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Mabaka! Magic is for Idiots! is a Web Serial Novel written by veteran Fan Fiction writer, Half Demon Cali, and is her first and major original work. It was first published on September 15, 2009 on deviantART, and then on Fiction Press two months later, on November 8. As of chapter 8-2, updates are only posted on Fiction Press. (The page title is a mistake. The Magic for Idiots was the beta title.)
Akemi Segawa is a first year student at Okashii High School, who lives at an old shrine with her father. Her best friend Rie is an occult enthusiast, her Aunt Meiko is a 40-year-old preteen, and her boyfriend Daisuke is about the only normal character in the entire series so far. If it weren't for them, however, her life would be extremely and utterly dull, since she only thing she really does in her spare time is her chores. So basically, a typical female human Tsundere protagonist.
Then a wizard from another dimension crash lands in her yard and everything goes to hell.
Rokuro is a Type 1 magic student from the second dimensional plane, Mahokkai. Contrary to what Akemi read about wizards being wise and in touch with nature, Rokuro is awkward, lazy, can't think things through to save his life, and can't perform the smallest of spells without something nearby exploding on him. If you're wondering how the hell he ended up in the human world, then read on.
Between space and time, there's a dimensional transport system called the Hakobuttori. It's commonly used by beings who don't have the ability to traverse between worlds at their will. Rokuro accidentally got himself caught in it, and since he doesn't have enough magic to get himself back home, he's now stuck living with Akemi and her father, Shigeru. For a year. While they try to keep him a secret.
As the chapters progress on, a fairly large and colorful cast is assembled, and each with their own unique quirks to add to the fun. Character development really starts once all the introductions are done, and the amounts of Ship Tease between Akemi and Rokuro are taken to insane amounts for two people who are supposed to have platonic relationship.
There are currently thirty-one chapters published online (1-1 to 12-1). Start here, if you wish. Just be warned that Cali is in the midst of rewriting her earlier chapters and that there will be slight inconsistencies. And word puns. Lots and lots of word puns. With cultural notes at the bottom of each chapter to explain.
A chapter guide is in production here.
Mabaka! provides examples of
- Accidental Pervert: Rokuro caught sight of a near-naked Akemi, covered only by her underwear and a towel, when he hid in the girl’s locker room. To his credit, though, he didn't know what a locker room was up until then.
- Rokuro ends up seeing Akemi while she was putting on her pants. She's surprisingly blasé about the incident, and tells Rokuro that she won't be mad so long as he "bleaches the image of her underwear from his brain." He outright admits to her that he has trouble doing so.
- Anime Hair: Akemi, Hideki, and Maruchi. Akemi probably stands out though, considering she has an odd hair coloring even by Rokuro's standards.
- Shichi is by far the best example. His hair is green and pink.
- All Work vs. All Play: Maruchi and Rokuro are a pretty straight-forward example. As are Daisuke and Rie.
- Another Dimension: Mahokkai, Rokuro and Hideki's place of residence.
- Kitakuvaaraji is the fourth dimension, and home to Maruchi and other majikyou.
- Apologizes a Lot: Rokuro, full stop.
- Attention Deficit Disciple: Guess who.
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny!: Rie.
- Bag of Holding: If you read carefully enough, you'll realize that Rokuro's red duffel bag is probably one of these.
- Battle Aura: When Shigeru gets mad, or when he thinks Rokuro is being indecent towards his daughter, his aura flares red and purple. Usually ccompanied by his Scary Shiny Glasses.
- Berserk Button: Don’t call Maruchi a child. Generally disrespecting him will also cause him to dish out some retribution. (As Akemi has already figured out.)
- Meiko doesn't react well when the topic of her age comes up...
- Akemi and her weight.
- Big Eater: Rokuro and Maruchi; both boys are like bottomless bits.
- Big Fancy House: Akemi lives at an old Shinto shrine.
- Bilingual Bonus: Shigeru is an English tutor, so there's obviously going to be some of this.
- Chapter 9-1, Family Issues: Akemi asks for help with translating a couple of sentences into English. Shigeru does this, and then reads it back to her in Japanese. The text for him speaking Japanese is actually italicized Romaji, and in the cultural notes, these same sentences are in kanji.
- Blue Eyes: Akemi's are light blue. Emiri and Tsukkomi share navy blue ones.
- Boarding School: Rokuro and Hideki live at one, apparently.
- Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: Usually put into play by Hideki and Rokuro, although the retaliation is left verbal for obvious reasons.
