Category: Weekly Reviews

Magia Record Episode 4

Magia Record Episode 4

This Isn’t the Past

It’s unfortunate to say, but Madoka Magica: Magia Record episode 4 doesn’t really have all that much to discuss. Or, at least, there isn’t too much meaningful content to discuss. Sure, there’s Tsuruno and the hunt for the Seance Shrine, but they seem fairly straightforward.

The real mystery of this episode doesn’t come until the very end when Yachiyo and Iroha actually enter the Seance Shrine, and that’s nothing more than a closing scene. However, since this episode was basically all setup, I’m hoping that the next episode gives this mini arc a good conclusion unlike what we got from the chain monster arc.

I’m also beginning to get a feel for how this series is likely going to be set up, and I hope I’m wrong. It seems like this 12 episode series is going to have an introduction, four or five mini arcs, and then a conclusion. And those mini arcs are each going to focus on a rumor which could be (but ultimately isn’t) connected to Ui’s disappearance.

This is probably because they’re trying to compress a mobile game into such a short series, but I just don’t see this anime having a very compelling story in the end. At least, that’s the impression I have so far. Like I said, I hope I’m not correct.

Tsuruno Yui

The only new magical girl we’re introduced to in this episode is Tsuruno Yui. We actually do see two other random girls later on in the episode for a second or two, but I think that was just a cameo of more characters from the game, and not anyone important to this anime.

Tsuruno is a strange magical girl who Yachiyo warns Iroha not to get too close to. It’s not entirely clear why Yachiyo is so wary of Tsuruno, but it probably just has to do with the fact that the two basically have opposite personalities. After all, the two of them are friends to an extent, with Tsuruno referring to Yachiyo as her master.

Tsuruno Yui from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Tsuruno Yui

Tsuruno’s family owns a restaurant which is known around town for being completely average — not really something to be proud of. And this is probably why she’s a fire-based magical girl. She cooks with fire in the kitchen, so that’s a major part of who she is.

What we don’t yet know, however, is what her wish was, if she has any other special magic besides fire, and if her use of fans signifies anything in particular. In the end, it could just turn out that she solely knows fire magic and uses her fans to, well, fan the flames.

The Seance Shrine

The Seance Shrine is another popular rumor which involves people disappearing just like that of the friendship ending staircase. However, this rumor targets a different demographic.

The friendship ending staircase required there to be two friends, with one of them wanting to break off the friendship. Then, once the friendship was broken, if either of the former friends attempted to reconcile, they would be taken by the chain monster. So the setup of that disappearance involved someone who was mad at someone else.

This time around, rather than targeting someone who’s mad at their friend, the rumor targets someone who misses someone else. Perhaps it could even be targeting the remaining friend after the other one was taken away by the chain monster.

As the rumor goes, all you have to do is locate the Seance Shrine, write down the name of the person you want to see again, and then you’ll get to see them. Except there’s one small caveat, which is that the people who go through with this rumor are never seen again themselves.

And one interesting thing to keep in mind about the Seance Shrine is that, like the friendship ending staircase, it’s not a witch’s labyrinth. There are little witch minion things involved, but as far as we can tell it’s not directly related to a witch. So, could the same witch be the cause of both these rumors?

Mifuyu and Ui

The final thing I want to discuss today is also what I think is the most interesting, though it’s also the thing we have the least information about. Once inside the Seance Shrine, Yachiyo and Iroha are reunited with the people they wanted to meet again.

For Yachiyo this was a girl named Mifuyu, and for Iroha this was obviously her sister Ui.

Yachiyo's missing friend Mifuyu from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Yachiyo’s missing friend Mifuyu

From the start I’ve assumed that Ui was once a real person. I’ve never entertained the idea that Ui never existed in the first place, though, sure, that could end up being the case I guess. But I’m also going to assume that since Ui was seen in the Seance Shrine that does in fact mean she existed at some point.

There’s no guarantee that the Seance Shrine can only show people who actually exist, but it just feels like that’s the case. So from my perspective, and probably Iroha’s as well, this is a confirmation that Ui is, or was, a real person.

