The Hero’s Alter Ego in Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 Is a Man Living the Corporate Grind

Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 cover art of Hiro and Sakura sitting on a sofa with their legs on each other.

While I’ve watched animes in the past with magical girls—loved Sailor Moon—I’m not a fan of most of the series or stories. Yet Magical Girl Incident is so interesting, with the potential for a lot of future fun. Plus, seeing a man transition to a magical girl reminds me of the anime Ranma ½ and the 90s comedy Switch. Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 has comedy, magic, and a genuine heart at its center. 

Created by Zero Akabane with translation by Caleb Cook and lettering by Phil Christie, the series starts with Hiromi Sakura’s journey to becoming a magical girl. Serialized in English by Yen Press, the first panel shows Hiro’s boss lecturing him about work. Hiro dreamed about being a hero. He wanted to be the person heroically saving lives. Yet as an adult, he’s stuck in a toxic corporate job. Hiro’s profession forces you to work overtime without any additional pay. After encountering a monster attacking a child, Hiro transforms into a magical girl, complete with the uniform and shoes. 

Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 Introduces A Man You’d Want to Know

Thanks to hearing Hiro’s thoughts, it’s easy to not only root for Hiro. There’s nothing wrong with daydreaming or wishing to help people. In the context of magical girl stories, it’s refreshing seeing an adult wish for those abilities. Hiro doesn’t just shrug and give an “oh well,” because he doesn’t have magic. He understands and declares that anyone can be a hero, given an opportunity. That might be why Hiro’s able to transform. Even in the workplace, with all the additional stress of a toxic boss constantly reminding him how replaceable he is if he refuses to work late, Hiro takes a new hire under his wing. Hiro’s a person who deserves magical ability. 

Stellar Cliffhanger and Curbing Dark Thoughts

Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 cover art of Hiro and Sakura sitting on a sofa with their legs on each other.
Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 cover art

With five chapters and a bonus chapter, Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 feels like it flies by. There’s plenty of fun when Hiro attempts to transform, channeling magical girl phrases. Additionally, Hiro’s friend, the wealthy Yuzuru Saotome, becomes equally obsessed with magical girls and being a hero. So the cliffhanger raises questions about who comes to the rescue. The bonus chapter left me cackling as it references the ramen incident—you’ll see what I mean. But there’s no denying that this magical girl manga surprised me. 

What I love about Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 is dreams don’t have to end in adulthood, and anyone can be a hero under certain circumstances. You have to care. The flip side is also displayed, especially with Hiro’s kohai, Yuusuke Shibata. He wants to be a valued person at work so much that Yuusuke castigates himself for being a burden. Self-doubt creates a layer of toxicity, even with others’ support. Akin to Jujutsu Kaisen, it shows how thoughts can create a harmful manifestation. Thanks to its unique premise, a heroic main character, and plenty of questions about Hiro’s magical girl, Sakura, Magical Girl Incident Volume 1 reels you in, even if you’re not a fan of the genre. 

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