Iroha returns with the second volume of the manga adaptation of the Magia Record mobile game, which apparently didn’t do so well with its English release. Maybe things would have been better if their “global” release had actually been global – but then again, who knows with mobile games? Whatever the case, I’ve never officially had access to the mobile game in English here in the UK (or Symphogear XD or even Fate/Grand Order, for that matter), so the only way I’ll be able to experience the story is through the manga and anime adaptations.
In this volume, Iroha is setting aside her search for her sister to help mend a broken friendship. You’ll find chapters seven through to twelve within this volume.
Their wishes will change their fates.
When a rift among the magical girls of Kamihama City, Iroha puts the search for her sister on hold to help the team reconcile. Normally, they’re quick to patch things up, but the “Breakup Rule” rumour that’s been going around has Rena worried. It could just be another urban legend, but what it it isn’t? An apology could spell the end of their friendship – not her best friend’s very life!
With this second volume, what Iroha effectively does is put her main quest on hold to tackle a side quest – though one that does net her new allies in her search for her sister in the end.
Before I get to that, though, I just want to make it clear that Homura does not appear in this volume at all. I’m sure she’ll have a role to play later on in the story, but we have a bit of false advertising with this cover. At Yachiyo does appear in this volume, though.
As for the story, most of this volume is centred around magical girls Kaede and Rena – two best friends who have had something of a falling out. Naturally, it is something that a simple apology would fix, but that’s where a caveat is introduced. The “Breakup Rule” comes into effect should an apology be made, and that does not end well for those involved.
I suppose the potential of being abducted is a pretty good reason to stretch out a fight between best friends. Though if you know your stories, the potential event becomes an inevitability, because it would be something on an anticlimax if nothing just happened.
I felt the first volume took a different approach to the anime adaptation, but this second feels more in line with it. I would compare it with the game’s story, but that’s not something I can really do as I’ve already gone over.
I suppose the key thing to take from this volume is that it is not just witches that the magical girls in Kamihama City have to deal with. This volume introduces Rumours, which only brings further complications to Iroha’s search.
Whilst Iroha does put her search for her sister aside for a little while, she does get back to it. That leads her to crossing paths with Yachiyo once more. The two get to go on a nice little date together, even picking up a matchmaking charm. Their intent is to investigate a Rumour, even if they do go on a sort of roundabout way of doing it.
At the beginning of this volume, I felt that Yachiyo was doing little more than observe as the story just kind of unfolds in front of her. She does get more proactive as the plot progresses, but she just happens to be in the right place at the right time before that.
Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story continues to be a decent enough read, but it will in no way ever have the same kind of impact as Puella Magi Madoka Magica did. Still, if you want something that expands on the Puella Magi Madoka Magica universe, this is worth a look.