*Updated last 12/22/2016*
*Warning! May contain spoilers.*
It is really hard for me to gauge whether Magical Girl Raising Project was a good show to begin with or was just a copy cat of Puella Magi Madoka Magica in which it was trying to outdo the existing franchise in any way possible. I think Madoka was unique in its own way and set the standards for a magical girl anime with dark themes with a few twists which makes it interesting. MGRP on the other hand, did something different in which it feels it is trying to be the best magical girl in town in which they used some elements that made the show amusing to watch while you wallow in depression.
The show begins with a distressing scene where a lot of dead magical girls shrouded in blood fills the hall while a monster was single highhandedly defeated by the only survivor. Going fast forward, the setting takes place on the fictional location of N-City and rumor has it that a mobile game can turn a lucky few into real magical girls.
Koyuki was chosen to be the 15th magical girl, and is determined to help people using her new found powers. Their goal is to help people by doing good deeds in which they earn magical candies for its worth. It sounds tame at first but then the story turn a dark turn at the end of episode 1 where an announcement was made that the number of magical girls needs to be cut in half due to the mana, their main powers source, is draining away and there is not enough to go around. And what better way to do elimination is to eject the magical girl with the least magical candy earned each week. At first, it does not sound bad, but the reality is that once you are eliminated in this twisted game of survival, then you also forfeit your life.
The process of elimination is very common on most reality TV shows and I like that idea since it has not been incorporated or used that much in anime. This gives the characters in the show find ways in order to stay alive in which it reflects their morals and values based on their actions on what they think is right. Unfortunately, not all of them are as good and righteous as the other characters since they resort to cunning and trickery just in order to achieve their goals… and this is where things gets really awry.
The next succeeding episodes are action packed; its filled with candy stealing, back stabbing, killing, violence, drama, and more depressing scenes about losing your friends who you have formed a bond with just die right in front of your eyes. Because of this there is little room for character development since most of them are getting killed during the run of the show so the only ones that do develop are the magical girls that get to stay alive until the finale. It’s really laughable for me to see that my favorite characters will get killed within minutes or seconds during a battle and the ones that I thought that will get slain will actually get to live longer. And because of this it’s a guessing game on how can you differentiate the good guys from the bad guys because of the heavy body count. I think Madoka was not near this level of violence so you need to give this show credit for raising the bar to the extreme.
Another thing I would like to point out is that since there were too many characters, the focus keep on switching from one magical girl to the other leaving Snow White just moderate screen time as the show progressed. The rest of the cast were just forgettable but at least all of them were given a small glimpse on their back stories and how they became magical girls. Although insignificant, some of them were integral with crafting the behaviors of some of the cast like how Ruler and Nemurin influenced and made an impact on Swim-Swim to reach for her dreams.
Another complaint of mine is that, like the clichés that I have I observed with several animes of the past, is that they would only reveal the real reason of the whole show during the finale. I understand it is meant to tie all the loose ends but I find the shocking revelation a bit too late for its worth since most of the cast already died, but I guess that would spoil the whole purpose of the survival game.
If there is going to be one character in the show I hate the most, then it’s got to be Swim-Swim since her way of thinking is very twisted yet innocent and although she does shed a tear when her comrades die or her personally executing them, she has failed to actually realize how precious human life is. Oh, and she has the highest kill for the entire series which makes her twice as annoying.
MGRP may not be the best magical girl this season but it is interesting to watch although the violence may be a bit too extreme, even for those who are used on seeing gore and blood. It may have a decent ending but it just gave me a void in my heart wanting for a better turn of events for this whole massacre I just witnessed for the past 3 months. Also, there were plenty of things not yet fully answered so season 2, though faint, may be made in the near future to see how the 2 survivors will be doing after the whole grizzly experience.
Thank you for reading today’s review. How about you, dear readers? Was MGRP your cup of tea? Did you enjoy watching it like the rest of the world? I would like to hear your comments so please, don’t be shy on writing your thoughts on the comments section below. Until next time!