Spellbooks and Horoscopes: Boueibu Happy Kiss! Episode 5

Astral: Oh boy, i’m gonna be honest with you here. This was actually my least favorite episode of the show so far. It just felt like there was a lot of substance lacking from the story in the episode, lots of filler through meaningless dialogue and the extensive transformation scene. The enemy didn’t really hold any clout whatsoever, unlike last week. Kind of felt like a throwaway episode, if i’m being honest. What did you think of it, Aria?

Aria: Hmm, it was quite lacking in the monster department for sure and even if you didn’t pay attention to when the end of the episode was coming, that extended transformation sequence stuck out like a sore thumb. There were some interesting changes in the characterisation department, but only because this series’ pink-haired boys tend to get neglected in that regard.

Astral: Speaking of which, I get Maasa used to be fat, but what I don’t get is why a) he wants to be feminine, and b) why he wants everyone else to get fat. Kinda makes little sense to me…

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Aria: I never got the impression he wanted to be feminine. Maybe it’s because I’m used to bishonen…? As to why he wants people to get fat, I think it’s because these days he perceives being fat as a weakness due to how he used to be.

Astral: I would think that after being fat, or having an illness, or whatever, it would be more logical to wish that nobody else has to go through that, don’t you think? Or maybe that’s just me.

On another note though, he made some references to being a “smaller, cuter me” that I personally thought were pretty feminine but maybe that’s just my male perspective speaking.

Aria: Petty motivations, remember?

Astral: Mmm, indeed.

Aria: I find it interesting that only the pink-haired boys in this show – most of them, Dougo doesn’t give a hoot (because he’s the village idiot, to put it bluntly) – care about being cute in any capacity. It really says something about colour association…As for the magic side, I think you should take notes, Astral. Your powers don’t really align with what Spazio Kiss did this episode, even if all he did was make a bubble of broth.

Astral: What’s the point of gravity magic if all you do is make bubbles? I’d rather blow stuff up.

Aria: What do “space powers” do, anyway? Wind is an obvious power, but…“magic knight of space” is kinda vague in its capabilities.

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Astral: Well considering my own powers are also based on cosmic energy, I have access to things like gravity magic, as well as molecular fusion and fission on a limited scale. I think the Karl’s knights powers are pretty vague, especially since the instances when they actually use their individual abilities are pretty few and far between…

Aria: Considering the main inspiration of LOVE! was Sailor Moon, it is kinda suspect that Happy Kiss hasn’t had individual attacks until now (because even PreCure, which Happy Kiss takes more of a cue from, has individual attacks from the beginning in most iterations), and even then this was only a tiny part of what one member was capable of. Admittedly, I did have this exact complaint an episode or two ago but…well, it’s relevant now. Can’t pass it up.

Astral: Sailor Moon always did a great job making each character feel unique and important to the story, giving them a role to play and useful abilities. In Happy Kiss, though, it’s pretty much always just been Kyotaro who’s had to do all the work while the rest of the guys basically run around dodging stuff.

Aria: Kyotaro’s always been marketed as sloth boy, even more than En, which is a sort of joke in itself…You’re right when you say the rest have only been dodging – with the stepped-up visuals, I’d really like to see Neve Kiss do some kind of snowstorm attack, or Luna Kiss throw down a deadly moonbeam! The possibilities for attacks and attack combos are endless when you have 5 magic knights.

Astral: You’re right in that the visuals are very very nice. I wish they utilized them to their full potential; currently it seems a bit of a waste.

Aria: If previous seasons are anything to go by, we’ve only got 7 episodes left (including that one fanservice episode, which from early-release spoilers is going to be a pool tournament episode) and so we might not even get “full potential”…

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Astral: That’s… pretty depressing, actually. I honestly really love the visuals, I’m a sucker for bright colors and crisp animation. But seeing them used in this way is kind of hurting my heart…

Aria: How bright do you like your visuals anyway? Concrete Revolutio level?