Additionally, we have Mifuyu. We don’t know anything about Mifuyu other than that both Yachiyo and Tsuruno knew her. Based on that information, and the fact that Yachiyo and Tsuruno are friends, yet seem to keep their distance, I’m going to say Mifuyu was the third member of their group who was killed by a witch.

I’m also going to assume that Yachiyo blames herself for Mifuyu’s death because she wasn’t strong enough to protect her. This is probably why Yachiyo is mainly a loner now. She doesn’t hang out with Tsuruno, or anyone else, because she doesn’t want to lose them too.

Conclusion

What did you think of Magia Record episode 4? Is the series going to continue on with these mini arcs until Iroha finds Ui in the end? Is there a single, powerful witch behind all these rumors? And, what do you think the significance of Mifuyu is? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, 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 and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Boruto Episode 141

Boruto Episode 141

The Shinobi Prison: Hozuki Castle

When I saw the preview for this episode last week, I figured that it would be a single filler episode. However, it turns out this is actually going to be a full arc. I’m still assuming it’s filler, but at least filler arcs are generally better than standalone filler episodes.

In this episode, Boruto and Mitsuki have been sent into the shinobi prison, Hozuki Castle, in order to protect a specific inmate. This man was once a member of a prominent shinobi gang, and has agreed to trade information to the Hidden Leaf in exchange for protection.

But while Boruto and Mitsuki have infiltrated the prison by disguising themselves as prisoners, Sarada must use a different method. She enters the prison disguised as a journalism student looking to write about the prison.

There are two main reasons for Sarada not pretending to be a prisoner like the other two. First of all, we don’t see any female prisoners, so we can assume they’re held separate from the men. This means that even if Sarada was one of the prisoners, she wouldn’t have access to the man they’re supposed to protect.

The second reason is that with Sarada pretending to be a prison visitor, she has more freedom within the premises. Boruto and Mitsuki are supposed to focus on protecting the target and gathering intel from the other prisoners. On the other hand, Sarada is canvassing the prison and gathering information from the guards.

Celestial Prison Jutsu

A prison for shinobi doesn’t exactly sound like the kind of place that would hold prisoners for long. After all, the prisoners there are experts at infiltration, assassination, and escape. And if you look at Hozuki Castle itself, there aren’t many physical defenses stopping the prisoners from leaving.

However, the prison has been run by the same family for generations, and there’s a special reason for this. Lord Mujo’s family specializes in a jutsu known as the Celestial Prison jutsu. This jutsu restricts those affected by it from using ninjutsu of their own.

Now, something you may have noticed is that we’re told the Celestial Prison jutsu specifically prevents the use of ninjutsu. So does that mean those affected by it can still use genjutsu? Probably not. If that were the case then this prison would have been destroyed long ago by a genjutsu user.

Lord Mujo using the Celestial Prison jutsu on a prisoner from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Lord Mujo using the Celestial Prison jutsu on a prisoner

So how exactly does the Celestial Prison jutsu work?

We know it’s a fire style jutsu, but that doesn’t really matter for the purpose of restricting jutsu. It can be assumed that it somehow blocks the flow of chakra within the body, and that’s how it prevents those affected by it from using jutsu — perhaps it burns the chakra network in the body.

But then comes the second part of the jutsu. Anyone affected by it is unable to leave Hozuki Castle. We don’t know how exactly this area of effect is designated, but we see that it does in fact exist. If a prisoner attempts to escape, the jutsu will burn their body from the inside.

The Mujina Gang

The Mujina Gang is a fairly prominent robbery gang which primarily functions throughout the five great nations. However, it’s actually not the first such gang we’ve seen in this series. The Byakuya Gang, way back in episode 42 before I started reviewing the series weekly, was very similar in that regard.

Also, I’m pretty sure the Byakuya Gang arc was the last canon arc in the anime as far as the manga is concerned — though the Boruto anime is also sort of considered canon.

While the Byakuya Gang’s name means “White Night,” a reference to the fact that they’re an underground organization based out of the Land of Snow, the Mujina Gang’s name isn’t quite as obvious. Mujina typically means badger, but it can also be used to refer to similar animals, such as the tanuki.

