…I actually forgot to review this. >_<;. I did a short review for it on Goodreads, but I never did one here. I guess I thought I had, but didn’t. :(.
Puella Magi Tart Magica is one of the many different magical girl stories that take place in the same universe as Puella Magi Madoka Magica. This particular one is hinted at at the end of the original Puella Magi Madoka Magica series, and when I saw that in the anime, I had hoped they’d make that into an actual story. Since I saw Fate/Zero and started reading Fate/Apocrypha, I got interested in learning more about Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years war, and have gained an interest in stories that involve Joan/this time period. Yeah, an anime got me into history LOL.
So when I saw this manga was being released, I got excited for it and pre-ordered it right away. I only recently got around to reading it. Was it worth it? Is it good?
Yes, and no.
The beginning is really REALLY slow. We get to see Tart (Joan is named Tart here for reasons. Probably for ‘cuteness’) and her family, and get to see the second Magical Girl, Riz early on. And ‘Cube’, but WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE, CUBE. WE KNOW.
YOU ARE THIS THING. Tart being a magical girl will be a huge mistake, because we know what happens to magical girls who make contracts with HIM. And historically, we know what will happen to ‘Tart’.
‘Cube’ sees potential in Tart (per usual), but she has no reason to be a magical girl. And for awhile, we just get to read about her daily life. Oh, and we get to read really long winded lectures about the Hundred Years War, in between story. Which I guess would be OK (I wanted to read about it, after all), but it disrupted the narrative. And the daily life parts are so BORING. It’s largely just them glorifying Riz. Riz is so great, she’s so mature, so powerful. And randomly uses kunai despite being Italian. But that’s irrelevant. At any rate, the first half of the manga is this boring, dry setup. Until an event happens that causes Tart to decide to be a magical girl happens, that is–her sister is killed. Tart decides she wants to get strong to bring glory to France (she originally wants to get back at the people who killed her sister/prevent it, but Cube (KYUBEY) actually helpfully tells her it’s pointless, because it’ll just happen again, and if not to her sister, to someone else in her family, or more than that.). The plot finally gets going from there, and becomes worthwhile to read. She starts to get involved with the war, and it is revealed her magical girl ability is strong–but REALLY draining.
As I stated above, this manga starts off REALLY slowly. That, and the long winded, in the middle of the story history lessons makes it less enjoyable to read. I would have been alright with them if they were at the end–I get why the history stuff is there, and appreciate being able to read about the Hundred Years War without having to read an even longer winded article on it. But I didn’t appreciate having to read it between the action. Additionally, the secondary magical girl, Riz, is basically a perfect version of Homura from the original PMMM. Literally, she seems to have no flaws. And an Italian girl randomly using kunai as a weapon is unbelievable and makes things a bit worse. I just didn’t like her. I also didn’t like them calling Jeanne/Joan Tart, instead of Joan or Jeanne. Tart seems like a silly nickname to me, and wouldn’t be taken seriously. I did not like the name change. The second half of the book was great, however, and did make me want to read the second book. It finally started feeling like a Puella Magi book, instead of some slice of life, boring book. Though to be fair, PMMM was kind of the same way, originally. The art is pretty good, and looks like the other Puella Magi series out there.
Overall, 3/5 stars. I will be reading books 2 and 3 (what I have purchased so far and also what is out), but was originally cursing myself for buying 2 and 3 originally because of how slow the first half of book 1 was.
Next time, I will be reviewing Fate/Zero volume 1. Look forward to it then!