Review of Puella Magi Oriko Magica: Sadness Prayer, Vol. 2 by Mura Kuroe and Magica Quartet

Read: 19th March 2017

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Spoilers in review: Yes

This is the second volume of a prequel to Oriko Magica, which is itself a spinoff of Madoka Magica. So if you start here you will be confused.

This volume was not as good as the first one.

The sudden introduction of four new characters (technically five, but Sasa was a major character of Symmetry Diamond) made many scenes confusing, and I was constantly having to flick back in order to remind myself who everyone was. Not being able to tell who everyone is is frustrating when you’re trying to enjoy the story. They were also all killed off fairly quickly. I know that this is a prequel series, which means that they would have to die at some point. But them dying in such a rapid succession was disappointing. At times there was so much going on in the panels that it was difficult to follow what was actually happening. On at least one occasion I didn’t realise that a character had been killed until half a chapter later. Going by the other characters’ reactions, a delayed reveal wasn’t what Kuroe intended. But it wasn’t clear enough.

One thing that I’ve really liked about the original Oriko Magica series, and other Puella Magi spinoffs, is that it takes time to develop the new characters. The moments when you find out what they wished for are done exceptionally well. This was not the case here. Of the four new girls, you only find out the wish of one of them, and its reveal feels like it’s been shoehorned in.

Additionally, the major plot hole from the first volume that I’d hoped would be rectified was not.

As I have already mentioned, this is a prequel series. However, where this volume ends, it’s clear that some events of the first few chapters of Oriko Magica have already happened. This means that there isn’t much space left to cover. I’m looking forward to the third volume, although I question its necessity. There are some things that just aren’t adding up. For instance, Kyoko and Yuma going to Kazamino? But Kyoko’s from Kazamino?? In everything else she arrives in Mitakihara from Kazamino??? I was under the impression that the same was true for Oriko Magica???? Where does Lina and her group fit into all of this in the main series????? I have many questions and I’m not really expecting any answers. 

I feel bad giving this such a low rating, because it’s Puella Magi and I usually love everything in that universe. But I can’t really justify rating it any higher.

Review originally written in 2017

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