Komugi Yoshida and her friends, Kokona Saionji and Tsubasa Kisaragi are all upcoming idols and high school students, so juggling both aspects of their lives can be troublesome. Komugi is a clumsy idol who is still waiting for her big break; the only roles she can land are playing dead bodies on TV dramas, or being the mascot for the local pharmacy. Kokona is the student council president and popular idol with a big fan base. Tsubasa makes use of her boyish charms and appearance to be the most popular of the three but hides the fact that she likes cute things. One day, each of the 3 girls come across a creature who offers them the chance to become magical girls; naturally, they all accept.
Nurse Witch Komugi R aired with 12 episodes between January and March 2016. Produced by Tatsunoko Production (Psycho-Pass 2, Neon Genesis Evangelion) and directed by Kawaguchi, Keiichirou (Phantasy Star Online 2). Nurse Witch Komugi R is a spin-off of an early 2000’s show called Nurse Witch Komiugi. Komugi R is a parody of the magical girl genre while mixing in elements of idol shows; over the course of the 12 episodes, it feels like it did little to meet either goal.
Being a parody of the magical girl genre, Komugi R tries to use every trope you could possibly think off. Clumsy lead character? Tick that off. Talking animals with magic powers? It’s got that, 3 of them. Over the top beam attacks? Scratch that off. Colourful and embarrassing outfits? Oh, yes. Training montage? Yes. You name it, Komugi R has it, however, it does very little to parody these tropes, they’re just there. The biggest indicator that it is supposed to be a magical girl parody, is the narration of the transformation scenes and the attack names. When Komugi R can pull of its parody elements, it does make for a fun and enjoyable show. While Komugi R is also an idol show, it decides to focus more on the day to day aspects of being idols, from acting in TV dramas or meet and great events. There are the typical concerts you see in idol shows but these are very few. This does lead to having a variety of different locations, from Tokyo concert halls to mountain onsens to the idol agency.
Regarding the characters, out of the main three, only Tsubasa is the one with any depth to her; she uses her boyish appearance to succeed as an idol but has the hidden secret of liking cute things, which brings out a whole new different personality and leads to some interesting situations. Also, out of the main characters, she has the better of the subplots, focusing on her feelings for Komugi’s old friend and fellow male idol Yuuto. Although not much music is used throughout the show, I did enjoy the pieces; they were all upbeat and catchy. Apart from the OP, “Ready Go!!”, performed by the main cast and the ED “Ame to Namida to Otome to Taiyaki” performed by Otome Shinto, I recall 5 character songs, one for each of the leads, a group song, and another for an additional idol who appears later in the series. However, the transition from the traditional animation to CG for the dance sequences looked a bit strange, but the CG was good and the character actions were fluid.
MVM Entertainment’s release lacks an English dub, but thankfully the Japanese cast provides a solid performance. Komugi Yoshida is voiced by Kei Tomoe, member of the JPOP group AOP. Kokona Saionji is voiced by, Erii Yamazaki (Durarara!!x2 shou). Tsukasa Kisaragi is voiced by Makoto Koichi (Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV). The supporting cast is also strong, which includes Daisuke Namikawa (Hunter x Hunter), Rena Maeda (Keijo!!!!!!!!), and Haruko Momoi (Steins;Gate), to name a few.
Nurse Witch Momugi R is a fun show which tries to combine elements of magical girl and idol shows but doesn’t quite get it right. Some moments do provide a good laugh, but the parody aspect does fall flat.
Review copy provided by MVM Entertainment