Upupupu….I mean, pon?

In the wake of Nemurin’s elimination, domineering Ruler pushes her minions further to collect Candies. Shy Tama only has the power to dig holes, so she winds up with undesirable tasks such as burying trash. However, Ruler’s dismissive treatment begins to weaken her subjects’ loyalty, so Tama and the twin angels Minael and Yunael begin plotting her downfall.

I do like all the unique team ups and would love to see more of this one

La Pucelle and Snow White are called to a meeting with three other girls: kind Sister Nana, stoic Winterprison, and robotic Magicaloid. Winterprison reveals a strange video she discovered while reading over old conversations from the chatroom: a conversation between Fav and quiet musician Cranberry, where Cranberry learns that a girl will die if she is stripped of her powers. However, Magicaloid is revealed to be working with Calamity Mary, so the “secret” Winterprison discovered does not stay so for long.

With his secret out, Fav admits the truth about Nemurin’s death to the assembled magical girls. Snow White is scared by the news, so La Pucelle swears on her sword to always protect her. Their touching moment is ruined by an update to the game: girls can now share Magical Candies between one another. Ruler and her gang immediately plot to use the new rules to steal candies from – and potentially even kill – Snow White.

Say it ain’t so, Cranberry! I LIKED your whole “mystical forest elf” shthick…

Well, I’m glad that the news of Nemurin’s death and the game’s “twist” got out as quickly as it did. Part of me was afraid that it would be dragged out over multiple episodes, as the game’s elimination system doesn’t make it immediately obvious that the girl who “loses” dies. Now, things can get a lot more interesting as nefarious plots within plots move towards the surface – Ruler’s against Snow White, and Ruler’s minions against her.

Let’s start with the positives of this episode. I think my favorite thing about this show is the interactions and relationships between pairs and small groups of magical girls. We got more of the La Pucelle / Snow White and Top Speed / Ripple friendships in this episode. Plus, we got more of a look at the protective bond between Nana and Winterprison and the unique dynamics of Ruler’s gang. She treats them cruelly, but does genuinely seem to want them all to stay in the game – meanwhile, the “minions” definitely seem to have something up their sleeve. I also hope we get to see some more of the “space and Western” partnership of Magicaloid and Calamity Mary.

I predict Ruler is not long for this world

However, episode 3 was not without its negatives as well. Fav being, if not necessarily evil, at least aware of and unbothered by the game’s fatal consequences is not a particularly inventive plot twist. Antagonistic mascots are kind of a staple in these series, so I had been hoping that Fav would be a little more than he seemed. Additionally, the show gave some not very subtle “SHE IS SUSPICIOUS” vibes in regards to Ruler, Cranberry, and Mary. Especially Cranberry, who was the one to ask Fav deliberately about the girls’ deaths and is the only girl who doesn’t seem to be in any kind of group or pairing. I’m sort of hoping she isn’t a villain, and just a neutral creepy/nonchalant character.

Lastly, there was this episode’s fanservice. Obviously, the first two episodes were not without it – La Pucelle, Ripple and Mary wear some fairly revealing outfits. However, their characters at least seem to be portrayed as among the “older” of the magical girls. However, in episode 3, we got a lot of bare leg and chest jiggling from Ruler’s lackey Swim Swim, who seems to be implied to be a younger character in her human form. I guess, just like with Fav, it was too much to hope that a show about a magical girl killing game would do something new and go light on the fanservice.

This show still isn’t amazing – but I’m not expecting it to be. It’s an enjoyable watch, with engaging characters, and this episode just built tension for the results of Ruler’s plan next week. I continue to look forward to tuning in. Out of 5 Dios for this week:

diodio 1/2

No, what’s scary is how much I like you even though you’re the second-blatantest Saber-lite this season

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