'Puella Magi Kazumi Magica' Fights Evil In The Nude [Advance Manga Review]

MagicaQuartet_KazumiMagica_FINALBy Danica Davidson

Kazumi has been kidnapped and put in a box. This could be a terrifying premise, but “Puella Magi Kazumi Magica: The Innocent Malice” isn’t one of those manga. Instead of opening with a nail-biting kidnap scene, we’re introduced to Kazumi naked in a box. She jumps out of the box, still naked, and starts pummeling the guy she believes kidnapped her. When she’s in the midst of beating the crap out of him she realizes, oh yeah, she’s still naked, and then her modesty takes over and she stops trying to hurt him.

Not a whole lot of this manga makes logical sense, but it’s not supposed to. “Puella Magi Kazumi Magica” is a not-so-well-known spinoff of “Puella Magi Madoka Magica,” but you don’t have to know the original series to be able to read the spinoff. This is, however, one of those wonky weird manga titles with a very specific Japanese sense of humor. It’s not recommended to someone who hasn’t read manga before, because they’re going to be thinking, “What the heck?” It’s not exactly a mainstream manga, either, but its off-brand type of humor and strangeness will definitely have readers.

Well. So it turns out the guy Kazumi attacked is not her kidnapper (awkward) and he’s a nice enough guy to make her some food. To top off Kazumi’s already illogical day, she’s suffering from amnesia, so she doesn’t remember much other than her first name.

But pretty soon she realizes she’s a magical girl. Nothing like forgetting who you are and then realizing it’s your job to fight evil.

Like any magical girl Kazumi needs to transform, and her magical girl outfit is like a sexy Halloween witch mixed with otaku cosplay. The irony, then, is that she’s supposed to fight witches, despite the fact of looking like a stereotypical (sexy Halloween) witch herself. Her two roommates are also magical girls who fight witches, and they’re actually a part of a group of seven magical girls.

“There are mystical creatures in this world that scout out girls to become magical girls,” it’s explained to Kazumi. “When a girl makes a contract with a creature . . . a soul gem is born that becomes the source of her magic.” So some mythology has been established for this particular magical girl story, though there are plenty of unanswered questions. The whole first volume is quite bombastic, from its bombastic, outrageous humor to its bombastic fight scenes to the bombastic art in many panels. It’s not very clear where it’s going to go from this first volume, but it does give the feel that this is mainly for readers who like their magical girls a little on the weird side.

Puella Magi Kazumi Magica hits stores everywhere on June 25th from Yen Press.