“They all started saying, “Magical girls are for little children.” Still, I never stopped dreaming. Even now, I still secretly dream of that.”
I’m glad I became I magical girl!”
As Ripple and Swim Swim fight each other, Fav reveals to Koyuki the true reason for the Magical Girl Raising Project. Her books and magical girl magazines thrown about, her room a total mess. She cries to herself and says she can’t be a magical girl anymore. As Fav pops up from her phone, she says she’ll quit. But Fav stops her and then tells her what the point of everything was.
The Magical Girl Raising Project is a selection exam that chooses a magical girl from a group to be part of the World of Magic…for some reason, or as a Master like Cranberry was. I’m not sure what that girl would do while joining the World of Magic since we didn’t get a full explanation, or of the World of Magic itself. But as we saw, the Master would be the one that would oversee these selection exams with their familiar, who in this case is Fav. And how these exams go are dependant on the Master. Fav described exams being different, like one where the girls are sweet and help each other out, while another is the magical girls fighting off monsters the World of Magic send. It was also revealed that if a magical girl failed, her memories would be wiped and she’d forget that she ever was a magical girl, and that’t is. It was Cranberry who turned these selection exams into battle royales, and she killed all the girls in every exam. Because the past exams were so boring, she turned them into a blood bath and the stakes were raised. Fav admits to Koyuki that Swim is a skilled killer, but she’s a horrible Master, so he purposely made Ripple and Swim face off so they could kill each other, and Koyuki could become his Master because he wants her.
Of course, remembering all the girls and women that have been killed over this exam, Koyuki is devastated and angry. She tells Fav off and destroys her phone and then goes off to try to stop the fight. We saw a very different Koyuki this episode. All the innocence and happiness we saw in the first episode? Gone. I actually found it quite funny when Fav mentioned how crazy it was that Koyuki would be the sole survivor when she never dirtied her hands or did anything, because that’s kind of how I feel about her. Not the getting her hands dirty part, that’s fine. But really, what exactly has she done? Maybe it’s not totally her fault because the show focused on all the other characters except her, but Koyuki didn’t really do anything until this very last episode. I also found it surprising that Koyuki would be the sole survivor when she’s done pretty much nothing, but I also found it ironic.
Koyuki believed that magical girls were pure, sweet, nice, and helpful. Koyuki never got her hands dirty by killing anyone or playing tricks or backstabbing anyone. She stayed true to who she wanted to be, to who she always dreamed of being, and she stuck to what she believed magical girls to be. She survived until the very end as a true magical girl.
Except she wasn’t the sole survivor. Like I’ve said before, some deaths are quick and anticlimactic. I wanted to really savor and enjoy Swim’s death. I didn’t really get that other than just the general happy feeling of seeing her die. Which is a little messed up to say because she was a little girl with “a few screws loose” as Fav said. I also wanted to learn why Swim was like that. What kind of little girl is okay with killing so many people? In the end, I expected both Swim and Ripple to die like Fav planned, and Koyuki would be forced to live a life with Fav by her side and she would slowly lose her mind. I did not expect Ripple to survive and I was overjoyed that she did. I also did not expect Fav to die! That made me really happy. When I heard his little laugh towards Snow I really was about to lose it, until Ripple came from behind to break the device with the halberd. With Fav gone, these exams are done now as we see later on.
The very last bit was a little confusing though. Apparently Koyuki ran away from home, and I guess she’s living with Ripple now, who now only has one eye and arm. I wasn’t sure what to make of the ending. We see reports of magical girl sightings, who of course are Ripple and Snow White. But they seem to be taking on dangerous tasks, with some deaths mentioned. Snow mentions nothing will change without things set in motion and she’s practicing her combat with Ripple after saying she got hit with three bullets. We then get a monologue from Koyuki saying that she still dreams of becoming a magical girl, insinuating that she doesn’t see herself as one right now?
And that’s what we’re left with. It’s obviously the end of one story, and the beginning of another. I’m not sure what Koyuki and Ripple are doing. We see a new Koyuki, who looks more determined and combative. I’m glad she has Ripple on her side, but I just have to wonder what they’redoing that Koyuki had to run away from home and drop school altogether for.
The ending wasn’t too satisfactory. There were details that still needed to be fleshed out, like the World of Magic. And I’m also not a fan of open-ended finales. I know there’s more story, but that just makes me more curious. So, how did I feel about this show?
