WARNING! The following anime has some very gruesome scenes not suitable for all viewers. Some of it is slightly off-camera while others are shown in all their brutal and gory glory. There is a reason why readers of it deem it one of the darkest “Moepocalypse” series out there. Viewer discretion is advised.
Alternate Title: Mahou Shoujo Site (Japanese)
Genres: Action, Dark, Drama, Horror, Moepocalypse, Thriller.
Themes: Magical Girl, Survival, Tragedy, Faustian.
Objectionable content: Strong. Not for the faint of heart.
Number of episodes: 12
Plot Summary: Aya Asagiri is a young girl who has fallen victim to bullies at her school. Looking for a way to escape her troubles, she looks to the Internet for distraction, when a mysterious website called “Magical Girl Site” appears. Simply viewing the page is all it takes to hurtle Aya headlong into the deadly world of the Magical Girl Apocalypse. There, it’s fight or die, against a seemingly endless array of savagely adorable, frilly-skirted killing machines, each armed with magical powers and an unquenchable thirst for blood and chaos.
When it comes to my experience with the “Moepocalypse” subgenre of dark shows I am familiar with two kinds: Ones that slowly descend to madness and ones that immediately start off morbid. Magical Girl Site is an example of the second. In fact, the first episode is one of the hardest I had to sit through watching these kinds of shows. It was painful on purpose. Another way this show is darker than most other Moepocalypse shows? NONE OF THE GIRLS WEAR TRADITIONAL CUTE FRILLY MAGICAL GIRL DRESSES! Oh the horror…Throughout the show the darkness rarely faded and when our heroines had some time to relax the reprieve was always short lived as the darkness loomed ever so closely waiting to ruin the girls’ lives at a moment’s notice. Basically the show has its moments that are not as cruel but it does not take long for the bloody chaos to resume and boy does it get bloody and outright disturbing at times.
Other than there being downright cruel and disturbing moments throughout the show, for the most part it is what veterans of Moepocalypse shows expect, the heroines continuously being physically and emotionally tortured as they fight other magical girls to survive. Now I am certain veterans reading this will notice it having a similar premise to Magical Girl Raising Project, meaning it is a Battle Royale with magical girls. It kind of is at first but as the story progresses and more is revealed about what is really going on viewers will realize it is a story with a BR setup instead of it being centered around BR like MGRP was. Also there are quite a few surprises that I personally did not expect or had a feeling it could happen but when it did happen the show added an extra spicy twist to the reveal.
The animation is good. I cannot say much about it. It fits the mood quite well. The ladies range from adorable to fetching and the “mascot” of the show is possibly the creepiest I had seen. No devil hidden being a cute exterior this time around. Pardon my language but Nana is fucking creepy. Because it is voiced by Ryusei Nakao I consistently referred to the creepazoid as Frieza. It was a match made in Hell. The soundtrack is as somber as one would expect. The OP and ED are personal favorites of the Spring 2018 season.
The character development is shown via torture. See, the one spoiler I will give is that the titular Magical Girl Site (obviously) shows itself to girls living miserable/unfortunate lives or have had a very traumatic experience that scarred them for life. The suffering of some is shown while others are hinted as to what had happened to make them see the site. The characters range from likable, somewhat unlikable but not irredeemable, some wastes of flesh, be it a relative or a certain obsessed person…and then there is the one I dubbed Garbage Boy…
Garbage Boy is the kind of villain I despise in any kind of show. That being the kind you are written to be hate and want to see get theirs but it takes a LOOOOOOOONG TIME for them to pay for their cruelty…and it is not always guaranteed they pay for what they had done. I will spoil Garbage Boy’s story because he is not worth exploring…at all. Basically his father is a perfectionist and he beat Garbage Boy up if he did not live up to expectations to the point he saw humanity as inferior, dubbed himself a god among humans and worst of all was how he let out his daily frustration…by brutally abusing Aya. The worst part is that people like Garbage Boy are VERY REAL!
Same goes for Aya’s bullies though it is worth keeping an eye on their admittedly attractive redhead leader.
I will keep the Yuri part of the review short. All readers to know is Aya and Tsuyuno’s relationship is personally the main draw of the show. Well for some is the darkness and the magical girl battles but their relationship is very important. Speaking of these two Aya is the classic Moepocalypse protagonist who dislikes hurting others despite having been constantly hurt herself but even so she is one of the better leads in that despite her passiveness she slowly becomes stronger while still struggling with her innocence. I personally enjoyed her journey and kind of understood her mindset though also understand others disagreeing with her passiveness. Tsuyuno comes off as stoic but unsurprisingly has a skeleton or two in her closet. As I said their relationship is one of the best parts of the show.
I did not talk about the magical girl battles because they are what readers would expect from a dark magical girl show, brutal but worth watching.
One more thing worth mentioning is the conclusion. Unfortunately it is a “manga lure” kind of ending…but on the bright side it ends in a way that, should the show do well enough to warrant a second season, it could easily continue from where this season ended so it is admittedly a good one. Oh and based on our good friend Rory‘s thoughts on the show the anime is faithful to the manga and adapted most of it quite well. The only thing that could have been done better in the anime was a certain side-girl’s development. Nothing major.
Overall Magical Girl Site is as some manga readers said, one of the darkest Moepocalypse shows out there and definitely not for everyone. Even so for viewers who can handle the darkness it is a very good one. The plot may start off as a Battle Royale story but expect some game changing surprises. There are likable characters, not so likable, annoying ones and of course Garbage Boy. The presentation is good, the magical girl fights are brutal and some flashy. I forgot to mention there being some kind of relaxing and sexy moments but they are far and few. Relish the sexiness while you can. Lastly Aya X Tsuyuno is wonderful. Viewers who can stomach the first episode and the other gruesome moments that await are welcome to give it a try. However, I advise people who were upset by what they saw early on not to continue. I have seen enough people forcing themselves to continue only to end up complaining more.
PS: Alongside the leading ladies my favorite secondary magical girl is this one, Sayuki. Actually everyone in the team she is a part of are pretty cool. There is even a transgender girl.