Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden Comes to an End

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden Comes to an End

The PC and smartphone video game "Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden", which served as a spin-off of the iconic "Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica" franchise, has announced the closure of its servers for July 1 in Japan (for PC) and July 31 (for smartphones). This news marks the end of a significant chapter in the franchise's history.

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden Comes to an End

The team behind "Magia Record" has announced that they are working on an "archive app" for the game, which will allow players to access certain offline parts of the game once the service ends. This move seeks to preserve some of the most beloved elements of the game for loyal fans.

"Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden" was released for iOS and Android devices in Japan in August 2017. The game was free to play with optional in-app purchases. In June 2019, the English version was released in the West, but unfortunately, it shut down its servers in September 2020. In addition, the TV adaptation of the anime premiered in January 2020, with a second season in July 2021 and the third and final season in April 2022.

A new smartphone game in the franchise, titled "Madoka Magica: Magia Exedra," is slated to launch this year, keeping fans' hopes alive to continue exploring the Madoka Magica universe.

Why was it never as popular as the original?

Although "Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden" managed to add interesting nuances to the franchise, it faced numerous challenges that prevented it from reaching the popularity of its predecessor. One of the most prominent criticisms is its origin as a gacha game. These games, especially those based on famous franchises, have a problematic reputation. Many fans associate them with low-quality products designed more to generate revenue than to offer a good gaming experience. This perception led to widespread distrust of "Magia Record", considering it an attempt at cash grab that brought little to the franchise.

In addition, the structure and rhythm of "Magia Record" were points of criticism. While "Madoka Magica" is known for its concise and fast-paced narrative, "Magia Record" moves much more slowly, especially during its first arc. The series repeats "Madoka Magica's" big twist about Witches being corrupted magical girls, but treats it as a big revelation, even though most of the audience already knew this fact. This made the series seem painfully slow to longtime fans.

Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden Comes to an End

Another problematic aspect was the lack of character development. The original "Madoka Magica" featured deeply realized characters, but "Record Magic" introduced a large number of characters that did not receive the same level of development. Although some characters such as Yachiyo Nanami and Tsuruno Yui had poignant arcs, many others blended into an amorphous mass with no defined personality, due to gacha games' need to have large character lists.

The connection of "Magia Record" to the original "Madoka Magica" also worked against it. From the first episode, the series builds on the tradition of "Madoka Magica", but in the third episode, the appearance of Mami Tomoe and then the inclusion of Madoka Kaname and Homura Akemi in the following seasons, highlighted the differences in the writing and negatively affected the perception of the new characters. In addition, the less defined story of Iroha Tamaki, the protagonist of "Record Magic," was a notable disadvantage compared to the well-developed Madoka.

The timing of the release of "Magia Record" was also inauspicious. While "Madoka Magica" stood out in 2011 for its unique storytelling at a time when there were few similar series, by 2020, the concept of dark magical girls was no longer so novel. Additionally, with several film adaptations of "Madoka Magica" following the end of the original series, many fans already felt they had enough "Madoka Magica" content, diminishing the appeal of a spin-off.

In short, "Magia Record" is a fascinating franchise with both good and bad elements, but in many ways, it was limited by its tie-in to "Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica." The original series was an era-defining anime, which made any follow-up struggle to live up to, especially one that found itself in the bizarre medium that "Record Magic" found itself in, with established characters outshining new ones and a narrative that seemed elongated by its origin as a gacha game.

Source: Official Site