Gorgeous and Empty
- Episodes : 10
- Genre : Demons, Supernatural, Fantasy, Magic
- Airing Date : January 2019 – March 2019
- Producers : Cygames Pictures
Manaria Friends (Mysteria Friends) Introduction and Story
Mysteria Academy is the most prestigious magical school in all the land, teaching skills to those from all walks of life. Grea is a half-human, half-dragon princess who feels as though she doesn’t quite fit in anywhere. Her world changes when she befriends Princess Anne, the most popular and powerful student at the school. Though their friendship has its ups and downs, the two always remain committed to one another. Grea can be shy and passive, while Anne can be forceful and occasionally ditzy, but the two friends seem to fit perfectly together!
1. Beautiful Animation
From the first episode to the last, Manaria Friends makes sure that every detail is taken into account and animated perfectly. There are a few rough patches in character design, but for the majority of the series, the environment, characters, and musical score combine to make this one of the most gorgeous anime of the season!
2. Cute Girls Doing Cute Things in Fantasy
Anne and Grea go through everyday life together, working their way through different emotions along their journey. From going shopping, learning to swim, and even becoming roommates, these two emphasize the relative normalcy of their lives rather than focusing on the magical elements of the setting. And they aren’t the only adorable friends we meet along the way – a number of supporting characters, like Hanna and Lou, continue this theme of cute fantasy girls living normal lives as well.
3. A Wholesome Story of Acceptance
Manaria Friends takes a relaxed approach to storytelling. The world is set in the same one as Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis, but this is a time apart from the chaos, focused solely on Anne and Grea. Their story focuses on the bonds of friendship and learning to accept themselves as they are, rather than any dramatic battle or conflict.
1. No Real Development
Manaria Friends doesn’t offer much in the way of character development, even as Grea and Anne’s friendship grows. Though our main characters seem to be changing, their personalities remain the same throughout, with the only true change being a slight boost in the confidence they find in friendship.
2. Anne and Grea – No One Else Matters…
The supporting characters in Manaria Friends are given very little attention, if only to serve as an addition to the relationship of Anne or Grea. While this is not normally a huge issue, in a show as relaxed as this one, these characters end up serving as nothing more than small plot points, existing only as classic fantasy anime tropes. As such, characters who could have been more interesting, like class president Hanna or loyal guard Owen, are reduced to a poor punctuation in their world.
3. Open-ended from Start to Finish
It is fitting that the series ended with a slight jump in Anne and Grea’s relationship. However, nothing much happens over the course of the series, not even really with their friendship. The girls presumably begin the next year living together, but we don’t even get to see the start of that moment, as the series cuts off just before.
The relaxed nature of Manaria Friends, coupled with its cute, simple story and its gorgeous atmosphere, make for a good anime for those not looking for something intense. However, if you came for Shingeki no Bahamut, you will be sadly disappointed, as this story has only bare traces of the beloved show in its setting, left with an empty and sometimes monotonous tale by its end.
What did you think of Manaria Friends? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!