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DanMachi – A Mythical Hero Rises »« Etotama – 01

Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「放課後革命」 (Houkago Kukumei) by 木村珠莉, 大西沙織, 小澤亜李 (Kimura Juri, Oonishi Saori, Ozawa Ari)

「放課後ストライド」 (Hōkago Sutoraido)
“After School Stride”

I’ve figured it out. Mikagura School Suite is basically Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Everybody is supposed to have a totem except for the Going Home Club, and Yuriko is Eruna’s dead/hallucinated wife.

Everything makes sense.

In all seriousness (well, slightly more, at at least), Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku still left me with a lot of question marks, even after almost another full episode of exposition. There was a lot of explanation, like about crushing crystals (which must be a metaphor for something) and fighting with special LOVE LOVE attacks, but at the same time a lot of explanation was missing. That is, they talk a lot about how things were done, and little about why they are done. I’m still not sure what Mikagura Academy actually is, as an institution, and whether having to fight for your rations is standard practice in this world. What answers the show actually gives are of the half-hearted hand-wave variety, which I suppose is fine because it’s supposed to be pseudomagic and we should just go with the flow, but if overused can lead to strains on the supension of disbelief. Take the Astronomy Club representative (Kakuma Ai), the only character with the power to turn Eruna straight. How does he explain his ‘Shooting Star’? ‘It’s my power that fires when my telescope is loaded with the power of the stars’.

Basically, he just liked looking at stars, and before he knew it he had a telescope with a ‘Waterhose‘ button. Seriously, that’s what he says. He must have liked stars a lot.

The fight itself was actually suprisingly intense, though a bit messy and evidently hard on the animators. Eruna has finally settled on being a magical girl, though of course we have no idea what that sequence is about, why they keep some sealed room around and what the deus ex artefact did. We just know that Eruna has some genetic potential that lets her shoot laserbeams. Okay, sure, why not? But considering everybody else has themed powers (why the scythe for the Drama Club, though?), what does Eruna’s have to do with the Going Home Club? Does she get the wildcard power because she doesn’t have a totem?

Maybe it’s a bad pun, like about how it’d send you packing. Heh.

I don’t mind a story that holds its cards close to its chest, and in fact I usually approve of a bit of mystery. However, while a story may be elusive about its world, usually it should be very clear about its themes and general sensibilities. In fact, it behooves writers to set those out plainly from the outset, because its important to establish what kind of story you’re trying to tell, no matter what clothes you decide to dress it up in later on. Even for shows that try to fake you out, like Madoka Magica, one can still get a pretty good idea because it still evokes the feeling of a certain kind of story (in Madoka‘s case, Faust). For Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku, I’m not really sure. I feel like there should be more than action and school life, that there is a sinister edge, that there are one or two important characters still not introduced. And, indeed, while Eruna herself remains amusingly zany, she’s going to need more to her character or her routine is going to wear out. What is it going to be, where will it lead, and what will it mean? I honestly do not know.

I also don’t know whether I’d actually want to cover Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku, because I can’t tell if I’ll have much to say about it. I’m still interested in how it’s going to develop, so I’ll definitely keep watching it, but every week? Hmm. Well, I’ll leave it alone for now, but I’m open to it blowing me away when it finally shows its hand. Even if it doesn’t, it’ll still probably be a solid watch for the rest of the season.

Full-length images: 09, 27.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「楽園ファンファーレ」 (Rakuen Fanfare) by 木村珠莉, 大西沙織, 小澤亜李 (Kimura Juri, Oonishi Saori, Ozawa Ari)

April 15, 2015 at 2:22 am
15 comments »
  • April 15, 2015 at 7:20 amAbikill

    thanks for the review, after reading it i actually watched both the episodes and liked it very much
    (added to watch list) ^_^

    • April 15, 2015 at 6:13 pmPasserby

      Ah, a satisfied customer. Always good to hear of.

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:13 am15FAN

    I am going to watch it and did get better when the battles began . It is funny most of the time but what would nail this for me If they actually used the ( Last Note ) songs for each character as the song fits each one ! You can find the songs etc but I thinks it is necessary for this to be a really good show IMO

  • April 15, 2015 at 11:52 amsaco3

    Things were well from the start of the episode till the fight at the end where the animation quality fell down a cliff!!!! what in the world happened there?? it reminded me of the naruto vs nagato fight.

    Very poorly done, I hope the keep up a good quality, the show is enjoyably so far but if they keep lowing the animation quality like that it will become too annoying to watch.

  • April 15, 2015 at 12:15 pmvsAllGaming

    Great episode.
    The animation could of been better in certain scenes during the fight but overall it was definitely enjoyable

  • April 15, 2015 at 2:31 pmAtalla

    I love that clip in the ED where she’s stalking the bath through the window!

  • April 15, 2015 at 5:18 pmfatrobo

    It seems like her portable gaming device is her totem, she just doesn’t realize it. I also was amused by the missing CG crystals in the one scene before she enters that power-up room. It seems like they wanted to show how fast she was moving relative to the ink attacks, and you do get that sense of effortlessness once she powers up. There may have been better way, certainly. It seemed like a stylized homage to Birdy decode?

  • April 15, 2015 at 10:01 pmlytterbug

    Wild speculation time.

    This school is actually a mental institute in disguise. Everyone inside is ‘battling’ with their illnesses, and the ones who win (delusions stronger = more serious of an illness) gets better care (better welfare). That explains the existence of floaty crystals and talking cats.

    It all makes sense!

    • April 16, 2015 at 6:44 pmRyuuzaki

      i admit that i giggled with this theory more than i thought i would.

  • April 16, 2015 at 2:50 pmdean

    I think the scythe is a representation of of tragedy. It’s a drama club after all. Maybe the girls item will represent comedy.

  • April 16, 2015 at 11:02 pmcryarc

    I draw a reimagining of the fighting scene because I liked it 8′D
    http://orig05.deviantart.net/1585/f/2015/106/7/3/jump__by_kuraiaku-d8pvujj.jpg

  • April 16, 2015 at 11:19 pmMatthew

    I take the lack of explanation to be because Eruna doesn’t care and we’re seeing things through her point of view. It’s clear that there is an explanation, but Eruna hasn’t been bothered enough to demand answers from anyone because she’s too much of an airhead.

    I think it all will be explained once Eruna gets interested in the explanation.