Kuroe (Swimsuit ver.)
|Japanese Name||黒江 (kuroe)|
|Voiced by||Japanese: Kana Hanazawa
English: Faye Mata
|Release Date (JP):||July 29, 2022|
- For her full bio, see Kuroe.
Kuroe (Swimsuit ver.) is a version of Kuroe that debuted in the mobile game Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record. She is just Kuroe with an alternate outfit that uses a paddle as her weapon.
|Age||15 (middle school 3rd year)|
|Soul Gem||Indigo circle strapped to right thigh|
|Powers and Abilities||Affirmation of existence|
|Wish||“I want to go out with the person I love.”|
|Japanese pronoun||watashi (私)|
|Known relatives||Unnamed parents, unnamed older brother, unnamed younger sister, unnamed younger brother|
|School||Unknown Takarazaki Middle School, 3rd Year|
|Affiliation||Wings of the Magius (black feather; anime only)|
|Spirit Enhancement Data|
A Magical Girl drifting in the summer sea. She's an indoor person who prefers to stay home and read books during the hot summer months, but when her brother invited her to a beach house, she found herself SUPing in the ocean. As a former rhythmic gymnast, she can do SUP yoga fairly well. Also, she's not good at swimming.
The Doppel of escape. Its form is a nighthawk. The master of this emotion runs to and fro, continually searching for a "fun summer vacation" that's fitting for her. Her ever-indecisive state of mind takes shape as this Doppel, with many fresh fruits incorporated into its form. In much the same way that the void in its master’s heart remains unfilled by any of the summers she experiences, the incongruous residue of those countless summers floats within the Doppel. Their sugar content skyrockets in correspondence with how much she was looking forward to them. The frankly-exhausted Doppel tearfully attempts to convince its master to give up on finding a fun summer, but if she still insists on continuing her search, it's considering teaching her a helpful lesson about her limitations by drowning her with its oceanic wings.
On the last day of school before the summer holidays, Kuroe's teacher dismisses her class with best wishes for the holidays - and reminds them that part of their homework is to write a summer diary about the fun they get up to. Kuroe, however, doesn't know what a fun summer vacation is - she figures if she can read a book in a comfortable, cool room, that'd be enough for her.
We then cut to the very end of the vacation, where Kuroe realizes she hasn't written her diary yet, and had best get to it immediately. Remarkably, summer was much busier than she had expected it would be - to think she had been so concerned about what she would write. In retrospect, she should have documented everything from the start, given all that unfolded - but now, all she can do is scribble the events down as much as she can, and notes that it'll be a memoir rather than an actual diary. But either way, this will let her mark down a summer holiday she never wants to forget.
Now, we cut back to the beginning of the holiday. Just as Kuroe expects this summer to be no different from the rest, she gets a text from her older brother recruiting her for help at his friend's local beach house, adding they have a "Stand-up Paddleboard" (SUP) class. Kuroe isn't sure what that is, but assumes it's like surfing and figures it wouldn't suit her, and feels she wouldn't fit in with her brother's friends, given how upbeat they are compared to her. Still, if her brother's asking her of all people, then he and his friends must really be in a pinch...but it's all a moot point, given that Kuroe doesn't have a swimsuit to even wear. She tries to rationalize that they must not really be in trouble...
But as fate would have it, in the midst of her papers, Kuroe digs up a flyer she'd received from Mitama for a special Swimsuit Coordination Campaign.
Kuroe heads over to Kamihama; on the train there, she overhears conversations by lots of various people gabbing about their plans for summer. Kuroe, aloof and distant, wonders why people make such a big fuss about summer.
Kuroe then arrives at Mitama's and requests the swimsuit, and Mitama works her magic, promising she'll make a cute and pretty one for Kuroe - and does so. As they chat afterwards, Mitama inquires about Kuroe helping at the beach house now that she has a swimsuit. Despite getting the Coordination, however, Kuroe still has cold feet - the beach just doesn't suit her.On the other hand, she does need a fun summer vacation for her homework assignment, and Kuroe just doesn't know what that entails. Given how much summer imagery is associated with the beach...
