This is going to be a pretty short review. I can even sum it up for you right now to save you even more time: don’t watch this show. There, anyone who’s stopped reading by now has already spent the appropriate amount of time thinking about this series.
Magical Warfare is a 12 episode anime produced by Madhouse adaptation of a light novel series that is currently 7 volumes long and growing. I would have to assume that the world of Magical Warfare is an interesting one and that it’s expounded upon in the light novels. It has an interesting set-up even though the anime just gives you chunks of information all at once without ever going in to a lot of detail. Apparently, there are two different worlds: one for regular people and one for magicians. The worlds used to be one but they were forcibly split during a great war between the magicians in order to prevent the destruction of the human world by a spell cast by the big bad guy, Kazuma Ryuusenji. Within the magical world there are seven different communities as well as an outlaw group called “Trailers”, which Kazuma (who is asleep for most of the series) leads. There are also 6 or so different primary types of magic that people can learn. All of this sounds like it should be important, but it’s not really. The biggest thing to remember is that there are basically a bunch of different groups of magicians that will randomly drop in on occasion.
The protagonist of the series is Takeshi Nanase, a young man with a troubled home life who ends up becoming a magician after a chance encounter with Mui Aiba exposes him to magic. Aiba is a member of the largest community, called “Wizard Brace”, which has a very checkered past. She starts the series off looking for her brother who has fallen under mind control and gone to work for the Trailers. She’s attacked by the trailers and, in the process, exposes Nanase and his friends Kurumi Isoshima and Ida Kasumi to magic. Apparently, being exposed to magic when you’re young enough, turns you into a magician. The 3 just roll with the change and join Wizard Brace’s academy. Nanase does it to get away from home and his friends just follow him.
As the series goes on we find out that Takeshi Nanase’s family is more intertwined with the magical world than he knows. His brother, Gekkou (who’s pretty much insane) shows up in the magical world as a magician and starts wreaking havoc on his life. The whole thing leads up to a big confrontation between the brothers where their powers start to go out of control. As this is happening the director of the Wizard Brace Academy casts a spell that seems to send them (or at least Takeshi) back into time. Then the series just ends.
The anime offers absolutely no resolution to a plot that seems like it was only halfway told to begin with. The idea of the magicians and communities being locked in this long war did seem interesting at first. There’s also some character development and relationships that seem like they’re really going somewhere. The complicated relationship between Takeshi and Kurumi as well as the Nanase family were all things that I was genuinely interested in. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a complete train wreck of a show where it seemed like the show runners didn’t realize that it was only 12 episodes and not 22. That’s the only reason that I can think of for randomly introducing time travel and brand new elements into the story within the last 2-3 minutes of the series. Especially time travel that answers absolutely no questions and story elements that raise more questions.
If you are a fan of the light novel series its possible that you may enjoy seeing this story animated, assuming that it’s not too far off of the original story. Otherwise, I can think of not one good reason for watching this show.