- Tsukkomi is the name of Akemi's uncle, whose name is based off of this.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Well, Maruchi’s not really bratty, per say… But he does have temper issues when dealing with a certain Attention Deficit Disciple.
- Brilliant but Lazy: Rokuro. Becomes evident when he solves Akemi's mathematics homework in his head and corrects her mistakes in less than a minute. To be fair, he's using magic.
- Akemi calls him out for being a Lazy Bum in the chapter Family Issues.
"Let me tell you something, Rokuro-kun... You're eating here, sleeping here, and living here, for a full year, and you're not paying any kind of rent. You're basically a freeloader. My father and I are letting you stay here out of the kindness of our hearts. However, I will be damned before I let you sit around on your lazy ass doing nothing all day. One of the reasons I let you stay here in the first place was because I thought it would be nice to have a helping hand around here. Are you starting to catch on?"
- He caught on.
- Butt Monkey: Rokuro, who has been getting hurt in nearly every recent chapter.
- Cardboard Prison: Rokuro mentions that he was tied to a tree when he was younger, as punishment. And the rope wasn’t even tight. He just forgot to untie himself.
- Catboy: Maruchi.
- Cats Are Snarkers / Deadpan Snarker: Take three guesses. The first two don't count.
- Cherry Blossoms: There’s a tree in Akemi’s yard.
- Comically Missing the Point: In chapter 2-3, Akemi asks Rokuro if he's a good or bad wizard, meaning good or evil. He mistakes her wording, and replies with “I’m an amateur at magic... Somewhere between good and bad.” Akemi doesn’t bother to explain her question, and doesn’t ask again.
- Crash Into Hello: Taken to a literal extreme in the Reversi oneshot. When Akemi arrives in Mahokkai, she flies straight into Rokuro and they both fall to the ground - Hitting many a tree branch on the way down.
- Curse Cut Short
- Cute Little Fangs: Maruchi and Shichi have these.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Maruchi and Shichi again. Maruchi even goes around barefoot when he's using his human disguise. Although he does have footwear as an adult.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: It's pretty obvious from any standpoint that Rokuro is a boy... This doesn't stop Akemi's cousin Emiri from asking what his gender is upon first meeting him.
- Elemental Powers: Rokuro gains fire-based powers when he transforms using the Rudaia Charm.
- Erotic Dream: In a spoiler for a later chapter (Maybe 15-1 or so), Rokuro has one of these. It really freaks him out.
- Excited Show Title
- Expy: There has been more than one comment on the fact that Rokuro looks like Ranma Saotome. Of course, seeing as Cali first started drawing in Rumiko Takahashi's style and can't seem to grow out of it, this isn't shocking.
- Similar comments have been made on Maruchi looking like a purple-haired Inuyasha. Even more so now that we've seen what he looks like as a full-fledged adult.
- Fan Girl: Rie loves Izumi Rio. She really loves Izumi Rio.
- And in an IRL example, Rokuro seems to have unintentionally garnered 94% of the female readers as his fangirls.
- And Adult!Maruchi has probably stolen some of that percentage away...
- Fan Service: The author really likes dishing it out when she's not writing.
- Fantastic Racism: Maruchi hates on all humans, not just Akemi. It's curious as to why he gets along with Shigeru...
- Shichi is apparently racist against humans, too. Until you give him food and he becomes your best friend.
- Fingerless Gloves: Maruchi constantly wears these.
- Fish Out of Water: Rokuro, and Maruchi. Two magic users, one being a mostly-hormone-driven wizard boy who can’t fly without assistance from a cleaning object, the other a racist child with purple hair and animal appendages, both never having made any contact with humans before. They’re way out of the water.
- Flying Broomstick: The only way Rokuro can fly is by using one of these.
- Full-Name Basis: Maruchi to Shigeru.
- Genki Girl: Rie. As if it wasn't obvious.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: Otherwise, falling from that height and plowing through trees and into the ground head-first could’ve really hurt, huh, Rokuro?
- Gray Eyes: Rokuro. His unusual color actually made Emiri ask if he was fully Japanese (Implying that he was European, and that that could be an explanation). Rokuro isn't amused.
- Grudging Thank You: Forget the grudging and or unsaid “Thank you’s”, Maruchi hates talking to Akemi at all.
- Hammerspace: Lampshaded by Rokuro, the first couple of times Shigeru pulls a sword out on him – “Where’d he even get that thing from!?"
