As a reaction to being in contact with the fragments, Minato transforms into his evil counterpart, the horned boy. Subaru witnesses this transformation and is shocked as Minato flies away with the fragments in tow. The other girls convene just in time to see him escape with all their hard work. Unfortunately, the fragments had been amplifying the girls’ power, so they are unable to follow Minato into space now that he has all them. The girls then combine all their drive shafts into one, and Subaru volunteers to be the person to go into space.
Meanwhile, Minato has a flashback moment while waiting for another engine fragment to come to him. Back when he was still in the hospital as a young boy, he met a strange alien boy who looked to be around his age. This alien boy gave Minato magic powers and the two went out to search for energy fragments together at night. The energy fragments were basically crystallized potential expelled from humans. Sometime after gaining powers, Minato met with Subaru.
One night, an engine fragment enters the earth’s atmosphere and Minato goes after it despite the alien boy’s warnings. Because his powers aren’t strong enough to reach the engine fragment, the spell around him is broken and Minato finally sees how things really are–in reality, Minato is a comatose boy hooked up to ER machines and on life support. Seeing himself in this sad state, Minato despairs and unconsciously uses the power stored in the energy fragments to try to go after the engine fragment once again, in order to change his destiny. The alien boy tries to stop Minato, but Minato’s despair consumes him, corrupting his magic and turning him into the horned boy.
Back in the present, Subaru finally reaches Minato in space. Minato reveals his true motivations to her, which is to use the engine fragments to find a new planet for people like himself–people who have no potential. In doing so, Minato says that he’ll basically disappear from the current world. Subaru doesn’t want this to happen, and so undoes her transformation in order to bring the “real” Minato back. Fortunately, it works and Minato manages to save Subaru before she gets suffocated in the empty void of space. Unfortunately the engine fragment that Minato was calling to him ends up stabbing him through the chest. Minato disintegrates in a cloud of butterflies while Subaru slowly floats back down to earth crying.
After watching this episode, I felt the need to just lay down in bed for a while because wow did a lot of things happen here.
We FINALLY get an explanation for everything involving Minato. It’s a little confusing, but his body/consciousness seems to have been split into three, and each one represents an alternate timeline. There’s the comatose Minato, the Minato that was “asleep” in the magical garden, and the horned boy Minato. From what happened in episode 6, I assume that the two older Minato’s were able to merge into one entity, explaining why Minato transformed into the horned boy at the beginning of this episode. But then that leaves the question of what happened to the comatose Minato left behind all those years ago…
Anyway, Minato also met with “President” all those years ago, which explains how he was able to use magic when he first met Subaru. He wasn’t born with it, it was given to him. This episode further confirms that President takes on the form of whatever the person he comes into contact with visualizes him to be. Nanako imagined him to be a green blob-like creature, while Minato sees him as a young boy. As for why President speaks in gibberish in his current state, it’s probably because he was depowered after being blasted away by Minato.
This episode also clarifies a few things, in that the engine fragments have enough power to grant wishes. It also shows that magic users can be “corrupted” or “cursed” if they try to jump into the future without living through the present (President’s words from this episode, not mine). Now, some people were saying that this series is trying to go down the Madoka route, but I don’t think it’s quite the same thing. Yes, Minato was in a lot of despair, but what really cursed him (from what I gathered) was that he was trying to change his destiny because he was fearful of the present. He basically “jumped” into the future, into a different timeline. Not that I can blame the kid, though. Perhaps his condition would have improved with time; but seeing yourself in a coma and realizing that everything you’ve done in the last few days might have just been an illusion… that’s rough man.
Overall, this was a really great episode. Although the foreshadowing for Minato’s circumstances could have been done better (didn’t President recognize Minato at all? And if he did, did he just not bother to tell the girls?); I think pretty much all of the plot threads concerning Minato were explained and tied up fairly well. The only complaint I have for this episode is some QUALITY ANIMATION regarding the characters faces. It seems like whenever there’s an episode that calls for a lot of visual effects, the character models are the first things to suffer. Anyway, there’s only two more episodes after this, with only one more engine fragment to go. I’m sure Subaru’s going to do something next episode, for better or worse. For how cheerfully this series started out, I’m still hoping for a happy ending.
Out of five for this episode: