Thursday, September 8, 2016

Manga Review: Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice Volume 1 Part 1: For the girl who got everything she wanted. (Spoilers)

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In Memory of Jerome Silberman AKA Gene Wilder
 Oh this story, this was actually my first Madoka spin off that I read after watching the main series. Mostly because I heard about it from Jesuotaku's review of the show (which happened to be the last video review JO did, not a bad series to end with in my opinion.) Since this is my first spin off I have a bit of bias towards this but I will be fair and give this the critical attention it deserves but like before I warn you about spoilers so read the manga then come back.

We'll start with our cover and BY THE EMPEROR'S CENTURIBEAR WHAT IS UP WITH HER SPINE!? I've heard of hourglass figures before but this is just nightmare fuel! For god's sake kid eat a burger!!! 
 We open on a scene that I can't and won't show, specifically a girl curled in the darkness hearing about money and something going boom. She screams to get out and bursts out of a suitcase; naked. 
Did somebody say NAKED? 
 KILL YOURSELF!!! Now I could have made an Outlaw Star or Firefly reference but I chose not to so there. So our little nudist sees a guy holding a cell phone and figures he was the one who stuffed her in the suitcase and attacks him. But she notices that she's nude and her stomach rumbles. After she gets some clothes the guy explains that he's not a perverted abductor, he's just a guy that wanted a bomb to blow up a mall. 

 But she's less concerned with the the fact that she's sharing the room with a member of ISIS but is more focused of whether the food she was given was poisoned or not. Um kid I think some of your priorities are just a tad askew (Side note type askew onto Google it's funny, though not if you suffer from vertigo.) After the psychopathic glutton finishes literally licking her plate clean she comes to a realization, she has amnesia! The only thing she does remember is her name, Kazumi. The dudes phone rings again and the caller says that they have their bomb and that if the two don't meet at the mall to exchange the cases then she'll bring the bomb to the cops. Kazumi figures that the other person was the one who kidnapped her and is the best clue to finding her memories.

 So at the mall the exchange is made with Kazumi complementing the guys stroganoff and that she hopes he won't use the bomb so she can have it again. Suddenly two middle school girls show up and inquire about the switching of the suitcases. 
Their plot relevancy ratings just skyrocketed!!! This must mean something!
 The duo then open the suitcase and the guy accidentally activates the time bomb. Suddenly a detective and SWAT team arrive and confront the man named Souichiro Tachibana. The detective is about to shoot Tachibana when Kazumi busts out of the suitcase and defends him with evidence so solid that not even Jack McCoy, Matt Murdock, She-Hulk and Phoenix Wright could refute it! 
 Nevertheless the time bomb is about to blow when Kazumi's earrings start to ring, causing something to happen to the bomb when Umika and Kaoru manage to send the bomb into the sky which just releases a bunch of confetti and harmless fireworks. With the crisis over Kazumi accuses the detective of planting the bomb on Tachibana; she tries to change the subject by insisting on getting Kazumi to a hospital since she admitted she has amnesia but Umika and Kaoru intervene and shows her a picture the three took together to prove that they're her friends. Apparently she's been missing since yesterday and the two are surprised that Kazumi lost her memory, so they show her to their home. The three live together in a large house since their parents work overseas and their house itself is paid for by Umika who's a best selling author, while Kaoru is an aspiring soccer star. Kazumi then manages to find her room and after the excitement of the day she just crashes and falls asleep.

Stop being so cute this instant or you'll give everyone diabetes from the pure sugar radiating off of you!
 Later that night she wakes up and finds a note left behind by Umika and Kaoru telling her that the detective from earlier invited them out for dinner. Speaking of food she feels a rumbly in her tummy and hits the kitchen to whip up her dinner. She's just about to tuck into her tasty home cooked dinner when the detective rings the doorbell. She says that she missed the two but Kazumi is still suspicious of her. Despite Kazumi's ditzy cutesy personality she's not an idiot. 

 She points out that the detective seemed to arrive on the scene a little too quickly, was quite quick on pulling her gun on Tachibana and why would she show up to their place after she went through the trouble to call out Umika and Kaoru and just show up at their place when only Kazumi is there? But it looks like she lost more then just her appetite, RUN! The phone rings but the detective knocked it off the hook alerting Umika and Kaoru. The detective explains that someone tipped her off about Tachibana and the bomb. She also said that she also received power from this person and begins to transform. 
She was converted into a Shocker Kaijin, RUN FOR IT KID!!!
 As Kazumi is tossed around by the Mantis her bell earrings ring and she has flashbacks recalling other girls and her standing in a pool of blood and corpses. The Mantis is about to rip her ears off to get the bells, but Kazumi snaps, breaks the mantis' wrist and surprisingly also transforms; into a magical girl! 
Badass intro but, yeah way to suck all the awesome out of your intro with a cute pink straw. Even the big bad beetle baddy is stunned by your reaction, and trust me she's not the only one kid.
 Despite being dazed by Kazumi's bubble headed realization the mantis keeps attacking her. She tries to fire off a spell but of course since she rediscovered her powers only a few seconds ago it's not looking too good. However muscle memory kicks in and we end our first chapter with her defeating the mantis and telling Umika and Kaoru that like Trumpy she can do magic things.

