The show that was immediately labeled as the successor to Puella Magi Madoka Magica by some. I prefer the term, inspired rather than succeed, cloned or ripped off. Just because Madoka revolutionized Dark Mahou Shoujo Anime doesn’t mean it has become the milestone of the subgenre. Having said all that, the similarities are there. However it’s more like Dante’s Inferno and God of War. Both are similar in terms of gameplay but the story and setting are different. So let’s get to it and check out Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyou: il sole penetra le illusioni.
Alternate title: Day Break Illusion: The Sun That Penetrates Illusions.
Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Dark
Themes: Magical Girl, Tarot Cards, Fortunetelling.
Number of episodes: 13+1 bonus episode
Plot Summary: The story follows a group of magical girls, especially one 12 year old Akari Taiyou, who are chosen based on 22 special bloodlines to wield the power of the Elemental Tarot to fight demons that born after taking advantage of the negative emotions of humans, the Daemonia.
Basically, girls whose powers are based on fortunetelling tarot cards fight demons who take advantage of negative human emotions like greed, lust, envy, jealousy, desperation, etc.
I like the designs of the Daemonia the girls fight. They remind me of Silent Hill creatures due to their appearance symbolizing a dark emotion in a person’s mind. It can be any emotion at all and the Daemonia will take shape. For example, a frustrated and jealous high school artist transforms into a giant disfigured painter with several bloody paintings floating around her. The people whom the Daemonia possess are, as mentioned, people with negative emotions to exploit. Other examples include a man who was forced to make a dead-end deal with the mafia to temporarily bail him out of bankruptcy to a Faustian deal in order to save a friend who didn’t have long to live. Like I said, the similarities are there.
The conflict in the story really begins when Akari learns that the Daemonia are manipulated humans who automatically die after the Daemonia possessing them is killed. The struggle to decide whether there is another non-fatal way to save the people and whether there is meaning to slaying Daemonia if they had existed since the first World War, or even before that.
Although forced due to both their bloodlines and the ones in charge of the organization who picked them up being typical corporate douchebags, the girls have their own personal reasons for fighting the Daemonia. Some, like Ginka, can take the burden, while others, like Seira, continue being haunted deep down by this seemingly out of their control destiny. It is a struggle with both their duties and themselves and the dark entity that takes advantage of this.
As one can tell from looking at this image, the anorexic animation style known in anime like Strawberry Panic and Revolutionary Girl Utena is alive and well. Even some of the older girls with larger breasts look like they haven’t eaten in months. Oh well, at least the school uniforms don’t have unnecessary shoulder pads like in Utena.
The OST fits the show perfectly with its dark and ominous tone during battles, intense songs when it gets…intense and calming songs during casual moments…yes, there are casual moments in this mostly ominous anime.
The yuri representative on this show is Luna, who slowly began falling in love with Akari (no subtext). Let’s just say it was both a blessing and a curse. Don’t worry though. It’s not that bad…really. It’s both cute and believable. Luna had been my favorite character on the show long before her lesbianism was revealed.
Although this is stretching it, I think Seira also gives off some vibes and it’s not just because she exercises despite not being the least bit out of shape. At least she only works on keeping her body fit.
Overall: Even if the show has flaws, I really don’t see any worth mentioning. Oh, not all questions are answered, of course. It’s a dark anime and it is expected to be filled with more dread than joy. At least the payoff is worth it. I’d say that this is worth giving a shot to those who are interested in anime where magical girls have great struggles in their lives, fight bloody battles to the death with their kickass powers against demons and want to see something that’s inspired by Madoka. Like I said before, it ain’t for the weak of heart.