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Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story Vol. #02 Manga Review

3 min read

Madoka Magica The Different Story 2Not so different after all.

Creative Staff
Story: Magica Quartet
Art: Hanokage
Translation: William Flanagan

What They Say
Mami has joined with a new magical-girl partner in her efforts to rid the city of witches. Miki Sayaka is a little green, but her swordsmanship is an undeniable asset to the cause. But Sayaka brings more than her blade to battle: her friend Madoka has joined the girls on their late-night missions. Mami doesn’t want to pressure Madoka into a decision about becoming a magical girl, but how long can Madoka remain on the sidelines as a passive witness when her friends are in danger?

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As the volume opens, we join Sayaka and Mami in an intense battle with a witch. Thanks to their great teamwork they’re able to pull off a victory, but afterwards they find Homura waiting for them. Homura of course tells them that Madoka need not make a contract, prompting the girls to later hold a meeting regarding their “rival” magical girls. Meanwhile, Kyoko continues her taunting, and we hear of an attack on Hitomi.

Later on, Mami and Sayaka find themselves blindsided by a witch, and Kyoko and Homura are forced to step in to give Sayaka a chance to save the wounded Mami. After the fight Kyoko ends up meeting up with Mami, but despite Kyoko’s taunts Mami holds firm that Sayaka will continue to be her partner. However, to Mami’s surprise, Sayaka asks to quit being partners, as she feels insufficient after the incident with Hitomi and what happened in the last fight.

Sayaka’s depression turns around a little later thanks to Madoka, who tells Kyousuke that Sayaka is the one who healed his hands. Even so, she continues her path towards destruction, desperately fighting against Kyoko’s lifestyle. Will her final words with Mami be enough to save her, or is she doomed fall to the fate of all magical girls?

In Summary
Perhaps even more so than last time, this volume repeats a lot of content from the anime, giving it an ever so slight twist. It’s also worth noting that a number of events are skipped or just barely mentioned. Though it isn’t enough to impact readability, it seems the series definitely is trying to act more as a companion for the anime more than a replacement. As for the actual content, this time we get more of a focus on the relationship between Sayaka and Mami. This gives the book a nice little flavor different from both the anime and the first book, and allows for an absolutely beautiful scene near the end between the two magical girls. It’s still a bit of a shame that there’s so much overlapping content with the regular series, but it’s so well presented that it’s still a ton of fun to read. It may not be an essential book, but fans should still be sure to give it a look.

Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: June 24th, 2014
MSRP: $12.99

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