「切り裂き魔」 (Kirisaki Ma)
“The Ripper”

When I heard about ‘The Ripper’ who killed women, I thought we were heading towards a darker episode. Especially since it was set in a town where every resident was obsessed with having their own life-like replica dolls – which set a rather creepy tone. However, that didn’t prove to be the case – with context being that hair is symbolically used to represent a woman’s life. So when she gets her hair ‘cut’, she is figuratively ‘killed’. And so begins an investigation into the mysteries behind random women having their hairs mysteriously cut off.

I think we all knew it would be the shopkeeper when she appeared towards the start of this episode. Those dark bags under her eyes, that slightly crazed expression, and her ominous whisper of ‘We wants her’ when Elaina walked out of the shop. But it’s one thing to have our prime suspect and another thing to gather enough evidence to pin them down. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on perspectives), Elaina becomes a victim to the Ripper – waking up the next day with her beautiful, long hair cut short. Her only clues are an open window, a missing doll and some strands of cut hair that are a different color from hers. With the help of Sheila, Elaina deduces that the Ripper uses doll magic to carry out their crime.

After interrogating the innkeeper, a logical step considering he must have been in on the plan to some extent, Elaina and Sheila discover the existence of a secret auction, where the dolls using illegally acquired hair are sold. Elaina restrains herself for the most part, until the doll using her uniquely ashen hair comes up for auction. At that exact moment, she completely flips out and eviscerates the doll – much to the shock and horror of the doll loving collectors at the auction. And her desecration of the doll draws out its creator, who you’d think would be outraged at the destruction of her hard work, but ecstatically revels in Elaina’s anger.

To be honest, I initially brought into the Ripper’s explanation of artistry being her primary motive in cutting away women’s hair without their consent. However, that wouldn’t explain why she never attempted to obtain consent like a normal person. I’m sure that many women would be willing to give away some hair for free, or if compensated appropriately for their troubles. In the end, the doll maker showed her true colors by expressing sickening delight at the vexation of other people. So it goes without saying that she gets detained. And is fortunate enough to have Saya presiding over her, since she manages to get a massive rise out of Saya after Sheila reveals to Saya that the doll maker stole her beloved Elaina’s hair. Most importantly, the Ripper’s reign of terror has finally come to an end.

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week – where according to the series director, we will be receiving the darkest episode of Majo no Tabitabi to date.

5 Comments

  1. Yeah, I thought this would be a murder mystery too.
    But with that, it was definitely a wacky episode.
    Funny thing is that the ripper never cut their hair to
    the scalp, and — doesn’t hair grow back in this world?

    I would’ve been nice if Elaina helped the other victims like
    she restored her long hair… This series definitely has Elaina
    as a selfish character, and really it’s kinda different to have
    an imperfect (yet stunningly beautiful) protagonist 🤡.

    mac65
    1. Elaina is definitely a unique character. Flighty, easily angered, selfish, but all in a relatable way. She isn’t even interested in helping solve the “murder” case until her hair is cut, she just wants to finish her travel log.

      I like it. It is weird, but I like it

      Alice
  2. this anime is messed up
    episodes 7 and 8 have been completely ridiculous nonsense literally tales of fetishes with otaku jokes where just show the narcissism of elaina because:
    -Eliana stomp grapes to compete because of Rosemary shaming her to be flat
    -She seriously got involved in the “The Ripper” story just because the villain cut her hair
    -She called herself cute and beautiful once again.
    >”Even the sun tries to shine brighter than the Ashen Witch”.
    Nobody praises themselves like that. She boasts about herself. she’s just confident in herself it comes me off as so obnoxious, her only characteristics is to be egotist and narcissistic.

    also Magic Association locked up a person who cut women’s hair and when the princess turned her own father into a monster and driving him to devour his own citizenry they did nothing. hello there’s a brainwashing flowers field I think it is important.

    Fede
    1. I think you need to realise that this anime is an episodic anime that is not meant to have any overarching plot or ultimate goal. Each episode is self-contained and not meant to have a moral or answer a philospohical question.

      While the last few episodes may not have been the best, the first couple of episodes were unequivocably good, and it is reasonable to assume that as an episodic anime, not all episodes will appeal to you.

      I also actually find Elaina’s narcissism (as you put it) to be charming to a degree.

      Just my two cents. You are entitled to your own opinion and I respect that.

  3. Finally caught up. (At least until the next episode.)

    Hmm… Not the first time Yoko Hikasa voiced a pipe-smoking hot witch with a nice hat. (Though their personalities are as different as night and day. Also, Sheila’s voice is more similar to Olivier from No Guns Life.)

    Seeing those dolls (and that secret auction) reminded me of two things:
    – Episode 8 of KonoSuba season 1, where restless spirits in a mansion possess dolls (bringing them to life) and scare the crap out of Kazuma and Megumin.
    – The Dollfie Dream brand of dolls by Volks, whose store building (Volks Hobby Paradise) I passed by in Akihabara when I visited back in July 2018. At the time, they had two banners with Dollfie versions of Jeanne D’Arc (Ruler) and Artoria Pendragon (Saber) promoting Fate/Grand Order. While I can appreciate the craftsmanship put into those (and I’m curious if they can make a custom-order Dollfie of Date A Live‘s Kurumi Tokisaki or GATE‘s Rory Mercury), seeing them still gives me creepy “uncanny valley” vibes–not to mention they’re expensive AF. Buying one of those (or a life-sized waifu figurine) is pretty much the nijikon/perverse sexual lust “point of no return.” (I’d rather stick to collecting Nendoroids, thank you.)

    Anyway, on Elaina’s “narcissism,” I’m not so bothered by it since she’s basically the fantasy equivalent of a travel vlogger. And although a bit late, good to hear that Tomoyo Kurosawa recovered from her brush with ‘Rona-chan and is back voicing Saya.

    Incognito

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