"Who in the world is this young girl standing before Mami and Kyouko...?"note She's not Oriko.
Which would be an incident that would change her destiny— Which would be the beginning of a whole other magical girl tale—
Puella Magi Oriko Magica is a manga Spin-Off of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, released in Japan shortly after the anime's conclusion. It was created by Mura Kuroe. Unusually, it was released as a series of trade paperbacks/tankobon instead of being serialized in a magazine, similar to the manga adaptation of Madoka Magica.THIS PAGE HAS UNMARKED SPOILERS FOR THE ANIME. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNEDOriko Mikuni, a new Magical Girl, sees a vision where a powerful witch attacks Mitakihara City. As she realizes that she is unable to fight the witch herself, she receives another vision of a little girl. She quickly tells Kyubey that this girl is a very good magical girl candidate. (On that note, Oriko is not the girl on the first volume cover.)Elsewhere and elsewhen, Kyouko Sakura fights a witch in a new city. At the end of the battle, she finds a little girl, who was orphaned when her parents were killed by the witch. This girl, Yuma Chitose, is the same girl Oriko saw in her vision. In a rare moment of compassion, Kyouko decides to look out for Yuma, though she is adamant that Yuma should not become a magical girl.As she continues to fight witches, Kyouko realizes that despite the large number of witches in the city, there are no other magical girls. Kyubey reveals to her that all of the previous magical girls in the city were killed...by other magical girls.And so the stories of these girls, as well as those of Mami, Homura, and Madoka, converge...The series has been licensed by Yen Press and both volumes were released in July and October of 2013.Additional Oriko Magica stories are being serialized in Manga Time Kirara Magica, the official Madoka Magica magazine. The first, a two-parter entitled Noisy Citrine, expands upon the backstory of Kirika Kure. The second story is entitled Symmetry Diamond and focuses on Oriko and Yuma. Both stories were collected in a trade paperback entitled Puella Magi Oriko Magica Another Story, which also included a new story Last Agate. The paperback was released in Japan in September 2013. A Sequel Series, titled New Contract Puella Magi Oriko Magica will begin serialization in Kirara Magica starting November 2013.Oriko, Yuma, and Kirka all made appearances in the Puella Magi Madoka Magica Online game.
Blink and you might miss this—the first chapter has a (rather gruesome) image of Kyouko's sister.
Continuity Nod: In Chapter 2, Kyouko mentions that she wanted to have a dream of a happy life when she believes she's going to die.
Images from Episode 10 appear in Chapter 6.
Decoy Protagonist: Much like the anime, the title character of Oriko Magica isn't exactly the main character although in this case it's because Oriko is the Big Bad. Kyouko and Yuma are the main characters in the first volume, with Mami taking a supporting protagonist role. And then, like the anime, Homura ultimately takes the role of protagonist from all of them.
Demoted to Extra: Homura and Madoka only appear briefly in Volume 1. Sayaka is only mentioned. Justified because this is a prequel, and thus happens before Madoka and Sayaka meet Kyubey. Or rather, this is a rare timeline where Homura was able to stop Madoka and Sayaka from meeting Kyubey. Since Homura's not adorkable and seems to know what's going on, it's not the first timeline, but rather something inbetween the 3rd or 4th timeline and the one in the show.
All three girls get expanded roles in the second volume.
Diabolus ex Machina: Right when it looks like Homura might save Madoka in this timeline, Oriko fires a parting shot that kills Madoka.
Divided We Fall: The magical girls pair off in four distinct groups: Kyouko and Yuma, Mami on her own, Oriko and Kirika, and finally Homura with Madoka and Sayaka though the latter two don't contract in this timeline.
Downer Ending: Oriko's plan is thwarted, Oriko and Kirika are killed, and neither Madoka nor Sayaka contracted. But not so fast, bucko. With the last of her strength, Oriko kills Madoka by impaling her with a chunk of Witch-Kirika through the chest/stomach. Here We Go Again!
Do Not Go Gentle: Delivered by, out of all people in the world, Yuma Chitose when Mami and Kyouko have hit their Despair Event Horizon and are ready to lay down and die. This parallels with Madoka, in which both Yuma and Madoka want to find a purpose in life.
Yuma: "You know I...used to think that every time my Mama picked on me...that I'd rather be dead. But when that witch attacked us and I thought I was going to die...I did everything I could to stay alive!"