Mitama encourages her to go, saying she might be able to make new friends at the beach, for one - in fact, Mitama is a tad envious! After all, there's nothing like the thrill of a summer ripe with possibilities, before you've even planned anything. Even so, Kuroe ponders all this - people say it's good to meet new people and have new experiences...but what if that new encounter ends in disaster? Perhaps breaking out of what she's used to is a bad idea...
As fate would have it again, though, who walks in to disrupt Kuroe's funk but one Emiri Kisato? Emiri, Hinano, Rika, and Ren introduce themselves, thinking Kuroe might be a newcomer to Kamihama - but no, Mitama explains, she's a visitor from Takarazaki who wants to know what makes a fun summer vacation. Well, that's a problem with a simple solution for Rika - just have Kuroe hang out with them! Hinano pipes up with an objection, saying they can't just go barging into people's lives and inviting them out of nowhere - but still, Kuroe doesn't seem to mind. And so she begins her quest for a fun summer with these strangers on a trip to the food court.
In a discussion of Kuroe's dilemma, Emiri says it's easy - a fun summer is spent in a place that's nice and cool! Kuroe nods along, but Hinano says Kuroe doesn't have to force herself to be like Emiri - for example, Hinano imagines a fun summer to be watching fireworks side by side with that special someone, or running in the ocean together... Rika remarks these sound an awful lot like things you'd do on a date, and Hinano says that's the point - an adult's ideal summer is different from a kid's!
Rika gets excited, asking if Hinano's visited a night pool as well, and Hinano stammers out a little "O-of course I have! It's super glittery, yeah?" Rika is over the moon she really wants to go there - it looks amazing, you can't get sunburned at night, and they have girls-only nights, too! Emiri joins in, saying they're super shiny and have cool pool toys like flamingo or unicorn floats, and even Ren murmurs that she'd like to visit with her friends, too. Rika says she wants a selfie with all her pals on a big floatie together, and Hinano chuckles, saying she'll take them all next time. But Emiri wonders if that would be possible - the park has a curfew of 7 PM for little kids, after all!
Hinano, of course, wails about being a grown woman, which has Kuroe murmur in response, and Emiri's like "Oh yeah, you weren't expecting that, were you, Kuropi?" The nickname surprises Kuroe, but she doesn't object to keeping it. Emiri sets her sights on Ren next, clamoring for Ren to talk about what her idea of a fun summer is, too!
As that goes on, Kuroe ponders her situation. Between Hinano, Rika, and Emiri, this is a very chatty group, and she can't really keep up with things - she knows she'd get exhausted hanging out with them for too much time. She eyes Ren, wondering and worrying a little over whether she's being taken advantage of by these outgoing, socially dominant girls...
But while the other girls gab and Kuroe ruminates, Ren asks if Kuroe is feeling okay - she seems to sympathize with Kuroe and understands that the gyarus can be much for some people at times, and asks if Kuroe is feeling tired out. Kuroe quickly reassures her, saying she's fine, and feeling a bit guilty for making Ren worry. Before they can chat further, though, the girls pipe up again - there's a local summer festival happening right now, and this is their one chance to go - and it's as good a guarantee of a fun summer vacation as any!
As soon as Kuroe arrives, however, she's instantly made uncomfortable: the place is packed and very noisy. Even so, she wants to make the best of the occasion. She observes the others in the group having fun, like Rika feeding Ren an extra chocolate banana she won, or Hinano wrangling Emiri from running off alone into the crowd, though Emiri does drag Kuroe through some various fun and games, like yo-yo fishing. Still, it's mostly Hinano and Emiri who participate in the games.
Ultimately, what catches Kuroe's eye is a nearby takoyaki stand - which she stares at, lost in thought, for quite some time. The cook expects Kuroe to buy something, which leaves her reeling for a way to respond, but Rika steps in and buys one to share. When Kuroe says she'll pay Rika for it, Rika waves her off, saying she and Ren wanted to try one together, so they can all split it. Around this point, though, Rika seems to notice Kuroe's withdrawn mood, and tries to talk to Kuroe about it - but Emiri comes barging in, shouting Rika's name. Emiri's happy to see Kuroe, too, saying she lost track of Kuroe in all the shenanigans, and was busy looking for her everywhere!
