Finally! The new OP! I’ve actually already listened to the song quite a bit since the full PV aired on MTV, and I really like the cut of the song they chose for this. The OP sequence meanwhile was exciting to watch, especially if it’s any indicator of characters and events to come, though I was a bit bothered by the fact that Excalibur so blatantly walked across the title screen.
Everyone has been nice to Crona since she came to Shibusen, and this is especially apparent during a party one night. Kid is supportive of Crona proceeding at her own pace, and Black*Star promises to beat up anyone who bullies her. Since Crona isn’t sure why everyone is being so kind, Maka explains that it’s natural since they’re all friends. These warm feelings stay with Crona until she leaves the party to go home, and that’s when Medusa appears. Despite Medusa’s small body and seemingly gentle nature, Crona is deathly afraid of the witch. Medusa claims that she came to see Crona and was very worried, but what she wants Crona to do now is to spy for her in Shibusen and to find a secret vault. Crona doesn’t want to betray her new friends and new home, but Medusa uses her status as Crona’s mother to coerce Crona to do it.
Crona is very conflicted about this, but she still ends up going underground Shibusen to an off-limits area to try to find the secret vault. Before Crona can get very far, she’s caught by Marie, and Ragnarok makes up the excuse that they got lost. Marie believes them since she’s also lost, and it takes two hours for her to help Crona find her way back to her room. Nevertheless, Marie tells Crona to come to her if she’s ever bothered by anything again. Once back in her room, Crona is paid a visit by Eruka in her frog form who’s able to communicate with Medusa via the snakes in her body. Since Crona doesn’t think that she can find the vault, Medusa decides instead to take advantage of Marie’s kindness towards Crona and gives Crona a pen with a listening device inside to plant in Stein’s laboratory.
Crona thus goes to Marie under the pretense that she wants to talk, and Marie brings her to Stein’s laboratory. While Ragnarok has Marie distracted, Crona puts the snake listening device inside Marie’s coffee, and she then watches as Marie drinks it. Afterward, when Crona goes to leave, Marie stops her because she almost left the pen behind. Eruka explains later that the snake will allow Medusa both to eavesdrop and to accelerate the madness in Stein. After hearing over the radio how fondly Marie talks about her to Stein, Crona quietly returns to her room and retreats to a dark corner with a pillow. As the darkness around her spreads, Crona starts crying.
Note: Crona’s gender is officially unknown and likely won’t ever be clearly stated. For the sake of not having to say Crona’s name a bazillion times every sentence, I have and will continue to refer to Crona in the feminine form.
Well, they certainly did quite a good job developing Crona’s character. I really liked how, during the friends scene, they referred back to the shell and the ocean imagery that we originally saw when Maka fought Crona. Those are warm feelings that contrast very well with the despair at the end of the episode. The crying was a very poignant moment, and I was really feeling sorry for Crona by that point, helped along by the choice of background music in that scene that added to the melancholy atmosphere. I assume that since the friends angle is getting played up so much, Crona is going to need Maka and the others to come through for her if she’s going to get through this without completely reverting back to being Medusa’s pawn, though it may already be too late. Also interesting is the fact that Medusa is really trying to make Stein go completely insane, and the shot of him looking crazy in the OP has me excited about where that storyline in particular will go.
Other things I enjoyed about this episode include how cute they made Medusa and the hilarious repeat-after-me scene between Shinigami-sama and Maka’s father. And for better or worse, Maka sang Excalibur’s song through the preview, so it looks like next week is another intermission episode about him.