Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Final Season

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Final Season

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

“Season” Overview

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Final Season isn’t a final season. I already explained this in my review of Final Season Episode 9. But, I’ll do it again here anyway. This is actually the final 4 episodes of the 2nd Season that weren’t finished on time.

A standard cour of anime is about 12 episodes. The 2nd Season was 8 episodes and this “Final” Season is 4. Together, that makes 12. Also, the 4 Episodes in the Final Season are numbers 9-12, which is further evidence of this.

With that out of the way, what do I think of the Final Season? Well, while it’s not the ending I wanted for the series, I do still think it was very good. I’d put it about on par with the 2nd Season. Though, I still think the 2nd Season is better. It’s definitely better than the 1st Season.

But, what I found interesting is that most viewers think the Final Season is about on par with the 1st. At the time I’m writing this, the 1st Season has a 6.79 average rating and the Final Season has a 6.80. I don’t agree with either of those scores, but for different reasons.

So, here’s the thing about the Final Season of Magia Record. It does a lot of things very well, which is why I have it rated above the average. But, at the same time, it failed to resolve a lot of major plot points in satisfying ways.

While I know that’s a pretty big flaw, I’m having a hard time justifying a lower score for it. The issue is that 4 episodes weren’t enough to wrap everything up. And at the end of the day, that’s a flaw of the anime industry at large.

Disappointing Character Storylines

There are a decent number of characters in Magia Record. Luckily, despite being an adaptation of a gacha game, there was a limited cast. Still, there were character storylines that weren’t wrapped up at the start of the season.

Some of the main ones were Touka, Nemu, Ui (duh), Alina, and Kuroe. Now, Ui’s storyline got about as good of a conclusion as I could ask for. It wasn’t all that special. But, it did check all the boxes that it needed to. We learned what happened to Ui and got a definitive answer to the question “is she coming back?”

Touka and Nemu were a bit more disappointing. There was a twist involving them in Episode 10 that I liked. But, the conclusion to their story wasn’t good. They got talk-no-jutsu’d by Iroha and then that was pretty much the end for them.

Momoko's spirit saving Tsuruno from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Final Season
Momoko’s spirit saving Tsuruno

The biggest disappointments were Alina and Kuroe. So, for Kuroe, we got a very basic backstory and then that was it for her. Considering Kuroe has been in the anime from the start, I expected way more from her. Alina didn’t even get that, though, which surprised me.

Alina was one of the first antagonists introduced in the series. She also has a cool ability, and her character could have gone in a few different directions. But, in the end, we really learned nothing about her, and then she got defeated once and for all.

Of course, there were also other characters. Momoko and Mifune, for example, sacrificed themselves to save the other magical girls. This was fine. But, it also wasn’t explained well and was more of a Deus ex machina than anything else.

Oh, and the original Madoka Magica girls already dipped after recovering Mami. So they were gone.

Plot Points Left Unresolved

Embryo Eve and the Doppels are aspects of Magia Record that I’m not a huge fan of. I get that the Doppels are a game mechanic that connect to the story. They kind of had to be present in the series because of that.

But, with Embryo Eve, that’s something that’s all story. There are no mechanics that define how Embryo Eve has to “work.” And that’s where Embryo Eve failed for me. The writers had all this freedom, and they settled for the most boring option in the end.

What is Embryo Eve supposed to be for the Magia Record story? It’s Magia Record’s version of Walpurgisnacht (even though that also exists). The difference is that Walpurgisnacht is a calamity always looming in the background. Embryo Eve is little more than an oversized Uwasa. It doesn’t have the same impact — on the story, characters, or viewers.

Alina Gray's Doppel taking over from the anime series Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Final Season
Alina Gray’s Doppel taking over

Despite being a “necessary evil,” the Doppels have more going for them than Embryo Eve does. Some of them have cool designs. And they did work well within the story in the first 2 seasons. But, I wouldn’t say that the conclusion of the story of the Doppels was good.

At the end of the series, we learned that the Doppels are actually part of Alina’s magic. She’s the one who creates Doppels. And since Alina doesn’t get any real development, the Doppels feel a bit empty. There’s no deeper mystery to them anymore.

It felt to me like Doppels were Soul Gem replacements in Magia Record. They replaced the need for Grief Seeds, sure. But they served the same purpose as Soul Gems. They illustrated the despair of magical girls. And finding out they’re manufactured by a magical girl took away from that.

Conclusion

I still ended up giving Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Final Season an 8/10. You can argue that’s too high of a rating. But, I’d also argue the 6.80 it has on MyAnimeList is too low of a rating. It may not be as flashy as the 2nd Season, but the plot points it does well are better.

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