Magia Record 2nd Season Episode 4

Magia Record 2nd Season Episode 4

To Use or Not To Use the Doppel

Obviously, there was going to be a downside to using Doppels. On the surface, they’re too good to be true. You’re telling me that magical girls can get a crazy, temporary power boost and cleanse their soul gems at the same time without needing a grief seed? There had to be a catch.

Well, Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season Episode 4 (need to get the full title in there), finally revealed that the use of Doppels isn’t as safe as advertised. Who would have guessed? Apparently not a lot of magical girls.

At this point, we’re told that it’s only the overuse of Doppels that’s potentially dangerous. But, considering that information is also coming from the person who knew of the dangers and didn’t explain them earlier, I don’t think it can be fully trusted.

Kuroe about to use her Doppel form from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Kuroe about to use her Doppel form

As we saw, Kaede was forcibly transformed into her Doppel form because she had used it too much/frequently. And it turns out that this is effectively the same as turning into a Witch. It’s technically not the same, but the immediate outcome is the same.

Now, Iroha has been suspicious of the use of Doppels from the start — as has Yachiyo. But they’ve both used their Doppels, still. I don’t think Iroha has done so on purpose, but Yachiyo definitely did just last week in Episode 3.

The big question right now is, how much Doppel usage is too much? Iroha wants Kuroe to stop using her Doppel form altogether. But at the same time, there are plenty of magical girls who have used theirs multiple times and are just fine.

Iroha, Kuroe, and Rena

I know the first season of Magia Record had some good animation. But I don’t remember it being anywhere near the quality of some of the animation from this season so far. Like, wasn’t there some awkward CGI animation used with Mami’s “ultimate form” or whatever that was at the end of the first season?

This week’s episode may have had the best animation of the series so far. There was that one Sayaka scene in Episode 1 of this season, but I’d argue that what we got from Episode 4 is even better.

My favorite scene of the episode, which is probably yours too, is the battle between Iroha, Kuroe, and Rena and the Doppel formerly known as Kaede. The animation was insane, and although I’ve seen some people who didn’t like the directing, I thought that was great too.

Rena Minami fighting alongside Iroha and Kuroe from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Rena Minami fighting alongside Iroha and Kuroe

But, because the direction of that scene was a bit eccentric, allow me to explain what we saw just in case you missed it. We had Kaede attacking the other three girls with a bunch of arms coming out of her Doppel form. Meanwhile, Iroha, Kuroe, and Rena combined their attacks to subdue her.

Specifically, Kuroe destroyed the ground, causing a wave of rock to rush up behind Kaede. Then, Rena created a bunch of spears (or whatever her weapons are) that were combined together by a magical net. And finally, Iroha used her crossbow to launch Rena’s weapons around Kaede.

This resulted in Kaede being pinned between Kuroe’s rock wall and Rena’s magic net. If you couldn’t follow the scene, I recommend going back and watching it with that explanation in mind. I think you’ll find that it makes a lot more sense.

I’m really looking forward to the rest of this season now. I can’t wait to see what other great animation we get.

Doppel Quarantine

Moving back to the Doppel discussion, I previously mentioned that a forced Doppel transformation is effectively the same as transforming into a Witch. If we have a 1-10 scale with magical girls at 1 and Witches at 10, Doppels are somewhere around an 8 — they’re almost Witches.

So, when a magical girl is forced into a Doppel transformation that she can’t get out of, there’s not really all that much separating her from a Witch. The one difference is that it’s theoretically possible for a Doppel to be reverted back to a magical girl, unlike with Witches.

However, the problem is that no forced Doppel transformation like this has ever been successfully reverted. Instead, they’re all placed into quarantine bubbles that hold them until the day comes that they’re eventually able to be saved.

Iroha and Kuroe looking at contained Doppels from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story 2nd Season
Iroha and Kuroe looking at contained Doppels

This all has to do with Wings of the Magius’ master plan. And honestly, as we learn more about their plan, I feel like I understand their end goal even less. They want to save all magical girls, but their methods are pretty confusing.

We know that all of the Rumors were created by Wings of the Magius — specifically Nemu Hiiragi. They’re using these Rumors to capture random people who are then fed to confined Witches to help them grow. Then what? Do they farm grief seeds from them?

Farming grief seeds like that could work in theory, but I wouldn’t call that “saving” magical girls. It also doesn’t explain how the Doppels will be reverted back to magical girls. Oh, and let’s not forget that they’re literally killing people en masse to grow these Witches.

I’m sure it’ll all make sense in the end. But for now, I’m having a hard time seeing the Wings of the Magius’ endgame unless they’re actually being manipulated by a Witch (which is entirely possible).

Conclusion

What do you think of Magia Record 2nd Season Episode 4? Are Doppels really safe to use in moderation? Did you find the fight between Kaede and her friends easy or hard to follow? And how do you think the Wings of the Magius are going to save all magical girls? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 5 is available now.

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