OP: 「叫べ」 (Sakebe) by 沼倉愛美 (Numakura Manami)
「夢と魔法の世界へようこそ！」 (Yume to Mahō no Sekai Yōkoso!)
“Welcome to a World of Dreams and Magic!”
Starting things off on our magical girl adventures this season is Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku. As the Fall Preview helpfully indicates and that intro sequence not too strongly teased, we are looking at Madoka more than Cardcaptors here.
Magical Girls, with a Twist
Himegawa Koyuki is just your ordinary, bubbly schoolgirl living in an idyllic world. She’s got lots of friends, fantasizes a plenty, and has a passion for magical girls. She might also have dreams of being a magical girl. Thankfully the popular social media game Magical Girls Raising Project (known as MGRP from now on, because typing) lets her vicariously live that dream, no matter the teasing of her many friends. Although rumours of magical girls flying about saving the day are widespread, Koyuki isn’t inclined to take them seriously. Well, that is until MGRP decides she has the disposition needed to be a magical girl herself.
We’ve seen this setup so many times now it’s nothing special. Ordinary girl finds magical powers and must save the day. So why watch? Well boys and girls there’s a few unique twists under this hood. Particularly intriguing is the system for selecting our magical girls. Instead of a magical device doing the selecting we now have a video game. Girls appear chosen on their personality and love for Mahou Shoujo rather than random circumstance. The whole thing then plays out exactly like a game, where the chosen girls perform good deeds to collect Magical Candies, with the number tracked by a scoreboard. The more good deeds performed, the more candies, the higher the score. Simple right? The only thing lacking is a purpose. We don’t know what those Magical Candies do or what a top score gets you. It is unclear how good deeds are quantitatively judged, or what even qualifies as a good deed. Lots left unanswered.
The other twist is the alluded survival game aspect, which bears eerie similarity to the likes of Mirai Nikki and Danganronpa. We’ve already got 15 girls (with an additional 5 in another town, including at least one more unnamed) plus a pairing system between them. Each girl is responsible for a district, with a rule of no interference allowed between districts (likely to prevent spawn camping, because you know this is a game). Considering the competitive nature of this magical girls setting, there’s plenty here just begging for conflict and struggle. After all, what happens if the magical girl count is culled, the district number decreases, and the survivors are determined on based on their Magical Candy score? Glad you asked, because that looks to be answered next.
Tropes and References
One thing I loved here was the sheer number of allusions and references shown. We’ve got ninja, witches, and Celtic elves, angels, nuns, and little devil girls. It’s a fricken cornucopia of loli love. That of course doesn’t even include Sou-chan the quasi-Sabre trap who not only is a childhood friend, but literally goes full female when it’s time to transform. No, I swear this is not Sailor Moon Sailor Stars. Too bad the MGRP mascot Fav was aggravating, the pon verbal tick alone is enough to damage minds and ruin dreams. At least Kyuubey was cute in a sadistic sort way, this thing (no matter the homage to Monokuma) just needs to die. Horribly.
Next Time? Culling Time
15 girls down to 8? Got to love the cliffhanger. Just how Fav plans to go about that remains up in the air, but guaranteed those Magical Candies have something to do with it. Stay tuned for next week, because things are going to get interesting.
Note that as is standard blogging choices won’t be made until episode 2-3. Cannot comment yet if I will be covering this, but it certainly has my curiosity. If you really want to see Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku covered regularly just leave a comment below.
Sou-chan’s trap status becomes especially hilarious when you consider his magical girl name La Pucelle translates to maiden/virgin. It also has the archaic translation of whore. Foreshadowing for the future? You be the judge.
If Weiss Winterprison isn’t related to Weiss Schnee of RWBY fame somehow I’ll eat my (nonexistent) hat, the relation is just too perfect.
ED: DREAMCATCHER by nano