Since this is pretty recent I thought I'd do this first. This is a review for the first episode of Magical Girl Raising Project which couldn't be published because it was a bit too late.

Magical Girl Raising Project Episode 1

Mahoiku is one of the three or so magical girl animes airing this season and it has shown to have the most potential of the lot.

The episode starts with Koyuki playing the latest mahou shoujo game in her mobile phone which is quite popular with middle school girls nowadays. That game’s mascot, Kyuubei’s distant cousin Fav, gives her the opportunity to become an actual mahou shoujo and she accepts because why not? Since Koyuki was into mahou shoujos from the start, she quickly gets the hang of things and helps a lot of people.

Through some unexplained method, anyone who meets one of these mahou shoujos will be left with hazy memories of her and anyone who wants to take a picture of her would get an out of focus picture. In other words, no one can give solid evidence of the existence of mahou shoujos and their identities are secured. And thanks to this, the mahou shoujos don’t have to worry about getting their identities exposed and they can move freely.

They give things a rather game like look here – the mahou shoujos communicate with each other through an online chat room on their special mobile devices and there is a point system where points are awarded for every person they help, every bad guy they vanquish, or any other thing which helps the people.

The episode has an overall light tone showing Koyuki get used to this mahou shoujo thing and meet the other 15 or so magical girls, find out that a male friend of hers from elementary school is also a mahou shoujo now because he was a bigger fan than most other girls, learn about the district system where each girl has a district to look over, and she sees that some magical girls move in groups or pairs. She pairs up with her friend who is now known as La Pucelle. Everything this episode shows is pretty much lighthearted.

But that isn’t what the show’s overall tone will be. The very first few minutes before the opening sequence starts show a girl with an evil smile surrounded by inanimate girls lying around supposedly dead. The entire episode’s lighthearted tone is in stark contrast to what the first couple of minutes show us. Obviously this is hinting towards a possible bloodbath among the magical girls in future episodes. But if one were to look a bit closer, the numbers don’t quite add up after counting the inanimate girls, the evil smile girl and the frightened girl. Along with that, it’s pretty difficult to recognize which girl among the ones seen in the OP and ED is the one with the evil smile.

The episode ends with Fav giving the news that the number of magical girls is going to be cut down to half their number, which means that eight magical girls will no longer stay as magical girls. They don’t tell how they plan on cutting down the numbers, but we can speculate that it’ll most likely be a tournament of sorts where the girls will compete with each other in something and the top eight girls will stay while the others will be kicked out of the mahou shoujo club.

Now what kind of competition or whatever do they have in mind, we will have to wait and see. But the situation they have created, one way or another, leads to the girls having to fight each other. Either Fav will tell them that they will have to actually fight each other with their powers and the last eight standing will make the cut, or they can use the point system and a time limit to determine who will stay. Even this situation can lead to the girls fighting each other. What if, for example, one girl’s district is pretty much uneventful and she’s unable to get much points while the girl in the neighbouring district is making more points than she would ever need? The girl will have two choices: either immobilize the girl next door or some other girl in another district to make things easier for herself and then she can take over her district, or she could sneak into the next district to earn points. The first option obviously involves fighting, while the second option may also lead to such a confrontation as some magical girls mind it if another girl enters their district and interferes with their job, as said by La Pucelle. And there’s no telling how hostile that mahou shoujo could be regarding her district.

That’s all speculation but things are most likely leading to the girls having to confront each other as enemies as opposed to how they were interacting in the chat room.

The reason as to why they have to cut down on the number of magical girls hasn’t been told. It is really doubtful that they had the system moving on its own and before they knew it there were too many magical girls. It could be that this is what the magical girl making thing is all about – the girls are turned magical to have them fight each other at some point for whatever reason.

Now, with a show about a battle royale amongst girls for survival, one thing needed here is character development. Obviously we couldn’t care less about a bunch of girls we know nothing of being eliminated. By the looks of things, it seems like the main focus would be how Koyuki sees this madness as a typical mahou shoujo. La Pucelle kinda hinted towards the other girls not having similar thoughts with regards to the mahou shoujo business as Koyuki has. Each girl has a different reason for wanting to stay a mahou shoujo and it could be interesting if they show each girl and her situation separately and make the viewers root for one of the girls based on their stories for surviving the battle royale.

The stark contrast seen here with a bloody first couple of minutes and a lighthearted remaining episode makes one curious to see how things lead to such an outcome. The episode has managed to succeed in keeping some of our interests here. We should be getting to know all 16 or so magical girls but given how many episodes this show has, either this will feel a bit fast or some girls might get skipped. The episode sure has shown some potential for Mahoiku but not without a few things to worry about. In any case, it may be fun just watching these girls fight each other for survival if anything.