Snow White wakes up to find herself mysteriously in possession of the lucky Rabbit’s Foot item, formerly held by Hardgore Alice. She agrees to meet up with Sister Nana in hope of learning Alice’s whereabouts and returning the itme. Swim Swim also receives a meeting request from Nana, and she and her gang begin hatching a plan to defeat the powerful Winterprison.
A furious Mary learns of Magicaloid’s death, and Fav, eager to witness chaos, willingly outs Alice as the culprit. Mary tracks down and attacks Alice, but Alice’s healing powers easily allow her to withstand every weapon in Mary’s arsenal. Even being cut into chunks and thrown into the sea to drown cannot stop her.
Snow White and Hardgore Alice both agree to team up with Sister Nana and Winterprison, but Snow White is still terrified of Alice. However, Alice gives the Rabbit’s Foot to Snow White as a present, implying she may not be as frightening as she seems. Elsewhere, we see a bit of Ripple’s difficult home life and some more interactions between Top Speed and Ripple. Top Speed tries to get Ripple to open up, but fails. Ripple gets a meeting request from Mary, but refuses it. The episode ends with Nana and Winterprison preparing to meet with Swim Swim, unaware that they are walking into a trap.
Unfortunately, I have to say this – this was the first episode of Magical Girl Raising Project that I honestly didn’t enjoy. The pacing issues from the last couple episodes were back in full force, especially in Ripple and Top Speed’s segment. While I normally enjoy the parts that show the Magical Girls’ backstories and lives, Ripple’s was pretty poorly timed, being fairly dark (her mother had multiple lovers, at least one of which abused her) and coming at the end of a string of similarly dark scenes. Overall, it gave this episode a depressing feel that made it rather exhausting to watch.
However, the ultimate low point of this episode (and, in my opinion, of the series so far) was the interactions between Calamity Mary and Hardgore Alice. Magical Girl Raising Project is adapting some short stories as well as the main plot of the light novel, which has been mostly a good thing, as most of these stories are character-focused. This particular scene comes from a short story called “Zombie Western,” which is basically just several pages of dismemberment. I was actually hoping this story WOULDN’T get adapted, because this series has so much material to rely on (sixteen magical girls, each with their own lives and bacstories) without turning to bloody filler.
There is still so much we don’t know about Alice – is she really helping Snow White, or does she have ulterior motives? If she’s helping, why? – and instead of clearing any of that up, we get a scene of Mary repeatedly trying and failing to defeat her with a variety of weapons ranging from guns and knives to fire and acid. While the scene was a lot less gory than I feared it would be (mostly because ‘dismembered’ Alice was portrayed as a pile of moving black goo rather than actual separated limbs), it still was overall pretty bloody.
Worse, however, was that this sequence didn’t really contribute ANYTHING to the plot. What did we learn – how powerful Alice’s regeneration is? How utterly insane Mary is? Nothing that we weren’t already aware of, really. I guess it shows that Mary did care a little for Magicaloid, but still…the scene was several minutes longer than needed. I know it seems like I’m harping repeatedly on a small scene, but I do worry that the inclusion of this kind of material now might lead to some rushed episodes later.
Really, this episode felt like an interminably slow, dark, sad buildup to larger events to come. The remaining ‘pieces’ in the survival game were moved only a fraction of an inch from their position at the start of the episode, and very little was accomplished overall. Let’s hope next week – with the approaching confrontation between Winterprison and the Ruler Gang – picks up the pace again.
Out of 5 Dios: