「魔法少女ペトラルカ」 (Mahou Shoujo Petoraruka)
“Magical Girl Petrarca”
Yahallo, covering Stilts for this week! Too bad that he missed today’s episode–while mostly fun and giggles, it did set up an important transition into more serious matters. It’s a perfect setup for us to begin the end, which unfortunately is now a mere 40 minutes of airtime away. In the meantime, let’s continue to enjoy what we have now and enjoy the makings of this week’s “homage” to many an anime.
Crime Edge. Evangelion. Yosuga no Sora. These are only some of the many series that today’s episode played “homage” to, and are only a tiny fraction of how many series this show has referenced in total these past ten episodes. Though it’s in no way an original idea, constant references serve to give credibility to Outbreak as a show that knows its stuff rather than as a cheap shot at humor. For example, this episode did a wonderful job at modeling the reactive nature of the otaku community when they over-analyze trailers and leaked footage for new truths. Thanks to the watchful eye of the community, rip-offs are quickly exposed and the smallest of details reveal a trove of information unintended to be released. However, just as marketers have gotten savvy in faking controversy to generate attention, so has Shinichi in fooling the community in a two-layered lie. However, mostly everyone wins from this fake movie. The Japanese public stays unaware, the Eldant public get a taste of cinema, many people get to see some sexy cosplay (or lack of it), and Petrarca…well.
Aside from the joys of this episode though, an important point is highlighted in the end of this episode–the Eldant Empire is at the whim of the JDSF. Although the self-defense forces were indeed defending for a good cause this episode, the sheer imbalance of power between Japan and the Eldant Empire is fearsome. Though Japan has exercised its soft power on the Eldant for some time, it is only a matter of time before tempting ideas of using hard force come into play. Perhaps that is why the preview for the next episode revealed little and hinted at dramatic undertones. What exactly is Matoba planning behind those fox-eyes of his? Throughout the series, his quiet will and behind-the-scenes work has been hinted on several times, but has never been the real focus in any episode. The question that remains now is: how will Shinichi save the day? Will his own sense of networking and the bonds that he’s made (both romantic and platonic) be able to save a possibly unfair situation? Let’s see just what this dark horse of the season reveals in its finale. Everyone, grab another seat and don’t be too embarrassed!