Spellbooks and Horoscopes – Mahou Shoujo Ore 12 (FINAL)

It’s the finale of Mahou Shoujo Ore! Now that Saki knows who the boss of the enemies is, what will she do about them…and what will our heroes do about their enemies suddenly being able to talk?!

Aww…this is a sweet way to send the show off, not to mention Saki’s birthday is apparently on the 22nd of June…but wait! Who’s holding this picture?! (Source: Mahou Shoujo Ore ep 12 ED)

Aria: I feel like this show was trying to kick me in the feels this week, but because it’s so off-the-wall, every time it tried, it failed. I can see where the attempts are – Osomatsu-san season 1 and Hinamatsuri (among other shows, but those are two recent examples that come to mind) schooled me in the ways of balancing comedy and drama – but those shows stuck the landing more often than MSO did, so it seems unfair to compare.

Astral:It’s a bit unfair to compare them, yeah… I haven’t seen Osomatsu-san, but Hinamatsuri does a beautiful job of swapping between amazing comedy and teh feelz… and anything in the same season that tries to do the same, but not as well, is going to feel pretty underwhelming.

Aria: Osomatsu-san is full of crass jokes, even more so than Mahou Shoujo Ore, but its trade is more “look how stupid our protagonists are!” which is part of why I didn’t watch season 2 of that show…

Personally, I think the comedic success of Hinamatsuri lies in the buildup – there’s a certain structure to the episodes which gradually introduces expectations to the viewer and then the punchline puts a wrecking ball through everything. Since Osomatsu-san and Mahou Shoujo Ore rely on being unexpected for everything, they don’t have that same kind of punch. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Hinamatsuri has the strongest face game out of the 3 as well…)

Astral: I think another part of it is that I noticed quite a few mistakes in the episode, which really dragged me out of the action. At around 11:30 in the episode, Hyoue is typing, then someone walks in front of him, and his character model freezes, but the typing noises continue. These foibles were pretty glaring, in my opinion, and were part of the reason the episode didn’t do much for me.

Aria: Is that still part of their “lowering the animation quality to bring you a better fight” gag? Because in the end there was a signal from Tokyo Tower that restored everything to normal, right?

Astral: That’s something that bothers me as well. The show tries to be really meta and stuff about things like that, but it always feels so uninspired for me. If it is part of that gag, I think nobody’s really aware of it at this point, so it just came off for me as an oversight.

Aria: Yeah, I kinda forgot about the lowered animation until the signal was shown beaming out of Tokyo Tower. So what did the show do well this episode? I think we’ve just been dissing it so far.

Astral: I think there were actually a few nice parts. The music during the dramatic bits was actually quite nice, the flashy visuals looked nice in the proper moments, and a few of the jokes managed to land home with me.

Aria: I still have some gripes about Michiru and Ruka, especially that last bit where they finally question whether Ore is a girl like them. (Gosh, that was frustrating to see, considering most of that business should have been resolved in episode 10.)

I’m definitely with you on the music and the jokes, especially the one about the monsters having “junk code” and…well, “The Hyoue Squad”. The former one in particular is funny because there is garbage collection in computer science, so there’s some inevitable jokes about “taking out the trash” begging to be made right there.

This squad sure doesn’t look threatening when most of them are middle-aged men…(Source: Mahou Shoujo Ore ep 12)

Astral: Yeah, It’s weird to think that the demons seem to be more similar to computer programs than actual living beings… how do they manage to program and re-assimilate living matter, though? We also got an answer as to where all the demon corpses go after a fight…

Aria: I don’t think we should be thinking very hard about how the demons get programmed, because wasn’t it said somewhere that any sufficiently advanced technology can pass as magic? I think that’ll completely derail our discussion…

Astral: So… I guess the main question here is… did you enjoy the series?

Aria: Well, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would have. Like you said last time, it’s clearly not a perfect work by any means, but it does its best with the gags and jokes it’s got, for better or for worse. I’m not going to talk about ratings like you did though, because to me, ratings only matter on anime lists.

Before we finish on this show for good, what do you think was the strongest aspect of the series?

Astral: Honestly, I also enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The concept is very solid, a parody of the magical girl genre in the truest sense, replacing the dainty magical girls with jacked-up muscle men, and the flashy magical attacks with brutal physical beatdowns. There were definitely points during the show that really made me laugh, and the constant self-awareness of the show was just fun.

Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, but all-in-all, I don’t regret the watch in the slightest. I hope the author keeps drawing and writing, because their work is super nice, especially those endcard pieces, and I hope to see more like it on their twitter feed in the future.

Aria: …uh, sorry to burst your bubble, but Monokubo (end cards) and Icchokusen Mokon (original creator/ED illustrator) are two different people.

Astral: Ouch. Well, I guess I’ll just settle for the illustrations from Monokubo. Anyways, we should finish this up, once and for all!


Coronal Tempesta is truly an attack worthy of being called a finishing move. By drawing the power from the core of a star, a massive firestorm is created that burns at nearly one million degrees Celsius! A dangerous attack to use, but there’s no way an enemy is escaping from this one.

Astral: Haaaaaaah! Take this at full power!!!

Aria: Well, I think that second-last opponent held out a bit too long. We were meant to be headed to the final boss though, right?

Astral: Absolutely! Let’s keep up the pressure and take this thing down!!

…and so, the quest towards the final boss continues…

< To be continued… >

The thing I referred to about any sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic is the third of Clarke’s laws.

So, next time on the Spellbook, we’re finally getting around to how this stuff began in our collab’s universe – hopefully those posts can be as hilariously meta as the rest of the collab. Before then though, we still have Boueibu Happy Kiss‘s final episodes to count down, so stick with us at the Zodiac Room for more of the usual.

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