Foreword: Oh damn, this was one hella long game that took so much effort to clear. Nonetheless, as expected of Lump of Sugar, to create a nice plot out of what would otherwise be a “kusoge”. While I haven’t played the more recent releases from LoS (except Hanairo), I had very… divided opinions for Magical Charming. Of course, I’ll try to explain everything within one post, so continue below for the review!
Title: Magical Charming
Producers: Lump of Sugar
Release Date: May 31, 2013
VNDB Link: http://vndb.org/v11857
Getchu Link: http://www.getchu.com/soft.phtml?id=761807
Game Type: Romance Novel with themes of magic
Summary: Ritsu suddenly woke up in an unknown room with some kind of card in his pocket. While not knowing what’s going on, his venture outside made him encounter a beautiful girl whose name was Himeyuri. Being lead inside by her, Ritsu also meets Orietta, who seems to be the one who kidnapped him and brought him to this school. Along with the two, Ritsu meets his younger sister Fuka, and later, his childhood friend Tokine follows him to this school for magicians.
Named Istarica after the Queen who created the island, this paradise for magicians float in the sky with the help of magic. According to Orietta, Ritsu is a unique situation: only females should be able to use magic, but Ritsu, being a male, can use magic as well. This is shown through the fact that Ritsu can utilize the “Chrono Cards” to record and recall various things, which include anything from underwear to demon-slaying attacks.
Story Length: Long
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Extremely Difficult
Comments: Divided into three sections, the first section consists of each of the four character’s main stories. The second section is the respective characters’ “Lover Scene”, and the third section is the True Route. As for the difficulty, it is HIGHLY recommended to use a walkthrough, as without it, you can’t even access the true route properly.
Character Design Rating: 8/10
Story Rating: 5/10
Game Quality: High
Overall Rating: 7/10
Rating Comments: We have another arguably-inferior LoS game. While not exactly the same as other games, Magical Charming actually had a very inconsistent theme. As an example, the beginning parts (section one and two) of the game had little to no relations with “magic”, and the true route had nothing to do with “romance”. Despite this, character design gets a relatively high score, as expected from a typical LoS game.
Character Summary: There are several characters, and I’ll also include a spoiler page explaining a large majority of the “True Route” storyline.
Arguably the main heroine (who also happens to be the heroine of the True Route), Orietta (her full name is Orietta-Chrono-Istarica-Ginasteele) is ironically the second character to meet the protagonist, and according to a slip of the tongue, the prime “kidnapper” of Ritsu. Her interest in the poor guy stems mostly from the fact there are no male magicians known anywhere.
As the princess of Istarica, Orietta soon takes upon her own responsibility that she must help Ritsu “graduate” from his magic powers. In order to do this, Orietta uses simple reasoning to find out that Ritsu desires a girlfriend. She then supports Ritsu as much as she can in his attempts, but falls in love with him instead. As a beginner in romance, she does not realize her feelings fully until when Ritsu hugs her after one of their “practice dates”, and continuously worries about separating from Ritsu if he happens to graduate.
A bright and cheerful girl, Orietta’s constant curiosity is genuine and pure. Her desire to help others continuously puts her own well-being at risk, but such are trivial to this stubborn (?) princess.
As the younger sister of Ritsu, Fuka is a small girl who has a complexion about her unusually large bust size. Her H-cup size often exposes her to Orietta’s jealous teasing, and including the fact that males would usually stare at her, Fuka originally doesn’t find it pleasant that her brother comments on her growth. Fuka’s desire is to become more adult-like. This thought arose when she met Himeyuri, someone who was “perfect” in her view, excelling in both academics and athletics.
Fuka is very affectionate for her brother, but feels as if she must become independent on her own. Despite this, Ritsu still believes that Fuka is still a young child he remembers from the past, and would often display “Siscon” features, which Fuka finds both pleasing and annoying at the same time. After Fuka was taken to the magic school at a very young age, Ritsu often wrote letters to her, despite not receiving any replies. Fuka claims that she threw away all the letters, but actually kept them safe and precious in a small container, which shows how much she appreciated her brother’s concerns as she was getting used to her new environment.