Emiri cuts to the chase - has Kuroe found the fun summer holiday she's been looking for? Kuroe says she's not exactly sure, so Emiri whisks her off into yet more games. Kuroe thinks to herself that they're all being so nice to her, but...she just feels so awkward here. She just can't find a place here. In fact, she might've been better off staying home.
Eventually, the summer festival comes to a close - Emiri is despondent, there was still so much she wanted to do! But Ren says they'll have more chances; Emiri realizes yeah, there'll be lots of summer festivals - maybe next time, they can do a yukata one! Rika gets excited for that, too. Emiri says they'll do it with Kuropi, too - but Kuroe says, ah, actually, she doesn't often visit Kamihama, so...
It's a polite way of trying to dodge the issue, but Rika knows what's really up - she asks if Kuroe doesn't do well in noisy, crowded events like this? Kuroe stammers in response, and Rika apologizes for them dragging her into this. Emiri's thrown off by all this - were they actually causing more harm than good for Kuroe? Kuroe admits she doesn't enjoy these kinds of things - and adds that she found it all...kind of annoying, too.
There's an awkward pause, and Kuroe thinks she's really stepped in it this time, and tries to excuse herself, but Hinano wonders aloud if Kuroe's the type who would rather have friends with whom she shares common interests or hobbies? Kuroe says she doesn't really know, actually... Hinano hands off an ad for an upcoming event featuring a bunch of various cafes - board game cafes, movies, maids, even a fairy tale-themed one, and Hinano adds there'll be magical girls there, too - people of all different natures. She says a kohai of hers will be attending, and says if Kuroe's interested in going, she can meet with the kohai there, too.
In truth, though...Kuroe doesn't want to go out again. But she's worried she'll make things even more awkward if she says no. And perhaps there's hope for this event, too...so she agrees, deciding to give it a shot.
In Kuroe's next outing (as she relays in her diary/memoir), she went to the local swimming pool/waterpark hosting that cafe event. She writes that their meetup spot was (for some reason) near a maid cafe stop; there, Kuroe was...surprised by what she saw. She comes in, seeing maids doing various cutesy acts, female customers squeeing over Nagitan - Kuroe is in awe, wondering how someone can adore others, like these maids, so much. It makes her a little...envious, really. And with how noisy it is, well...she's worried she won't fit in here, either.
She tries to muster herself up to visit the fairy tale cafe spot, but...she already feels exhausted. She's about to duck out until she quite literally runs headlong into Hinano's kohai - who turns out to be Ryo. After introductions, Ryo wonders if Kuroe happened to be in the Magius as well; when Kuroe admits such, Ryo introduces herself as a former Feather, too - she recognized Kuroe's voice!
So they get down to business - Kuroe needs a fun summer holiday, right? No problem - Ryo will help introduce her to some fun people to meet. For their first stop, they visit Ikumi, another fellow former Feather - and Sakurako is here, too! She enters the scene by trying to spook Ryo, but Ryo isn't startled at all. After getting caught up on things, Sakurako says a fun summer vacation will be easy. She just needs to conjure up the Uwasa Aquarium, and - no, Ryo says, the aquarium is strictly forbidden! Kuroe, looking at Sakurako, wonders if she's a magical girl, too...
Before she gets an answer to that, Karin and Kanagi enter the scene. Ikumi asks if Kanagi's cafe is done for the day, but no, Karin just wanted to visit Ikumi, and Kanagi volunteered to be her escort. Kanagi has to return to the shop right after this, and asks Ikumi to keep an eye on Karin - Ikumi says of course (and Karin pouts that Kanagi sounds like she's dropping off Karin at a daycare center). Karin wishes Kanagi well as the latter heads back to work, and settles down to chat with Ikumi - until her eyes land on Kuroe.
Karin quickly introduces herself and gets the lowdown on Kuroe; she's excited to meet a magical girl from outside of town! For her idea of a fun summer, Karin introduces Kuroe to Magical Kirin with much gusto, saying the manga just released a special summer issue! Still, Ryo and Ikumi point out that if Kuroe goes with Karin's idea, Kuroe would have to spend the entire summer reading Magical Kirin alone, just to get an idea of what a fun summer could be.