 Chapter 2 continues with Kazumi passing out, not to fatigue but hunger; cause the little silly billy never got dinner. The two shake their heads but Umika discovers something near the unconscious detective.
Whatever it is it can't be good.
 The next morning Kazumi wakes up and notices that the hole in the wall caused by the fight last night was fixed like nothing happened. Undeterred she heads down stairs when she smells something yummy.
Look for her on the premiere of Hells Kitchen Jr!
 Kaoru enters the picture and explains that Umika is just venting her writers block with cooking. However even this isn't enough to quiet the crazy in her head; as she starts doing free wording and starts to go into Sander Cohen territory.
 Since that didn't work it's time for plan B 

 I am not even kidding the next scene the trio are at the mall. After much fluff and Kazumi wondering if Umika and Kaoru only see her as the old Kazumi instead of the today Kazumi she gets a bad feeling, the same one she got from the detective. Following that feeling she gets attacked by girls with black sludge on their face. She manages to remove the sludge with her soul gem but is attacked by the monster producing the sludge. After a wardrobe malfunction Kazumi transforms and attacks the monster but gets smacked around, literally. 

 Kazumi tells Umika and Kaoru to run, but it turns out she's not the only magical girl in town as the two transform. 
Not as cool as Kazumi's, but not bad.
 The two manage to subdue the monster but as Kazumi remembers their fighting tactics she jumps the gun and fires a spell at the wrong time nearly hitting Kaoru and letting the monster get away. Kaoru tells her not to sweat it since she doesn't expect Kazumi to be acting like her old self right away, but she just feels that all she is just a substitute for the old Kazumi. She apologizes for nearly hitting Kaoru so her and Umika agree that her punishment should be, to get some refreshment by way of Umika and Kaoru giving her a haircut, Kay?

 As they give Kazumi her haircut they give her the rundown of Magical Girls, their duties and the wish, Umika and Kaoru's for instance was to meet an editor who would respect her work and to have a body strong enough to be a top class soccer player respectively. Kazumi points out that they could have just wished to win the World Cup and become a best selling author, but they say that they wanted to achieve their goals through their own efforts. Kazumi then asks what her wish was but they say she never told them, they then bring up witches and explain that the Mantis and sludge monsters were witches they've never seen before. So with the exposition over we see Kazumi's new hairdo. 
Congratulations your cuteness levels are over 9000!!!
 She still has her little spiral hair strand which she says is sort of a witch detector, which goes off when her spider sense goes off again. The trio try to figure out the witches MO but are coming up with nothing. So Kazumi decides they need more fuel so they have a quick snack; and surprisingly it works with Umika noticing that all the victims were young girls using a specific brand of makeup.
Really? Because honestly I thought the witch was just emo judging by her dialogue.
 But sure enough there's a woman who's about to attack the crowd. The trio manage to intercede before she can make her move but also discover who the woman's sponsor is.
A magical girl creating artificial witches? The plot thickens.
 The magical girl runs off leaving the trio to deal with her fake witch. Despite some hesitation on Kazumi's part on what the old her would do the trio manage to defeat the cosmetics witch and get a similar object dropped by the Mantis witch. We end this chapter with the group discussing how everyone has the potential to become witches even with the best of intentions, but then decide to get some dinner; all in all a nice shopping day wouldn't you say? There's still some of volume one to cover but before I do I'll give you a warning. 

 Now from some feedback I've received most if not all of you haven't read these manga. So while I will keep going I want give you the chance to read these stories for yourselves before I make my jokes and observations. If you want to read this you can purchase and download it on your kindle or kindle app here. But if you want to hear my thoughts on the later volumes. Here you are, be sure to check out my later reviews of the innocent malice because trust me we're not done with Kazumi and her friends just yet. 

Young Frankenstein is owned by Mel Brooks and 20th Century Fox.
Pokémon is owned by Nintendo, Game Freak, Ken Sugumori, and Satoshi Tajiri.
Kazumi Magica The Innocent Malice is owned by Masaki Hiramatsu, Takashi Tensugi, Magica Quartet and Yen Press.
The Nutty Professor (1996) is owned by Tom Shadyac, Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment. Based on The Nutty Professor (1963)
Jontron is owned by Jon Jaffri and Normal Boots.