Magic Knight Rayearth

Many people do ask me what my very first anime was. Well, here’s my answer: Magic Knight Rayearth. I watched it a really long time ago when I was young, and I was absolutely crazy about it. I enjoyed role-playing as the Magic Knights with my friends as we fight imaginary monsters (aka the air around us). Ah, the good ol’ times. Recently, I watched it again to relive my childhood times. Despite it being a really old anime, I enjoyed it all the same.

Magic Knight Rayearth follows 3 very different girls – Hikaru, Umi and Fuu, who are suddenly given the titles of the Legendary Magic Knights, and are tasked with the important responsibility of saving a whole new universe which they have never heard of! A second ago, they were just your everyday ordinary school girls on a field trip to the Tokyo Tower. The very next second, they’re being thrown through the sky into Cephiro, a whole new universe, where they are 3 Legendary Magic Knights on a quest to save Cephiro!

How would you feel if you’re suddenly shouldering the responsibility of the whole universe, where its entire fate lies in your hands? Well, Hikaru, Umi and Fuu knows best. A mysterious (and chibi) Master Mage, named Clef, appears and explains to them that the Pillar of Cephiro that maintains peace within the world through the power of prayers was captured, and they need to rescue her from the clutches of this bad guy named Zagato (his name sounds really badass, right?).

“Oh, Legendary Magic Knights, please save Cephiro! Cephiro’s fate lies in your hands, and your hands only!” (I made this up for fun XD)

Wait, what? We have to save a universe we don’t even live in?! Well, the girls’ reaction to this statement differs due to their vastly different personalities:
The ever helpful Hikaru immediately agrees to embarking on this quest;
Umi objects to this and wants to go back to their universe;
and lastly, Fuu simply goes along with the flow.

Despite their obvious differences, throughout their adventure and journey in Cephiro, where they spend lots of time together travelling as well as battling alongside one another, they learn more about one another and become the best of friends. Through enduring battles and challenges, they overcome their fears, and fight together as the Legendary Magic Knights to save Cephiro!

I really liked the friendship shared between these 3 girls. They started off as strangers that did not know each other, but after going through lots of experiences together, they became really close friends. You might have already guessed that they have different powers based on elements – Fire, Water, and Wind. It’s pretty obvious which is which, just look at the colours. Because their elements have certain distinct strengths and weaknesses, they have to work together to defeat certain enemies.

Magic Knight Rayearth also has elements of Mecha in it, for all those Mecha-lovers out there. Though it isn’t really the main focus of first season of the anime, they do use their mechas to fight, but significantly more in the second season, where many of the battles take place in the sky.

Let me introduce you the three Legendary Magic Knights! 🙂

Firstly, we have Hikaru, the girl with red hair, who wields the power of fire. She’s no doubt the main character of the second season of the anime. Because of the nature of fire (as well as her straightforward and enthusiastic personality), Hikaru’s strength is, of course, attacking. Her spells are extremely powerful. Due to Hikaru’s determined and helpful personality, she never hesitates to lend a helping hand to others – hence being reckless at times, putting others first before herself and disregarding her own well-being to rescue others.

Umi, the girl with blue hair, wields the power of water. Umi’s strength is speed, and her powers have a healthy balance of both defense and attack. She was actually the most violently opposed to becoming a Magic Knight at first, but she accepts it in the end. Umi brings comedy relief to the anime with her quirky comments and constant complains, due to her rather spoiled personality, caused by none other than her well-to-do family. Despite this, she is good-natured and she matures throughout the anime as an individual – we can see how she grows up to become a sensible adult, and no longer a spoiled child.

Lastly, we have Fuu, which is personally, my favourite character. Fuu wields the power of wind and her strength lies in defense (she even has a spell that can heal people!). Fuu remains rather calm and graceful, thinking logically on her feet at times of chaos. Despite being extremely intelligent and gifted, she tends to blurt out and state the obvious. Often at times, Fuu doubts her abilities and appears to have no self-confidence, but she overcomes this and grows to become even stronger. Other than a sword, Fuu is skilled at archery and can wield a bow too. I like the fact that she has a weird sense of humour (just like me). 😀

Along the way, the three girls meet new friends, allies and enemies, as well as love interests (yay!). We can see all three of them mature and slowly becoming from ordinary schoolgirls to the Magic Knights that were portrayed in legends.

