Author’s Note: Some Photos are courtesy of Efnuu via Twitter. Thank you so much for letting me use your screencaps! Also, please forgive my ghetto ones, this is new to me after all.
SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t seen episodes five and six – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? TURN BACK NOW!
To put it bluntly – sh*t just got real.
You knew it was coming. You just knew it. Sure, episode five was a quiet respite from the insanity of episodes 1-4 (betrayal, death, crazy action, death, and did we mention BACKSTABBING BETRAYAL?!), but the tension was still set on eleven with the promise that it could burst forth at any given time. And as viewers still clung to their favourite OTP (Snow White x La Purcelle) for dear life, something wicked was in the air.
I can still hear my tortured, anguished screams vibrating against the walls.
Episode Five sees the Tragic, Chosen Few reeling over the death of Ruler, whose betrayal at the Hands of Swim Swim and the other “loyal” subjects (“Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead?” anyone?) have alerted the others to just how crazy this entire game has become. Sister Nana, every bit the peacemaker she should be in that Nurse’s Habit, and Weiss Winterprison hope to convince the other magical girls to join forces to stop the insanity. She’s even gone as far as to contact the game’s admin for help, but to no avail. Top Speed and Ripple have other plans, even though they realize they need to do something to survive (especially Top Speed, who keeps mentioning something about “six months”).
Magicaloid 44, who used Nana as a Sugar Mama for the longest time (this scenes made me laugh more than they should have) who is now BFFS with Calamity Mary (Yeah, that’ll be a hell of a collab for sure), assures Nana that she can help her with contacting the admin – for a price. Nana falls for it though, especially since 44 was so good about helping her “prince” become a magical girl with her lovely “gadgets” (somewhere, Inspector Gadget is snickering.)
The Tension kicks up a notch when Cranberry, the Forest Musician requests and audience with Weiss and Nana, who are actually lovers in real life (Weiss is Nana’s “prince”; the whole thing is so cute and gave me seriously Uranus and Neptune vibes). Welp, you know what they say about the quiet ones – Cranberry doesn’t like Nana’s “Give Peace a Chance” campaign and tries to kill her and Weiss on the spot. Cranberry is a stone-cold killer who simply wants to take out strong magical girls for her own personal pleasure. Luckily for Weiss, Nana’s special power gives her enough of a boost to get the hell out of there before she can do just that.
Cranberry, who is working with Fav (never trust a cute mascot who looks like Monokuma) makes her way to another strong magical girl in the belief that Nana will contact in order to join her cause. In the meantime, the meeting with the new girl, Hardgore Alice, doesn’t go all that way. In addition to looking creepy as heck, she’s only interested in one person – Snow White. Yeah, no foreshadowing there…
Our sweet, innocent magical girl, Snow White, is clearly affected by the dark turn of events (as we all are). La Purcelle, her knight in shining armour (okay, these masculine-tinged terms are getting a little dicey, but that’s for another post), tells her to be strong and that she’s rooting for her. After a sweet scene in which she walks her home, Cranberry confronts La Purcelle.
And we all collectively gasp, clutching our chests.
Episode Six begins at a Konbini, where a young girl gives food to a homeless man, who proceeds to ask her to marry him. It turns out this girl is one who becomes Magicaloid 44. But here is the kicker – it’s not even her game! The person she was staying with let her play it, and Fav chose her! So basically, not everyone who was chosen to be a magical girl actually chose to be a magical girl! Hell, at least with Kyubey, you had to sign a contract first!
If you haven’t figured it out by now, this episode is where things REALLY starting getting f***ed up.
Cranberry and La Purcelle duke it out, and the Musician clearly has the upper hand. This chick is CRAZY – she wants to fight the strongest enemies so she can kill them. La Purcelle is stunned and rightfully so. This is NOT what our dear Sou-chan signed up for!
It seems that La Purcelle was not expecting to be a magical girl – after all, Sou-chan believed that boys couldn’t become magical girls. Fav wouldn’t let him refuse the gift because “it’s rare that men become magical girls”. Despite all this, it didn’t stop him from becoming the magical girl he believed he could be. Furthermore, La Purcelle isn’t even fighting Cranberry to defend Snow White – she’s doing it so that she continue to be her own kind of magical girl. Snow White’s presence only sweetens the deal.
