At last, the first volume of the Magia Record story adaption is finally out. The first volume focuses on the events from the first chapter and the start of the second in the game. Please note that this review contains story spoilers for the game that will be coming out in two weeks.
Author: Fuji Fujino (Illustration)/Magica Quartet (Story Composition)
Publisher: Manga Time KR Comics (Serialized in Manga Time Kirara Forward), Yen Press (English)
Original Release Date: March 23, 2019 (Japanese), Unknown, Recently Announced (English)
Where to Buy:
- Physical: CDJapan
From experiencing the story from the actual game until the end of the 5th chapter, I feel that the manga does a better job telling the story. It’s obvious that there is so much you can do with the visual novel format with the Live2D models. That said, while the art style looks a bit different compared to the actual games, the character’s appearances overall looks good.
The main strengths of this manga are of course is how faithful it is to the story of the game. It’s obvious that the mangaka is a big fan of the Madoka Magica franchise and saw all the movies. It shows with how Zenobia’s familiars, Zabaii attacking Iroha, the background of the witch’s barrier and of course, Iroha using Strada Futuro to finish Zenobia off. Not only that, you also get to see what activities the characters do in the manga instead of standing around in the game.
While some of the battles are related to the story, there are a good number of battles that are not. If you played the game, there are some parts of the story that doesn’t have a battle, yet you are fighting familiars. The manga of course only have the battles that pertains to the story. I think this is a good thing since the battles not related to the story broke the immersion in the game.
Aside from that, let’s focus on my thoughts on the story, since I haven’t really touched upon it in the mobile game review. It focuses primarily on the first chapter of the game, Iroha’s Beginning (はじまりのいろは). Aside from Iroha finding out how powerful Kamihama City’s witches are, she also learns the meaning behind her dreams, her sister’s name and her friends. While we don’t know why Ui disappeared, she finds her objective on why she come to Kamihama City.
As expected, Nanami Yachiyo is seen as an enemy at first. It’s understandable with the number of magical girls coming to the city. However, she seems to have a hidden past given how she reacts when she saw Small Kyubey and her relationship with Momoko. We do find out that she is interested in rumors, which she explains one in particular to Iroha. From the looks of it, we will eventually learn what these rumors are.
Overall, the first volume pretty much serves as building the world of Kamihama City and the dark secrets surrounding it. Most importantly, we learn about Iroha’s primary objective coming to the city. Without spoiling much of the story later on, Ui’s friends, Touka’s and Nemu’s roles will become very important later on in the story. For now, we only know that they are Ui’s friends. The question is, do they know who Ui is?
Overall, I felt that the manga did a great job adapting the game’s story, even better in some ways. Still, this is a fairly easy read if you decide to read it in Japanese. This is providing that you already finished intermediate level Japanese. It’s already announced that Yen Press will release a localized copy now that Magia Record mobile game will be released soon in English. ¶