I wasn’t expecting for it to take me more than two weeks to get on with the series but apparently it did. Fortunately, I can sort of explain everything as trying out a new less stressful schedule. Wait, do I even have a schedule?
Anyway, onto the show. Last time, we were introduced to the fifth and seemingly final girl of the team so we have the main group established already. That’s about it, really.
And we are in music class. Man I hate that. Some people hate math and while I can understand that feeling I always felt music was kind of just… there, you know? Not saying it’s a useless skill but no one really gave a shit if you enjoyed playing instruments or singing. Just memorize this and let’s kill valuable time we could be using actually teaching you something interesting. I guess I just had crappy music teachers.
So we’ll center on Itsuki it seems. We’ve honestly seen very little of her aside from knowing that she admires her sister and that she likes card reading. We’ve already centered ourselves on Togo, Fu, and Karin, with Yuna taking a big role in the three episodes so this is a nice change of pace.
Once again, we get the opening song. There’s nothing to add at this point so I’m just trying to see if Karin has officially joined. And the answer is no. It’s a bit weird because Togo already had a spot in after her first transformation. Guess the newcomer needs to wait a few month for the animation department to put here there.
The girls are doing what they usually do in the group: helping around with homeless cats, writing a play, updating their webpage, all that jazz.
Karin is apparently already comfortable with her role in the Hero Club—name-calling aside—and even comse up with a poster to help a kitty find a home.
But not everything is going swimmingly, since Itsuki is a bit worried about her singing test. To make matters worse, card reading says she’s gonna die. Or maybe she will do badly in her test. It’s kind of ambiguous.
“It’s just fortune telling. It’s no big deal“. Then why do you guys do it in the first place?
I’m feeling the death card is going to be a little more literal than they think considering they tried to read Karin’s luck and she got the same thing. Unless… is she going to be ok? Right now the way I see it, Fu is the most likely to die with Karin being a close second. The other three are a bit nebulous and kind of on the safe side of things.
Anyway, the Hero Club found a new mission: Help Itsuki not suck at singing. This may take a while.
Togo does some mystic shit right here by blurring frames of her animation.
Fu has valuable information: Itsuki can actually sing fairly well, it’s just that she gets nervous with an audience. It’s usually lack of confidence in these cases, the kind of people that can just shrug off stage fright isn’t always going to be necessarily the best one at their craft. Cheers for all the people that sing without issue even when they suck, you are an inspiration to us all, guys.
Yuna creates a plan of easing Itsuke into the idea of an audience by making her practice in front of the other girls. I would argue she would probably feel more nervous singing while people she really cares about are listening to her but I’m not a psychologist. Also, this can only mean one thing: Karaoke night with the girls! Well, this is Japan, so it was bound to happen sooner or later.
I’ll be honest. I’m horribly biased against musical parts in animated shows. Mostly because they suck most of the time, regardless of they are dubbed or not but also because I never enjoyed musicals all that much. So, to me this is going to be like walking over shards of broken glass. I hope you appreciate what I’m going through.
For some reason, Togo has some maracas and Yuna a headless tambourine. I’ve never really been to a karaoke… bar would be called? So I don’t really know if that’s a standard. Moving on, Karin has the attitude I can most sympathize with, she’s there for the team but doesn’t really care about singing. When Yuna asks for help in a duet she simply rejects the idea until Fu points out how she can never beat her score of 92%. So good job, Fu, you pressed Karin’s competitive button so hard it’s probably going to be stuck for a while.
After Yuna’s and Karin’s impressive display that ends with the same score as Fu, it’s Itsuke’s turn. Hey, No pressure.
But Itsuke unsurprisingly sucks because she feels watched. She even says that there’s no way she can loosen up and, as Karin puts it, “You’re screwed then“. You know, I have a thing for sarcastic assholes and she is hitting right in the mark. I think she’s my favorite right now.
Togo’s song comes up and she signs pretty well but the weird part is that everyone but Karin stands up while she’s singing. I don’t really know what it is, though, it sounds… militarish? Some kind of national anthem maybe? I’m not sure.
Back to the plot—I know, I forgot we had one too—Fu gets a distressing message from… someone and goes to the bathroom to calm herself down.
