One of the hardest things to pull of is a good second episode. A show should try and have a good first episode, and a second needs to be a good follow up. Magical Girl Raising Project’s second episode attempts to do this, and for the most part it works.
What happens in episode 2 of Magical Girl Raising Project?
In today’s episode we’re introduced to the method with which the magical girls of the town are to be cut in half. Interestingly enough it’s not a death game right away. Instead we’re explained that the girls must collect magical candies by doing good deeds. At the end of each week the girl with the least candies will lose their powers, as well as their life. The girls don’t know about that last part though, and it’ll be interesting to see how they find out, as none of them know who Nemurin, the first victim, was in real life.
The episode also spends a good chunk of it’s A-part giving us info on the character of Ripple, the ninja girl. After a brief exposition scene about the current situation, we dive into a flash back. The flashback explores her relationship with her partner Top Speed, as well as set up Calamity Mary as a potential threat. As a wild and dangerous magical girl, Calamity Mary has clear potential to be a strong opponent once things go south for the magical girls.
What does it try to accomplish?
The clear purpose of this episode was to give characterization, a very important aspect of all stories. It’s extremely important for a death game to have at least interesting characters. If you can’t make the viewer form a bond with the characters, their death will leave the viewer lacking investment. Very quickly into the B-part it was clear that Nemurin was going to go.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, a death can be obvious but still impactful. Nemurin’s death did give me hope in one aspect though. I was a tad worried after the first episode that the show was going to go super over the top with edge for the deaths. Nemurin’s death however we hardly get to see the body, but you know she’s dead the moment you see her limp arm. Having her mom find her death body is somewhat of an obvious development, but as a sucker for scenes like that, I found it enjoyable.
The biggest weakness this episode had was the low amount of screen time the protagonist got. Developing the rest of the cast is important, especially with one as large as this shows, but the hero is important as well. When we see such a striking contrast in the leads personality in the opening scene and the rest of the show, you need to show how she gets there. Giving us a couple of scenes to show that she’s very optimistic will help when all goes to hell, but we had that in the first episode as well. I have hopes for Koyuki, and I hope the series at least shows some of the promises the first episode gave.
The visuals of Magical Girl Raising Project episode 2
Sadly the episode was not very visually exciting. I praised the series for it’s fantastic color pallet last week, but it didn’t get as many chances to shine this week. Much of the episode takes place at night, so everything has the same dark blue tint. The scenes in the chat room have an interesting chibi style, but it doesn’t add much. The episode’s animation, while not stellar, was consistent, which is all I really ask for in an anime.
The series is setting itself up for an exciting “shit hits the fan” episode, so I can forgive an episode that leaves things to be desired like this one. I can’t see Magical Girl Raising Project being anything near anime of the season, but it still very well could be great, but we’ll have to wait and see.