Warning: Contains spoilers!
The theme in Magical Girl Raising Project this week is abuse. While much of this series hasn’t exactly been happy, many of the events so far haven’t been nearly as explicit as some of the moments you see in this episode.
Abuse underlies the three major parts of this episode:
Calamity Mary: physical abuse to Hardgore Alice
In a surprising vengeance for Magicaloid’s death, Calamity Mary hunts down the robot’s murderer Hardgore Alice to kill her. From last episode, we found out that Hardgore Alice pretty much can’t die no matter what happens to her.
Calamity Mary takes some extreme measures when she tries to kill off her opponent, including: shooting her an insane number of times, then throwing a grenade at her; burning her miasmic remains; and burying her in a barrel full of cement, welding the barrel shut, and chucking it into the sea. Alice still survives no matter how psychotic and desperate Calamity Mary comes, which throws Mary further into despair.
This is perhaps the biggest blow to Calamity Mary herself, as she’s been flaunting her position and self-proclaimed badassery to everyone since the early episodes. Hardgore Alice can weather it all. She’s like a cancer cell, and regenerates if only a little bit of her is still alive. It looks like she can only die one of two ways: by having the least amount of candies that week, or using even quicker, more devastating methods than what Calamity Mary used.
Ripple: sexual and emotional abuse from her schoolmates and stepdad
In a flashback, we find out that poor Ripple has been bullied in school because her last name keeps changing, which makes her act out against her bullies in class. Her home life isn’t any better. Her fifth father is a pervert who leers at her as she’s trying to undress in private in her bedroom.
I appreciated this bit of characterization, since it gives Ripple’s reticence a bit more depth rather than letting her be the series’s tsundere.
Snow White: psychological abuse from Hardgore Alice and pretty much everything
In what’s got to be the worst first impression ever, Snow White met Hardgore Alice last episode when Alice saved her from Magicaloid. Thing is, the saving entailed a headless Hardgore Alice, lots of gore, and absolutely no explanation whatsoever for whether or not she was trying to help Snow White.
As has been apparent in the series, Snow White suffers pretty extreme forms of PTSD due to her idealism, and has been going through a whole lot more since La Pucelle’s death last episode. She is understandably freaked out by Alice, who keeps appearing. Alice’s deadpan expressions and awkward lurching from side to side like a lifeless marionette doesn’t help matters. To put the final nail in the coffin, when Snow White meets with Winterprison and Sister Nana, Alice appears. Winterprison even notices Snow White’s fearful reaction but doesn’t do anything to help.
Though Snow White has banded together with Sister Nana and Winterprison, the couple is closer to one another than to her. And though Hardgore Alice even gives Snow White the lucky Rabbit’s Foot to help her out, she really needs to brush up on her communication skills. It’s just made the whole thing even more confusing and lonely for Snow White.