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Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka – 08

「きっと素敵な魔法少女に」 (Kitto Sutekina Mahou Shoujo Ni)
“You’ll Be a Wonderful Magical Girl”

Oh MSTA, what a twisted web you weave. From wild bloodshed to, erm, imaginative torture (giggidy), this show certainly loves to bounce between extremes as it quietly sets up its magical girl squad for that cutie breaking we all know is waiting in the wings. With enemies now out in the open and tensions riding high, you know full well what’s coming next.

One of the curiosities of MSTA of late (at least for me) is how dichotomous some of its more provocative scenes are proving to be. The interrogation scene this week for example was arguably more sexual than disturbing, replacing that sense of foreboding dread and fear with some subtly lascivious imagery helped along by Kurumi’s unique approach to information gathering. Sure I can get behind tying up the prisoner and engaging in creative forms of physical therapy (it’s the time honoured black ops tradition), but in that contraption, in that position, and with that specific drug and its exploitable side effects? MSTA knew full well initial audience thoughts wouldn’t be towards identifying Babel Brigade members I guarantee you. Of course this particular flavour of cutie breaking right now may just be down to Kurumi—after all, her interests are very much in the open—but I’d imagine MSTA would take the grimdark approach over the suggestive one like before. Guess we’ll just have to see what torture round two brings.

On the other side of the coin however things did get dark and serious when it came to the baddies of the moment. Our new “illegal” magical girl Chisato for example has provided new means to watch things die in horrible fashions (besides providing an answer for what those wheelchair-bound people were taken for), while Giess shows why you don’t stick augmentations in war ravaged child soldiers. Cyborgs with magical girls? We’re certainly going places in this one. While still unclear just what the Babel Brigade is even after (beyond making a Girl of Mass Destruction), it’s increasingly apparent that rending asunder the fragile peace between man and magic is one of the objectives, and maybe even how magical girls are seen in society too. There’s a reason Asuka’s PTSD keeps visually recurring after all, and why the Magical Five, for all their successes, are shown to have a fair bit of underlying tensions. Beneath all the promises of protection and claims of doing one’s job there’s some pent up emotions and memories to work through, and the very likely chance Babel Brigade is headed by someone our magical cutie pies know full well.

It may all be fun and games in the sun (and bed) for everyone right now, but don’t expect smiles all around when all that plush finally gets unleashed. Stay tuned boys and girls, it’s fight time.

 

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March 1, 2019 at 11:02 pm
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