Following the end of the very popular Madoka, there were two spin-off mangas released, as I suppose it was thought that wasn’t enough
lesbians dark magical girls out there, and a lot of money to soak out of people. Question is, are they actually any good? Now that I’ve read both, I’ll talk about what I thought. These reviews cover the first volume of both.
Of course, one thing that really stands out from the manga is there no longer is the wonderful Shaft animation that gave Madoka it’s surreal and disturbing edge. Not that I expected it to reproduced in the manga, but it’s something I really noticed once it was gone.
Mahou Shoujo Kazumi Magica
Kazumi follows the mythology of the world Madoka, but except for a picture of Madoka and Kyubei mucking around, makes no reference to the series from which it comes from. Instead, there’s a whole new group of magical girls.
The series is honestly a little off-putting to me when I first started reading. The main character has amnesia, a huge cliche, and then things start happening that don’t fit into the mythology of the world. It’s one of those things it turns out, the reader just has to ride out.
One thing I liked is that there is an example here of girls wishing for dumb or flat out selfish things, where as in the series of Madoka, the wishes were always huge wishes, usually for others. In this, there is one girl who wishes to talk to animals, another to find an agent for her writing. Much different world.
It is flawed. Way too many characters are introduced in the first volume, and when it gets really interesting, the first volume ends. In the end, this feels like a fun fanfic rather then a serious addition to the Madoka universe.
Puella Magi Oriko Magica
Now if you want more of the same, Oriko is where you look. Not only does Oriko feature Kyouko and Mami, but it also has the dark ‘dog eat dog world’ mentality seem in the series. All the new characters introduced in here are fabulous, with the two creepy as hell Puella Magi and Kyouko’s adopted loli.
This is an alternate world that Homura will end up restarting. In this world, Madoka and Sayaka never knew about the world of Puella Magi, Mami kills Charlotte, Mami and Kyouko are allies, and there is something mysterious killing off the other Puella Magi. Homura also makes a cameo where she threatens Mami–and is scary as hell doing so. Oriko is only going to be two volumes, but it’s set itself up to be a well done spin-off.
The art takes a bit to get use to, but I love it. Especially how Mami is drawn.
Between the two, I think Oriko is the superior one, but Kazumi is by no means bad. Just know what you’re getting. Oriko is more the same, Kazumi is more humerous and Madoka ‘lite’. The fortunate thing is at this point, neither is terrible and both are an enjoyable read, which seems to beat all the odds the series had against it. If you’re a fan of the series, giving at least one of these a shot is something I recommend.