Magical Girl Raising Project Episode 11 Review

Warning: Contains spoilers!

This was a great episode, the saddest the series has been since its inception. I am extremely excited for the finale next week.

Summary of this episode

Continuing on from last episode, Cranberry fights Swim Swim and Tama. After a brief flashback to Cranberry’s story, Cranberry figures out Swim Swim’s weakness and attacks her, but doesn’t expect Tama (notably, she’s been suffering and crying through all the deaths) to dig a hole through her upper half of the body. Tama finds Swim Swim, who’s transformed out of magical girl form. Immediately, Swim Swim kills Tama for finding out who she really is.

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We flashback to Tama’s past: she’s always been a kind girl, though not really smart. Everyone in her family except for her grandmother made fun of her, but her grandmother dies. Tama finds new friends in Ruler’s group, and we get to see Ruler’s kind side as she helps Tama to become a magical girl.

The rest of the episode shows the effects of PTSD on Snow White and Ripple. Ripple wants revenge for Top Speed, but Snow White tries to stop her since no one else needs to be killed. She won’t be swayed. Fav tells Ripple Swim Swim’s weakness, while telling Swim Swim that she should beat Ripple to make her her new subject, since everyone else is gone.

Any comments?

The only critique I can think of at the moment is that Cranberry’s back story was glossed over in 1 minute and 9 seconds, right before the start of the credits. For comparison, Tama’s took 3 minutes and 27 seconds. I would’ve liked more, but at least it was just long enough to convey that Cranberry herself saw her colleagues be slaughtered in front of her eyes before becoming Master of this first phase in bringing girls from another world to the World of Magic.

So let’s get started. I’ll be listing all the stuff I thought was going on in this episode.

A stab at the main story

Here’s more speculation, but I think it’s a lot closer than what I’ve been saying. Fav’s bored. He may have been messing with the system the Magical Girl Raising Project since before Cranberry, and is probably why a demon used to test magical girls from the World of Magic itself and killing everyone but Cranberry. That, or it just happened, and he found it much more entertaining than all the boring good stuff he’d done so far. It’s a little ironic he’s calling other people Master, but that could just be a term these folks use for the moderator of a particular project.

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It’s a case of a bored god/higher letting things escalate for their own amusement, a storyline that’s been done before. What differentiates this one from other series, though, is its emphasis on battle royale.

Surprise powers

As we saw in this episode, powers can help out in unexpected ways. Tama can dig holes, but viewers were probably assuming it was only through soil. Thanks to this, one of the “weakest” magical girls took out one of the “strongest.”

Efficient, surprising deaths

I think I’m finally fine with the idea that there wasn’t an awe-inspiring reveal in terms of origin story, unless next episode blows my mind. What’s been working for its anime are its deaths and unexpected twists.

In this series, people just die very suddenly. There are no drawn-out power struggles, no surprise revivals from the dead. All the people you bothered to care about are dead, and will remain dead—no matter how much you suffer. Thanks for taking out everyone BUT the girl we wanted to take out, episode 11. I came in hoping that Cranberry would finally rid us of Swim Swim once and for all. But nope, unless a (potentially) crazy Ripple rips her to shreds next episode, we may not be having any of that.

PTSD

This episode finally took the time to show the effects of past deaths on two of the characters, Snow White and Ripple. As many of us (at least me) have been despairing since day 1, Snow White questions why she’s still around if she hasn’t been doing anything, remembering La Pucelle. Ripple reacts in an entirely different way by crying that she will avenge her friend, so please, Snow White, give her any information she can. Snow White’s fast adherence to her beliefs still goes through, as she tries to dissuade Ripple.

The use of bright, happy colors (see: featured image) for showing Top Speed’s flashbacks/visitations to Ripple was especially effective in highlighting her motivation.

Unexpectedly heartwarming moments

As I mentioned before, I sometimes feel that the characters are a little too black-and-white for my taste, but this time around they were much more fleshed out than before.

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One of the best parts of this episode was finally seeing how Ruler wasn’t just a haughty something-or-other. While Swim Swim’s been focusing on lessons learned from Ruler, Tama actually remembers the good things that Ruler did for them. In fact, Tama’s entire backstory was a nice light in the middle of everything. Though I didn’t really pay that much attention to her before, it made the episode have that much more impact.

Another scene was when Cranberry was jarred that Swim Swim was such a small child—causing a moment of hesitation that led to her death. Cranberry has been portrayed as only wanting the strongest of the strong on her team, but probably didn’t even realize that these girls could be so young.

Magical girl transformation

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This episode also marks the very first Sailor Moon style magical girl transformation since the first episode featuring Snow White. What could it mean?

