The best way to sum this Gunjou no Magmell up is that it is a below average series with a weird depiction of the great nation of Australia—me home. We live on gold and diamonds, but it’s a really difficult and dangerous path or process for the toughest of miners to get them. In addition, Australia is known for all sorts of craziest wildlife on the planet. Not only are we home to some of the most dangerous animals—from Sharks to Crocs, but also the most venomous—snakes and creepy crawlies like spiders. In addition, they just happen to be ten times bigger here down under, which may be abnormal to most foreigners.
A new continent “Magmell” (which is obviously Australia) has been discovered, and it’s full of potential riches and crazy dangerous flora and fauna. That draws fame and fortune-seekers by the droves, and a cottage industry of “Anglers” has arisen to rescue their asses when they get into trouble. Inyou is one such Angeler and lives with his assistant Zero. And this is the story in a nutshell. Adventurers travel to Magmell in hopes of riches and fame, which results in having Inyou and Zero coming in to save them. Think of a “monster-of-the-week” kind of format, with the adventurers themselves, sometimes being the “monster”. There are obvious echoes of the Abyss in the creatures of Magmell, though to even suggest the comparison is grossly unfair to both series, and I can’t help but think of Togashi’s Dark Continent too. It never rouses anything like that level of epic mystery and danger, in a matter of fact, there really isn’t much exploration in Magmell.
Furthermore, there isn’t much exploration into our characters. For almost the entire run, we really don’t know much about them beyond the surface level. It saves this part for the last three episodes (11, 12, 13) and even then, it feels like you still don’t really know them. There things in this world that are really interesting but don’t follow through in explaining it in depth. It introduces things and you have to accept it. Like, Inyou being a “Laktor”, which is someone with the ability to conjure items from his mind into reality—which is clearly very handy but just feels like “get-out-of-jail” card in sticking situations. I think it would be fair to say that the moral palette of Gunjou no Magmell is definitely painted in primary colors. In fact, if “Dororo” is shades of grey, this show is very much black and white, at least so far. But what it lacks in subtlety it makes up for with a certain old-school, Burroughs-esque charm. Although, that charm wears thin by each passing episode.
It’s just too repetitive, the characters are bland, the “bad guys” are one-note, and the dialogue becomes a slog. The only interesting thing I found about Gunjou no Magmell’s production is that it has a rather big-name director in Date Hayato, who’s helmed the likes of Naruto. The staff generally is very experienced and rather good, and when working on the obviously modest budget this show is, that makes a difference. While obviously made on the cheap there are some rather stylish and eye-catching scene compositions and cuts, and no groan-worthy CGI moments. There’s a strong Naruto feeling here generally, with some of the staff—including composer Takanashi Yasuharu working on both series. Consistency issues arise as the series progresses where a lot of still images and pan and zoom become more dominant, and character designs going off-model, but again, that comes from the show being low-rent. Combining this with other issues just makes this show a drag.
Lastly, I want to talk about the “weirdness” I mentioned earlier in my review about Gunjou no Magmell’s (obvious) depiction about Australia. I get the whole thing about making these alien-looking wildlife as enormous as shown as if they were injected with every single anabolic steroid in existence, I get the stereotype of these creatures that look as if they were to be the kind that will kill and eat everything, but what I don’t get is this shows freaking weird depiction of the indigenous people of Australia named “Elin” —and a matter of fact, the story has called these creatures “Aboriginal.” Their appearance is short, dark and alien looking flesh eaters. Seems like the creator of this story just took stereotypes of Australia and its people of the land without doing the proper research. Anyway, this is an easy pass that really doesn’t have much entertainment value.