(If you didn’t read volume one of Machimao: I Messed Up and Made the Wrong Person Into a Magical Girl, it’s highly recommended that you read it. You’re missing out on the beginning of a great series.)
“I’m gonna carve your face in, Tits-for-Brains!”
A perfect line used to sum up how the latest volume of Machimaho begins.
Picking up right after where volume one of Machimaho left off, volume two opens with the continuation of the intense blow-for-blow fight scene that left me on the edge of my seat—and I wasn’t disappointed when I started reading it. On the very first page, Kayo does a spoof of a popular shonen anime/manga series that anybody would recognize.
On its own, Machimaho volume two was very enjoyable to read. The overall plot of the story continues on, giving more detail behind what happens to Kayo and her rival, Nako, when they take on their magical girl forms. Although the manga is primarily an action story, volume two throws in more comedic set-ups and situations that doesn’t deter from what the plot is trying to focus on. One such moment is when Kayo and Nako expend all of their energy fighting one another: they get hungry. Souryu, the creator of Machimaho, took this moment to break the fourth wall in a smooth, yet obvious, way. Regardless if is was a direct reference to another popular manga/anime series, or to the genre overall, it was still a comedic scene that made me laugh. After this moment, that’s when the main focus of volume two comes into play.
Splitting up into two different perspectives, the story starts to focus on Nako, showing what happened at the conclusion of her fight with Kayo. This point of the story begins to give us a small window into her own personal life, allowing us to learn about the way she thinks and her views on having magical girl powers. Just like her delinquent and arrogant rival, Nako has her own floating familiar following her around, however its origin isn’t so clear; this was most likely done as setup for a later plot development, so it’s actually an interesting thing, not a hindrance of understanding the story.
As for the second perspective, the story swaps back to Kayo, our main badass magical girl. After being escorted back home by her personal underling, Rei, Kayo wakes up from a dream and finds herself in a bed inside of the main building of her home. Grabbing breakfast on the go and escaping, she heads on back to her room underground, the one shown in volume one. Knocking out a few demons on the way, literally one-punching everything all while having a casual conversation with Myu, Kayo starts to unwind and reflect on everything that has happened. However, as she’s trying to take it easy, her memories from an earlier time becomes her focus.
This is the part of the story where we’re given small snippets into Kayo’s life. Although this portion is only one page in length, it had me wondering what kind of person Kayo’s life had been long before she was turned into a magical girl. The fact that she quickly escaped a house where she had personal maids and butlers catering to her and lived an obvious life a luxury, that’s something most people wouldn’t just run out on. I began to wonder what possibly could have happened that made her want to live in a nearly empty room, and if she had always been the violent powerhouse she’s currently known as. For now that portion of her life is a heavily shrouded mystery, one that I can’t wait to uncover as the series continues.
The story continues on, switching back and forth between Kayo and Nako until they meet up again when another demon appears in the city, this time coming from the result of what happened in volume one. As the fight goes on, we see a side of Nako that I never would have imagined; it even pisses off Kayo to the point that she has to come in and slap the living hell out of her. And I can’t even lie, Kayo’s never end of blatant disrespectful remarks and crude cursing makes me like her even more as a character—I can see her becoming a boss or a gang or illegal organization with the way she acts.. At the conclusion of volume two, we’re treated with a new mystery, one that makes me wonder just how deep this whole magical girl stuff can reach.
At the end of it all, Machimaho volume two lives up to the hype the first volume sets up and continues it, grabbing my attention throughout, all while having me laugh when I needed to. The artwork both during fight scenes and outside of them are consistent, detailed from the clothing, down to Kayo’s veins practically busting out of her face; you can even see the large amount of cracks inside a giant rock Kayo chucks at Nako. Souryu knows how to make great actions scenes and can back that up a great story. I can’t wait to see what kind of demons Kayo will have to take on in volume three!
Want to read it for yourself? Machimaho is currently out in print and digital copies on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other major book retailers.