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 created by Kuroe Mura, released in Japan shortly after the anime's conclusion. Unusually, it was released only as a series of books instead of being serialized in a magazine beforehand, similar to the manga adaptation of Madoka Magica.
THIS PAGE HAS UNMARKED SPOILERS FOR MADOKA MAGICA. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Oriko 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.
Elsewhere and elsewhen, Kyoko 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, Kyoko decides to look out for Yuma, though she is adamant that Yuma should not become a magical girl.
As she continues to fight witches, Kyoko 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 another magical girl.
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: Extra Story, which also included a new story named Last Agate. The paperback was released in Japan on September 2013, and in the US on March 2015. A Prequel, titled Sadness Prayer, began serialization in Kirara Magica on November 2013, and it's first volume was released on February 2015 in Japan and November 2016 in the US.
NOTE: Keep in mind that Oriko Magica is used to both refer to the Oriko series in general, as well as the first installment of the series when referring to specific installments.
Tropes in Puella Magi Oriko Magica include:
- Accidental Suicide: After learning the Awful Truth about witches, Sasa Yuuki crushes her Soul Gem in her hand, resulting in her death. It's suggested that she did not realize that Soul Gems actually held their souls in them and thought that crushing her Soul Gem would only stop her from becoming a witch, which makes her death accidental.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Oriko was never truly evil, although her methods were pretty brutal, and she died protecting the lifeless body of Kirika.
- All There in the Manual: The first collection included artwork of three of the witches in their original magical girl identities, specifically Cecil, Stacy, and Virginia, but not what their original names or abilities were. The fact that Rosasharn didn't have a magical girl form included has led fans to believe she was originally a familiar.
- Alternate Timeline
- It's not known when, what period, or what individual timeline Oriko Magica takes place in. Common speculation pins it between timelines four and five of Madoka Magica.
- Symmetry Diamond and Last Agate takes place in a separate timeline from the original Oriko Magica story.
- Always in Class One: Just like in the manga adaptation of the original, Mami is shown to be in class 3-A.
- Antagonist Title: Only applies to the Oriko Magica installment.
- Art Evolution: The art is noticeably smoother and more anatomically correct in Noisy Citrine compared to Oriko Magica. It gets even more so in Sadness Prayer.
- Art Shift: Happens quite often to some characters when they shift between serious and humorous moods. In general, comedic scenes tend to be drawn in a chibi-esque style, while more surreal or imagined moments are drawn in a vaguely disturbing cartoonish aesthetic reminiscent of the Clara Dolls.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Oriko ultimately succeeds in killing Madoka.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Kyoko specifically tells Yuma not to contract with Kyubey because of this. She doesn't listen.
- Big Damn Heroes: Let's just say that each character gets to be a Big Damn Heroes for someone else. Must be a Running Gag...
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Mami, Kirika, and Kyoko.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Compared to the Madoka Magica anime, which never went past a bit of blood. Oriko Magica's very first chapter has people being eaten alive.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Last Agate ends with Kirika and Oriko ready to face down Walpurgisnacht. The reader is aware that they probably won't make it.
- Brains and Brawn: Oriko Mikuni and Kirika Kure.
- Call-Forward: The story begins with Oriko having a vision of a powerful witch destroying the city, similar to Madoka's dream in episode 1 of Madoka Magica.
- The Cameo
- Charlotte in chapter 3.
- Blink and you might miss this — the first chapter has a (rather gruesome) image of Kyoko's sister, Momo.
- Several Madoka Magica witches briefly appear in Extra Story.
- Continuity Nod
- In chapter 2, Kyoko 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: Applies to Oriko Magica only. Oriko isn't exactly the main character, although in this case it's because Oriko is the Big Bad. Kyoko and Yuma are the main characters in the first volume, with Mami taking a supporting protagonist role; Homura becomes the main character in the second volume, with the others becoming more supporting.
- Demoted to Extra: Homura, Madoka, and Sayaka in the first volume of Oriko Magica. All three girls get expanded roles in the second volume, to varying degrees. Volumes following Oriko Magica don't depict them at all, though Sadness Prayer goes back to featuring them a little.
