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EP. REVIEW: Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story


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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
Posts: 4064
Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:12 pm Reply with quote
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So, Magia Record is going to have to be at least two cours, right? Because there is absolutely no way that this story is going to satisfactorily resolve in just a couple of weeks, and I would really hate it if the series ended on some dumb cliffhanger, all so we would be more motivated to go out and spend a bunch of money on the mobile game. That might make for effective marketing, but it's also the perfect recipe for turning a solid season of television into an underwhelming disappointment


WELCOME TO THE BASIC WORLD OF "HOW TO PROMOTE SOME LIGHT NOVEL ADAPTATIONS" : CHAPTER 101, MY FRIEND!!! LAMO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing


i would not be surprised AT ALL if the series end on that video game cliffhanger as a MASSIVE GLORIFIED AD PROMOTION to get people to play its mobile game!

some light novel adaptations, even some decent ones that had potential (Wiseman Grandchild, Aldrermain of the Sky, Radukai Kishi no Calvary, Knights & Magic) unfortunately have the tendency to have the uber annoying "read the books kids" scenario for its ending to promote the source materials. double for some manga (looking at you UQ HOLDER!) Laughing
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 397
PostPosted: Wed Mar 18, 2020 11:38 pm Reply with quote
Everlasting Coconut wrote:
This show has way more characters than it knows what to do with and mysteries that are convoluted and frustrating rather than intriguing. Its only strong point is the Madoka Magica aesthetic, but with only 3 episodes left, no amount of visual spectacle will save this fundamentally boring story.


I agree with convoluted. I feel like it's kind of incoherent sometimes. The cinematography often makes it really hard for me to follow anyways, like how the characters even arrived from point A in one shot to point B in the next shot. And that scene in the coffee cup shop, where the sense of scale was changing from shot to shot. Either they were standing in front of dollhouse sized coffee cups, or they were standing yards and yards away from the coffee cups they were looking at. Madoka Magica was just better in that you could actually understand what was happening. I feel like they focus so hard on symbolism in this show they made it less intelligible.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 509
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:17 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, the pacing is atrocious.
Not only because for 11 episodes they tiptoed around the big revelations, but also because they made EVERYTHING happen at once.
I came in with the mindset of someone who doesn't know the details, to try and sympathize with the characters, bu here is the thing: there's just no time. Iroha's group barely reacts to anything that is happening because they're transported elsewhere to continue the infodump before they get to say a word. And on Rena's side, well, we get to see her taking it hard, but there's barely any time for that and Kaede's disturbing presence and demeanor is too distracting.
The reveal about soul gems, the reveal about witches and Yachiyo's entire backstory. In the original series, exploring all that was what the "first" 10 episodes were for. This time, they have rushed through it in 15 minutes. Wow.

Quote:
So, knowing what she knows now, where does Iroha stand?

I wouldn't count on Iroha taking a stand about anything that doesn't involve Ui.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
Posts: 1965
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:33 pm Reply with quote
Responding to this week's review as a game player (again, I won't spoil), I'm in agreement with most of what is said. On that very last bit about not caring so much about Ui's mystery, the game actually feels no different. It was the initial switch to start Iroha's engine and her motivation, but the story itself has so many other characters and events that are more important that what's going on with Ui isn't touched on much more than when necessary until the main reveal in the spoiler[last chapter].
The game's attitude on revealing the so-called "twist" is also the same as the anime, though the anime definitely emphasized the shock. The game really does treat it like it should be known by the player, but focuses mostly on how the characters react to it. Before this, it's just the usual, "Should we talk about it yet?" from the characters in the know.

At least we have full confirmation that the BD release is labeled as part 1 for this season, so there's unsurprisingly going to be a part 2 to finish arc 1. I also fished up a Japanese article this week claiming one of the staff confirmed a while back that all of arc 1 was to be animated, which is no longer a question anymore, so I don't really need to share it.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
Posts: 1712
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 3:40 pm Reply with quote
I have watched 7 episodes or so, I was never drawn into the plot (is there anything really happening?) and I am considering dropping it, despite being a huge fan of the original show.

meruru wrote:
Everlasting Coconut wrote:
This show has way more characters than it knows what to do with and mysteries that are convoluted and frustrating rather than intriguing. Its only strong point is the Madoka Magica aesthetic, but with only 3 episodes left, no amount of visual spectacle will save this fundamentally boring story.


I agree with convoluted. I feel like it's kind of incoherent sometimes. The cinematography often makes it really hard for me to follow anyways, like how the characters even arrived from point A in one shot to point B in the next shot. And that scene in the coffee cup shop, where the sense of scale was changing from shot to shot. Either they were standing in front of dollhouse sized coffee cups, or they were standing yards and yards away from the coffee cups they were looking at. Madoka Magica was just better in that you could actually understand what was happening. I feel like they focus so hard on symbolism in this show they made it less intelligible.


I guess this show needed a more talented director and better writing. It has cool visuals but doesn't know how to transform that into an actually good show.
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Everlasting Coconut



Joined: 22 Jul 2019
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:16 pm Reply with quote
Leave it to Magia Record to become mildly interesting in its final episode.

My favourite part was Yachiro's backstory. I was actually very disappointed last week when her conflict was boiled down to the generic "my old friends died so I don't want to make new friends" shtick. But this week we learn that her feelings of guilt are directly tied to the wish she made when she contracted with Kyubey, which in turn was directly tied to the hardships of the modelling world. That's the kind of nuance I'm here for.