Karin goes after her and correctly deduces that she got a message from the Taisha. Basically, the Vertex are showing up much faster than they thought and they are expecting the worst. I’m a bit worried because we had like 6 or so Vertex and they are not really spicing things up so… what exactly is gonna happen? I feel something else will take their place as main antagonist. After all, they are just mindless monsters so whoever is behind them is gonna show up sooner or later.
On the way home, everyone notices Fu is not completely focused on the conversation but she brushes it off and continues talking about Itsuki’s problem. The latter seems to know her sister is not okay, though
It’s time for Karin to come up with something to help Itsuki. Naturally she doesn’t think in cliché terms like karaoke, no sir, Karin brought an actual solution to this problem: Drugs!
Okay, they are more like vitamins and other stuff but technically every chemical used as medicine is a drug so it counts.
Fu presses Karin’s button again by pointing out the supplements would be a bit dangerous taken all at once. Naturally, Karin shows her how wrong she is by drinking everything herself. We even get a little warning that this is a comedy show and not real life and as such we should be careful with the doses lest we end up with a hole in our intestines. Do people actually drink all those drugs to stay healthy? What am I saying, of course they do!
After a quick trip to the bathroom, Karin says Itsuke should take it easy and drink a just few of the drugs because she’s a rookie. It doesn’t seem to help.
Sometime later, Itsuki is taking a bath and starts singing on her own. Fu interrupts her to point out she can sing very well. naturally she’s shy for having been found out but seems to accept the compliment.
Now this is getting intense. Itsuki has a flashback to when she found out her parents were dead. We see that a bunch of odd adults told Fu what happened and I guess they are the Taisha or at least work for him(?). Right now I’m thinking they are aliens.
The gist of it is that Fu became a mother figure for Itsuki ever since their parents died and as an older brother, this hits me in places I don’t want to get hit.
Itsuki has some self-confidence issues that go beyond singing. She feels she’s a burden and really wants to help her sister deal with everything at the Hero Club, both the mundane and the magical sides.
“I wanted to say… thank you, sis” I think this may be the line that hit me the hardest in the show. Not that we’ve had that many dramatic moments but, you know, it’s a good one.
Fu doesn’t see the point of her thanks and hints at a hidden reason for why she’s doing all this. She tries to explain it as being part of a magical girl group that beats down monsters but it’s clear that something else is going on.
While Itsuki thinks about her reasons for being a hero, we transition to another scene of the girls going to a house to grab a kitty. Unfortunately, the little girl living there doesn’t want to abandon her cat even despite her mother’s complaints. But worry not, Fu has a plan.
She solved things off-screen and the girl got to keep the cat. Fu isn’t that happy about it though and starts apologizing for getting her sister roped into this Vertex mess. Did she do something to kill her parents? I sure hope she didn’t wish for anything.
Ok no, it’s a little different. She feels guilty because she should have fought more to keep the Taisha away from her little sister. Itsuki feels okay though, because she gets to protect people with the other girls and not just be protected.
The singing test is here and it’s finally Itsuki’s turn. She’s still so afraid and nervous her papers fall off. This reveals that Togo, Karin, Fu, and Yuna left her sweet messages to inspire. I especially like that Karin’s says “Just do it“. Short and to the point.
That seems to do the trick and Itsuki finally gets over her issues and aces the test. Good for her.
“It’s probably because you imagined everyone as a pumpkin“. Aww, Togo. I’m still not entirely sure you are not a robot.
The test went so well that everyone admires Itsuki and she even wants to become a singer now. She’s still too shy to tell her sister but, hey, baby steps.
And that’s it.
Or is it?
After the credits, Itsuki is recording a song for an audition and accidentally knocks over her bag. The same bag with the tarot cards. Yup, the death card is the one that’s turned. I’m starting to think this really was literal after all.
Fu tries to write a message to the Taisha I think, to give instructions of what to do in case she becomes incapacitated in battle. She chooses not to because her reasons are stronger. She wants to kill the Vertex to avenge her parents.
Just in time too, because the Vertex are here and apparently this is the worst-case scenario they were talking about before.
You know I was wondering when things were going to go to hell. And this episode seems to start that which is nice. I really like Fu and Itsuki’s interactions but I’m afraid one of them’s gonna die. Probably Fu it seems. Also, something I noticed after we already got an episode centered around four of the five girls, Yuna seems to be slowly blending into the background. Maybe it’s just me but compared to the other girls’ backgrounds and motivations a normal girl doesn’t do all that much, even as a straight man. I sure hope she gets her moment to really shine outside of combat.