Otherwise known as Rune Soldier Louie.
The romaji title helped me out again here I guess. Or did it?
When I was searching for an M anime I came across this one. Sometimes I like to look for anime with a very average 7ish rating, because there have been many occasions where I’ve actually found some very underrated anime this way. Hidden gems, as I like to call them.
Mahou Senshi Louie ticked the boxes required to pique my interest:
- 7ish rating
- .. and that’s about it!
The fact that it aired in 2001 is neither here nor there, but I will admit a part of me was looking forward to watching another older anime. Switching up the animation / art style can be refreshing at times, and I’ve noticed that older anime tend to use different (“classic”) tropes and jokes.
I’ll try my best to enlighten you all about Mahou Senshi Louie in this post.
I imagine I’m not the only one who had never heard of this anime before!
Louie is training to become a mage at the local mage’s guild. Three girls (a rogue, warrior, and priestess) need a mage to complete their adventuring party. Stuff happens, and Louie joins them in various shenanigans throughout the anime.
The Anime Itself
Mahou Senshi Louie on MyAnimeList is tagged as Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen. While all of these can certainly apply to the anime, I would make the argument that the anime should also be tagged as Slice of Life.
The thing is, while a lot happens, not very much happens over the course of the anime.
Slice of Life anime tend to use this formula where no matter what happens, in the next scene / segment / episode the anime has a “soft reset” and everything goes back to normal. For example, with school club anime, club activities can result in all sorts of crazy situations – but in the end you know that the next day the characters are going to show up to their club again, and everything will be back to normal. Although the characters still have their memories of the crazy moments and they may come up again, the anime uses these “soft resets” to bring everything back to normal.
Mahou Senshi Louie is the same in this aspect. While the party may go on all sorts of adventures, some of which can last 2-3 episodes at times, when all is said and done they go back to town and there is a “soft reset”. Louie ends up back at the mages guild with his friend Ila (I’ll get to her later), and the other three adventurers end up usually in a tavern.
That’s not the only Slice of Life quality present in the anime either. Mahou Senshi Louie also has next to no character progression. Sure, they go on adventures, and the characters develop a sort of camaraderie. So in terms of relationships, you could say there is a little bit of development. That’s about it though. Louie at the beginning of the anime is the same as Louie at the end, the adventurers are the same. None of the main characters become anything more than what they were on episode 1. I feel like even most Slice of Life titles out there have more character progression / growth.
The adventures, while fun at times, feel pointless in the end. You know that trope where a character is constantly working and trying to get rich, but no matter how much money they make something crazy always happens that causes them to lose all of their money? The perpetually poor character trope, or whatever you’d like to call it. That’s what I think of in regards to the adventurers in Mahou Senshi Louie. Constantly going on adventures, and always coming back empty handed. Considering the characters themselves don’t gain any new abilities, it feels like nothing is gained at all from watching these ordeals. Just a group of adventurers going on perpetually fruitless adventures.
I love Slice of Life anime, and I think that Fantasy + Slice of Life can be a great combination. Mahou Senshi Louie just feels empty when trying to combine these two. Adventures that lead to nothing, only to be forgotten after a “soft reset”, and a cast of characters that never really change. While there are some funny and entertaining moments, Mahou Senshi Louie doesn’t bring enough to the table to keep me interested. Once I realized this, I had trouble getting through the rest of the anime.
Best Girl Ila
The anime wasn’t all for naught though. I’ve discovered another best girl! This time around, it’s Louies mage friend Ila, who has a thing for Louie but he is too oblivious to notice. She’s more of a researcher type, so she normally doesn’t join in on the adventures but still shows up quite often in the anime.
Classic Anime Charm
It wouldn’t be fair for me to not mention that this anime still has some charm. If Mahou Senshi Louie had aired in 2018, I may have not even finished it! The older style of the anime still provided some great moments. I enjoyed the animation and art style, which looks good even now! The characters also looked great – Ila could definitely hold her own against some of the more modern best girls out there.
As I previously mentioned, there is something refreshing about watching an older anime every now and again. I generally prefer newer animation, but I have warmed up to older anime quite a bit over the past 6 months.
I wish I had more to write about the anime, but due to its nature it’s hard to think of anything else worth writing. That’s just how it is with Slice of Life / Comedy anime I think.
Mahou Senshi Louie on MyAnimeList is right about where I would rate it: average. I don’t regret watching it, but the anime definitely left more to be desired. I feel like the premise could have been much more successful if it focused more on progression and less on comedy.
I’d like to give Mahou Senshi Louie the (Hidden) Slice of Life award, for the lack of any indication that this was going to be a Slice of Life anime. I saw the Adventure, Fantasy, Magic, and Shounen tags and for some reason I just didn’t expect the anime to turn out like it did. An award well earned I think.
That’s it for anime M.
Stay tuned for anime N!
Thanks for reading.
Until next time!