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Well boys and girls, Mahoiku’s end is finally here, and as expected, it goes out with a bang. Following a few additional depressed Koyuki scenes (and another strangely placed transformation sequence), we finally get down and dirty into the actual purpose of this survival game. We already knew about the game selecting for a top candidate, but not what the candidate was meant for. It seems selected candidates become World of Magic members, graduating into “true” magical girls who then either do magical girl work or function as Masters (with a paired familiar) for future selection tests (now properly named the Magical Girl Recruitment and Training Project). The hilarious bit though is how Master and familiar have complete control over the exam, and can do whatever they want for selection—we sure saw how well that worked this time around. Fav may be right that Swim Swim had a few screws loose, but she wasn’t the only one. Might just be me, but killing your candidates instead of simply wiping their memories (especially Cranberry’s inclination towards killing the final candidate!) implies some serious personality problems.

As for Swim Swim’s and Ripple’s big showdown, it definitely improved on the previous battle between Swim Swim and Cranberry. Although the fight was still a little shallow for my tastes, it was pretty fun seeing the full extent of Swim Swim’s ability, and how susceptible it was to light and sound. Slightly confused over how a stun grenade can knock Swim Swim unconscious when she wasn’t liquefied, but cannot complain over the cathartic end she met at the hand of one armed (and newly piratical) Ripple. Of course the truly awesome bit was the destruction of Fav—that was something I definitely did not see coming here. It’s hilariously ironic too how our sadistic puffball was killed by the very weapon he gave to our magical girls, and how Koyuki’s power (of all things) was what finally sealed his fate. Fight scene problems aside, Mahoiku certainly knows how to give us what we want. While I personally expected Ripple would die alongside Swim Swim, I cannot say it wasn’t welcome as it both gave another use for that rabbit foot and provided us with one sweet looking ninja-pirate to marvel at. Not a bad conclusion for this little survival game.

While no second season announcement was forthcoming, Mahoiku did keep things open just enough for a potential sequel in the future too. The partial fleshing out of the World of Magic and its exam system offers multiple paths going forward, with Koyuki and Ripple remaining magical girls providing a pair of readymade protagonists against whatever new baddie emerges from the abyss. Particularly good (and needed) is Koyuki finally receiving proper combat training from Ripple, offering hope she will not cower behind plot armour in the future and will actually fight for her own victories. After all, both girls may be through with the World of Magic, but it doesn’t seem to be through with them yet. Koyuki certainly enjoys the work of performing good deeds, but as is cliché, nothing good ever lasts forever. For Mahoiku especially, you can be assured death is just around the corner.

Final Impressions

Mahoiku was one of those shows you knew what to expect going in. It always billed itself as a magical girl killer, and killing we did receive. From episode two onwards, at least one girl a week lost her life, and little time was wasted proceeding to the next murder target on our way down to one. In a ways it’s somewhat refreshing having a series so open with its premise and completely willing to get into it. We always knew to expect a death, with the question quickly becoming who would perish, and in what horrific manner.

Although straightforward and wickedly entertaining, Mahoiku was not without its weaknesses. Knowing what’s coming constantly forced the series into relying on shock and awe for its interest, deriving suspense from the manner (i.e. who and how) of death rather than fleshed out character attachment. Not helping was Mahoiku’s particularly large cast of 16 girls, giving little time for any individual development and largely reducing each girl’s death to a checkpoint rather than a serious turn of events. When backstories often preceded character deaths too, the show easily became too predictable in spots, with the middle episodes especially suffering from these obvious death flags. Major characters stumbled under this restriction, particularly Top Speed.

This weakness too ties directly back to Mahoiku’s similarity with Madoka. There’s no question Mahoiku exists because Madoka does, but I’d argue both are different beasts. Some call Mahoiku a darker Madoka, but this claim is in the eye of the beholder. Mahoiku’s darkness depends on whether you see death itself stronger than death’s buildup. Madoka was psychological, with its death largely determined by mindset—it was all about the fight against despair. Mahoiku, however, was more conventional, akin to a Battle Royale. Rather than a struggle against the self, Mahoiku was a fight against others. Neither series IMO can claim being the darkest because both emphasize and examine different aspects of fear.

