What’s it about ?
We’ve all been waiting for a Madoka clone that completely misses the point, haven’t we ?
(Okay, that’s probably a very unfair comparison.)
Akari, our protagonist. This young girl is an apprentice tarot card reader, and quite good at it ; she works at the local fortunetelling house run by three eccentrics. By all appearances, this makes her very popular. On the other hand, she’s an orphan (her dead mother also had the talent) and lives in a foster family.
Fuyuna, the daughter of that foster family (I think ; this series’ not good with exposition), at first looks like she’s taking her eccentric “sister” in stride (such as the plant overrunning Akari’s room) ; but it’s clear her resentment at her popularity (despite Fuyuna being the class’s top student) is slowly growing and eating away at her.
And then Fuyuna gets possessed by something ; Akari manifests magical girl powers (which comes at a surprise to her) and kills the thing attacking her… including Fuyuna. And then things get really weird, as time rewinds back a day and everything resumes as normal… except Akari’s foster family never had any daughter.
There are three other magical girls hovering on the edge of the plot and cryptically monitoring what’s happening (without the courtesy of giving any explanation to the audience). They rescue Akari after the fortunetelling house gets burned down by a random zombie fire demon (I don’t know what the heck either).
I really dislike the character designs and colour palette, as they make everyone look flat (and they really don’t need that). Other than that, I guess it’s decent (if very pedestrian), and it’s got the one good special effect idea to indicate that something weird has happened.
Warning : the above summary may have given you the impression that interesting stuff happened in this episode. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, as a parade of flat and boring characters are put through the wringer of horrible things happening to them for no discernible reason, without any sign of a proper antagonist. I have no clue how you can make this so dull, but somehow this show has succeeded.
Who knows, maybe it’ll start making sense next episode, when we hopefully finally get some exposition in. But I have no confidence in this mess of a series, and I don’t plan on sticking with it to find out.