Rating: 2.5/5 – Throwing Everything Popular Into One Big Manga Blender.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Al Sparrow.
With the re-emergence of Sailor Moon on our airwaves, the “magical girl” genre of manga has never been more popular. Equally popular of late are high school stories about youngsters finding each other in the grand mess of hormones most of us have experienced at one time or another. And of course, rare is the comic these days that doesn’t feature a zombie or three. Now take those elements and try to create one coherent story where malignant magical girls descend out of a giant pentagram in the sky and begin killing every human they see, turning them into zombified copies of themselves, and wreaking havoc on not only the students of the local high school, but Japan in general.
If you’re looking to save some money by not picking up all the copies of Sailor Moon or High School of the Dead (this book tends to skew towards the latter title), Magical Girl Apocalypse might be the very thing you’re looking for. Sadly, that’s really the only compelling reason to pick this title up. The artwork is fair, but often forced, particularly when it comes to showing the more fanservice-y elements. Legs are often shown out of proportion to the rest of the body, and somehow the stereotypical oversexed, well-endowed characters manage to have breasts that defy the laws of physics during some particularly tense scenes.
The story tries to outsmart the reader by introducing new characters and giving the reader just enough of an opportunity to get to like them before killing them violently. The first few times it’s sensible – creator Kentaro Sato wants to show you that nobody is safe in this book – but after that it becomes almost comical, and in a book where you’re not supposed to get attached to anyone, it’s still a good idea to have at least one or two characters you’re going to enjoy reading about. Sadly, Magical Girl Apocalypse doesn’t deliver on that front. I didn’t find myself identifying with any of these characters, and after a while it was more interesting seeing how they were going to die than trying to figure out how they were going to live.
Legend has it that when directing the movie Aliens, James Cameron brought in a Marine higher-up and told him about the hopeless situation the characters in the movie were in, and asked how this soldier would get his troops out of such a situation. When the Marine told him the standard procedure, Cameron altered the situation, and asked again. With each new solution the Marine provided, Cameron worked to thwart him until finally the Marine said the situation was completely hopeless. Then Cameron started filming. However much of that is Hollywood legend and however much of it is true, Magical Girl Apocalypse works on the same basic principle. The problem is, it’s so hopeless and so bereft of characters worth knowing you’ll likely find yourself rooting for the demonic Magical Girls to kill everyone, end the series, and put you out of your misery.
Reviewed by: Al Sparrow – email@example.com
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