Category: Anime

My Hero Academia Episode 87

My Hero Academia Episode 87

Japanese Hero Billboard Chart

Did anyone else think the Japanese Hero Billboard Chart was rigged? I don’t mean the fact that there was a literal washing machine in the top 10. I mean the fact that Mt. Lady wasn’t in the top 10. Based on the previous 86 episodes of this series, I was sure Mt. Lady was up there.

I think she ended up being number 23, which isn’t bad considering how many pro heroes there are in Japan. But when you take into account how many male fans she’s been shown to have around the country, and the fact that she’s a strong hero, you’d expect her to be higher up.

Also, although we didn’t get to see how high up Rock Lock ranked, it was good to see him make an appearance.

Wild, Wild Pussycats Return

I mentioned in a previous episode review that I had thought one of the Wild, Wild Pussycats died during the attack on the summer training camp. That was later stated to not be the case, and in episode 87 we finally get to see this team back together.

The member who I thought died actually just had her quirk stolen by All for One. But, this is important because it gives us an idea of what life will be like for Mirio now that he doesn’t have a quirk.

Although she was an active pro hero, without her quirk Ragdoll is demoted to the position of team secretary. While the other three members of the Pussycats are out fighting crime, she’ll be sitting in an office doing paperwork. So if that’s what happens to a pro hero who loses their quirk, it’s safe to say Mirio can’t be a pro hero without his.

The Wild, Wild Pussycats from the anime series My Hero Academia season 4
The Wild, Wild Pussycats

I would have liked to think that Mirio could still be a low level hero even without his quirk. After all, he’s trained extensively in hand to hand combat, and can still effectively fight like that against villains with quirks. But if even a former pro hero can’t continue working without a quirk, he probably can’t either.

And speaking of Ragdoll’s stolen quirk, it’s stated that the only way for it to be returned to her is if All for One chooses to give it back. And even if he were to be so kind, he has to use his own quirk to do so. Obviously allowing All for One to use his quirk is a massive risk, so it’s not going to happen.

But what if there was another way for Ragdoll to reclaim her quirk which didn’t involve All for One? I think it’s reasonable to assume Eri’s quirk would work on Ragdoll just like it may work on Mirio. It would simply revert her body back to before her quirk was stolen.

Number One Hero Endeavor

Obviously Endeavor was going to be named as the new number one hero on the Japanese Hero Billboard Chart. But what I didn’t expect was that he was going to attempt to be a friendly hero so soon after talking with All Might.

Even when he’s provoked by Hawks at the ranking ceremony, he doesn’t retaliate in a manner you would expect from him. He recognized that Hawks was attempting to get a reaction out of him, and he didn’t fall for the bait.

Later on in the episode we even saw him attempt to be friendly, or at least his version of friendly, with one of his fans. This is something we’ve seen him do before, but it really seems like he’s trying harder now to fill the void which was left by All Might’s retirement.

We have to remember that Endeavor didn’t really see All Might as a rival. Even though he wanted to one day surpass him, he looked up to him first and foremost.

Number one hero Endeavor from the anime series My Hero Academia season 4
Number one hero Endeavor

Unfortunately, I was incorrect about Endeavor going up against Gigantomachia as his first battle to prove that he’s the new number one hero. Of course, he’s been the number one hero ever since All Might retired, but this would have been the battle in which he won the hearts of the civilians.

It looks like he’ll still get to have a battle like that, which will hopefully finish next episode since it’s the final episode of the season, but it won’t be against Gigantomachia. Instead, Endeavor will be fighting against a new kind of Nobu.

Rising Star Hero Hawks

Hawks is a somewhat interesting character because he’s kind of all over the place. He’s currently the second ranked pro hero, but he’s also only 22 years old. And I think it was stated that he started his own hero agency at the age of 18 and broke into the top 10 pro heroes by the time he was 20.

So obviously this guy is a strong hero — and we see that this is at least partially the case. At first it might seem that the fact he has wings and can fly is all his quirk is, but there’s more to it than that. He can also shoot out his feathers and control them freely, which is decently powerful.

However, we don’t know exactly how strong he is in comparison to actual villains, because all we’ve seen him do so far are low level heroic acts. But due to the fact that he’s the number two hero, I think it’s safe to say he’s taken down at least a few powerful opponents.