Sakurako points out that she's read several volumes of Kirin since Nemu had them in e-book format, and wondered if it really does take most people a long time to read stories. Yes indeed, Ryou says; Sakurako is just (literally) built different from everyone else. The Kirin volumes are very long works - but that's one part out of many of why Karin loves the series so much. It's practically her Bible!
Kuroe observes Karin's fangirling, still in awe that someone can be so passionate about another person or thing - just seeing Karin fangirling over Kirin is piquing Kuroe's interest as well. Since Karin has a copy of Kirin on hand anyway, she starts showing it off to everyone, talking about how the iridescent colors or composition really capture the atmosphere of summer; Ryo gets really into it from a photographer's perspective, too, and Ikumi says she'd like to be in a photo with a background like the ones the Kirin artist draws - Ryo says she'll try taking one of Ikumi like that sometime.
The girls turn to Kuroe, wondering about what photo she'd look good in, too - something with sparklers, with a beautiful, delicate atmosphere. Karin says Kuroe's got the vibe of the archetypical cool mysterious figure (ex. the green/black ranger) who joins the heroes later in the story, and Ikumi agrees wholeheartedly, which flusters Kuroe a bit.
As the girls talk about the art and come up with ideas for new photo compositions for Ryo, Kuroe puts together that Ryo is a photographer, and that this is an interesting dynamic - all these girls have completely different hobbies, but were able to come together, relate to each other, and synthesize their ideas through Magical Kirin. And Kuroe thinks it's a little weird...but a little fun, too.
On that note, Ikumi asks if Kuroe has any hobbies herself. Karin suddenly realizes she's been dominating the whole conversation and apologizes, but Kuroe says no, it was fun listening to her. But as for her hobbies...well, Kuroe likes to read. Sakurako smiles and immediately says she's just like Nemu in that regard. Karin says she likes reading comic books herself, so they're alike in that regard! Kuroe says yeah, maybe they are.
When Ryou asks what books Kuroe likes reading, Kuroe says a lot - she's a fan of Kenji Miyazawa, for instance. Karin recognizes the name, though hasn't read many of his stories - but when Kuroe brings up The Restaurant of Many Orders, Karin definitely knows that one, mentioning how chilling it is. Karin says there's lots of bookworms she knows - Kushu is big on Miyazawa, too, and Karin also brings up Kako, saying they all gotta hang out together sometime!
Ikumi suggests they all meet up at her maid cafe, though Ryo says Shizuku's coffee shop might be a more suitable atmosphere for bookworms. Ikumi says yeah, that's true - it's quieter there. Ryo also says the blended coffee is excellent...which is great, given that's what Ryo can afford. Karin is feeling really peppy - they'll have a magical girl bookworm club (adding that everyone she's mentioned is a magical girl as well). And Kuroe's seeing potential, here - she expects she might be able to get especially along with Ryo and Ikumi, as kindred spirits. And Karin, too, seems to be at around Kuroe's power level, so Kuroe wouldn't be left in the dust by a bigger, badder magical girl... And as Magical Girls, their situations are likely very similar... And if a Witch appears, they can all take it down together.
Kuroe closes her eyes for a second to absorb all this, then thinks, maybe...she can be friends with these girls. And maybe, just maybe, she'll have a fun summer vacation with them, too.
But that doesn't change the outcome to all this - Kuroe still doesn't know what makes a fun summer holiday, does she? Unfortunately, the girls don't really know what makes summer particularly distinct, either - Sakurako has fun just being with Nemu, while Ryo's always after the next hot story no matter what season it is. Ikumi, too, is always focused on making people smile all throughout the year...and she's happiest when she makes others happy.
So yeah, Kuroe's kind of up a creek here...but Karin is determined to help Kuroe have a fun vacation! In fact, she already has an idea - as part of their book club, they can all recommend a favorite book for the others to read! She thinks it'd be a great way of getting to know other people, and it'd be fun, too! To start with, Karin decides she'll give Kuroe a copy of Magical Kirin, certain that Kuroe will like it, too.
