Once again, I’ll be taking a look at Puella Magi Tart Magica. Seeing Joan of Arc as a magical girl gives us an interesting twist to her tale, even more so when you consider how she became one. The previous volume ended with a dire situation, forcing one of Tart’s friends to make a drastic decision.
This third volume contains four chapters, running from chapter nine through to chapter twelve.When Tart takes the full impact of Flèche’s great arrow, her companions rally against the trio of powerful magical girls who are aiding the English forces. Melissa has accepted Cube’s offer and become a magical girl herself, but will the addition of one novice be enough to tip the scales in La Pucelle’s favour, even assuming Tart can survive her injuries?!
Chapter 9 has a flashback which shows the circumstances of Melissa’s birth. Her father was absent, and her mother was killed some time afterwards. When Melissa’s father was reunited with his daughter, he swore to protect her.
Melissa attacks Corbeau, the enemy magical girl. Riz helps her out, and Tart is able to recover enough to join as well. Oddly enough, Corbeau doesn’t recognise Cube.
With Riz and Melissa keeping Corbeau occupied in chapter 10, Tart goes after Flèche. Riz quickly puts a plan together, and Tart puts her trust in hope and unleashes a powerful technique.
Corbeau continues to fight Riz and Melissa. Riz’s plan is revealed, and as a result Tart learns the truth of the magical girls’ soul gems. However, Corbeau gets backed into a corner.
A third magical girl, Minou, arrives, and retreats leaving Tart and the others to take care of a Witch. Yet another magical girl shows up. She is called Elisa, and she makes short work of the Witch.
After witnessing La Pucelle’s power, the English forces surrender in chapter 11. Much merriment is had as a result. Tart also meets Elisa Celjska for the first time, as well as other members of the Order of the Dragon. The Order of the Dragon offer to aid the French forces.
We then get some fanservice as Corbeau, Minou and Lapin bathe whilst discussing La Pucelle. They intend to go and meet her together next time.
Tart and Elisa fight each other in chapter 12, so Elisa can get an idea of the kind of power that La Pucelle wields. Elisa is able to beat Tart, which does not please Riz and Melissa. Melissa snaps, and humiliates Elisa. Later on, Melissa apologises.
A strategy meeting is held to determine the French forces’ next course of action.
In Patay on June 18th, 1429, the English and the French meet in battle once more. The enemy magical girls are present, and Lapin charges towards Tart alone. Lapin seems to get overwhelmed, but it turns out her lone attack was only just the beginning…
Volume 3 ends there, and I feel pretty confident in saying that the magical fights are the highlight of it. One of the best parts of the entire Puella Magi franchise is seeing magical girls battle with all the power they possess, and that gets even more interesting when they start to fight strategically.
For example, Riz was able to drive Corbeau into a corner after analysing her abilities in this volume – something that Corbeau seemingly never experienced before.
Tart herself also gets to pull off an impressive display of power against Flèche, and Riz’s ability to leap from shadow to shadow leads to some interesting fights.
Then you have Corbeau not recognising Cube. That’s quite interesting, considering that she possesses a soul gem. She’s clearly made a contract to become a magical girl, but with who or what, I don’t know. I imagine that will be revealed before the story’s conclusion, so I guess we can only wait to see.