Magic Knight Rayearth: less formula, more angst (spoilers!)

Magic Knight Rayearth: less formula, more angst (spoilers!)

This review contains many spoilers, so if you haven’t watched Rayearth in its entirety, please be advised before reading this.

I finally finished watching Magic Knight Rayearth, a 1994 shojo anime based on CLAMP’s fantasy manga. In it, junior-high school girls Hikaru Shidou, Umi Ryuuzaki and Fuu Hououji are summoned by Princess Emeraude to another world called Cephiro, in order to become the legendary Magic Knights, who must save the princess and protect Cephiro. I have to say that it took me awhile to finish this series. I think it was hard for me to muster up enthusiasm to continue it because it’s so formulaic. That’s part of the point – in one scene genre-savvy Fuu mentions that their quest to become Magic Knights is not unlike an RPG. But the pattern of the Magic Knights fighting against monsters and minions sent by the lead bad guy Zagato each episode became tiresome. What kept me interested, however, were the Magic Knights themselves, especially Hikaru. Hikaru was the most enthusiastic about becoming a Magic Knight because she wanted to help the people of Cephiro, and I really love how determined she is. Umi was the character who surprised me the most – at first, I expected her to be snobby because she initially wanted to return home and felt that protecting Cephiro wasn’t her business. But over the course of the series, Umi becomes very protective of her friends, and her kindness shines through. I found the intelligent and ultra-polite Fuu to be the least interesting of the Magic Knights, but I did appreciate her relationship with Ferio, a swordsman who occasionally helps the Magic Knights. Not to mention, Mokona’s adorable.

Hikaru, Fuu and Umi with Mokona in the center

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