So, it’s been like three weeks since the last post. I would blame college and all that jazz but the important part is I’m here now and there are more important and interesting things to talk about. Namely, magical girls doing magical things. Like using cellphones. Yeah.
Last time, Togo finally got to transform into a magical girl–er hero and also showed us that school uniforms are really unflattering to her figure. Oh yeah, and I think there was a bit about the girls becoming a group after all or something.
That comment about magical girls being called “heroes”, though, got me thinking. Things have come full circle haven’t they? Because when you really think about it, magical girls are just another sub-genre of superheroes. At least the classic kind. It’s hard to remember with the relatively recent militarization of superheroes that they are fantasy concepts.
Surprisingly enough, it’s been a month and a half since the last fight. Which is appropriate for how long it took me to get around to live-blogging this episode. And it’s also probably to compensate for having three Vertex showing up at once last time.
Yuna expresses her doubts about being able to beat a Vertex after not having fought for so long but Itsuki convinces her that they just need to do what the apps tell them. Call me crazy but you already kicked the ass of three at once, this one doesn’t stand a chance.
Before they can react though, knives come flying out of nowhere in direction of the Vertex and explode.
And there’s the fifth girl. See, Netflix spoiled her existence but I still didn’t know what to expect from her. At least I’m glad she’s not an end-of-the-series character.
She’s so badass she starts the sealing ritual with her knife (I’m assuming she strapped her cellphone to it). Also, it took me a while but I just realized that each soul has a different ability (being indestructible, super fast, multiplying, and this one shoots gas) that is probably related to each Vertex’s theme. But what are they based on?
“That girl’s doing it by herself?!“. Thank you Fu, I have eyes.
Now, let’s break down the new girl’s outfit. The design is similar to the other girls’: It has the neck of the sailor-type school uniform and an elaborate skirt. It’s mostly red but there is also black and white so basically how Harley Quinn would like as a magical girl. Can’t say I’m complaining.
“You ladies look like total morons“. Well, she does have a point but she’s also using an exaggerated outfit so…
And her name is Karin Miyoshi. What a bitch.
The theme starts, and I have to repeat that I appreciate the more mellow tone compared to the usual style you find in these things. Also, since Togo transformed last episode, she’s on the opening theme too.
What the fucking shit is this? The teacher with Mami Tomoe’s voice shows up again to introduce the new transfer student, Karin Miyoshi. You son of a bitch, IMDb. You told me she wouldn’t show up again. You lied to me!
“Nice cover story“. Fu, for the love of god shut up. You seriously don’t know how much of a cliché this is.
Some time after class, the five are discussing the situation and Togo brings up the logical questions. For starters, Karin is a little late to joining the party but she brushes it off as the Taisha wanting to make sure Karin was the perfect fit for the team.
Karin also brings up a really good point. She’s the only one with actual fighting skills in the group. I mean, magical powers kinda override that but if you wanted an elite team to protect the world, a school in Japan would be one of the last places you should pick to look for applicants.
Despite Karin’s harsh exterior she’s actually pretty easy-going all things considered. She makes a fuss about Yuna calling her by her first name but quickly ignores it and says she doesn’t care what she calls her.
She also goes along with joining the club despite claiming to not want to. She’s either very weak-willed or… Someone’s a little sweetheart under that aggressive shell!
Incidentally, she’s not so on board with how Yuna treats her fairy since she lets him do whatever he wants. Case in point, he just tried to eat Karin’s fairy.
Speaking of fairies, Togo shows her three companions to Karin who not so subtly feels a little bad that one of the newbies has two more than her. At least hers can talk, there’s that.
Meanwhile, Fu and Itsuki disappeared off-camera to do some card reading. And Karin got the death card!
“No one asked you to do a reading!“. I mean, she’s right. This is just asking for trouble, really. It’s almost like Fu was looking for a justification to ignore her advice or maybe just spook her a little. In fact, given that we never see Itsuki actually pulling the card I’m gonna assume her and her sister are just pulling a prank on Karin.
Karin again changes her mind about something in like two seconds, decides to go along with being part of the club and listening to its president. Being the empathetic hero, Yuna asks her if she wants to come eat with them but Karin’s not going to accept that offer just yet.
“Stubborn-types just like her get me really fired up“. Is that like your fetish or do you just really enjoy mentoring people, Fu?
We cut back to Karin riding her bike, training, hating school, and going back home. Her house is really plain looking even if this kind of series always make the characters’ places super fancy.
Funnily enough, Karin seems to have direct connection with the Taisha. Through her cellphone. I mean, you would imagine a serious organization or whatever in charge of protecting the world to be a little old-school but hey, I can’t blame them for being up to date.
It’s another day here in this probably incredibly expensive school—it has its own pool for fuck’s sake! We’re on swimming class and Togo is doing her own stuff, because I imagine not being able to use your legs must suck in such a situation. In contrast, Karin is fucking Michael Phelps. She’s not too interested in competing professionally, though.
We cut to Karin lecturing the rest of the girls and something about not sharing her dried sardines. That’s just cold.
But anyway, battles against Vertex work like in RPGs: If you kill enough, you level up. In this case the concept is called Mankai. And shock of all shocks, Karin has never level led up. That probably explains her aggressive attitude. I mean, it has to suck to pour every effort into something only to barely move from the starting point.
“If you keep overthinking things, you’ll go bald“. Dick move, Fu.
With the hero situation discussed already, the girls move onto the other part of the hero club. Namely, organizing the Children’s Festival’s activities. Karin is pressured into helping because she’s technically part of the club and should help to keep up the facade and also that she’s free on Sunday.
We cut back to another evening in the life of karin. She contacts the Taisha again, saying that the team is garbage and that basically they are lucky that she’s there to keep an eye on them. Oh come on, you are enjoying their company, don’t lie
It’s Sunday so Karin goes to the hero club HQ to help with the preparations. Unfortunately, after waiting for an hour, she realizes she went to the wrong place. She tries to call the girls but Yuna calls her and panickig, Karin hangs up. She rationalizes this as her not having time to do club activities and turn her phone off. You could just say your finger slipped or just that you couldn’t take the call or something
After another day of training and being alone, Karin goes back home. Someone calls at the door and boom, the rest of the girls went there to hang around with her. They even brought food an everything.
Turns out it’s Karin’s birthday and the girls came to celebrate. Aw, that’s sweet.
Now this is interesting, Karin never had a birthday party so she’s out of her depth in this situation. That’s a bit scary too, was she raised by the Taisha or something to be a child soldier? Who are her legal guardians?
The girls have all sort of things planned for the future and despite Karin complaining about it, she’s clearly enjoying having friends for once.
“Are you stupid?“. I have to say I’m not the biggest fan of this show’s sense of humor but that line delivery was great.
They are sort of assholes too, because they leave all the garbage for Karin to deal with. That’s just awful.
And it ends with their chatroom being cute and heartwarming. Ok, that is cool. Even Karin doesn’t see her duty as a hero as her main objective in life. Nice.
I have to say I really like Karin. She’s the aggressive veteran that takes no shit from the other members of the team but she’s more subdued than most examples. Of course, this has the added problem of making her seem a little too easy-going but it’s clear that she lacked affection while growing up. Besides, she’s not supposed to be antagonistic, just a little abrasive. As for the episode itself, it’s a breath of fresh air after having the climax of the other two be related to the Vertex which is nice because you can only do that so many times before repeating yourself. Of course, being cynical and all, I’m pretty sure this just sets up the girls for a horrible fate or something.