Magical Girl Site is what you get when you take Madoka Magica and mix it with Higurashi, but then remove all of the interesting story elements. It is a grim-dark, edge-lord misery porn revenge fantasy with no real substance to back it up. Oh, also while we’re making this comparison, get rid of any interesting character development from Madoka and any well executed moments of levity from Higurashi. Because you know, it doesn’t really matter if you actually care about any of the characters that are having horrible stuff happen to them and you totally don’t need any nice moments to break up the misery, right?
So this series is bad. Really bad. While I’m not going to go into any particular details, people should know what they might be getting into. This series tries so hard to be as dark and messed up as possible that it contains severe and extremely violent bullying at school, heavy physical abuse at home, the murder of a pet, and an attempted rape that comes very close to actually happening. And this is all in the first episode, all to the same girl. Sorry to be a bad, lazy reviewer and continuing to compare this to other anime, but it’s basically like taking all of the bad things that happened to three of the main girls in Elfen Lied (Lucy, Nana, and Mayu). Make all of that stuff happen to one person and instead of spreading it out over multiple episodes, cram it all into one episode; the FIRST episode!
You may be thinking, “Well, that almost sounds so horrible that it could be amusing!” You know, the whole “so bad it’s good” thing. That was honestly what I was hoping for after the first episode. However, then the second episode came and it was just kind of.... boring. The ridiculous levels of stupid overly-edgy crap dropped off quick. Episode 2 brings in hints of the actual overarching “plot” of the series and it’s very underwhelming. Those behind the mysterious website that gives the girls their magical powers are coming and you better be ready! The “plot” gets more convoluted as the series goes on to an almost laughable degree. And while all of this “stuff” happens, we just continue to have no reason to care at all about the characters.
If you’re not already convinced that you shouldn’t waste your time on this series, here are my category breakouts:
-----Story - 1 out of 10-----
Again, one of the worst things about this series is its total lack of any interesting story. The plot that develops is so meandering and nonsensical that it’s nearly impossible to ever legitimately enjoy any of it. The twists are uninspired and (again) make no real sense whatsoever with no foreshadowing to support the reveals. The pacing is all over the place with spans of episodes having no real development and then just full-on info dumps in other episodes. It’s all around bad.
-----Art - 3 out of 10-----
While not completely abysmal, the art isn’t good either. This anime could have been shown to people 10 years ago and they still wouldn’t have been impressed. I guess you could laugh at the stupid facial expressions and the total edge-lord imagery; like, “OMG! The main magical girl bleeds from her eyes when she uses her powers!” But in the end, it’s just flat and uninspiring. Some could say that the stupid facial expressions and the general art/animation quality in the first season Higuarshi was worse than this. However, Higurashi is over 10 years old at this point. The art and animation also had very good direction despite its shortcomings and had life to it. Higurashi also wasn’t just empty shock visuals in most cases because the characters actually had the ability to get people invested.
-----Sound - 3 out of 10-----
I suppose this is as good a place as any to mention the opening and ending sequences this anime. God, they are some of the worst credit sequences I’ve ever seen in all of anime. The opening is mostly just an over-filtered mess of crap. The ending, however, really takes the cake. It has a bizarre sperm-going-to-egg thing which I guess is meant to be artsy (and the motif does show up in the series proper), but it totally doesn’t work. Then it has the absolute worst integration of live-action sequences in anime ever, period. So bad. And then there is a special one-time ending sequence based on the idol magical girl character which is one of the cringiest things I’ve ever seen, as a live action version of the character performed a bad idol song. The opening and endings aside, the sound is mostly just passable, like the art. While the score isn’t good, it’s also not distractingly bad. The voice acting is also mostly passable although it is legitimately bad at times.
-----Characters - 2 out of 10-----
Now, I could really overlook a bad story and poor production. But characters, I just cannot get into a show without connecting with or being interested in its characters. Magical Girl Site has complete crap for characters. They’re flat, seem to have no real point in life, and have no way of pulling sympathy from the audience. They’re just there as a vehicle for having bad stuff happen to them. As mentioned before, they do nothing to try to actually develop these characters so that you actually care about them or what happens. Maybe they’re banking on people automatically feeling bad for the characters because what happens to them legitimately sucks? It all just comes off as extremely lazy.
-----Enjoyment - 2 out of 10-----
I was really hoping for something that would at least be crazy, stupid fun. But in the end, this just ended up being stupid. The first episode had some stuff that made me laugh more than I ever should at this kind of content. Then from there it gets so bogged down by its bad story and worse characters that I couldn’t even enjoy it ironically. I just ended up being bored and rolling my eyes or raising an eyebrow at every twist. From about the midpoint onward, I did get a few more big inappropriate laughs: a very dumb, edgy phrase said when a magical girl with a box cutter magic item explained its power; a situation with a guy wearing panties; and one of the final scenes in the series involving two guys…. Really though, if it wasn’t for my morbid curiosity and the fact that I was watching this week-to-week as part of the 2018 Anime Watching Challenge, I would have dropped this by the third episode.
-----Overall - 2 out of 10 (Conclusion)-----
I would say that this is the worst “proper” anime that I’ve ever finished (the only “anime” I’ve ever given a 1-score to is Forest Fairy Five, but I refuse to call that a “proper” anime). I’ve probably watched plenty of stuff that many would consider to be objectively worse than this, but most of those things are so short that the quick burst of weird badness is far more interesting to me and easier to swallow than this load of crap. This is just a contrived mess with no real point to it. All that saved this show from getting a 1 from me were those moments of unintentional comedy and WTF moments that were so out of left field that I couldn’t do anything but find them to be interesting. But this is just my opinion.
Do I think some people can enjoy this? Maybe. What kind of people would enjoy Magical Girl Site? Honestly, that’s a hard question for me to answer without potentially offending fans of this series. This could be a good thing to watch if you really want to explore how to not develop a story, its world, or the characters within it. Or if you are just so absolutely sick of cute school girls that you want to “destroy something beautiful” then maybe this can be a breath of fresh air. And some people may actually connect with these characters somehow and just automatically feel bad for them because the viewer went through similar situations. But for anyone else? You really don’t need to waste your time. If you want to see some stupid over the top edge-lord crap just to laugh at, watch the first episode then drop this crap. For anyone else or if you have completionist syndrome and wouldn’t be able to drop it, do yourself a favor and just don’t. Stay far, far away.