Magia Record 2nd Season Episode 1

Magia Record 2nd Season Episode 1

Alternate Timeline, Not Alternate Universe

I need to start off this review of Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica 2nd Season Episode 1 by stating that I don’t really remember where the 1st season left off. I also forget a lot of details from that season. But for the most part, I don’t think that will matter too much for this review.

With that said, let’s get into one of the most important parts of this episode. Back in the 1st season, it became clear that the story of Magia Record is separate from the original Madoka Magica series. By that, I mean it doesn’t occur alongside or even after the original story.

Effectively, it appeared to be an alternate universe. The main cast we know and love from Madoka Magica still exist in this world, but events are different. Now, we know it’s not an alternate universe. It’s actually one of the many timelines Homura created in her attempt to save Madoka.

Homura entering a witch's labyrinth from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Homura entering a witch’s labyrinth

Okay, technically that may not entirely be true. It may be one of the timelines created by Homura within an alternate universe. We have no way of confirming nor denying that. So for now, I’m going to say it’s the same universe, but an alternate timeline.

Why does this matter, though? Because it means that either this timeline or the timeline that continues on into Rebellion is destined to fail. There can’t be two “good” timelines. Once one “good” timeline happens, there’s no reason for Homura to create another.

Unrelated, I really liked how Sayaka was the one to re-explain how witches are just corrupted magical girls. You know, considering that she was the only one of the main group to become a witch in the main timeline.

The Power of Friendship

Something we didn’t really see in the main timeline until the start of the Rebellion movie was the original group of magical girls working together as a team. The closest we got was Madoka, Homura, and Kyouko going to fight against Sayaka’s witch, but I wouldn’t really count that.

Remember, magical girls were generally loners since other magical girls are their rivals. They’re all fighting over grief seeds. But in this episode, we get to see Madoka, Sayaka, and Homura working together and agreeing to save each other.

According to Madoka, she’s going to save Homura, Sayaka is going to save her, and then Homura is going to save Sayaka. I’m sure she didn’t realize how literally that would play out. But the idea was basically that as long as they work together they’ll survive.

Madoka Kaname from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Madoka Kaname

Of course, this episode only includes Madoka, Sayaka, and Homura. What about Mami and Kyouko? Well, here’s the part where my hazy memory of the 1st season gets in the way. Based on what Sayaka says in this episode, it seems like Mami is still in Kamihama city and in need of saving.

I’m interested in seeing how they go about saving her. Although she’s clearly being controlled, her actions do line up with the Mami we know. Remember, in the original series she went crazy after learning the truth about magical girls as well.

I’d imagine that this timeline won’t end with Homura killing her again.

As for Kyouko, I really have no idea. I don’t remember if she made an appearance at all in the 1st season. But, we do get to see Kyouko briefly in a flashback in this episode. Based solely on that, it’s unclear whether or not Kyouko is even alive anymore in this timeline.

Move Over, Iroha

I know there are a lot of people who really liked the Magia Record game (and fewer people who really liked the 1st season of the anime). But I’m going to say that the series is actually better when it doesn’t involve any of the Magia record girls.

This first episode of the 2nd season was honestly the best episode of Magia Record so far. I hope that’s a sign that this season will be better than the first. However, I also can’t help but notice it was the first episode of the series to focus solely on the original Madoka Magica girls.

Sure, you can argue that the writing for this episode was just better than the others. Or you could argue that the insane animation by Hiroto Nagata for Sayaka’s part of the fight carried the episode. I would agree with both of those statements.

Sayaka fighting a witch from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Sayaka fighting a witch

But, I would also say that the original characters are better and that their interactions with each other greatly added to my enjoyment of the episode. I’m just not invested in the new characters in the same way. They feel shallow, regardless of whether they really are.

I can’t look at Iroha without thinking of her as a bootleg Madoka. And the same goes for Yachiyo basically being Magia Record’s Homura. They don’t feel like unique characters. I really do believe that Magia Record would be better if it just focused on the original group.

Now, I know there are going to be plenty of people who disagree with me on that, and that’s fine. If you played the Magia Record game, you’re probably much more familiar with the new characters than I am. Maybe I’ll learn to like them more. For now, though, I’m not a huge fan.

Conclusion

What do you think of Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica 2nd Season Episode 1? Do you think this alternate timeline is also an alternate universe? Do you prefer groups of magical girls or lone wolf magical girls? And who’s your favorite magical girl overall? Mine is Kyouko Sakura — my first ever figure was of her.

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My review of Episode 2 is available now.

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