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


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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:05 am Reply with quote
BSW wrote:
I think knowing PMMM lore isn't enough to enjoy what we're seeing, it might be enough to understand it, but the characters will still be ultimately unlikable and shallow, because as I stated above, it relies on you knowing them, and their circumstances, the anime never shows us anything of those.


The anime isn't actually doing a straight up adaption of the game, I've noticed. The first episode was almost completely original (Kuroe is an original anime character). It is adapting the story, but it's playing around with characters and events in a fashion closer to the original anime than the game. Most of the time, you're watching approximations of the game's events rather than going through all the character-specific events. InuCurry, who are directing the anime, also wrote the game's story, so it seems to me less like fanfare for the game and more like fanfare for the original meant to introduce the story to old fans.

For spoiler-free comparison's sake, I'd say the game up to this point gives you more time to spend with the girls, but you learn about the same you do as in the anime about them. They're certainly rushing the intro, but I assume that's because the game took its sweet time setting up the premise.

There is game fanfare in the anime, but almost exclusively in the form of cameos of non-main-story characters (Rena transforms into one in episode 2, Mitama is powering up one in episode 3, etc.).
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rizuchan
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:15 am Reply with quote
db999 wrote:
In the opening sequence, we see two pink-haired girls wearing different outfits, combine in a flash of light and turn into a magical girl. This leads me to guess that for some reason the wish that Iroha made, rather than curing Ui's illness, actually combined the both of them into one entity, hence why at the beginning of the series Iroha had forgotten her.


This was exactly my guess too. I think episode 3 gives some hints of this too - why is Iroha remembering so much about Ui's friends at the hospital? She doesn't appear to be present for most of those scenes. It's like she's seeing some of Ui's memories in her dreams rather than her own. Her transformation sequence also shows her combining with another girl, rather like the opening.

As for the timeline, I may have been spoiled some time ago, because I was under the impression that spoiler[this series takes place concurrently with the original series, or at least one of the alternate timelines]. So my guess is the scene with Mami must take place just a little before the start of the original series. Either that or an alternate timeline where Mami didn't die early on (was there a timeline like that shown in the series, besides in Rebellion? I can't remember.)
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BSW



Joined: 22 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:46 am Reply with quote
Juno016 wrote:
so it seems to me less like fanfare for the game and more like fanfare for the original meant to introduce the story to old fans.


Sorry, but I have to heavily disagree with you.
If they ever change the way that the plot is being rushed, if they ever start characterizing anyone, or if they reach a conclusion at all during the series, I'd say that maybe, just maybe they cared about the anime project being an enjoyable series all by itself.
But as it stands, I'm convinced it's nothing more than fanservice for the ones playing the game, and completely unenjoyable to anyone who isn't. Because it is just bad (not non-PMMM tier good, but outright BAD) as it is right now, to an extent that even the visuals are not saving it.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:08 pm Reply with quote
BSW wrote:
Sorry, but I have to heavily disagree with you.
If they ever change the way that the plot is being rushed, if they ever start characterizing anyone, or if they reach a conclusion at all during the series, I'd say that maybe, just maybe they cared about the anime project being an enjoyable series all by itself.
But as it stands, I'm convinced it's nothing more than fanservice for the ones playing the game, and completely unenjoyable to anyone who isn't. Because it is just bad (not non-PMMM tier good, but outright BAD) as it is right now, to an extent that even the visuals are not saving it.


I meant, it looks like they're pushing to finish arc 1 (which has a solid conclusion in the game), so it'll be complete. As for your experience, I can't say much about it. I respect your feelings and value reading criticism. Personally, I found the game story to be decent, but not much better than most spin-offs elsewhere in the franchise. Just decent. I didn't expect the story to reach original-anime levels of masterpiece, but it is a bit sad that the game is not much better than it is. That said, I feel the anime is doing a competent job of presenting that story and throwing in more to digest and break down visually than the game did. Characters suffer from less screentime, but not from having any less depth at this point in the story.
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BodaciousSpacePirate
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:07 pm Reply with quote
BSW wrote:
But as it stands, I'm convinced it's nothing more than fanservice for the ones playing the game, and completely unenjoyable to anyone who isn't.


