「それぞれの死闘」 (Sorezore no shitou)
“Each of Their Deadly Battles”
Who knew, a little patience can pay off. Alright, maybe not entirely (this is episode 10 of a single cour show after all), but MSTA certainly seems eager to start going ham into the things I suspect many of us expected it to from the start. Magical fights, magical suffering, and the first real promises of answers after so long: it’s the mahou shoujo showdown you’ve all been waiting for.
I think one of the bigger surprises of MSTA of late isn’t so much the themes the series espouses, but the lack of attention and focus paid to them. PTSD for example has been continuously mentioned or highlighted at various points so far, yet the show seems almost hesitant to really delve into the weeds and show the ugly reality of wartime trauma—at least outside of Asuna. Remember Sayako and that fun-filled first encounter with angry guys wielding high velocity boom sticks? You’d almost think she never had that experience given the courage mustered up this week. To be fair of course it’s a little harsh thinking the girl should fall apart at the first sign of trouble (no one ever likes truly weak characters), but I would’ve imagined a little more struggle on her part getting over past experiences. Something like Asuna’s worry which could implode any minute, a sense of foreboding dread that truly rams home the severity of that deleterious mental state. Might just be me though—after all it’s easy to guess Asuna more than making up for this in the not too distant future.
In terms of the future as well, it’s likely not that long before the true purpose of the Babel Brigade finally gets revealed. We now know for example best mama Tabira isn’t actually the target of this little expedition, but rather the new magical weapon she was keeping for our cutie ops squad and just never happened to reveal. Yeah, you can guess exactly where this is going next. Enemy acquiring super-secret Wunderwaffe? Baby it’s world conquest time. Or well something along those lines, because whatever the Queen is after, it sure isn’t world peace and rainbow unicorns for all (at least if the look of our absolutely ridiculous looking cyborg Somali antagonist is anything to go by). I’m sticking by my guns of the enemy’s ultimate objective being something to do with sealing away or monopolizing control over all magic (because magic is suffering and all that), but hey, you never know. For all we know it just might be taking over the world and everyone—and mascot spirit—in it.
One way or another we’ll find out soon enough, because with only two episodes left, you can bet MSTA is itching to bring out the big guns.