I’ve seen all kinds of opinions of this show, but personally I still liked it. Of course I admitted near the end that I was getting a little frustrated with the show. I had wanted to know what was the point, the real point, of the Magical Girl Raising Project. Yes, I know it was a selection exam of some sort because the World of Magic needed talent. But what for? Are they raising an army? Are there terrifying forces out there? What exactly is the World of Magic anyway and how does it work? How big is it and who runs it? I got one answer from one question I asked last week: What was the point of making this exam a battle royale?
Cranberry and Fav were literally bored and bloodthirsty so they changed it. That’s it. I hate them. We’ve had characters like them before and they’re nothing special. I also want to know what kind of people are in the World of Magic to be 100% okay with this.
But I was left wanting more. Especially with the very end with Snow and Ripple but I know that would mean making another season to continue the story, and that just means we’ll have to wait and see.
When it comes to the plot, after all that we “learned” in the last episode, it was lacking. It started off fine. 16 girls having to compete against one another to continue being magical girls while the one that failed would have to quit. But then it’s revealed that they were killed. What started off as innocently gathering Magical Candies ended up turning into a battle to the death. The show started off sweet and lighthearted, but it quickly went dark in the second episode with its first death. It didn’t start off gory. For awhile it was mostly mind games and strategic moves that we saw, and it wasn’t until the show reached its halfway point that things started to turn sour. The fights were great to watch though the quality of them dipped after awhile and they became more rushed and anticlimactic. The show became a little predictable when they would insert a character’s backstory, only to have them killed off in that same episode. So when the show would do that again with another character, you knew what to expect. Still, there were some twists that had me shocked. The plot itself is simple and I was waiting for a big reveal at the end, so I was left a bit disappointed. It was a battle royal show, so you were bound to get frustrated anyway. One thing I did like were the connections, such as the girl who Snow helped who lost her key being Alice, and the little girl in the last dream Nemurin visited being Swim were twists that I liked.
The characters are a hit or miss. Some had more love than others, and when it comes to our surviving girls, only Top Speed, La Pucelle, and Alice had an impact on them. Top Speed (the best one) was Ripple’s friend, and even now Ripple still wears her cape. Sou-chan and Alice were obviously very important to Snow so these three were really the only ones to have a lasting effect. As for everyone else, we got to know some more than others, but compared to the three I just listed, most of them aren’t very important. Sure some of us may have gotten attached to Sister Nana, Winterprison, etc. But if these girls had been replaced with other girls, it wouldn’t have made a difference to the story or the “main” characters. We learned their backstories and we even saw some flashbacks of some that were already killed, so at least some of them got depth. But some like Nemurin and Magicaloid got the short end of the stick, and we learned almost nothing about them. A lot of the good ones got killed and after awhile it got frustrating too. But because some characters were so likeable, you would really become absorbed into the show.
Studio Lerche took on this show, and they’ve also produced some shows I absolutely loved like Assassination Classroom and Gakkou Gurashi, another show that’s sort of similar to this one. Since I haven’t read the light novels and I don’t even know if there are translations of it around, I can’t say how they did with the adaptation. I know from some comments I’ve seen that they made some changes but I don’t know if it was for the better or worse. Animation itself looked fine. Sometimes in the fights it would look off, and while the art style itself isn’t my favorite, it still looked pretty nice. Music was fine as well, the opening was great, but the ending DREAMCATCHER by Nano was godly. It’s honestly one of my favorite anime endings I’ve heard, but really Nano is just a great band so it’s no surprise. Also, watching the ending of all the girls laying peacefully kind of breaks my heart, especially after this final episode. The lyrics of the song really get to me too.
The more I try to beat reality
The more I’m losing to the weakness in me escaping
I couldn’t see where the today would take me
Just waiting for tomorrow to ease the pain
I’ve heard many people say that this arc was the least interesting and that the story of Magical Girl Raising Project only gets much better. But will we get another season? I’m going to remain hopeful. Another dark magical girl show I really loved, Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero, is actually going to get a sequel covering events prior to the main story. That show ended almost exactly two years ago and it’s going to get its sequel sometime in 2017, and I’m so excited! So I’m going to believe that Magical Girl Raising Project will get another season and continue its story, because while this season had its problems that I’ve mentioned, I still really liked it (not as much as Yuuki Yuuna but still!). So let’s all be hopeful.