Mahoiku ups the excitement with this sixth display as things turn exceedingly brutal, the number of deaths steadily increasing.
The last episode ended with Cranberry and La Pucelle seconds away from fighting each other. This episode continues from that point. The fight is even more exciting and violent than last week’s Cranberry vs Winterprison battle; this showdown has both parties seemingly equally matched until Cranberry shows her true strength to give La Pucelle the beating of her life.
La Pucelle is a knight with supposedly epic sword skills who wants to fight stronger opponents (probably because of all that testosterone), but Cranberry turns out to be stronger on the night. Cranberry doesn’t want to just fight more powerful magical girls, she wants to kill them. And she has her first blood of this batch by killing La Pucelle. This comes off as rather unexpected since La Pucelle is Snow White’s bodyguard and she had to protect her ideal magical girl. The expected outcome was her making a comeback after getting her face slammed in the wall, dealing a serious blow to Cranberry and then getting away alive. The first two things happen but she fails to walk away alive; Cranberry covers up the death as a car accident and thus brings an end to Souta’s life.
We get two confirmations: Cranberry and Fav have a contract, and the first few minutes of the first episode were showing the previous batch of mahou shoujo with Cranberry having killed them all.
The berry is to make things more exciting while also ensuring smooth progress of the game; in return Fav is fulfilling her wish. Her wish at the moment appears to be a chance to kill other strong magical girls for some fun. It isn’t necessarily her only wish though; Cranberry may have another wish, the ability kill others being a side benefit.
Fav reveals almost everything related to this death game in his conversation with Cranberry. There was a previously held game with mahou shoujo which Cranberry was a part of. The method of selecting the finalists was different back then and not that much liked by Cranberry. This time around the youngsters have been targeted for this death game. The purpose is also told here which is to select the strongest mahou shoujo of them all. For what reason you ask? It’s pretty vague since Fav says that these girls need to be heroes. What kind of “heroes ” are these girls becoming who kill fellow magical girls, go against the magical girl norms, are selfish and care about their own lives above everything? And what are these so-called “heroes” going to fight after this? More mahou shoujo? Those coming out of this alive are anything but heroes.
But is he using “hero” in its literal meaning or he using this word just to refer to the strongest magical girl who survives? This bit will become clearer once the death game comes to an end or if someone questions Fav about the purpose of all this madness and he answers her.
Cranberry defied even Fav’s expectations with how brutally she killed La Pucelle to the point that even Fav is feeling sorry for La Pucelle and his family. It will surely be interesting if the homicidal maniac, Calamity Mary, comes across the terrifying Cranberry at some point.
Now, who is the one most affected by this death? Snow White, of course. La Pucelle was supposed to be Koyuki’s bodyguard and keep her safe. With La Pucelle protecting her, Snow White could focus on being a good mahou shoujo. But that’s not possible anymore. Koyuki is scared out of her mind right now. Her candies were stolen last week and there’s no telling who could come to kill her now that the murdering has officially started. What is she to do? Fav gives her the suggestion to take one of the five special rare items he just introduced. These items are there for the girls not combat oriented like Nana and Snow.
Snow White, despite being terrified of this situation she’s been thrown into, has resolved to fight for her survival which is seen in her reluctantly moving her finger to get one of the items despite the cost being their lifespan. What’s interesting is that she goes for the weapon. The invisibility cloak would have been a perfect fit for her since it would have allowed her to hide if someone approaches her with malicious intent. But she goes for the weapon which shows that this mindless death game is going to have its effects on her. La Pucelle is no longer available to protect her so she must do it herself since she’s most wanted for her enormous candy stash.
Koyuki’s fears are realized when Hardgore Alice approaches her after she fails to get her hands on any item. But Alice is unable to do anything because Magicaloid comes out of nowhere to chop off Alice’s head. Magicaloid is here to kill someone to prove her loyalty to Calamity Mary who suspects that this magical robot may backstab her at any moment. How does killing someone prove loyalty is unknown; this is Magicaloid’s first blood and killing someone will only get her used to it which will make wanting to kill Mary easier as opposed to when she has no killing experience.
Magicaloid gets her back story told before the opening sequence of this episode and just like with Ruler, it hints at her demise later in the episode. And that’s exactly what happens. It appears that Hardgore is somewhat immortal since even with her head detached she gets up and stabs Magicaloid with her bare hands, killing her on the spot. What are Hardgore’s true motives is unknown at this point and this is the cliffhanger ending of the episode.
These two murders happen right in front of the innocent little Koyuki who hadn’t seen anyone die up close until now, let alone brutally murdered. It’s a pretty shocking thing for her and is giving her a front seat view of the true nature of this death match. Koyuki was terrified before too and with blood splattering on her face, she’ll be even more freaked out.
This episode gives us a lot of information about the game, its history, and to some extent, its purpose too. Things will only get clearer as the story progresses, but things sure are intriguing in this regard so far.
The episode marks the start of the changes in Koyuki as she will be deviating from the path of the ideal mahou shoujo. La Pucelle’s death was the trigger for this change and Fav managed to talk her into fighting for survival. She does need a partner because with how she is right now, she may not survive long enough. She’s absolutely horrified and it’ll take some time for her to regain whatever composure she lost. Nana and Winterprison look like good enough partners for her at the moment given their ideals match Koyuki’s.
One problem which arises here is the lack of any emotional punch with the deaths of these girls; La Pucelle died, Magicaloid died, but there was no feeling of sympathy for them. They couldn’t make us care enough for them; especially La Pucelle given her role in the story so far. It appears that what Fav said (side characters die as they are meant to) is happening over here and we can’t really say if that’s such a good thing. It does manage to make things exciting, but it could have been better if there were some emotions involved or if they could have made the us root for one side (which hasn’t happened so far, as disappointing as it is). They’re making up for it by adding more twists, thrilling fights, and a whole lot of brutality, but this is a problem which should be addressed when killing off the next bunch of girls.
We get some mysteries as well because what’s a Mahoiku episode with no mystery? Swim swim’s gang made sure that they’re not forgotten with them getting hold of three of the five rare items. Swim takes her brand new weapon, hands over the invisibility cloak to Inu-chan (because she’s a better leader than Ruler) and makes off for someplace. Top Speed continuously says that she can’t die for the next six months which obviously holds some importance for her. And what is Hardgore Alice’s business with Snow White? All these things are worth looking forward to with the last one being the most interesting given how the episode ended with a headless Alice standing over the dead body of Makoto in front of the terrified Koyuki.
Four girls down, four to go. But will they really stop there or are they going all the way? With all that talk about the last one standing, they may end up killing almost everyone. Mahoiku has been great in its first half so let’s see if it can keep this up.
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