- Deranged Animation: Even by Madoka Magica standards the art style is a major point of contention in this manga. Supporters call it stylized while detractors call it significantly Off-Model, with impossible facial expressions, contorted bodies, and a lot of general oddity. While the art did improve in the sequel series Extra Story and Sadness Prayer, the backlash was noticeable to get mocked in omakes, where Oriko catches Kirika and Sasa making off model Nightmare Faces at each other and mistakes the face-making for a battle technique, then fails to replicate one of her own.
- 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: Kyoko 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.
- Dramatic Irony: See Foregone Conclusion below. The reader might get the impression that everything the characters did was a waste of time.
- Doomed by Canon
- Madoka. On the other hand, Mami, Kyoko, Sayaka all make it in this timeline, as well as Yuma given what Extra Story says about her fate in other timelines.
- Komaki in Sadness Prayer. Given that Sadness Prayer is a prequel and she makes no appearances in Oriko Magica, the fact that she dies is pretty obvious, especially if you manage to pinpoint her corpse in one (rather hard-to-see) panel. The same also applies to Sasa, minus corpse cameo.
- Downer Ending: Oriko's plan is thwarted, Oriko and Kirika are killed, and neither Madoka nor Sayaka contracted. But then, with the last of her strength, Oriko kills Madoka by impaling her with a chunk of Kirika's witch through the torso, thus succeeding after all.
- Do Not Go Gentle: Delivered by Yuma when Mami and Kyoko have hit their despair event horizon after learning the awful truth and are ready to lay down and die.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: All else aside, Oriko and Kirika do genuinely love and care for one another.
- 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 Kyoko 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 Kyoko and Mami, her efforts aren't enough to completely thwart Oriko and save Madoka, 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 travel back in time.
- Last Agate ends with Oriko and Kirika getting ready to face Walpurgisnacht. Given the usual track record of wins versus, there's a high possibility they'll fail.
- Kirika's introduction at the end of Oriko Magica chapter 2 already implies that she's not exactly good.
- As with Sasa's introduction in Extra Story chapter 2.
- For Want of a Nail: Spin-off Symmetry Diamond is about what happens when Oriko foresees Walpurgisnacht instead of Kreimhild Gretchen. Turns out she's downright heroic when circumstances allow for it.
- 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, at the time, losing hope of survival and has no way of getting back-up.
- 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 Puella Magi Madoka Magica Online, players had the chance to get an Oriko, a Yuma, and a Kirika in their team.
- Hide Your Lesbians: As is very typical for a Madoka Magica series, but Oriko Magica takes it notably further than most other versions. It's blatantly obvious that Oriko and Kirika are in a romantic relationship, but the series never quite goes out and says that this is the case (using terms like "most important person" rather than "girlfriend"), nor does it have them go any further than skinship.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
- As with Madoka Magica, all Oriko Magica chapters are named after a line said in them.
- The three stories in Extra Story have Rock Theme Naming instead.
- Imagine Spot: Kirika has a few of these featuring Oriko in Noisy Citrine.
- Insistent Terminology: Kirika's Berserk Button is people referring to her feelings for Oriko as a "crush" rather than "love."
- 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 she was actually like, and people wish they could high-five said witch.
- Male Gaze: A few times, often at the expense of correct anatomy. This lessens somewhat in Extra Story and Sadness Prayer, but still pops up on occasion.
- Mortal Wound Reveal
- After a near-fatal fight with Mami, Kirika reveals to Oriko that her soul gem has been cracked.
- Following Oriko's supposed attempt on Homura's life, it's shortly revealed that Madoka was actually the person she was aiming for.
- Multiple Head Case
- The witch Cecil has two extra heads on tentacles coming out of the eye sockets of her main head.
- The cat witch Stacy has two faces.
- Mythology Gag: Mami first appears in chapter three after she's defeated Charlotte, the exact opposite of how things happened in Madoka Magica. Mami even remarks that she would have been killed if she had let her guard down.
- No Name Given: Kirika's witch form. Odd, considering that all the witches in the first volume were named. However, from a sign in her barrier before the main room's door, her name might be "Margot".
