Continuing to look at the Puella Magi Kazuma: The Innocent Malice manga series, it’s about time we took a look at the penultimate volume. The previous volume ended with quite a bombshell, and the fourth continues that momentum – then again, what would you expect from something that bears the title ‘Puella Magi‘?
Anyway, consider this the usual warning for potential spoilers for both Kazumi and Madoka Magica. With that said, let’s take a look at the fourth volume of Kazumi’s tale.
From the back of the volume: From the very start, it was Kazumi who drew the girls of the Pleiades Saints together. But no magical girl, however beloved by her friends, is exempt from the fate that awaits them all. Fearing that the evil nut may be accelerating Kazumi’s transformation, the girls are divided – can the process be delayed, or should they take out Kazumi while they still can?
For some reason, the phrase ‘magical girl’ has lost its capital M and G – just a minor inconsistency that’s not really worth pointing out, but it’s there… anyways, we’re more interested in what’s inside the volume, rather than printed on the back. Much like the previous volume, this one contains a total of five chapters.
Chapter fourteen, ‘Cannibalism’, opens with Kazumi coming to terms with the reveal from the end of the previous chapter. There’s also a brief flashback concerning how the Pleiades Saints really discovered a magical girl’s ultimate fate. A battle takes place, in which Kazumi’s foe is neither magical girl nor witch – sort of…
‘Essence of Satomi’ is the title of the fifteenth chapter. Satomi meets her fate in this chapter, and Kazumi is the one who ends up having to deal with the consequences. Her actions and the revelations from previous chapters cause her to have an identity crisis and do a runner.
The Pleiades Saints try to track her down, whilst Kazumi encounters someone.
Chapter sixteen, ‘Strawberry Risotto’ reveals that person Kazumi encounters is none other than Misako Ishajima – that’s the policewoman from the first chapter. Turns out Misako has been investigating cases of girls going missing – with at least one familiar face among them. One clue she has is the word ‘Hyades’, which is an important piece of information.
Also returning for this chapter is Souichirou Tachibana, because Kazumi’s got to go somewhere to stay when she’s on the run. There’s an interesting conversation between Souichirou and Misako, in which the latter acknowledges hearing about magical girls – nothing really comes of it, though.
Remember how Kazumi Magica had more fanservice than Madoka Magica? Well, Kazumi has a shower scene in this chapter, though it’s easy to see that there’s a reason for that. At the end of the chapter, she makes a drastic decision.
In the seventeenth chapter, ‘Secret Ingredient’, we see what Kazumi’s choice was and how she wants her friends to respond to it. However, this causes a rift amongst the Pleiades Saints, resulting in a battle. At the end of the chapter, however, one of them has a different idea of what should happen – that particular character has a secret to be revealed.
That secret is revealed in chapter eighteen, called ‘Connect’. For a quick piece of trivia, the name of the opening theme for Puella Magi Madoka Magica is also Connect, which is probably where the name came from. The song is performed by ClariS.
Anyway, with that said, let’s shift our focus back to the manga. This chapter reveals the main antagonist who has been behind events from the beginning, as well as having two more of the Pleiades Saints meet their fate. The antagonist’s backstory is also revealed, and of course it has a tragic tone to it. The end of the volume has the antagonist reveal their ultimate goal.
The fourth volume of Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice contains major revelation chapter after chapter, arguably making it one of the best in the series. To go into any more detail would be major spoiler territory, so all I’m going to say is that this volume alone makes it worth checking out the entire series.
Of course, the next volume is the fifth and final one, and as mentioned before this is something that bears the title ‘Puella Magi‘… yep, the final few chapters still have plenty of surprises in store.