Warning: Contains spoilers!
This episode of Magical Girl Raising Project was so invigorating to watch, thanks to well executed pacing and twists. Three girls die. You know the ones—their flashbacks were shown last episode. The first thirteen minutes or so were occupied by a fantastic battle between the Ripple/Top Speed duo and that awful Calamity Mary. Shurikens and glass flew. Bombs exploded. Then my heart was broken by a surprise attack and a suicide.
My favorite part about the episode was Top Speed and Ripple—namely, how the series made you care about them. Admittedly, I haven’t really focused much on these two even though they’ve been present throughout the series. They’re usually in the background, making some comments but never really the most exciting part of the episode, to the point where you notice them and know their names even though they’re not the focus. For example, the past few episodes, they kept participating in the contest by collecting Magical Candies even though the other girls were busily killing each other off.
Here, they worked together and showed that they, too, believed that magical girls should help people even if it means they could get killed, and, most notably, even if they have to fight another magical girl to do so. This becomes even more shocking considering the reveal that Top Speed is pregnant this episode. A huge contrast yet parallel to Snow White, who holds the same belief to the extreme but is unwilling to fight another magical girl or even hurt other people even though she wants to survive.
That might be a little hard on Snow White, but as the first magical girl we were introduced to, she hasn’t really developed from our first glimpse of her. This episode, she was true to her kind nature and helped people who were caught in the fire caused by Calamity Mary as the latter fought Top Speed/Ripple. Yet at the same time, she almost let herself be killed by one of the magical girl angels because she um, saw her smile at her and decided that this smile meant she was a good person? Another explanation might be that she thought she’d come to help people, too, even though Swim Swim et al. already ambushed her before. I didn’t quite get it, but right now she is being aggravatingly naïve.
Going back to Ripple/Top Speed: Top Speed’s death was a pretty unpleasant surprise. I had about 3 seconds of joy that the character you’re supposed to dislike, Calamity Mary, had finally been killed off, before Swim Swim offed Top Speed by a well-timed back stab. It seems she’d been planning to kill Snow White, too, before Snow White’s magical powers were activated. This seems to be the first instance that the girls’ powers can be interpreted pretty generally, instead of just for one specific application. Snow White can hear “people in distress,” and those folks aren’t just restricted to kids stuck up in a tree. The wording also includes Tama, who really doesn’t want to ambush Snow White but was ordered to; just the thought of it stresses her out.
Swim Swim is again pushing the envelope of how far she’s willing to lead in Ruler’s stead, as arguably a better leader than Ruler herself. She went too far this episode, though. Consider: assuming that Swim Swim had just seen Ripple/Top Speed kill Calamity Mary (or did she?), and then Top Speed was killed off, then that would have completed the requirement of 8 magical girls already. She hadn’t yet heard that the rules were AGAIN changed this episode so that only 4 girls needed to survive. Snow White would have been a needless murder. It just goes to show just how cold and calculating Swim Swim is, in her twisted dream of becoming a ruler of her own.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the rules will keep changing until only one is left standing. Fav will probably reveal himself instead of hiding behind an avatar. As for now, the series has already foreshadowed at least one more death next episode. And, if we’re going to predict deaths by the flashbacks that appear, as per usual, curiously Ripple’s was shown 2 episodes ago but she did not get killed off this episode. That makes her the first magical girl since Snow White, I believe, whose flashback was shown but who hasn’t died yet. At the moment, I don’t know if it’s very significant.