DVD Review: Nurse Witch Komugi R – The Complete Series

What happens when you combine the elements of an idol with a magical girl? The result is of course Nurse Witch Komugi R. But what can one expect to receive from this anime series and its UK DVD Release by MVM Entertainment? Well let’s take a look.

Synopsis:

Komugi Yoshida wants to be famous, but her efforts as an idol don’t seem to be working out so far. Unlike her prim friend Cocona or her tomboyish rival Tsukasa, both of whose idol popularity is soaring, Komugi seems to be getting only the bottom-tier jobs, like pitching pharmaceutical products to the locals.

However, everything changes when Komugi discovers an injured creature named Usa-P who offers her a chance to be something bigger: a magical nurse! With awesome powers and a cute outfit to boot, Komugi might just be moving up in the world, but is she going to be able to handle the stress of saving the world, being an idol, AND keeping up in school?

Our View:

Adapted from the OVA Series of the same name Nuse Witch Komugi R is a colourful moe styled Magical Girl series which sees three relatively popular junior idols become Magical Girls in order to collect cards that have been scattered across the world. Ironically though while the story may revolve around the prospect of collecting cards scattered across the land it is the girls life as idols and their lifestyle choices which receive the most attention to detail. This, at least, makes Nurse Wtch Komugi R stand out from other magical girl series but unlike some of my favourites, such as CardCaptor Sakura, Fate/Kaleid and Madoka Magica this series doesn’t manage to keep my interest with its repetitive episodic content and low budget style animation.

It all begins when Komugi Yoshida, who desires to be famous and works as both a nurse at her families health clinic and as a junior idol for a local entertainment firm, finds herself recruited by a mysterious rabbit creature known as Usa-P into becoming a Magical Girl. As part of this ‘recruitment’ Komugi must collect Franc Cards which have been scattered by a mysterious witch – however in order to retrieve these cards she must defeat the items or people they possess.

For context in this series the magical cards possess any type of item and transform them into a monster of some kind – its here where the Magical Girl would defeat the monster in order to retrieve the card. The interesting aspect of this setup however is that it feels more like an episode of Power Rangers rather than a magical girls show; namely because of the over-the-top, and almost comical, approach to the monsters and how characters interact with them. Even when monsters are defeated they do so in a similar fashion to the final monster scenes within Power Rangers and other similar shows.

A parody is what Nurse Witch Komugi, the original OVA Series, was once described by fans and critics alike and it seems Nuse Witch Komugi R follows this same process. Not solely because of how the series is presented but due to some of the dialogue and scenes that are depicted.

For example when the characters transform into magical girls instead of the animation sequence taking place, like that in Sailor Moon, a narrator explains that the transformation takes less than 0.02 seconds – additionally before transforming Usa-P admits that the oufits are ‘revealing’ and that you will be naked during the transformation. These are just ‘snippets’ of some of the dialogue that illustrates that Nurse Witch Komugi R shouldn’t be taken too seriously – and with the highly colourful characters and monsters that’s not too surprising.

Ironically though some story elements of Nurse Witch Komugi R should be taken seriously as deep down the series does offer some thought provoking moments that engage the viewer. For example after the first handful of episodes new ‘magical girls’ are introduced, both of which are co-workers of Komugi during their idol activities, one of the characters offers a ‘tomboyish’ approach but deseries to be more feminie and as such we see her grow from the secluded work-a-holic to a more open female character.

Komugi and her friend Cocona on the other hand both have the same personality throughout; although when transformed into a magical girl Cocona can go into a ‘dominatrix’ personality – a qurk brought over from the original OVA series. These character personalities bring a bit of variety to the series as a whole but offers a better story than the topic at hand – which in this case is collecting cards for a relatively secretive reason. It’s fun to watch and has some good moments; but generally speaking there are better things available.

Extras:

Those hoping for a nice selection of supplementary content will be disappointed to learn that the only bonus features are for the textless opening and closing of the series itself; both of which are located on the first DVD disc.

It’s interesting how a series that features a variety of idol presentations, with low budget styled CGI that looks worse than the animation presented in Love Live, only features bonus features for the opening and closing segments but at the end of the day it is better than nothing – even if it is a little bit disappointing.

Specs:

Media:  DVD 5 x3
Region: 2
Running Time: 1:34:04 (Disc 1 & 2), 1:34:03 (Disc 3)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x480 (480p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 30 fps

Overall:

Without going into extensive details Nurse Witch Komugi R sees three female characters, all of which work within the idol industry, be recruited by three different alien-styled creates in order to retrieve cards scattered across the land. In order to do this the magical girls have to defeat the monsters that appear as a result of the cards merging onto an item; be it a Camera or Costume. At first these three magical girls work against each other in order to be the best but when stronger threats appear the girls work together into order to accomplish the task at hand and restore peace within the world.

In the beginning Nurse Witch Komugi R acts like your traditional Magical Girls anime whereby a single energetic and ditzy character is recruited for an important task but as the series moves forward we then see different types of characters, be it Cocona and her mature lifestyle or Tsukasa and her boyish appearance, begin their magical girl adventure. Although the ‘Magical Girls’ theme is sold as the focal point the attention mostly spans around the idol activities of these three but more so on Tsukasa, who is wanting to appear more feminie in order to attract the man of her dreams, rather than Komugi and Cocona. In regards to episode progression then each one follows the simple pattern of starting off with daily activities before moving onto the enemy threat itself – with a simple (over to quickly battle) before the monster is defeated – in power rangers style I might add.

Nuse Witch Komugi R acts like your traditional magical girl show but it simply isn’t; instead it is more of a parody on the genre by never taking itself too seriously and being over the top at any possible chance it can get. As a result of this I didn’t enjoy the series as much as I thought it would and this didn’t help with the repetitive episodic formula and lack of action in the form of on-screen animation. The only saving grace for me was the character development from Tsukasa’s point of view and the ‘potential for success’ when it comes to Komugis career. Everything else was under delivered and disappointing – the same rings true with the animation style which offers something more fitting for a show in the nineties rather than the twentieth centry. Colourful and full of energy; but disappointing in general.

This DVD Release by MVM Entertainment meanwhile remains consistent with similar releases; in this case twelve episodes spread across three DVD discs in order to keep the quality consistent throughout. The series is presented in Japanese with English Subtitles, all of which are fully readable with yellow text although due to the nature of the series some backgrounds of the series did clash with the yellow text of the subtitles – but nothing serious or noteworthy. In short its another simplistic approach from MVM Entertainment, who are using assets by Madman & Sentai Filmworks; but it works effectively and gives us the presentation we deserve for a series that ‘may be’ worth your time if you are interested in simplistic parodies of popular anime genres.

Score: review-stars-3

Nurse Witch Komugi R – The Complete Series is now available on DVD and Blu-ray within the UK.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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