Another week means another round of the Spellbooks and Horoscopes collab! What’s in store for us this time, after 2 episodes of unneeded deviation from the plot?
Aria: Mahou Shoujo Ore’s back in full swing this week! Thank goodness, because we’re starting to get to the pointy end of the season already…
Astral: And the episode was pretty good, too. Or at least I thought it was. The manager seems like the smartest person in the show at this point, being the first person to point out Saki’s terrible singing, not to mention how nuts both girls are. And Sakuyo seems to have drawn the same conclusion as we have about the true identity of Hyoue.
Aria: I don’t think they pointed out who Sakuyo is suspecting, it’s just pointed out that Hyoue is one of the likely suspects. For all I know, the manager could be behind the demon attacks…
Astral: Well they didn’t outright say it, but it was kind of implied by the dialogue and the camera shot of Hyoue right after.
Aria: Well, while the plot keeps thickening, we still had our same old silly hijinks this week. I thought seeing Mohiro sing the ridiculous song about the Alps was pretty funny (and the joke didn’t outstay its welcome). By the way, here’s some more info on the song.
Astral: Yeah, the comedy was really good this episode. I thought the breakfast joke was going to get old pretty fast, but when she had a pot and a burner on her little portable table, that made me laugh pretty hard. The violence of the demon killing with the backdrop of the kids’ song was funny too, and the manager was an absolute gem this episode, in my humble opinion. (He’s a derpy dude, like me!)
Aria: Now that you mention something of the sort, they actually made a joke about how violent this show was (“I’m going to tell the BPO on you!” or whatever it was from Kokoro), which I think is really a step forward. Previously, they’ve kind of swept that fact under the rug for anyone who isn’t Saki.
Astral: What’s up with those blood vials in their staffs? The violence of the demon killing is one thing, but why collect their blood? It seems like there is something bigger at play here and I’ll be disappointed if it’s stupid, because really they seem to be committing genocide every episode…
Aria: Hmm…they’re not too clear on that right now, but the next episode or so looks like it’ll clear some of those things up by putting Saki’s mother back into the magical girl game (at least briefly). Hopefully there’s some more explanation to go with that.
Astral: Predictions… will she be an actual magical girl? Or will she also turn into a burly guy to fight?
Aria: If you actually watched the ED for once, you would have seen the silhouette of a burly man that looks a lot like Ore, only with two hair antennae, on the big sheet behind Sayori (Saki’s mum). So I bet “magical boy”.
Astral: That oughta be something to see!
Aria: It will. Going back to the thing about jokes, what did you think about the fact Kokoro actually has to source magical weapons from a warehouse? I don’t think that’s ever been a thing before…
Astral: Yeah it’s like magical girls have been industrialised or something. He also mentioned that they each have their own unique kind of magic that their staff needs to be attuned to, but they never explained that really. Not to mention they haven’t really used any magic so far…
Aria: Well, at least it makes the weapons unique for each user…but yeah, they haven’t used anything that qualifies as magic. Then you have Boueibu which is leaning really heavily on it…In fact, Boueibu might’ve taken that approach because one of PreCure’s innovations in the genre is the fact the girls aren’t afraid to use physical violence and magic in equal measure. It really does say something about the use of violence between the demographics, dont’cha think?
Astral: Yeah, I think the general expectation has always been that shonen shows would be very violent whereas shoujo shows would focus more on friendship and such. More recently is when we’ve seen some shifts in perception, shows like Madoka and PreCure steering away from the typical magical girl genre, in a similar way that some of the more recent shonen shows have moved from violent fights to other things while still retaining the same kind of vibe.
Aria: So basically if Boueibu is a throwback to magical girl genre greats, Mahou Shoujo Ore is the genre coming full circle from those deconstructions?
Astral: I think we almost inadvertently chose the two perfect shows. Almost feels like each of them is displaying the original intentions of the “opposite” genre.