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11 thoughts on “Magical Girl Raising Project Episode 11 Review

  1. Maho Shojo Gakuen says:

    I loved that they showed Tama’s moments with Ruler. I think it really emphasized the differences between Swim Swim and Ruler. Yes, Ruler was haughty and thought she was better than everyone else, but she was really just a Tsundere – even if she was a bit of a jerk, she did look after her “subject”. Meanwhile, with Swim Swim, each and everyone one of them have met with a swift end – poor Tama by Swim Swim herself. Swim Swim maybe be doing the stuff she feels she needs to do to become a ruler, but she will never be Ruler.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alane says:

      They definitely hinted at Ruler’s tsundere-ness in her death episode, and it’s a shame we didn’t really get to see it much till now since there were so many opportunities. I guess Swim Swim just thinks about certain things Ruler said (namely, how to be a ruler). I’m still horrified by Nemurin’s very sweet intentions going absolutely wrong– you’re on the dot with the marked contrast between Swim Swim and Ruler.

      Thank you for dropping by! I’m really looking forward to your post.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. remyfool says:

    Cranberry’s backstory felt so rushed in comparison to, well, everyone else’s. I guess we weren’t supposed to really feel bad for her.

    I think you’re right about Fav just playing around with these girls. Not exactly original, but it works. Maybe he’ll get what comes around, too. Somehow.

    I guess Top Speed was right about Ripple being a tsundere, in hindsight. The path to revenge is so prone to backfiring, however. All the good girls that were part of her life or are still alive (so just Top Speed and Snow White) have told her it’s a bad idea. I don’t think its going to turn out well.

    I’m liking the format of these episode reviews, by the way! A brief summary and then a rundown of your thoughts works well!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alane says:

      I think a lot of series have done the same underlying concept (from what we know) but this one manages to be memorable in its own way. I guess that’s a question of next season/arcs T_T unless he suddenly appears irl. I may have seen it wrong, but was surprised that Fav had also popped out of some device in Cranberry’s past like for the girls here. He might be a big slinger at some secret HQ.

      Ugh, she’s so stubborn ;__; sorta worried about all three of them being the last ones to live.

      Thanks c:

      Liked by 1 person

      • remyfool says:

        Mmm I agree. From what I saw from Nanaya’s comment on your blog, however, Cranberry’s influence extends past just this arc, which is nice.
        I want him to get what’s coming to him. Kind of like when people draw art of Kyubey getting violated by a bunch of macho men. Fav deserves it!
        He might be! I think you may be onto something there.
        I’m worried for them, too. They’re all essentially traumatised at this point. “Yay, the winner is a girl who has broken-down.” This would apply to all three of them, oh, dear.
        You’re very welcome! c:

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nanaya says:

    Cranberry’s back story is compressed like you said, but it’s ok it was explored later. All you need to know was Cranberry was like 9 years old when she killed that ‘demon’.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Nanaya says:

        Yup, she saw herself in her and considered passing her. She didn’t hesitated because she was a child.

        Tama’s backstory was that everyone gave up on her but Ruler and Swin Swin didn’t. I’d wish they could have placed that earlier like when Swin Swin was patting Tama head and praising her around Weiss’d death. I always wonder if Tama could have killed SW if she wasn’t heard that time. For all her cowardice, Tama can actually carry out a killing, she assisted in killing Weiss after all.

        I liked Ripple reactions a lot better (anime original scene!), anime enhanced her reaction better compare to Snow who characterization was hurt by what was left out in earlier scenes. At least her worries for Ripple as Fav make ‘his help’ come off nicely in the anime.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Alane says:

        Oh, I did not get that at all from the facial expression + scene. Probably more of the origin story would have helped. I think it makes sense given Cranberry’s personality. I’m a little surprised she didn’t already know who the participants were, since she was Master.

        Tama’s backstory is so sad. What a sweet kid. Yea, I wish they’d put that in earlier. Hmmm. I don’t know. On the one hand, maybe, but she seems so nice and I think the reason she killed Cranberry was because she was protecting her friend rather than intending to kill someone. Hm. I don’t quite remember the WP death and will have to look at it again. Her digging powers are really powerful.

        Oh really? Ripple’s scenes were very nicely done, I thought. Really hit where it counts. I’m glad you like the way they did the ep this time around.

        Like

      • Nanaya says:

        She wasn’t interested in those so she mostly leave it to fav.

        Tama was the one who bring down the walls if that wasn’t clear in the anime. You could say she was protecting one of the twin in that assist kill but what really matter in the end is that Tama can’t say no, so I think she could kill SW in that time if she wasn’t noticed.

        Like

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