Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story anime series cover art
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story

Series Overview

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story (Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka☆Magica Gaiden / マギアレコード 魔法少女まどか☆マギカ外伝) is a spin-off of the original Madoka Magica series and is based on the events of the mobile game by the same name.

The simple fact that this series is based on a mobile game is already working against its success. Generally speaking, anime series based on mobile games are primarily targeted towards people who already play the game. And to illustrate this point, the only people I’ve seen say this anime is good are the mobile game players.

Just because you enjoyed the original series like I did doesn’t mean you’re going to think this side story is all that great. But I’ll discuss how this series stacks up against the original later on.

While I wanted Magia Record to fit into the main plot of Madoka Magica somewhere, it doesn’t. This series is set in a different universe that takes bits and pieces from multiple of the timelines in the original. The setting is also a completely different city and the plot is entirely separate as well.

Magia Record follows a middle school student by the name of Iroha Tamaki as she searches for clues to lead her to her missing sister, Ui. Ui didn’t simply disappear, though, everything about her, including memories of her, have been wiped from reality.

On her journey, Iroha makes a bunch of friends and together they learn of a mysterious cult known as Wings of the Magius that claims to know the secret to the salvation of all magical girls. Could this cult know what happened to Ui?

Characters

As previously mentioned, Iroha is the protagonist of the series. And she’s surprisingly similar to Madoka Kaname. They both have pink hair, they’re both in middle school, they’re both older siblings, and while Madoka uses a bow, Iroha uses a crossbow. The main difference between the two is that Iroha is more independent than Madoka.

Iroha Tamaki from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story
Iroha Tamaki

Yachiyo Nanami is the second of the five main girls of the series. She’s a college student — which I’ll admit is a bit strange. I mean, imagine being a magical girl as a college student and having all your friends be middle schoolers. But, Yachiyo basically functions as the mentor of the group, much like Mami. Yachiyo uses a spear to fight.

Tsuruno Yui is either in middle school or high school (I think she’s in high school, but it’s a combined middle and high school). A lot of people who play the game seem to like Tsuruno, but based on the anime I don’t really see why. She’s pretty bland and doesn’t do all that much. She also uses fans to fight.

Felicia Mitsuki is probably my favorite of the main Magia Record girls. She’s the shortest, so that’s a bonus, but she also uses a giant hammer to fight and wears a helmet with bull horns and goggles on it. I think Felicia is also middle school aged, but she doesn’t go to school because that’s for nerds.

And the last main character is Sana Futaba, who doesn’t get much screen time in this season (this is only the first season, by the way). Sana is yet another middle school student, but she’s much shyer than the other girls. She also uses a shield, which is cool, but she’s not best kouhai Mash.

Comparison to Madoka Magica

As you may have surmised, the Magia Record anime is actually much worse than the original Madoka Magica series. And I’m not just saying that as a way to hate on the mobile game or anything. I’m strictly referring to the anime.

One of the reasons Magia Record isn’t the best is because it rushes through content. According to multiple sources who have played the mobile game, the pacing for the anime is very quick. And even as someone who has never played the game before, I could tell that a lot of things were being skimmed or skipped over because there were a few times I was left confused.

Also, because this series is based on a gacha game, that means there are a lot of supporting and background characters. If you’ve watched the Azur Lane anime, that’s another one that does the same thing. Luckily FGO doesn’t have this problem quite as bad because each singularity in that game has a limited cast.

Alina Gray from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story
Alina Gray

But part of the reason the original Madoka Magica anime is so good is because of its small cast of characters. There are five (six) main characters and then only a couple of supporting characters with minor roles.

And while there are plenty of other issues with Magia Record, such as writing that isn’t really the best, the final major issue I want to point out is its relationship to the original series. This is kind of a spoiler for Magia Record, but every “major twist” in the series is just a copy of a twist from Madoka Magica.

There are no new twists in Magia Record. They reused the same twists, but just have this new cast of characters reacting to those twists. So when a big reveal happens in the series that’s been built up for episodes, you’re just left feeling disappointed because you already knew that “plot twist.”

Conclusion

In the end, I had to give Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story a 6/10, which is a pretty big drop from Madoka Magica’s 10/10. The good news is that this is only the first season, and I do think that season 2 is going to be better than the first. But it still would have been nice for season 1 to be good rather than just fine.

And, unfortunately, I also think both the OP and ED for Magia Record are worse than their Madoka Magica counterparts. Connect and Magia are just much better songs than Gomakashi and Alicia — and I think they do a better job at illustrating the duality of the series.

If you enjoyed this review or found it to be helpful in any way, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

If you’re looking for my reviews of the individual Magia Record episodes, the first one is available here.

Loading Likes...

Leave a Comment

Bitnami