Magical Girl Ore
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Magical Girl Ore ?
What changed about Magical Girl Ore to make it considerably better these past two weeks? For one thing, there's finally enough content to fill an entire episode without too much repetition. For another, the show is taking bigger gambles on what it can get away with, and some of those risks are actually paying off. Even though parody is a major part of this episode as usual, it draws on original aspects for an episode with some occasionally funny moments.
Hyoe is the fairy king, Konami is the demon lord, and both of them have designs involving Saki's love interest, Mohiro. Hyoe wants to share his hypnotic voice for some undisclosed fairy reason, while Konami wants to kidnap him—for nothing more than to further his client's career. There's capitalism at work in both plans, if we're being honest. It's silly and low-stakes, and it doesn't make a ton of sense, but this effervescent tone paired with constant action seems to work. As long as the jokes keep coming, it doesn't matter if some of them are misses.
The biggest joke of the episode is its quality, which is played off as intentional through lampshading. “We have reduced animation quality so we can get on with the story. Thank you for your understanding.” This warning slides along the screen in a truly bold move for Magical Girl Ore. Moments later, Saki speculates that perhaps every other questionably animated moment so far, of which there are many, was the result of demonic influence. I think calling attention to your own flaws in order to get in front of the critics is the animation version of the “send tweet” meme, a move to avoid legitimate criticism by insisting that you are also in on the joke. But the first part, in which the demon world has a meta effect on the show at large, is pretty cool. It reminds me of the conclusion of Anime-gataris, in which the villain reduced everyone to line art. (Though of course, the Anime-gataris conclusion probably wasn't much easier to animate than usual, and therefore more plausible than this.) Additionally, this joke doesn't go on forever like the one big risk in the abysmal episode 5, which I see as the show learning from its past mistakes.
In order to resolve the poor-quality art that has enveloped the world, Saki and Sakuyo decide to fight the demon lord on his own turf, even if they suspect a trap. Sure enough, there are demons everywhere, parodying everything from Turn A Gundam to Ultraman. Although the quality of the episode is way down (intentionally or not), it turns out Konami is really just trying to machinate an engaging piece of television to propel the magical girls' career. It's a plot development that trivializes demons into office pencil-pushers, making Konami appear just as harmless as he seemed in the beginning. But these lowered stakes aren't dull; Konami's backstory of a bored demon manager and magical girl otaku makes him perhaps the most humanized and interesting character in the show. Of course, Magical Girl Ore is more speculative than it is consistent—Konami is among those who are surprised that magical girls are boys, a discovery that doesn't faze about 50% of the characters.
For an episode titled “The Final Battle,” there is still a lot to resolve. This is an upgrade for Magical Girl Ore, which would sometimes spend an episode milking a single gag into nothing, leaving no incentive for viewers to tune in next week. This episode was low on quality, but for once it was high on quantity, and that was enough to make me curious about everything it'll need to tie up in the final episode.
Magical Girl Ore is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist.
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