While it seems like I may be ripping Mahoiku a new one here, that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this one, far from it. This one was series I thoroughly loved watching weekly, there was always some new shock/twist which was awesome watching. For me it was a true popcorn show, something to sit back and marvel at the horrible things happening. Mahoiku certainly could have been better, particularly in character development, but what we received was more than enough for an entertaining show. For anime, that’s often all you ever really ask for.

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  1. so I hear the anime only covered the first volume of the light novels, is this true?

    I’m little disappointed we didn’t get to learn more about land of magic

    so what was the purpose of the lucky rabbits foot? just to revive people or something else?

    overall, pretty enjoyable show, disappointed that that character development and backstories seemed rushed a bit. Would be interesting to see what got left out of the light novels

    1. I don’t know where you guys can read translations of the LN, but just out of morbid curiosity how does it work for Kano (I think that’s her rl name) when she transformed back from Ripple? Is she maimed, or does the loss of her lower arm and left eye only exist when she’s Ripple? Enquiring minds want to know. 🙂

      Eric Alegado
    2. First volume, Unmarked aka the prologue and a few of 4th volume ‘Episodes’ aka back stories and character explorations.

      The first volume is short, it don’t have have back stories or anything, just a high speed death game. It does however have more internal thoughts for Snow White and Ripple.

      I recommend reading it and continuing on the next arcs if you like the anime.

  2. so basically, it was the sleepy tama that fcked up swim swim’s head, and turned her into as what we have seen.

    and wow… i could say the revenge that ripple did is lacking… if it is me, i would pierce swim swim’s body a bit more, then chopped off her head, hands and legs. and to complete, i would rip her uterus open as a revenge for top speed’s unborn child. a bit too brutal? well yeah. hahahaha

    nevertheless, i want to see the next if a new season will come.. i have finally read the manga and i am interested at snow white’s changes. they have enough materials to do a cover for second season so yeah.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Mahou%20Shoujo%20Ikusei%20Keikaku/Mahou%20Shoujo%20Ikusei%20Keikaku%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2013.jpg
    Important moral of this entire anime, so far, is never trust anyone that resembles Danganronpa’s Monokuma, such mascots are always evil. Notably, because Snow White broke her “phone” I wonder how can she transform without it later, does an earth-made phone work just as well?

    Also, in regards to that moment when Ripple was about to stab Swim Swim, I had seriously thought that Snow White would jump in, “right in time,” to stop Ripple from killing Swim Swim. Thank you authors for being realistic; next person I want Ripple, to kill, is her revolting step-dad.

    Honestly, Snow White’s own natural luck and that Rabbit’s Foot sure is something. Fav was right, while most Protagonist had “dirtied their hands” to win some “survival game,” Snow White is truly a new record. She never had to soil her hands and yet she was able to live in the end. A rather beautiful touch was how Snow White then resolved to kill someone, Fav, despite how she had, in the previous episode, that “I refuse to hurt anyone, even if it’s an enemy” mindset; truly a good character growth. Ripple should thank Alice, Snow White had that Rabbit’s Foot because of a deceased friend.

    I sense the sequel will have Yuri scenes; anyone, feel free to enlighten me if I am right or wrong. Notably, while typical Magical Girls use a magical wand, this is the first time I have seen Magical Girls that use their FISTS. “Fist of the Magical Girl” was something worth seeing with Snow White and Ripple sparring like that.

    On the last note, because Snow White likes to “dream,” it would be nice if she could find some mystical dragon balls and summon the Eternal Dragon that can revive the dead. However, we can guess, by now, that Revival Magic doesn’t exist. Even if it does, it would likely be some “Edo Tensei” magic being used for evil.

    1. One thing, Japanese kids from this generation are going to be pretty circumspect on overly cute mascots that promise things. Now it could not just turn out bad for bad kids, it could suck you into something sweet and benign that will still get your card punched for playing by the rules. I can only imagine how things would have turned out for Creamy Mami, Magician Sally, or Fancy Lala if the cute mascots were immortal, eternally bored amoral beings that entertain themselves by lying to and eventually destroying their charges. *shiver*

      Japanese kids will never trust, again.