No offense, but after hearing people say similar things about the Danganronpa anime, the Ace Attorney anime, etc., - and then subsequently seeing franchise newcomers enjoy each of these adaptations in spite of their problems - I've started to take a bit less stock in the claims of viewers who are familiar with a show's source material concerning what viewers who aren't familiar will or won't find "completely unenjoyable". In my experience, established fans tend to be much more critical than uninitiated viewers, and people enjoy things that have flaws all the time.
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Chrono1000



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:25 pm Reply with quote
The greatest strength of Magia Record is that it does capture the feel of the original series but the similarities makes it hard not to see it as a reboot that was made for general audiences. It does somewhat help to have seen the original series and Rebellion but so far I think it works well as a stand alone story. Compared to the original series spoiler[the first three episodes appear to be nicer and more optimistic so it is a bit obvious that Gen Urobuchi was not involved with it. Whether that would be considered good or bad would depend on what type of story you prefer.] Magia Record has great animation and does have some new elements to it so I am curious to see where the story goes.

killjoy_the wrote:
Kaede waited for Rena to (finally) apologize. I also didn't like how she didn't fully commit to it (saying 'servant' instead of 'friend' because I guess that's what an asshole who's also shy does?), but Kaede and Rena seem to fully intend to get better at their dynamic, if with baby steps.

Rena's adorably awkward apology got a laugh out of me and it is even more amusing since the Fate Grand Order anime is still airing.
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AwaysAnnoyed



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:26 am Reply with quote
Appreciation for the decision to end the 3rd episode with Mami showing up, where in the original / 1st series the 3rd episode is where she makes an exist. That's just poetic af. I expected them to pull something at the end of the 3rd episode, considering the huge reaction to the 1st series' 3rd episode. That just seems like a really nice nod to fans of the 1st series. People who came in from Side Story and haven't seen PMMM (though I'm sure these people are few and far in between) won't care for that, but I enjoyed that little bit a lot. Respect!

I have no intention or time to dive into the side story game, so I will be watching this with that distance to the characters in mind. Well, whenever you start a show the characters are new, and like any person you meet, you get to learn them along the way. I think every person has a different idea of what a deep, fully-developed character is anyway.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Everlasting Coconut wrote:
And I'm sure they'll get better cause that's what the ending of the episode was trying to imply (I guess?), it just failed to make me like these characters or want to follow their journey.

And that's the crux of the issue of this series.
Urobuchi's true srength is his character writing and that really was on point in Madoka. By episode three, it was easy to connect with Madoka, Sayaka and Mami and hard not to lament the mogumogu. And while Homura was jerkish she was also mysterious and interesting.

In this spin-off, it's the opposite. We've seen these four girls for some time now but it's hard to connect with ANY of them. Only Rena is somewhat sympathetic and that's mostly because of how much the camera zooms on her (both literally and figuratively). Whereas this not-Homura is just a jerk with none of the mystery.
Being a gacha game also doesn't help with expectations: since gacha games need lots of characters to be alive (and churn out asinine casual dialogue) I can't really expect anything irreversible to happen to any of the main cast - and we still have more mahou shoujo to come, because that surely will help with the writing!

I probably wouldn't be so hard on this if it were some random unrelated show, but since it looks and sounds like Madoka, it begs comparison and critique. And the reality is that it just doesn't size up.
I would prefer even an adaptation of something like Kazumi Magica, which is probably a worse story but its artstyle, edgyness and over the top experimentation of the rules would differentiate enough to let it stand (or fall) on its own two legs.

BSW wrote:
When it's so obvious they're checking boxes of what they need to adapt instead of focusing on making the anime enjoyable in itself too, it becomes dry like this, or you could call it "soulless".

Damnit Madoka, stop throwing gemstones onto the road.

rizuchan wrote:
So my guess is the scene with Mami must take place just a little before the start of the original series. Either that or an alternate timeline where Mami didn't die early on (was there a timeline like that shown in the series, besides in Rebellion? I can't remember.)

From memory, she always survives either up to Walpurgisnacht or after Sayaka bacomes a witch and she breaks. The "final" timeline of the original anime is probably one of the earliest points she dies at.

BSW wrote:
Except in Magi Reco, they don't develop the characters - they expect you to know them already, and hence you won't get to "learn them" along the way.

