Magia Record Episode 1

Magia Record Episode 1

Have You Heard? That Rumor About the Magical Girls

It’s time to review the first piece of Madoka Magica (anime) content since 2013. Now, although this is a side story based on the Magia Record mobile game (which I haven’t played), these reviews will contain spoilers for the original series and Rebellion movie. You have been warned.

So, the first thing I should point out is that Shaft often release unfinished anime to air, and then fix all the issues for the blu-ray release. This hopefully means that all the parts of this episode, and series once it’s complete, with poor animation will be fixed later on. That’s not an excuse, just an explanation.

Now, I like how the series started off with the song “Sis Puella Magica.” That’s basically the main theme of the Madoka Magica series, so it was a great way to tie this side story in right from the start.

However, I also noticed that this seemed to be the only old song in the episode — which isn’t a bad thing. Yes, the Madoka Magica and Rebellion OSTs are great, but we should want to hear some new music from this series. And luckily, it seems to be pretty good so far despite being a bit different.

But anyway, the first episode itself sets up a new story with new magical girls. The basic premise is that magical girls from all over are having the same dream telling them to go to Kamihama city. The significance of this city may be hinted at by the name — perhaps a reference to Kami-sama, “god.”

And, that mass dream also claims that Kamihama city is where magical girls can be saved — remember that for later.

New Magical Girls

In this episode we’re introduced to three new magical girls, but only two of them have been named so far. The main character of this side story is Iroha Tamaki, a girl who bears a striking resemblance to Madoka Kaname. But, as far as we know, these two are not related.

Iroha’s parents, although similar, aren’t exactly the same as Madoka’s — both in appearance and attitude. For example, Madoka’s mother is a competent, high-ranking business woman, while Iroha’s mother seems a bit forgetful and I definitely wouldn’t say she has the same confidence.

Iroha Tamaki in magical girl form from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Iroha Tamaki in magical girl form

The second magical girl is known as Kuroe, and she seems to be like a mix of Homura and Sayaka. However, her relationship with Iroha is an interesting one, because they’re almost more like business partners than friends. They work together to defeat witches (also important to remember), but they don’t seem to be all that close.

I’m also not entirely sure if Kuroe is real.

While Iroha is the “white” magical girl of the pair, Kuroe is the “black” one. And the word kuro (黒) means black in Japanese. Now, this could be her real name, or it could be a nickname, but this is Madoka Magica we’re talking about. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Kuroe isn’t entirely real.

She could be like Kuro (Chloe) from Prisma Illya.

Lastly, we have the unnamed magical girl from West Kamihama city. We know that she’s stronger than both Iroha and Kuroe, and that she works independently, which was once common for all magical girls.

Also, we don’t yet know what kind of magic each of these girls uses. We know what weapons they use, but magical girls also each have a signature type of magic related to their wish.

The Madoka Timeline

One of the biggest questions regarding this side story for me is, “when does it take place?” And the short answer is that I think it takes place after the Rebellion movie.

So, first of all, we know that magical girls can apparently be saved in Kamihama city. This would imply that the series takes place at some point after the original series and Madoka’s wish at the end of it to save all magical girls.

However, magical girls are still fighting against witches, and not wraiths. For those of you who aren’t aware, the wraith arc takes place between the original series and Rebellion — both of which mention this fact. Basically Madoka’s wish got rid of witches, and so wraiths took their place.

We also see the silhouette of the girl who appeared in the dreams of all the magical girls and told them they could be saved in Kamihama. This didn’t look like Madoka, or even Sayaka who would also make sense. Instead, this girl actually looks a lot like Bebe, which seems to imply this is after Rebellion.

Kuroe's soul gem from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Kuroe’s soul gem

And, there’s also the fact that soul gems still exist and need to be purified with grief seeds (outside of Kamihama city — there is no Kyubey there). This is probably the most important piece of evidence because it points to Magia Record taking place after Homura has stolen a piece of “god” Madoka.

Madoka wished for all magical girls to be saved, but Homura basically voided this wish by sealing a piece of Madoka’s memories. So the only magical girls who are actually being saved are those in Kamihama city, the “god city” — not worldwide.

Wishes

Partially because we don’t yet know exactly when this side story takes place, and partially because we don’t exactly know how the world of magical girls functions after the Rebellion movie, it’s unclear how significant wishes are currently. As I mentioned previously, the magic of magical girls is based on their wish.

Examples of this are Homura’s use of time magic or Mami’s use of binding ribbon magic.

Additionally, the potential a magical girl has is directly connected to the scale of the wish they can have granted. Madoka had an insane amount of potential thanks to Homura, and so her wish was (initially) able to affect the entire universe.

We know that Kuroe’s wish was to date the boy she liked, and that her wish came true. Unfortunately for her, they later broke up. But just because this is a small scale wish doesn’t necessarily mean she has little potential, just that she’s bad at wishing for things.

Iroha, on the other hand seemingly had a pretty big wish which came true. She wished for Ui’s illness to be cured (Ui seems to be her sister), and theoretically this happened. That itself isn’t a big deal though, because Sayaka wished for something very similar in the original series.

What’s important with Iroha’s wish is that Ui doesn’t exist anymore. Iroha forgot who Ui was until she came into contact with the little Kyubey in Kamihama, and nobody else seems to recall Ui existing either. Ui is even missing from all of the pictures which are implied to have once included her.

My early prediction is that because Iroha didn’t specify how Ui’s illness should be cured, it was cured by Ui being “saved” by Madoka — thus erasing her from existence. Perhaps Kuroe is a piece of Ui.

Conclusion

What do you think of the Magia Record anime so far? Do you think this side story is going to live up to the original series? What do you think is the deal with Kuroe? What about Ui? And where do you think this story falls in the timeline? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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