May 22, 2020
cirq (All reviews)
Magical Girl Raising Project looks at Madoka for inspiration, and then strips all the nuance and subtlety and imagination, leaving nothing but bloodshed behind. It's little more than the Hunger Games with magical girls. That's it. That's the show.

While the plot itself is somewhat an interesting premise, and the connection between Fav and a certain magical girl (which ends up becoming a somewhat significant plot reveal) is fascinating, it's all too little, too late. At the end of the day, the only interest in this show is seeing who will be the last one (or ones) standing, and wondering if the most despicable characters will get their comeuppance. Learning the various girls' powers and how they interact or battle against each other does a somewhat good job to maintain interest, but it's not enough when the overall plot lacks depth.

For the most part, the characters are completely flat. Part of this comes with the nature of the territory because for some of the magic girls, their magical transformed selves look nothing like their real selves. And because the show quickly devolved into a deathmatch, there are prudent measures in trying to hide your real self, because to let everyone know you're "Clark Kent" (so to speak) is to make yourself vulnerable. On the plus side, this brings in some interesting psychology in terms of what these characters will do for self-preservation. At the same time, this backed the writers into a corner, because there's far too many characters and most of them feel cruel and two-dimensional. Many of the "evil" characters feel cut from same cloth. The only pleasure is watching some of the worst ones die.

Similarly, some of the more likeable characters' deaths let me feeling completely unmoved because the show did nothing to earn an emotional reaction. It relies on brutality and shock value where there should have been character development. The best example, without trying to give away a spoiler, is the 'baby' moment, if you know what I'm talking about. It just left me numb, like the writers were trying to outdo each other with awfulness.

The soundtrack wasn't especially memorable, and the art was fine. The varied costume designs are interesting. But how I feel about most anime in general, even the best sound and art can't make up for a subpar story.

The only value I can see in watching this is if you enjoy bloodbaths and killing games. The only other value is making it a drinking game with your friends and placing bets on who you think will survive the show. I'm giving this show a very generous 5.5 out of 10.