Why Mahou Shoujo Site’s Dark Magical Girl Style Went Overboard

Whenever the topic of magical girl anime comes up, one usually pictures a heartfelt story about a group of young women teaming up to save the world, with one of them as the leader. However, not all magical girl stories will have a happy ending for everyone or display the value of teamwork. Madoka Magica has made itself a perfect example of that.

Unlike the lighthearted Sailor Moon or Tokyo Mew Mew, Madoka was not afraid to deconstruct the genre or showcase its grim moments, ranging from killing off one of its main characters early on to showing the dark reality of being a magical girl. The anime’s mass success made a stunning breakthrough in the genre, inspiring other magical girl-themed series to do the same in hopes they will achieve the same result. While none have reached the same amount of success as Madoka Magica, one that flopped tremendously was Mahou Shoujo Site.

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The Plot of Mahou Shoujo Site

Based on Kentaro Sato’s manga of the same name, Mahou Shoujo Site depicts middle school student Aya Asagiri, who struggles with severe bullying and does not have any friends. When she comes across an unfamiliar website, it tells her she will become a magical girl.

Aya finds this to be true the next day when she sees that her physical appearance has changed and discovers a gun with mysterious abilities. While her life does at first seem to turn for the better as she makes friends with other magical girls, they still need to be wary of the website they obtained their powers from.

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Mahou Shoujo Site’s Characters Endure Too Much Misfortune

Despite its somewhat original plot, Mahou Shoujo Site was not received well at all by the anime community, and this was mainly due to the characters themselves. In addition to Aya, each of the girls were already going through their own struggles before discovering the titular magical girl website.

While this is not inherently a bad thing, tragic backstories can work well if done right. Aside from becoming friends however, the characters’ lives only continue to worsen as more misfortunes befall them. Without any positive aspects to balance it, this factor has caused fans to speculate that their constant agony is just for the sake of it and consider it to be an abridged magical girl anime.

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The Trials Faced By Mahou Shoujo Site’s Magical Girls Lacked Purpose

While other dark magical girl anime such as Madoka Magica and Wonder Egg Priority featured characters who were also going through their own trials, distress was not the only thing they knew. Each of the girls had their own clear motives for doing what they did, something Mahou Shoujo Site seemed to lack, resulting in its poor reception.

Although the former two have had their share of somber plot devices, Mahou Shoujo Site overshadows both of them in terms of this by a significant margin. This led viewers to ponder if it was trying too hard to rival preexisting dark magical girl anime, or if its parodic influences were completely intentional. Had it cut back on the characters’ continuous suffering, Mahou Shoujo Site might have been able to achieve success.

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