Magical Girl Ore Episode 6
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Magical Girl Ore ?
Just how long can an episode stretch a single joke? This episode of Magical Girl Ore would like the answer to be twenty minutes, but I can't say it's successful there. In “Hot Springs Business,” the cast goes to a hot springs resort, but between karaoke, demons, and concealing their identities, Saki and Sakuyo don't get a moment to relax. There's a lot of potential to explore by putting two gender-shifters in an environment that centers around sex-separated bathing, but the episode tosses most of that out the window to pit Saki's Ore form against the silent Mohiro in a sauna endurance competition that goes on for way too long.
If Magical Girl Ore were a short, with episodes anywhere from 3 to 12 minutes, I think I'd be enjoying it a lot more than I am now. It has fun art and a lot of cute visual storytelling details, like when Sakuyo and Mohiro wear welding helmets to avoid staring directly into the lightning flash that is Saki and Hyoe's rivalry. The problem is that it drags jokes on for long after they cease to be funny. As Saki continued to keep up her “love power” by staring a hole through Mohiro's dick, it occurred to me that the same result could have been achieved if they'd shown her doing this just once, instead of dozens of times. The most unforgivable part of this episode's plot is that Mohiro is essentially mute, so we watched Saki as Ore mostly wrestle with internal dialogue while Mohiro says nothing at all, which really means watching Saki make the same joke while Mohiro sits there not reacting.
Speaking of tired jokes, I'm getting really sick of Saki seeing Sakuyo, who has been nothing but sweet, as the biggest threat in the show. Saki even imagines herself weeping while Sakuyo, in her Ore form, smokes a post-coital cigarette. However, this episode might be the turning point in that romantic plot—it seems that even the show is tired of Saki's fears. Though we've seen her act more predatory in the past, this time Sakuyo is the model of consent, telling Saki she doesn't want to do anything Saki doesn't want, and it's Sakuyo who bursts into the men's bath in the nick of time to be Saki's knight in shining armor. (She does this after taking out a demon party, and this battle is treated as an afterthought instead of being allowed to add any real interest to the story.) Saki may still be deeply in love with wet blanket Mohiro, but her blushing response to Sakuyo after the rescue gives me hope that she'll see that her real dreamboat isn't Mohiro, but his sister.
This episode also showed us exactly how Saki and Sakuyo's Love Power works. They can jump into a cold bath (perhaps a nod to Ranma ½) to kill their libidos or otherwise dampen their lovey-dovey feelings for the object of their affection. It makes sense that Saki's infatuation with Mohiro fades in the bath since she's busy panicking about being discovered, with Ashita no Joe-esque art coming out to emphasize just how far she is past her limit. But just as the minutes in the sauna dragged on for Saki, they were also dragging on for the audience. There was too little tension in this episode, and even the arbitrary countdown clock couldn't make me excited to see just how long Saki was going to be stuck in the bath.
Magical Girl Ore is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist.
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