Puella Magi Homura Tamura ~Parallel Worlds Do Not Remain Parallel Forever~ is a manga spin-off of Puella Magi Madoka Magica by AFRO originally serialised in Manga Time Kirara Magica, starting from the first issue.
Whilst the other spin-offs I have shared my thoughts on before have been fairly dark, this one goes for a much more light-hearted approach: it is a four-panel comedy.
The chapters in this series are actually referred to as ‘episodes’, and there are ten of them in this first volume.
Taking into consideration the usual tone of the franchise, does this sillier look at the Puella Magi franchise work? Read on…
The life of a magical girl isn’t all fighting witches and collecting grief seeds. When they aren’t kicking butt, Homura Akemi and her friends face the same trials as normal high school girls! In this four-panel comedy, glimpse a sillier side of the girls from the bestselling Puella Magi Madoka Magica series!
All right, that’s the blurb. Before we even get to the first episode however, we have some stuff that sets the tone for the series. First is Homura discovering a ‘Magical Girl Magipedia’ website and discovering she can pick up grief seeds for twenty yen each.
There’s some colour pages, which are pretty much a brief run through of the events of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, but with certain things played around with for comedic value – this includes Madoka slapping Sayaka twice, Madoka in denial and the value of Madoka’s father’s cooking. It’s all pretty funny stuff in my opinion.
Now we come to Episode 1: ‘”Space Case Madoka” Time Flow’. In this episode, we see that the other characters have changed from the first meetings Homura ever had with them – Madoka is incredibly forgetful, Sayaka’s stupidity increases, Mami accidentally does herself in, and Kyouko is the same as ever – or maybe not quite.
Through dealing with these headaches, Homura tries to get some alone time with Madoka, but a few witches quickly put a dampener on that plan.
Episode 2: ‘”Soul Gem X 300″ Time Flow’ involves Homura waking up to discover that she has accrued a large collection of soul gems. Turns out every last one of them is real, and being more than one hundred metres from a single one is rather problematic.
Kyubey also questions Homura’s age, and ends up stuffed into a vase – head-first.
This world Homura is in is basically a video game, and the soul gems are lives – Homura has 300 of them.
Unfortunately, seeking out all 300 soul gems proves to be a very time-consuming process.
Episode 3: ‘”Kyouko and the Chocolate Factory” Time Flow” features Kyouko terrorising chocolate factories and gaining notoriety as the ‘Red Witch’. A hero stands up to stop her – Sayaka.
Episode 4: ‘”Look-Alike” Time Flow’ looks to be fairly normal at first, but Homura is quick to notice a few divergent points – one of them being Madoka referring to her as ‘Tamura’. Aside from those differences, things seem to go well for Homura here – at least until the end, when Madoka is dissatisfied by Homura’s performance.
Episode 5: ‘”Whole Lotta Mami” Time Flow’ is exactly what it sounds like – this world is teeming with Mamis. Or, more accurately, many people with Mami’s hairstyle.
Homura ends up saving Madoka from the Mamis, and we also get a Kyubey with ‘aspect ratio problems’, as Homura puts it.
This realms has a ‘tea queen’ – bet you can’t guess who it is. Homura ends up confronting the queen.
Episode 6: ‘”Whole Lotta Homura” Time Flow’ has Homura end up at a place called ‘Bar & Grill Akemi-ya’, in which she encounters many other version of herself. Kyubey helpfully puts a player 1 marker over the main Homura’s head so we can identify her easily.
We also discover that there are actually a few incarnations of Madoka that Homura couldn’t stand, or a few different ways in which Mami met her maker. We also learn of a few of the worst versions of Kyubey.
Oh, and there’s also a couple of short skits that end in gunfights…
Episode 7: ‘”All-You-Can-Eat Mutton Time Flow’ features a forgetful Homura, a Madoka who can tell when someone’s faking illness, a Mami who is also forgetful, Kyubey turning passing sugar over into a contract, health rep Madoka preventing Mami’s fate, sugar-powered Sayaka and Madoka’s pet sheep.
Episode 8: ‘”Technical Support” Time Flow’ features Homura’s shield bugging out, so she phones the technical support phone number on it. Turns out the helpline is less than helpful. She gets a replacement, though it isn’t quite what she expects.
Episode 9: ‘”TV” Time Flow’ features a TV crew, and characters doing commercials. The genre ends up shifting into crime drama, a nature documentary featuring Kyouko amongst others. Mami also appears as a weather girl, and of course the credits roll before things can be finished properly.
Episode 10: ‘”A Homura and Her Dog”‘ Time Flow’ features Homura taking in a puppy. The dog follows her around, and Homura also happens to realise its tail looks similar to Madoka’s hair. All Homura is able to do in the end if ‘enjoy the fluffy’.
Things finish off with Homura looking up how to get more power to fight a witch, and soul gem accessories.
Puella Magi Homura Tamura is a lot of fun, and there are several panels in there that make me laugh out loud – particularly ones that involve Kyubey abuse, as we never see the act itself, but always the result.
I also really like the ‘Bar & Grill Akemi-ya’ stuff, mostly due to how absurd the concept is and how it could easily fit into the grand scheme of things.
Whilst I’ll always enjoy Madoka‘s darker tone, I think that something with a lighter feel such as this is also enjoyable.