Last time on YYiaH…
God, I’m never using abbreviations again.
Anyway, we saw a group of four girls entering a magic world to fight mechanical monsters with the help of a handy app in their cellphones that let them turn into magical girls. I know, it sounds like an ad for some sort of mobile phone disguised as a series, but the episode was pretty good.
We start right where with left off, with the Vertex regenerating from Yuna’s incredible iron punch.
These guys apparently don’t die in the normal way so you can punch them all you want but they get back up again after a while. The solution that Fu proposes is the Sealing Ritual (The capital letters are important).
“Pay attention and dodge”. It’s easy, Itsuki, if you can dodge a grenade, you can dodge a ball.
We get an actual opening theme this time around and it’s more mellow than I expected. Nice. Additionally, each girl has a flower associated to them, Yuna has a rose while Fu gets… I dunno. I’m not a botanist. The point is, they are the color they are associated with. Also, there’s a random shot of the Sun. That’s gonna be important later when it turns out they need to stop a solar flare or something.
The title of the episode is “Noble thoughts”. Are we doing a thing where every episode is named after a quality a true hero should have?
After the title card, we start with Yuna running around—does she have super-speed?—to surround the Vertex. They are going to start the ritual now.
But there is a problem, they have to recite a lot of text to activate the ritual which Yuna finds difficult for some reason. I mean, you can punch bombs, I think reading something aloud isn’t that big of a deal.
It’s a nice moment though, because as Itsuki and Yuna start the ritual, Fu cuts them off saying they said enough. Apparently, Fu is kind of a troll and didn’t tell them it only matters that you say something with spirit. Hell, you could probably sing a song to defeat the Vertex.
Basically, the sealing ritual frees the soul of the Vertex and if you destroy it, they die. There are only two problems with that: The soul is incredibly tough and they need to defeat it before the countdown ends or else game over.
“Let’s see how much you like my attack that’s full of girl power!”. I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean.
Luckily, bad trash talking aside, Fu’s sword is up for job and cracks the Vertex’s soul container. Unfortunately, there is not much time left. But that’s where Yuna comes to the rescue, channeling her positive attitude into a punch strong enough to destroy the Vertex for good.
Everything goes back to normal and Togo finally reunites with the rest of the girls. The day is saved and the girls are free to go back to class. Everyone is a little shaken up by this, though, specially Itsuki. So much so that her sister plans to give her her half of her pudding when it was supposed to already be hers. Okay, I really liked that joke.
The next day, Fu decides to finally tell the girls what happened with the magical girl powers and the end of the world and all that.
There are a total of 12 Vertex. This is the second episode and they already destroyed one so that leaves one per episode for the rest of the series.
There are some extra rules, too. Messing with the Jukai—the yarn covering the spirit world—causes problems in the real world. For example, time almost ran out in the last fight and there was a car crash in the city.
And finally, Fu knew everyone that was going to be chosen from the beginning and deliberately made them join the Hero club. Also, the Vertex are a bit inconsistent in their attacks so they don’t know when the next will show up.
That first part is important, because even while Fu admits that another possible hero team could have been chosen in their place Togo is frustrated at her having kept all this a secret and leaves the room.
Luckily, Yuna is a really cool girl and catches up with Togo. She gives her… something and thanks her for getting angry at Fu for putting her in danger.
This pleases Togo because she wasn’t actually angry at Fu. She has a horrible self-esteem and feels terrible for not being able to help, being in a wheelchair and all.
At the sight of her friend feeling down, Yuna ups the three Stooges act and starts making jokes to at least make Togo crack a smile. It goes as well as you would expect.
Togo brings back the conversation from the realm of comedy and asks Yuna if she really is ok with Fu just keeping such huge secret from them. Yuna, optimistic as always, says that it’s an opportunity to help people.
That seems to do the trick as Togo recalls losing the ability to move her legs and some of her memories (I’m not saying that’s a plot point but it’s a fucking plot point) and being afraid of going back to school. That changed when she met Yuna and joining the Hero club has made her life better ever since.
We cut back to the two blonde sisters. Fu is practicing an apology while Itsuki is doing tarot stuff. When she flips a card, it stops in mid-air above the table and I have to confess I thought the animation department had fucked up. But no, time stopped again so it’s hero time.
“Three of them at once? I’m more popular than I thought”. Don’t get any ideas, Fu is just talking about having to fight three Vertex. I guess you never really know, though.
Togo is sadly still stuck in the sidelines watching the fight unfold but I think she can transform if she wants to. That’s self-doubt for you.
One of the Vertex stays behind while the other two attack and Fu kind of misses the obvious and chooses to ignore it. She gets thrown off by a giant toothpick missile for her troubles.
The three Vertex work in tandem with vicious efficiency, and the girls narrowly miss death thanks to their fairies having shields to protect them.
Yuna gets crushed by a Vertex’s tail and we cut back to a flashback. It’s when Yuna and Togo first met.
“Since we’re both the same age, we are both going to the same school”. You really don’t know how schools work, do you Yuna?
While it’s touching that Togo met a sociable girl that doesn’t really care about her disability and that helped her break out of her shell, I just like to imagine Togo struggling to say something while Yuna keeps monologuing.
Togo screams that the Vertex stop attacking Yuna and calling its attention naturally makes her a target. Luckily, she also has a Digimon of her own so I guess it’s hero time again!
The transformation is… how do I put this lightly? It starts with sounds of camera shots mixed with gunshots with the view centered on Togo’s butt and then it goes to some light bondage to explain her armor growing all over her body, with special emphasis on her boobs.
I… don’t remember Togo being this endowed. Are we sure the transformation only affects the clothes?
Anyway, the armor is cool in at least one aspect: It has some sort of tentacles sprouting out of it that essentially act as legs for Togo. That’s a neat concept. One of the big questions I had about this series is how they were going to justify Togo walking again. I thought it would just be magic and stuff but I like the Doc Ock look.
Togo’s arsenal is basically guns. All sorts of guns. But nevermind that, I want to call attention to her mark. See, all the girls have a flower mark somewhere in their armor and it uses their main color. Togo’s is on her left breast but the important thing is that it’s pink and not blue as you would expect from her color scheme. Pink is Yuna’s color so I feel this is significant.
Togo is shaping up to be a better leader than Fu and comes up with an idea to counter the sniper Vertex: Acting as a counter-sniper herself while the rest of the girls perform the sealing rituals.
There are some complications with the ritual because one particular soul is pretty fast. Yuna can’t quite punch it so Fu takes over and, seeing her sword fail to even graze it, summons an even bigger sword.
The other soul is also tricky and multiplies. Itsuki gets around this by using the whips that her bracelets can create to lump them all together and slice them. Man, this is hardcore. Also, there is an small detail, both their marks glowed when they performed the ritual. What could this possibly mean?
We get another sincere apology through a phone call this time with Togo saying she was too harsh with Fu. She also apologizes back. It’s good seeing the two girls put their differences aside to kick Vertex ass.
The third Vertex soul is incredibly fast but Togo takes it down in one shot. Goddamn, she should have transformed sooner.
The episode ends on a lighthearted note with the girls promising to protect Japan and Yuna remembering she needs to do her homework.
This was a nice episode and the ending the first one was lacking. A part of my brain feels a bit bad that the source of fanservice is the girl in a wheelchair but come to think of it, it really doesn’t make a difference if she were blind, deaf, lacked an arm or whatever because exploitation is exploitation. Must be a knee-jerk reaction to mixing disabilities with sex. Regardless, the main team is already established—Itsuki still needs a little more characterization—so, when are things going to go wrong?