「サーバーメンテナンス中です」 (Saabaa Mentenansu Chuu desu)
“Server Down for Maintenance”
Welp I dare so no one expected things to happen quite like this. Two more deaths, two outrageous surprises, and the setup for our final battle of the season. Mahou Shoujo certainly has its weakness, but damn does it know how to deviously screw with our expectations.
Heading into this week we knew one of Cranberry and Swim Swim was going to perish for our viewing pleasure, but I’m pretty sure no one predicted this course of events. Cranberry getting the upper hand on Swim Swim wasn’t all too surprising (considering Cranberry is battle tested), but Tama all but coming out of nowhere and planting a virtual black hole in her? That shocked the hell out of me, even if it served as a tasteful bit of irony given how easy Cranberry dismissed Tama. And Cranberry’s death wasn’t even the full extent of things, oh no, then we then we had Swim Swim swiftly execute Tama, all because the poor
mutt girl happened to see Swim Swim’s actual identity. Although a pretty damn effective one-two gut punch, the one issue I had was how rushed the fight was. We barely had any of the strategic back and forth graciously hinted towards last week, instead being disappointingly presented with a few scenes before getting to the slaughter. Some more struggle on the part of Swim Swim and Cranberry for me would have gone a long way to accentuating the shock value Cranberry’s and Tama’s deaths created.
The one certainty of the fight, however, is that Swim Swim is thoroughly beyond redemption. She killed Tama because Ruler said never let your true identity be known; she told Fav to all but go f*ck himself because Ruler stated princesses are above all others; and she worries most of all about how Ruler would have handled the situation better. The girl has latched firmly onto Ruler’s teachings as the end all be all, which normally could be corrected with time, but with Swim Swim now the master (and with access to some serious power), there’s no peacefully saving her—even with the remorse over killing Tama, Swim Swim isn’t about to change. It’s incredibly ironic too given this episode’s Ruler flashbacks, showing her to be a total tsundere who actually cared greatly for her subordinates. Swim Swim sadly did not pick up on the distinction, probably because she is, after all, just a child.
Funnily enough though, Swim Swim’s position may not be guaranteed for long. Fav apparently is quite displeased with being openly shafted and annoyed that Swim Swim isn’t as pliable (or possessing the same mindset) as Cranberry. Why else break your own rules, share a hefty nugget of information with the enemy, and freely manipulate your so-called master? I’m betting Fav wants Swim Swim eliminated, but in an entertaining manner (i.e. Fav wants to see a vicious cat fight first). Either way we know that our final fight will be Kano versus Swim Swim, with the only question being who dies. Given that next week is the final episode, I really hope we get a damn good fight and finally a reveal on just what this whole selection test is for. If the stars align too, we might even see a sequel announcement to top things off.
That is one randomly inserted transformation sequence.
Funny noting that episode one’s teaser was also due to Fav’s interference—demon randomly running berserk my ass. The puffball more than anything is the true evil of this series, Cranberry was just his enabler.