After Subaru’s first night as a magical girl, she wakes up the next day to find her other four teammates in the same school and same class as her. Obviously, something strange is going on. President (through Nanako) explains to the girls that an incident seven years ago has made all of their threads of fate converge, so now they’re essentially stuck together.
The girls attempt to teach Subaru how to fly using the drive shaft, although Aoi eventually takes on most of the work because her methods are the most mundane and easy to understand. However, this training only reveals how deeply the rift between Subaru and Aoi is, and Subaru runs away crying after one training session. She ends up back in the magical garden, and meets with the red-haired boy again. He reveals himself to be “Minato,” and the two have a talk. Minato is able to get to the heart of the problem, which is that Subaru is somewhat saddened by how much Aoi has changed in their time apart. However, Minato suggests that Aoi could be going through the same thing, which opens Subaru’s eyes a bit.
Subaru and Aoi continue flying training, when suddenly; a strange engine fragment is detected. Nanako, Itsuki, and Hikaru go on ahead. It turns out that this engine fragment is actually two fragments circling around each other. Subaru and Aoi catch up to the rest of the gang, and through some skilled teamwork are able to catch both the fragments. Unfortunately, the red-haired boy with horns shows up again, and steals one of the fragments away. The girls still managed to get one large fragment, though; so they consider it a success. The episode ends with the girls surveying their new school clubroom and base of operations.
This was an okay episode. The beginning started out a bit strangely, and it’s never really explained just why all the girls are suddenly at Subaru’s school, other than some vague “it’s because magic” hint. I also didn’t like how long-drawn and awkward Subaru’s and Aoi’s relationship drama was, but at least it seems to be resolved in this episode. I guess it’s because we didn’t know anything about these two beforehand, so it didn’t immediately click to me why they were acting so strange towards each other; although it’s also hinted that some magic was possibly involved in them splitting apart in the past.
That aside, I have to talk about the animation in this episode. The animation here really tanked, compared to how lovely it was in the first episode. I’ve been watching anime for a while so I know that the first and last episode is generally where all the budget goes, but man was it somewhat jarring to see the animation drop to that quality. It’s still not really bad in terms of anime as a whole, but I just hope the quality doesn’t drop further.
I’m glad that the other characters are being fleshed out more, even though most of the focus still went towards Subaru and Aoi. Nanako is quickly becoming my favorite, though I’m also growing fond of Itsuki’s strangeness and Hikaru’s liveliness. Maybe in the future we can have one of these girls step into the spotlight? As much as I like Subaru and Aoi, I don’t like seeing the other members of their team get pushed aside like in so many other magical girl anime.
Overall, an okay episode. This episode was a somewhat more relaxed one, which makes sense as it’s about Subaru getting used to the whole magical girl job. And I am still very glad that this series hasn’t reared any grimdark overtones yet; and I hope that it stays that way for the rest of the series. A magical girl anime does not need to be overly violent or dark to be good. Sometimes, something that’s just pleasant and inspiring can also be a masterpiece.
Out of five for this episode: