From the first episode, you can feel the darkness behind the new Magical Girl anime, Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku. It was reminiscent of Puella, but we all wondered how. As we watched the story unfold and death ensue, it was quite clear that we were in the presence of yet another dark Magical Girl anime.
However, what made it extremely dark was the backstories for each character. Each character’s backstory was gripping and really pulled at the heartstrings so that you would develop an attachment to them before the series ripped out a piece of your heart. It was so painful. So, as an homage to all the Magical Girls lost in Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, we are looking at the top 10 tragic characters who really got to our hearts.
Beware of spoilers!
10. Mokuou Sanae “Ruler”
Perhaps the first rather villainous character we get to see, Ruler comes in as the leader of a group of Magical Girls. She comes off as bossy and callous, which only coincides with the ruler-like outfit she wears. As Sanae, she is an office lady with a history of good grades. Ruler is the first to begin the process of eliminating the other Magical Girls for her benefit. Ruler’s power gave her the ability to command others once she was able to meet all the requirements for giving commandments.
It is a bit hard to feel bad for Ruler, but when you have nothing precious in your life the way she does, it is pretty understandable. Ruler is known to have great grades and stellar work performance in the real world, but as a magical girl, she’s kind of a bossy annoyance who puts down her subjects. However, Ruler has shown some compassion such as when she helps Tama read kanji because Tama cannot read her rules, and even remarks that Swim Swim has very limited kanji reading ability, which shows she does care. Although her desire for power has overshadowed that trait so it is no surprise when all of her subjects revolt against her and lead her to her death. It’s a shame that they never realized how much she truly cared.
9. Sanjou Nemu “Nemurin”
Nemurin is an adorable magical girl who wants nothing more than to help others. In reality, Nemurin is a bit lazy and enjoys sleeping. As Nemu, she is a NEET and is currently unemployed, although she was planning on finding a job and ending her life as a NEET after her life as a magical girl was over. Nemurin’s power involved going into the dream world and helping others in their dreams (or nightmares).
Poor Nemurin is the adorable dreamy Magical Girl who unwittingly lost her life in this bloody elimination game first. Nemurin was given a virtually useless power that made it impossible for her to collect Magical Candy to save her place as a Magical Girl. Since she has no idea what the real penalty is, Nemurin resigns herself to helping one last girl before her job is over, but she accidentally inspires Swim Swim in her dreams to kill Ruler and other Magical Girls. It is so sad that poor Nemurin doesn’t even realize her impending demise or the consequences of her actions.
8. Yamamoto Naoko “Calamity Mary”
Whether you hate her or love her, Calamity Mary is an integral character in the world of Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, especially when it comes down to the magical girl exam that they must all take. As Calamity Mary, she works for the criminal underground and does as she pleases at the expense of others. Calamity Mary has no qualms about killing others for her own amusement than for necessity. The others avoid Calamity Mary as she is known for being a bit unhinged. Calamity Mary has the power to enhance all weapons in her hands.
Compared to Ruler, Calamity Mary is one hellfire of a lady who is almost impossible to feel sorry for. Calamity Mary is a bit of a tragic character though as her personality is so warped that she takes out her frustrations on her young daughter which ultimately led to her divorce. It is a bit sad to see this woman who has nothing special to her try to destroy everything because she is so empty inside.
7. Inubouzaki Tama
Tama is a magical girl dressed in dog garb who is first introduced as being part of Ruler’s pack. Since Tama is rather cowardly and feeble, she puts herself in the hands of whoever her friends are, which began with Ruler and progressed to Swim Swim. While Tama’s “friends” are pretty devious and bloodthirsty, Tama herself is very innocent. Tama’s power gives her the ability to create large holes on any surface she pleases, which has no limitations.
Tama is a bit of a sad little Magical Girl because she puts so much trust in her other companions who have all treated her horribly. She is used and abused by her fellow companions and hardly ever seems to do anything right in their eyes. Tama is even more tragic because she is treated as if she is useless, but when Tama kills Cranberry and saves Swim Swim’s life, she is killed by Swim Swim for merely knowing her true form. Poor Tama’s entire existence in the anime is never cherished or treated well.
6. Ashuu Shizuku “Weiss Winterprison”
Weiss Winterprison, or Winterprison for short, is Sister Nana’s lover and one of the strongest Magical Girls. Winterprison tends to be the silent protector, although she is also known to be blunt. Per Sister Nana’s request, Shizuku was granted the power to be the Magical Girl, Weiss Winterprison. Winterprison’s power allows her to create walls using the material from her own environment.
While Winterprison may not seem like the most tragic story, if you think about her circumstances, it is a bit sad. Due to Sister Nana’s need for Winterprison to be her prince, Winterprison becomes a Magical Girl and gains the power to protect Sister Nana further. Then Winterprison ends up tragically killed during one of Sister Nana’s attempts to make peace with one of the crazier Magical Girls in the anime. Winterprison is essentially Sister Nana’s knight and never truly lives for herself but rather for Sister Nana. This may seem like a beautiful way to end a romance, but doesn’t that make Winterprison even more tragic?
