Astral: Well now, that was an interesting episode this week, wasn’t it? Some good, some bad, and honestly, I have quite a bit to talk about, which may end up being quite the wall of text. So before I take over, what did you think about the episode?
Aria: I don’t think it was the strongest possible episode it could have been, but it did still sufficiently answer a few burning questions, especially “What is Ata’s deal with Kyoutarou?”. (Although wondering how Taiju knew Manza’s delinquent past is definitely something for the fanfiction.)
Astral: Yeah, I was concerned that Ata’s motivation was going to be the most petty of them all… and turns out I was right. It also seems, though, like he’s always been, as you put it, an ‘angry bean’.
Aria: Haven’t you heard of “smol beans” and that? You’ve used more memes than I have in this collab (plus I still feel slightly miffed you used the “Draw me like one of your French girls” image – I got rid of that line because I saw it somewhere else and thought I was memeing too hard).
Astral: There’s no such thing as memeing too hard!
Aria: (It’s called “self-restraint”.) That aside, things really did come full circle this episode because not only did the conflict kind of resemble season 1’s, the boys from that season…at least, the Defence Club from then…have interacted with our current ones.
Astral: (This is a foreign concept to me!) Yeah, that was a pretty fun nod to the original show, I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed the little fight sequence they had, it was actually quite well done, and I have no complaints about it whatsoever.
Aria: I still miss the days where individual attacks were a magical boy’s bread and butter, but I’ll take what I got. Especially because we got the messenger pigeon out of it. I don’t know about you, but I found the turtle from last episode strangely adorable for his bland artstyle and it was the same for the pigeon.
Astral: Yeah, he did have quite the cute character design, huh? Ata’s design as the Black Knight (which we discovered is the real name, not “Dark Knight” As we thought it was in the previous post,) was pretty cool as well, leaving him mostly human apart from the mask and wings, which honestly just looked fantastic with his already pretty cool Ritter Diamant armor. The pigeon was pretty cute as well, and we finally got to see more of DuckDad!
Aria: To be honest, with all the other episodic stuff going on, I kind of forgot about all the business surrounding Duckdad until the episode 12 synopsis showed up on Boueibu’s website. Obviously, if anyone’s gotten this far in the collab it’s not a spoiler, but to other people who don’t know Wao’s significance, his hand (or paw? What do you call that for lemurs?) is right there to spoil it for you.
Astral: Well, I looked it up, and apparently lemur hands are called…. Hands. They’re primates so I guess that makes sense. But yeah, it’s not hard to figure out who’s causing problems… and I believe one of us mentioned how shifty he was in a previous post, too?
Aria: “I feel like that lemur’s foreshadowing for something” were my words, apparently, but…welp, pretending it doesn’t exist for most of the show’s runtime is not the most tactful way to foreshadow a final conflict.
Astral: True… though it’s not the first time the show has conveniently “forgotten” about major plot points until they’re relevant. I mean, up until we actually find out why, we’ve barely gotten 2 minutes of screentime about Ata’s grudge.
Aria: That one stayed relevant though because Ata became angry after every monster’s transformation. Wao’s just kind of like, “I’ll show up for one scene because people need to know I exist.” Then he just disappears until you see his hand this episode.
Astral: True. Not really a very well-built-up villain, unlike Ata, who’s been a constant presence throughout the show, even though we’ve known nothing about his motivations until this episode. He had a nice monologue, too… Maybe it would have been better if they had just had Ata as the final boss anyways?
Aria: One of the things about this show is that the final stakes never match the conflict of the rest of the show, but they somehow get justified with the “magic” part of “magical boys”, even if that final conflict is as ridiculous as an intergalactic TV show. By that virtue, I don’t think Ata would work as a final boss, especially because then we’d have a bunch of unresolved plot threads about the Karurusu vs. Furanui fight for the throne.
Astral: That’s true. Karurusu vs Furanui, and their conflicting ideologies, is also a conflict that needs to be resolved.
Aria: If there’s one thing I could do without, it’s the sheer length of the transformation and purification sequences. Sure they’re meant to make fun of however long magical girls’ ones are and normally I’m okay with watching the sequences because most of the time I’m just watching a show at my own leisure, but over the course of this collab, it was just 5 minutes of skippable content. Every. Single. Episode. (Happy Ready????? is still catchy as all get out.)
Astral: Yeah, the song is great, and they used it to great effect here, when Ata is able to STOP THE MUSIC with the power of his attack. The first time I saw this used to a really great effect was in Bleach, when Ichigo first battles Aizen. He’s always had this “victory choir” of soul singers that play whenever he’s about to win, but when Aizen is able to stop that music… chills. Another series that used it effectively was SAO Abridged, which took the OP and put it into the final battle with Heathcliff, stopping the music when Kirito’s sword breaks.
… I guess my point is, it’s a tried and true technique, that when used effectively can create an instant emotional effect, and I don’t think it gets enough credit where it’s due, for how amazing and effective a technique it can be. After all, when you stop the hype song, you immediately are crushing the viewer’s hopes, and expectations… and I think that’s one of the things this episode did really well.
Aria: I didn’t pay any attention to the music this episode…but yeah, I don’t think a monster, final or otherwise, has broken a wand before. Interestingly, the boys continued to fight without sticks after they combined them for the final attack.
So, does this show shape up to be better than Mahou Shoujo Ore, do you think?
Astral: I’m not sure… I think it’ll all depend on how things pan out in the final episode. There are certain things that i’m looking to get out of the last episode… though I doubt we will. I was going to address them here, but seeing as we’re running out of space for this post, i’ll cut myself short, and bring them up in the finale. Let’s finish this guy off, shall we?
Aria: Okay then.
Monster: Wait wait wait! I was just following orders! I didn’t really want to hurt anyone, honestly! H-hey, i’ll tell ya what… If you let me live, i’ll show you the way to the boss! Huh? Good deal, right?
Astral & Aria: . . .
Astral: Think we should just let him go?
Aria: Well, it would be convenient…
Astral: Alright! Onwards, to the final boss!
And with that, our heroes continued towards their final confrontation. The trials and tribulations they had faces thus far burned fresh in their minds, the monsters they’d faced still fresh in memory. The final boss… the momentous showdown loomed before them. Join us next week to see how this all resolves itself.
< To be continued in the final Boueibu post… >
Wow, we’re getting so close to the finale of this collab. Kind of a bittersweet feeling, really. I’m excited to see what the final episode has in store for us, and I have some hopes that i’m putting out there… though the chances of my wishes being fulfilled are quite slim. Anyways guys, make sure you go check out the special Flashback Post on Aria’s blog… and make sure to come back next week for the finale!!