As of this episode, it’s not exactly clear what badgers or tanuki have to do with the gang at large. It could just be a random name, or there could be some significance to it. If the name is referring to tanuki, then it could have something to do with the fact that tanuki are considered somewhat mystical.

Sarada disguised as a journalism student from the anime series Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Sarada disguised as a journalism student

If we do learn more about the gang and why it’s named what it is, I’m sure we’ll have Sarada to thank for that information. She’ll probably figure out what the name of the gang means, and that will somehow help explain what’s going on with the gang at Hozuki Castle.

Perhaps the name of the gang has something to do with the shadowy figure we saw attack Kokuri. But, I’m also still not entirely convinced there was an attacker to begin with. Kokuri admitted to faking the fight that sent him to the infirmary, after all.

Chinese Lantern Plants

The final important piece of information from this episode has to do with the Chinese lantern plants which Hozuki Castle is named for. These plants can be found on the outer perimeter of the castle, and are said to be poisonous. However, that hasn’t stopped at least one inmate from eating one in the past.

And as Boruto and Mitsuki are told, this is one, not very recommended, way to get sent to the infirmary where Kokuri is located. But, if they do decide to go down that path (which Boruto does), they’re warned to only eat red blossoms, not white ones.

Of course Boruto does end up eating a white one, though.

For now, we don’t know what the difference between the red and white blossoms really is, but it’s sure to become important later on. Perhaps they restrict chakra flow, which would be bad for Boruto considering the Celestial Prison jutsu used on him was actually fake.

We haven’t seen Boruto use jutsu yet, so that’s a very real possibility. Or, perhaps it has some other sort of delayed side effect which will become apparent later on in the arc.

But if I had to bet, it would be on the former. Perhaps Hozuki Castle wasn’t named as such because it was near a field of Chinese lantern plants. Perhaps it was named that because the Celestial Prison jutsu works in a similar way to the white blossoms.

Conclusion

What do you think the importance of the white Chinese lantern plant blossom is going to be? What about the name of the Mujina Gang? And, do you think Boruto is going to cause a prison riot by releasing all the prisoners’ Celestial Prison jutsu with his water release? Let me know your thoughts on Boruto episode 141 in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, 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 and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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My Hero Academia Episode 78

My Hero Academia Episode 78

Smoldering Flames

During last week’s episode review I mentioned that this week’s episode was really going to be the arc’s conclusion, and it seems that was spot on. While there was a small amount of new information given in order to hint at the next arc, the majority of the episode recapped the arc we just watched.

So, obviously, I’ll be focusing on where the series is headed from here. And I feel like the best place to start looking for clues is the new opening sequence. I’ll be honest, the new OP isn’t very good as far as I’m concerned. I like KANA-BOON, but this isn’t their best song, and the visuals are all slice of life, school festival scenes.

Now, some of you may think that the visuals from this OP don’t really matter, but think back to all the other OPs. Has there really been one so far which didn’t have to do with the arc at hand? No. And it’s for that reason that I think this second cour of My Hero Academia season 4 is going to be pretty boring.

I do think that it will continue to set up for the next arc, which will likely include both Gigantomachia and Endeavor, but this arc itself will be just that — set up. Our main character will be relaxing and living his best school life after the events which just took place, and we’ll mostly focus on that with bits and pieces of side characters doing real things.

However, there’s also the chance that only the first half of this cour will be extremely slow and slice of life-esque. The second half might really ramp up the set up for the next arc, but I’d say don’t expect that to happen too soon.

Gigantomachia

As we learned in this episode, Shigaraki wasn’t All-for-One’s only pupil — there’s also Gigantomachia. And since All-for-One turned out to actually have two students, that opens up the possibility for him to have many more. Effectively, there’s a never ending supply of villains with connections to All-for-One, meaning he’ll always be “relevant.”

The problem with this is that All-for-One wasn’t a particularly interesting villain. And although he was built up as the most dangerous and powerful villain, he was defeated relatively early on. So since All-for-One doesn’t particularly matter, why does everything need to connect back to him?

