Today we’ll discuss Magical Girl Raising Project volume 1. Lots of spoilers in this post!
Overall I thought this was one of those stories that knows exactly what it wants to do, and goes straight for it. Nothing ground-breaking, but a fun read. (Well, fun if you like death game thrillers.) I found the large cast of characters surprisingly memorable though, and I enjoyed just how over-the-top everything played out.
I mean, we got scenes like the one where a ninja and a witch fight a cowgirl armed with magical Soviet weaponry. And we had characters named Cranberry, Swim Swim, Winterprison, and Hardgore Alice. So if nothing else, I was at least entertained. And really, half the fun in these Battle Royale type stories is reading the imaginative ways the characters manage to kill each other, right? I felt Raising Project delivered on that front.
I’m curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on this one. I know there was an anime adaptation of this story almost a year ago, but I never noticed many people talking about it. It makes me wonder if this light novel was picked up because it was actually more popular than I thought it was? Either way though, I’m glad it was licensed, because it’s quite different from anything else Yen Press has at the moment.
Which characters were your favorites? I recall during the first act of the story, feeling upset when my favorites were unceremoniously killed off. But it turned out that almost everyone was set to die in this one. Hopefully you didn’t get too attached to any of them! Anyways, my favorite was Ruler. I could empathize with her ambitions, ha ha.
What did you think of the mascot character Fav? At first I couldn’t help but think of him as a combination of Kyubey (Madoka Magica) and Monokuma (Dangan Ronpa), and it seems I wasn’t the only one who thought that. But in the end, I got the impression that Fav is much less ambitious or invested in his work, and is simply going along with Cranberry’s killing game scenarios for the sake of entertainment. (So, he’s not so different from us readers, you could say?) If anything, I’d compare Fav more to Death Note‘s Ryuk, the death god who enables the protagonist to kill all the people he wants, simply because he’s bored.
Speaking of wanting to kill people, what did you think of Cranberry’s plan overall? The story proved time and again that under the right circumstances, a comparatively weak character could kill off a strong one–and that was something Cranberry would experience firsthand in the end. I’m not certain if it’s right to simply call her insane, but I did appreciate getting some backstory for her that explained how her experience in becoming a magical girl was more or less a killing game just by unlucky chance.
Lastly, how did you feel about the ending of this story? I was a bit surprised by how dark the story became in the final act, and I’m not sure how hopeful I’d call the conclusion. In the end, Snow White wasn’t able to save any of the other magical girls. Meanwhile Ripple still went through with her revenge against Swim, and only survived through her own determination. Snow White and Ripple didn’t become friends. And considering there are more volumes to come, I imagine the killing games aren’t truly over with either. (I’m not sure how that will work exactly, but I guess I only have to wait a few months to find out.)