Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku – 01 (First Impressions)

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What is it: The story of Himekawa Koyuki, who has loved magical girls since she was a little kid, suddenly being selected to become a real magical girl by the mobile game MagiPro. She immediately set to work helping townsfolk, and the first fellow magical girl she meets in person is her childhood friend Souta, a boy. One day, MagiPro’s mascot Fav announces the number of magical girls in the region will be halved from sixteen to eight.

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Why You Should Watch: It’s above-average in terms of general looks and production values, once you get used to its character design, which tends towards the cute. Sure, Koyuki’s almost painfully earnest and naive, but the show seems fully aware of this, and unlike Gakkou Gurashi, doesn’t wait until the end of the episode to drop the hammer down.

It’s right there in the cold open: one magical girl standing over the bloodied corpses of her rivals. Even so, it’s nice to ease into this suddenly miraculous world along with Koyuki, and even though we know she’s doomed, we can still enjoy the little bit of good times she has early on. Her friend Souta’s situation is also an interesting wrinkle.

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Why You Shouldn’t Watch: The presence of over sixteen characters, most of which billed as mains, can be intimidating, and also allows for an almost overwhelming helping of moe (each magical girl has their own specific…very specific look). The show owes much to Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Koyuki owes much to Madoka herself, while the format suggests a marathon/tournament on the scale of Akuma no Riddle or another Lerche series, Danganronpa.

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The Verdict: Unlike Touken Ranbu, MagiPro had a hook to it that made me invested in the protagonist and look forward to the next episode. There’s a lot of exposition in both shows, but for some reason it felt more natural and less drawn out here, and the concept was a lot simpler and, more importantly, actually executed well.

Koyuki’s transition is quick, but we feel the same wonder she feels, and the same dread when she sees the ominous word “halved” in the chat room. She’s committed to be a “pure, righteous, and beautiful” magical girl, but she may have to rethink that strategy if she doesn’t want to be a dead one.

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Hi, I'm Preston Yamazuka, I'm one of the writers for the anime blog RABUJOI. I prefer anime involving fantasy, magic, mystery, the supernatural, and/or horror. I also love seagulls, but they don't seem to share the sentiment.

5 thoughts on “Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku – 01 (First Impressions)”

  1. Hey, at least they didn’t hide behind the “cute mahou shoujo show” facade and just spelled it out right in the opening scene that this is going to get dark. later. Madoka actually did the same with its first episode cold opening. Now, let’s see if this show can deliver on its discussion of the “pure, righteous, and beautiful” magical girl, theme that’s not already seen in Madoka or Yuki Yuna.

    1. Exactly. Don’t get me wrong: like Zane, I liked where and when the twist came in Gakkou Gurashi!’s first ep (which wasn’t without hints prior to the twist)

      But with this show (and Madoka), I also enjoy being given the brass tacks right from the get-go, as it gives the audience a leg up on the protagonist’s knowledge of what was happening. We know Koyuki has a target on her back, and that she really really really shouldn’t press that button, but of course we know she will or there’s no show!

      I’m worried about Koyuki, which means I care about her. That’s why I’m still watching this and not Touken Ranbu.

  2. Since i’ve had to review a few lower shelf Madoka shows in the past, I’m not sold yet. Partially just because the structure of the first episode was too predictable and safe.

    I also did not enjoy Danganronpa because its villain was annoying, its large cast rarely had time to develop beyond job/architypes, and most of it was predictable.

    1. The Souta element shows promise. I was genuinely surprised by the reveal that he too became a magical girl, despite the hints in their flashback (and his female voice actress). My avatar’s male friend was the reason she became a magical girl, but Souta is himself a magical girl, in the same boat as Koyuki.

      I imagine they’ll be fighting side-by-side to start, but that cold open certainly suggested that the culling may not stop with half, but could end up being a last-girl-standing situation. Koyuki and Souta may have to face off against each other at some point, so it’s good to establish how well they get along now.

  3. Very solid first episode I thought with that dark edge not far below the surface for the rest of the episode after the opening reveal. After the Souta reveal, its got me wondering who all the other girls are. Are any of the others also in Koyuki’s orbit somehow? I’m also wondering if they are culled, is that just as magical girls or it more lethal than that?

    After that episode, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku will be a late edition to my watch list for this season.

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