SPOILERS: If you haven’t watched it, go watch it. Otherwise, I’m going to spoil it. I’m sorry.
But for real, though…I have no words for these episodes.
Instead, my feelings can be expressed in two images, because I can’t be bothered to recap them both without experiencing what the internet calls “the feels“.
…and Episode Nine:
This series is BRUTAL. It pulls no punches, and, if I’m allowed to be crude, it gives no f**ks. All the characters are players, unwilling or not, in this horrible, no good, very bad game. Furthermore, these magical girls, supposedly more than human because of their abilites, are dropping like flies. As of the end of episode nine, the number of magical girls remaining is 7 (remember, at the beginning, there were fifteen!), and now Fav, that sadistic freakin’ mascot wants to eliminate another three.
Why the hell couldn’t crazy-ass Calamity Mary turn one of her many guns of that Monokuma wannabe?
If Madoka Magica simply freaked me out, then Magical Girl Raising Project has traumatized me. It’s not a traditional magical girl series in the sense that there is one main protagonist who is chosen by otherworldly forces to save the world from a nasty foe. No, this series is similar to Madoka Magica in that it illustrates the potential consequences of one person having so much power. And while series such as Sailor Moon or Cardcaptor Sakura would lead you to believe that the chosen one is pure enough to use their power for good, Magical Girl Raising Project isn’t so idealistic.
I am not ashamed to say that this series is the most realistic magical girl series I have had the pleasure/displeasure of viewing.
Why is it realistic? Because it’s less about fighting the good fight and more about the consequences of power and what those in power will do once they have it. Snow White, bless her naive heart, is the idealistic magical girl – she uses her powers to help others in need, and her ability to hear the thoughts of those in trouble reflects this. She doesn’t want to use her abilities for her own personal gain. She truly wants to be like the magical girls of her youth, innocent yet courageous, powerful yet altruistic.
As admirable as that is, the real world doesn’t work that way. The world isn’t black and white, good and evil, per se. Instead, the world is in shades. The sixteen chosen magical girls reflect that. Each character is one shade in the magical girl spectrum – Snow White is the most innocent white of them all, while characters like Ripple, Top Speed, and Sister Nana represent shades that become more and more grey as the show withers on, until you reach the darkness of Swim Swim and Calamity Mary, who have stoked the fires of wrath with their actions.
While I’m not sure why the series is called Magical Girl Raising Project – the Japanese word ikusei (育成) can also mean “cultivation” which seems more like what Fav and Cranberry are doing – but what I do know for sure that this has nothing to do with genuinely creating magical girls to help those in need. Instead, the game was a front to find contestants for a game that is growing more and more twisted and bloody with every week. At least with Madoka Magica, you had a choice, even if Kyubey was a master manipulator!
In any case, three episodes remain of this series. Excuse me while I go grab a box of kleenex and prepare for the worst.