This review of Mahou Shojo Taisen is super late and I apologize for that.  Anyway, I think I’ll try to review the entirety of a single girl’s arc from now on, just to keep things coherent.

I really like Yuri’s civilian and magical girl design.

Summary:

We move to the Ishikawa prefecture next, to follow a girl named Yuri who is friends with a paper umbrella-maker named Kijikawa.  Kijikawa has been pressured by a greedy businessman lately, who wants to convince all the traditional artists in Ishikawa to allow him to mass produce and sell their products throughout all of Japan.  Yuri, a girl who fiercely loves the traditional arts, is extremely opposed to this idea.

I just really love the backgrounds in this arc.

One night while spying at the greedy businessman’s house, she spies Kijikawa entering the household.  Upset, she transforms into her magical girl form in order to sneak inside despite her familiar’s warnings.  Kijikawa actually came by in order to refuse the businessman’s offer, but the businessman won’t take no for an answer and calls up his thugs.  Just as Yuri is about to spring into action, a giant Kaga Lion attacks instead, targeting the greedy businessman.  However, Shishiku (Yuri’s familiar) says that the lion has been possessed by a Mischief, so Yuri must exorcise it.

Haven’t heard this line in a while.

Yuri feels conflicted, as the Kaga Lion summoned the Mischief itself because it was angry at the businessman belittling their culture.  Nonetheless, it is her job as a magical girl to exorcise Mischiefs, so she reluctantly does so.  Before she disappears into the night, she warns the businessman not to use force to achieve his ideals or else.

The fight scene was really brief this time but oh so cool.

In the end, Yuri realizes that allowing more of Japan to experience Ishikawa’s traditions may not be such a bad thing.  She also seems to have developed a bit of a crush on Kijikawa, if the last scene is anything to go by…

Aw man, that’s adorable.

My Opinion:

This arc was so good… why was this arc so good?!  The art direction, the animation, the scene angles… it was all so great.  Even the conflict in this episode was notches above Naruko’s and Matsuri’s arc.  Has Mahou Shojo Taisen finally gotten serious?

I really like Yuri as a character.  She’s the first girl explicitly shown to know some fighting skills outside of being a magical girl.  And she’s also implied to be slightly older than the previous girls.  I’m guessing Naruko and Rin are 16, Matsuri is 14, so Yuri is probably 17-18?  Anyway, Yuri is just a really cool character overall as her motivations aren’t exactly ideal for a magical girl.  She was perfectly happy to just let the businessman die by the possessed Kaga Lion out of anger.  But nonetheless she still ended up saving the businessman because that’s her job as a magical girl.

The conflict in this episode was about whether traditions should be kept within one place or whether it should be allowed for other people to experience.  The end of Yuri’s arc seems to signify the latter, though it also warns that traditions should be respected first and foremost.  While the conflict here wasn’t as dramatic or life-threatening as in Rin’s arc, this sort of conflict is still important to keep in mind in the type of world we live in now, where items can be shipped relatively easily to other places and the internet exists.

Overall, this was a great arc with lots of lovely animation.  I cannot stress enough how great the animation was.  Although the fight scene was rather brief, it doesn’t matter because what was more important was Yuri’s inner conflict.  And I’m glad to see that it was handled well.  This is probably the only arc so far that doesn’t feel incredibly rushed, so I’m giving it extra points for that.

Out of five for this arc as a whole:

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Hnnnngh so pretty…