The Summer 2021 Preview Guide
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Season 2

How would you rate episode 14 of
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story (TV 2) ?

What is this?

In exchange for the fulfillment of a wish, Magical Girls keep fighting, unbeknownst to the rest of the world. But Iroha Tamaki can't seem to remember her wish. There is a gaping hole in her life. Something important has been lost. But she continues to fight every day, without even knowing why. Then, a rumor begins to spread among Magical Girls. Magical Girls can be saved if they go to Kamihama City, the city where Magical Girls and Uwasa are gathering.

Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story Season 2 is based on the Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story smartphone role-playing game and streams on Funimation and Crunchyroll on Saturdays.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

Massive spoiler warning for the original Puella Magi Madoka Magica .

Let's be clear right from the start, with the exception of the literal last minute-and-a-half of the episode, this really isn't an episode of Magia Record as much as it is an episode of Madoka Magica. In the grand scale of things, this episode sets the events of Magia Record as several timeloops into Homura's quest to save Madoka—but no where near the amount in which the original series takes place. Homura is still rather weak but has had enough loops to learn the secret of the soul gems and Kyubey's master plan. She also knows not to tell her friends the truth as she doesn't want Mami to pull a murder suicide on them all.

The big lore reveal here is that the events in Kamihama are not only unique to this specific timeline but are also not caused by Homura or her timeloops. This means that some sort of external force has acted upon the story—and only Homura is truly aware of it. This puts her in the unique position of outside observer. At the same time, however, it also sets her up as (potentially) the ultimate villain to all our new Magia Record characters—after all, if Homura resets the timeline, there's a good chance that none of this will happen in the next loop.

The other reason this episode is more Madoka Magica than Magia Record is that its focused on the former's main theme: love. In the largest sense, the story has always been a battle between the self-sacrificing love that Madoka has for all humanity and the obsessive, possessive love Homura has for Madoka alone. However, this episode is set in a time before either became radicalized to the extremes they would be by the end of their story. Yes, Homura is willing to loop as many times as needed to save Madoka but she has not yet decided that Madoka is the only one who matters. Likewise, Madoka is content with just keeping her friends alive and healthy rather than the salvation of every single magical girl across all time.

Or to put it another way, there is still hope for Madoka and Homura at this point—a chance they might find happiness together instead of being eternally pitted against each other despite their obvious love for one another. Even Sayaka, who tried (and failed) to selflessly love and fell into despair when her love was unrequited, has managed to find a new reason to go on in the Magia Record timeline: to be someone worthy of the love her friends have given her.

It's a fantastic way to kick off the second season of the series—even if it does remind me that, despite spending around the same amount of time with the Magia Record characters as we have with the Madoka Magica characters, I still care about the Madoka Magica characters way more.

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