Aria: Well, they’re still both magical girl parodies and comedies in the end, so I think the word you wanted was “demographic”…but hey, the fact we’re tackling these shows was due to my changing the terms (so I don’t think it was as much of an inadvertent choice as you make it out to be). After all, when you proposed this collab, you wanted to do Mahou Shoujo Site and Cutie Honey Universe. Now that I think about it, if we’d done that, we’d be a lot worse off discussion-wise…
Astral: That’s very true! Well, part of the reason we changed anyways was because the other shows were stuck behind some various paywalls. Demographic is definitely the better word for what I was trying to say, it was very late last night when I was writing, so I was a bit derpy on my language skills, haha.
I’m actually a bit surprised at how much discussion these shows have sparked; they’re definitely proving to be more than the sum of their parts. I never expected how much i’d actually be enjoying both of ‘em. And I always say a show is usually more interesting when you have someone to talk to about it.
Aria: True. I guess without the social aspect of anime and its related media, we wouldn’t be half the fans we are today…but I guess that’s not a discussion for this post.
Astral: Oh, there was one thing in the episode that caught my attention, and that’s Konami’s past. It seems like there’s gotta be more to the guy than just his love of magical girls and idols. Is he not from Japan? I thought there was a line that kind of implied that. Also, the shot of him in the crowd with the tattered cloak… is that a reference that I’m not getting?
Aria: Judging from the train, I think he’s just from the countryside (his exact words are “I came to the city in search of the magical girls I loved so…”, is that the line you’re talking about?). I don’t think the shot with the cloak was a reference though – if it was, it went right over my head…
Astral: Yeah, that’s the line… maybe I just misinterpreted it, having watched the episode pretty late at night and all.
Aria: Before we wrap up, I just want to mention I went on a Mahou Shoujo Ore search spree at one point and found a manga image of the scene where Fujimoto is clinging to Mohiro’s arm. That proves two things: 1) Fujimoto isn’t actually an anime-original character like the idol girls and 2) he’s less of a meme than we thought he was.
Astral: He’s still a total meme though. Gets one episode dedicated purely to him, then barely shows up for 10 seconds of screentime in the next two episodes…
Aria: (The episode dedicated to him was filler though…) He didn’t even have a credited speaking role this episode either, as far as I can remember, so I can’t confirm if “Fujimoto changes his voice every episode” is still a gag.
Astral: I don’t think he even had any voice lines at all.
Aria: Yep, just checked it. No lines at all. I think with that confirmation, we can wrap up here.
Astral: Absolutely. Any suggestions on how to beat our enemy this week? I feel like this one is stronger than usual…
Aria: Maybe we should try a group attack that isn’t Magical Explosion?
Astral: Good idea! I’ll have to power myself up a bit for this one, though. Logos Reverie!
Logos Reverie is a special magical technique that envelops the user’s body in garbs of concentrated magical energy, stemming from their soul. It grants the user immensely heightened magical powers for a short time, but due to the enormous stress this places on the human body, their abilities are weakened for a while after using it.
Aria: Alright, I guess I’ll take your lead then. Atmospheric Isolation!
Atmospheric Isolation is, contrary to its name, a power-up move used for equalising one’s powers so combination attacks can be performed. By drawing on power from the atmosphere, the user temporarily surrenders their speed in exchange for attacking force.
Both: Double Comet Uppercut!
This group attack is pretty simple – the users channel their magical energy and then, with the force of a comet, they strike down the enemy with a vicious punch.
Astral: I dunno about you, but it’s kinda satisfying to use my fists every now and again!
Aria: Maybe you’re just not used to the PreCure style of things…
With that out of the way, our heroes once again prevail against the enemy. It seems, however, there is only so much to talk about in these episodes…so the opponents may still have something up their sleeves.
< To be continued in the next post… >
That’s that for another week. There were some interesting twists on the usual formula, both within Mahou Shoujo Ore and in our standard bit of weekly metafiction, so what do you think about them?
We hinted at the birth of this collab this time, but further details in the context of this collab’s story are still forthcoming…please look forward to them when they’re revealed.
Anyways, the next part of this saga is on the Zodiac Room as per usual, so you can head there for it.