Iroha's interactions with Yachiyo were nice and felt genuine enough that it made me feel invested in Iroha for the first time since the show started.

I also liked Touka's borderline fascist speech, saying that Magical girls are "more human than normal humans" and using this to justify the way Uwasa/Rumours have been trapping innocent people and feeding off their despair (or whatever it is that they do).

Still, this all feels like stuff that should have been revealed and developed earlier on in the series. At this point, I don't care about any of the main characters other than Yachiyo and maybe the green-haired girl whose name I can't remember (the shy one, not the insufferably crazy one). They are all bland and boring and I couldn't care less what happens to them. Maybe if they stopped hammering in the old characters for the sake of nostalgia and fleshed out the new ones instead, I would give a damn.

James Beckett wrote:
This leads to a fight that is top-tier spectacle from the animators at Shaft, with some of the cuts looking positively cinematic in their scope and fluidity.


Other than that one cut where Sayaka stops Mami's blast, I thought the fight animation was full of awkward character movement and just overall sloppy, which is a shame 'cause the idea of doppel fights sounds cool.

James Beckett wrote:
Tsuruno has been turned, as has Felicia


Felicia and the green-haired girl were the only ones not clapping, so I think they're just pretending to be on Magius' side for now. I might be wrong though.

James Beckett wrote:
it's worse than Baby Yoda.


Huh, so I'm not the only one who hates that little monster.

James Beckett wrote:
My apathy towards Mami aside


Apathy towards Mami in general or how she has been handled in Magia Record? Just curious.

James Beckett wrote:
We also get our first official namedrop of Madoka Kaname, and I will admit that I'm surprised we've gotten this far only to have her mentioned the one time.


I find it funny how Madoka and Homura are in the opening and yet they never actually made an appearance Laughing

Anyway, all in all, I found this first cour to be mediocre at best. If it were any other show I would've dropped it long ago, but I'm a slave to this franchise, so I'll watch the second part whenever it comes out.
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otakunomike



Joined: 20 Dec 2011
Posts: 35
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:46 pm Reply with quote
Madoka and Homura actually appear in the game much earlier, they help Iroha out during the Absolute Isolation stuff with Sana and AI. The fact the show has held them back so long is indeed kind of odd, considering the game has an entire parallel story going on with everyone from Mitakihara and what theyre up to, some of which is relevant to the eventual main story reveals.

And really that leads to the animes overall main problem, the game splits the story across effectively three different paths: the main story (what the anime has more or less adapted), another story (about the original 5 girls) and then a bunch of side stories exploring the background and developing the characters of any of the girls you recruit. Its a tangled web of interconnected tales that really doesn't lend itself well to a straight translation and the anime has suffered badly for their attempt at one, they should have done some heavy rewriting and adaptation early on to make things like the Magius be more of a presence and have Yachiyo's backstory color her character earlier than the last two episodes.

As for how this all affects the lore of the series, the game actually addresses that. They had a special event where for 2 weeks only you could get Ultimate Madoka, and if you do her side story its about her looking through all the various timelines and watching the events of Magia Record trying to understand what has caused this singularity she can't interfere with. It also hints at a few other major plot things (linked to events in chapter 8) that are rather important considering how obscure they are buried in the game.
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 2156
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:04 pm Reply with quote
I was too very apathetic to mami unti I read ther spinoff, the one that shinbo wanted to animate. that one hit so close home mami pretty much became my fave tied with homura.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 509
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:14 pm Reply with quote
I chastised Kyokou Suiri for going in circles and spending far too much time on stuff that didn't need to, but oh boy did Magia Record overdo that. And without the brilliant character writing and dialogue that made the former more than bearable.

Like, after 13 episodes the only clue we have about Ui was presented in episode 2 or so (that she had friends), might as well stop mentioning it at every turn.
Then we got the Wings of Magius were introduced in chapter 6 and immediatly decided to be the main antagonists, but for the rest of the series they seemed to be in the right with their Doppel system! And presenting the twins as kinda likable good-hearted characters. Like, the strongest argument about them being the baddies is "they use cultist symbolism, so they must be". And even on the last episode, it's a vague "hey, maybe they're brainwashing people". That's hella weak.
Sure, their Rumors seemed to get people trapped in some way or another, but we don't even know to what extent and they really didn't stress it at all after introducing the cult (unlike Ui, whose pointlessness they did stress). For half of the season we were pretty much with the Designated Baddies.

Checking those episodes, I noticed the cliffhanger that episode 5 ended on... that is, if you can call it that, because it wouldn't be continued for another 6 or 7 episodes. Heck, the other two seemed to be dead, but we didn't learn anything about their fate until a couple of episodes later they unceremoniously reappeared at school (and boy do I have another bone to pick with the relationship of these three and Iroha, given their personalities).

This series freezes and forgets plotlines like a senile grandma does with food.

Everlasting Coconut wrote:

James Beckett wrote:
Tsuruno has been turned, as has Felicia


Felicia and the green-haired girl were the only ones not clapping, so I think they're just pretending to be on Magius' side for now. I might be wrong though.

That and they didn't smile or show the "crazy eyes". They stood out a lot.
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Nate148



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:59 pm Reply with quote
yea the little sis plot is dragged out in game
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