Warning: Review contains spoilers!
Intending to sabotage Snow White right before Fav announces the loser this week, Ruler orders her followers to steal all of her Magical Candies and cement her death. We’re treated to a fight between La Pucelle and the twin angels, a snapshot of Ruler’s real life, and a double sabotage by Ruler’s followers. Although Swim Swim had been hypnotized to follow Ruler, a few episodes back Nemurin had convinced her that she can lead the pack.
This episode provided a much needed turnaround for Magical Girl Raising Project. Although it still has some things to work on, I appreciated how nicely paced the episode was. I’m tracing this change to two main catalysts: 1) the episode focused on one subject, instead of jumping between multiple magical girls, and 2) we get to know how Ruler acts in real life: she’s not just a snob, but a pretty horrible person. This makes the episode markedly different from the rest. After our brief intro to Snow White’s transformation in the first episode and quick peeks at what Nemurin looked like and did for a job, we hadn’t really known anything about the other magical girls.
Nobody really likes her, even if she isn’t a magical girl.
A hint that she might have some niceness to her, but it’s never fully explored.
Ruler works because she’s a stereotype that viewers are expected to hate. There was a chance for more character depth that wasn’t taken–sometimes, it was hard to pinpoint if she was actually more generous than she let on–but given the high number of characters, the quick kill-offs for most of the characters, and the limited number of episodes in this series, I think this was a sensible move to make.
Throughout the series, Ruler has been portrayed as a selfish scumbag. Since she doesn’t bat an eye at undercutting everyone else so she can climb to the top, and also thinks that she can lord over them as she pleases, I balked at one of the reveals this episode. She can command anyone to do anything she wishes—albeit within a very limited range. Life is pretty unfair the first half of the episode, which makes the second half all the sweeter.
The real star of the show.
I don’t think they were very happy with Ruler.
The second half works because of the surprise and some foreshadowing that the animators had put in two episodes back. Said foreshadowing seemed out of place when it came up back then, but everything came to a pivot point this episode. The sense of immediacy that the anime had lacked previously was turned on its head by Swim Swim, a character I would normally brush off because she’s so emotionless and quiet. Usually, I’m only a little surprised by these types of characters when they say a snarky comment or something minor like that, but she was spurred on by her own twisted delusions and went all the way. This came to a climax in the brutal way Ruler just dies right on the spot—sorely different from Nemurin’s sudden yet quiet death. Bravo for a character that didn’t hold back, and didn’t even flinch as her coup d’etat succeeded.
Really liking the cool moments La Pucelle’s had this episode.
New girl. She doesn’t seem too happy about Snow White, either.
As always, Snow White’s notions of pure and wholesome magical girls have been crushed even more, which also heightens the reveal this episode. Her strong belief stops her from even protecting herself, and she instead prefers death. It’s interesting to see that as the others become more and more active she becomes less so, but at the same time it breaks my heart. I am hoping against hope, it seems, that she will push herself to be more active.
There are a few plot holes (or unexplained/unnecessary circumstances), too, like: what was the point of Ruler trying to hypnotize Swim Swim and the others if it only seems like her spell works when she’s concentrating on that person? But overall, I think this episode offers us a glimmer of the anime’s potential.
Here’s hoping for more dirty antics and nice pacing next week. Since the person who’s most obviously likely to do foul play, barring Calamity Mary, has been put out of commission, I’m eager to see what these magical girls will do next.