I was planning to get a review out for Hanayamata and Barakamon last weekend but I had been busy with a huge project at work.  So while I am working on batch reviews for both of those series, have a new review for Mahou Shoujo Taisen!

Oh great, yet another slightly annoying mascot.

Summary:

Suzuka is a girl who grew up in Mie Prefecture, and loves bike riding.  As a youngster, she met a kind older man named Souta after she fell off of her bike.  Years later, after Suzuka becomes a magical girl thanks to her shrimp mascot Ebizo, she continues to look up to Souta and watches him compete in motorbike races.  Lately, Souta hasn’t been doing so well in competitions, and this race (if he fails to win) will be his last.  Because of his despair, he and his bike get taken over by a Mischief.

Her transformation is pretty unoriginal but at least her outfit is certainly unique.

After Mischief-possessed Souta runs off the tracks and into the stands, Suzuka quickly transforms and chases after him on an Ebizo-transformed motorbike.  However, chasing after Souta is quite a task, since he’s a lot faster than Ebizo and Suzuka.  Ebizo then suggest that they corner him in a shrine, in order to limit the Mischief’s powers.

Well that escalated quickly.

Suzuka eventually manages to catch up to Souta, and says that she wants to see him happily riding again, like how he was in the past.  This manages to snap Souta out of his funk just as he hits the shrine.  The Mischief is unable to possess Souta and the bike anymore, and Suzuka quickly finishes it off.  Later on, we find out that Souta has been dropped from his racing team, and now works as a delivery boy for a restaurant.  Ebizo muses that Souta may be out of competitive racing for now, but that doesn’t mean he can’t find some other path of success.  The episode ends after Souta and Suzuka meet once again.

Pretty inspiring quote aside, Suzuka has almost stalker-like tendencies toward Souta…

My Opinion:

After the greatness that was Rin and Yuri’s arc, we get… THIS.  I honestly think Suzuka’s arc is the most badly written one in the whole series so far.

First of all, Suzuka barely has any personality to her, other than going “big brother…!” ad nauseam throughout all three episodes that comprise her arc.  I mean, she’s got a cute design, and her magical girl outfit is pretty neat if a little odd.  But she feels like such a horribly flat character due to her “big brother” complex.  (quotation marks ‘cause they’re not even related)  I know Suzuka has a super huge crush on Souta and all, but having her obsess over him at the cost of her… actually having a personality feels like a poor move.  In fact, this episode really did feel more like it was about Souta than Suzuka, just because Suzuka felt so bland in comparison.

The pacing in this arc was downright terrible.  I get that the motorbike chase scene was the biggest priority, but even then everything still felt really rushed.  Instead of giving more time to actually exploring Suzuka’s character we get random and unfunny segments, along with reused footage!  Maybe this arc was meant to be a break for the animators or something, because this arc was definitely much lower in quality than Rin or Yuri’s arc.  I also really dislike the really obvious duex ex machina they pulled towards the end, with Suzuka simply vanquishing the Mischief immediately instead of fighting it.  I suppose the whole bike-chase scene was enough of a “fight,” but that was honestly the most boring chase scene I’ve seen in a while.

Overall, meh.  This arc could have really been done better.  I’m not even that fond of motorbike stuff and even I can think of better ways to have written Suzuka’s story.  Ah well, at least the end moral was pretty good.

Out of five for the arc as a whole:

precure heart2 and 1/2

Somehow this relationship comes off as WAY creepier than Yuri’s and Kijikawa’s. Probably ’cause Suzuka first met Souta when she was like… seven??? And she’s like 14 now so she had been pining after him for SEVEN YEARS? And he’s like mid-20s at least so uhhhhhhhh

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