Mitsuki SaigaMasaya OnosakaHalko MomoiIkue Ohtani
Nurse Witch Komugi (OVAs)
Also known as: Nurse Witch Komugi-chan Majikarute (OVAs)
Medium: OVA, series
Year: 2002-2005
Director: Masatsugu Arakawa
Writer: Armstrong Takizawa
Actor: Halko Momoi, Ikue Ohtani, Yuji Ueda, Akiko Hiramatsu, Atsuko Enomoto, Masaya Onosaka, Michiko Neya, Mitsuki Saiga, Yukari Tamura, Masashi Ebara, Mayumi Ichikawa, Shintarou Oohata, Tadasuke Oomizu
Keywords: Nurse Witch Komugi, anime, magical girl
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 8 episodes
Website category: Anime early 00s
Review date: 1 December 2017
Witch Nurse Komugi-chan
It's a magical girl parody spin-off of The SoulTaker, but you don't have to have seen the latter to watch this. I did, but it didn't add much to the experience. The two shows have a shared cast, but everyone's been rebooted here and the parent show isn't even being used as a source of jokes. What they have in common is that they're both only sort of okay. Half of these OVA episodes are funny, while the other half aren't really worth your time. I watched them. I didn't always detect any significant content.
The show's premise is that Komugi is a cosplay idol and a magical girl. Oddly, the latter element is underused (although less so than the "nurse" bit of the show's title, which has nothing to do with anything). The show doesn't really have anything to say about magical girls and you'll have to look elsewhere to find all the good jokes. Being a cosplay idol seems to take up far more of Komugi's life, whether she's exasperating her bosses at the agency or snarling at her colleagues. The latter surprised me, by the way. She's become mysteriously bitchy, especially in the first couple of episodes. She'd always been likeable and super-upbeat in the dark, brooding SoulTaker anime, yet in this light comedy she's become cranky and short-tempered. Well, I suppose it's for the sake of comedic overreactions (especially in response to comments about her breast size).
The episodes are:
1. "Smash! Komugi vs. Hikki. The Biggest Battle in Akihabara" (August 2002) - don't bother.
2. "Horror! Decisive Battle at the Top of Odaiba!" (November 2002) - this actually made me laugh, although some of that was at references to other anime that won't mean much if you haven't seen them. It's got mecha, naughty tentacles, Yatterman and an extended reference to Gatchaman. I laughed at their reinterpretation of Fiery Phoenix, not to mention the cosplay posing competition. The show isn't afraid to put the boot into otaku stereotypes. Oh, and is it my imagination or are they doing Magical Girl Pretty Sammy's end credits?
2.5. "Hunch of Another Festival, Heave-Ho!" (June 2003) - I wouldn't recommend this either, but it's got lots of songs. I wouldn't call it good or bad. It's neutral. This was actually a TV special rather than an OVA, which is why it's episode 2.5.
3. "Serious! Komugi Dies Two or Three Times?!" (September 2003) - this was another funny one. Komugi dies at the start, but that won't stop her behaving badly! She also has a problem with her buxom magical arch-enemy. Komugi's efforts at defeating her are... hmmm, not best.
4. "The Anime Studio that Invites Storms" (December 2003) - Komugi dreams of being the star of a hit anime, complete with inappropriate and worrying merchandise! Then, one day, she gets her chance! Welcome to our anime studio! Would you like to join our staff and bring about a car crash production process? Naturally, Komugi proves to be driven by greed. Underage loli appeal? Bring it on!
5. "Encounter Has Come" (April 2004) - I presume I thought this was okay, but I don't remember much in the way of specifics.
Z-1. "Operation 1 - Again! Super Magical Battle in Red-Hot Summer Osaka" (September 2004) - don't bother.
Z-2. "Operation 2 - Did the maid fall asleep!? Komugi, Final Verse!!" (September 2005) - don't bother.
To be honest, I think it's basically an uninspired show that struggles to carry a standard episode. The format's not great. They're not doing much with the magical girl angle, while the cosplay idol thing isn't all that either. It's sort of okay. It's inoffensive. Occasionally the show made me laugh with something inherent to its premise, e.g. what Komugi did in ep.4 to that bloke who groped her boobs and then commented on their small size. (Hint: it involved knuckledusters.) However I don't think the cast are that funny. They were underwritten in The SoulTaker and they're not really much better here.
No, the successful episodes are the ones that go somewhere different. Ep.2 is about anime conventions, otaku and parodies of other anime. Ep.4 is being cynical about the anime industry itself. Ep.5 is full of jokes about death, ghosts and the afterlife. (The deceased is goofy, childish and stupid, while her friends may or may react well to getting her back.)
There's a 2016 remake series. I'll watch its first episode and see what I think, but these OVAs don't suggest that it'll be anything special. It's okay, though. It's not unfunny. This series certainly isn't a train wreck and I did laugh sometimes. I didn't abandon it halfway through. However I'd definitely a rental at best, not a purchase, and there's a ton of shows you should be prioritising above this, if you're looking to watch... well, anything.