Content considerations: fantasy blood, brief nonsexualized nudity
What’s it about? Since she was a child, Princess Anis has dreamed of being able to fly; unfortunately, she was born without magic. No problem! She just renounces her claim on the throne to her younger brother in order to invent magical tools instead. When her brother calls off his engagement to the refined and beautiful Lady Euphyllia, the princess makes another bold declaration: she’ll take Euphyllia away herself!
Breathe a collective sigh of relief at home, readers. This yuri series is neither cardboard-stiff nor a total sleazefest toward teenagers!
God, my bar is so low.
But y’know? That just makes it a thrill when a show not only steps over that bar but flies above it with ease. The world of genre yuri anime is ever so gradually expanding, and Magical Revolution looks like a promising addition to the roster. Tamaki Shingo is still green as a director, but series composer Watari Wataru has a number of well-regarded rom-coms under his belt, most notably My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. That gives me some hope for its ability to tell a compelling and contained romance in spite of it being based on a series of still-ongoing light novels.
Like anyone sick to death of the most recent isekai boom, I tensed up a little at the “reincarnated” element of the title, but it’s treated as little more than a perfunctory element. Five-year-old Anis sees a series of images that remind her of the dreams of flying she harbored in her previous life, and she refers to the monsters she harvests for alchemical materials as “loot,” and…. That’s pretty much it. No belaboring of how this world works according to RPG mechanics or concerns as to whether Anis has been an adult since childhood. In fact, we barely get Anis’ internal monologue at all, and it is a blessed relief.
For all the somewhat on-the-nose exposition the episode gives, it’s also smart in how it tailors character expression to characterization. Anis’ younger brother Algard has very few lines, for example, but it’s clear from a sightline or tightened fist that he sees his ruler-to-be status as a prison and resents Anis for shoving it onto him in favor of carefree freedom. Anis charges forward impulsively and gets the most showy action scenes and physical comedy. Euphyllia has molded herself into the proper image of nobility for her family’s sake, and almost all her dialogue is internal. Little choices like that do wonders to liven up the standard archetypes, and the lively pace of the direction makes up for the rest. There’s also a total lack of panty shots during Anis’ many pratfalls, which was another of those “low bar” major reliefs.
From a feminist standpoint, there’s quite a lot to chew on here. How or if the show will live up to the “revolution” of its title remains to be seen, but the story’s magic system is inherently tied to issues of class. Magic is something only the nobility inherits, and Anis’ studies in “magicology” have caused uneasy muttering that clearly has to do with the those Filthy Poors™ potentially having access to magical items down the line. And of course, there’s the central romance. Since Euphyllia and Anis don’t meet until the closing scene it’s too soon to call their chemistry, but even then there’s clearly a bit of “protesting too much” built into their dynamic. I expect many scenes of Euphyllia being scandalized by Anis’ blasé attitude to propriety; here’s hoping it doesn’t also decide to use that tsundere element for a “no means yes” approach to romantic progression. I don’t get that vibe, but it’s an easy thing to lapse into with that kind of love interest (I am looking at you, I’m in Love with the Villainess).
Unless you’re completely burnt out on isekai or high fantasy in any form–and especially if you enjoyed the energetic approach of My Next Life as a Villainess but want something a bit more firmly committed to its romance between ladies–this is a breezy treat with a rambunctious, likable heroine and a lot of room to grow. I wouldn’t skip out on it.