In this episode, we get some rushed backstories as well as magical girls who hallucinate about the dead!
(Spoilers in this review)
The episode opens by showing us Cranberry’s backstory. As a young magical girl, the magical beast that was summoned for a test went berserk. All the other magical girls, as well as Fav’s Master, dies as a result. Cranberry, however, manages to beat said monster. In the process, she becomes Fav’s new Master and she develops a love for fighting strong opponents.
Episode 1 showed an abridged version of this as the opening scene, too, by the way. I had never put two and two together and realize that this was Cranberry’s past. Oops!
Incoming: large image dump of Cranberry’s past.
Fav’s nonchalant “oh, the demon has gone berserk” as well as his commenting that he’s “grown born of these dull exams” makes me think he caused this mishap to happen. At the very least, it doesn’t seem like he’d be against Cranberry’s motive of rigging the exams so she finds strong opponents, so the two were basically partners-in-crime.
After the OP plays, we jump back to Cranberry’s fight against Swim Swim and Tama. The pincer attacks because Tama tripped over a branch, so Swim Swim was left to attack Cranberry by herself. However, Cranberry reveals that Swim Swim’s ability of phasing through objects has a weakness.
Incoming: large image dump of Cranberry’s fight with Swim Swim.
I’m not exactly sure why Swim Swim didn’t swing with the hand that was holding the halberd since both of Cranberry’s hands were preoccupied. Then again, Cranberry was sort of in Swim Swim’s dead zone (the agony of melee weapons with extended reach). Maybe she could have dropped the weapon and started swinging towards Cranberry? I digress.
So Cranberry reveals the weakness of Swim Swim’s ability, for which I’m glad. Things have to have a weakness in my world! As she walks over to Swim Swim, who was blown away by sound blasts (?), Cranberry mocks her, only to stop short when Swim Swim is a child. Does she have a soft spot for kids?
And then Tama comes to Swim Swim’s rescue with THE BIG PLAYS. We all believed in you, Tama! Her ability sent Cranberry’s upper body to the pits!
Loli is saved, murderous mastermind is dead, and the total number of magical girls are now down to 4 so the elimination game is complete. It’s all over now, right?
While Tama dies of a slit throat, we get a flashback explaining her life. She was a good-for-nothing that was mediocre in everything to the point that her own mother and brother were ashamed to be associated with her. She did get along with her grandmother, who loved Tama because she was so kind. Of course that means the one person who understood Tama had to die, leaving Tama all alone with no one to talk to.
It’s while she was in this mindset that she decided to play the game. She earnestly wanted to be a magical girl to escape from her current life. Tama was that desperate. ;_;
And when she did become a magical girl, she was so happy. Tama didn’t even mind being Ruler’s underling (and made her look like a big softie). From what I’ve heard from one of my dear readers, Ruler’s characterization was basically skipped and she wasn’t a heartless tyrant the entire time. I wouldn’t have minded seeing Ruler act like this.
Then we jump back to Tama bleeding out. You did nothing wrong, Tama. You did nothing wrong.
Oh, and Swim Swim is shown feeling bad about her murder of the sweetest magical girl and tries to justify her ruthless actions.
With the death of Cranberry, Fav is in need of a new Master. While trying to bait Swim Swim by dangling questions in front o her, Fav makes a request to Swim Swim to become his new Master. She ends up accepting when he mentions that the Master is the most important magical girl. However, she proceeds to treat Fav with no respect, such as closing the device while he’s talking, which made me laugh a little.
While Fav makes the announcements, we get to see how Swim Swim and Ripple are spending their time. Swim Swim is just sitting in the bloody temple, all alone while cleaning her halberd. Meanwhile, Ripple seems to have retreated her apartment. The mail has accumulated, showing that she hasn’t really bothered to do even the minor daily things. Fav continues to get no respect from Swim Swim, who shuts him up in order to focus on her homework.
The weekly eyecatches:
The second half of the episode has the three remaining magical girls basically hallucinate about their partners / role models.
We really get to see Top Speed act like a true magical girl during these hallucinations. Well, her freaking out after Nemurin’s death was more like a stylized flashback.
A common trend in this episode, nay, this series, is that girls who don’t deserve to die end up dying. Of course, there’s scumbags like Calamity Mary who kick the bucket, too, but the good girls make bigger impressions, I guess?
At any rate, the hallucination causes Ripple to pull out the magical device to contact someone.
Incoming: large image dump of ghost Top Speed.
Meanwhile, Snow White is hallucinating about La Pucelle and ends up thinking about Sister Nana and Hardgore Alice. She even spends an entire day wondering why she’s the one who survived. And then she notices that Ripple contacted her.
Ripple asks if Snow White has any information on Swim Swim because she intends on murdering her in order to avenge her friend (Top Speed, who Ripple fails to mention to SW).
Snow White tries to reason with her, telling her that with the elimination game finished, killing Swim Swim would just make Ripple a murderer instead of a magical girl. However, she’s insistent on revenge so Snow White’s words won’t reach Ripple.
Fav then butts in and says he can restart the elimination game and that Swim Swim’s weaknesses are sound and light. He doesn’t go into more detail, but Ripple thanks him and runs off.
SW asks Fav why he would enable Ripple to fight Swim Swim, to which he responds that people like her won’t stop and that all you can do is give her a supportive push. Yeah, right, Fav. You’re probably just bad that a seven year-old girl gives you the cold shoulder so you’re hoping she dies and you get a nicer Master.
Swim Swim gets another hallucination about Ruler. I ain’t about to put another screenshot of that. But she gets it in her head that she could potentially make Ripple her subject by show of force. Of course, the audience knows that this is impossible since Ripple hates her guts. So why did Fav bring up the fact that Ripple wants to meet with while talking about making Ripple her subject? The two girls are going to be entering this meeting with two very different mindsets and Swim Swim is going to be at a disadvantage. To her, this is a chance to recruit Ripple as a subject. For Ripple, this is a chance to avenge Top Speed.
The episode ends with Ripple having another hallucination about Top Speed. However, it might not just be a hallucination as Top Speed thanks Ripple for carrying her body to their apartment. How did Ripple know where Top Speed lived?
The background during these scenes were pretty. It looks like Ripple did remember to pick up Calamity Mary’s magical bag, too.
Also, do you all recognize the fountain? Ripple and Top Speed went and checked up on this one fountain that lights up during episode seven. Ripple was grumbling about how Top Speed woke her up for this, but the memory seems to have stuck with her. Said fountain also seemed to work as a romantic site for lovers, so hm…well, that’s just my yuri googles talking!
The final, final scene of the episode shows Ripple transforming into a magical girl. You know, for a magical girl series, we’ve really gotten very little transformation scenes.
Incoming: large image dump of transformation scene.
Next week’s episode title is, “File Not Found.” I do not like the sound of this. I want to hope Ripple gives Swim Swim the business, but it didn’t really seem like she figured out what Fav meant by light and sound. It’s possible that there’s going to be a mutual kill and Snow White will be the last one standing. The only one who didn’t get involved with murdering other magical girls wins …at a great price? Hm.
See you next week!