Mikagura School Suite is one of those animes I’ve had on my list since they first aired because I simply dig high school battle anime if they’re done right, though most seem to end on a disappointing note. So, shall we dive into this anime and see what’s behind it?
The story is about Erina Ichinomiya, who has to decide to which school she should go to and is very picky about it. Erina is, for the lack of a better word, a naive child on a constant sugar rush and she’s also into women. When her perverted male cousin, whose only joke throughout the entire series is “I love you Erina, I want to make babies with you!”, showed her a prospect of the Mikagura High School, Erina immediately fell in love with one of the models from the school, her name is Seisa. What she doesn’t know however, is that everything in this school is decided by club battles. Meaning that if you’re not a member of a club or if you’re bad at battles, then you barely get anything to eat or a comfortable place to sleep. Everything from episode 1-10 is just setting everything up and introducing all the characters, who have to deal with their own problems while having to endure Erina’s hyperactive behavior and eventually warm up to her.
Alright so what did I think about the story in general? Honestly, I have a mixed opinion here. For one, I rarely ever wanted to see side characters to have more screen time than here, or rather: The side characters that don’t get a lot of screen time are the ones that are actually well written and genuinely funny. The main character Erina and most of the other female characters that often appear are just cliché to the point of me not really liking any of them. Yes, I get it, Erina is supposed to be the typical battle hero with a quirky personality, however unlike characters like say Gon from Hunter x Hunter, Erina has literally nothing going for her except her making the same, only two jokes several times in each of the 12 episodes. The jokes are literally just “Erina has fantasies about female characters” and “Erina is an airhead and just deals with everything as it comes up”.
There is some sort of plot going on but it progresses very slowly as the series does something good as well as something bad. The good thing: Sometimes the mentioned interesting characters are in an episode’s focus, I would take them out of this anime and put them in a group as the protagonists in their own story to be honest.
The bad thing is that the anime spends around a quarter of the total runtime (of all 12 episodes) just showing Erina doing her things which, quite frankly, weren’t really funny. And yes, I get it, the anime wants to be happy and up-beat but then why do you tease me with very little plot hints in each episode without ever going into them? Now that I think about it, everything is decided by battles? Sounds like a very fragile and bad system to me considering the school was founded with the idea of “everyone having fun”.
Please don’t make the mistake to think that this anime has no plot at all, but it took me 11 (!) episodes for me to care at all for Erina and even then, she fell short compared to the others. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a happy-go-lucky protagonist, this is certainly an anime to go for.
The ending is also pretty good, though it does make the impression that the final two episodes were supposed to be longer but someone suddenly remembered that they’re already done with episode 10.
Visually, this anime is VERY appealing with some really good, high energy action scenes. This is the kind of action where you just can’t stop looking because if you blink, you might miss something. I really like the action here and you can’t go wrong here if you’re looking for some good action scenes. They’re short and they’re bursting with energy.
Musically… I couldn’t remember a single song and I found the opening song to be yet just another “come on guys, let’s all be super happy and go on an adventure!” song.
Can I recommend Mikagura School Suite or also known as Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku? Not to everyone but this is an anime that is easily recommendable to a very specific group of people. To those, who like happy anime where everything too serious is overshadowed by a more or less working joke. To those, who enjoy high school battle stories and to those, who just want to turn off their brains and not think about the plot because it would kind of fall apart otherwise. The good thing about this anime is that you can do exactly that, just watch and let it happen with a charming ending.
Personally, I didn’t like this anime a lot and I won’t go back to rewatch it because there were just too many things that rubbed me the wrong way. HOWEVER only because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s bad or that I can’t praise the things this anime did really well. In the end, this is an average but very fun anime for those who don’t have enough “High School Magical Power Action” yet.