- Head Desk: Rokuro's forehead meets the wall a few times In Reversi once he learns that he saved and helped a human.
"This is what I get for trying to be a good person!"
- High-Pressure Emotion: By what descriptions (And pictures) are given, Rokuro seems to be very prone to this... Though only around Akemi. Hmm.
- Honorifics: Akemi uses these with nearly everyone. Unless she’s severely pissed off, or exhausted. On the other hand, she herself doesn't like to be referred to as Akemi-san.
- Shigeru adds -san to Maruchi's name, and -kun to Rie's.
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Maruchi’s allusion to the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat”, in chapter 4-2.
- Indy Ploy: Word of God says this is the way she comes up with the different arcs.
- In the Blood: Akemi gets a lot of traits from her father - Most prominently, her temper.
- Shigeru does make note of how she hasn't seemed to have inherited his grace or skills for art or language, though.
- Innocent Cohabitation
- Insistent Terminology: Maruchi tends to be called a sadist quite a bit. "A sadist? Pah. I simply find humor in odd places."
- Insult Backfire: Rokuro and Maruchi have quite a bit of these.
- I See London: Akemi in her underwear + seemingly-perverted Rokuro = A very well-executed blow to the head.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: “I am not a pervert!!"
- Just a Kid: I dare you to say this to Maruchi. There's a reason this counts as one of his berserk buttons.
- Maybe because he's not actually a kid...?
- Lame Comeback
- Lethal Chef: If Akemi and Emiri's comments are to be believed, Meiko is a serious case.
- Living Shadows: They're under the control of a kage-nushi, or 'shadow general', who invades Rie's home in the tenth arc. The personality of the shadow general doesn't exactly match up with his power, though...
- Magic Skirt: Akemi’s uniform skirt doesn’t flap up at all when Rokuro flies her home, as worried about it as she is.
- Marshmallow Hell: Meiko makes Rokuro suffer this in chapter 9-2, and again in 9-3. He's not grateful.
- Meaningful Name: Maruchi's name is written as 丸智, meaning something along the lines of "circle of wisdom". A fitting name for a teacher.
- That's technically his nickname, but still fitting.
- Akemi's name, though a common one, means "bright and beautiful", which describes her very well.
- Tsukkomi's name is written as 月混, with the kanji for "moon" and "blend". The phrase tsukkomi is usually written as 突っ込み, meaning "straight man".
- Miko: Akemi.
- Mind Rape: Shichi is perfectly capable of using his abilities as a shadow general to mind rape innocents. His first Earthly victim? Rie.
- Missing Mom: Akemi's mother has barely even gotten a mention yet.
- As of chapter 23 (Thick and Thin), she has. Her name is Hazuki. She's also dead. In that same chapter, Rokuro reveals that he has also been without a mother since he was six.
- Nerd Glasses: Hideki.
- Never Say "Die": Shigeru always refers to Hazuki's death as her being "gone". The rest of the family does the same, out of respect.
- No Name Given: In the (revised) chapter one, Rokuro makes it clear that he doesn't have a last name to give.
"I'm Rokuro, a Type One wizard. No last name applicable."
- Noodle Incident: What exactly did Rokuro do that humored his boss enough to hire him? And how did he almost get himself eaten by a giant chameleon?
- "No Respect" Guy: Hideki used to qualify for this position. As of recently, however, Rokuro has become the main "No Respect" Guy of the series.
- Not a Morning Person: Rokuro. This becomes apparent very early on.
- Not What It Looks Like: Until Akemi explained it to him, Shigeru thought his daughter was being... impure while he was on his trip; of course, his first sight upon entering his home was Rokuro in his boxers...
- Oh Crap: Rokuro’s exact reaction upon seeing his teacher in the human world. Also his reaction whenever he sees Shigeru.
- Akemi has loads of these moments in the twentieth chapter, Recompense. With very good reason, mind you.
- Older Alter Ego: Inverted with Shichi and Maruchi. Their adult forms are their real forms.
- Only Sane Man: Daisuke Hirota, despite the girl he's related to.
- Tsukkomi Segawa seems to be the only completely normal one in the family. Although if he married Meiko, he can't be all there.
- Overprotective Dad: Shigeru Segawa, in every way possible. He, in no uncertain terms, threatened to castrate Rokuro if he even went near Akemi. Disproportionate Retribution, much?
- Parental Abandonment: Why the hell aren't Rokuro's parents worried about their son being trapped in another dimension?