      Eric Alegado
  4. It’s shocking at the way the characters seiyuu play get such different reactions from fans. Inori Minase was so likable as Rem in Re: Zero, and as Hestia in DanMachi, or Jun in Anthem of the Heart. Now as Swim Swim she went from Best Girl to ‘Must Kill’ Girl. She actually had a real life death threat from a Taiwanese anti-fan. https://nipponinsider.wordpress.com/2016/11/25/minase-inori-received-death-threat-culprit-arrested/

    Ah well, the life of a seiyuu.

    Eric Alegado
    1. well that’s insane… i would stalk the guy in the net if he is sane but since he has few screws loose, its no surprise, that he would do that. in my job as a psychologist, i often received death threats from sanity lacking patients. all i do is burn the letters, add it to their food and have them eat it back.


      anyway death threats whether its a joke or done by mentally ill person, is still a line away from attempted murder… no doubts the fcker got arrested. there are lots of pro minase inori in japan. there’s no way he can hide if he will be hunted.

  5. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not giving full attention while watching it, but I felt that there’s something missing in this episode.
    Probably because the Rabbit’s foot activation scene is just a few seconds, I didn’t get the…importance of it. But overall it’s a good ending.

    Quiet interested into what World of Magic people will do to Ripple/Snow white, since they definitely don’t want to be a member/master.

    I too, believe that Mahoiku and Madoka is different kind of show. In concept, Madoka’s mahou shoujo power is based on their wish, while Mahoiku is predetermined. Madoka crush the viewer by turning character’s wish to despair, while Mahoiku doing it by bringing character story and rip them apart later. For me, Mahoiku already done enough to be separated from Madoka, and that’s already a great feat in my opinion.

    Last, thanks for your hard work Pancakes, really like your Mahoiku post every week, it has been a fun ride. 😀

    1. Heh thanks for enjoying my rambling, I had a fun time covering it too 😀

      The rabbit foot IIRC induces the user to experience lucky circumstances (which they must take advantage of themselves). In this case, I guess Ripple was barely hanging on to life, which the rabbit foot “tilted” in favour of her surviving when Koyuki failed to destroy the Master console. Basically skewing probability towards the one outcome which would help Koyuki in that moment.

  6. So there’s a small thing I heard through the grapevine regarding adaptation changes for the second half of this episode. Apparently, the scene was originally supposed to start with Koyuki hearing Fav’s thoughts (which she does here, and kind of a nice bit of flavor to add to the idea of Fav being defeated by what he granted), but from there, she actively throws the master Terminal to Kano for her to break it, giving Koyuki more of an active role. But here, for her to tell Kano “don’t listen to him” which…I’m pretty sure Kano was already doing, it just felt a little redundant. And probably would have been a stronger sequence to lead into her wanting to get stronger at the end.

    Also, that’s a rather inconvenient animation error for them to leave in, because Kano loses her arm, but after blinding Swim Swim, it just sort of appears back on her. They try to hide with specific camera angles and using Top Speed’s cape to cover it, and I like that approach, but you catch a hint of her left arm and I think “Oh, she still somehow get her arm back.” Not a major story concern, but for this to happen in the last episode, it detracts a minor bit from the grand feel of a final episode.

    And maybe that fight was a little anticlimactic of an end, my guess is that because Swim Swim’s ability to convert her body to water to have physical projectiles pass through, her weakness of light and sound must be increased tenfold for just the one to knock her out like that. But even with that, I’m happy to have seen a fight occur over the span of half an episode, and both competitors get to show their strengths and weakness, so I’m very content.

    For the show overall I think it’s pretty good, but while seeing many characters, especially after episode 6 with La Pucelle, not really get time to make most of their deaths have weight, it’s also a tad tragic to learn what kind of character Snow White was in the LN, and how much more powerful of a character she could have been instead of being protected by plot armor most times. It’s amusing how I thought the first 6 episodes were pretty well-paced, but then 7-11 brought to mind the Final Destination movie series to aim for creative kills. It’s fun for spectacle, I’ll admit, but that’s a noticeable jump between what was established and what they aimed for there. You love it or you hate it, I’m still mixed on it lol.

    But you know, even if the three episodes before this one didn’t quite live up to the hype of its previous episode leadup, it still kept me curious about what happens next and wanting more, so it had to be doing something right. And it did enough right for me to have a blast watching this and see you covering it all throughout.

