Apr 27, 2016
Kazumi Magica is incredibly convoluted. There's a lot of things that take place in the narrative that, at first glance, seem to work. However, looking back at the big picture, there's a lot of stuff that isn't used, used improperly, or used without purpose.
To be brief, all of these issues protrude due to the failure of Kazumi Magica trying to separate itself from the parent work, Madoka Magica.
In detail, these issues arise when the work starts off rather strong, leading towards an interesting and untold development within the unforgiving world of Madoka Magica. However, the further the reader travels into the dark annals of Kazumi
Magica, the more one realizes that it's the same game using different pieces.
Perhaps the best parts of the story are where it differs from the original work. It's not that it's better than the original work, but that very idea of it standing alone made it an interesting read and was exactly why I picked it up in the first place. I absolutely love the world created with Madoka Magica. What I wanted with Kazumi was more of that world, but a different story. I get a bit of that, but it turns very swiftly into Madoka Magica tropes during the final 2 volumes (last 10 or so chapters).
Comparisons aside, there are some events that take place that seem rather sudden. Perhaps due to the short length, but even so, the fault is in having so many events in the first place. With a few more chapters to expand on some of the little arcs that take place, I'm sure Kazumi would have a stronger pacing. Some things are jarring, and will cause the reader to re-read the event to make sure they've read it properly. It's conflict of pre-established canon, which is okay, it adds mystery, but it will still screw the pacing.
Conversational sections, or parts within the narrative where motion isn't taking the panels primary, were quite excellent. Facial expressions are, well, expressive, and there's definitely a 'moe' aspect within the first few chapters.
Action sequences are a mess. There were many panels where I had to press the page/screen to my face so I could follow the motion properly. Some I gave up and skipped altogether. I had to rely on dialogue exclusively to understand what took place.
Backgrounds are virtually barren, and the settings are rather basic, even in the labyrinths. That said, I did a hint of SHAFT animation influence present. Characters are seen in real world locations that seem unnatural, but it adds an artistic flair to the events taking place. I enjoyed this over the vacant stages our characters inhabited.
Proportions are tame, but occasionally a mess.
Witches look very cool in this.
With an ensemble cast and a namesake character, it's easy to imagine where the attention is and isn't. Kazumi gets a lot of the attention and has excellent development. Watching her progression from an amnesiac to acquiring resolve is perhaps the most interesting part of the whole piece. It's a shame that the rest of the cast is hung out to dry and virtually forgotten. It's only at the most necessary of times are they remembered and therefore used for plot progression. There's a lot of shoe-horned exposition as well, and as mentioned in the story section, not nearly enough time to expand.
I would have rated this higher had the narrative not become the same old song-and-dance. I was pretty disappointed, because, like mentioned above, I wanted something different. I understand that this isn't an appropriate term to use when reviewing, as a work shouldn't be reviewed upon pre-conceived notions, but the issue has to do with virtual plagiarism. Other than that, an interesting read none-the-less.
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