At random, I began watching an anime called Hana no Mahou Tsukai Marybell, or, Floral Magician Mary Bell. Beyond the name, I had no knowledge of the show. Upon loading it up, I felt a bit embarrassed watching such a childish cartoon, but I get over that embarrassment pretty easily. Remember to tell yourself, it’s not for children, it’s just ‘family friendly’!
The anime stars Mary Bell, a magician from another world, who specializes in flowers. When the flower shop – also named Mary Bell – starts going under, she warps to Earth and uses her flower magic to lend a hand. She becomes friends with the shop’s owners’ children, Yuuri and Ken, and goes on silly adventures with them.
Mary Bell doesn’t fight big monsters (except maybe in episode 2), but instead uses her “encouraging magic” to help others overcome their problems. Whether making an old man forget his traumatic memories, helping a boy learn to ride a bike, or convincing an ancient tree not to essentially commit suicide, Mary Bell doesn’t use violence (so far, at least). Definitely a cute and happy way of solving crises, but every episode I secretly hope Mary Bell will activate her flower magic and crush some monster tail.
I’m particularly interested in the populace’s awareness of Mary Bell’s magic. In episode one, Yuuri’s parents see her cast spells, but fall unconscious and assume they dreamed it. In episode three, the children hide their doodle penguin (brought to life by Mary Bell) from their mother. Other children definitely know, and grandma Rose knows. I’m not sure about the other adults. They see effects of magic, but pass it off as something else. In episode three, adults assume the living graffiti animals are part of the zoo’s advertising campaign.
Floral Magician Mary Bell takes a somewhat slow and relaxed pace, and I get a nostalgic feeling while watching. So far I’ve watched 5 episodes out of 50. Watching just one episode a day, I expect a long journey. And based on these first episodes, I expect to enjoy the journey.