I don't get this impression at all. I don't feel like a need any more information about the characters than I'm getting in the anime, I feel like a need BETTER information, better writing.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:38 pm Reply with quote
Removed the pointless and belligerent argument going on. People can have differing opinions folks. Just because you think one way does not mean others cannot think something different without you berating them for being wrong.
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TD912
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:56 pm Reply with quote
This series clearly has a more lighthearted tone, but so far, I don't mind this spinoff at all. I wasn't expecting another Urobuchi show, and I didn't get one.

What I do mind, and what might be affecting some people's opinion of the show, is the awful translation Aniplex has done. I gave it a few episodes, but nothing has improved. A lot of the nuance of the dialogue is getting lost. It looks like they're using an in-house native Japanese speaker again that is making common J>E mistakes.

"There is no call for insults."
"Is this your first time to be adjusted?"
"I think we can't not be friends."
etc, etc.

The choppy translation is forcing you to make assumptions about what is going on in the show instead of helping to clarify things.

In addition, it seems Aniplex wanted to quickly get this show out to a wide audience but there must be some sort of recent deal with Funimation that is preventing them from doing so. The Magia Record game's social media team also semi-botched the anime launch as they didn't seem fully aware there was a one week simulcast delay for non-Funi streaming sites. All other Aniplex shows have a one month delay so it looks like the shortened one week delay was a compromise.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, I'm mostly just waiting for the stuff from chapters 5 & 6 of the game to get the ball rolling for real. I won't spoil what happens, but chapter 5 is my favorite rumor and chapter 6 is what you might call the "big reveal" chapter. How these translate into episode pacing is anyone's guess (so far, one episode covers anywhere from a half chapter to an entire chapter and a half), but at the very least, I think there's one more rumor in between episode 4's and the one I mentioned. Chapter 5 does something Madoka Magica has never done before with its "monster of the week", so that'll be really neat to see animated.
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Shaterri



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:10 pm Reply with quote
TD912 wrote:

"I think we can't not be friends."

While I don't disagree with the overall point, I think you're missing the nuance in this one. This actually seems like an excellent translation to me: the point being made is that in her (Kaede's, IIRC?) opinion, it would be impossible for her and Rena to not be friends; they'd just go crazy without each other and wind up testing the waters again no matter how bitter the breakup. I wasn't paying close enough attention (and don't know Japanese subtleties well enough, frankly) to know if this was the intended nuance of the original text, but it certainly seems to capture their relationship well as written.
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TD912
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:02 pm Reply with quote
Shaterri wrote:
TD912 wrote:

"I think we can't not be friends."

While I don't disagree with the overall point, I think you're missing the nuance in this one. This actually seems like an excellent translation to me: the point being made is that in her (Kaede's, IIRC?) opinion, it would be impossible for her and Rena to not be friends; they'd just go crazy without each other and wind up testing the waters again no matter how bitter the breakup. I wasn't paying close enough attention (and don't know Japanese subtleties well enough, frankly) to know if this was the intended nuance of the original text, but it certainly seems to capture their relationship well as written.


It does work in getting the point across, but I feel it could have been possibly handled better in English. Maybe something like "I don't think we can not be friends."

I guess what I'm trying to say is that the translation seems a bit too Engrish and it's been a recurring Aniplex thing.
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Yuvelir



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:24 pm Reply with quote
As a non-native speaker, how natural the English text feels is of no consequence to me. I don't think I've ever misunderstood a line or a character. The characters and the setup are just too shallow to get invested in their joys and sorrows.
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KefkaesqueXIII



Joined: 30 Nov 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 2:48 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
There was an odd cut where Iroha and Co. pass by the other three MGs, and Momoko freaks out about it. I'm pretty sure it's because she doesn't like Yachiyo, though the scene makes it look like she's angry at Iroha. It's odd.

Unless there was another poorly framed scene that I missed, the pair you saw were not Momoko and Kaede, but a cameo from a different pair of magical girls that don't really have any main plot relevance (at least not yet, to my knowledge). The redhead's name is Manaka Kurumi and the blonde is Ria Ami.

You're still correct that the scene was poorly framed, because Yachiyo would indeed have been the target of the freakout (Ria sees Yachiyo as her rival, dispite Yachiyo never remembering that Ria even exists).
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