- Well, his mom is dead. Rokuro tells us that himself. Can't say much about his dad, seeing as he hasn't gotten a mention yet.
- The Paralyzer: Rokuro jabs Akemi on the back of her neck and paralyzes her entire body in chapter 3-3.
- Portmanteau: Responsible for a lot of the puns in this story.
- Power Crystal: Rokuro’s Keifu, though he doesn’t necessarily need it; it’s more like a magical PDA.
- Power Tattoo: Once a wizard graduates and becomes a Grand Dragon, a tattoo of the titular animal appears somewhere on the person’s body, signifying their status. Explained by Rokuro in chapter 3-3.
- Princess Curls: Keiko Ikehata, from chapter seven’s arc. Of the Mitsuki variety.
- Puppy Dog Eyes: Akemi's method of getting Rokuro to help with her chores.
- Rapunzel Hair: Akemi’s hair easily reaches down to, and possibly past, her waist. From what little pictures of Hazuki there are, the long hair seems to be hereditary.
- Running Gag: Maruchi threatening to stick kayu leeches on Rokuro. "Kayu" meaning itch.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: Shigeru. Frequently.
- Shapeshifting: Maruchi mostly switches between his child self, and a cute, purple kitten. He's also known to use a human disguise, whenever he needs to.
- As another resident of Kitakuvaaraji, Shichi has shapeshifting abilities as well - He takes on the forms of a child and a teen.
- Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Maruchi was stuck as a child for what he says was eleven years. As of chapter 27, he's back as an adult.
- Ship Tease: The later chapters have loads of this between Akemi and Rokuro, despite the author's insistence that they are not a canon couple.
- Hell, one arc has some Ship Tease moments between Akemi and Maruchi. There's the fact that Cali has admitted to that being one of her favorite crack pairings.
- Shout-Out: To Full Moon o Sagashite, as Rie's anime crush is shinigami Izumi Rio.
- Another Rie-related Shout-Out in chapter 4-2. After watching Akemi run out of the department store, she says this:
"Damn, she runs fast... Like Junpei Manaka after strawberry panties."
- Shigeru mentions that Meiko had tried cooking vegetable stir fry at one point, and almost ended up burning the house down.
- "Demons didn't exist in the fuedal era!"
- One of Rie's favorite series is PCP.
- Sidekick: Hideki and Rie both.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Rokuro's name is written as 碌労, meaning something like "worthy effort", whereas the usual spelling means "sixth son" (六郎). It must be common to misspell his name, because Akemi once wrote it as the latter and Rokuro instantly knew she meant him.
- Survival Mantra: Rokuro’s in chapter 6-2 is “I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t do anything wrong, I didn’t do anything wrong!”
- “Don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall!”
- Theme Naming: The Kyoyoseikan brothers' names all end with the same two kanji, chi and rou (智 and 婁), which formulate a meaning akin to "bond of wisdom".
- Thinking Out Loud: When Rokuro hears that Akemi has a boyfriend, he replies by saying that she’s definitely pretty enough to have one. Maruchi quickly tells him to keeps his thoughts to himself.
- And again, in chapter 9-3. The quote at the top of the page is from that chapter.
- Token Non-Human: Rokuro was, until Maruchi came in.
- Token White: Akemi and Rie's art teacher, a disheveled blonde American man who goes by the name Lenny Richardson.
- Tsundere: Akemi is portrayed as a Type B. Rokuro also seems to be a male version.
- Unusual Ears: Maruchi has big, purple cat ears. Tokagero, a fellow majikyou, is shown to have pointed ears.
- A Worldwide Punomenon: Mahokkai (魔法界) is a portmanteau of the terms for "magic" and "universe". Guess what Mahokkai means.
- Hakobuttori (ハコブットリ) is a portmanteau as well. Uttorisuru / uttoritosuru means "to be fascinated' (In a world of one's own), or "to be transported" (In terms of your mind, i.e., daydreaming). Hakobu means "to carry, transport, or move".
- The lettuce joke in chapter 2-1. The pun uses Japanese, English, and Latin.
- Majikyou (マジ教) is made up of the first two katakana in majikku (magic) and the kanji for "teach". A majikyou is a magic teacher.
- Hell, even the high school's name is a pun - Okashii (可笑しい) means "strange". However, the kanji used in Okashii High School are 陸 and 椎. The first means "land, shore"; the second is a type of tree.
- Rokuro's "serious chant" VS "thinking chant" in chapter 7-3, Conscience.
- You Can't Go Home Again: The reason the story even exists.