It took me ten episodes, but I can finally say that while I still enjoy watching Magical Girl Raising Project, I’ve got some issues with this series. It just doesn’t stop, does it? After last week’s bloodbath, I wasn’t looking forward to this week. And while it wasn’t as bad as last week, it was still pretty damn bad (*cough*Swim Swim *cough*). And after several weeks of mindless devotion, I just cannot ignore the flaws of the series anymore.
Let’s start with bloodthirsty Cranberry, shall we? After nine episodes, we finally get an idea of what her plan is. The world of magic is looking for a good magical girl, so they tasked Cranberry with setting up a proper trial to discover the best of the best. Cranberry, being the kind of villain who just wants to see the world burn (she doesn’t seem to have a backstory, not that it would help at this point), decided to create her own battle royale. See, she believes that a magical girl should be STRONG – and bloodthirsty. And while the World of Magic isn’t keen on upsetting the human world with it’s need for a magical girl, Cranberry is all to willing to, for lack of a better term, f*ck sh*t up. She even goes as far as to ask Fav to lie to the world of magic so they don’t catch wind of her antics.
While we should have known that this bloody deathmatch (as she calls it) would be all do the insanity of one person, I can’t believe that it’s all due to the machinations of one demented person. And I could have accepted it if I actually knew a thing or two about Cranberry. Yeah, okay, the minute your backstory starts playing out on-screen the death countdown begins, but considering Cranberry is one of the big bad’s here (the other being Swim Swim), you’d think that the series would give us a little more to work with. Other than her arrogance and her desire to fight strong opponents, we have no real idea of why Cranberry decided to flip the script and turn a peaceful, idyllic trial for good girls (Good Girls…riiiight) into Battle-Freaking-Royale.
I have a big problem with this. If I am going to accept that this villain just wants to see the world burn, it be nice to find out what motivates her to light a match!
But she killed Minael, so I won’t go ham on her. That annoying angel had it coming and I squealed in delight when Cranberry nonchalantly took her out.
Ripple is still distraught over the loss of Top Speed – as are the rest of us. The poor girl blames herself for the whole thing. I felt for Ripple here – for all her Tsundere antics, you can tell that she was fond of Top Speed. And why shouldn’t she be? Her teacher took good care of her, and showed her affection in the face of a thousand annoyed “tchs“. Furthermore, Top Speed was pregnant. The flashback to her lifeless form, complete with swollen belly still haunts me. It will probably haunt me for a while, honestly.
Ripple, of course, wishes to avenge Top Speed, and that means taking out Swim Swim, who once again, enraged fans with her cold, calculating behavior. But I’ll get to her in a moment. Instead, let us now go back to another ship of mine, which was cruelly destroyed by this week’s events (business as usual).
Snow White meets up with Hardgore Alice to apologize for misunderstanding her, which makes our raven beauty all kinds of happy. Alice is thrilled to bits to realize that Snow White enjoys having her around – needs her even – and states that she’s happiest when she’s by her side. Before they can bond any further, the moment is interrupted by that damn mascot Fav, who informs the remaining magical girls that despite there being seven girls left (remember, he said that they needed to cut it down to eight), all those cool magical items he offered weeks before have used up so much energy, so they now need to eliminate three more girls.
I CAN’T with this show, y’all.
Snow White is not about that life, obviously, and is overcome with frustration. “I thought magical girls were supposed to help people!” she cries out, frustrated with Alice’s monotone “No”. While Snow White insists that there are no other magical girls in the city, Alice says there are. At her limit, Snow White runs aways, but not before telling Alice not to follow her. Brutal.
The narrative then turns to Alice’s backstory – Alice is actually a young girl named Ako who lives with her aunt and uncle. Her young life has experienced an unspeakable tragedy – her father murdered her mother and as a result, she is ostracized in school. While her aunt means well, she is oblivious to Ako’s depression. The poor girl feels like a burden to those around her, even though her father’s actions are his and his alone.
