Monday, December 26, 2016

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku review

It is no surprise to see one anime now and then defying the usual tropes. Puella Magi Madoka Magica for example challenged the trope by giving a mahou shoujo anime a darker turn while some other brings a little twist by having the protagonist mahou shoujo as an adult male; mahou shounen. Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, or Magical Girl Raising Project is leaned towards the former, with its own unique twist.

"Hi, I'm Fav. And I'm totally not a Monokuma or Kyuubey ripoff."
A social game called The Magical Girl Raising Project allows one in tens of thousands of people to be a "magical girl" — possessing extraordinary physical capabilities and looks, as well as special magical powers that set them apart from the rest of the human race. But one day, in a district containing 16 magical girls, the administration announces that it must halve the number of magical girls to solve the problem of magical energy. At first, the 16 magical girls race to collect more "magical candy" than their competitors, but the rules quickly become twisted, and it quickly becomes a murderous battle for survival among them. (Source: ANN)

Death is a norm in this anime.
The anime start off with a rather cheerful and happy tone, typical of  a mahou shoujo anime. Things take a darker turn 2-3 episodes later, as the rule took turn for the worse, in the end become a huge battle royale between the mahou shoujos. Some formed team; to defend themselves or picking on weaker groups. Thing is, more than half of the cast had some screw loose in their head. There are no concrete explanation as in why they have to result to murder, since alternatively they could talk through it. Some do it just for fun, some just following orders while this one girl cold heartedly just kill every other girl, devoid of good enough reasons. While this is all just to push the plot and to make a darker show of mahou shoujo series, it is indeed rather disheartening to see your favourite girls die one by one each episodes. Conversely, this show does breed some of the most hated character this season. Most of the death is foreshadowed in a way that most of them shows a little flashback of the characters backstory before they meet their demise, while some other is rather unexpected in term of how they would die regardless. The story went full on battle royale till the end, with a decent closure. The drama aspect of the anime itself felt really forced, to the point that they dragged on too much. While overall it is actually a prologue to a much longer light novel series, it is mediocre enough to be adapted as one.

The main characters in the story is Snow White, an ideal representative of how Magical Girl should be; cheerful, always happy to help other and disliked conflicts. She had a rather useless looking ability (in term of combat at least, well not yet fully developed at this point) in a way she could hear the voice of distress of other people. The only problem with her is that she is mostly useless for most of the story itself. She haven't done much to actually influence all the other magical girl, in which her absence could brings little to no different to the outcome of the story. She is there mostly as a symbol of pure mahou shoujo; the only one existed amidst the conflict brewing. The other main character is Ripple, also have little backstory to show behind her. She is a quiet ninja+mahou shoujo, with her action in the beginning driven only by her mentor, Top Speed. Other characters are not so really worth mentioning, since they are there only to have little backstory to tell before they actually die. And yeah, Swim Swim in particular; my hate for her is more than the force of thousand suns burning.

I f**king hate her.
Animation is good in general. The quality is mostly consistent with little to no animation problem. The shift in art and mood from a bright, cheerful tone to a muck dark, less vibrant colour is a nice touch to emphasize the central theme of the anime itself. The use of special effects along with the determination and fear on most girls’ faces while fighting were well displayed. The sound overall nothing special, mostly mediocre. The OP and ED both had a not so cheerful tune, directly implies to the viewer that this is not your average, happy go lucky mahou shoujou anime.

Punished Ripple, denied by her Top Speed.
Overall, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku is a rather decent enough anime to watch. It is an anime for those who enjoy a series who deviate from your usual trope, which is apparently rather popular nowadays. If you are a fan of cute girls battling each other only to end up in a gruesome death every single episode, then your are more than welcome to watch this anime.

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