Much like the original series, Magia Record has an unusual vibe going in that (at least until the very end) the heart of the series doesn’t sit with the pink-haired protagonist, but instead with the quite, cool, no-nonsense girl. That was a purposeful choice in PMMM (though I’ll say that Madoka exhibited more personality than Iroha does, and so was in a position to elicit an emotional response for her final decision in that series), but I’m not sure sure it is in Magia Record. Episode 11 brings us another step closer to resolving her pursuit of Ui, but my heart isn’t fully into caring what happens there.
I do, however, care about the story that Momoko is about to tell Rena as the episode comes to a close. I do care about what happened to Yachiyo.
But first, the story must move to a point where it can set up what should be a big payoff in the final two episodes. The team, now fully including Sana as well, seeks to show their appreciation for Yachiyo, and not even the appearance of a Witch can prevent that from occurring. However, an appearance by a different being does.
Iroha, having been told by Sana that Nemu, one of the two girls she saw in her dreams about Ui, may be in league with the Wings of the Magius (or perhaps held captive by them), approaches Tsukuyo (who is much cuter apart from her twin and not conspiring against her own ilk) asking her to arrange a meeting with Nemu. Tsukuyo responds that she must talk to the apparently higher-ranking Mifuyu first, but instead of Nemu showing up, it’s Mifuyu herself, with an invitation for Iroha to attend a “lecture” at the home of another Iwasa, the Memory Museum.
Iroha chooses to go, and the rest of the girls (minus Yachiyo) will also.
As I watched, I wondered what the right decision was. Iroha must certainly move forward on any clue to try to find out about her sister, but this is all to the detriment of Yachiyo’s feelings. Having started out so cold toward Iroha, she’s opened up her home and heart.
But after Mifuyu’s entrance, she retreats again. She doesn’t want to be part of a team. She doesn’t want to see the girls as friends—all likely because of what happened in the past, what happened a year ago involving the Wings of the Magius, that which Momoko will tell Rena about.
Episode twelve should reveal most answers to the mysteries, if not them all. What will those answers be? I admit, I still can’t put it together. What does Little Kyubey, the Wings of the Magius, the Rumors, Mifuyu’s defection, Iroha’s dream, and all the rest have to do with “saving” the magical girls? As Yachiyo sees her own witch-like appearance in her mirror (in her head?), could it be that the Wings of the Magius are trying to save the magical girls from becoming witches in their own way, a way different from how Madoka did in a different universe? Are Iroha, Yachiyo, and maybe others already becoming witches? Does Ui even exist?
I was thinking more and more that Iroha doesn’t actually have a sister…and I still think that could be true, though the appearance of Touka at the end of the episode and her mentioning that she doesn’t know Iroha shook me a bit.
But alas, whatever—I’m just glad that next week, most of the secrets will be uncovered. And the week after that, a resolution. I just hope that it’ll be strong enough, and our emotions connected to the characters enough, for it to be something worth waiting for.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record can be streamed on Funimation.