「フレンドを増やそう!」 (Furendo o Fuyasou!)
“Add More Friends!”
Well this was a riveting episode. Well-paced, suspenseful, and with twists left, right, and centre, I dare say it was Mahou Shoujo’s strongest episode to date. Given the fact we are now four weeks in and I’m here blogging it once again, you can consider this one picked up for coverage.
Without a doubt Ruler’s group was the star of the show this week. Ruler’s back story in particular stood out for me as she is now the second magical girl who’s a true adult (I’m assuming Calamity Mary is the other). A high strung careerist with a seriously solipsistic personality, Ruler is the definition of domineering, especially when she doesn’t get her way. Ruler basically saw herself as the saviour, with everyone else either intelligent enough (to listen to her) or an idiot needing her enlightenment. Not hard to see why Ruler utterly failed to anticipate Swim Swim’s coup, under her worldview pawns cannot think, they simply obey. Thus it makes it all the more surprising Ruler didn’t kill Koyuki, but stuck to robbing her. Ironically there was a glimmer of caring under that resting bitch face (as hinted last week), something that could have probably saved Ruler if she let it show more.
The big shocker though was of course Swim Swim. That coup was incredibly well executed, catching Ruler completely off guard and—most surprisingly—never being found out. All the more shocking is the plan was devised by an actual loli. Yeah yeah, pre-teen geniuses are a common trope around these parts, but I doubt anyone pinned Swim Swim being on that level, especially given her fascination with princesses. Makes it all the more ironic that Ruler’s teachings to assume the virtues of the leader came back to bite her in the ass once Swim Swim (with Nemurin’s gentle guidance) decided to take that principle to its logical conclusion. What will be interesting going forward is how well Swim Swim adopts to her new “princess” position. Given Swim Swim’s personality I can easily see the group falling apart as our Peaky Angel twins are opportunistic at best (and downright despicable at worst), while Tama (given her timidity) could easily drown herself in insanity once this Battle Royale reaches boiling point. Obviously Swim Swim can lead this eccentric collection to survival, but given her life experience, I highly doubt the girl has yet internalized the stick as much as the carrot needed for the task.
On the other side of things we have La Pucelle and Koyuki. It’s no big surprise La Pucelle has pledged
his her sword to Koyuki, I expected that from day one, including the saccharine white knight personality (really funny how the twins went full meta and called La Pucelle out on that). Likewise Koyuki’s “surrender” performance should quickly disappear once the game heats up and friends start being threatened. Given La Pucelle’s fitting role as tank, it’s likely someone else will serve as the sacrificial lamb necessary to change Koyuki’s mind. The big things up in the air are who will be the next one offed, and what game changes are coming down the pipeline (candy transfers cannot be the only twist here). For once I actually have no idea where we are headed. It’s likely Ripple and our tsundere ninja Kano will be affected soon given the focus on them, while Koyuki looks to be the target again, this time by (what I’m assuming is) the new magical girl. It’s anyone’s guess what will happen next, but guaranteed it’s going to get bloody.
I love how Calamity Mary drinks Jack Daniels, because you know whiskey screams cowboy.
Ruler’s ability was actually quite balanced, you can make anyone do anything, but must be within 5 meters and maintain the activation pose. All the good it did her keeping it secret.