Once again the weekend has rolled around, meaning it must be time to look at another couple of volumes of manga. This time I’m going with Puella Magi Madoka Magica spin-off, Puella Magi Suzune Magica. It was written and illustrated by GAN.
Puella Magi Suzune Magica was initially released as a single volume, which makes it relatively unusual for a manga. Chapter 5 onwards was serialised in Manga Time Kirara Forward, from November 22nd 2013 until November 22nd 2014. There are a total of three volumes for this series.
As you may have guessed from that introductory paragraph, the first volume contains a total of four chapters.
One thing I’ve noticed about a few of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica spin-offs is that they tend to end up being very similar to the main series. Does Puella Magi Suzune Magica avoid falling into this? Read on and find out…
Let’s start with the blurb:
Suzune Amano lives an extraordinarily normal life as a middle school student by day and… magical-girl assassin by night?! When a group of four magical girls begins investigating the serial murders in their city, they soon find themselves Suzune’s next targets! But what motivates Suzune to hunt both witches and magical girls alike?
No idea why the first mention of ‘magical girl’ is hyphenated there, but that’s exactly how it is in the blurb. Regardless, let’s move on to chapter 1.
Chapter 1 is titled ‘Two-Faced’, and begins with Suzune entering a labyrinth where another magical girl is fighting a witch. No time is wasted in showing us that Suzune’s powers allow her to use fire magic.
After defeating the witch, the other magical girl introduces herself as Kanami – and if you’ve read the blurb, you could probably guess what happens.
The scene switches to three girls walking to school together: Arisa, Matsuri and Chisato. They meet with Haruka outside the school gates.
We are also shown that Suzune attends the same school, and Matsuri seems to know her.
‘Fateful Encounter’ is the title of chapter 2. We learn that Suzune has a paper round, and her parents are away somewhere.
Throughout the school day, there are rumours going around of a killer called ‘Ripper’.
At the end of the day, Matsuri walks home with Suzune. Well, she does at least until Haruka contacts her through telepathy.
Arisa, Haruka, Matsuri and Chisato gather on a roof and discuss ‘Ripper’. All they know is that the victims are teenage girls…
After their discussion, the four girls transform and start patrolling. They split up, and then Chisato hears a bell.
Shortly afterwards, Arisa, Haruka and Matsuri end up confronting Suzune. After a brief confrontation, the three girls retreat.
Kyubey appears at the end of the chapter to tell the girls that Suzune is an assassin.
In chapter 3, ‘Indecision’, we start with a flashback to the circumstances in which Arisa became a magical girl, and how she met Chisato.
At school, Haruka directly confronts Suzune. Suzune only says that Haruka will be happier not knowing her reasons for killing other magical girls.
Later on, Suzune returns home where she discovers Matsuri waiting for her. Matsuri believes there’s a reason for Suzune’s actions, but she swears to stop Suzune if she targets someone again.
Chapter 4, ‘Self-Reproach’, begins with Arisa snapping at Haruka due to previous events. Haruka had been putting on a brave face, but she was just as affected. Whilst occupied with her thoughts, she wanders into a witch’s labyrinth.
Elsewhere, Arisa says she will go and see Haruka.
The witch’s attack on Haruka reveals her past to us – she was living in her older sister’s shadow.
As Arisa and Matsuri try to find Haruka, they stumble upon Suzune. Arisa attacks her on sight. When Suzune says she has business with Haruka, Chisato transforms as well, and the pair prepare to fight against the magical girl assassin.
That’s it for the first volume of Puella Magi Suzune Magica. Suzune is somewhat similar to Homura in that she knows a lot more than she lets on, and that’s already a strike against this spin-off for similarities to the main series.
I enjoyed the action scenes at least – Suzune’s fire magic makes for some explosive attacks, and Arisa wields a scythe – a fairly unconventional weapon for a magical girl, one might argue.
There are a couple of characters we don’t really get to see much from – unfortunately, their roles are pretty much ‘designated victims’.
So from this first volume, we can surmise that Arisa is the protagonist, whilst Suzune is an antagonist.
Next time, it’s Arisa and Chisato vs. Suzune, whilst Haruka has her own problems to deal with.