Magical Girl Ore
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Magical Girl Ore ?
Magical Girl Ore did something I didn't think it could do any longer: it surprised me. After wading through a ho-hum middle section, it came out of the blue with a couple of twists I didn't expect. While the rush toward a conclusion in the last quarter can make other shows go too quickly, Magical Girl Ore is finally able to set an interesting pace. “Stalking” takes a different structure than usual, and Saki and Sakuyo don't battle or even transform. Instead, the episode follows a loose thematic parallel through three different daily routines—with a jaw-dropping conclusion.
Our episode begins with a morning routine several decades ago, with Sayori chomping on photographed food in her rush to school (the live action doesn't impress me, I am so over this tired joke). We get to spy on the moment Saki's mom became a magical girl, which turns out to be the moment Saki's parents fell in love. Uno-kun, who is to cyborgs what Haruhi Suzumiya is to espers, time-travelers, and aliens, doesn't care if Sayori is in her male form when they fall for each other. This sets an excellent precedent for Mohiro, who's if not outright in love with Ore, certainly has stronger feelings for his constant rescuer than he does for Saki. The existence of Saki's dad, who has never even been mentioned, raises some interesting questions, chief among them just who Cyborg Fujimoto is under that mask.
Next, we get the weakest part of the episode. Saki and Sakuyo don the exact same disguises to do the exact same thing. “Hey, this is just like last episode,” Sakuyo notes, but just like when Sayori insulted the audience for thinking she was having sex with Kokoro-chan, pointing it out doesn't make it less lazy. More successful is the episode's first twist, where Saki gets angry. “You had that super suggestive close-up! What was the point of that?” When this anime points out its shortcomings, it's embarrassing, but when it points out this dramatic pivot, it shines.
So let's talk about those twists. After he doles out a million yen for Magical Angel Creamy Mami (this was Studio Pierrot's earliest magical girl show), Manager Konami appears to dash off without it, and in a strange wordless scene with a level of significance I'm still debating, he appears to almost be hit by a car. But the big surprise is that even though Magical Girl Ore has been all about exploiting old clichés (with mixed results), the discovery that Konami is the bad guy seems to subvert one instead. Even though they were laying it on thick that Hyoue was probably evil, I never suspected the red herring because I underestimated what had been a standard magical girl storyline playing trope bingo with repeated parody gags.
Now things are getting interesting as we gear up toward a fairy king vs. demon lord showdown, with the magical girls and Disney Princess Mohiro caught in the middle. This episode had a depth to it that so many previous episodes were lacking. For once, I'm excited to see where it takes this new direction.
Magical Girl Ore is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist.
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