Episodes 9 and 10 Summary:
Kobari Rin’s story continues, as Rin comes face-to-face with the dark magical girl she saw in her dreams. The hooded cult members who worship the girl call her “Rei.” Mosuke explains that Rei has been corrupted by a Mischief, so she is now a “corrupted magical girl.” Rei quickly jumps down from the Tokyo Tower, initiating a fight with Rin.
However, Rin refuses to fight; saying that even corrupted, Rei is still a magical girl like her. As a result of her reluctance, Rin nearly gets killed several times, though she’s saved by Mosuke. Rin eventually tries to purify Rei, though it doesn’t work. Mosuke then realizes that it’s not Rei who’s actually been corrupted, but rather her mascot.
Rin quickly gets defeated by Rei, and is stabbed in the chest. Fortunately, Rin is saved by the amulet her grandmother gave her. It emits a magical light which scares Rei away. Later on, Rin reunites with her grandmother, crying because she couldn’t save Rei. Rin’s grandmother comforts her, saying that she already tried her best.
This was actually a very good end to one of the better story arcs (imo) of Mahou Shojo Taisen. Of course just condensing things down into roughly eight minutes still made things a bit rushed, but I rather like the more serious angle of Rin’s arc compared to the badly handled slapstick comedy of Naruko’s and Matsuri’s arcs.
I really was not expecting Rin’s arc to be four episodes long, though it was a pleasant surprise. All together, Rin’s arc totals 16 minutes, which is still rather short but at least feels like a full episode. Rin’s arc is by far the darkest one we’ve witnessed so far—Rin gets very badly injured, and it’s treated seriously. She BLEEDS from many places. Also Rei just nonchalantly kills off two of her human mooks. In a series where a sentient robot hand was “killed off” for laughs, that’s a pretty big deal.
I like that Rin’s fight with Rei is actually extended over two episodes, because Naruko’s and Matsuri’s “wave your weapon and the enemy gets defeated!” shtick made their fights rather dull. It’s also notable that Rin fights another magical girl, and that she doesn’t actually defeat her opponent.
Another minor thing I liked was the twist with Rin’s grandmother. It turns out that her grandma actually knew she was a magical girl all along, which was why she gave Rin that amulet at the beginning of her story arc. Does that mean Rin’s grandmother used to be Tokyo’s magical girl? Who knows? With the introduction of corrupted magical girls, basically anything from here on out is possible.
Overall, I really liked this two-parter, and Rin’s arc as a whole. Rin’s arc has so much more depth than what I was expecting from a silly anime short series. Naruko’s arc makes for a good series opener, Matsuri’s arc is just… sorta there, but Rin’s arc is what really brought my interest back in the series. I guess that’s fitting for a magical girl representing Tokyo.
Out of five for both episodes: