Saturday, June 25, 2016

Manga Review: Madoka Magica The different story Volume 1: Burnt Cherry Pies and bitter tea.

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 So from here on out I'm just going to assume you've seen the show so be forewarned there will be spoilers. 

 Our table of contents cover is of Kyoto sitting on what I assume is a chandelier in the remains of her church. Ok several questions here, first off if she's sitting on it why hasn't it fallen off the ceiling already? Putting her diet aside the place was burned down and last I checked heavy chandeliers don't stay long when bolted to burnt wood. Also how did she even get up there in the first place, is she a spider monkey or something? 

Oh wait never mind.
 We open on Mami and two other magical girls fighting a witch that looks like it escaped from the world of Tron. 
 The three try to attack it but it doesn't seem to make a dent. The two start to retreat telling Mami to run if it gets too rough. Mami doesn't of course since she's a main character and a user is duty bound to keep fighting so she does eventually De-Rez the bug.

 Mami offers the two girls to share the Grief Seed, the two refuse and instead give her some advice.  

 So Mami sees that being a magical girl isn't all sunshine, friendship and unique dresses. We then jump one year later where after Mr Mind tried to devour the space time continuum. Wait wait wrong universe, this is far more sane then a giant super intelligent caterpillar trying to eat time. Anyway we see that Mami has essentially thrown herself into her role as a Magical Girl, she's about to take on a Witch in her labyrinth when she notices that the entrance is warped.

 Inside we see a rookie Kyoko fighting against a Minotaur Witch and not doing too well. She then tries her special duplication technique in a two pronged attack which works and Kyoko takes down the Witch. Or does she? Familiars show up and restrain Kyoko, while one of them goes to grab the witch's axe allowing the witch to regenerate its body. As the Witch is about to kill Kyoko Mami ties the monster up with her ribbons and destroy the familiars saving her. 

 Mami figures that the Witch's real body is its axe explaining its supposed regeneration. So the two destroy the Witch and introduce themselves afterwords. Kyoko apologizes for stepping into Mami's turf. Mami doesn't mind however since the witch is dead and thus, no more deaths by that Witch's hands, Kyoko takes her leave but Mami offers to let her share the Grief Seed. She accepts her offer and after Kyubey disposes of it Mami asks if she has some free time.

 Back at Mami's place Kyoko is enjoying Mami's peach pie and complements her for her experience of fighting witches and how grateful she is having met her. We end the first chapter with Kyoko asking Mami if she can take her on as a disciple.

 Chapter 2 starts a few weeks later with Mami over the moon that she's finally made friends with a magical girl. After school the two go off on their hunts, exterminating witches and it seems to go well for a while. One day Mami explains to Kyoko about how she became a magical girl.

 Afterwords Kyoko invites Mami to her place where she has dinner with Kyoko's family. Kyoko's dad explains that when he and his family were in the financial pits for a while due to him introducing new ideas to his sermons to the point where he was excommunicated from the church, that is until recently when seemingly out of nowhere people showed up in droves to hear his sermons. Of course it doesn't take a genius to put two and two together so after dinner Mami confronted Kyoko and she came clean saying that her wish was for people to hear her dads sermons, Mami offers her concerns about making wishes on behalf of others however Kyoko argues that it was for her happiness as well as her family; that her dad was always working to make sure her and her family was happy so by helping him she's helping herself.

 After some time passes and the two continue to work together Kyoko thinks that the two are so good that even Whalpugusnaught would be a simple job for them and the two make a promise that if it does appear the two could team up and protect the town together. But as they say all good things must come to an end and their cries of jubilation will become tears. Later that night Kyoko is alerted to a witch in her fathers church, sure enough people under the influence of the witch's kiss were planing to burn the place down. Kyoko managed to subdue them before taking down the witch, afterwords however Kyokos father sees what happened. 

 From here in episode 3 is where we start the downward spiral, at some later point in time Mami's asking why Kyoko's so out of it lately. Kyoko then asks Mami a hypothetical question, that if a magical girl saves someone from committing suicide while under a witches influence and a neighbor or loved one saw the victim try to kill them self; would it have been better to not save the person if the neighbor or loved one would label the victim as a lunatic instead of dying; being mourned like normal and being spared the scrutiny. Mami says that while she does agree that what magical girls do might not be the best thing for every person in every circumstance she says that they can't just ignore a person who's about to die biased on whether the person would be better off without being labeled as crazy afterwords. 

 Later that night Kyoko walks in on her dad in about his fifth bottle of scotch with a group of his followers out the window. She tries to tell him of the good she did in saving people. But all he does is call her a witch and a demon for manipulating people to join his flock, that they didn't come of their own accord but that they were brought there under the influence of a demon who made a deal with his daughter all as part of a plan to kill them as part her pact with the demon.

 Here's where I step in to bring the hammer on this jackass, so by your own admission you would much rather put your half cocked nonsense over the safety, health and financial stability of your family? So by proxy when your daughter who you claim to be doing all of this for and were grateful for the new members of your flock brought them to you by admittedly less then ethical means you call her a monster, go into a drunken slump and blame her for putting her life on the line in exchange for insuring that her little sister wouldn't have to go to sleep hungry?

 Yeah no that's not how it works here dude in the real world money makes the world go round, you can proclaim your ideas in your free time on a blog or v-log or something. But when you are doing the job that puts money in your wallet and food in your family's stomach you do what the script says and make sure they keep coming dickhead. Now again if you want to suggest your own ideas do it off the clock, but when it comes to making money, make the fucking paper and stick to the script! The only reason Kyoko did what she did was because you put your nonsense over your family's welfare, so thus you lose asshole!

