After a delay, it looks like the Magia Record anime really is coming to an end soon. Based on the mobile game of the same name, the series expanded the world of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Which, as we know, is already several timelines long.
While the game may not have survived here, the anime did. And without it, we wouldn’t have these very important pieces of Madoka goodness:
The Magia Record mobile game gave its magical girls a new power in the form of “Doppels.” Rather than turning into Witches, puella magi who come to the series’s strange city take on these hybrid forms. The good news is, you can theoretically control them. The bad news? Still risky. But not as risky as getting Witched.
The existence of the Doppels is also an interesting counterpoint to the aforementioned Witches. Rather than falling fully into despair, the girls can see, talk to, and even harness these parts of themselves. An unsubtle psychological metaphor, but nothing in the world of Madoka is subtle.
Early in the run of Magia Record in Japan, fans got a Christmas treat: Holy Mami. The stunning retake on Mami Tomoe, who had a pretty bad time in the original anime, even had her own shrine with stained glass windows over the holidays. She was no slouch in the game, either. But when she made it to the anime, things got wild.
What makes a Holy Mami, after all? Grief, guilt, and maybe some hope of atonement. You can ask her while she chases you around firing seven billion guns at you.
Madoka Magica is a beautiful story, but a messy ones. It tells a difficult story across multiple timelines, with varying measures of hope and despair. In the world of this series, any kind of hope or redemption tends to come at the great sacrifice and loss of a very small number of people. Magia Record isn’t the first instance of redemption or hope — we have Madoka, after all — but it is an alternative version.
It’s no less heavy with deception, sadness, fear, and other delicious snacks for entropy-loving incubators. But it shows us, if nothing else, that Madoka isn’t the only person seeking out something better for the series’s magical girls. And maybe, just maybe, there’s more than one way to skin a Kyubey.
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