The Magic of Franchises
Having paid little attention to what was coming out this season I was somewhat surprised to see a new entry in the Madoka Magica franchise. Doing a bit of reading it turns out it is from a spin off game though apparently Madoka does appear in it. What didn’t surprise me is that once I saw that Magia Record was related to the Madoka anime I pretty much immediately assumed I’d be watching it this season. While I still haven’t gotten around to the movies or anything else outside of the anime series, I really did love Madoka and so going back to that world sounded like it could be quite fun.
This is still done by studio Shaft and character designs and the witches all still look very much the way they did originally. That said, I couldn’t help but feel the direction in this first episode wasn’t as captivating or engrossing as the original anime. Everything works well enough and the animation is gorgeous but there’s no wow factor to it. Part of that is because what might have been the wow factor, the appearance of the witch’s labyrinth, has been seen before in the original anime but I think part of it is that this episode just lacked flair.
But rather than comparing it to what has come before, this episode introduces us to our new heroine, Iroha. She’s a pink haired girl whose parents have conveniently left on an overseas business trip leaving her alone which works well for her because she is pursuing her magical girl duties while trying to remember just what it was she wishes for. Yep, she has forgotten, or been made to forget her wish. The reason she’s fighting the witches in the first place. Admittedly, the mystery isn’t one for long as they visually give the audience everything they need to figure out what is missing even if we don’t know exactly how that is related to Iroha’s wish. I’m guessing this will all become clear eventually.
In the meantime, fellow magical girl Kuroe has been hearing rumours and has had a dream telling her that magical girls can be ‘saved’ if they go to Kamihama city. The how and why of that has yet to be determined but both Kuroe and Iroha find themselves in Kamihama city after they are carried their by a witch. Turns out the only thing waiting there are bigger and stronger witches. Again, there’s probably more to this story and I’m sure we’ll find out as the series progresses but for now that’s where we are sitting.
As a first episode, this wasn’t super thrilling but it also wasn’t bad. I am curious about Iroha’s wish and just what is happening in Kamihama city so it did its job at least in laying out some mysteries and hooking me in to watching more. Hopefully Magia Record ends up delivering a decent story and for now I’m optimistic that it can and so for now this one is probably a firm addition to my watch list.
More wish making magical girls facing horrific battle? Check out all episode reviews of Magia Record.
Images from: Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden. Dir. Gekidan Inu Curry. Shaft. 2020.