Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story
"...A magical girl... it's a name for girls who take on the heavy destiny of fighting against a curse that plagues the world in exchange for just one single miracle." - Mami Tomoe, volume 1
"Would you mind... making me your disciple?!" - Kyoko Sakura to Mami Tomoe, volume 1
Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ～The different story～ Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magica ~The different story~) is a three-volume manga spin-off written by Masaki Hiramatsu and illustrated by Hanokage. The first volume begins as an adaptation of Drama CD 3, which details the events through which Mami and Kyoko meet for the first time and become witch-hunting partners. Ultimately, it culminates in an alternate timeline with a different outcome from the timelines shown in the anime.
The first volume was released on October 12th, 2012, while the other two were released on October 19th and November 12th of the same year. Yen Press then licensed the manga, with the three translated volumes were released on March 24, 2014, June 24, 2014, and October 28, 2014.
- Volume 1
- Mami’s warm personality has made it difficult for her to adjust to her solitary life as a magical girl, where survival often takes precedence over kindness. When she meets Kyoko Sakura, a fellow lone wolf, she is excited at the prospect of working together with another magical girl and forging a friendship built on ultimate trust. But many are the sacrifices all magical girls must make, and the consequences of Kyoko’s choice are only just becoming clear to her. When the pain becomes unbearable, will Kyoko remain standing beside Mami as a force for the greater good…?
- Volume 2
- Mami has joined with a new magical girl partner in her efforts to rid the city of witches. Sayaka Miki is a little green, but her swordsmanship is an undeniable asset to the cause. But Sayaka brings more than her blade to battle: her friend Madoka has joined the girls on their late-night missions. Mami doesn’t want to pressure Madoka into a decision about becoming a magical girl, but how long can Madoka remain on the sidelines as a passive witness when her friends are in danger?
- Volume 3
- When she fails to save Sayaka, Mami is overcome by despair and loneliness. With the fate of every magical girl made clear before her, Mami chooses to embrace death rather than fight on. As Mami sets out to deliver herself into the hands of the witch, Kyoko rushes to confront her former mentor. Mami's soul gem steadily darkens — soon her doom will be certain. Can Kyoko give Mami a reason to fight on before her gem turns jet-black?
- Volume 1
- Volume 2
- Volume 3
- In volume 3, Candeloro tries to tempt Mami to fall into despair with promises of her ideal world, and friends that would never betray nor abandon her like Kyoko or Sayaka.
- Candeloro's human form resembles that of a child Mami seen in a flashback panel in the beginning of volume three. This may be significant, seeing as Mami's parents were still alive at the time of the flashback.
- Weapon designs in this spin-off are the same as those in anime, rather than the manga version. The designs of the soul gems are also based on the anime version.
- The story implies that Kyoko's father became physically abusive to her mother after learning of Kyoko's magical girl status. This clashes with previous characterization of Kyoko's father in the anime, as explained in this tumblr post.
- Michiru Kazusa from Kazumi Magica makes a cameo appearance in the third volume. This scene was probably included because Kazumi's author wrote the script for the manga.
- Throughout volume 2, it is stated that Kyoko has built up a large reserve of grief seeds. In volume 3, however, she apparently does not have any come her fight with Mami, which makes the later conflict of her needing more grief seeds and having to trick Mami with an illusion of one come off as contrived. See also this tumblr post.
- In volume 2 episode 5, Mami uses an attack called "tiro ricercare", which is Italian for "search shot".