Magia Record Season 2 – The Eve of Awakening
Genre: Fantasy, Psychological, Drama
Tuning into the first episode of the new season of Magia Record, and you could be forgiven for thinking it’s 2011 again, back watching the original Madoka series when it first aired. There’s a lot of familiar faces and we find ourselves dropped back into the series’ timeline (or one of it’s timelines, I should say). Whilst we had seen some of the original cast back in the first season of Magia Record, it was more on a cameo basis whilst we followed the new cast of magical girls like Iroha and Yachiyo in the town of Kamihana. Therefore, it was a bit of a surprise to suddenly have a whole episode and the season premiere devoted to the OG characters – but, a welcome one.
As enjoyable as the first Magia Record season was as a spin off and alternate reality of sorts from the original Madoka series, meeting the old cast again is incredibly nostalgic and hints towards a potential greater involvement by them in the main story narrative going forward. An after credits scene, reintroduces us again to the Magia Record storyline including another new twist which looks to have devastating effects going forward. It’s an odd choice by Shaft perhaps to retrace their steps a little here but, it feels like a reward to those long-time fans who get to see some of the old themes retraced and see the characters over again.
Because despite how the first few minutes initially appear, this isn’t just repeating the events of the original Madoka series – we’re in a whole new timeline, one we never saw back in the old series and as such… there is a sense of hope to it all, even if there is still the lingering suspicion that things will go wrong in the end. We get to see a gorgeously animated witch fight in full which we never saw in the original and the characters react to things in different ways then what they did previously, allowing for a chance to note the parallels and divergences. All this is animated gorgeously with the original Yuki Kajiura soundtrack in the background, making you truly feel like you’re watching the main series again. The episode in question is even directed by one of the episode directors from the original series, just to add that extra bit of authenticity and their print on the stylistic choices and narrative is plainly evident. The episode itself is thematically dark but ultimately brings an element of hope back into the narrative – after all, maybe in this side story they can truly find a happy ending?
An intriguing and powerful first episode to the new season of Magia Record leaves us with many questions but if the gorgeous visuals and themes presented so far are a sign of where this series is going then it looks like this second season will be going from strength to strength,