 So after that Kyoko stops seeing Mami who continues to fight witches solo wondering where Kyoko went and if she isn't like the other magical girls. She flashes back to asking other Magical Girls why they only go after witches and not the stray familiars. They say that if they did what Mami suggests that the witch population would decrease and thus less Grief Seeds to collect. When she asks Kyubey he says that more often then naught magical girls would let familiars go about killing and eating humans if it means that they would grow into proper witches and thus more Grief Seeds, and that Mami's type of magical girl is much less common. 

 Winter rolls around and as Mami is searching the town for witches she hears a news announcement, that the Sakura house has been burnt to the ground and the firefighters found three corpses, believed to be a murder suicide. We then cut to Kyoko standing outside the burnt remains of the church. Kyubey asks if she's going to get any more Grief Seeds since she hasn't purified her Soul Gem in a while. Kyoko asks what the point is if her power couldn't protect her family. She says that she doesn't need it and thinks that her dad was right and there really might not be any difference between her and a witch. 

 Nonetheless she tries to fight a witch but can't use her illusion magic. She nearly gets killed by the witch but after having some painful flashbacks she manages to over power it. She asks Kyubey why she can't use her magic and it explains that every magical girls powers comes from their wish, and since Kyoko rejected her wish she subconsciously rejected her own powers (stupid power limiting brain). Chapter 3 ends with Mami finding Kyoko in the snow, the two hugging and crying, Mami for not finding Kyoko sooner and Kyoko blaming herself that her family died.

  Chapter 4 starts with Kyoko back at Mami's place where she offers Kyoko to stay with her until things settle down. Kyoko refuses saying she can't impose on her like that. Um kid, your family just died right in from of you and your house is gone, I think she'd understand. Mami however tells her she can stay as long as she needs and that she doesn't have to do everything by herself. She then goes to make a light dinner for the two. Just make sure you don't give her that burnt cherry pie, I doubt she'd be wanting that right now. Kyoko thinks to herself that she can't be with Mami anymore.

 Later after they finish off a familiar Mami tends to Kyoko's damage. 

 Mami then proves she's not that shrink when she asks an incredibly stupid question asking why Kyoko doesn't use her fascination magic and stating that if she doesn't give her all she's going to get killed. On that note Kyoko drops the bombshell that instead of going after both Witches and Familiars, that they should just concentrate on the witches and ignore the familiars. She further goes on to say that Mami's hero act isn't cutting it for her anymore and that his is a matter of survival and can't go with her hobbies anymore. Mami says that if they don't then people are going to die, that's when Kyoko snaps and shouts that those who want to die will die regardless of the witches or familiars, so why should she go out of her way to save ungrateful assholes who wanted to end it all anyway? 

 Mami tries to console her saying that she understands how she feels about her family and this is where Kyoko goes full renegade and screams that she has no idea what she's talking about; that a girl whose family died in an accident is nothing like a girl who's family was killed because of her. She does however admit that Mami was right about one thing, that she should have made the wish for herself, so that only she would be the one suffering instead of forcing her perception of happiness on others. Not to mention the fact that her wish essentially brainwashed people to listen to her dads ramblings but that's another discussion. Back on track Kyoko says that from now on she'll only ever use her magic for her benefit. 

 She tries to walk off saying they're finished but Mami won't have it telling Kyoko that she can't let her walk that path. Kyoko however isn't playing around, so she transforms and points her spear at Mami telling her that she's willing to kill her. Mami transforms as well and the two fight, however during the fight Kyoko says that Mami is clearly holding back as she manages to get her spear inches away from Mami's throat. Kyoko says that she'll definitely kill her next time. As she walks away Mami tells Kyoko that she was the first Magical Girl she ever saw eye to eye with. When Kyoko's completely gone Mami starts crying now that she's back to being alone again. Kyoko says to herself that Mami can find people far better then her.

 We then cut to a few months later where Mami is waking up from a dream when Madoka is trying to get Mami's attention telling her that Sayaka is in trouble. So the first volume ends with Sayaka being attacked by Kyoko and Mami intervening to save her pointing her musket at Kyoko's back Kyoko commenting that she thought Mami rotted away a long time ago. 

 Afterwords we get some words from the writer about how grateful he is for the gig and being able to adapt this story from the "farewell story" audio drama that came with the DVD. This first volume is pretty good, though that's mostly due to this volume being an adaptation of the aforementioned audio drama, which was written by Gen Urobuchi himself, which means that its cannon, at least as far as I know. So keep in mind that after Mami woke up we're off the reservation, the rest is an alternate timeline. I'll get to commenting about the artwork when we end the coverage of this story, so till next time.

Billy Madison is owned by Adam Sandler, Universal Studios, and Robert Simonds
Dragon Ball, Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT is owned by Funnimation, Toei animation, Fuji TV and Akira Toriyama.
Dragon ball Z abridged is owned by Team Four Star. 
Deadfall is owned by Tristar Pictures and Christopher Coppola.
Madoka Magica The Different Story is owned by Magica Quartet, Masaki Hiramatsu, Hanokage and Yen Press.
Spongebob SquarePants is owned by Nickelodeon, Stephen Dillenburg, United Plankton Pictures, and Viacom International Media Networks