Warning: Review contains spoilers!
Hi guys! Trying a little something different for today’s review. I think this was the best episode thus far, and I’m pleased to see that this anime is improving every step of the way.
As usual, we can divide this episode into two parts. In the first half, we find out that Sister Nana and Winterprison are trying to petition the admins to stop the madness of killing the magical girls when they lose each week. They’re not paying attention. Big spoiler: The two girls are in a couple in real life, and Sister Nana enlisted Magicaloid’s help so Winterprison could protect her, and she could protect Winterprison on an equal footing.
In the second half, we find out that Fav’s using Cranberry as a hitman to eliminate any magical girls who are causing problems, i.e. Sister Nana and later La Pucelle. We also meet Hardgore Alice, the very polite Goth girl who’s searching for snow white.
Admins?! I would’ve never thought that this game had admins, though it makes sense in retrospect. I’d always assumed that Fav was, well, the equivalent of a moderator and that he was working under some alien conspiracy or something. It doesn’t do anything to alleviate the situation, and showcases Sister Nana’s naivety. Nevertheless, this was a thoughtful, realistic detail that reminds viewers that, after all of this, it’s a smartphone game gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Reactions of other magical girls. Sister Nana just wants it all to stop, considering that 1) she believes magical girls should protect people, and 2) they’re really hardcore about a casual game. If we’re just talking about #2, her actions are reasonable. Granted, this casual game already got intense when it let people actually transform into magical girls, so it’s perfectly understandable that the game is no longer just a time-waster and dream-maker. This leads the other girls to accept it and move on, casting her off as well-intentioned but stupid. It also makes me wonder just why these other girls would become magical girls, if they initially all were meant to help people on the streets.
Background information. In my opinion, the episodes so far have worked best when we see the girls as they are in real life. Bonus if it’s related to why they became a magical girl. We got to see a lot of that this episode with Sister Nana and Winterprison. Perhaps it’s because it lets us see how their everyday personalities translate to magical powers, and also gives a bit more depth to them.
Dat robot. I love Magicaloid and her conniving ways. She takes advantage of Sister Nana’s kindness and steals her money away by giving her useless items from the future via her magical ability. The best part is that her plan backfired on her, and she actually ends up helping Sister Nana. Nice touch of comedy during this episode, and also helps to humanize the magical bot while giving it a snarky personality. Also, is she really a robot from the future? Instinct tells me probably not, but she’s really contrasting everyone else who lives in the present. For some reason, I can’t really fathom time travel as a central component of this series. If that were the case, perhaps this entire thing could have been avoided.
Swim Swim. Swim Swim made a brief appearance this episode, and I’m a little disheartened to see that she did not cast away the shadow of Ruler. Though she’s become Ruler’s substitute, she’s also become a substitute of Ruler herself. (Did that make sense?) I hope that she forges her own identity as the series progresses. At the moment, it looks like the Peaky Angels are actually the ones leading the pack.
Cranberry. Though Cranberry may have my favorite character design of this series, her sudden role as a magical girl killer was confusing. Why would she want to side with Fav? If she’s the oldest magical girl, why would she just attack things for sport? This made for cool battle sequences, but at the moment I don’t see the point.
Juxtaposition of girl-girl relationships. This was also an interesting part of the episode. Snow White and Sister Nana are very similar to one another in terms of beliefs, while La Pucelle and Winterprison serve respectively as their protectors. One relationship is beginning, perhaps, and the other is at a very comfortable point. One explores its relationship more in magical form, and the other in real life. And finally, one is actually boy/girl, while the other is a true girl/girl relationship.
Variability of magical abilities. I like how the girls have powers that are defined but not perfect. For instance, Magicaloid’s ability to acquire devices from the future results in her getting super useless items. Ruler had to be in very close proximity to her subjects. Yet in both instances, we see something actually working for them. I think that this variability of magical abilities—that they can be used in very surprising ways—will play a central role in the series later on.