Gigantomachia from the anime series My Hero Academia season 4
Gigantomachia

So, taking the series’ reliance on a boring villain like All-for-One into consideration, we start to see that, aside from Overhaul, the villains in this series aren’t that great. And Gigantomachia is a seemingly perfect example of this.

There are actually some decent villains already in the series — the League of Villains. Yes, I don’t like Shigaraki all that much, but at least the other villains who follow him are somewhat interesting for the most part. So then why was someone like Gigantomachia introduced?

There are two main reasons I can see for his introduction right now. The first is to remind us that All-for-One is the main villain, despite him already being defeated. And the second is to introduce a new villain who doesn’t really matter so that he can be defeated by Endeavor. I’ll discuss that more in a bit.

But even looking at Gigantomachia as a character himself, he’s kind of boring. Okay, he’s giant, but what else? He also seems to have a hardening ability, but again, that’s nothing special. In fact, we’ve seen at least three characters with this same ability before him.

Basically, why should we care about Gigantomachia?

Mirio’s Quirk

Taking a minor detour from the discussion of Gigantomachia and Endeavor, I want to discuss Mirio for a moment because what happened to his quirk could potentially be extremely important to that discussion.

As we know, Mirio’s quirk has been “permanently” removed by one of the special bullets Overhaul created from Eri’s blood. But, we also find out that his quirk may not actually be lost entirely after all — which is something I had already assumed.

If Eri learns to control her quirk, then it’s theoretically possible for her to restore Mirio’s quirk. All she would have to do is revert his body back to the point at which he had his quirk. And, I think it should be pretty obvious that this is something which will happen in the future.

What you may not have realized, however, is that Mirio is far from the only person who could benefit from Eri mastering her quirk. There’s another person arguably stands to gain even more from Eri’s ability, and that’s All Might.

Couldn’t Eri revert All Might’s body back to the point before he received his injury from All-for-One? And, wouldn’t this also mean that All Might’s full One-for-All quirk is restored to him?

That would be a pretty big moment for the series. With the return of All Might, basically every problem would be solved. The majority of the villains would no longer be a threat, and just his presence alone would reduce crime rates.

The #1 Hero

So, what does the restoration of Mirio’s quirk mean for Gigantomachia and Endeavor? Well, it means that All Might’s quirk could also be restored, which would push Endeavor back down to the #2 hero spot. And this is why it’s so important for Endeavor to defeat a powerful, “important” opponent like Gigantomachia.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a villain too powerful for Gran Torino, and who has connections to All-for-One, was introduced in the same episode that we see Endeavor make a comeback. Also, since Endeavor wants to talk to All Might, we can assume it’s about the new standings of the top ranking heroes.

Endeavor from the anime series My Hero Academia season 4
Endeavor

My guess is that Endeavor is going to let All Might know that he plans to hold onto the role of #1 hero. And although he most likely won’t say it in a nice way, he’ll probably be looking for All Might’s approval. Endeavor has always been second to All Might, and now that he’s at the top, he wants to be recognized for it.

So, All Might will probably understand how Endeavor feels and give him his blessing. Additionally, if this is what happens, that would also give All Might a reason not to use Eri’s quirk to restore himself to his former glory. If he supports Endeavor as the #1 hero, then restoring his own power would be a betrayal of Endeavor’s trust.

By the end of this arc I think what we’ll find is that Endeavor cements himself at the top of the hero rankings with his defeat of Gigantomachia. And, at the same time, this will effectively prevent All Might from making a comeback — which would have messed up the balance of power between heroes and villains.

Conclusion

What do you think about My Hero Academia episode 78? What about this second cour of season 4 as a whole? Do you think my assessment that this cour is going to be full of slice of life elements with some side character action is going to be accurate? And, what do you think All Might will do regarding Eri’s quirk? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, 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 and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 3

Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 3

The Sea at the Bottom of the Cave

In case I haven’t mentioned it in one of the previous two episode reviews (I definitely have), the thing I look forward to the most from this series is world building. Yes, Somali’s smile is another thing to look forward to, but the world building of this series is really what intrigues me.

