In June of 2019, North America finally got an official English release of the mobile game Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story. I was among the fans who eagerly downloaded the game and dove back into the world of Madoka Magica. The first thing that was so intriguing to me as a fan of magical girls were all the new characters and designs! I love finding new magical girls. Besides that, I was most interested in the story, which is why when it was announced that Magia Record was getting a manga AND an anime, I was ecstatic! So let’s dive into Volume 1 of Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story.
I don’t know the full story to Magia Record, but when I flipped the book over, I was greeted by a cute image of Madoka and Homura walking to the right, and the new protagonists Iroha and Yachiyo walking to the left. Will our beloved girls from the original story appear in Magia Record? At the very least, I think it’s clear that we are meant to draw some parallels between these sets of protagonists. Besides their visual similarities, their personalities are vaguely similar too. Iroha isn’t as passive as Madoka, but she does have the same sense of being a lost child. As for Yachiyo, she is an ice-cold girl who flat out tells Iroha to leave. Perhaps she will thaw out as Homura did.
When I played the game, I was immediately taken by the small, cute Kyubey - I love it so much! Please don’t be evil, small Kyubey! This small Kyubey is a friend to Iroha. It leads her to the retrieval of her memories of what she wished for when she became a magical girl. In the original story following Madoka and Homura, the girl’s wishes were essential to the story. But Iroha doesn’t remember her wish. I couldn’t help but feel that she made a very large sacrifice for someone. Such a story is just what I would expect from the world of Madoka Magica.
In addition to her missing memories, the mystery surrounding Iroha’s dreams of the silent girl in the hospital really pulls the story forward. She searches fervently for the small Kyubey to connect her strange dreams and missing memories. As she pursues the small Kyubey, she has to grow stronger to be able to fight the strong Witches in Kamihama. Luckily, she manages to make friends along the way who help her. On top of that, Kamihama City has a Coordinator, a magical girl who can alter others’ powers. After a power-up from her, Iroha begins to grow more courageous.
I was glad to find out what Iroha’s missing memories were by the end of Volume 1. I felt that if it hadn’t been revealed near the end, I wouldn’t anticipate Volume 2 as much. I was excited to read the message from the artist of this manga, Fujino Fuji, who wrote, “…the story of Kamihama is just getting started…the pace of events picks up quite a bit with Volume 2 …”
My final impression is that even though this is a story based on a game, it doesn’t feel like it at all. The story flows very naturally and reads like a manga should. I never felt that I was reading an adaptation, which is why I definitely recommend this manga to anyone who loves Madoka Magica - or likes magical girls!
After seeing an unfamiliar girl in her dreams, Iroha Tamaki finds herself chasing a tiny Kyubey into Kamihama, a city where magical girls gather. What secrets does this city hold, and how will Iroha cope with life as a magical girl herself? A new story unfolds in this manga adaptation of the upcoming mobile game!Add to CartLearn More