So, last time in “Becoming a magical girl is a very bad idea” we took a look at, well, why that is true.
Togo and Yuna learned that their bodies are going to slowly break down the more they fight in a system that I just realized is a very good analogy for the draft. These girls were forced to fight in a war where not even the supposed veteran of the group knows exactly how their weapons work or what even fighting their enemy entails besides “saving the world”. And after all is said and done, they come back home psychologically damaged at best and permanently crippled at worst with no one knowing what they sacrificed to protect everything they care about. Boy, that’s an uplifting story right there.
Those Who Know Grief
And with that title, things are bound to get better.
Any second now.
Anyway, Yuna and Togo tell Fu the secret of the hero system. She takes it pretty well all things considered but begs the girls not to inform the rest of the team. I understand not telling Itsuki because she’s young and got the short end of the stick when it came to losing a bodily function. But Karin is a veteran that has trained all her life to fight the Vertex, telling her that her whole objective in life will permanently cripple her sooner or lat—ok, now I see why they won’t tell her just yet.
Fu does assume that not recovering what they lost is just a possibility which is clearly a coping mechanism to deal with this mess. Can’t wait for that to blow up in her face.
After an awkward talk with a restaurant lady, Fu is back home trying to send a message to the Taisha to see if there are any updates on their case. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that the answer is going to be “nope”.
The next day, Fu spots Itsuki turning down an invitation to hang out with two other girls. Some poking reveals that they wanted to sing some karaoke and she naturally can’t with no voice and all. But there’s no time for a response because real life decided to join us for once. See, Fu is Itsuki’s legal guardian which means a teacher interrupts their conversation to talk about her little sister’s academic situation. Basically while she’s a nice girl, they can’t ignore the fact that she can’t sign and the teacher fears that any more changes in the curriculum will not be good for her self-esteem. Fu once again deludes herself into thinking this is a temporary problem.
That does make me wonder, though. I have the feeling that Itsuki will end up speaking again at some point but my question is how? I’ve joked about rewriting the universe but right now that seems like the most likely option since these are god-like beings we’re talking about here.
We cut back to Fu cooking and waking up her sister so she can eat. She tries to make some small talk—as much as one can when your conversation partner is mute. Once again, the cultural festival gets mentioned and I’m really starting to wonder if that’s going to be part of the climax.
Of course, Itsuki can’t play any speaking roles so she’s going to work backstage, something that Fu immediately tells her won’t be necessary because her voice will come back before the festival rolls around. Later, she checks her eye to see if her sight is recovering and it’s clear that her sister’s singing career couldn’t be deader at this point.
The next day, Togo calls both Yuna and Fu over to her house. But make no mistake, this isn’t a sleepover. Not yet, anyway. Togo has something to show them. Aaand she pulled out a knife. Great.
Ok, I hope you are sitting because, get this: Togo isn’t the most stable person of the group. I know, shocking isn’t it?
Basically, she tried to cut her own neck but her fairy—they spell it “faery” in the subtitles but for the sake of simplicity I’m gonna keep calling them that—protects her. And then things get creepy. Togo knew this was gonna happen because her multiple suicide attempts failed. Lovely.
So basically, the fairies are there to stop heroes from dying… something we already learned at the beginning of the series. Granted, not being able to commit suicide because of outside forces is super creepy but it doesn’t have as much weight as “slowly losing functions of your body”. Sure, it’s another part of this pile of crap that makes the girls fight until they literally fall to pieces but I’m totally seeing Yuna’s point here.
Of course, the most interesting part here is that being unable to die proves Nogi’s story, so the after-effects are indeed permanent. Yay.
Naturally, this little revelation is bad news for Fu since her sister won’t be able to speak again and it’s technically all her fault for creating the Hero Club in the first place and letting Itsuki join.
We cut back to Karin as she receives a message from the Taisha. The other girls are, and I quote, “psychologically unstable”. That’s not a ploy to get the girls to fight each other, no sir.
Also, this scene with Karin reminds me of something I should have mentioned when she first showed up. Some sources but strangely not IMDb (fucking liers) point to her having the same English voice actress as Sayaka Miki. I just think it’s funny that she plays a character her that initially was pretty much like Kyoko Sakura, the girl that tried to kill her. You know, one those weird connections that show up when you look at something long enough.