And guess what major world building item we got in today’s episode? That’s right, a map!

The unfortunate part about this, however, is that although we get to see a map of the continent, we have no idea where anything is. And by that I mean we don’t exactly know where Golem and Somali are currently, and we don’t know where their journey began.

Golem holding a map of the continent from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Golem holding a map of the continent

So what do we know, and what can it tell us about the journey they have ahead of them? Well, we know their journey began in a forested region, presumably marked on the map in green. My guess is that the medium-sized forest we see depicted in the northeastern quadrant of the map is where this series started.

We know that most of what they’ve traveled through thus far has been forest and grasslands, so the green area should be large enough to be depicted on this map.

There’s also the fact that they’ve now entered a more arid region of the continent, and are heading in the direction of a large desert. And, off to the west of that forest we can see a dry region with what appears to be a desert on the other side.

It’s also important to keep in mind that it was stated that they will need to cross the desert to get to the west end, meaning they’ve come from the east — where the forest is.

Anthole City

For anyone who’s played Breath of the Wild, the entrance to Anthole City looks like it could fit right into that version of Hyrule. I can almost picture it being located somewhere between the Gerudo Desert and the canyon which takes you there from central Hyrule.

As with the other city we saw in the first episode of the series, Anthole City is home to monsters of all sorts. However, I didn’t spot any Oni within the city. Maybe I just didn’t notice them, but I’m still convinced that the Oni have their own village set up somewhere away from everyone else.

Anthole City is also a bustling center of trade, probably because it lies right on the edge of a vast desert. This is the trading post for all goods coming and going from across the shifting sands. It’s also a fairly large city, built in layers with a large hole down the middle — much like the city from Made in Abyss.

There’s even a cavernous world below ground where dangerous creatures lurk.

Anthole City from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Anthole City

But, one of the more interesting aspects of Anthole City is what you get when you combine its position as a major trade hub, the labyrinth-like layout of the city, and some of the people we meet within it. It seems pretty clear that Anthole City is probably one of the major stops in the human trafficking business at the core of this series.

Now, I’m not going to say the wolf guy with an eye patch who’s been following Somali around is a human trafficker, but he could be. However, I actually think he’s on Somali’s side. My guess is that he’s someone who fights against human trafficking in the region, and recognizes that Somali is a human due to her scent.

Journey Across the Desert

While Golem is working at Kokilila’s restaurant, there are two important pieces of information we receive. One comes from Kikila in the form of a song about the first meeting between humans and monsters, and the other is the possible location of humans according to some patrons.

Kikila’s song doesn’t really give us any new information on the surface, but it does show us another view of the relationship between humans and monsters. It’s not a good relationship, but it’s one that’s important enough to have been passed down as part of an oral history.

The fact that there may be humans on the west end of the Osuna Desert is a much more tangible piece of information. Golem and Somali are searching for humans, and now they’ve been presented with an account of a human sighting — albeit not a firsthand account.

But, even if there are humans on the west end of the desert, will Golem and Somali find what they’re looking for? I doubt it.

All the information we received was that there was a sighting of humans there. There’s no reason to believe that these were free humans. Considering the relationship between humans and monsters on this continent, I find it hard to believe that there’s a group of humans living freely anywhere.

What’s more likely is that the traveler who spotted the humans actually saw a human trafficking caravan which was about to start the trek across the desert towards Anthole City. After all, I’m pretty sure that large island off to the west of the map is where the humans are currently located, so geographically this all checks out.

These are likely humans being transported from the shores of the continent into the interior — and from there they’ll be sold all over.

Life Underground

After Somali reveals that she believes she and Golem are on a journey so that Golem can dump her off somewhere, Kikila suggests the pair go in search of a particular flower in the cavern under the city. This flower is said to grant whoever finds it one wish — which should have been the first red flag.

The second red flag should have come when they entered the cavern and Kikila mentioned that children aren’t supposed to be down there unsupervised. And the third, major red flag should have come when Kikila and Somali had to hide from that giant bug which was roaming around.

