Magic User's Club
"Takakura, I... I swear to become a great magician! Just... like... you!"—Sae Sawanoguchi
Magic User's Club (Mahou Tsukai Tai!) is a Magical Girl Anime that tells the story of a plucky group of teenage magic users, and their quest to liberate the world from extra-terrestrial invaders. Created and directed by Junichi Sato, it was originally released as an OVA series in 1996, and was followed in the late '90s by a TV series that picked up the story where the OVA left off. It has since received both Manga and Light Novel adaptations. The anime series is licensed in North America by Anime Works.
One year ago, an alien spaceship known as "The Bell" invaded the earth, spreading a message to the humans of the world that it was here to take over. Though the planet's military forces fought desperately against the The Bell, they proved to be no match for the invaders' highly superior technology. All resistance was quickly wiped out, though the aliens seemed to be taking special care not to harm the human soldiers, and The Bell never made the first strike. Quickly realizing that the aliens would not attack without provocation, humanity quietly accepted defeat and sought to return to as normal a routine as possible. Cue opening credits of the first episode.
Now, the people of earth have grown used to the The Bell, which has caused no further disruptions save for sending out probes to politely observe their day-to-day lives. Unwilling to accept the status quo, Takeo Takakura, the president of Kitanohashi High school's Magic Club, has declared that it is the duty of the club to single-handedly defeat the invaders and secure the freedom of all humans. Unfortunately, the Magic User's Club has only five members and of those, only he and his vice-president know how to use magic effectively! On top of that, the club president finds it to be a daily struggle to keep his perverted nature at bay long enough to focus on the task at hand.
But all hope is not lost, for Takeo finds an eager and energetic (though not quite able) student in new club member Saya "Sae" Sawanoguchi. Seeking to overcome her clumsiness and low sense of self-worth, Sae declares that she will follow in the footsteps of Takeo, and become a powerful magic-user. Will Takeo, Sae, and the rest of the club learn to control their power and become the hope of human-kind? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: wherever the Magic Users Club goes, hilarity is bound to follow!
The TV series continues the story. The main plotline is about Sae and a mysterious androgynous waif.
There are also two different manga. One is a shounen manga and maintains the same light feel in the OVA. The other is shoujo, and is much darker and has several different characters as well.
- Alliterative Name: Every. Single. Character. It's the story's Theme Naming convention.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents:
- Anime Hair: Akane has pink streaks in her long white hair, and Sae's hair looks like a bunch of tiny Raggedy Anne-esque squares.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: To Aburatsubo, from Nanaka. He rejects her feelings. In the kindest, sweetest way ever, doing what he can to not break her heart further. The frame doesn't change from a closeup on Nanaka's face while he gives her his reply. You can watch her emotional state shift from nervousness to surprise to sad realization to resignation.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Happens to Akane.
- Benevolent Alien Invasion: The aliens have invaded at some point before the story begins. They don't really do anything at first, and even go so far as to obey traffic laws.
- Bishonen: Aburatsubo.
- Camp Gay: On the one hand, Aburatsubo is a long-haired Bishonen who flirts outrageously with Takeo...
- Cool Starship: The Bell.
- Covert Pervert: Club President Takeo Takakura tries to hide the lustful thoughts that spring up at even the most inopportune times, however the truth is obvious to pretty much everyone else except Sae.
- Chivalrous Pervert:
- While Takeo may burst into perverted fantasies at the drop of a hat, he's very protective of his fellow club members, especially Sae, and tries his best to perform his duties as president.
- Also Aburatsubo, whose Single-Target Sexuality on Takeo doesn't deter him from being a reliable friend and magic club member.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The journalist, his photographer, and the teacher who tells his students 'education is love,' are completely absent from the TV series with no mention of them at all.
- Credits Montage: The TV series combines clips from the current episode with clips from the next episode in the ending theme.
- Conspicuous CG: Makes some of the alien ships more...alien.
- Dojikko: Sae Sawanoguchi, who not only manages to fail at nearly everything she tries, but often fails in the most spectacular way possible.
- Every Episode Ending: The opening verse of the Ending Theme "Mata Ashita" can be heard in the last moments before the credits in each of the OVA episodes.
- Fan Service: From all of the main girls, and Miyama. And occasionally Aburatsubo.
