Hey, y’all. How’s your week been treating you so far? I know it’s only Tuesday, but make sure not to tire yourself out too quickly with whatever you’re doing, whether it be work related, doing some hobbies, or even doing nothing. As for me, I’m just taking it one day at a time.
So, lately, I’ve been talking with a great friend of mine who’s a musician, and he’s been asking me to send some stories his way to help get is creative mind flowing when he wanted to work on music. To me, I always like it when somebody uses my stories as sense of inspiration, whether it be for drawing, making music, or even just trying to get some kind of ideas when they’re at a mental road block. So when my friend started using some of my stories, I returned the favor when he sent me some of his music for me to write a story to.
For the next couple of day, I’m going to be sharing those stories that I wrote to my friend’s music. I would listen to each track multiple times in order to get a sense of what kind of theme or story I wanted to tell, and then I kept replaying it over and over once I sat at my desk to type. In case you guys want to join in and see if my story matches the music, head on over to my friend’s SoundCloud – Amacnyc.
(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.
— Follow Luka on Facebook and Twitter for more content and a look into Luka’s life!
The black bag quickly sank below the water’s surface, vanishing into the dark, cold trench beneath. We waited on the dock, watching to see if it would suddenly float back up. Five minutes passed and nothing happened, the water coming back to an eerie stillness.
“There,” I said, heading back to the car. “Like it never even happened.”
Samantha’s footsteps followed behind, a small distance between us. She started sobbing when we got back into our seats.
I wiped the tears from her eyes, giving her a small smile, “Don’t tell anybody about this. Got it?”
Most of the car ride was in silence, me focusing on the empty roads while Samantha lost herself in the passenger side window, obviously deep in thought. I took a quick glance at her, seeing her let out a loud sigh.
“You alright, dear?” I asked, trying to keep my tone light.
“I’m still thinking about how I killed that man,” she admitted, whispering as if a stranger was nearby eavesdropping. Her hands were trembling in her lap. “Mom, I’m scared. I don’t want to go to jail…”
I reached over and held Samantha’s hand, consoling her, “You won’t. Promise.”
I tossed my key ring to Samantha, and she caught it with both hands. “Go bring the car around. Back it up all the way onto the curb without driving on the lawn.”
Nodding, Samantha dashed back into the house and headed for the garage. Out on the front step of the house I looked up and down the streets, the cover of the nighttime sky protecting me from any unwanted attention. I put on a pair of plastic gloves and dragged the trash bag to the curb, seeing a limp arm fall out.
“When did this happened?” I shouted angrily. “I was only gone for five minutes, and this happens.”
Samantha was rushing to clean up the mess between us, the mop quickly soaking up the liquids on the floor. “I’m sorry, Mom,” she pleaded, her voice panicked. She rung the mop out in the small bucket next to the mess and continued cleaning, “I didn’t have a choice. The guy broke through the window, and I had to stop him.”
There was a giant red trail leaning from back in the living room to here.
This was going to be the end of it, the end of Melissa. I never have imagined in my entire life that I would witness such a horrific thing, and have to be a part of it. Part of me wondered what would have happened if I never noticed her not coming into the classroom.
It all started when I saw her eating away at the squirrel’s body while behind that bush. So many of the other children play pretend back there, acting like a hiding spot for their little games. None of what I saw today could ever have been make-believe.
And I was the one who had to end it all, to end the life of a child. There was nobody else around, and my actions were exposed right on the playground. There’s no way they would have believed me when they came and found me staring down at a dead body.
Might as well go all-out.
What if the real Melissa was still aware of everything that has occurred? What if she was consciously aware of everything she’s done but had no control over it?
This whole event—seeing her hiding behind the bush, looking a the squirrel’s head on the ground, hitting her with the bat—everything felt like one long nightmare.
With that in mind I brought the bat up over my head.
He kept crying, his eyes an endless waterfall of tears. It started to get on my nerves.
I leaned in and punched him right in his face, “Man up and stop crying like a baby.” I watched him for a moment to see how he’d react. Now, aside from crying even harder, his nose was crooked and bled to no end. I sighed, grabbing his nose and straightening it. He screamed out in pain, twitching uncontrollably.
Seeing him so weak, all I could do was watch him die, disgusted at his lack of resolve.
Police was all around me, surely surrounding the building from every possible exit. The sound of helicopter blades whirled overhead, and the local media was trying to cover the entire event from safety behind the barricade of cars out front.
I pointed my gun at one of the tellers, “You, redhead. Get over here!”
It was a man, and he readily followed my instructions, knowing his life was in danger if he didn’t listen. When he got in front of me I smacked him across the face with the pistol and grabbed his neck, holding him close.”
It was just another day out on the town, looking around for anybody else still living in the streets. Although I knew the streets like the back of my hand, I decided to play it safe and observe from a nearby rooftop.
I dropped my rifle down next to me, and leaned against the edge of the room, looking down at the streets below.
From the corner of my eye I saw something speeding down the street, somebody struggling inside of a car.
I put my binoculars down for a moment and tapped my earpiece, “Found another loner. Engage?”
War has always been a favorable pastime of mine, enjoying the destruction and misery brought about to the enemy troops when they’re outmatched. Seeing living bodies become cold corpses, the sound of gunfire and cries of defeat, taking control of the enemy bases and camps, all of these made war fun.
The absolutely best part was always confronting the enemy leader, and making a mess out of them with ease. An army is only as strong as its leader, and I’ve yet found one that was able to best even my most basic of infantry.
Salazar swore he was prepared to deal with somebody such as myself. I proved him wrong.
My lungs filled with the scent of gunpowder and despair from the battlefield as I took a big huff of air.
“What weaklings, the humans are. It still boggles me how so many throughout history attempted to try and unify all of them under one flag.”
In a strange burst of humility, I called out to see if he was alive, addressing him by rank, Commander Salazar.