    Fuwa Fuwa
    1. Glad you liked the coverage, I do aim to please 😛

      Kano’s reappearing arm definitely is strange because it’s clearly gone both in magical girl form and “normal” form, so shouldn’t just pop back in. I’m just chalking it down to animation error though, I would be shocked if that somehow magically reattached given her lack of healing power.

      Agreed on the Final Destination similarities too, that was actually the main reference I thought of throughout this show lol. Starting with Magicaloid or so, Mahoiku really seemed to gear towards creative and arguably provocative deaths and did everything it could to surprise. The shallow character development was probably the main reason, as I couldn’t help feeling this series would slot in fantastically with your typical B-grade horror flicks once the basic idea was established. It’s actually why I would like a second season because the later arcs seem to solve a lot of the problems plaguing this one, besides taking the survival game concept in an interesting direction.

  7. warning: strong language!
    omg you could almost see the little motherfucker sweat bullets as SnowWhite heard his inner thoughts… when he bit the dust it was immensely satisfying
    rest in pieces bastard
    i went like omg so the magical girls selection could have been bloodless if only there was someone sensible directing not that murderous wench cranberry
    and then he said he was agreeing with her
    and i thought he is so dead if Snow white gets to be his master
    but he was denied even that
    also again surprise use of seemingly innocent powers
    “hearing thoughts of people in distress”
    how about freaking human lie detector?

  8. I really hated how the series treated Snow White. They pretty much downplayed how much of a wreck she was in the novel, and messed up the ending with her and Fav. I also wished they saved some time to add the epilogue, since it showed how much both Ripple and especially Snow White had changed after the game ended.

    Other than that I really liked how well they actually adapted the source material, even improving on some of it (Nemurin, Magicaloid, Alice’s death).

    Overall an okay series. Hoping for a 2nd season since the next arc is pretty entertaining.

  9. All-in-all I thought the show was very flawed but fun. Didn’t think much of it at first but after episode 6 it became one of the shows I looked forward to the most this season. It would have been nice if backstory didn’t almost certainly equal death in the same episode, but I suppose that’s a result of 16 initial characters.

    Pretty good finale. Ripple was not one of the characters I figured would make it to the end, and for that matter I assumed the fight would end in a double kill. Fav I honestly didn’t care about through the show but seeing him try to remain calm in face of the magic weapon (And the others just not buying it) was glorious.

    PS Swim Swim still did nothing wrong… sue me, I loved her

    1. I loved Fav during this episode, his cackling was gut busting and his nonchalant remarks about Ripple and Swim Swim being clinically insane were hilarious, but his sounds of horror at realizing he couldn’t talk his way out this one were the best. I’m just sad we couldn’t see anyone physically squeeze the life out of him.

      Also agreed on Swim Swim, she was innocent in the sense that she was corrupted by Ruler and encouraged by Nemurin, which with her personality led to all of this. I’m really surprised her actual back story wasn’t touched on either, because it would explain a lot regarding why she was cold and lost. Definitely betting a rich life and neglecting parents are the culprits.

  10. In the LNs, Cranberry’s killing tests were apparently devised as a way for her to Show Spoiler ▼

    What to expect in future volumes:
    Show Spoiler ▼

  11. Well, entertaining show. I would’ve liked some additional development for pretty much everyone, and some of the scenes were really… rushed or just oddly done. In this particular episode:
    -Rabbit’s foot apparently resurrects Ripple for no reason (sure as hell didn’t work that way for Alice)
    -Snow White: “Don’t listen to him, Ripple!” Ripple: “Um, okay I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, then…”
    -Where was Swim Swim’s backstory? She killed a lot of my favs, but that made her all the more important to the plot. …and then she just gets vaguely stabbed and that’s that.

    I like how the world of magic deals with Fav’s death by spamming Ripple and Snow White’s inboxes. They have got to be the least proactive shadowy organization I’ve ever seen.

    1. I’m assuming Ripple was barely alive when the rabbit foot activated, which it then “pushed” Ripple towards life and away from death. The item only creates lucky situations after all, it’s up to the user to take advantage of them. Since Koyuki wanted Fav dead badly, this translated into Ripple (with the only means to kill Fav) surviving.

      Definitely agreed on Swim Swim too, I really wanted her back story, if just to explain why she was so uncaring and out of touch. The poor girl was the only one here without any clear motivation or reason for wanting to be a magical girl.

