I said I wasn’t sure about this show because of the cutesy art style, but I should have learned by now that shows with a cutesy art style can be very deceiving, especially with the magical girl genre. The synopsis read like there would be a battle royale fight to the death that would happen. With the episode opening up with dead bodies and a pool of blood in the first minute, I knew that the synopsis wasn’t lying, and that this show would be just as dark as it made it sound it would. And I was hooked.
Apparently, my aesthetic are shows where cute girls experience torture and despair in what seem to be lighthearted shows. Gakkou Gurashi, WIXOSS, Yuuki Yuuna, etc. Those seem to be my favorite. I’m not sure what that says about me, haha.
Seeing as how this is the first episode, of course it would start off cute and lighthearted. Our main character is a young eighth grader named Koyuki, and ever since she was a little girl, she loved magical girls and always wanted to become one in real life. She thinks all magical girls are righteous and pure beings that are there to help people and she always admired them. But she noticed that as she was growing up, girls her age were becoming less into magical girls and more into other things, while Koyuki didn’t. So, she kept her love for magical girls all to herself in secret. Even now, she’s playing a magical girl game on her phone, and it changes her life in an instant.
Magical Girl Raising Project is like any other fantasy/RPG-like game. It’s just a simple phone game where you create an avatar and fight monsters and get items. But there are strange “advertisements” and rumors to the game. The main one being that there’s a 1 in 10000 chance for a user to become a real magical girl. Koyuki’s friends on the bus think it a scam but Koyuki as usual seems slightly hopeful, but doesn’t seem to believe it as well. Other strange things going on related to magical girls are actual sightings of them throughout the city. But people write them off as fake as all the images are blurry.
It comes as no surprise that later on Koyuki is chosen to become a magical girl. The game mascot, Fav, which seems to be a love-child of Monokuma and Kyubey, says he’s studied Koyuki and decided that she has everything to be a magical girl. She hesitantly accepts and transforms into her game avatar.
In this anime, magical girls are less like superheroes and maybe more like vigilantes, depending how you use the word. These girls aren’t here to fight against aliens, evil monsters, or magical creatures. They’re doing things you’d imagine any new superhero would do, like helping elderly women cross the road, getting cats out of trees, finding someone’s lost house keys, small things like that. I don’t think I’ve seen magical girls like this so this was a nice change for me. Koyuki is doing what she’s always dreamed of, and that’s helping people, but as a magical girl! But this time she doesn’t have to try so hard to hide herself from the public because Fav explains to her that even if she meets with someone, they will lose all memory of her, and if someone tries taking a picture of her, that said picture will always come out blurry, like we saw before. So these girls have free reign over the city and can run around as much as they want. It really is a dream come true!
We also learn more things about this magical girl community. Through her Magical Phone, Koyuki, or Snow White (her magical girl name), can enter a chatroom and speak with the 15 other magical girls. Everyone was very excited to meet her, and the ones that were actually there introduced themselves and made Koyuki feel warm and welcomed. We also learn more about the work of these magical girls when La Pucelle invited Koyuki out to train her.
What a surprise it was that La Pucelle actually turned out to be Koyuki’s male friend, Sou-chan! I didn’t expect it at all, so really we have a magical boy amongst us. Funny though, because his avatar has the biggest boobs and the most make up on. But that just goes to show you, always follow your dreams! Good for you, Sou-chan. It makes me wonder if there are more males among the group but I’m going to doubt that for now, as one of Koyuki’s friends become a magical girl is significant. We learn from Sou-chan (La Pucelle) that each magical girl works in their own district, and La Pucelle works in the district right next to Koyuki’s. Some of the magical girls can team up if they want, but it’s basically a rule that the magical girl assigned to that certain district is the only one that can work there, but visiting is just fine, and that’s when La Pucelle and Snow White pair up. There’s a bit of a system to all of this, but everything is so organized and all the other magical girls are so polite, friendly, and cooperative that it looks like that there hasn’t been any problems. They all seem to get along so well with each other, which is going to make it more painful when they’re forced to kill each other.
In the after-credits scene, Fav makes the announcement that there are too many magical girls in the area and that he needs to cut it down to 8. And that right there, is the sign that things are going to start becoming ugly.
I’ve seen people complain that they were disappointed with the premiere because it was lighthearted. And to them I say, um…duh? It’s the first episode. They can’t start killing each other until we know the main character and the story. We’re barely getting situated into this world, but it looks like things are going to move quickly. This episode was like any first episode of an anime. We’ve established the plot, we know all about these magical girls now, we know what kind of person Koyuki is. So now we can finally move on to the rest. As a first episode, I thought this one did its job well. I like what they’ve done with magical girls in this. Of course magical girls can be seen as superheroes, as they transform and protect humanity from the big bad, but in this case, these girls are doing little things. I don’t know, I just really like that!
The art style isn’t really my cup of tea, but still, the show so far looks great. One thing I have to comment on are the character designs. Each girl has a drastically different design as opposed to the similar outfits magical girls usually wear with each other. I thought Koyuki’s Snow White to be absolutely precious and cute, I’m a weak person when it comes to flowery designs. As for the others, it’s a hit or miss. La Pucelle and the violin girl I enjoy, but some of the others just look ridiculous. It’s nice that their designs really tell you just what kind of person they are, though. So in that regard, it’s a plus.
Now, as for the cliffhanger. If the number of magical girls was really becoming too much, why did Fav recruit Koyuki? I’m sure because of the districts, Fav wants to cut the number down because having 16 girls in one city may be a bit much. Fav said only 8 magical girls need to go, but in the opening scene, there was only one person standing while all the other girls lay slaughtered. I wonder just how bad things are going to go.
I’m intrigued. Very intrigued. And this may be a stupid decision on my part, since I’ve already signed up for a lot of shows this season, but I feel like I can’t pass this up. Maybe I might sacrifice other shows, but I really want to stick by this one. I don’t think they’re going to take long to get into the blood and death.
Possibility of watching: Guaranteed
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