sacrificing and always helpful, albeit slightly naïve, nature). These ‘adventures’ become the focus points of the anime series, as well as their clashes with rival companies, and the pasts of the members coming back to haunt them once again.

The Boring Info

The anime is 24 episodes long and based on a light novel of the same name. The episodes are not broadcast in a chronological order.
The chronological order of the episodes is: 13, 02, 05, 06, 04, 11, 01, 03, 15, 08, 07, 09, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 21.
The serie’s finale, episode 21 (broadcast order), has a sequence that features Cannon in D as the background music. This has no relevance whatsoever, I just thought it was kewl.
Despite the HEAVY use of terms that I’m decently sure a vast majority of the people reading this won’t have ever heard of, I’ve decided to not make a term section. This is simply because that section alone would be several pages long, and I just can’t be bothered. Besides, after each episode, Shinsen Fansubs have been so kind enough as to explain the specific terms used in that respective episode (therefore, watch the versions they subbed), so there’s no real reason for me to do it, especially considering they do it so much better.

The Characters

In snack-sized bits. Images to come later.
Iba Itsuki – Itsuki is the son of Astral’s first president, Iba Tsukasa, and because of this, became its second president when Tsukasa disappeared. He is a kind, well-mannered, and shy boy who, despite his position as president of a magic rental service, knows very little of the world of magic. He wears a magical eye-patch that seals off his “fairy eye”, called Glam Sight, because of its sensitivity to spell-wave contamination (think “magic radiation poisoning”) and because he is inexperienced in how to use it, which could have fatal consequences. Whenever he does use it, however, his personality changes into something more confident and “leader-like” and he becomes able to see the flow of magic allowing him to give precise instructions/orders to his team.

Honami Ambler – A childhood friend of Itsuki’s, though he doesn’t remember their time together as children as those memories were locked away. She was present when Itsuki’s Glam Sight became tainted and feels a deep sense of guilt over the incident, as A) she was the one who made him enter the Haunted House where it happened; and B) it became tainted as a result of him trying to save Honami from the spiritual creature that was hunting them. Years later, Honami is a prodigy in the arts of Celtic magic and Witchcraft, and managed to revive the otherwise lost magic art of the Druids in merely two years, a feat that was otherwise described as something that would take even the most gifted an entire lifetime to accomplish.

Katsuragi Mikan – The youngest member of the current Astral and a Shinto specialist. She is a member of the Katsuragi clan of Shintoist, which she left to prove that she wasn’t just a replacement for her older sister (this is the topic in a two-episode storyline).

Nekoyashiki Ren – An expert of Onmyouji and a former member of the original Astral. He has four Shikineko (cat familiars) named af the Four Symbols that can aid him in battle.

Kuroha Manami – The newest member of the current Astral who is employed in one of the first episodes. [spoiler]She is a ghost and can thus only be seen by other ghosts or people with a sensitivity to magic (though, she still sometimes hides from normal people for some reason, even though they can’t see her).[/spoiler]

Adelicia Mathers – A descendant of King Solomon, thus able to use King Solomon’s magic (summoning demons), and quite skilfully at that. She is the hereditary master of one of Astral’s rival companies, Goetia. She attended the same magic school as Honami and the two consider eachother rivals still.

The Songs

Sora ni Saku/Faith
Sora ni Saku (though I have no idea of how 宇宙 can be read as “sora”), and its English version, Faith, are performed by Lisa Komine. The two songs were used interchangeably and I was unable to find any distinctive pattern in when either was used. It should be noted that while the music is the same, the lyrics are obviously not translations. Anywho, I was actually quite fond of the rhythm and music in the songs, though I admittedly enjoyed the Japanese version a bit more because of her accent. For some reason, it reminded me of D.Gray-man, though I’m not entirely sure why.

The animation more or less does what every opening animation does and showcases the characters. I’m actually starting to wonder why I even write this section when the video is right there :/ Anywho, as something unique, the lyrics appear moving lines forming a cross.

Aruite Ikou
Aruite Ikou (Let’s Go for a Walk) is performed by Jungo Yoshida. The version on the right, however, is the one by the voice actors of the show, since I couldn’t find the real one. I liked this one more anyway =3 The title actually confuses me a bit, since the lyric actually goes “Aruite Yukou”, not “Aruite Ikou”, even though they both have the same meaning and are written as 歩いて行こう

The animation shows all the main characters having gone to rest. It retains the “lyrics flying over the cross” theme of the two openers.

The Opinion

Rental Magica is, in a nutshell, Ghost Hunt, but without all the stuff that makes [certain parts of] Ghost Hunt cool. There’s not thrill, no mystery, no red thread, nothing to make you WANT to see the next episode for any specific reason other than because it’s available. Also, because it isn’t chronological, it’s a pain in the ass to try and watch in the broadcast order. I watched maybe the first seven episodes that way and would probably have choked my computer out of frustration if it had a neck. After that, I watched everything in chronological order.

Also, if you don’t know that much about shintoism, onmyoudo, magic of Solomon, etc., then I strongly suggest you go in with an open mind and ignore any attempt to understand the terms, prayers/mantra, and references made in anime as you will drown in them. For a Westerner, I probably have above average knowledge of Japanese myths, legends, etc., and I was still O.o in many of the episodes. So just accept whatever is thrown your way and if something doesn’t make sense to you, just assume that it’s important and they did whatever they did for a very good reason.

Other than that, it just isn’t a very memorable anime. The characters are very likeable, but the plot, as presented in the anime, is pretty thin and by the time the anime has concluded, there are still a looooot of unanswered questions, loose ends, and whatnot, so the anime just feels incomplete (again, similar to Ghost Hunt). Therefore, save yourself the trouble, don’t watch the anime, read the manga instead.

The only episode I can recommend watching is episode 12, entitled “Seiya ni Sasageru Rekuiemu” (A Requiem Offered on Christmas Eve), which is a fitting title since it aired on December 23. Anywho, I got all teary-eyed when they sang in the church, and it was a damn good song too! ;_; So that episode gets lubz from me also due to the a cappella version of the ending song used around halfway through the episode <3 It is also the first of two episodes where the voice actors are the ones singing the ending theme (and Nekoyashiki's three second solo is to die for XD).

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