Astral: Shows that have visuals that really hit home for me include Gurren Lagann, Little Witch Academia, and of course No Game No Life. Just a few samples, but vibrant colors done well really make me happy. Of course, lots of shows try to do colors and do them pretty badly, but I try not to think of that…

Oh, other visuals that appeal to me are ones that have a hand-painted or pastel look, like the backgrounds in Yuru Camp, or pretty much everything from Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash.

Aria: Hmm, YuruCamp and Grimgar have distinctive looks for sure. Personally, if a show has a distinctive set of visuals that give it a concrete identity, that’s the sort of show I’ll gravitate towards. Those words are kind of vague, but they definitely depend on a lot of factors.

But back to Boueibu. How do you think the boys’ friendships are handled? There seem to be some pretty strong bonds on both sides of the Honyara Land conflict, it almost makes me jealous…

Astral: Honestly, I think the show might be improved if it were more about how this group of guys met and ended up being friends. After all, they all seem pretty different, yet are always sticking together. How did they meet, what bonds them together? I’m always a fan of character-focused stories, and I hope we get more of that throughout the show.

Aria: Well, we have the answers to some of that already – I think Taishi’s the Defence Club’s weakest link here, since we don’t know how he met Ichiro or anyone else. Likewise, even though Taiju’s had the lion’s share of Edelstein characterisation, he’s probably the weakest link there since most of his motivation as a character seems to be “Ata”, in the same way Arima from LOVE! was to Kinshiro. However, LOVE! was quite murky in the “how people met” department, even relegating some of that to the Caerula Adamas-focused manga, so again, here’s a spot where we might not get all the answers we’re asking for.

Astral: I’m enjoying the show so far but there does seem to be a fair amount of wasted potential here, would you agree?

Aria: I think we’re already proving that’s the case…

Wait, I do remember this interview, which mentions the story for LOVE! was initially brainstormed at a drinking party and the show was quite thrown-together on the whole. With that in mind, the wasted potential naturally comes through. However, I’d like to think of it also as a fan’s weapon – after all, if there was an obvious hole in a show that you liked, you’d want to write fanfic or do some other kind of fanwork to explain it.

Astral: There’s a weakness of mine, I guess. I’ve never really been interested in creating fanfics for anything. I don’t know if it’s that I don’t like the idea of fanfics, or if I just haven’t gotten into anything enough to care…

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Aria: Well, you write stories. There is some of the same driving force between fanfic writers and story writers, so certainly you know the feeling of discovering there was a detail you didn’t think of that affected the story greatly and scurrying to fix that…(or is that just my own experience?) It’s kind of like that, only you use someone else’s work as a basis and the original creator didn’t think of fixing the detail for whatever reason.

Astral: I think there’s a subtle difference there, where one is my own writing. When I find a plot hole in something I wrote, I feel a matter of pride in trying to fix that plothole and improving my story, whereas when it’s a story written by someone else, I don’t really feel that compulsion, you know?

Aria: I guess not everyone feels the same way about it, huh? On that note, we’ve kept our opponent waiting for long enough. Take this – Diamond Dust!

This attack works by rapidly dropping the temperature of the surrounding air and then summoning a cloud. It may not actually freeze an opponent – in fact, the most it might do is reduce their ability to see – but it does freeze any wasted potential in the area, from which the opponent draws its power. (Also, it looks pretty.)    

Astral: Beautifully done, Aria! Let’s give this everything we’ve got!!!

Both: Magical Explosion!

With a dazzling display of power from Aria, our heroes are yet again victorious this week. But how will they fare against their future opponents? Find out next week!

< To be continued in the next post… >


How are you guys enjoying Boueibu so far? I tmight seem like I am being pretty harsh on the show, but it’s been super fun, the way the show manages to provoke so much analysis and conversation from both myself and Aria. Schedules have been a bit crazy the last few weeks, so I hope you guys enjoy the random tangents we tend to take…. I know that I do!

Make sure to check out Episode 6 of Mahou Shoujo Ore over on Aria’s blog, and let us know how you are enjoying this collab… and the shows!!!

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