Magician Dispatch Service and Mage’s Society: Astral, has seen better days. Sure they have in their employ a good variety of magic users, covering all the bases like Celtic magic, King Solomon’s magic, Shinto, Onmyodo, Alchemy, Vajrayana and Rune magic, making them capable of dealing with just about any magical emergency, but the real problem lies with Astral’s current leader, the second president and son of the original founder, young Itsuki Iba.

The issue is simple enough: kind hearted, tender and well-meaning Itsuki isn’t a mage, and in fact knows just about nothing about magic or even the spiritual rules governing our world. However, despite the fact that everyone around him, himself included, doesn’t believe that he is the right man (or boy) for the job, the society’s law places him firmly as the leader and so with the help of his friends and colleagues, he’ll just have to make the best of a bad situation.

However, in between all the battling of spiritual monsters and the constant rivalry with the other big name mage dispatch servicem, Goetia, Itsuki does come bearing some rather powerful secrets. For one, his right eye remains constantly covered, and two he experiences deep pain whenever around anything spiritual.

The question is, what happens when he does reveal what lies beneath the eye patch?

Based on the original light novel series by Makoto Sanda (with illustrations by Pako), Rental Magica weighs in at 24 episodes long, having originally aired late 2007. The series is directed by Itsuro Kawasaki with production handled by studio Zexcs.

In terms of story, Rental Magica is primarily an action supernatural horror yarn, mixed in with big helpings of romance, mystery and comedy for good measure. A lot of the writing goes into developing the various characters making up Astral and their relationships with one another, as well as advancing the story – and more importantly mystery – surrounding Itsuki and his eye.

Episodes tend to follow the monster/emergency of the day format, making the show as a whole pretty action-packed, which is a good thing when you see how well Zexcs handles the action/fight sequences.

Actually as a whole, the animation on Rental Magica is rather strong for a television anime, with well designed (if a bit generic in terms of costume) and implemented (in terms of lines and colour) characters and demons, very polished background imagery and some very smooth visuals.

Similarly, the musical score complements the show as well as the talented vocal cast put through their paces, making for a aurally polished television anime series.

In summary, this is a well researched magic action show that caters well to those who enjoy their magical monster mystery genre with a light-hearted boy/girl interest twist, complete with great graphics and a good musical accompaniment.

In other words, certainly worth picking up if this is your sort of thing!

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