mahoraba last episode

Warning: SPOILERS…

I’m not sure what is the general appeal of umeboshi, the dried out plums that Kozue likes so much. Yeah, they make bentos look like a Japanese flag when placed on white rice… but I’m American (maybe bacon for the red stripes would be more appropriate… mmm… bacon…). Yeah, they can be stuffed into onigiri, but I prefer salmon inside my onigiri. Yeah, they can be preserved over 100 years, but somehow food that outlives me isn’t exactly an appeal. Yet, these dried plums went from cute food fetish that Kozue had to integral part of the story.

dragon warrior… ?

The final arc deals with Kozue’s multiple personality disorder slightly differently than in the manga. Since chapter 39 in the manga, the Narutakisou gang discovered that Kozue has gotten better after Shiratori confessed to her… and he improves her mental stability by wooing all the alternate personas. So far, only Nanako and Natsume have shown up… and that’s the state of the manga. The anime takes a different approach to Kozue’s MPD by having Kozue breakdown and have main Kozue persona buried. Shiratori then writes a fairy tale about the “umeboshi princess” and uses it to bring Kozue back. A lightweight ending but satisfactory considering that the manga is still going. Though it would have been great to see Shiratori stumbling around like in the manga when he’s terrified of confessing to Kozue.

I know that I fanboy a lot about manga to anime conversions. Generally, a good conversion will follow the golden rule: thou shalt not forget why the manga was popular. For example, Tengou Tenge is built on blood, nakkidness, and art. None of that made it into the anime… and it disappointed to say the least. The opposite example would be Hanaukyo, which would be about fanservice, fanservice, and fanservice, and La Verite pandered nicely. Mahoraba actually stands out as a fairly good, abiet lightweight, conversion. It kept the heartful tone of the manga, improved the art, and smoothed out some storylines (i.e. I’m not sure why Sayoko daydreams about the multiple Kozues in the manga… they changed it to Shiratori in the anime, which made much more sense). They didn’t take away anything, didn’t kill off half the cast like other shows, and definitely didn’t have the Gainax ending syndrome.

one final umeboshi for the road

Mahoraba leaves as that rare harem comedy that doesn’t rely on fanservice. I can best compare it with a cuter Oh My Goddess!… only if Skuld, Urd, Peorth, Rind, and Bell were actually compressed into a single_goddess.rar. I definitely enjoyed Narutakisou’s stories, and hopefully, there will be more in the future… and hopefully more arcs of the Occult Research Club President (never did figure out if she has a name).

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