- Gag Boobs: Mizuha Miyama. Complete with very heavy Gainaxing. Hilariously highlighted in the Beach Episode, wherein Miyama gets off the bus, then the rest of her gets off the bus. This is noticeably tuned down in the TV series, despite that Miyama's TV school uniform seems to show more cleavage.
- Honest Axe: This fable is invoked in a bathroom scene, in which Takeo is asked if he was using the gold or the silver toilet paper.
- Ho Yay: With Ayanojyo Aburatsubo's passionate declarations of love for the extremely reluctant Takeo Takakura, it leaves very little to the imagination.
- I Have Boobs - You Must Obey!: The weird part is that Mizuha isn't even trying to invoke this trope but Takeo is often too distracted to hold his own in an argument against her.
- Inept Mage: Sae Sawanoguchi. Her magic is by far the most powerful, if she can control it, and if it comes out in the first place.
- Instant Fanclub: Aburatsubo has this in the TV series, even though he's gayer than a Broadway musical. (Although, you never know, maybe that is why he has them...)
- Intrepid Reporter: A pair of them in journalist Mitsuru Minowa and his sidekick/photographer Yoshito Yoshimoto. They stumble upon the antics of the Magic club while trying to investigate The Bell.
- Les Yay: Sae and Nanaka have some very intimate moments and subtext.
- Lethal Chef: Sae's big sister Saki. When asked why she is using red chili paste while making Tomato Stew, she responds: "... What's that?"
- Magic A Is Magic A: All it takes to do magic in the Magic User's Club universe is a weird looking wand and some Latin chanting. Akane almost accomplishes some magic with just a picture of a magic wand, and Sae learns to cast magic without a wand at all in the TV series.
- Magical Incantation: "Izatai Abamehinam Etokafe Nan!"
- Magic Versus Science: The Sufficiently Advanced Aliens are nigh indestructible, with a scientific mastery of space travel and weapons that can disintegrate aircraft carriers. They are countered by high school kids who can fly on brooms and magically transform them into pillows.
- Naughty Tentacles: When the aliens captured the club in the first episode and began to examine them with eye-like probes protruding from long, prehensile stalks... you can probably guess the first thing that came to Takeo's mind.
- Noblewoman's Laugh—Takakura's rival Mizuha Miyama is a constant user of this laugh, normally when she's finished knocking him down the only peg he has left.
- No Bisexuals: Slightly averted in that Aburatsubo seems to be having feelings for Nanaka towards the end, which, while not discussed with the rest of the cast, seem to confuse him.
- Nosebleed: Takeo should win some award for how many times this happens per episode.
- Ojou: Akane, who models in the TV series and appears to be independently wealthy.
- Redheaded Hero: While Sae has a long, winding, pitfall-ridden road to get to the point where she is worthy of the "hero" part of this trope, her dedication and belief in her companions pays off in the end when she frees the world from alien control by turning The Bell into a giant tree. While not the protagonist, Aburatsubo also qualifies as one of the most competent members of the magic user's club who often saves the day when the group gets in trouble.
- Shout-Out: Quite a few to Kiki's Delivery Service.
- Space Is Noisy: Averted nicely in the OVA intro.
- Starfish Aliens: The Bell aliens. There is a brief insight into their thought process: the Bell apparently makes decisions with two 'leaders' (shown as a red light and a blue light) arguing over different logical courses of action until they are both in agreement.
- Invisible to Gaydar: On the other, he's one of the school's star athletes...
- Unskilled but Strong: Sae is incredibly inept at using her magic at first and slowly improve over the course of the OAV and TV series. However, it is constantly noted that her magic is very strongest, possibly the strongest out of any of the main cast.
- Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: Or rather, the common apostrophe; the title suggests that the club belongs to just one magic user. "Magic Users' Club" would be accurate in this case.
- Wild Magic: in the TV series when it's revealed that Jurika, the mysterious person who appears and disappears, is an anthropological manifestation of Sae's magic.
- White-Haired Pretty Girl: Akane.
- Will They or Won't They?: Sae and Takeo. The TV series ends with a Love Confession from Takeo, at which Sae replies: "I love you too!" Then the rest of the Magic Club appears a minute later, and Sae tells them: "I love you all!" which leaves Takeo utterly confused about her response. In the end, it appears unresolved.
- World Tree: The giant cherry tree certainly looks like one.