「二人の弟子」 (Futari no Deshi)
“The Two Apprentices”
Turns out that box from last episode set up the premise for this week – magical powder that causes existing feelings to be amplified.
I should clarify that this shouldn’t be described as a love potion – which can also force someone not in love to be in love. And we saw that Elaina wasn’t swayed whatsoever by Mina. This nuanced technicality made for an interesting premise. And I kind of wish we could see how this would have effected Fran and Sheila. Nevertheless, I’m sure that fans of yuri would be more than happy to make do with what we received. With an extra dollop of incest for folks of that stroke too.
Mina really takes after her older sister by being deeply obsessed with… her older sister. Turns out she wasn’t some cold and indifferent prodigy who’d abandoned her sister once it became apparent she excelled at magic. Sheila taught both of them, and had sought to break their dependence upon each other – much to Mina’s dismay. And as if that traumatic separation wasn’t enough, Saya’s fallen head over heels for Elaina. A deadly rival has appeared, and Mina knows it’s an uphill struggle. She no longer has sole monopoly on her elder sister, and Saya herself has clearly expressed her deep feelings towards Elaina.
As for Saya snogging Elaina’s reflection the moment she noticed the body swap. Yeah… from my perspective, although it’s certainly ‘fun’, I kind of wish Saya had more depth to her. I took issues with Kuroko in the first season of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun. However, she really developed as a character in subsequent seasons – demonstrating she was more than just Misaka obsessed. That she was a great character in her own right. This hasn’t happened with Saya. Of course, Majo no Tabitabi has way less episodes to work with. However, I wish they’d done more to flesh out Saya beyond her undying love for Elaina. It’s getting old for me to the point where the joke has completely run its course.
That said, I still thought it was a neat, self-contained episode thanks to the chaotic fun of body swapping and love drugs. And I adored the dialogue between Fran and Elaina about Nike. I think Elaina’s slowly coming to the realisation that Nike might be her mother. But she’s actively ignoring it, because she has the willpower to forge her own path, her own journey, without being swayed by personal emotions that might convince her to comfortably return home. For all her faults, namely narcissism and selfishness, I can really respect the determination which fundamentally drives her as a character.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!