Number two hero Hawks from the anime series My Hero Academia season 4
Number two hero Hawks

But the strange part about Hawks is that although he’s ranked so high among the pro heroes, he has no ambition to become number one. He’s perfectly fine letting Endeavor be the number one hero and doing all the work which comes along with that role.

As long as the number one hero does all the heavy lifting, Hawks is perfectly content to sit back, relax, and promote that hero so he has less villains to fight. It’s a pretty odd dynamic for a pro hero to have, especially at his level.

If he just wants to take it easy and let other people fight the powerful villains, you’d think becoming a pro hero wouldn’t be the best career choice. And the fact that he started his own agency at the age of 18 is even stranger because that implies he was working towards becoming a top ranked hero — it didn’t happen by accident.

Conclusion

What did you think of My Hero Academia episode 87? Which pro heroes do you think deserve a spot within the top 10 rankings? Do you think Eri can recover Ragdoll’s quirk? And, what are your thoughts on Hawks? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray anime movie cover art
Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray

Overview

Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray (Lupin the IIIrd: Chikemuri no Ishikawa Goemon / LUPIN THE IIIRD 血煙の石川五ェ門) is the third and final movie in the Lupin the IIIrd trilogy which also includes Fujiko’s Lie and Jigen’s Gravestone. Or at least it’s the third and final one I’ve watched.

Originally I was told that the chronological order was Fujiko’s Lie, Jigen’s Gravestone, then Goemon’s Blood Spray. However, after watching them all, I’m pretty sure Goemon’s Blood Spray comes first, or at least before Jigen’s Gravestone.

In Jigen’s Gravestone, we see the antagonist from Goemon’s Blood Spray briefly, and Lupin and Jigen recognize him. However, that didn’t really affect my viewing experience because the movies tell separate stories which are only loosely related.

And aside from the antagonist having a cameo in one of the other movies, this one is the most unrelated of them all. Of course, that largely has to do with the fact that it focuses on Goemon, who doesn’t appear in either of the other movies. He also barely made an appearance in the other Lupin movie I’ve seen, The Castle of Cagliostro.

There were also some other minor differences which set this movie apart from the other two in the trilogy, such as Fujiko having a different hair color and style. She almost didn’t seem like the same Fujiko from the other two movies — and this was the first of the three in which she wasn’t nude.

Unfortunately, despite this movie having the most action of the three, I actually found it to be the worst one. As I’ll discuss, the antagonist was clearly the least interesting of them all. And I didn’t really like how Lupin was basically a passenger along for the ride in this one.

Bermuda Ghost

The main antagonist of Goemon’s Blood Spray is a man who goes by the name Hawk, but is also referred to as the Bermuda Ghost. I think he’s called Hawk because it’s a bird of prey and he’s an assassin, but he got the nickname Bermuda Ghost because he was supposedly killed in Bermuda.

That last point is where Hawk’s supernatural ability comes into play. We don’t know how he came to possess this ability exactly, but I assume he was created with it by the same organization behind Binkam and Yael (who didn’t really have a supernatural ability other than looking like a zombie).

Hawk (the Bermuda Ghost) from the anime movie Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray
Hawk (the Bermuda Ghost)

Hawk’s ability allows him to shrug off massive amounts of force and heat. In Bermuda he survived a carpet bombing, we saw him survive a turbine explosion in a ship, and he even survived falling off a cliff. However, unlike with Binkam, Hawk’s ability is never attempted to be explained.

We also have no idea why he has steel teeth. That’s just a thing he has. Perhaps his resistance to force and heat didn’t apply to his teeth, so he lost them all and replaced them with something as sturdy as the rest of his body.

So, Hawk has a few things about him which make him the worst antagonist of the three. He has an ability, but it’s not really explained and it’s not all that interesting anyway. He’s a lumberjack cowboy. And he just generally looks pretty stupid.

It really felt like Hawk was written too specifically to be the antagonist for Goemon. Goemon is the epitome of the Japanese stereotype, and Hawk is the epitome of the American stereotype. Also, because Hawk’s body is as strong as steel, they got to set up the whole idea that Goemon can cut through steel, which is a classic samurai trope.

Goemon’s Resolve

As I mentioned, Lupin takes a back seat in this movie compared to his role in the other two. He’s around for the entire thing, but the movie really focuses on the fact that Goemon wants to defend his honor by defeating Hawk without their fight being interfered with.

