Magical Girl Raising Project was an anime series that premiered in 2016 in Japan. As a fan of magical girls in fucked up situations, of course I centered my life around catching the latest episode every week on Crunchyroll. The 12 episode long series is full of blood, suspense, tugs at the human psyche, and an overall commentary on the notions insinuated by the recent changes in the magical girl genre overall. Now released in the U.S., the manga of Magical Girl Raising Project has been translated into English but how does it hold up in comparison to the anime?
In this version of Magical Girl Raising Project, Snow White and La Pucelle are a team of Magical girls in a competition with others to maintain their status as magical girls. To do so, they must do good deeds for civilians and earn candy. The magical girl with the lowest amount of candy will lose their magic powers but what exactly does that mean? And how will this game change the minds of the girls involved?
Although captivating in its own way, the manga adaptation is notably different than the anime. The illustrations do not capture the beauty of its screen adaptation, (which normally isn’t the case), and the deaths of the characters don’t have the same sting. I’ve seen the series twice, (even looking forward to a home release), and each time the deaths carry the devastation viewers are supposed to feel. This adaptation doesn’t have that feeling at all since the manga rushes to kill off characters rather than building their backstory. Some of the deaths that happen in the anime are merely spoken about in the manga. Which is completely unfortunate because the death of one of these characters highlights the tremendous and dark powers of the magical girl who kills her.
Even the beginning of the manga is not the same. The anime starts with the bloody bodies of Magical girls after an intense battle with a monster that leaves a sole survivor, (this character is also seen a lot more in the anime than the manga as well), and shows Snow White before her magical girl days. The manga already establishes Snow White as a magical girl and throws the reader in the middle of the plot. This simple change throws off the character development of the protagonist and takes away the cloud of darkness that builds over the 12 episodes in the anime adaptation.
Volume 2 concludes the way the anime series does but with distinct differences in how characters die. On the positive side, the deaths are far more brutal than their anime adaptation but still no effort to form an attachment to characters besides Snow White, Ripple, and Top Speed.
The Magical Girl Raising Project manga is a disappointing adaptation of a series I love with poorly drawn character anatomy, lack of character development, and some powerful death scenes that don’t make it into this adaptation. The only good things that came out of this read is there’s much more gore on the pages and that I now desire to watch the series all over again.
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Just watch the anime instead).
Photo Credit: RightStuf