- Magia Record reveals that her name is actually Latria.
- Poisonous Friend: Oriko and Kirika act as this to each other in Sadness Prayer: Oriko's ruthlessness corrupts Kirika to do terrible things and drives her off the deep end, and Kirika's unwillingness to turn Oriko down facilitates Oriko's worst impulses and makes her overly dependent on her.
- Serial Killings, Specific Target: It's revealed the reason why Kirika is killing magical girls, under Oriko's orders, is because she and Oriko were planning to go after Madoka to stop her from becoming a world-destroying witch, and using the magical girl killings as a way of disguising their true goal.
- Shades of Conflict: The series as a whole ends up all over the place. Yuma is always good-aligned, as is Mami, Kyouko is greyer but lightens with time, Homura is ultimately helpful but has her issues at the forefront, most of the magical girls in Sadness Prayer are framed as heroic but flawed, and Sasa is deep in the wrong end of the pool. Oriko and Kirika themselves range from almost completely heroic in the Extra Story timeline to somewhere between dark grey and A Lighter Shade of Black in the Oriko Magica timeline.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Homura fails to save Madoka and is forced to go back in time again.
- Shout-Out: Given the author's leanings, some fans suggest that Oriko's signature sphere weapons are a reference to the danmaku in a Bullet Hell game.
- Something About a Rose: During the tea party between Oriko and Kirika, the latter is seen admiring the roses and identifying them by breed. When Oriko admits the roses were her father's and remind her uncomfortably of him, Kirika swears to forget about them.
- Taking You with Me: Kirika's witch 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: Oriko Magica's plot is about Kyoko and Yuma, while the secondary plot is Mami investigating the magical girl killings. The tertiary plot is Homura's attempts to protect Madoka. All of these plots are connected by Oriko, converging in the second volume.
- Together in Death: The final fate of Kirika and Oriko in Oriko Magica.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kirika Kure and Oriko Mikuni.
- Tragic Mistake: If only Madoka hadn't decided to try and help Homura in Oriko Magica, getting herself killed by Oriko in the process, she'd still be alive and Homura wouldn't have gone back in time.
- Transformation Sequence: Oriko has one in Oriko Magica's prologue.
- Villainous Breakdown: Oriko is normally cool, calm, and collected — until Kirika's witch is defeated and she realizes that the world she envisioned will never come to be. Figuring out that Kyubey saw through her plans didn't help her any.
- Wham Episode
- In Oriko Magica volume 1, the fact that Oriko is not the green haired girl on the cover and the reveal that Oriko is actually an antagonist.
- Oriko Magica volume 2 has the following:
- Chapter 5: The witch Oriko saw was Kriemhild Gretchen. Oriko's true goal is to kill Madoka.
- Chapter 6: Oriko began the magical girl killings and made Yuma contract just to distract Kyubey from Madoka.
- Chapter 7: Just when it looks like Oriko has been defeated and that this timeline will turn out differently, a Diabolus ex Machina occurs and Madoka dies, causing Homura to leave and go back in time.
- Extra Story: Symmetry Diamond chapter 2 has Sasa inexplicably attending Oriko's school and being friends with Oriko, at odds with her introductionary scene in chapters 1 and 2. Later in the chapter it's revealed that she was brainwashing Oriko.
- Chapter 6 of Sadness Prayer is when the narrative starts to truly go downhill, with Kirika killing Akira and kicking off her Sanity Slippage. Chapter 7 is almost entirely about the repercussions of it, and adds to it with the death of Komaki, Oriko's only other friend—in a lot of respects, this is the point where the story of Oriko and Kirika gets locked into a tragedy.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Sadness Prayer reveals why Oriko didn't just simply track down Madoka and kill her before she had the chance to get contracted by Kyubey. Oriko would have prophetic dreams/visions about trying to kill Madoka, but every single time Madoka's "guardian angel"- aka Homura- would intervene and kill Oriko first. Oriko concocted the magical girl killings and the witch attack on Mitakihara Middle School as a way of distracting both Kyubey and Homura from her true goal of killing Madoka, and as a way to figure out how to fight Homura properly.