Due to a weird mix-up, foreign exchange student Julian Argento finds himself transferred to Urobochi High, a training academy for magical girls. There he teams up with a kitchen-themed squad to stop his evil sister, Florence, from destroying Japan.
My re-attached arm vibrates with life. My fingertips can now unhinge to reveal soap cannons. My entire wrist can now unhinge to reveal a house care product blaster. There’s also a keypad for me to toggle between the different fire modes.
So my power is cleaning products… ?
Pixiegate Madoka is an anime inspired pulp action thriller. It’s got the tightness, energy, and complete over-the-topness of a Go Nagai manga.
I had read some of Lesueur’s work in a workshop that we were both in, but I can’t recall anything about what his writing was like. If I found his work forgettable then, he’s massively improved. It’s hard to forget something this fun to read.
The plot propels forward at such a fast pace, one could almost miss the insane creativeness of it all. The action of the book is fun and completely ridiculous. The simple and urgent prose makes the action pop like if Elmore Leonard grew up watching Dragonball Z and Sailor Moon.
Scardick claps his hand,(sic) and a frog fires a mucous bomb at me. I unhinge my wrist and fire a bleach ball bomb at the mucous. They collide mid-air and explode. Scardick claps his hands again, and all of the frogs fire mucous bombs at me. I send out several bleach ball bombs to match the level of mucous being shot out at me. My vision blurs with each colliding explosion until I pass out.
My biggest complaint about this book is the characters. They all have interesting powers (like summoning dolphins, how is that not awesome?), but little personality. For example, the protagonist Julian is basically just a “neckbeard” stereotype. He’s bearable since the most negative parts of this are downplayed and he holds his own in the action scenes. However, there are parts that attempt to explore his psychology that don’t really go anywhere. I also tried to figure out exactly why his sister wants him dead, but the only reason seems to be because she’s the villain.
Despite the cardboard characters, Pixiegate Madoka is a fun and colorful ride you won’t regret getting on. Anime and manga fans especially should pick this up.
Ben Arzate lives in Des Moines, Iowa. His fiction and poetry has appeared in Ugly Babies, Bizarro Central, Spoilage, The Mustache Factor, Twenty Something Press, and Keep This Bag Away From Children. He blogs at http://dripdropdripdropdripdrop.blogspot.com/