Full Anime Series Review: Magical Girl Raising Project

Updated on December 22, 2016

Magical Girl Raising Project envisions a world where some people are chosen by a magical girl cell phone game to become real-life magical girls. If they are chosen, they have to use their new powers to help people in need in some way. When they help someone, they receive "candies" which are the game's currency, so even though it's real life, it still would feel kind of like a video game. Snow White is the alias of a girl who is followed as the main character, who really likes helping people because it was always her dream to become a magical girl. Later, she finds out that a boy who was her childhood friend also became a magical girl.

Things take a sinister turn pretty quickly when this show's version of Kyubey, Fav, starts changing the rules to force the girls to come into more direct competition with one another. Soon, characters start to die pretty much as quickly as they can be fully introduced, making this clearly more of a Battle Royale anime than a magical girl anime.

Magical Girl Raising Project
Drama, Action, Magical Girl, Seinen
Source Material:
Light Novel and Manga by Asari Endō


What I liked about this show was the action and the fighting. However, the story was kind of lacking in many ways. One issue is that there are so many characters, and they all have different appearances and names in real life vs. when they're transformed, so it can get confusing. A lot of introductions of characters and back story flashbacks feel rushed.

The show uses the "fatal backstory" trope a lot. Like to where it becomes so obvious that a character who gets their own focal episode is probably going to die that it stops making you care about any of the flashbacks. And pretty much all the characterization in the show comes from flashbacks, which I think of as bad writing. I think the bulk of characterization should come from the way those characters interact and react to one another and to plot events in the main story. Flashbacks seem like they're violating the writing standard of "show, don't tell". I mean, they are "showing" things, but not in the present. And isn't the present moment supposed to be the focus of the story?

Focus. That's one huge problem this anime has. There are too many characters which are all given narrative importance, back stories, and screen time. But that means that no one of them sticks out as important except for a small handful, and the minor characters' "episode in the spotlight" episodes overshadow the main characters significantly. In a 12 episode anime, it really hurts the story if the narrative is scattered into many different character arcs. Epic fantasy series like A Song of Ice and Fire or Lord of the Rings or The Wheel of Time can get away with having so many named and important characters, because fantasy novels are long and the story continues over the course of several books. But with anime, this kind of storytelling doesn't work, especially for a half-season anime. It's simply not enough time to really make the audience form a strong emotional connection to the characters. The characters in Magical Girl Raising Project are just candles in the wind a lot of the time.

It's trying to be like Puella Magi Madoka Magica and similarly have a dark, edgy take on the "magical girl" genre in anime. This genre is usually saccharine and pretty and fueled by the power of friendship and/or love, and aimed at little girls. The whole thing is a power fantasy for little girls, kind of like how martial arts or giant mecha anime are often power fantasies for boys. But recent stories like this one and others think it's fun to take the magical girl genre and give it a tragic twist.

But Magical Girl Raising Project is doing this wrong. There's no mystery or intrigue; you know what you're getting right away for sure because the first episode begins with a creepy, violent action sequence with a lot of blood and gore. There's no mistaking this for a cute, happy magical girl show, there's a lot less ambiguity and therefore less mystery and intrigue than in Madoka Magica.

But if you say, it's not trying to be like Madoka Magica, it's trying to be it's own grim, dark gladiator combat story, you're left wondering then why make it about magical girls? Even by the end we don't really get much of a peek into Fav's motivation. It seems clear that he creates competitions between magical girls so that only the strongest survives, but to do what? And why have them help people like heroes one second and then do a 180 and force them to kill each other the next? You either want soldiers and assassins, or you want magical girls. These are not the same thing, and the show treating them like this seems weird to me. Why make them do good at first and then slowly get them to do evil, if evil was what you actually wanted all along? Fav does not have the clear-cut, easy to understand motivation that Kyubey has, making Kyubey much more sympathetic even if he does things humans would normally consider immoral. Fav does not even rationalize or justify anything he does, he simply forces the girls to go along with what he says, without bothering to give them reasons. I got sick of its attitude in the show. It's just not as enjoyable for me if the villain's motivation is never really explained. Especially for a show like this, because Fav essentially creates the entire plot of the show.

What does the show do well? Costumes, action sequences, and intriguing ways magical abilities that don't seem deadly or dangerous at first can become so in combat. Characters who appear minor at first can come out of the woodwork and turn out to be important, and characters that seem important can die so easily. So there are enough plot twists to make the episodes exciting. The show is incredibly fast-paced, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective, but I tended to think of that as mostly a bad thing. I thought that because being super fast-paced meant that many characters came and went without leaving much of an emotional impact on me personally. Character arcs that should have taken 3-5 episodes were crammed into 1, and the result felt too rushed and abrupt.

I suppose I can give Magical Girl Raising Project props in that it was exciting enough to get me to tune in every week, but now that it's over, I don't really think it left a great impression overall.

Rating for Magical Girl Raising Project: 4/10


Submit a Comment
  • RachaelLefler profile imageAUTHOR

    Rachael Lefler 

    3 years ago from Illinois

    So I stand by the "It's trying to be like Puella Magi Madoka Magica and similarly have a dark, edgy take on the "magical girl" genre in anime". It - maybe not the original creator, but the anime studio that chose to adapt it.

  • RachaelLefler profile imageAUTHOR

    Rachael Lefler 

    3 years ago from Illinois

    Um, that's still after? Did you mean before? Before would have been better proof.

    Anyway, the point is that the studios were thinking they could make money off this anime because of its similar story to PMMM, it's still following the leader because they do not always choose to adapt every light novel into an anime. The choices the studios make reflect, in my mind, a desire to cash in on "school battle royale" and "dark magical girl" popularity.

  • profile image


    3 years ago

    The thing is that the Light Novel came out a few months after Puella Magi, so no, it isn't based on it at all. Please do research before saying such things, I understand than the error is easily made, but at least don't claim it like that.

  • RachaelLefler profile imageAUTHOR

    Rachael Lefler 

    3 years ago from Illinois

    It seems promising at first glance because the animation and character designs are so good, but the plot is so not good that that manages to ruin it.

  • profile image


    3 years ago

    I would recommend this show an age rating of 16+.

    1: It is very gory in some scenes; amputations, and weapons in the body.

    2: Too many characters die in only in a few episodes.

    3: The cover is very misleading, it reminds me very much of Madoka Magica's misleading cover, so it already attracts young watchers from 8 years old to 11.

    4: Lots of action with deadly weapons, leading to the gore.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)