Somali and Kikila watching walking mushrooms from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali and Kikila watching walking mushrooms

Down here, life is a bit different than on the surface. There doesn’t necessarily appear to be intelligent life, but it’s adapted in ways which might make you think otherwise. For example, there are mushrooms which are able to walk around on two legs in formation and attract insects to eat with their bioluminescence

There are also more dangerous creatures, such as the large plant(?) which almost ate Somali towards the end of the episode. It’s capable of traveling via floating through the air, so it seems that it’s positioning right next to the largest yozame flower was no coincidence.

This creature is clearly smart enough to set up an ambush — which is something you never want to say about a plant that’s larger than you are.

The only thing that was really missing from this foray into the underground is the “sea” mentioned in the title. There was a lake down there which Somali and Kikila sat next to for a bit, but I wouldn’t call it a sea, and I definitely wouldn’t say it was title-worthy. Perhaps it’s referring to the “sea of life” found underground.

Conclusion

Did you like episode 3 of Somali and the Forest Spirit? I’ll admit that Golem working at the restaurant wasn’t the most exciting part of the episode considering I want to explore the world more. But aside from that I thought it was good.

Also, where do you think Somali and Golem began their journey on the map? And what do you think is the deal with the eye patch wolf? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, 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 and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Magia Record Episode 3

Magia Record Episode 3

Sorry For Making You My Friend

Madoka Magica: Magia Record episode 3 doesn’t quite pick up where episode 2 left off, and I was a bit disappointed by that. The ending of the previous episode with the chain monsters surrounding Kaede made for some great suspense, and then this episode failed to follow through on it.

I mean, we didn’t even get to see how Kaede was taken away. What did that look like? Only Rena was able to see the chain monsters, so we can assume she witnessed them grabbing and dragging Kaede away. But what about for everyone else who couldn’t see them? What about for Kaede herself?

Rena Minami from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Rena Minami

Also, while the girls did defeat the monster which kidnapped Kaede, it didn’t really feel like a big deal. Now, this is partly because, as is hinted later on in the episode, that monster wasn’t their real enemy. But the other reason it felt this way is because there didn’t actually appear to be anything at stake.

Yes, Kaede’s life was supposedly on the line, but think about what the girls found once they made their way into the labyrinth. Kaede was perfectly fine and had simply been waiting for them. Further, with five magical girls teaming up, defeating the monster was no big deal.

I just hope that going forward this side story follows through with the suspense it builds in meaningful ways.

The Coordinator

Near the beginning of the episode, right before we’re formally introduced to Yachiyo Nanami, the unnamed magical girl from episode 1, we meet the “Coordinator.” I’d assume that the Coordinator is a magical girl in her own right, but we don’t actually know that for certain yet.

What we do know is that she plays the role of doctor and arbitrator for the various magical girls throughout Kamihama City. And when we first see her, she’s working with another magical girl, who isn’t named just yet, but will probably show up again later on in the series (or maybe just in the mobile game).

But while facilitating meetings between magical girls is one of her jobs, her more important job it seems is to “upgrade” them. I haven’t played the Magia Record mobile game, but her character seems to be kind of like Da Vinci from Fate/Grand Order — the shop keeper who helps you upgrade your servants.

I think if this anime wasn’t based on a mobile game, we wouldn’t be seeing a character like the Coordinator. Characters like that make sense in the context of games, but they don’t exactly translate well into anime format.

And evidence of this can be seen by the fact that we don’t really stick around with her for long. We’re introduced to her by her title, she gives a little explanation of what her role is, and then she upgrades Iroha’s soul gem.

But we don’t actually know if upgrading her soul gem did anything meaningful for the plot. It just happened because it’s what happens in the game when you want to upgrade a character, I guess.

Magical Girl Transformations

After the girls stop at the Coordinator’s hideout and Yachiyo joins their party, we get to witness their magical girl transformations for the first time. I don’t believe we had even seen Iroha’s full transformation before now. So, let’s go through them in order.