Ako was about to end it all when Snow White helped her in episode one, giving her back her lost key. Since then, Ako has wanted to be by Snow White’s side, inspired by her kindness. She asks her aunt for a smartphone, and well, you know the rest. Ako becomes Hardgore Alice in hopes to helping the beautiful magical girl who helped her.
But now that we know Ako/Alice’s backstory, we also know that the ish about to go DOWN.
Because Minael disguised herself as Alice’s rabbit, she discovered her civilian identity. And with this information, Swim Swim confronts little Ako on her way to school, determined to kill her. Because they are in a public area, Ako can’t even transform. Even though she finds respite in an alley, Swim Swim’s ability to turn into liquid, quite useful since it’s raining, allows her to swoop in for the kill.
Koyuki hears Ako’s cries and comes running to her aid. Now, Ako can finally articulate what she couldn’t before. “So long as you live, there’s still a magical girl in the city,” she whispers, giving her the rabbit’s foot, now bloodied, that she threw away the night before. Snow White realizes that Ako is Alice, but it’s too late. Seven girls go down to six as the rain falls even harder.
Back at their base, Swim Swim comments on how easy that was (YOU LITTLE TWIT) while Minael comments on how they should have killed magical girls in their civilian form from the beginning. Then something something about Yunael and Minael always doing things together but to be honest, I don’t really care about the mischievous twins because they annoy me (YEAH, I SAID IT!). Now, their next target will be Cranberry – Fav informs the crazy musician that Swim Swim would like to meet her. And the audience smirks because this gon’ be good.
Can we talk about how infuriating a villain Swim Swim is? Okay, I get it. She’s a young girl in civilian life, but how can anybody be so UNFEELING? I guess that’s the very definition of psychopathy – because Swim Swim is a PSYCHOPATH. My son is seven years old, and I can tell you that while he can have his moments, he does have a moral compass, unlike Liquid Pinky here. The thing is though, since we have no backstory, other than Nemurin telling her that she could be a princess in episode two, Swim Swim’s cold and calculating moves fall flat to me. She’s not even a villain you love to hate – you just hate her.
Another issue I have is this adoration she has for Ruler. Always asking “What would Ruler do?” Well, I don’t think Ruler, as annoying as she was , would kill anybody. She was a ruler – that’s why she had all those other girls like Swim Swim and Tama with her, so she wouldn’t have to do the dirty work. Even when she used her powers on Snow White to steal her candies, she didn’t outright kill her. And she didn’t want her subjects dying either.
Swim Swim, on the other hand, gives no f**ks. When Yunael died, she simply commented that Ruler would have done a better job. When Cranberry goes on to kill her twin – nothing. Tama is terrified of what’s about to go down, and she does nothing to assure her or even say “just stick to the plan”. The Snow Queen wasn’t this unfeeling. Swim Swim is cold-blooded. In my opinion, the best villains are the ones where you can understand where they are coming from, even a little bit, but I don’t understand where Swim Swim is coming from AT ALL. Same thing with Cranberry – yeah, she wants a battle royale, but WHY?!
Anyway, Swim Swim and her crew try to take down Cranberry, but Tama gets knocked out and Minael gets a fist to the chest. But Swim Swim wants to take out Cranberry, and Ripple, where ever she is, wants to take out Swim Swim. And the credits roll.
The death count in this anime is a problem. All these girls are dying at such a high frequency that after a while, it’s impossible to feel for each loss. It’s getting to the point where I feel like the plot just wants to see how many shocking deaths it can get away with. At least with shows like Madoka, when someone died, the weight of it shook the audience for a long while. Even though the death count this week was lower, I felt like I just couldn’t feel anything for those who perished this week because the shock of last week hasn’t worn off yet. The only thing that is keeping me going is my desire to see someone kill Swim Swim and Cranberry. But mostly Swim Swim.
In any case, that’s all for this week. Whoops…looks like I did a play-by-play after all. Gomen ne! Either way, see you next Saturday!