In Fujiko’s Lie, Lupin (and Jigen) were constantly rescuing Fujiko or otherwise distracting Binkam while she protected Gene (Jean?). And in Jigen’s Gravestone, Lupin was helping Jigen take down Yael. But in Goemon’s Blood Spray, Lupin and Jigen just kind of run away and watch.

They would get involved, but they know that Goemon doesn’t want them to. And in this way, although the movie is about Goemon, I felt that his resolve to do everything on his own made the movie a bit worse.

Goemon Ishikawa XIII from the anime movie Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon's Blood Spray
Goemon Ishikawa XIII

While I love sword wielding characters in anime, and Goemon definitely had some nice sword action towards the end of the movie, he’s surprisingly not my favorite of Lupin’s group. I think he might actually be at the bottom for me, below Jigen, Fujiko, and Lupin himself.

There was also that “training” montage part of the movie in which Goemon just got beat up by everything. I can’t say that really made me see him as a cool character, especially when he got bodied by that log at the waterfall.

But I guess it was confirmed that Goemon is the strongest member of Lupin’s group, so there’s that. We know he can cut bullets in half, so Jigen and Lupin can’t do anything to him (and Lupin says Goemon will kill them if they intervene). And I’m pretty sure Goemon wouldn’t get seduced by Fujiko either.

Conclusion

In the end, Lupin the IIIrd: Goemon’s Blood Spray is a 7/10 for me. It was a good movie with some good animation and fight choreography, but it just wasn’t as good as the previous two overall.

If you enjoyed this review, or found it helpful in any way, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month, and for suggesting this trilogy of Lupin movies to me. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 12

Somali and the Forest Spirit Episode 12

Bonded Father and Child

I have to say, I really liked the final episode of Somali and the Forest Spirit. It wasn’t the best episode of the series, but it did include one of the best individual performances by a voice actor — potentially of all time.

Inori Minase has been one of my favorite voice actors for years at this point. She’s in a lot of anime, and does an amazing job every time (just like Kana Hanazawa, who unfortunately is not in Somali). And while I’m sure many people would say that Rem was her best character, I think she did even better with Somali.

Also, I loved Inori as Mei in Endro~! which is an anime more people should watch.

The performance by Inori when Somali is begging Golem not to leave her and telling him that he does have emotions was probably the best scene of the entire series specifically because of her voice acting.

And voice acting aside, I just think Somali is a really well written character with some well written lines. For example, when the old men in the town in this episode explain the wind-rider flower’s connection to the festival, Somali immediately asks Golem if he knew that already.

That line may not seem that important, but it’s exactly what a kid her age would do. They learn a new piece of information, and immediately want to know if their parent — who they believe knows everything — already knew it.

Harvest Festival

Unfortunately, we never actually get the name of the town visited in this episode. We can see that it’s loosely based on Chinese culture, with the dragon statues and lanterns, but other than that, this town doesn’t really seem to have any defining characteristics that we’re told of.

It’s not like Anthole City which is the gateway to the desert, Winecup Village which is an important rest stop in the desert, whatever the witch’s city was called which is the center of learning on the continent, or even Bygone City which marks the edge of civilization and the start of the frontier.

However, thanks to Bygone City, we can actually infer that this new town our characters venture to is disconnected from everywhere else they’ve been before.

Somali & the gang heading to the next town from the anime Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali & the gang heading to the next town

This new town still has recognizable customs such as harvest festivals, the townspeople are still Grotesques, and the villagers even know what golems are. But we have to remember that this town is located beyond the frontier which Bygone City marks.

We didn’t actually get to see Somali and Golem traverse the mountains in the series like we did in the opening sequence, but we can assume this town lies beyond them. That also may be why the town is loosely based on China — a similar, yet very separate culture from Japan.

And one last thing I found interesting about this town is how they connect their harvest festival to their ancestors. Another option would have been to connect it to some sort of harvest god, but I think ancestors works better here for two main reasons.

First, collectivistic cultures (which Asian cultures generally fall into) place a lot more focus on the extended family, including ancestors. Second, this sets up the idea that Golem is going to die one day (potentially soon), but that he’ll still be watching over Somali after that.

Unlimited Golem Works

I don’t really have too much to say for this section, but I did want to touch on Golem’s berserk mode one more time after last episode.

