I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives.
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 11 of
I'm Standing on 1,000,000 Lives. ?
Raise your hand if you had to stop and check at least once to make sure you were watching the right series while viewing this episode's prologue and opener.
(For the record, my hand is raised.)
It turns out that We Are the Majika Knights! is the long-running
Pretty Cure rip-off magical girl series that Yuka was enamored with while growing up, and which in her most desperate circumstances serves as the inspiration to keep her going after nearly freezing to death last episode. Kudos to the production staff for their commitment to this series-within-a-series, as they even went as far as making an opener and title card just for Majika Knights, which replace this series' regular entries for this episode. (This is hardly the first time something like this has been done, but it's still a neat gimmick.) They also went an additional step further by throwing an intriguing twist or two into the Majika Knight! content. For instance, why is there only one Majika Purple but three different Majika Pinks? Were they each just temporaries and Purple was the mainstay? Inquiring minds want to know! The magical girl thing amusingly resurfaces after the credits, too, including a final shot that cannot, unfortunately, be unseen.
The ultimately more important aspect is that the delusions keep Yuka going when she's ready to give in. (We also get her backstory in the process, which is a standard “played the part to fit in” scenario.) That's good, because Iu finds that carelessly straying out onto a not-completely-frozen pond is a bad idea, Kusue cannot revive because she has frozen to death, and Yusuke, who revives after his fall and wanders around in a dungeon for a while, has to deal with worm poop before literally becoming dinner for another worm-like critter. These kinds of complications are to be expected, as where's the tension if the heroes don't go down to the wire on this? The minor surprise is the sudden appearance of a female magic-user riding a giant cat, who further seems to know about “players” (as she puts it). She is also dusky-skinned when no one else in this setting has been. Who she is and why she knows such information is a mystery for another day (and probably another season), however, as she doesn't go with Yuka when the quest ends.
The real meat of the episode comes in the last scene where the Game Master answers Yuka's question in a surprisingly thorough fashion. Anyone who has been paying attention probably had suspicions that this was not a game despite the game-like stats the heroes can see, so the revelation that this is a parallel world, rather than a game, is not a big surprise. That the heroes are virtual in the setting, but no one else is, is the twist which explains everything. And that means the moral consequences of what Yusuke has been doing now unavoidably come into the picture. Killing in a game and killing for real are two different things for anyone other than a true sociopath, and now Yusuke has to contend with that.
With only one episode left, how is this series going to a stopping point? The story feels like it is just getting started.
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