On this week’s Mahou Shojo Taisen, with more action and a seemingly higher animation budget than we’ve seen in the past…

Episodes 7 and 8 Summary:

Rin Kobari is visiting Tokyo with her grandmother, though she’s been having bad nightmares lately that have made her unsettled.  In her dreams, she’s fighting a mysterious dark magical girl, and gets defeated by her.  So when she actually sees said magical girl one day, she decides get to the bottom of all this and follows her.

I gotta admit, Rin’s relationship with her mascot is pretty adorable.

Why am I suddenly getting Madoka flashbacks…

Her mascot, Mosuke, warns Rin not to do anything dangerous, as her search leads them into an abandoned subway tunnel.  Eventually, they run into a group of hooded figures who are discovered to be under the influence of a Mischief.  Although Mosuke tells Rin to just run away, Rin says that it’s her job as a magical girl to save these people.  She quickly transforms and ventures further into tunnel to find the source of the Mischief.

After “I DON’T WANNNNNA” Naruko and “HOW DO I SHOT WEAPON?!?” Matsuri, it’s really nice to have a magical girl who is actually competent.

Eventually, the tunnel goes back above ground again, and Rin is faced with the Tokyo Tower, now covered with many seals.  And on top of the tower is the dark magical girl who has been waiting for her…

Oooooooh, mysterious.

My Opinion:

Some more sinister going-ons had been hinted in Matsuri’s arc, which seems to come to a nadir here in Rin’s arc.  Indeed, Rin’s arc plays out far darker and more serious than we have seen in the past girls’ arcs.  Heck, we even see Rin getting KILLED, even if it’s just “in a dream.”  Not much comedy here, but we do get a nice dose of action and some more story.

I’ve said it already in one of the caption images, but it is so very refreshing to have a determined magical girl character after Naruko and Matsuri.  Honestly, if all the girls we’ve seen so far worked in a team, Rin would be the leader.  Yes, she does follow the “magical girl leader” trope almost to a T, but it’s just nice to see a magical girl who is–well–responsible.  Sadly, for a character so lovely, her transformation sequence is really terrible and boring.  I’m not even exaggerating.  Her transformation is literally just a flash of light—>clothes magically appear!  By magical girl standards, that’s pretty lazy.  What, did the production team run out of cool transformations sequences after Naruko?  Who had, by the way, the most gratuitous and long-ass transformation scene of the series so far?  I went back and re-watched it, and it clocks in at 1 minute, which is really freaking long for a four minute series!

Ranting about lazy transformation scenes aside, I do quite like Rin’s magical girl outfit.  It’s simple, yet elegant, and fits her personality very well.  Mosuke is… well, he’s certainly interesting???  He seems to have a very pleasant relationship with his magical girl, but his personality is basically just “I ACT LIKE AN OLD MAN AND I’M A COWARD.”  And that is… a little bit annoying.  Though it’s not his fault, as all mascots in this series have terribly exaggerated personalities.

Overall, this was actually a fairly decent two episodes, at least compared to Matsuri’s arc.  The animation does seem a tad higher here than in past episodes, which makes sense because it’s about the Tokyo magical girl.  With only one episode of Rin’s arc left, I’m hoping that we don’t get a rushed ending (though we probably will anyway…).

Out of five for these two episodes:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

Still annoyed over the missed chance for a cool transformation scene.

 

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