Thank goodness there’s only one episode of this show left because I don’t know how much more I can take of this show.
Remember way back in episode one, before things got crazy bloody and our emotions were stripped to bits? When the series started off with dead bodies all over the floor and one figure standing in the center with a sick, twisted smile. Well, that person turns out to be none other than Cranberry, the sole survivor of selection exam gone horribly wrong. Then again, when you have summoned demon coming around, wrecking dudes, what exactly can be right about that?!
Since Fav’s previous master died Cranberry is the sole survivor, she’s the new master. Good thing, too. Fav was getting bored of the same old selection exam song-and-dance, and Cranberry, who desires to fight strong people so she can ultimately kill them, makes for a preferable partner.
Back in the present, Cranberry engages with Tama and Swim Swim, who have come to kill her. In a scene that was sure to elicit a chorus of cheers from an audience hungry for blood, Cranberry bodies Swim Swim. Because of her ability to manipulate sound, she overwhelms Swim Swim. However, when she goes to deliver the killing blow, she discovers that Swim Swim is only a child. Her hesitation proves to be her undoing – Tama, of ALL people, uses her ability to create holes anywhere on Cranberry, giving us quite possibly the most graphic death scene of the entire series.
Tama goes to check on Swim Swim, who has regained consciousness. And in a move that made me scream “Are you kidding me?!“, Swim Swim transforms into her magical girl form and kills Tama. Her back story is revealed. A low-achieving student in all areas of school, she is criticized by her family and her younger brother, a stellar student, is preferred. Her only solace is with her grandmother, who loves her for her kind nature. But when her grandmother passes away, she is all alone. Her life changes when she’s selected to become a magical girl, because now she can do all the things she couldn’t do as her normal self.
We’re also treated to flashbacks that showcase her relationship with Ruler. Ruler, ever the Tsundere, is trying to teach Tama what it means to be a magical girl, but of course, she doesn’t get it. And while Ruler admonishes her in one breath, she helps her to understand with the other. Unable to read her manual on how to be a magical girl due to the complex kanji (as a Japanese learner, I TOTALLY get that), Ruler takes the time to write down furigana so that she will understand. Aww.
Meanwhile, Swim Swim remembers how Ruler once said that a magical girl’s true identity must never be known. Tears may be falling down her face, but I am unconvinced. Swim Swim needs to die already. Fav takes that as a cue to let the psychopath we love to hate know that she’s the new Master since she killed Cranberry. So they must now work together. “Nope,” Swim Swim says. “That’s a no go.” Or something like that.
And then there were three.
Ripple and Snow White are not taking their losses well. Ripple is especially feeling the loss of Top Speed – her only friend. As such, she wants to kill Swim Swim and avenge her. Meanwhile, Snow White mourns the loss of Sister Nana, Hardgore Alice, and La Purcelle – her dear Sou-chan. She wonders how someone like her – a weakling and a crybaby – can still be alive? Her thoughts are interrupted by a message from Ripple, who wishes to meet with her.
Ripple wants revenge against Swim Swim, and she demands that Snow White give her any information she may have. Snow White tries to appeal to her sense of decency, but Ripple stands firm. “But you won’t be a magical girl anymore – you’ll be a murderer!” Snow White argues. Ripple still doesn’t care. She’ll be a murderer, even though she wanted to be a magical girl. Of course, Fav, with his great timing, takes the time to contact Ripple and tell her that Swim Swim, as powerful as she is, has a weakness – light and sound. Snow White asks Fav why he would do such a thing. He simply says that people are willing to do things as long as you give them a push.
I think the last ten episodes have proved that, unfortunately.
Top Speed’s spirit makes contact with Ripple, who insists on avenging her. It was her fault that this happen, she insists. Though Top Speed knows that she can’t stop Ripple, she asks her to be careful since she’s no longer around to stop her. She thanks Ripple for taking her body to her home for her husband to find before fading away. Ripple cries out for her, begging her to wait – only to discover she was dreaming. Wit Top Speed’s cape is draped around her shoulders, she rises up, determined.
It took eleven episodes, but we finally get a proper Henshin sequence, courtesy of Ripple. She is ready to take out Swim Swim and no one will stop her. Cue the credits.
I don’t have a lot to say this week because I am emotionally exhausted. I will say that even though Swim Swim has taken Ruler’s words to heart, she is not nor will she ever be Ruler. Yeah, Ruler annoyed us a lot with her holier-than-thou attitude, but you could tell that she did care for her subject despite her power over them. Tama’s memories of were oddly heartwarming. But Swim Swim simply doesn’t care. Civilian and Magical Girl, Swim Swim’s cold behavior is unsettling. The way she brushed off her skirt after taking a hit from Cranberry and killing Tama made me go cold. She is definitely not a normal child. The more she quotes Ruler, the more I realize the differences.
As for Snow White and Ripple, they are both good girls trying to do the right thing. They have both lost their teacher, with whom they shared a close relationship with. They are both burdened with unimaginable grief due to loss and are trying to navigate this insanity as best as they can. But if Snow White is the ideal magical girl – she retains her purity in spite of countless losses – then Ripple is a more realistic one. She lost the one person who truly cared about her and now she’s acting out. I can’t even say that I could be as idealistic as Snow White is if I lost someone that dear to me. It doesn’t help that I am also a mother – Top Speed’s death really affected me.
The last episode is next week and it’s all about to come to a head. Ripple and Swim Swim will undoubtedly meet and one of them are sure to die. How will this experiment gone wrong end? What will happen to Snow White? I guess we’ll find out next week! Until then!