Despite a valiant effort, Cranberry is just too crazy strong (emphasis on crazy) and manipulates La Purcelle to kill herself. As a result, Fav cheerily involves the participates that there is no elimination this week as Cranberry plays a solemn tune in the background. Snow White is heartbroken and rightfully so – Sou-chan is dead, mangled beyond recognition. But on the bright side, the magical girls can pick up a powerful rare item if they are fast enough to help with the game! Isn’t that wonderful?!
I will NEVER eat cranberries again.
It gets darker from there. Fav and Cranberry are working together for this “experiment” – the magical girl game was used as vehicle to choose strong opponents for her to fight. Despite the last few deaths being covered in the media, Fav is still looking forward to what happens next, especially with the new items that have become available. Cranberry made a contract with Fav, and from what I can understand (because I really don’t get it yet, not all the info is there), she has to make things “exciting” (by being batsh*t crazy strong) by engaging the other magical girls. Furthermore, the rare items aren’t exactly of an altruistic nature – choosing one takes years off your lifespan. The stronger the item, the more years it takes away.
Seriously, Fav makes Kyubey look like a saint.
Swim-Swim and her subjects gain the majority of the items – and she takes one for the team, gaining the most expensive item that takes the most years. She and the others are getting ready to make a move, it seems. As for Calamity Mary, she gets an item as well – not that she gives a crap about losing life. Magicaloid 44, on the other hand, isn’t about that life, which Mary respects. However, the Jack Daniel’s drinking magical girl has a test for Magicaloid -go kill somebody.
Did we NOT already have a death in the first ten minutes of show, Mary?! WTF?!
Snow White, still mourning the loss of Souta and confronted by an intense-looking Hardgore Alice (“Finally, I’ve found you!”), Magicaloid comes along and uses her future-item-of-the-day, invisible wires obviously stolen from past from Sir Walter C. Dornez, and beheads Alice.
I am NOT cleaning that up.
Despite being physically disgusted by her actions, Magicaloid decides to do away with Snow White too. But in a scene that will no doubt inspire envy in one Mami Tomoe, the headless, reanimated body of Hardgore Alice impales the feisty robot, who transforms back into her human form. Snow White, covered in blood and traumatized, screams into the night.
This show does NOT mess around. This show IS NOT Madoka in the least. It’s like Battle Royale and Game of Thrones – it’s inadvisable to pick favourite characters because they’ll probably just end up dying in a week or two. Furthermore, the show doesn’t shy away from hinting at who will die next (Top Speed, I’m looking at you). From the beginning, I’ve felt like this show is less about character development, and more about illustrating the darkness of humanity. That is, what would happen if people were given this amazing power to change the world? Would they actually change it? Or would they simply do what they wanted?
I thought it would be impossible to find a character I could hate more than Madoka’s Kyubey, but Fav managed to do just that. I mean, granted, the show sort of gave away his character because he looks too much like Monokuma, but damn, Fav just doesn’t care. First, the magical girls aren’t really given a choice – they are chosen. Big difference. Sure, Koyuki, Nana, and Weiss are happy to be magical girls, but what about Souta and Magicaloid 44? I got the feeling that 44 was in the wrong place at the right time and Souta just had to do it because it was a rarity. Still, that’s jacked up.
This series doesn’t shy aware from gore, and I’m glad that it doesn’t. Cute girls aside, this is supposed to be a dark experiment, and it’s supposed to get nasty. Episode six made that ABUNDANTLY clear. I’m not sure if I’m looking to attached myself to a character (though Souta’s death really hurt me). Instead, I’m wondering what will happen next and how Snow White will handle this. If you notice, the show doesn’t focus on her all the time (though you get the feeling that she’s supposed to be the protagonist), however, whatever happens to the other characters affects her in some way. I like this because it makes me really look forward to each new episode, wondering how much worse it’ll get for her and how she will rise above it.
The pacing might not be everyone’s cup of tea – why show a character’s back story if you’re just gonna kill them off later – but I’m still in it for the long haul.
Rest in peace, La Purcelle. You were a wonderful magical girl.