Magical Girl Apocalypse (Volume 1)

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 1 Cover

Kogami Kii is a pretty typical high school student. He just wants to keep his head down and get through the next three years. Well, that was before a magical girl burst into his classroom and murdered everyone else!

Magical Girl Apocalypse (Volume 1)

What happened?

In the middle of a fairly dull exam, Kii stared out the window, watching a teacher yell at a little girl. However, there was something odd about the little girl. Suddenly, she tapped the teachers head with some sort of magic wand and it exploded. Kii wasn’t sure if he dreamt it or not so went to the washroom to clear his head. He came back to the sounds of screams and found his classroom covered in flesh and blood. This Magical Girl had murdered everyone. Well, almost. A couple of students survived the initial attack, but they didn’t last long.

Kii tried to beat the Magical Girl with a baseball bat, but it didn’t keep her down for long. To make matters worse, the dead classmates all climbed to their feet and ran towards him. He raced out of the room with the only other surviving classmate, his oldest friend, Fukumoto Tsukune. She is a meek girl who is often bullied and it’s a surprise to Kii that she of all people was still alive. They run into some other survivors and discover that the whole of Japan has been affected.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 1 Magical Girl kills Teacher

With the Magical Girls and zombies banging at the door to where they were hiding, they decided to make a run for it, grab a teacher’s car and drive off. As they made their way to the car, it looked like they wouldn’t all fit in, but then another Magical Girl with a flamethrower appeared and burnt two of the survivors to ashes. The rest jumped in the car and drove off as fast as they could.

After they managed some brief introductions, they arrived at a traffic jam. The cars had been abandoned and a wall of fog blocked their way. They linked hands and walked on. There was a slashing sound and then a couple of dull thuds. Kii looked around to find that two more survivors had been beheaded. He told Tsukune and Hanzawa Yoruka to run. Somehow they made it through the fog just as another Magical Girl appeared.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 1 Kogami Kii and Fukumoto Tsukune surrounded

Things weren’t about to get any easier, however, as they arrived at the city centre. Zombies ran around murdering the living, who were then turned into more zombies. Another Magical Girl used some sort of suction device to lift a huge ball of people off the ground and high into the sky. Yoruka lost her grip and started to move towards them. Luckily for her, the Magical Girl stopped its attack and let the mass of bodies drop to the ground from several storeys in the air. Yoruka survived just.

Kii and Tsukune pulled Yoruka to her feet and ran before another attack could begin. They made their way to the mall where they bumped into two girls that had been bullying Tsukane earlier, Sayano Kaede and Ootsuki Miki. They were also surprised to see that Tsukune had survived but they were big fans of Yoruka. They all hurried inside, desperate for someplace safe to hide.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 1 Kogami Kii watching bodies dropped from a tower block

What did you think?

The first thing I should say about this book is that you need to remember to breathe. The action is relentless and it just seems to escalate throughout the volume. It’s horrific, violent, brutal, gory, and it is amazing. At the same time, it is oddly funny, but then the idea of Magical Girls massacring crowds of people in the most bizarre ways imaginable is hilarious and really quite unsettling. I should point out that I am technically rereading the series as I started it back in March 2019, read up to volume twelve and then the pandemic happened. So, I know what’s coming and it actually makes it that much more enjoyable the second time around.

I’ll just say that the story is actually incredible and brilliantly complex. At first, you would be excused for thinking it was anything but that. Some of the things that are revealed in the coming issues are all hinted at here. It’s subtle and I doubt anyone would spot it if they didn’t know, but it’s there. Also, I borrowed these books from my library and the cover of volume one looked like it had literally been eaten. I thought about grabbing another cover image, but this seems to be pretty accurate so that’s why it looks like that.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 1 Kogami Kii Fukumoto Tsukune and Hanzawa Yoruka going into the fog

What have you learnt?

It’s fairly common in storytelling to have peaks and troughs. That means that the action rises and then falls, allowing the audience to catch their breath and process what they’ve just seen. Well, in Magical Apocalypse volume one, you can forget all about that. There is no rest bites, no moments to reflect. It is non-stop visceral action and it’s not for the squeamish.

The book is around two hundred pages long, but you’d think it was a fraction of that as it pulls you through at a breakneck pace. I feel sorry for the artist who obviously put a lot of time into these images. The detail is amazing and it’s pretty dark so there’s lots of inking. All that and I can barely look at an image for more than a second before something else happens and drags you off in another direction. This is the very definition of a page-turner.

Magical Girl Apocalypse Volume 1 Kogami Kii in shock

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