A new Magical Girl Raising Project puts a number of girls in a game of life and death. A stronger Snow White tries to stop this before everyone is killed, or will she be too late?
- This review is from a fan translation of the light novel. I will gladly buy it when it comes out.
- Series volume – Vol. 2
- Spoilers – A bit
- You need to know what happened in the first volume (or atleast have finished the 1st season of the anime)
- The novel is narrated in second-person point of view, focusing on thoughts and what’s happening at the “focused” character of the moment.
The 2nd Arc in the series, Magical Girl Raising Project (Restart) was originally published in 2 volumes. The story is sequel to the first arc. In the first arc, we saw how a number of magical girls fought in a battle royale where only one must survive. 2 girls survived and one of them was Snow White.
In (Restart), a new death game was devised by magical girl “Keek”. This time, she brought the girls to a cyber game on a quest to defeat the Demon Lord and win a large amount of money. Of course, since this is Magical Girl Raising Project, we knew already that it was just a farce; the real “ideal” motive of the game is to produce an ideal magical girl – someone like Snow White who resents killing and wanting to become a role model to all.
However, various circumstances happened in the game that provided and instilled motive in every magical girl to kill each other. For Example, while their mission was to kill the Demon Lord, one of the girls actually is tasked to play as the Demon Lord, and her mission was to kill everyone or else she will die. Money is another motivating factor. Some needed the money they will win in order to pay for things such as hospital bills, etc.
If you are the least to get magical candies, you die. If you die in the game, you die in real life. If you did not kill the magical girl, you will be the one who will breathe her last. Indeed, death is the primary reason that motivates the girls of (Restart). In the end, you start to wonder if these girls deserve to die or not. They were put there unwillingly, to begin with. So why is it their fault that they were pushed into committing something as grave as murder?
Vs Previous Volumes
I have not read the first volume, but I have watched the anime (which was based on the first volume (or the first arc, so to speak). You can say it is a bit unfair to compare Arc 1 and Arc 2 since I consumed them differently, but still, I will do it (sorry).
First, the main plot of (Restart) is a rehash of the first one. Think of it as “Catching Fire” to “Hunger Games”. The magical girls are again fighting each other instead of helping people. For me, that was the weakest point of (Restart).
But onwards to good points:
In the first novel, you know exactly who will be alive, who will be the final girl standing at the end of the book / anime. In (Restart), you will have trouble finding that out. Characters I thought would prevail, characters I thought will still be breathing by the last page died . I think that’s a strong point as the light novel kept the readers guessing. I just wonder how they will do that should an anime adaptation happen.
Next, I like the inclusion of 2 new magical girls Pfle and Detick Bell in the cast. Most of the magical girls have flashy skills or skills that are useful in fighting (Even the magical girl whose unique power is “cooking” ended up being useful in fighting as well). However, Pfle and Detick Bell are different.
Detick Bell is a detective magical girl who can talk to walls, and the walls talk back at her, aiding her in investigations. Pfle has a wheelchair that has incredible speed.However, while Pfle is very weak, she has a very intelligent mind, an ability not born from her being a magical girl but because she was intelligent to begin with. Both of them are useless in fighting but they are the two who are moving the story forward. They were the thinking characters. They analyze situations. They provide that “mystery” and “detective” feels to (Restart) that the first volume never had. The one closes to them is probably the first volume’s Swim Swim and Ruler, as they they think of logical actions to problems they are facing.
Lastly, I like the fact that the motivations for killing are justified. Well, of course, technically, killing is not justified no matter what the situation, but the writer successfully made me, the reader, put myself in the magical girls’ shoes. Why did they do such a thing? What is the ulterior motive? Why do you feel sorry for her? I definitely felt a lot of empathy towards many of the characters that at the very last pages I thought I would have been sick if another girl died.
Appearance of Magical Girls in previous volumes:
The legacy of Cranberry or Clamberry, depending if you follow Crunchyroll’s translation or the fan translation, has had a prominent presence in the overall plot of Magical Girl Raising Project (Restart). The magical girl who can manipulate sound and her actions in the past proved to be the catalyst of the events in Restart but might also probably be in future volumes (This is pure speculation on my part, so don’t take my word for it!)
Snow White is the magical girl who can hear the voices of people in distress. Snow White’s personality had transformed from the weakly girl she was in the first arc to a firm, emotionless, strong magical girl in Restart. Snow White acted in the background in order to stop the deadly game happening in front of her. How many magical girls will she be able to save?
As with every thing I read or watch, I want to connect this with real life. Certainly, we have heard instances of people doing extreme things in order to save or protect the people they love. Sometimes these actions are illogical, but we do it anyway. Perhaps out of love, perhaps out of gratitude. Magical Girl Raising Project Restart puts to center stage the issue of the morality of doing something bad for the sake of the greater good. In the end, we are told, your bad actions will just mute whatever good it is that you wanted to obtain from it.
Magical Girl Raising Project (Restart) – Vol 1 & 2 is, despite its backbone similarity to the Battle Royale of the first novel, was able to stand on its own. It was different because of the thinking characters. It was different because we saw that magical girls can work together to solve problems (unlike the first novel where it seemed everyone almost just want to kill). The ending, I believe is morally satisfying and I can say that this is one of the better light novels I have read for January 2017. I’m quite sure the fan translator did a great job of staying true to the intended meaning of Asari Endo, the light novel’s original author. I can’t wait how the official release of this book will compare to this fan translated one. I like to thank the fan translator for giving us a chance to read this.
Rating 5/5 – I thoroughly enjoyed it. The ending is morally satisfying.
Featured image source: Wikia