This work is broken into 2.5 works. Noisy Citrine, Symmetry Diamond, and The Last Agate. I say 2.5 because the final part is like a bonus, very short finale to the previous 2.
At the time of writing this I've just read each chapter in the last 30 minutes and I had a momentary lapse of memory. I completely forgot what this part was about. That in itself should signify the weight (or lack there-of) that this part holds. Upon typing the above, I somewhat remember, and will respond to it.
It's a short little side story of Kirika and some of the emotional baggage she
carries. Her character wasn't all that interesting to me in the original work of Oriko Magica, and I can't help but feel like this arc is just a waste of time anyway. Oriko was far more interesting anyway. Bias aside, it flows well but feels lengthy for 2 chapters. It could have easily been 1.
The more compelling of the two. I would have preferred this work span the entirety of the volume. Its narrative is far more interesting and focuses more on Oriko. It also includes Yuma, a much-beloved character of Oriko Magica that deserves far more media than she currently has. I appreciate the respectable nature of her character and the tragedy that beholds her that Mura Kuroe portrays. It never feels edgy or offensive, like an exploit to emphasize the mature nature of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica world. It's shocking, but I don't feel as though it steps beyond its pre-ordained nature, as well as restricts itself from becoming glorification.
There is an additional magical girl used within this section and since the arc is only 3 chapters, her addition feels shoe-horned. In fact, it was borderline confusing. Her addition needed more value, more substance to be worth the extra chapter. Otherwise, expand further and make her addition necessary. That said, this is the superior of the two so far.
The Last Agate:
A short, finale to the previous stories. Features characters seen in both and ends on a hopeful, adventurous note. Nothing of real value, but still a little fun.
Mura Kuroe has an interesting, very self-defining artistic style. Although his proportions are atrocious and the artwork somewhat unrealistic, I always enjoyed his character designs when I could actually understand what was happening in the panel. Oriko had the same problem, where it was near impossible to understand the motions or events taking place, in some cases on an entire page. Extra Story carries over these same problems, but a little less. However, reading Symmetry Diamond, you'll clearly see how Oriko's bust changes size nearly ever panel. Had Mura reached further potential, it's likely this work would have more value than it gives off.
Nothing special. It assumes that the reader has read the previous work that these characters have read. It doesn't go so far as to alienate some readers, but the fact I hadn't read Oriko Magica in nearly a year did make some of this a little strange. There was more mystery to Oriko's character than intended, I'm sure, but it didn't take away all that much.
Again, the respect towards Yuma and her situation is appreciated.
The character designs are neat. Yuma is much cuter in this work. The other characters, other than Oriko, seem are artistically consistent through out the work. Their attitudes are also seemingly even as well.
I read this right before going to bed on a night where I know I have to get up real early. Some of my enjoyment was stripped away when I realized what time it was. That aside, this was fun. I really enjoyed Oriko's character, and Yuma is an absolute gem. She's precious, and I appreciate seeing another happy ending for this wonderful girl. I hope to see more Yuma and Oriko in the future. I don't care so much for Kirika, though. I wouldn't mind if her soul gem got a little too foggy in one of these stories.
((If you liked this review, friend me for new reviews on other works, both manga and anime!))