Well, here we are at the final volume of Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice. As you might expect from something that is a spin-off of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, this has been one heck of a ride. At the end of the post, I’ll share my overall impressions of the entire series. Before that, however, I’ll be taking a look at the contents of this fifth and final volume.
Naturally, there’ll potentially be spoilers for both Kazumi and Madoka Magica, so keep that in mind before you read on.
Let’s kick this off with the bit from the back of the volume:
Trapped inside the witch’s barrier with the vengeful Kanna, Umika and Kaoru struggle to protect Kazumi as their beloved friend slowly succumbs to her darkening soul gem. If the girls can rally, the witch’s grief seed could be used to purify all of their gems, but even that would be only a temporary solution. Facing cruel fate and questions of her own identity, Kazumi will make the ultimate choice whether or not to join her friends in their vendetta against destiny in the final volume of The Innocent Malice!
This fifth volume contains the final five chapters of the series, and starts with chapter nineteen, ‘Grief Seed’. Umika and Kaoru go on the offensive whilst Kazumi is out of action. In the end, Umika and Kaoru are able to restore Kazumi’s strength, though it comes at a cost.
In the twentieth chapter, ‘Incubator’, flashbacks concerning Kazumi’s origins are interspersed throughout her fight. Of course, a particular character also appears properly for the first time in this chapter – those familiar with the Madoka universe can already tell who it is based on the chapter title.
The twenty-first chapter is called ‘Juubey’, and it goes into how Juubey came to exist. We also see the reason for the absence of Kyubey until this point in the story. Of course, there’s also the small matter of Umika and Kaoru, who have reached their limits.
‘Kazumi Magica’ is the title of the twenty-second, and penultimate, chapter. Kazumi is desperate to save her friends. Fortunately, the Pleiades Saints had prepared an ace in the hole. However, Kazumi and her friends have one final obstacle to face – a witch that does not need any wards. No, it’s not the legendary Walpurgis Nacht, but many witches combined together called ‘Hyades Daybreak’.
Here, Kazumi makes another drastic decision – quite an interesting one when you take into consideration her origins.
The final chapter, ‘Innocent Malice’ has Kazumi, Umika and Kaoru face off against Kanna and the witch Hyades Daybreak. It’s quite an epic battle, and definitely a grand way to end the series.
So that’s the last few chapters of Kazumi Magica, and they really deliver. The final two volumes of the series are really quite good, and there are even some echoes of the main series when you take into consideration the actions of Kazumi.
So, time for an overall opinion of the whole thing. Whilst there are a few elements that will be familiar to those who have seen Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice has plenty of things that allow it to stand out on its own – as I’ve said before, this starts to become evident from the third volume.
Actually, in the bonus content of the fifth volume, Masaki Hiramatsu says that he wanted to create a story that’s different from Madoka – his precise words are ‘Madoka in reverse’.
In my opinion, I believe he has been successful in doing so, and has created arguably the best spin-off of Madoka. Of course, there are plenty of others, and I shall be taking a look at them sometime in the future.
Out of all the various manga spin-offs of Madoka, this one definitely feels like it’s the most worthy of having an anime adaptation. I would love for that to happen, but in the end it isn’t up to me. For now, though, this is a manga series that I strongly recommend, particularly for fans of Puella Magi Madoka Magica.