“Kaette Kita Mahō Shōjo” (帰ってきた魔法少女)
A new Magical Girl horror anime just this time with a military theme to it which is something I tend to stay away from but of course I always like a bit of Magical Girl Horror. So here we are.
To be fair I really liked the military aspect of it so far. It basically gave them human organisation instead of some magical creature popping up to direct them, it also means that now the world isn’t being attacked by monsters disguised as cute things the Magical Girls can actually focus on threats facing humanity BY humanity.
I don’t think that’ll last the entire series, there will probably be something Magical coming out of the woodwork at some point but in this episode the main character Asuka was brought out of retirement by something as simple as a terrorist whose escape put someone that had befriended Asuka in trouble. After spending most of the episode trying to juggle not being a Magical Girl and being a little distant from people her two worlds collided in the way she feared with someone she cares for in trouble and her having to kill to save them.
It wasn’t a dramatic episode or even a particularly interesting one but it got what it had to do done.
We were introduced to HOW there are Magical Girls, WHY there are Magical Girls and what happens to them after the HOW and WHY have been eliminated. It turned from a simple story of a Girl trying to move on in the same way I guess any solider would try after leaving the army to a story of how she was dragged back in. I’m not saying it was a bad episode but it wasn’t flashy and even the big moments that made you think “what the hell?!” weren’t over done, her having her parents kidnapped and cut to pieces for example was a horrifying scene underplayed so well that it got its point across without being gory for the sake of it.
There isn’t much to say about the characters so far either.
Asuka herself is very reserved but we’ve seen exactly why she’s reserved. Her two new friends are very over the top but have their charm as a double act. Everyone else was just there for the story and other then her Guardian didn’t really need any closer inspection on their personalities so far.
So I really liked it. I liked that it didn’t go out to shock from the first episode and I enjoyed getting the story slowly told. It has done something that not a lot of stories do which is get the whole past of the character out of the way in one episode so that the now can be focused on. Of course there are still bits and pieces that can be added in, she went through a lot facing terrors we can’t imagine, but we know WHO Asuka is and WHY she is the way she is. WHAT she does now is the driving force of the episode and whilst there might have been changes to her that will be explained and all the rest I feel I don’t really have any questions that need answering. Also she isn’t a character that is going to annoy anyone, you just GET her. She isn’t overly sweet ready to be destroyed by a horrible world, she isn’t depressed as hell ready to fight back. She seems like a normal kid who did something heroic and has ended up in a horrible place but is just trying to get on.
THAT is something I LOVE about it. I might not be explaining it perfectly but I just love that she’s a character and not a bunch of stereotypes of what this character should be.