Part of me thinks I have mixed feelings on the episode, but the other part of me knows that I thought this episode was pretty good. If anything, the only things that frustrated me with it was having the big cliff hanger from last week’s episode of everyone potentially being dead…. and surprise, surprise! Kusue’s actually the only who’s dead for good. But then they just pushed it a little bit too far by having everyone essentially die again and… I wasn’t the biggest fan of that.
But really, I think that is my only gripe with this episode. I loved the opening with the Majiha Sisters and how it played on a little longer than I thought it would. I mean they came up with a whole opening for them and that was really cute (If it weren’t so corny, I’d be inclined to watch it too!). It honestly adds to the charm of the series by adding little things like this along the way. They usually do it at the end, but I’m a fan. And not only that, by having the opening focus solely on the Majiha Sisters, I think it made Yuka’s bit in this episode a lot stronger. When she was first introduced, we learned that being a magical girl was like a dream for her, but that eventually became some background information to use. But! by introducing us to the characters she loved so much, it really makes their appearance later on more impactful rather than just some mysterious image of magical girls appearing out of nowhere. It also played in nicely, with her describing the person she wanted to be and who she actually was, but it also never felt like a redemption arc.
I like that Yuka can have these touchy, emotional moments, but then one second later she turns us around and reminds that she’s a hardcore otaku who probably has some pretty scummy thoughts. If anything, I think they’ve done a good job showing that she just generally has a bad personality without being evil. It balances everyone else out really well especially since Kusue and Iu are much more focused on helping others and being genuinely good people, Yotsuya is generally more focused on getting everyone in his part out alive, whereas Yuka is still just tagging along with the group. She hasn’t had some big revelation about this being a world where she can do what she can become a better person and that’s great. But on a side note, I’m glad the mysterious magic user with a big cat came to save the day. I definitely didn’t expect that to happen and I’m a fan of her already. I hope we get to see her more in the future.
But let’s talk about the big reveal in this episode: that the only ones who are virtual are the player characters. Because boy am I excited to see how Yotsuya works through this in the next episode, because that’s a lot of stuff to take in. As a viewer, I could see something like this coming, of course I didn’t know they were going to take the parallel world approach. But the way they have slowly been turning the focus back to the question of real vs virtual has kind of hinted at something that would change their perception. And boy is Yotsuya having a moment because he’s actually killed real people. And I think it’ll be interesting to see how that goes, because he was able to kill the knights because he was able to convince himself that they aren’t real. His actions suddenly have a lot more weight behind them. Yeah, now that I think about it, the person he killed, was going to send three religious prisoners to death but in his head it was probably more akin to killing someone in a game like Hitman rather than a real human. Perhaps he’ll come to the conclusion that he killed a “bad” guy and probably get over it, but that initial shock might be a lot for him right now.
Oh well, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out next week!