We know he lost his left arm, and I believe he mentioned that 23% of his “skin” was also removed as well — along with internal fluids and whatnot. This isn’t that bad considering I thought this berserk mode was activated in exchange for his life. It almost seemed like a self destruct mode.

Golem going berserk from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Golem going berserk

Golem was also able to use some sort of fire technique, before which he said, “internal heat and spirit limit conversion initiated.” This furthered my idea that Golem wasn’t going to survive long after this fight — he’s literally turning his own spirit into energy for these attacks.

That has to do some lasting damage to his body.

It actually reminded me of when battle shounen protagonists do things that are said to reduce their remaining life force. I remember I watched a video where all the damage Luffy had taken over the course of One Piece was added up to calculate his remaining life, and he didn’t have all that long.

A New Journey Begins

Alright, so of course I was excited to see the new town in this episode. And of course I loved Inori’s performance in this episode as well. But I think the part of the episode which got me the most excited was the very end when we got to see Somali and Golem in their new outfits.

Golem’s new look is pretty decent, but I think I preferred his original design more. Somali, on the other hand, is powerful.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Somali’s original design too with the black minotaur cape. But this new design is pretty amazing as well — especially since the horns are now a different color from her hood.

Somali and Golem wearing new outfits from the anime series Somali and the Forest Spirit
Somali and Golem wearing new outfits

When Golem disappeared during the harvest festival I really thought that was going to be it for him. It wouldn’t have been the worst anime-original end. After all, Somali would have continued to travel with Shizuno and Yabashira, and it was just set up that Golem would be watching over her from the afterlife.

But now that we got to see these two continuing their journey, possibly in a different land connected to this final village we saw, I’m hopeful for a second season. And if we do get a second season, I hope we get to see Somali in a bunch of different outfits.

Conclusion

What did you think of Somali and the Forest Spirit episode 12? Were you impressed by Inori Minase’s performance? Do you think the season should have ended with Golem’s disappearance? And what are your thoughts on Somali’s new threads? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in Discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Azur Lane

Azur Lane

Azur Lane anime series cover art
Azur Lane

Overview

Azur Lane ( アズールレーン ) is first and foremost a mobile game. But this review is about the anime series based on that mobile game which began in in 2019 and concluded in 2020 despite only being a single cour in length.

The final two episodes of the series were delayed, I believe because the studio behind it, Bibury Animation Studios, wasn’t satisfied with their quality.

And I get that it’s easy to point to that and say this studio is bad because they had to delay episodes. But I actually view it the other way around. This was the studio’s first full-length anime series, and they cared about it enough to delay those episodes so they could present something they were proud of.

I don’t think you can fault them for that.

But that’s enough about the studio and their development schedule — we’re here to discuss whether or not the Azur Lane anime is good. And before I do that, I need to point out that I have never played the Azur Lane mobile game.

I went into this series blind, only knowing that it was about boat girls. So with that in mind, I’m probably going to have some opinions which differ from those of people who have played the game. Also, any criticism or praise I have for this anime does not directly translate to the game.

Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, allow me to set the stage.

Azur Lane is a series based around the idea of anthropomorphic battleships (and other military ships) which fight against aliens known as Sirens, and also each other, I guess. I don’t know if they actually fight against each other in the game, but they do in the anime.

Countries and Characters

The world of Azur Lane is broken up into four major countries (and I think some other countries as well, but I’m going to stick with the main four). These are Eagle Union (United States), Royal Navy (United Kingdom), Sakura Empire (Japan), and Iron Blood (Germany).

It’s pretty easy to identify ships from Sakura Empire, because they’re either all kitsune (fox) girls, or just have obviously Japanese names — like Ayanami. The same goes for the ships of Iron Blood, which all feature the iron cross on their outfits and have pretty German sounding names — like Bismarck.

Ayanami, Laffey, Javelin, and Unicorn from the anime series Azur Lane
Ayanami, Laffey, Javelin, and Unicorn

Eagle Union and Royal Navy are a bit more complicated. Half the time I didn’t know which of these two countries ships were a part of, but in the end it didn’t really matter because they’re allied with each other.

Obviously I knew Enterprise is Eagle Union and Belfast is Royal Navy. But Laffey and Javelin could be either. I have no idea.

I actually just looked it up, and I got them both wrong. My guess was that Laffey was Royal Navy and Javelin was Eagle Union, but apparently Laffey is Eagle Union and Javelin is Royal Navy.

