Magical Girl Ore
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 12 of
Magical Girl Ore ?
Last week, I wrote that Magical Girl Ore had a lot to wrap up in its final episode. But “Magical Girl - Watashi” wasn't exactly an uproarious conclusion. In the end, it fell into the same trap that befalls so many parody shows: it became the very thing it parodied. Save for a few quirky details, this was a textbook finish the likes of which you'd find in any other magical girl show.
Forget that Manager/demon lord is also a magical girl otaku. Forget that the fairies carry themselves like a yakuza organization. At the heart of it, the conclusion saw everyone working together to defeat an unexpected final enemy. (This was made even drier than necessary with an extended explanation of how demon respawning works that was told instead of shown.) Everyone teams up, the day is saved, and it's back to nearly normal for everyone involved. I can't complain too much about this since the show did resolve the mess it put itself into last episode. It's maintained a flippant tone and some ridiculous details, like the neverending self-aware Love Power attack that includes the phrase “Final Episode,” but it's not breaking any new ground in its resolution. The parody is only in the details, and the core is standard magical girl fare.
Meanwhile, I'm disappointed in what didn't get resolved. Who is Saki's cyborg-loving dad? Whither Cyborg Fujimoto? Will Mohiro ever learn Magical Girl Ore's true identity? What's going to happen to the Prisma idols' careers? They seemed content in the final episode, but we were told previously that they were in serious trouble. Finally, there's no romantic resolution to speak of either. Hyoe simply pulls apart Mohiro and Ore to remind them that idols can't have romantic relationships. We had the potential to say something about love and gender with this—it was building up to a parallel between Mohiro and Ore, and Saki's dad and Saki's mom's magical girl form.
On that note, its lack of anything interesting to say about gender is my biggest disappointment with the show in general. Looking at Magical Girl Ore as a whole, why did the girls transform into muscular men in their magical forms? The in-show reason is that men are physically stronger, but the meta reason seems to be simply that it's funny to see tough guys in dresses. Gender doesn't really seem to matter to anyone in the show. Sakuyo is the best example of this since she honestly loves Saki no matter how she looks. She uses photos of a female Saki to fuel her Love Power while she fights, but afterward she's content to embrace the healing power of Saki's pecs. In Magical Girl Ore, gender swapping led to hijinks and the occasional funny joke, but its treatment of the subject never approached true satire. It was never as daring as I would have liked, playing it safe at nearly every opportunity. Magical Girl Ore was silly and sometimes bizarre, but in the end, it was mostly just the same kind of magical girl show it parodied.
Magical Girl Ore is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist.
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