Puella Magi Suzune Magica is a 3-volume dark fantasy/psychological thriller manga, with the original story written by Magica Quartet and illustrated by GAN. Magica Quartet is a collaborative group consisting of director Akiyuki Shinbou, writer Gen Urobuchi, original character designer Ume Aoki, and producer Atsuhiro Iwakami. Unlike most manga, the first volume was released as a single volume before the series was picked up and serialised, with sequential chapters released as part of the Japanese seinen manga magazine Manga Time Kirara Forward. The manga is the fifth spin-off in the Puella Magi franchise, however; unlike the previous four spin-offs, Puella Magi Suzune Magica is the first to contain no cameos from the characters of the original Madoka Magica series.

“Suzune Amano lives an extraordinarily normal life as a middle school student by day and… a magical-girl assassin by night?! When a group of four magical girls begin investigating the serial murders in their city, they soon find themselves as Suzune’s next target! But what motivates Suzune to hunt both witches and magical girls alike?”

The blurring of tonal lines that is a staple of the Puella Magi series is ever present in Puella Magi Suzune Magica. The foundation of the cutesy yet moralistic magical girl genre mostly associated with shōjo anime and manga amalgamated with contradictory levels of violence and death, along with the psychological toll of the ongoing battle between good and evil, imbues a palpable level of overwrought tension present throughout the narrative. This inner struggle faced by the characters at every turn—which leads them to question their very actions, purpose, and even their inner selves—can feel incredibly self-reflective at times. This stark contrast between light and dark themes is undoubtedly a driving force of the manga, delivering an atypically dark yet enthralling story.

Additionally, another key aspect of Puella Magi Suzune Magica lies in the incredible character development displayed throughout. Although the majority of the characters show a significant level of evolution throughout, each going through their own personal turmoil, the standout has to be the titular Suzune. Her seemingly stoic demeanor as she assassinates her fellow magical girl comrades at random is slowly peeled away to expose the complex reasoning behind her actions and the raw emotion that is eating away at her.

Furthermore, the artwork in Puella Magi Suzune Magica is both vivid and expressive, effortlessly displaying the essence of its dark story-line whilst still retaining a sugary-sweet, slice-of-life aesthetic perfectly. Fight scenes are incredibly weighty yet retain an intrepid fluency to them, imbuing scenes with fast movement and grand scale. Moreover, the design of each character is distinctly unique, accentuating the distinctive personalities of each girl, as well as portraying their emotional state through tortured expressions of pain and anguish.

A dark yet captivating descent into despair, Puella Magi Suzune Magica is the perfect mixture of light and dark, yet isn’t scared to delve into the grey area that lies between hero and villain. Offering a gripping narrative, phenomenal artwork, and well-developed characters, these aspects certainly accentuate the impactful nature of this calamitous tale of murder and mayhem.


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Puella Magi Suzune Magica is published by Yen Press and is available to pre-order on Amazon here*

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