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This Week in Anime - Does Magia Record Live Up to Its Predecessor?




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Nate148



Joined: 24 May 2012
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:21 pm Reply with quote
This is the issue when most of the plot is mobile game side story's
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7jaws7



Joined: 17 Aug 2013
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Location: New York State
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:25 pm Reply with quote
I read the whole conversation without bothering to watch Magia Record.

After Rebellion, I didn’t need another Madoka Magica. That movie was there strictly to explore the idea of Homura’s wish conflicting with Madoka’s wish. I didn’t love it but I did feel that it was a legitimate question to ask.

I get there is still some more potential for world-building and psychological intrigue after Urobuchi’s original story, and I suppose I should be thankful Magia Record didn’t turn into a hot mess like Psycho-Pass 2.

Regardless, I’m not jumping back on the Magica train until Urobuchi returns as the engineer.
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kawaiibunny3



Joined: 10 Aug 2008
Posts: 507
Location: Houston, Texas
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:19 pm Reply with quote
Even as someone who's been an avid player of the game since day one, I recognize that the show isn't perfect by any means. But I'm still really loving it.

I've been playing the Japanese version & I've just been going by translations of the stories these for 2 1/2 years, so having the anime in a condensed version with all the Gekidan Inu Curry bells & whistles is a dream come true (while also changing some stuff too, so I am curious to what those will be each week also).

I'm also a big fan of traditional magical girl stories, so I like MagiReco's approach to doing a more episodic & "found family" type of team instead of the idea that magical girls are territorial and don't get along concept that's in the original show. The concept of Kamihama being a city where you don't turn into witches and everyone's (kinda) friends is so refreshing to me in a PMMM spinoff. It sounds so perfect so I'm waiting to see where the catch is also. spoiler[(In the game Glasses Homura & Madoka are there and become friends with Iroha & co., so you just know it's gonna be reset at some point but it hasn't...yet.)]

Also, this chunk of the story is 10 game chapters long, we're currently on chapter 6, with the other 4 being longer than previous ones. So unless they come up with a wrap up ending for episode 13 or the Bluray sales totally tank I would bet on a cour 2 to finish out the mystery of Ui.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 829
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:24 pm Reply with quote
Despite being borderline-obsessed with the mobile game, I'm way behind on the anime version. Maybe that means it's not as good, or maybe it's because I already know the story, or maybe without gaming enticements there's no motivation for it. Not really sure.

The game doesn't have any InuCurryMcShaft material besides witch/Uwasa designs, and to some degree that stuff doesn't really fit. While the original show was loaded with existential dread and philosophizing, this one is basically a mystery series with magical girls. (You guys appeared to notice it was not the same genre, but not what genre it is, so there you go.) I guess they must have made a bigger deal about the expected Big Twist in the anime, since it's what all the anime-viewers are waiting for; but that's only the beginning of the unraveling revelations, and none of the following ones are what you'd predict based on the original series. There's an important reason for the Witches Except Not, for example, which they will get to later.

It's kind of a long and complicated story with a lot of characters, which is maybe the biggest change from the original show. The anime actually cuts out a lot of stuff. Drawing broad conclusions about it now is about as feasible as doing the same halfway through the first series, when the same twist appeared. That was really only the beginning of that story, too.

Also, I can't endorse Granbelm anymore after its incredibly weak and disappointing ending. I don't know how Magia Record ends, so we'll see what happens. Although, technically the "current" ending is only the end of part 1, the Japanese server is off on a whole new adventure.
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 807
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:23 pm Reply with quote
"Pretty okay" is about right. Engaging enough and good looking enough to be a solid way to pass the time, but nothing to convincingly peek above that line. I'm down for a better second season at least, but if it's just more of the same then...lol. I don't know that I should get my hopes up.

(If nothing else I do think as far as recent gacha based anime go, it's better than Fate GO Babylonia which just wastes sooo much time on boring formula between the sakuga fights...)
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zrnzle500
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Joined: 04 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:37 pm Reply with quote
I don't think it lives up to the original, but I didn't really expect it to do so. Certainly the strength of the original is going to create high expectations, but we're talking about a show that is frequently named among the best of the decade. That bar is so high that to me, it becomes a little unreasonable to expect to match that, especially after Rebellion (while I did enjoy Rebellion, I don't think I would say that it matches the original). Also, the fact that it is based on source material that will continue past the anime adaptation means that Magia Record cannot tell a focused, complete story story that ties all the plot lines together neatly in just 12 episodes as the original could. In that way, I think F/GO has been more apt for adaptation, given that its arcs are long enough to fill an entire season with just one arc and self contained enough to resolve (most of) the plot lines and character arcs introduced in the arc within the arc itself and come to a satisfying ending point. Your mileage may vary with the content of the stories, of course.

That being said, I don't think I would place it in second or maybe even third within the genre, let alone matching the original. I will say that watching Magia Record has gotten me into the game (I had been losing interest in one of the other phone games I was playing).
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Actar



Joined: 21 Nov 2010
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Location: Singapore
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:26 am Reply with quote
NOTE: I haven't finished the last 3 episodes yet.