Also, because this is an anime based on a mobile gacha game, there are a lot of characters. Most of them aren’t important in any way to the story at hand, but I found it funny just how many characters they crammed into 12 episodes. I think every single character from the game may have had a cameo.

And if you’re wondering who my favorite boat girl is, it’s obviously Ayanami. The Little Beavers were pretty cool too, but unfortunately they just had a cameo. I’d definitely watch another Azur Lane anime that focused on the Little Beavers though.

Final Takeaways

So here’s where I think I’m going to lose a lot of people. I actually found Azur Lane to be extremely entertaining to watch. That’s not to say I knew what was going on, because most of the time I didn’t, but I enjoyed myself nonetheless.

This is sort of like the reason I liked Fate/Apocrypha even though everyone else hates it. I thought that was an enjoyable watch too even though the story and main character were bad.

The first episode of Azur Lane in particular made very little sense. There was even a giant fox spirit fighting against the ships at one point, and apparently that’s anime-original. I don’t know what that was all about, but considering there’s also a character who flies on a stuffed animal unicorn, I don’t think the fox spirit detracted from the show.

Enterprise and Kaga from the anime series Azur Lane
Enterprise and Kaga

Basically, my main point is that you shouldn’t go into Azur Lane expecting there to be some great story, or even great characters. It’s a mess.

But I’m also not really one of those people who say “just turn your brain off and enjoy it.” Yes, it’s a mess. But it does have good qualities at the same time, such as the obvious fan service for the mobile game players — they get to see their favorite characters animated.

And for those of us who haven’t played the game, there’s also some exceptional animation and a pretty good soundtrack. The animation in particular was way higher quality than I expected from this series.

I don’t know what episode it was, but whichever one included the scene of Ayanami being rescued as she fell into a wormhole was potentially the best animated episode of the season — across everything I watched. If not the best animated, at least the most memorable.

Conclusion

Overall, I gave Azur Lane a 7/10, which is higher than most people have rated it. The highest rating I’ve seen another review give it is a 4. But also keep in mind that the other reviews I’ve seen aren’t exactly all that fair.

One was by someone who didn’t like it because it didn’t follow the plot of the game, which I’ll accept as a valid argument (sort of). But the other three I’ve seen complain about things that don’t really matter.

The first complains that the anime wasn’t a realistic depiction of naval storytelling — which it obviously was never going to be. The second claims the series has bad animation, which is demonstrably false. And the third says it’s automatically bad because it’s based on a gacha game.

Anyway, as for the OP and ED, I really liked the OP. It had some nice visuals and a really good song. The ED wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t necessarily bad.

If you enjoyed this review or found it helpful in any way, click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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Magia Record Episode 12

Magia Record Episode 12

Why Is This So Unbearable?

Madoka Magica: Magia Record episode 12 includes many of the “big reveals” of the series. I’ll discuss them, and how they’re not actually revealing anything big, later on in this review. But before we get to that, I need to go through some updates based on information from this episode.

The first thing is Ui. There’s one episode left in the season, and we’re still no closer to figuring out where Ui is than we were at the start of the series. Iroha has come across no one who knows anything about Ui — or at least no one who will admit to knowing anything.

That in turn leads to there being three possible outcomes. Either everything is going to be wrapped up poorly next week, there’s going to be a second season which has yet to be confirmed, or we’re just not going to get a conclusion to this series.

I know that people have been saying Magia Record will need a second season for a long time now, and I don’t deny that. But at this point in time I’m not sure it will actually get one.

From what I’m seeing, we’re going to get a poor, unfinished ending to the anime and a call to action to download the game if we want to know how it ends. I don’t think that was the original intent, but I also don’t see Shaft picking this series up for another season.

If I’m wrong, great.

The second thing I want to mention is Mami. I’ve been pretty stubborn in my defense that Mami wouldn’t join the Wings of the Magius, but based on this episode, I can see why she might join. I’ll explain why that is bit by bit throughout the rest of this review.

Kanae and Mel

Kanae and Mel are two former magical girls who died in the line of duty. We don’t exactly meet them, but we see the circumstances leading up to their deaths through Mifuyu’s memories.

A question for those of you who play the mobile game: Are Kanae and Mel playable characters? Or are they just story elements? I’d imagine they’re still playable characters.

