Magic Knight Rayearth revisited : Girls, Magic, and Mecha

Magic Knight Rayearth is a two season TV anime adapted from manga created by CLAMP, a (used to be) famous all female manga artist group. The manga was first publish on November 1993 but the TV anime was aired nearly one year later on October, 1994. I didn’t read the manga, so let’s just skip that. There is a 3 episode OVA released in 1997 but the plot is totally different, so let’s just skip that too.

Rayearth_05
The TV series is divided into two season known as Magic Knight Rayearth and Magic Knight Rayearth 2. The first season got total episode of 20 aired from October 17, 1994 to March 13, 1995. In the story, three high school girls, Shidou Hikaru, Ryuuzaki Umi, and Hououji Fuu being summoned to another world called Cephiro. They are the magic knight summoned by Princess Emeraude, the Pillar of Cephiro who were captured by High Priest Zagato. The three girls learn to use magic and develop their combat skills as the story progress. They meet some good people who help them with their journey. They also meet three Rune Gods of Cephiro known as Selece, Windam, and Rayearth. The three Rune Gods give them power to become stronger. In the end, the Magic Knights & Rune Gods will face High Priest Zagato in his own Rune God.

Rayearth_01
The second TV series was aired from April 10, 1995 to November 27, 1995 with total episode of 29, making the total episode the two TV series 49. This time the Magic Knights are back to Cephiro because of their own will. The story set a year after the first season. People from other planets try to conquer Cephiro by becoming its Pillar. The Magic Knights will need to defend Cephiro from them. However, the real threat to Cephiro is actually come from Debonair and her daughter, Nova. Debonair power source was the dark heart of people in Cephiro (due to the unstable condition of the planet). The Magic Knight will face both Nova and Debonair in the final battle.

Being an anime from 1994 to 1995, the animation is actually one of the better one compared to other anime at that time. However, the gap between great animation and bad animation at that time was not as far as these days. Compared to newer anime these days, I’d say the animation is pretty decent. It seems outdated of course but not still far from awful. The character design is quite interesting and that’s the way CLAMP design.

I didn’t pay much attention to the BGM but the sound effect seems pretty good. The opening and ending theme songs are nice. I mainly like the second opening theme song, Hikari to Kage wo Dakishimeta Mama but the first opening theme song, Yuzurenai Negai is also nice.

I don’t know much about the seiyuu(s) of 1990s anime. But I am pretty impressed with the seiyuu of the three main characters. Shiina Hekiru is the seiyuu of Shidou Hikaru, Yoshida Konami is the seiyuu of Ryuuzaki Umi, and Kasahara Hiroko is the seiyuu of Hououji Fuu. Fuu is my favorite in this anime and that is also because of the impressive voice acting of Kasahara Hiroko. Tanaka Hideyuki voiced Rayearth, Tesshou Genda voiced Selece and Ootsuka Akio voiced Windam. The are a quite well-known male seiyuu. Their voice as the Rune Gods are commanding and well-respected.

Rayearth_03

To sum everything, Magic Knight Rayearth is an impressive work for a mid-1990s anime. The story is interesting to follow, the animation was pretty much the good side, the music is nice, the sound effect is good, and the best thing is the characters. There are many characters, especially from season 2 but the number of male and female characters is quite balance. It’s rare to find this kind of thing in newer anime because too many of them are focusing on Moe girls. Magic Knight Rayearth is a great example of how characters in anime should be.

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Story 8
Animation 6
Sounds & Musics 8
Characters 8
Voice Acting 8
Overall 8
Rated as Very Good
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