Expy: Yuma and Oriko seem to function as counterparts towards Madoka and Homura respectively. Much like Madoka inspired hope, later actually becoming hope itself, Yuma is the bright-eyed idealist who ends up inspiring Kyouko and Mami to keep fighting after they hit their Despair Event Horizon. Oriko seems to be a counterpart to Homura in that both are taking drastic measures to try and save their world after going through much suffering in their lives. The differences lie in that, even though Yuma inspires Kyouko and Mami, her efforts aren't enough to save this timeline from the inevitable rewind that Homura causes once Madoka dies, and Oriko's actions have left her with too much blood on her hands to the point that she questions as to whether or not it was worth it. They seem to function in the sense that nature abhors a vacuum.
Foregone Conclusion: As this takes place in a previous timeline, it's already established that Madoka will either die and/or contract and become a witch by the end and Homura will try again.
Since Oriko was released after the end of the anime, it can also be established that everything that happened in it will ultimately be altered by the Cosmic Retcon.
Foreshadowing: Kirika's introduction at the end of chapter 2 already implies that she's not exactly good.
Gallows Humor: While bantering with Mami, Kirika praises Mami's endurance. Mami claims she's so proud, she'll repeat that to all her friends at teatime. Mami is losing hope of survival and has no friends.
Gambit Roulette: Oriko began the magical girl killings and tricked Yuma into contracting to distract Kyubey from Madoka and to ensure Madoka would be placed in a position where she would get killed. Kyubey eventually sees through it.
Guest Star Party Member: In Madoka Online players had the chance to get an Oriko, a Yuma, and a Kirika in their team.
Karmic Death: Yuma reveals that she was constantly abused by her mother. In a brief flashback, it is shown that Yuma's mother is killed by a witch, and it was neither fast nor painless.
Kick the Son of a Bitch:The first time we see Yuma's mother being eaten by an unseen witch, it's one of the most horrific, stomach-churning things to yet happen in the franchise. A few pages later, we learn what Yuma's mother was actually like, and people wish they could high-five said witch.
Male Gaze: A few times, but this is an especially noticeable example.
Mortal Wound Reveal: After a near-fatal fight with Mami, Kirika reveals to Oriko that her Soul Gem is cracked. In a pre-Madoka-Ascension world, this is worse than actually being mortally wounded.
Following Oriko's attempt on Kyubey's life, it's shortly revealed that Madoka took the fatal blow Oriko had meant for the little puke.
Multiple Head Case: The witch Cecil has two extra heads on tentacles coming out of the eye sockets of her main head. Also, the cat witch Stacy has two faces.
No Ending: Kind of. After Madoka dies, we just see a single panel of Homura's shield, followed by a small scene between Oriko and Kirika that's presumably in the afterlife. Of course, the anime reveals what ultimately happens, but Oriko's ending is very abrupt.
No Name Given: Witch!Kirika. Odd, considering that all the witches in the first volume were named. However, from how her barrier has it written before the main room's door, her name might be Margot.
Panty Shot: Yuma pulled one on Mami, reducing her into a crying wreck.
Taking You with Me: Witch!Kirika is destroyed, and Oriko knows her plan has failed. What to do? Shoot Madoka, taking Kriemhild Gretchen with her, as she's foreseen that Homura won't be able to prevent Madoka from contracting.
Third Line, Some Waiting: The main plot is about Kyoko and Yuma, while the secondary plot is Mami investigating the magical girl killings. Both these plots are connected via Oriko. The C plot is Homura's attempts to protect Madoka, which ultimately takes over the plot. Again.
Tragic Mistake: This timeline would have continued, with most from the original anime (plus Yuma and minus Kazuko and many classmates) alive if Madoka hadn't decided to try and help Homura, getting herself killed in the process.
Villainous Breakdown: Oriko is normally cool, calm, and collected—until Witch!Kirika is defeated and she realizes that the world she envisioned will never come to be. Figuring out that QB saw through her plans didn't help her any.* Wham Episode: In Volume 1, the fact that Oriko is not the green haired girl on the cover and the reveal that Oriko is actually an antagonist.
What Happened to the Mouse?: We don't know what happened to Oriko, Kirika, and Yuma in any of the anime timelines, including what happened after the Cosmic Retcon. We also don't know why this timeline was different, although Oriko's wish to know the meaning of her life is the sort of wish that could change dramatically simply because of small changes in the timeline.
Symmetry Diamond helps answers a few of these questions. Specifically, the ones related to what happened to Oriko, Kirika and Yuma in the early anime timelines. Instead of seeing Kriemheld Gretch upon using her magic for the first time, Oriko foresees Walpurgisnacht, and avoids the entire sequence of events that leads her and Kirika to commit mass murder while looking for Madoka. She also does not see Yuma as a potential magical girl, but instead meets her in a park and later foresees her death, caused by her mother's abuse. She and Kirika eventually assist Yuma in finding a new family, so she goes on to live a normal life, never meeting Kyouko.