      1. Perhaps the very fact that Swim Swim “had a few screws loose” is exactly why Cranberry and Fav chose her to be a magical girl in the first place. Maybe she really has no real reason or motivation to being a magical girl and that in itself made her “interesting” to the two. I certainly wouldn’t put it past them given they made someone like Calamity Mary a magical girl.

  12. I am still baffled by anime decision to make Snow White return back home, she is naive but not dumb. She don’t trust fav by the time nana die. She already put him in her shit list by the time he made Ripple and Swin Swin kills each other. She destroyed her phone and follow Ripple immediately.
    It’s just that it took sometime for her to find the place.

    She don’t even get to throw Fav and Ripple feet. Great work there Lerche.

  13. I like how Ripple had no 2nd-thought when she saw Swim-Swim is actually a kid and still brutally murdered the unconscious Swim-Swim.I think the most plot twist for the last eps is what rabbit tail actually did. I guess most of us expected it to save Snow White from a certain death, not Ripple.
    Satisfied endings for both Swim-Swim and Fav. After I knew their true purpose, Fav is more evil than Kyubei now.

    1. Guess it depends on how you define evil. Fav personally enjoyed the suffering of others, but Kyuubey was literally uncaring towards the girls, all he was concerned with was collecting energy. Is deliberate hurt more evil than casual indifference? Hard to answer that one, but at least one of them got the fate they deserved 😛

    2. Not sure she knew she was killing a little kid. At that moment, all she saw was literal red and the person that killed Top Speed. Afterwards, they show her horrified expression when she and Snow White stands over Swim Swim’s body. Also, I hope Fav loses his job and struggles to find work, finding refuge in heavy drinking. His alcoholism breaks family apart and his wife divorces him and takes the kids, who now hate him, along with the house. Homeless and hopeless, Fav stands on the edge of a building and jumps off, only to survive; crying for help. Snow White hears his cries…I’ll let yall fill in the rest. Make sure he suffers.

  14. Hmmm…You know I watch this episode about 3 to 5 times now, and i think that i consider this, Yeah, The White White Flower…without doing a bloodshed?…UH…Fair Enough, I Find out this Final Episode seem to be Plain but Kinda Funny and yet a bit vague IMO, But hey she don’t want any violence or any bloody conflict if you ask me but oh well, Hopefully she will get better in the next season (it might take long, but I’am waiting), and that will be her real adventure begins.

    Now I actually went to this link, and I ask myself for it, my answer is just simple….NO, well the author of the LN maybe somehow inspire with this, and sometimes they got a intrigue on it, But i don’t consider this show a rip-off, I know they are more of Dark Magical girls shows like this, but hey, why now give some “competition” there huh?

    But in order to be really as good as this…They need someone to be so “Godly”…Hmmm, Yup it’s tricky and it’s kinda hard, at least for today, and this is not the show that we are looking for…

    Overall, It’s Good, and it’s really fun and of course i don’t mind if i wait for very long for the next season…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Namaewoinai
  15. Regarding some of the questions that came up in the post and the comments:

    The Flashbang:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Ripple’s Arm:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    The Rabbit Foot:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    One thing that bothered me about the final episode is the last scene between Ripple and Snow White, as it shows two things as the exact opposite from the novel:
    First, in the novel, Snow White and Ripple work together with the Land of Magic (which is portrayed as much more benevolent) and their exploits of fighting crime around the world is work commissioned by the Land of Magic. Having Snow White and Ripple go rogue in the anime is especially ironic, considering their main work is fighting rogue magical girls in the novel.
    Second, Ripple happily training Snow White. This doesn’t come up until the short story Snow White Raising Project (basically volume 1.5), but Ripple wants to keep Snow White as an ideal magical girl and protect her, at least until she is manipulated by Snow White’s new magical girl mentor into helping with her training.

  16. Anyone interested can get snipplets of what happens after here:

    There quite a lot of characters already and lots of deaths.
    But it seem like its repeating itself.
    Beyond the repeated formula theres some interesting parts like how the Land of Magic came to be, brainwashing etc.

    Watching this anime is like witnessing the evolution of the Mahou Shoujo genre.
    From the happy, pappy to the grim, dark.


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