Spellbooks and Horoscopes – Mahou Shoujo Ore Eps 1 & 2

Let’s continue going into the strange world of magical girl parodies…

Newly transformed into their magical warrior forms, our heroes are still getting to know their new powers. With not just one, but two foes looming on the horizon, how will our heroes defeat this threat?

Aria: Mahou Shoujo Ore debuted early with two episodes on Crunchyroll, so we’re up against it first. To tell you the truth, I first encountered Mahou Shoujo Ore as a manga in the days before Boueibu. I seriously wanted something unambiguously called “magical boys” back then, and…while it didn’t disappoint on that front, it’s not the most visually impressive thing either.

Astral: Indeed. I haven’t read the manga, but I definitely agree that the show has a relatively strong weakness when it comes to the visuals. But, what it lacks in that department, it works very hard to make up for with the sheer power of its comedy.

Aria: Between the PreCure-style opening, the Nice Boat and the “Honeyed Flash”, you’re certainly not losing out if you want references, that’s for sure. Even with that, it tries to hold its own ground with some of these jokes. I mean, that gag where Saki runs to school with ridiculously elaborate foods definitely had me laughing, although I can see it being run into the ground if it’s going to get continued use.  

Astral: I must agree; some of the gags are definitely funny, but if we see them too many times, they’ll start to lose their potency somewhat. The gag that keeps getting me, though, is the stupid muscly ‘demons’. They look so dumb, but that muscle form isn’t to be underestimated at all.

Aria: Didn’t Madoka teach you not to trust a cute face?

Astral: Good point, but… Kyubey didn’t look like a waxed Arnold Schwarzenegger, either…

Aria: What do you think about Kokoro, then? His way of recruiting Saki is not original in the slightest, but at least he’s not trying to hide his intentions…unlike another bunch of mascots I know…

Astral: Yeah, he does seem pretty un-mascot like, doesn’t he? What I really want to know is why, when he has the power to transform a delicate high-school girl into a bodybuilder of a muscle man in a frilly skirt, he doesn’t have any magical weapons of any kind for them to use. Plus, how does the transformation and stuff even work, anyways?

Don’t question the power of cuteness…or brute force. (Source: Mahou Shoujo Ore ep 1 eyecatch)

Aria: I guess there are some questions that are better left unanswered. Both for logic and comedy’s sake.

Astral: So we’ve looked at some of the weaknesses the show has, but what did you think were the strengths, if any, of the first couple episodes?

Aria: I really like how the show tries to subvert magical girl tropes by pushing them to the logical extreme, often by applying them to male!Saki as opposed to her female form. These come out of left field every single time (aside from what we’re warned about in promo/source material, of course), and I appreciate that.

Aria: There’s also the fact Kokoro (I think it was) points out “you’re an old hag once you’re over 15”, which is interesting when you compare it to other series’ magical girls.

Astral: It’s a bit of a harsh statement, but it does wonders in showing much of the perception and common tropes of the magical girl genre. Like, why couldn’t a magical girl grow up and keep working into adulthood? It’s these self-satirical moments that make the show really shine at times.

Aria: Admittedly, if you look at the Outer Senshi (bar Sailor Saturn) or even some of the newer PreCure series, you’ve got 17 – 20 somethings in the mix, and I think the statement really puts things into perspective from there. “The transience of ageing” and all that stuff really impedes a magical girl.

Astral: True. Though none of them have gotten anywhere near the age of Saki’s mom, who even ends up hurting her back while doing her duty. Though, with her main offense being hitting muscular hamsters with a stick till they die, I guess I can see how the physical exertion got to her.

Aria: Admittedly, it was probably her only offense, because those hairpin grenades seem like they’ll do some massive property damage…

Astral: Are magical girls liable for property damages? Can a magical girl be sued or taken to court?

Aria: That’s what those “restore to normal” things that happen after the battle are for, right? Can’t get sued if you don’t get caught…

Astral: I guess they could always use the guns that Kokoro carries around in his duffel bag…

Aria: There’s already a magical girl with a gun this season, remember?

Astral: I haven’t gotten around to that one yet, actually. Although, I’d say this show does share a few similarities with that other one…

Aria: Considering it got a lot of buzz already, I don’t think we need to talk about Mahou Shoujo Site. So, how are we going to finish this foe off?

Aria: How about this – Love Hurricane!

Love Hurricane is a cleansing attack that is able to hit multiple foes in one go. Despite its name, it isn’t actually a hurricane, which makes it perfect for foes that have a lot of subversive elements.

Astral: Nice shot, Aria! Now that it’s weakened, we can finish it off, no problem at all!

Both: Magical Explosion!

Astral: We managed to win! It was a tough battle, fighting two foes at once, but the heroes always triumph in the end!

…and so, our heroes detransformed and went back to their ordinary blogging. However, since they were so aware of magical girl tropes, they knew this was only the beginning.

< To be continued in the next post… >

What did you think about the first two episodes of Mahou Shoujo Ore? We’ve still got ten episodes to go, so if we didn’t address a pro or con about the show, it’s likely it could still pop up later.

The Boueibu Happy Kiss episode 1 post is the next one in the saga, so you can head on over to the Zodiac Room to see that.

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