I have noticed another trend in anime. This one was a long time coming, as a lot of companies are not too eager to get on the bandwagon for this one, but it is best described as “Magical Girls Gone Bad”. One could argue that “Black Rock Shooter” is a caliber of magical girl show, and things in it went badly for those involved. It has gone through a lot of other shows to get us to “Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku” (“Magical Girl Raising Project”). This does give pause as to whether or not you wish to follow in this profession.
We are in N-City. Huh? Did we run out of letters? Does the “N” stand for something? Let me guess, let me guess! Uh….Necktie… Neckturn…Nickel….It’s definitely an “N” word! Anyway, our head maiden and heroine, Koyuki Himekawa, (lovely lady at the far left) is playing a very popular on-line game, the ‘Magical Girl Raising Project’, when she gets an in-game notification: she has won a 1-in-10,000 chance to becoming a real-life magical girl….if she wants it. Well, what lady wouldn’t jump at a chance like that, eh? She then becomes the real-life personification of her game character, Snow White. She now has not only a real chance to really help real people, she is really rewarded for it.
She also meets the other magical girls in town, which are 14 more (and one more in the pipe). However, the group or people or organization in charge of these ladies has decided that 16 magical girls in this town are just too many, so they are going to winnow out (or ‘thin the herd’, if you prefer) to get the number down to eight.
If you fail to get enough candies (rewards for all the good deeds you do) during that given week, the lowest person is stricken from the rolls. Here’s where it all turns dark and dangerous….and a plot point that I cannot convey, as it is the driving force behind the show. I will leave it at the notion that this becomes more or a horror/terror show as things progress.
It’s just the ‘revelation’ is of such a caliber that I kinda didn’t see it coming. I tumbled to it, but had to wait for them to confirm it. It’s just that all the magical girls have such divergent personalities, it’s a wonder any of them get along with other people and, as the series unfolds, you are in for some real dramatic sequences and results.
Also, I have never seen the magical girl genre so turned on its head and slammed into the pavement with such vengeance. I know that the positive Magical Girl show is now a bit archaic (like a buggy whip), but I was not prepared for the extent this one was willing to go. If you like your shows dark and dangerous, then this might be a special treat for you, as it really picks up steam as it goes along to the unsettling conclusion. I did not see that coming; neither will you.
I am reluctant to say more. Yes, you can go to other reviews of this show and they will spill the beans (or the candies, as it were), but I find it is best that you discover it for yourself. That is the enjoyment you get from these shows. There is something honestly magical in seeing it unfold or open up for you as you take this trip. Otherwise, I just might as well give away the ending and you don’t have to waste time with it at all, like Rosebud is the….wait! We all have seen “Citizen Kane”, right?
As to a potential second season, that is a real question mark. In one sense, they could, but unless they have something solid, it would be weak and vague. This could potentially be the only season of this, but I have been proven wrong in the past.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Wow, is everyone cute)
Plot 8 (Unexpected in how it went)
Pacing 8 (Fabulous fight scenes)
Effectiveness 8 (Reveals itself slowly, but solidly)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a potential end, but it could be a disguised ‘coupler point’)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (Quite the interesting take on things)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Don’t mess with me!