Magical Girl Ore
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Magical Girl Ore ?
Magical Girl Ore may not be a great show, but it's got some good characters. This week's episode featured cameos from all of my favorites, but even a more-interesting-than-usual episode reminded me that Magical Girl Ore isn't terribly memorable even at its best. It's clear that a show based on a 12-chapter manga has been running out of ideas for a while now, and the more it reuses the same gags, the less funny they become. I can already tell I'm not going to recall this show a year from now, but with such (occasionally) great characters, it's not for lack of potential.
Repetition can be the key to humor, but only when it continuously raises the stakes. Otherwise you're just telling the same joke three times in a row. Take Saki's breakfast on the go—once again, she's chomping on a needlessly unportable cuisine that isn't any more shocking than her other meals. I thought Daily Lives of High School Boys did this same gag better by repeatedly doubling down—we see the first boy eating toast before the other two show up with increasingly more bizarre fare. I know it sounds like a nitpick, but this entire episode is about taking a handful of jokes and prolonging them with repetition that isn't any more surprising the second time around or the third. Take the scene between Saki's mom and Ko, featuring plenty of moans and imagery of a train going off the tracks. Nobody thought this overlong gag was really about sex, but both Sayo and Ko berate the viewer for considering it. “It's such a cliché. Is there really demand for this crap?” No, there isn't. When the story has the characters insult the very joke they're trying to deliver, it's even less funny.
There was one moment in the episode that did surprise me, when Mr. Manager suggested that maybe Saki isn't as good at singing and dancing as she thinks she is. This has been the elephant in the room since the first episode and a great character feature for Saki that pokes fun at the way most magical girls are effortlessly good at everything. I was hoping the show would delve into this a little deeper, but it was more of a jumping-off point to show off Manager's skills. Though it dragged on longer than necessary, Manager's sketch was the funniest part of the episode, showing an unexpected side to a character I was already warming up to. (Don't miss the additional art in the credits that features his performance.)
Other great characters make their appearances but don't really get a chance to shine. There's Ko in his “Kokoro-chan” form fresh out of the bath, followed by a completely mute Cyborg Fujimoto (was his VA busy this week?) and a full chorus of demons chirping a song about the Alps—which American viewers will recognize as the tune to Yankee Doodle. Poor Saki spends a lot of this episode uncomfortable as she questions her talents (as she should), fights off a clingy male Sakuyo (her name is listed as SakiGaSuki-Sama for the green room), and flat-out pretends she doesn't see a demon in the bathroom before resigning herself to more slaughter. We've seen all of this in previous episodes, so perhaps Saki is making that face knowing the entire comedic plot relies on her deadpan reactions to things that have already happened and will probably happen again.
It's hard to stay invested when this plot has been telegraphed from a mile away. It's obvious Hyou is controlling the demons and pretty likely that Sayo's mom is going to pass her magic wand to her daughter now that Saki's is broken. Sure, it's an inoffensive and occasionally funny episode, but it doesn't have enough material to be particularly engaging.
Magical Girl Ore is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Lauren writes about geek careers at Otaku Journalist.
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