Thus far, I think the main issue for me is that none of it feels very personal or impactful. And this can be due to a number of reasons. Firstly, the large cast. Magia Record is premised on having a large cast of characters, but because of this, we never really get to know them particularly well. This is also exacerbated by the fact that we never got to know them before making their wishes. One of the main driving points of conflict in the original series is whether or not being a magical girl was a good thing or not, what being magical girl meant to each character and how their wishes affected them positively/negatively. We hardly get any of that in Magia Record.

In fact, the entire magical girl system, even the big reveal that Witches were actually magical girls was tied very well into the various character arcs. At the moment, the Uwasa/Rumors seem very tangential in terms of its relation to the Witches and by extension, the characters. This is also the problem I had with the Psycho-Pass sequel. It never dealt with anything relating to the Sibyl System where as the first season was premised on exploring the themes relating to it.

While the Doppel ability is really cool, the (emotional) impact and implications are severely limited by the fact that the characters have no idea that they become Witches if their Grief Seeds become too corrupted. Imagine if the characters from the original were presented with this knowledge. They'd freak out! It's quite a let down that such a big revelation was just brushed off.

Yeah, so while I think it's a good thing that it's not retreading the original, it doesn't seem to be leveraging (enough) on what the original did well. Cameos from the original characters are really cool, though. (Anime exclamation)
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:29 am Reply with quote
Steve wrote:
I'm one of the handful of people who genuinely like Rebellion, and my desire for "another Madoka" was still around this number.

I think Madoka said what it wanted to with the space it had, and it's perfectly okay to leave things at that.


I agree with you that the Madoka Magica TV series did just that. But Rebellion upended everything and ended on a tragic cliff hanger. Which has to be concluded.

If they don't bring Rebellion's storyline to a conclusion, then Rebellion will simply become another Highlander 2.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 829
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:26 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Rebellion upended everything and ended on a tragic cliff hanger. Which has to be concluded.


I think the implication of the ending was that spoiler[the universe will endlessly cycle between having Madoka in charge and being ruled by Homura's iron fist. Homura seems unable to contain Madoka indefinitely, but when Madoka escapes she'll inevitably "save" her again (and punish Kyubey some more), and so on forever. They did call it the "Law of Cycles," after all.] Not really a conclusion in the traditional sense, but it wasn't meant to be.

I wouldn't say no to a sequel, as long as it's not just for the sake of having a sequel, or a "true ending" or something. There was apparently no plan to end it in any other way, so coming up with a satisfying and logical final chapter could be pretty difficult. Which is probably why they haven't gotten around to it. Urobuchi himself has no idea where to take it from here, and doesn't want to work on this show anymore.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 546
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:41 pm Reply with quote
I'm another Rebellion fan.

Rebellion was shocking, but at the same time its events make perfect sense given the rules and principles of the universe it takes place in. That said, TarsTarkas is exactly right: it ended on a huge cliffhanger that really ought to be concluded. And such a sequel would have a massive amount of potential. It could address the huge cliffhanger and unanswered questions in Rebellion, and it has the potential to conclude the series on a much more positive note than the rather bleak ending of the TV.
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rizuchan
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Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:06 pm Reply with quote
I think the reason I just can't get into Magia Record is because, compared to OG Madoka, the stakes just feel so much lower. In the original, the girls have to so carefully balance how much they use their powers with fighting too much or against tougher witches than they can handle. You really feel like being a magical girl is a completely hopeless fate, because no girl can keep that balance for very long.

But here the girls are fighting both Witches and Rumors without a care in the world. As soon as they established that transforming into a Witch wasn't permanent in Iroha's case, I just immediately felt like the show completely lost all of the suspense that made the original so great. Like, with the absence of any real threat, it's not that different from any other magical girl show, apart from the visuals.

It's really not the same without Yuki Kajiura's music either.
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kotomikun



Joined: 06 May 2013
Posts: 829
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:58 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:
I think the reason I just can't get into Magia Record is because, compared to OG Madoka, the stakes just feel so much lower.


Well, again, this show is not even the same genre as the original. Not a tragedy, but a mystery. I feel like that's a good thing, because there isn't much point trying to outdo yourself at your own game when you've already won. That being said, the stakes are going to get a lot higher in the second half. There's a reason magical girls aren't turning into witches, and the heroes aren't going to like it.

Lack of Yuki Kajiura is always a negative, but you can't have everything, I guess.
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dragon695



Joined: 28 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:53 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:
Steve wrote:
I'm one of the handful of people who genuinely like Rebellion, and my desire for "another Madoka" was still around this number.

I think Madoka said what it wanted to with the space it had, and it's perfectly okay to leave things at that.


I agree with you that the Madoka Magica TV series did just that. But Rebellion upended everything and ended on a tragic cliff hanger. Which has to be concluded.

If they don't bring Rebellion's storyline to a conclusion, then Rebellion will simply become another Highlander 2.

I never understood why they did that with Highlander.
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