First up we have Yachiyo who is actually the water-based magical girl. I previously thought Rena was the water-based one because she uses a trident and her other similarities to Sayaka Miki. Additionally, the rest of Yachiyo’s outfit gives off a more celestial vibe with the stars — so water was unexpected.

Yachiyo Nanami from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Yachiyo Nanami

Momoko is the fire-based magical girl, which I think last week I said might make sense for Kaede. We also see that she’s a fighter based on her movements during her transformation, and this is interesting given the giant sword she uses. You’d think she’d be more of a brawler with that animation.

Rena, as I mentioned, isn’t the water-based magical girl of the group. Instead, she’s the lightning-based one, which is just further evidence for her being the best girl. Sailor Jupiter was always my favorite of the original five Sailor Scouts, and she too is the lightning one.

Additionally, we see that Rena’s transformation (and magic she uses during the fight) is based on mirrors. This likely ties into her ability to transform into other people because either she hates what she sees when she looks in the mirror, or she’s trying to be a reflection of other people.

And, finally we have Iroha’s transformation which has a lot of strange things going on. I don’t even know how to comment on most of it yet, but something tells me the part where she’s chasing after her cloak is going to be very important.

The Chain Monster

While we don’t get to see Kaede’s magical girl transformation yet, we do get to see her use some magic (sort of) while fighting against what I’m going to assume was the chain monster. And, as I sort of predicted last week, it has to do with plants.

We don’t actually see Kaede use magic by herself, but we do see her use some tag team magic with Rena — something which seems to be common among Kamihama city magical girls. Their combined attack involves both mirrors and plants, so we can assume the plant part is Kaede’s.

But, moving on to the chain monster itself, while it does take the form of staircases leading up to a giant bell, it uses chains to fight. And that’s what I’m basing my assumption that this was the chain monster on.

However, we also know that there’s a witch known as the chain witch — and up until now it was unclear whether or not she and the chain monster were one and the same. At this point in time, I’m going to say that they are not the same, and that the chain witch controls the chain monster.

I said that same thing last week as well, but now we have a little bit more evidence pointing to that being the case. For starters, no witch name was displayed when the chain monster was revealed. All witches have their names displayed when they’re first encountered, and that didn’t happen this time — implying this wasn’t a witch.

Further, after its defeat, it’s revealed that it did not drop a grief seed — another sign that it wasn’t truly a witch. Could it be a wraith?

Mami Tomoe is on the Case!

If you’re someone who bails out of an episode as soon as the end credits begin, then you’ll have missed out on a lot of important information in a whole bunch of anime. That’s just one reason I watch through the EDs of anime every time.

The post-credits scene for this episode showcased Mami and Kyubey having a discussion about what’s going on in Kamihama city.

Although I’ve since updated my review of episode 1, I originally falsely claimed that Kamihama was where the main Madoka Magica anime took place. CNTH corrected me in a comment to say that Mitakihara was the name of the original city where Madoka, Sayaka, Homura, Kyouko, and Mami are located.

Mami Tomoe from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Mami Tomoe

So, what’s Mami doing in Kamihama? Well, technically she’s not in Kamihama yet, but she’s been summoned there by Kyubey to figure out just what’s going on in the city. We were previously told that there’s no Kyubey in the city, and now we know why — when he tries to enter the city, it’s as if his own soul is pulled out.

Kyubey also informs us (and Mami) that there have been rumors of someone collecting all the soul gems in the city. It’s unclear if this is the work of a rogue magical girl, a witch, or even a wraith at this point, but the chain witch is probably involved somehow.

And, lastly, Mami seems to imply that whatever’s causing the soul gems to dry up in Kamihama is also reducing the number of witches elsewhere.

Could this lower number of witches outside Kamihama, combined with the dreams about magical girls being “saved” in Kamihama, be a trap? Is someone, or something, intentionally luring magical girls into the city?

Conclusion

That’s all I have for Magia Record episode 3. Have you played the mobile game? If so, what’s the Coordinator’s role in it? And regardless of whether you’ve played the game or not, what do you think is going on in Kamihama city based on the information we have so far? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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