By Souryu. Released in Japan as “Machigatta ko wo Mahou Shoujo ni Shite Shimatta” by Shinchosha, serialization ongoing in the online magazine Kurage Bunch. Released in North America by Seven Seas. Translated by David Musto and Wesley Bridges. Adapted by Jennifer Geisbrecht.
Longtime readers may be rather surprised I’m reviewing this at all, as I’ve made no secret of my distaste for the current genre of “Magical Girl Splatter”. Technically starting with Madoka Magica (which I have far less of a problem with), the more recent Magical Girl titles – all meant to be read by teen or adult men – seem to have an audience that wants to see cute girls get mentally broken and then killed off in gory ways. It’s not so much a deconstruction of the genre as a carpet bombing of it – “see, girls? THIS is what happens to magical girls! Dream of something else!” So I was not all that thrilled when I saw that Seven Seas had picked up another take on “magical girls for men”. And indeed, for the most part that’s exactly what this is. Still, there’s at least something here that made me finish the title and be curious for more.
Myu, one of those classical magical girl mascots who speaks cutely and acts as a catalyst for the plot, is being chased by a killer demon. Myu needs to find a magical girl fast, and spots a seemingly cute young girl with princess girls. Quickly it makes her the chosen one… whereupon she pulls out a cigarette and starts smoking, complaining about her teacher and acting like a stereotypical delinquent. Whoops! The demon shows up, and honestly she’s able to give it a good pounding just using her own power and lust for violence. She’s not really all that happy with the transformation either, given it strips her in the classic magical girl tradition. Now Myu has to deal with a grumpy, video-game obsessed heroine and continue to fight the bad guys… whose attacks now center entirely on Earth, allowing other mascots to take a vacation and leave it all to Myu. Even worse, the class president of another school has been turned into a dark magical girl… maybe? Who’s the dark one here?
First things first: after reading only about 15 pages of this title, you will have more panty shots than most other series put in an entire volume. If you thought “this is one of those authors where everything else he’s ever done has been porn”, you’d be absolutely correct. There’s also a relatively high body count, as (typically for the “male” magical girl genre) there are lots of victims gorily killed by the demons… or indeed by the magical girls… who don’t magically come back to life later. All of that said… it is nice to see that Kayo, the titular magical girl, is not here to be anyone’s tragic victim, and the delinquent guy who’s in love with her is essentially her lackey and whipping boy. (As a sign that this is not meant to be taken entirely seriously, the “pointy delinquent hairstyle” he sports is a wig, and he’s actually a bishonen underneath it.)
I don’t recommend this to anyone but the intended audience, let’s get that straight. That said, if you’d like a somewhat lighter, or at least more amusing, tone of nihilism in your magical girl splatter manga, MachiMaho is entirely up your alley.