Magical Girl Raising Project – Preview
Magical Girl Raising Project:
Original Air Dates: October 1st, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Magical Girl Raising Project is a popular phone game that just about ever girl seems to be playing. Girls enthralled by the Magical Girl genre are especially hooked, such as one Himekawa Koyuki, who’s dreamed of being a magical girl since she was a tot. However, the game is more than just a game, as one of every 10,000 girls is granted the chance to become a real life Magical Girl. Koyuki lucks out and is granted such a power, allowing her to strive to become the most authentic and true version of a magical girl possible. Just as she’s getting to know the other lucky girls tasked with bringing happiness, peace and heroism to the world, things take a dark and twisted turn when Koyuki and the rest are informed that the Magical Girl population is to be cut in half.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: When the episode starts and you’re immediately treated to scenes of bloodied and injured young girls, it’s hard not to immediately draw comparisons with another popular magical girl series, Puella Magi Madoka Magica. But other than its opening scene, the rest of the first episode of Magical Girl Raising Project is mostly cheerful and fluffy save for a quick allusion to things taking a dark turn in the ending moments of the episode. This first episode is all about Koyuki Himekawa and her love for, and eventual transformation into a Magical Girl. We watch as she learns not only how to be a magical girl but also all about this new magical society that she finds herself a part of. It’s done in an organic manner, with information dispensed at an engaging pace.
Tom: Not only is Magical Girl hinting at Madoka’s darker tones, but it also follows a similar formula, of setting up a candy sugar sweet world of magical girls and love, one that is likely to be dashed away within a few weeks time. Unlike Madoka, Raising Project is prepared to give the game up early, offering that tease at the very start of the episode, but the rest is very much like how Madoka began. We’ve inundated with set up, plot, and the mundane all coated in a happy, painfully cheerful tone. For those wanting to hit those darker moments sooner rather than later, it does seem like the very next episode is going to dive down that rabbit hole, so it shouldn’t be long before the darker teases become the show’s reality.
Linny: This first episode helps to explain and establish the functioning and heirarchy of the magical girls society through Koyuki’s viewpoint. We learn how the nation is divided into sectors with each having a group of magical girls protecting it and each has a different type of hierarchy. What’s really notable about Magical Girls Raising Project is the variety in designs and outfits of its Magical Girls. While most similar shows generally have its girls in frilly and flowery outfits, Magical Girls Raising has girls dressed like ninjas and even classic witch like outfits. In fact, it’s self aware enough to have Koyuki questioning it and wondering how such unusual girls can be considered magical girls.
Tom: Our lead, Koyuki, is pretty generic. She’s a bit shy, wants to do the right thing, and dreams of being a hero. She’s basically a self-insert for female viewers, but perhaps that’s fair seeing as so many anime offer male leads that are little more than that themselves. Koyuki’s passion and desire to become a magical girl is suitable, but the really interesting character is actually her childhood friend, Souta. He’s a young boy that’s always been really interested and taken with Magical Girls.
Linny: Koyuki is indeed rather bland thanks to being so formulaic. She’s your generic goodie two shoes who has loved magical girls since childhood and of course gets chosen to be one of the thousand that gets to be an actual magical girl. She may be the central character but we have a potential star of the show in Souta. It’s endearing how the show handles him and doesn’t force labels or stereotypes on him, real or fictional, but is content to simply let him be someone who struggles because they don’t fit it with society’s expectations. He feels real and relatable as someone who has to hide some of his interests for fear of being ridiculed or ostracized.
Tom: We’re introduced to a plethora of magical girls, with unique mannerisms and personas to help differentiate between and ensure they’re something approaching memorable, although with the darker hints of where the story is heading it’s unclear how many of these girls we’ll really get to know.
Linny: La Pucelle is already one of, if not THE best magical girl thanks to her little secret. Magical Girls Raising Project is happy to let La Pucelle be La Pucelle with interests that transcend and encompass male and female associated characteristics. La Pucelle is a serious and sincere personality and a possible representation for the LGBTQ community instead of just a comedic or offensive stereotype and that is likely going to earn Magical Girl Raising Project some very well deserved praise and interest with hopes that it continues to produce such well written characters.
Tom: Visually, Raising Project looks pretty standard, if a bit more moe than usual, falling in line with the more popular and common visual aesthetics of anime today. But one thing that does stand out are Raising Project’s magical girl designs. As Linny pointed out before they’re wonderfully varied, offering up a plethora of different takes and ideas for what a magical girl should be.
Linny: With the healthy doses of Magical Girl shows every season, Magical Girl Raising Project seems to offer enough to separate itself from the cloud and present interesting elements and characters that are sure to leave an impact on viewers even though it may not be the first to explore some of these topics. If it can grow its interesting cast, while presenting a possibly twisted take on this popularly positive and fluffy genre, it might have a shot at becoming something memorable and popular.
Tom: Magical Girl Raising Project surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to find it so interesting, but here I am eager for next week to come so I can see just how crazy it gets. But that’s I suppose the trouble with this series, a lot of our enjoyment is hinging on the promise of darker, bloodier affairs going forward, and there’s no telling whether Magical Girl will live up to those teases.
Magical Girl Raising Project is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com