With the deaths of Kanae and Mel, Yachiyo, Mifuyu, and Momoko learn the dark truths of life and death as a magical girl. That’s their main role in the story.

Kanae (dead) from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Kanae (dead)

And looking at their deaths from this standpoint, I can sort of see why Mami might join the Wings of the Magius. In this timeline, Mami was able to protect Madoka and Sayaka (who I assume both became magical girls without issue).

But rather than snapping when she learns the truth behind magical girls, she takes it upon herself to save them from their fate. So from that standpoint, I still stand by my assertion that Mami’s mental breakdown in the original series doesn’t play into why she would join the Wings of the Magius.

Instead, Mami is taking the role of Homura in this timeline — which is also what Mifuyu has done in a sense. Originally Homura sacrificed herself to protect her friends from their fate, and that’s what Mami and Mifuyu are doing here by joining the Wings of the Magius.

However, we also have Yachiyo who takes the opposite route. Rather than trying to protect her future friends, she decides not to make any more friends so that way she can’t lose them.

And this could lead one to argue that Yachiyo is in the wrong, while the Wings of the Magius are in the right.

The (not so) Big Reveal

Now, as for what was learned from the deaths of Kanae and Mel, that’s not actually anything revolutionary. I thought the big secret Momoko planned to tell Rena had to do with what we later learned are called Doppels, but that’s not the case.

Instead, the first big reveal is that soul gems physically house the souls of magical girls; so breaking a soul gem is the same as killing a magical girl. And the second big reveal is that magical girls are just adolescent witches.

If you’ve already watched the original series, which I think is fair to assume most viewers have since this is a spin-off of it, then neither of those things are a surprise. I understand that they’re surprising for these characters, but to make that the “big reveal” doesn’t really make sense.

Rena Minami from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Rena Minami

Look, I don’t think many people would argue with me when I say the original Madoka Magica anime is better than the Magia Record anime. And one of the things the original series did better was how it revealed these dark truths about magical girls.

So I think a better way to go about doing this would have been to take a page from the original series. Rather than having this series explain these concepts again, they could have simply had Mami explain it to the girls (mostly off screen) a bit earlier and then saved this episode to focus on Doppels.

The original series is only 12 episodes and a movie, so it’s not a big commitment for people to watch that and understand how magical girls function. It’s not like when Boruto re-explains ideas from Naruto for newer fans so they don’t have to go back through 720 episodes.

Take advantage of the previous storytelling of the series.

Doppels

We’re finally given a name for the pseudo-witch forms magical girls in this series can take advantage of: Doppels.

This final part of the episode is really the only time when we’re given new information about how this world works in the episode. And it’s also the main reason I could see Mami joining the Wings of the Magius. But at the same time, I don’t think Mami knows everything, and if she did, I’m not sure she would have joined.

So the main thing here is that by using a Doppel, a magical girl’s soul gem can be purified without the need for a grief seed. This has two huge benefits.

  1. Magical girls won’t die and turn into witches when they fall into despair, because they can self-cleanse their soul gems.
  2. Magical girls will no longer need to fight witches in the future, because all witches will be defeated and no new ones will be created thanks to this self-cleansing.
Mifuyu's soul gem becoming clouded from the anime series Madoka Magica: Magia Record
Mifuyu’s soul gem becoming clouded

I think Mami would view those two benefits in a very positive light, and this is why she joined the organization. But, the fact remains that the Wings of the Magius are producing witches and Rumors which are harming civilians.

I just don’t see Mami agreeing with this, even if it’s only a temporary thing until all witches can be destroyed. She obviously knows they’re harvesting the power of witches, but maybe she doesn’t know they’re also the ones creating them in the first place.

Also, although it was revealed that Touka created the Doppels, how she did this hasn’t been explained yet. That’s a major gap which is going to need explaining. There’s obviously a downside to Doppels which simply hasn’t been revealed.

And how did Touka “implant” Doppels into the other girls?

Conclusion

Normally I’d suggest that Touka does know who Ui is and actually used Ui in the creation of the Doppels. But considering we still have no information about Ui, I’m going to differ to a more reasonable stance and say Ui has nothing to do with this.

But what did you think of Magia Record episode 12? Has your opinion on Mami joining the Wings of the Magius been changed in either direction? Did you like how the truth of magical girls was explained in this series? And how do you think Doppels are created? Let me know in the comments.

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