The Great Ketchup Cake Caper of Magia Record

Part of the appeal of Shaft’s animations is that there is ALWAYS something going on in the background. It makes for great re-watchability. Once you’ve watched a new episode of the studio’s Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, rewind, turn those subtitles off and look for pendulums swinging symbolically in the background. Check out the hidden details of a Witch’s Labyrinth, or see if any street signs start displaying tidbits about a characters’ emotional state.

Or, go rewind because THIS GIRL JUST PUT KETCHUP ON HER CAKE. Yeah. Are you seeing that screenshot? That’s for sure ketchup, right? And then, to make matters worse, it seems that she’s decorated the ketchup swirls with…candy and a wad of meat? Excuse me?

It can’t be some kind of meat pie, right? Then there would be beef pouring out the sides or something when she cut into it. Another troubling thing is the fact that there doesn’t seem to even be ketchup on the table. Does she have a secret stash of ketchup on her at all times? Lastly, none of the other magical girls seem to react to her decking her cheesecake out in ketchup – no one except for the newbie, Iroha, anyways. This leads me to believe that this is a regular occurrence. She must be dousing things in ketchup so often that her friends don’t even react to it anymore.

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WHERE DID IT COME FROM??

A few others have speculated on this odd phenomenon. Scott posited that maybe she’s eating a potato cake somehow. Remy gives the impression that she might just be a monster, like theYouTube lady who puts ketchup on her French toast. K at the Moviespoints out that she should just cut out the middle man and eat one of those Canadian ketchup cakes.

In all likelihood, it’s just a clever visual gag from the people who brought you similar fast-paced visual comedy in the Monogatari series. I love the idea of a conference room full of creators and animators being like, “yes, as Momoko is detailing the logistics of Witches, have this girl do some goofy shit in the foreground like putting ketchup on a cake.” Once again, Shaft is proving that they’re on another level, because they have the power to make me pause an important scene just to marvel at small details.

This anime is based off a game, too, and I gotta be honest – this mystery is making me want to download the mobile app just to see if this girl does more things like this canonically. Guess that’s just part of Shaft’s genius, too! Get me to download a game off of a freaking ketchup gag!

Great, now I definitely am going to play the game to learn more about this girl…

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