Fuka’s specialty is called “Anima Invoke”, which is the ability to communicate with summoned creatures. It is expected of her to help these creatures survive in this world until they acquire enough magic to leave on their own.
Himeyuri, who is the first girl to encounter Ritsu, is actually one year older than him. While this school is only divided up into magical experience (so there’s really no senpai/kouhai), Ritsu finds it more comfortable to address Himeyuri as “senpai”, due to her aura of being a mature character. Himeyuri is extremely powerful in magical abilities; her destructive magic was deemed dangerous, and thus she was placed in the school in order to help her learn to control her magic powers.
Excelling in many fields, Himeyuri receives lots of affection and respect from all students in the school, including Fuka. However, in her route, Ritsu finds out that Himeyuri is also a human being; she is not perfect at everything. Starting with the discussion of hamburgers, Ritsu soon finds out that Himeyuri has the tendency to lie about having experience of a certain topic, only to secretly research about the respective topic later (As an example, Himeyuri disguises herself and goes to a hamburger store after their discussion about hamburgers)
Himeyuri and Ritsu’s first meeting is actually back when they were children, when Himeyuri used magic and harmed Ritsu. This caused a scar on Ritsu’s forehead, which Himeyuri still regrets to this day. However, Ritsu insists the compensation of a hamburger set in exchange for this accident, which sacrificed his childhood memories and left a scar.
Tokine is a student that suddenly transfers after Ritsu. Originally a girl, Tokine’s desire to be with Ritsu made her crossdress as a male in order to be accepted into this academy. While there is various confusion of having not one, but TWO male magicians, the students and teachers accept the fact that Tokine is a male, and similar to Ritsu.
However, Tokine’s power is called “Imperial Order”, which means that Tokine can use an imperative tone of voice to order anyone around. This is why when she said “I’m a male”, she was accepted as a male by the students, despite her various feminine features. Fortunately, because of this rare and strange power, she is allowed to stay in this school even after she confesses her true gender.
Weak with anything sexual, Tokine was hinted to have feelings for Ritsu from when they were children. However, she continuously held back her own emotions and assisted Ritsu in his quest for a girlfriend. Tokine’s route involves mostly Ritsu keeping both relationships with Tokine (as a childhood friend and a lover), but soon leaning towards the latter.
Orietta is so cute <3
Sexual Content: Low
Comments: This game is unique in the sense to progress, you have to obtain Chrono Cards from various events. Obviously, you are given some Chrono Cards in the beginning, but the cards themselves are how you make choices (even between heroines!). These cards are also even used to play minigames, some of which are extremely high in difficulty and require a walkthrough.
In addition, there are various “hidden” events that involve the computer’s dates. There is a system within the game where you can “choose” a heroine to be your lover, and if you maintain that status for 30 days, you can get the event “30 days since dating ____”. Obviously, no one is patient enough to actually wait 30 days, so the manipulation of the computer time will be sufficient. The walkthrough site is detailed in the shortest possible method of obtaining all these events.
Finally, one of the elements I appreciate is the fact that you actually need to remember past events. As an example, you must remember that Orietta wanted to go to the park for the second date, or the fact that in order to fight Sharon, you must remember the elemental affinities she would teach in class. While you COULD depend on a walkthrough for these occasions, I personally find it favorable for both the story and character, when the game to make you memorize these small elements.
Fuka looks really mature in this scene. (No, I didn’t mean her chest. Get your mind out of the gutter)
Affection for the Characters: High
CG Quality: Moderate.
Music Quality: Very good. With the OP and ED sung both by Saori Sakura, who also sung “True my Heart”, both songs have a very nice beat to them.
Conclusion: A decent Lump of Sugar game, that was really hard to clear, and had strange theme “jumps” and main stories without much meaning. Despite this, character affection is high, and the loli-style artwork is very appealing, as well as the story being relatively better once you step into the True Route.