Thanasis is a writer, editor, and professional geek. He usually writes about what he thinks he knows about the struggles of studying languages, surviving as a creative soul, and socializing as an extroverted introvert.
Stella no Mahou is nothing more than a one-cour, feel-good anime with cute girls, generic humor, and a relatively catchy doujin theme. Is that bad? Of course not. Young people everywhere are trying to create their own works inspired by those that preceded them, and the girls of the SNS club are their anime equivalent. Now that the club has their game ready, let’s see what happened at their first doujin games event, shall we?
Japanese Title: そくばいかい
— TVアニメ「ステラのまほう」公式 (@magicofstella_a) November 11, 2016
The episode is divided into two parts with the first before the half-break describing the events at the doujin event and the second showing the girls having a little pow-wow in Ayame’s house.
The event was as nerve-wrecking and exciting as I imagined it would be. I have found myself many times in the verge of breaking down just like Shii did in places with large crowds. Her inability to cope with the pressure agreed to her character up until now. Stella no Mahou may not be complicated or deep, but its characters are recognizable and unique, each with her own personality tweaks. Tweaks that were further established during the second part: Honda can’t stop talking about her father and is very shy when it comes to her art; Yumine is a fujoushi enthusiast that can’t control her passion for the BL genre; Fujikawa is so enamored with music that she thinks and melodies and won’t rest until she can put her thoughts into notes; Ayame is, like every writer I know, unsure of her abilities and ashamed of her more intimate stories; Shii is oblivious of normal social interactions. The love stories that they share only serve to reinforce their individual characteristics and cement their characters.
The event reminded us that only through hard work and determination one can only hope to achieve results. This event was just a substitute for Comiket, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they had a game ready for it. A game for which they worked their asses off for six consecutive days. And the first part of the episode is full of perks that resulted from their hard work. Honda gets to be praised for her art and she is asked for both her autograph and an original on-the-spot sketch. Ayame finds friends and fellow creators to talk about their games and exchange disks. They take photos and sell disks and meet people; they have fun. The event begs us to assume that this is the case for every group that was there. Stella no Mahou may be the story about a doujin group named SNS, but the event reminds us that there are so many groups out there that work hard to create their games, manga, anime, etc.
Bunny Ears: And Teru’s cat ears. I am sure I’m not the only one who gets that sweet kawaii feeling every time a cute anime girl wears this kind of hats. Especially when they take cute poses for photos.
Rock Paper Scissors: The game of ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ is known to every one of us that needed help in making a decision. In Japan, the game is called janken, and its unique variation is so well known in the country that you could just walk up and challenge anyone on the street and he will be ready to take on the challenge without any explanation of the rules.
There are many variations to the game, but the most basic is this:
The names for the three options are: Guu (rock, グー); Paa (パー); Choki (Paper, チョキ). Both players start by saying Saishou wa guu (最初さいしょはぐう), ‘The first is Rock’. Every game starts with both players holding the Rock form. Instead of saying, ‘Rock, Papers, Scissors’ they say Janken Pon! and choose their move. If there’s a tie, they say Aiko Deshou!, ‘it seeks like a tie’ and keep going indefinitely until one of the two wins.
Limited Edition Items: Serious otaku collectors in Japan are aware of the many limited edition items you can only get during festivals and special events. If you want to learn more about these items read our two part guide on how to get limited edition items in Japan: Part 1 and Part 2.
King Game: The King Game that the girls are playing during their gathering is very famous and it’s usually played during a konpa (コンパ), a type of Japanese drinking gathering held by university students for developing friendships or deepening relationships with members of the same affiliated group or with the opposite sex that benefit Japanese socially in their careers and in their lives. While our girls’ gathering is not so serious, the game they play is the same. The King Game, or Ōsama Game, is a Japanese variation of Truth or Dare. In the game, one player is elected King by choosing from a set of chopsticks of which one is marked to show who the King is, and then she thinks of funny dares which the others must perform.
— TVアニメ「ステラのまほう」公式 (@magicofstella_a) November 9, 2016
Not much to comment on this episode. There were a lot of GIF-worthy scenes, great facial expressions and funny tidbits that made the 20-minute run very enjoyable. Not the best episode of the series so far, and I felt that this could have been more suited to be the final episode than in mid-season story. But I feel like the girls will manage to go to Comiket after all.
If there was a theme of episode 6 of Stella no Mahou, then I have to vote for ‘be proud of what you create.’ Now that the girls have their game ready, my guess is that in the next episodes we’ll see them refine it to a better version, market it online, and have it displayed in more events!
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic reviews!
NEXT TIME: My First Memories (はじめての思い出)