SPOILERS

I won’t stop dreaming (of a season 2) either!


A severely depressed Snow White resolved to quit being a magical girl. Fav attempts to entice her to become his new Master by explaining that the survivor of the game will get to work for the Land of Magic as a “true Magical Girl,” as Cranberry once did. He heartlessly admits that not all Magical Girl exams use death, and that he and Cranberry deliberately manipulated this exam into a killing game. Snow White rejects his twisted ideas and rushes off to save Ripple.

Meanwhile, Ripple is unable to land a single hit on Swim Swim due to her liquid powers. Swim Swim successfully severs Ripple’s arm, seeming to secure the upper hand. Ripple remembers Fav’s advice and uses a flashbang (which produces light and sound) to kill her, sacrificing one of her own eyes in the process.

Seeing how broken Koyuki looks now hurt pretty bad

Snow White arrives to find what she believes to be two corpses. Fav once again tries to convince her to become a Master. However, Snow White realizes that she can read Fav’s thoughts for the first time, meaning that Cranberry’s Master Phone holds his “true body”. She tries her best to destroy it, but fails. Ripple, revealed to be only unconscious, awakens and uses Swim Swim’s magical halberd to destroy the phone (and Fav).

The Raising Project social game is shut down. Snow White and Ripple continue to work as Magical Girls, ignoring messages from the Land of Magic in favor of operating alone. Snow White allows Ripple to train her, becoming stronger and learning how to fight and stand up for herself while still helping others in any way she can.

Fav’s desperate last stand was a treat to watch

Well, Magical Girl Raising Project went out with a final fight between Ripple and Swim Swim, a desperate last stand by Fav, and two survivors out of the game’s original sixteen participants. It was a strong finale – I’d actually say that it was one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. I think this definitely confirms that the show’s strengths are its moments between small groups of characters – not the best thing with such a large starting cast, but effective when we’re down to the final three.

Despite my hatred for Fav, I really did like that he was the last antagonist remaining after the deaths of Mary, Cranberry and Swim Swim. Almost the entire episode was accompanied by his narration, which, while it did get annoying because of his voice, was still an effective narrative decision. We got to hear the always collected Fav sound really desperate for the first time. It really hammered in that his wits and persusion were his only weapons, and yet, he managed to survive for so long with only those. I had guessed and hoped that Snow White’s powers would end up being extremely useful in some crucial situation, and was proven right here where her ability to hear Fav’s thoughts for the first time proves the key to finding his weakness.

I love that Ripple started wearing Top Speed’s cloak

The ending of the episode was unfortunately a little lackluster. We did get the nice sentiment of Snow White and Ripple’s friendship and Snow White never giving up her dreams of being a good, helpful Magical Girl. Still, it just felt a little….dull? Cliche?…to have such a “things will be OK now” ending to this kind of series. I had also hoped for something a bit more ambiguous, as I’d love to see more seasons of this show, though I understand the creators wanting to make an acceptable ending if a second season never happens. We did get Fav talking extensively about the Land of Magic, so maybe there’s still hope? As Snow White says, never stop dreaming!

Full marks despite the ending!

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Swim Swim, you will not be missed

Final Thoughts

I went into Magical Girl Raising Project hoping for a dark, entertaining death game show – and I got that and more. It wasn’t a perfect show by any means, and it suffered from some pretty major pacing issues especially in the middle episodes, but, all in all, I think it was better than I expected it to be. Despite the show having trouble spreading itself too thin, the sixteen Magical Girls were still surprisingly well developed for a cast of this size. Even Nemurin and Ruler, the first out, both played crucial roles in the plot and continued to show up in the memories and flashbacks of others.

I think my absolute favorite thing was that, as dark as it was, Magical Girl Raising Project is still overall very sincere about Magical Girls. Snow White’s , La Pucelle’s and Sister Nana’s genuine desire to help others is never once mocked or shown as weak. Snow White’s positivity and helpfulness, rather than making her an underdog, actually make her “the one to beat” for most of the game. In the end, she’s praised for remaining helpful and selfless, and even the darker and more violent Ripple admits to having learned from her.

Sure, it’s magical girls killing each other, but it’s also not afraid to have magical girls in cutesy outfits with silly names that are proud and happy to be such. Sure, there are genre cliches like the death of the mentor, but there are also subversions such as revealing the villain early so we see her reactions to events as they occur. Add to that some unexpected and refreshingly progressive storylines, such as boys being just as able to become Magical Girls and an open lesbian couple who is allowed to be affectionate and never mocked for their relationship, and you have something that honestly is a lot more than “Magical Girl killing game”. This show has even inspired me to read the light novels, and to hope for more seasons – Magical Girl Raising Project is actually a deeply developed, complex universe populated with compelling characters. The fact that the entire next arc is dedicated to dealing with the repercussions of Cranberry’s actions on the world at large is commendable.

My final ranking for the series is, out of 5 Dios:

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If my reviews or your watching of the series has also made you curious about the Raising Project light novels, they can be read at the mahoikutranslationproject tumblr.

Goodbye for now, MGRP!

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