I wasn’t sure what to expect of Stella no Mahou exactly, because its setting had promise to take on at least three different paths: Light school club comedy, a healing type cute girls coding games and eating cake, or a more down to earth depiction of doujin game production using elements from the former two. Turns out the show itself wasn’t too sure either.
I want to say that I liked Stella no Mahou, I really do. It had a fresh twist to the school club setting, pleasing colorful art style, and a potentially great cast of characters. But it seems like the show never really found the perfect balance between its potential themes and gave a somewhat thin presentation of everything. The characters were cute and quirky, but they were never really developed much and a few ended up nebulous personalities (the composer girl for one) whose roles in the show were largely undefined. There were moments of comedic brilliance and some memorable gags, but again the show didn’t put forth any serious effort to establish the comedy as a clear overarching theme. Also what’s with another crappy fujoshi stereotype? Look, I don’t have a problem with rabid BL lover characters as long as I can have my tanned elf tits, but it feels that fujoshi have never evolved as anime comedy archetypes from being obnoxious and loud homo-oogling paroxysms as opposed to the male otaku who in the current day and age are usually depicted with a hint of self-awareness and irony. But maybe that will be the topic of another post.
As for the doujin game development, there was some informative content but once more we were mostly left with a few snacks for a nagging hunger. Thing is that the milestones for the girls’ projects are only vaguely established and the show doesn’t really depict their progress on achieving them in any particularly composed manner. They pick up a game project, they make it a goal to have it on sale at event X, and then we only get some glimpses of the developing process of the story arc until we’re suddenly at the event and the game is out.
All things considered, Stella no Mahou sadly missed a lot of its potential. It was a nice little show but not really memorable, nor worthy of being considered one of the classics of the genre such as Hidamari Sketch, or the underappreciated gems like GA Art Design Class. Better luck next time.
PS. Murakami the best girl.