Magical Girl Raising Project Episode 4 Review: Turnabout

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.

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Nobody really likes her, even if she isn’t a magical girl.

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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.

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The real star of the show.

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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.

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Really liking the cool moments La Pucelle’s had this episode.

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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.

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6 thoughts on “Magical Girl Raising Project Episode 4 Review: Turnabout

  1. Nanaya says:

    She was testing her powers those time, her power is actually rather crappy. It wasn’t permanent. Complicated commands can have worrisome results. She had to hold her pose. Short ranged too. She had to say full name like a command. etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. remyfool says:

    I totally agree with what you said about these quiet, emotionless girls since it almost feels like once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I do appreciate the ones who do the unexpected, however, and Swim Swim definitely falls under that category.

    Apparently Ruler was not a complete jerk and had some good intentions, but it was kind of glossed over in the anime. This makes me feel like her death was a bit rushed, but I’m not sure how they could have squeezed in the extra material. It’s probably one of the complications that arises when a novel is adapted into an anime (I was unaware this was originally a novel until Nanaya mentioned this to me) since novels can fit in narration or thoughts without worrying about the constraints of time. Meanwhile shows have to cut to fit into a time slot. I guess we won’t have time to mourn tragic figures as the death count rises, but having characterization cut kind of sucks.

    I like how you’re focusing on how Snow White is feeling while foul play is happening around her. Hopefully she doesn’t let this get her down and she shows them the strength of a real magical girl! Next week is probably going to focus on the new girl given the title of the episode, so I really wonder how that’s going to work out.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alane says:

      Aw, this series being based on a novel clears up a lot of things. I didn’t know that, either–thank you to both you and Nanaya!

      Ruler already had more screen time than the others :/, so that’s a bit of a bummer. Wiki says the anime’ll be only 12 eps, which is even more of a bummer if true. I would’ve loved to know more about Nemurin, for example. What a cutie *o*

      Snow White will let her pure spirit radiate forth and put an end to this madness!

      I’m really wondering what the deal the new girl has with Snow White or whoever else she might be referring to. Hopefully not Snow White, and hope it’s nothing bad if it is. Poor kid; she just wants to help people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nanaya says:

        Sorry, Nemurin had less screen times in the Light Novel lasting very few pages. Anime actually expended her character a bit more by adding in side stories. She also had her owns Drama CD apparently. Currently though, she is working as a preview person for the anime….since episode 2. So don’t worry she’s not forgotten.

        This Anime will adapt the first Volume which fortunately is a conclusive story so don’t worry about that too. So far they are doing a good job apart from glossing over Ruler (Well everything about her is still present.)

        Very glad that you guys enjoy this.

        Liked by 2 people

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