Magical Girl Apocalypse (Series Review)

Magical Girl Apocalypse Series Cover

Kogami Kii keeps his head down as he tries to survive high school. That should have been easy if not for the Magical Girl Apocalypse! No one saw it coming, but then you’d have to be crazy to expect murderous Magical Girls!

Magical Girl Apocalypse (Series Review)

What did you read?

They say you should never judge a book by its cover and that’s absolutely true, however, it’s hard to ignore the fact that it is the most important piece of advertising when it comes to books. I first picked up this series because of the covers. They have a wonderful simplicity to them with plain backgrounds and bizarrely wonderful characters filling the space. Anyhow, it’s a story about Magical Girls killing everyone… There are also zombies. There was no way I wasn’t going to read this series. There will be spoilers below so tread carefully.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 3 Sayano Kaede sacrificing herself

What happened?

Kii was in an exam and it was as exciting as he’d expected. As his thoughts wandered, he noticed the gym teacher yelling at a little girl at the school gates. She appeared to be wearing cosplay. Like some sort of Magical Girl. Then, she tapped him on the head with her wand and it exploded. Kii thought he was daydreaming so he left the exam and headed to the washroom to clear his head.

When he came back, his entire class had been murdered, their body parts scattered around the room. A couple of students were still alive, but that didn’t last long. Then, he found his childhood friend, Tsukune and, together, they ran. They bumped into some other survivors and did their best to avoid the carnage. It wasn’t easy though as the Magical Girls seemed to be everywhere, and everyone they killed returned as a Magical zombie! What is going on?

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 13 Horde of Magical Zombies

What did you think?

I absolutely loved this series. It starts out like a typical apocalyptic story with everything going wrong, and by wrong I mean an invasion of murderous Magical Girls. There is carnage, gore, death, horror, a tiny amount of hope, and then more death again. For the first couple of books, you’ll be amazed by who dies and how often it’s someone you think will be a main character. Then, after a couple of volumes, things take a crazy turn. Suddenly, there’s time travel and it looks like the entire apocalypse is planned to make something happen. It is crazy in every possible way. It’s just incredible.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 1 Magical Girl kills Teacher

What was your favourite moment?

Trying to pick a favourite moment from a sixteen volume series is tough, especially as there were so many that stand out. I think I am going to go with something that happened in the fifteenth volume and that was when Rintaro Akuta really stepped up. After Miu died saving his life, he was furious. He already didn’t have long to live thanks to merging his DNA with the alternate Magical Girl, Hana-chan, so he decided to sacrifice himself to buy the others time. He completely joined with Hana-chan and used Miu’s magical sword to fight the demon. He had no real chance of winning but it was an epic fight, nonetheless. Of course, being Rintaro he found a way to make his loss the sleaziest thing in the series, which was surprisingly perfect!

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 15 Rintaro Akuta merged with Hana chan

What was your least favourite moment?

One thing this series suffers from is the amount of Deus ex Machina moments. A lot things are suddenly resolved by things that hadn’t been present prior to that moment. It was almost like they were introduced solely to get out of that corner. It didn’t hurt the story that much, but it happens a lot. The most notable was in the final battle when Tsukune’s Magical Girl powers awakened and they were exactly what they needed to defeat the main villain. Had they taken the time to suggest that when a Magical Girl’s powers awaken, they take the form of what is needed most at that time, it would have been fine. Overall, the foreshadowing could have been stronger, and that’s my only criticism.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 16 Tsukunes magical powers awaken

Who was your favourite character?

I think Sayano Kaede was my favourite character which is why it was hard to see her breakdown at the end. She had been introduced as one of two bullies that were targeting Tsukune, however, you soon learn that they were being forced to do that by an artificial intelligence that had been implanted into Tsukune. The story seemed to suggest that Tsukune and Kii were destined to be together, but I thought his relationship with Kaede seemed more natural. They had some great moments, especially when they were both sent into the past together.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 8 Kaede teasing Kii

Who was your least favourite character?

The obvious answer should be Rintaro Akuta. He was a complete scumbag and they went out of their way to make him appear far worse than he was. There were several redeeming moments for him, but he continued to throw them in our face by doing something worse. Still, I think he did redeem himself in the end… or he did something to himself… Anyhow, Rintaro wasn’t actually the worst character. That was the main villain – Kurorogi Rei who was first truly introduced in the fifteenth volume although he had kind of been there for a while, there was literally no way of knowing that. Also, Himeji was a massive dick.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 16 Tsukune and Kii face Kurorogi Rei

Would you like some more?

This series actually did a really good job of wrapping things up so I don’t actually want to see this series extended. More stories like this would be greatly appreciated. I loved how dark and gritty it was and how it felt like everything was completely chaotic, but there was still something running beneath the surface. Then, you discover that there was. If you’ve not read the series and got this far in the review, it must sound like the craziest mishmash of a story, and it was, but it was also amazing.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 1 Kogami Kii and Fukumoto Tsukune surrounded

What have you learnt?

Kentaro Sato completed this series in five years. That’s incredible and it probably wasn’t the only series they were working on. That alone is inspiring and makes me really want to get down to business with my series. I love the longer stories where things can go off the track for a while. I’m also a fan of genre mash-ups and this one pulled together some of my favourites.

I think about a lot of the advice I’ve seen thrown around about how you shouldn’t mix genres. Maybe stories like this will never be fully mainstream or get the attention they deserve, but they will make superfans. After this series, I will gladly pick up any book by Rintaro Sato and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. There were things that annoyed me or didn’t make sense at the time, but the overall experience was overwhelmingly positive. You can’t please everyone, so you might as well make a story that will hit the niche. Do it well and you could be looking at a cult classic.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 8 Miu merged with Hana chan

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What did you think?