I really enjoyed Magic Knight Rayearth (being a big fan of Magical Girl animes). Though the storyline was rather cliche, I must say that I had a wonderful time growing up with Magic Knight Rayearth. True, I openly do admit my review is extremely biased towards the anime because it was my very first anime. You can say that I somehow have this emotional attachment towards this series.

I guess if normal people did watch Magic Knight Rayearth, they might get bored due to the usual storyline. Everything is pretty much predictable, so you might not get your usual fantasy thrills out of this. The fighting scenes are your cliche “Magical Girl Fighting Scene” where they seem to be on the verge of losing and suddenly, at the very last moment, they gather up humongous strength out of nowhere after seeing their friends in need and eventually defeat the enemy. Unrealistic but yeah, this is, after all, fantasy.

Romance isn’t a main theme in the anime, though there are hints of romance here and there (and an open relationship in which I shan’t reveal). Friendship is definitely a main theme and I really enjoyed the way it is portrayed through this anime thoroughly. Isn’t it nice to see people from different ends of the personality spectrum coming together to form strong bonds of friendship? Well, they have no choice anyway because they’re stuck with each other. 

If you’d ask me whether I would recommend this anime, well, if you aren’t a big fan of Magical Girl or fantasy animes, you might not really endure through this anime. You can attempt a few episodes and see if you like it, because I think this art style (Clamp, if you didn’t realise) doesn’t appeal to everyone. But of course, if you’re looking for romance I wouldn’t recommend this because romance isn’t a main theme.

All in all, I am proud to say that Magic Knight Rayearth is my very first anime and I have no regrets rewatching it again even when I’m a teenager. So I shall end of this review with my favourite picture of the girls. 😀


7 responses to “Magic Knight Rayearth

  1. Do you know the translations of the Magic Kinghts names? I first saw it fan subtitled lo these many years ago and the fansubbers had noted that the kanji roughly translate as “Great Dragon of the Ocean”, “Green Wind”, and “Lion of Light”.

    No prizes for guessing which name goes with which element. 🙂

    Most of the other characters are named after models of cars…

    • Hikaru and lions are kinda incompatible in a sense that I’d imagine her to be a cub instead 😉 And why does Hikaru and Umi both get a creature while Fuu is just wind!?

      And yes I definitely found the fact that they’re named after cars really amusing! Do you have any idea why this is so? Did the mangaka randomly get her inspiration from cars while watching an automobile advertisement where cars showed their might?

      • Don’t forget the family name is first so it is the kanji for “Shidou” that reads as “Lion” & “HIkaru” as “light”, Similarly Houuji is what reads as “Green”.

        I don’t know why there wasn’t an animal reference, unless the cultural association of the colour to Fuu (Wind) is stronger than say Tori (bird).

        As for the car names, well, the ways of CLAMP are mysterious and not given to mortal men to understand. The blatant author insert that is Mokona is strange enough as it is…

        • Yeah I do know for one that Hikaru is light but I can never refer her to something as grand and majestic as a lion… A cute baby cub that acts all strong and stands up for her mates would suit her better 😀

          Well, I guess for Fuu, short and simple’s alright.

          And Mokona has got to be the most awesome fictional creature ever created.

  2. I like Rayearth well enough, but I’d definitely recommend Cardcaptor Sakura over it (these are the only two CLAMP series I’ve ever seen). I really like how passionate Hikaru is and Umi’s character development – the most interesting thing about Fuu was her relationship with Ferio, in my opinion. I didn’t like the monster-of-the-week feel of the first season, but I did like the twist at the end of the first season, as well as the fact that there is more romance and angst in the second season, which is always a good thing.

    • I adore Card Captor Sakura, definitely one of my favourites.

      As far as the 2nd Rayearth season goes there’s a really good 13 episode series in there…

    • Really? I followed Cardcaptor Sakura for awhile when I was young, but I don’t quite remember much about it. I’ll be sure to check it out soon. 🙂

      I do agree with you that Fuu and Ferio’s relationship is the only thing that seemed to stand out when it comes to Fuu (I least expected her to get herself in a romantic relationship!), but I have this soft spot for characters with healing powers. I tend to lean towards defensive styles as opposed to offensive styles. 🙂

      I do think some of the drama in Season 2 could be pushed forward to Season 1, because Season 1 was lacking too much of it, and hence the entire season felt a little repetitive.

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