Fu also gets a message, or rather, a phone call from a lady working at a music studio and yes, I think you know where this is going. Itsuki passed the initial auditions and Fu just learned that her sister likes to sing.
Things get a little ridiculous but in a way that kind of works when, after not properly ending the call and going to Itsuki’s room to look for her, Fu finds dozens of books she’s been reading to fix her voice, written proof that she wants to sing once she recovers and the recording for her audition.
You know, after not hearing Itsuki for a while, her voice sounds kinda off. I guess it must be the fact that the character isn’t there and that I feel they put a voice filter to make it sound like it was actually coming from the laptop but I don’t know.
Anyway, back to the ironic audition. Naturally, Itsuki starts talking about her home life and specially about Fu whom she looks up to. Apparently she always felt like she was living in her shadow but aims to one day be her equal and singing professionally made do the trick.
While this is going on, Fu receives a message from the Taisha. Same old same old, they believe the girls will get better eventually which is clearly just bullshit at this point.
Itsuki finally ends her speech about how good her life with the Hero Club is and how she loves her friends, and starts singing. Fu can’t take it anymore and starts crying, even accidentally hitting the table on her way out because she’s that overwhelmed.
And to make things even better, Fu remembers what Itsuki had told her on the fourth episode about having found a goal in life. So now she put the pieces together… jeez, that must really suck.
Boy does it suck, Fu turns into her Hero form and jumps all over the place. Karin spots her—she was actually keeping an eye of her after receiving the message from the Taisha—and goes after her. Now this makes me wonder, what would normal people see? I was under the impression the girls could only transform during a crisis and while inside that weird looking dimension but apparently not. I would just like to see a series some day that explored that sort of thing and also explained why magic needs to be hidden while they are at it.
Regardless, time for a pseudo-fight. Fu is clearly not in the best of moods and wants to destroy the Taisha for lying all the time about, well, everything. Honestly, I can’t blame her.
Fu tries to explain her point of view which sounds like complete nonsense to Karin. See? This is why good communication between teammates is good. But I joke, Karin is so shocked she actually doesn’t have anything to add and since she’s not actively fighting, Fu is more than happy to blow off steam by throwing her around like a ragdoll.
Yuna shows up to protect Karin and for some reason I feel like I’ve seen this before. The yellow one losing her head over the truth of their powers and attacking the red one only to have the pink one try to stop her? Déjà vu.
But I’m kidding. Yuna brings up a valid point: Not fighting meant the world ending so it’s not anyone’s fault. I personally disagree with that last part but she’s right. Attacking her friends isn’t going to solve anything. Case in point, this little confrontation made Yuna get closer to achieving Mankai.
Itsuki also shows up and simply hugs her sister. Fu just collapses and starts to cry again, trying to apologize for her behavior.
Itsuki assures her that the fight is over and they won’t be losing body functions again. Just ignore the fact that you still have your cellphones and can transform. Regardless, not being able to sing is not a problem for Itsuki because while it sucks that she can’t anymore, she only learned she loved doing that because of Fu and her friends. She doesn’t regret joining the Hero Club, even with what that means.
Fu just wails some more while Itsuki keeps hugging her, all while the latter’s recording keeps playing in the background. It’s really touching and all but I just realized that Togo is nowhere to be found here.
In the final sequence, we get a flashback of Itsuki singing while the girls cheer her on.
I honestly think this episode should have been titled “Fu and the extremely bad not very good awful day” because that’s basically what it was. It’s nice seeing how the episode about Itsuki finding the courage to sing was turned on its head here and I love Fu’s reaction. Normally I would expect her to sulk and the episode would end much like it did but without transformations or a fight. The fight also is anything but that, with her just throwing attacks here and there to tire herself out and without injuring any of the other girls. She’s angry but still logical.
Of course, the lack of Togo here worries me a bit, especially after she admitted to trying to commit suicide several times already. And that’s kind of sad when the episode ends in a reunion of the whole team. Sure, she’s the most robotic out of the five but even Karin is there so she has no excuse.