Kuroe, though, reflects on what she's seen today - the fangirls for Kanagi and the maids in general, Karin's passion for Kirin... Kuroe fears that she won't love Kirin with the level of passion that these other girls do; she doesn't think she has the temperament to fangirl like that. And if Kuroe doesn't like it...will that cause a rift between her and these girls, too? If she doesn't like what they like, she feels like it'd be hard to actually be friends with them...
The girls notice Kuroe's gone quiet; when they ask what's up, Kuroe says she's left her books at home, so they can do this some other time...and says she has to go home immediately. Overwhelmed as she is, Kuroe practically flees the scene.
And once again, she laments the situation - these were good, well-meaning girls, people she might've been able to relate to on many levels...but in her haste to bail out, she forgot to get everyone's contact info. But...she tells herself, it's fine... She doesn't fit in anywhere, and that's fine. She doesn't need or want to fit in...and...surely, she'll be fine on her own, right...?
In the final act, in Kuroe's diary, she relays that at this point in summer, everyone around her was having their own plans with their friends that she watched from afar. It was all in another world to her, where she would never belong, and she spent much of her summer nose-deep in books.
At some point, when she couldn't track down a book she was curious about, she returned to Kamihama to look for it - and along the way, stopped by a coffee shop, the one Ryo and the others had recommended. Sure enough, it's just as those girls said - it's a quiet, peaceful place, and she likes it a lot. While she thought reading books at home would be the most relaxing place to do it, this might not be so bad, either.
Kuroe gets her blended coffee, and unintentionally murmurs aloud how delicious it is - Shizuku thanks her, pleased to hear that from a first-time customer. Kuroe's a little flustered to have spoken aloud without realizing it, but Shizuku chuckles, calm as always. She asks about the book Kuroe is reading - Shizuku's only just started on the first few pages of it herself, but relates to the protagonist's family owning a coffee shop as well.
Kuroe asks more about what books Shizuku likes - as expected, while Shizuku isn't much of a reader, she does like books related to travel. From there, they get onto introducing themselves. Kuroe explains how someone recommended this place to her - someone who only drinks the blended coffee - and Shizuku quickly connects the dots, recognizing Kuroe as someone Ryo's talked about, that Kuroe's the former Black Feather. Ryo never mentioned Kuroe's name, which is why it took Shizuku this long to figure out who Kuroe was. Kuroe remarks Shizuku must be good friends with Ryo, but Shizuku says not exactly; it's just Ryo and Ikumi saved her life a while ago.
A customer comes and Shizuku excuses herself from the conversation. Kuroe gathers that Shizuku must be a former Feather as well - and notes that Shizuku is, by far, the easiest person to talk with so far. They do seem very similar, even from the quick conversation they've had...
By Kuroe's estimation, Shizuku seems to be a very weak Magical Girl, just like Kuroe - who joined the Magius to find someone to save her. She thought Shizuku was someone who never fit in anywhere, or tried to fit in, either - but, in narrative form, Kuroe says that was a big mistaken assumption to make.
Because as Kuroe moves to leave the store, who enters but Ayaka herself. With how loud and boisterous Ayaka is, Kuroe instantly expects Shizuku to be annoyed, too, but no, it becomes quickly apparent that they're friends - Ayaka wheedles Shizuku into ducking out of work early to attend a comedy show. After some token resistance, and Ayaka attempting to literally drag Shizuku away, they go off - with Shizuku having a little smile on her face.
Kuroe, finally, feels disappointment - she finally thought she found someone just like her, but...no, Shizuku has fun summer plans, too. Really, though, it was seeing Shizuku happy and not annoyed about Ayaka that made Kuroe feel bitter - and that made Kuroe feel even worse about herself, that not only did she not fit in with anyone, she was a terrible person for wanting everyone to be just as miserable as her. It's envy in its rawest form - she's envious that Shizuku has someone who will take her by the hand and take her away - and Kuroe does not.
The noise around her on the way home bothers Kuroe even more than ever, what with everyone enjoying themselves. She put on her headphones and turned on some music - which shuffled to a summer-themed song, which is just the finishing touch on Kuroe's bad day.