5. Sazanami Kano “Ripple”
Ripple is a Magical Girl with the guise of a ninja, and her ability allows her to never miss. While her power is extremely handy in combat, Ripple’s power doesn’t help her much as a Magical Girl. In real life, Kano lives on her own away from her family, which was revealed to be broken and her stepfather a pervert. Ripple does not care for the other magical girls but is extremely close to her friend and mentor Top Speed. Ripple didn’t really want to be a Magical Girl because of her own life situation.
Ripple is thrown into the life of a Magical Girl and forced to participate in the elimination game despite never wanting to be a Magical Girl. If that wasn’t bad enough as it was, she was always distant to people until she befriended Top Speed and they formed a rather strong bond. With a history of almost being assaulted by her mother’s lover, Ripple was never good with people so her friendship with Top Speed was a special one. Of course, that all ends with Top Speed’s death and so, Ripple loses one of the few people who is important to her. With her ensuing rage, Ripple fights in the bloody battle royale and loses her limbs and her eye before finally being cut down. How tragic is that?
4. Sakanagi Ayana “Swim Swim”
Ayana is a 7-year-old girl whose Magical Girl form is that of a 16-year-old in a swimsuit. Known as Swim Swim, she was an underling in Ruler’s team and ends up being the new ruler in a self-planned coup. Although she killed Ruler, Swim Swim still cares a lot about what steps Ruler would have taken. Swim Swim’s power allows her to turn herself into a liquid which prevents any damage from taking her.
Swim Swim is one of the main antagonists in Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku so it is hard to feel sympathy for her, but we can recognize her as a tragic character. She only strives to be one of the best because that is all she knows, and thanks to some advice from Nemurin, Swim Swim has to kill Ruler, someone that she actually seems to respect even after her death (but there can only be one Ruler!). Then Swim Swim has to kill Tama for seeing her real identity (why…?) even though she wanted to execute her plans without losing anyone. She may be cold, but Swim Swim isn’t completely heartless.
3. Habutae Nana “Sister Nana”
Sister Nana is Winterprison’s lover and Snow White’s mentor. Often times, Sister Nana can be seen trying to bridge friendships with other Magical Girls, which doesn’t always go in her favor. Sister Nana’s power gives her the ability to enhance a trait in another person whether that be their strength or power.
Now, Sister Nana is a really tragic character. She is so kind hearted and idealistic that she strives to help as many new Magical Girls, like Snow White, as possible and mend relationships between Magical Girls. With her idealistic nature, she accidentally ends up indirectly killing her lover, Winterprison, when Winterprison tries to save Sister Nana from Swim Swim. With the loss of her lover, Sister Nana is driven to depression and no longer feels as idealistic as she did prior, which ultimately drove her to commit suicide.
2. Hatoda Ako “Hardgore Alice”
Ako is a very young girl who takes on the mantle of Hardgore Alice right in the middle of the Magical Girl battle royale. Since Ako was a fan of Snow White prior to her becoming a Magical Girl, Hardgore Alice’s sole goal is to find Snow White. As a girl dressed in gothic lolita with a gaunt face, Alice might scare you at first, especially when her first real scene is of her being decapitated. Hardgore Alice’s power gives her the ability to essentially regenerate her body no matter how she is damaged or killed.
Hardgore Alice is so tragic as she wants nothing more than to coordinate with Snow White since Snow White is the embodiment of all she believes. Hardgore Alice is just a mere child who is willing to give up years of her life to helping Snow White by giving her one of the Magical Girl items. However, her near immortality has led her to live through many horrific near deaths and Calamity Mary even attempted to keep Hardgore Alice at the bottom of the ocean in a barrel filled with concrete. All these attempts finally lead to her ultimate demise when Minaelle finds out her true identity as Ako and Swim Swim ends her life.
1. Murota Tsubame “Top Speed”
Top Speed is introduced as a fairly energetic young Magical Girl and Ripple’s mentor. With her broomstick, Top Speed is capable of going at extremely fast speeds, outpacing many who try to match her. Top Speed was a former bike gang member, however, she is now very motherly and takes care of children and watches over Ripple.
Top Speed is arguably the most tragic character in Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku. She is a sweet mentor to Ripple and even forms a bond with the introverted Ripple. Top Speed is also in a loving marriage and upon her murder, it is revealed that she is pregnant with her first child. However, despite all this, the most tragic part of all is that Top Speed merely worries for her child so she wanted nothing more than to survive just long enough for the child to be born. And her last words were of regret for not having gone to the market before her husband got home. Even in her final moments, all Top Speed cares about is her family and those she loves the most.
Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku was an intense Magical Girl anime that really knew how to rip our hearts apart and destroy our notions of happiness. You could tell from the start it would be dark, but who knew how it would tear at your heartstrings with its heartfelt characters and tragic deaths?
Do you have a favorite Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku character? What is your favorite backstory? Please share with us here at Honey’s Anime!