Magical Girl Raising Project Vol 1 Review
Magical Girl Raising Project Vol 1 is a light novel written by Asari Endou, and was originally published in June of 2012. Yen Press announced last November that it had licensed the series, with the first volume having just been released on June 20th. The illustrations are done by Maruino.
Synopsis: The highly popular social network game “Magical Girl Raising Project” is a miraculous, always free-to-play game that has the ability to grant players a 1 in 10000 chance at becoming a real magical girl. Once you become a magical girl, you are granted a unique power and are required to collect candies that you receive from helping the public. But one day, the administration arbitrarily announces that “There are too many magical girls; so they will be halved.” As the rules of the game become more twisted, the girls eventually find themselves dragged into a life-or-death battle between each other.
Review: The title for this book is, in my opinion, slightly misleading. This was a novel I decided to pick up from the title and cover alone, so I was expecting something more soft and cutesy. This story however, almost immediately turns dark. The first chapter starts by explaining the setting and introducing some of the characters. Ever since the Magical Girl Raising Project began creating real-life magical girls, sightings by the public have led people to believe that magical girls are real. Our two main characters are Snow White and Ripple, although with such a huge cast and all of the switching of perspectives, that might not be entirely true. Right at the end of the first chapter, the mascot character and person in charge named “Fav,” holds a meeting where he explains that they will be cutting the number of magical girls in half. Cranberry asks Fav what happens when a magical girl gets cut, and he tells her simply that they die.
The first week of the game starts off fairly normal, the girls compete and complete tasks in order to get the most candy. But as the game continues, it gets much darker. A team of girls lead by Ruler plot and steal candy from the girl who has the most, Snow White. However, Ruler’s servants end up betraying her, causing Ruler to get cut and die. The game then progresses to become even worse, with magical girls straight up killing one another. The volume focuses on the girls decisions, and their having to decide what is morally right to each of them. There are multiple girls who decide right off the bat that killing is the best option, but then there are others that don’t even want to fight at all. For the latter, it can be emotionally stressful to witness girls killing each other; driving Snow White at one point to the brink of insanity.
The use of this photo is for review purposes only. © Yen Press, Asari Endou, Marui-no.
As the story continues, the action gets much more intense. There are fights between magical girls left and right, and by the end of the week when Fav holds the next meeting, many more girls are gone. Having reached the original goal of narrowing down the amount of magical girls to eight, you might think it is over. But because of some bullshit excuse, Fav decides that they must narrow it down again to four. The last three chapters of the novel serve as the “finale” with the game finally coming to an end. In the epilogue, we learn that Snow White becomes a full-fledged magical girl and travels the world helping those in need.
The illustrations were drawn by Marui-no, and while in a sort of loli art style, all of the characters have unique appearances that suit their personality. Their personalities are just as diverse as their appearances, creating a very well-rounded albeit large cast. The large cast does prevent us from learning about almost all of the characters besides Snow White and Ripple. Also, because of the ending, it does unfortunately seem like this story is over, and besides this one volume only side stories have been made in regards to the series. Regardless of that, the story and characters were interesting, and I enjoyed the darker twist on the usual lighthearted magical girl genre. If you are a fan of magical girls, and are willing to experience something new, this is a novel I would recommend picking up.
If you are interested, this book is available for purchase digitally from BookWalker Global.