Looking upon everyone, she realizes what's been going on with herself - she's been acting cool and aloof, telling herself she doesn't get the big deal about summer or why people are so excited for it. But really, she was denying her own situation - that she was envious of how other people could enjoy themselves the way they could. She realizes it's like the fable of the Fox and the Grapes - the fox couldn't get the grapes, so he stormed off, muttering about how the grapes must be sour, anyway... Kuroe feels like that fox now - acting above it all, but really just an envious, bitter loser.
She reflects on all the people she's met in Kamihama recently - all these people trying to reach out to her and give her a fun vacation, who cared about her, someone so unlike them, and tried to offer alternatives and options to better suit her... People kept on reaching their hands out to her, over and over and over again - but Kuroe could not bring herself to reach back. She berates herself - if only she'd taken that hand, if only's she'd taken that step, would things be different now...?
But there's no point in wondering. She wasn't and isn't capable of taking a hand or a step forward - because she just doesn't know how to do it.
To cap it off, she gets a text from her brother again, asking about helping out at the beach house. At this point, Kuroe wants to shut him down, but...she feared what would happen if she said "no" again at this point, that she might be replaced by him altogether. And so she goes.
It's hell, still - everyone is so happy and smiling, and she just can't be like them. Seeing them makes her think that the grapes really are sweet - and as unreachable as ever. She thinks - Tamaki would have been able to find a way to get those grapes. She wouldn't have been so bothered by all these things. Kuroe doesn't know how Iroha does it - just that she does.
To while away the time, Kuroe falls into a fantasy, of someone on a proverbial white horse to come galloping in and declare "let's be friends," "let's have a fun summer vacation ever", someone who would force her to take that step forward...and what little did she expect that very person would come in. Yes, Iroha herself - the story of what that entailed is in the 2022 summer event.
The MGS ends with Kuroe's diary one last time. The entry details that this encounter with Iroha is what turned Kuroe's summer around. Kuroe was miserable, exhausted, and had a lot to deal with - but in the end, she can now look back and say she had fun. She got into a lot of things she never would've expected to do, that she'd never do on her own, that scared her - but she got through them anyway, realizing she didn't need to be so afraid of making mistakes. She doesn't know if her summer vacation was as fun as everyone else's...but it's definitely one she'll never forget.
...That all written down, Kuroe fears this really does read too much like a memoir written in retrospect, and not a true diary :kyokolol: Still, though, that's shortly off her mind - for now, she wants to go back to Kamihama, to meet all the people she'd encountered again - to thank them for helping her, to tell them so many things. She knows that summer will be here again before she knows it - and, perhaps for the first time in ages, she looks forward to what it will bring.
- The first kanji in her name means "black". The second kanji means "creek"
- The straw hat Kuroe wears resembles the one worn by Iroha in Lil' Kyubey's introduction video.
- In her side story, she says that her hobby is reading, most specifically Kenji Miyazawa's works. This references her Doppel, Ichizo whose name is a reference in one of Kenji Miyazawa's works.
To edit a memoria's details, click on the specific memoria
|Card||Effect||Cooldown||EN Text||JP Text|
|**Unique to Kuroe (Swimsuit ver.)**|
There was no hesitation, no selfishness, or anything like that
I was in the spreading bubbles, wondering what to do Still, I knew that you would do this without hesitationI also wanted to be the one who could save someone
|I wanna do this, I wanna do that
There was no room to interrupt the waves of requests coming in from both sides I was caught between a rock and a hard place, being made to sway back and forthEven my secret murmurs of bewilderment were snatched away and dissolved into bubbles
|I still don't know the answer to what a "fun summer vacation" is.
Still, I ran around until I was exhausted I can say now that it must have been a fun summer vacationMy bright red sunburned skin is proof of that
|"I'm afraid it might spin around if I push too hard..."
"That's a little surprising. I thought you were the bold one." "I don't think so, ah!. I think I might be a little wobbly.""I'll support you, so don't worry about it and try to pedal vigorously, okay?"
|Card||Effect||Cooldown||EN Text||JP Text|
- Recording of Kuroe (Swimsuit ver.)'s Transformation Video on Youtube (JP)
- Recording of Kuroe (Swimsuit ver.)'s Magia Video on Youtube (JP)
- Recording of Kuroe (Swimsuit ver.)'s Doppel Video on Youtube (JP)