Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka : Babel Brigade – Combat Begins

Episode 4

Baberu Ryodan – Kōsen Kaishi” ( バベル旅団-交戦開始)

Nozomi has been kidnapped and Asuka by complete coincidence is facing seeing another of her innocent friends being put through a traumatic experience just because she seems to be drawn to that stuff…

The torture scenes have been hard to watch but there is that double standard that at least the people we’ve seen being tortured are adults and as far as we know not nice people either. So when the time comes for one of the girls we’ve gotten to know, a innocent in all ways, to be tortured knowing full well that the police aren’t going to save them and the Spec-Ops team can’t be called in until a Magical Weapon is used is just too difficult to watch.

In fact the torture scenes with Nozomi are even worse I guess because we actually see the majority of what they do to her. Pulling her skin off using red hot pliers and using water torture.

It is horrible.

This entire episode just built up this horrible world in which we’re spending time. A place where they would rather do nothing then try to help a kid who has been kidnapped because of “budgets” and pride. A world that has been exposed to magic and all the wonder it has to bring yet turns it towards the one thing I guess humans are most drawn too, death and destruction.

Abigail is a truly horrific character, whilst Nozomi’s dad did his job with a dead eyed stare, the belief in what he was doing being the right thing, Abigail tortures a total innocent more for fun then the needed footage she needed. In fact the entire beginning part of her video seemingly is useless because it featured the two scary looking Russian’s she has with her, something she doesn’t want seen on the film.

Honestly watched this episode with my mouth wide open because I couldn’t believe just how much they were going to show of the torture. It wasn’t really grim or anything like that but we’d lived life with Nozomi and kind of knew who she was and what she was about. It made it worse, it made it painful to watch and really made me want to cry.

Weirdly I love Asuka as a character but I can’t really tell you why. I was completely behind her in this episode and I felt the pain she must have felt in the brief moments she was blaming herself for this. I guess they got a lot of her backstory and where she is in her own head out of the way in the first episode and whilst she’s a broken person we can understand her a lot better then some of the girls in Magical Girl series like this who are wishy washy or victims to something more horrific then we’d ever be able to understand. She just wants a normal life but keeps being brought back to this horrible fight that right now shouldn’t even be going on.

I said in the last review that half the reason this is so horrible is purely because it is based in a reality that might seem fantastical to us but does happen in the world. It’ll happen to the most unlucky of people, people we’ll never meet and hopefully never be one of but it happens and knowing deep down that the war they are fighting is a very real war in our own existence is hard.

Really hard.

One thought on “Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka : Babel Brigade – Combat Begins”

  1. I still think they showed a little too much of the torture but the parallels to real world situations and to the way bureaucracy would probably react if there were magical girls continues to be quite a strong selling point for this anime.

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