Papika and Cocona are on a losing streak against Yayaka and the twins. Will they manage to turn things around in this Pure Illusion?
(Spoilers in this review)
The episode opens with Cocona and Papika choosing inanimate objects to serve as their magical-girl-transformation-trinkets. The loud, campy scientist mentions that Yayaka and the twins were built different, which is why the three have extremely low and stable impedences. Were they artifically made? More episodes, more questions.
At any rate, Papika chooses a bracelet and Cocona is given a smooth tree branch (thanks, Papika). Apparently the magic phrase to transform is “FLIP FLAPPING.”
Before they enter the Pure Illusion, it’s revealed that they’ve lost three times in a row to the trio thus far. It’s tough being a magical girl.
This Pure Illusion turns out to be a creepy all-girls school. It quickly becomes apparent that the day is on loop after Papika and Cocona are essentially forced to join since the two start doing the same things over and over.
Maybe I’m just a lightweight when it comes to scary things, but I was pretty freaked out watching most of this episode. All-girl schools are fine, but they’re not great when paired with Groundhog Day loops, faceless schoolgirl terminators, and jump scares.
The two eventually forget that they’re supposed to find the fragment, but thankfully Yayaka butts in and reminds Cocona. Was it out of concern for her childhood friend? Was it because she and the twins were having difficulty locating the fragment? We don’t know.
At any rate, Yayaka informs Cocona that Pure Illusion affects humans in specific ways depending on the Pure Illusion. I don’t think that explanation really works in regards to when Cocona wore that brainwashing mask, but sure. Getting hot and bothered is apparently what happens in this Pure Illusion (which is consistent with any anime set in an all-girls school).
However, Yayaka, who is not in heat, claims her mindset is different from Cocona’s and Papika’s. While Cocona confesses she finds finding fragments to be fun, collecting fragments is all business for Yayaka.
Eventually Cocona and Papika manage to delay the time loop and catch up to Yayaka and the twins as they run up the clock tower.
Papika, who chooses to transform, and Yayaka fight briefly until these red hands grab Yayaka by the ankles and drag her all the way down. Cocona, being Cocona, ends up slipping, falling, and joining her.
This is where we get to see the difference in mindset that kept getting brought up in this episode. While the twins see Yayaka in trouble, they continue running up the tower in order to retrieve the fragment. Meanwhile, Papika flys all the way down and picks up both Cocona and Yayaka. That was pretty cool, Papika.
However, she ends up running out of gas so it’s up to Cocona to transform and smack dat bell.
Once the fragment is retrieved, the Pure Illusion starts breaking down. Since Cocona and Papika were experiencing technical difficulties while trying to create an exit, Yayaka pulls them in through the trio’s portal. Perhaps it’s because Papika didn’t abandon her?
However, Yayaka just claims she doesn’t want to owe a debt to the two. Furthermore, she demands to have the fragment, claiming that the two of them don’t understand what they’re supposed to be used for. Well, neither do we, Yayaka, neither do we. Cocona and Papika obviously refuse.
All in all, this episode was considerably different compared to the other Pure Illusion episodes. Sure, the girls were in Pure Illusion for almost the entire episode, but the scenery was less colorful and more dreary. However, it also freaked me out so the studio did a good job there.
That being said, we still don’t get any explanations. The episode abruptly ends with yet another fantasy action scene, just like all the others, but at least there’s no cliffhanger hook. However, this is episode 5 already and we’re stumbling in the dark, still waiting for something other than flashy scenes. Episode 4 was a step in the right direction, but Studio 3hz didn’t commit.
I’m still standing by the notion that Yayaka and the twins are going to have a more reliable means of securing fragments. Technology is more consistent compared to magic in this show, after all. However, the trio ended up being unable to secure this fragment despite being a step ahead of Cocona and Papika the entire time. Once the two girls caught up, their magical girl transformations were what sealed the deal with the fragment. Magic is clutch!
The episode also made me wonder about Yayaka. Is she really as cold-hearted as she likes to imply? She went out of her way to help out Cocona and Papika several times in this episode. However, she does end up fighting Papika and demanding the fragment as compensation, so there’s that. As with all things in this show, the viewers will have to wait if they want to know.
Next week’s episode is titled, “Pure Play.” Senpai returns! Wait, Cocona and Yayaka end up fighting this time?! See you next time!