Maerchen Maedchen – Episode 4 Review (Flash Anime-tion)
Beware the cute ones, evidently.
Okay, so now I’m confused. This isn’t a death game, is it? Because… if this is a death game, we’re gonna have problems. I’m kinda definitely not in the mood for another Magical Girl Raising Project. Yet the more we learn about this tournament, the more it seems like they’re pushing the idea that it’s potentially lethal. This was not helped by the newest addition to the cast – Lynne. “What? But Lynne’s cute and nice and-” Yeah, hold that thought.
It’s debatable whether or not she was genuinely trying to kill anyone, during the exceptionally brief action sequence. But one thing’s fairly certain. She’s arguably the cutest one there, and definitely the villain. Or at least the “dragon.” A lot about her is pretty hazy, though there’s no effort at all put into hiding that she’s demented. Personally, though, I’m honestly the most interested in figuring out if her being the American rep is supposed to be symbolic of something.
Lynne’s Original is The Little Match Girl, which lends to her weapons, which are a pair of oversized matchsticks. You know. As ya do. It seems a lot like her magic is going to wind up being a problem. But there’s not much else to go on. There’s a comment made in passing about the American school mixing magic or something, but I’m not overly certain what that means, at this time. I just know she means trouble, and that’s all that matters. If nothing else, it was a fairly decent introduction to a conniving villainess.
There’s some collusion going on between her and Yumilia, which springs up at the end of the episode. I’m not really certain of the direction any of this is going to take. But it looks like they’re setting Yumilia up to be sort of a noble antagonist. At least in some sense. She at least appears reluctant to be involved in any of this. But we’re still not given much explanation as to why. And I’m hoping when we do finally learn anything about her, it’ll inform her actions a bit, and shine some light on what she’s done so far.
As for, Hazuki, you know, the main character, there’s not a whole lot for her to do in this episode. She tries to go all magical girl again and fails. Then she later winds up in a hot spring, because this show seems intent on cramming as much nudity as possible. Yet once again it just comes across as decidedly unnecessary since it’s not really emphasized enough to be fan-service, nor is it made a joke of. In fact, it’s played quite seriously (barring one brief outburst from Hazuki). It’s just… there. The scene leads to the aforementioned fight between Lynne and some of the other girls. But… why did said fight have to be here?
Other than that, Hazuki just gets to speak with Arthur Pendragon, and no that is not a joke. That girl up there with her? That’s Arthur. Yeah. But while they’re talking, Arther does… something to her. Grills her for running away, then does this weird sleep spell or whatever by looking into Hazuki’s eyes. It’s weird and unexplained. But I expect we’ll get more on that later.
As for Shizuka, she’s not given a terrible lot to do for most of the episode. But then we learn a bit more of her background and the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death. As manipulative as it is, it’s actually pretty effective. Because instead of just settling on her getting touchy on the subject and then having someone explain what happened, they also delve into the actual experience. They describe what it was like, not just what happened. Suffice it to say, it was probably the strongest part of the episode.
Overall, the episode was fine. Yumilia, Lynne, and Shizuka got most of the spotlight. I wish Hazuki had been able to do a little more protag-ing. But the episode did further along the narrative and a few individual character stories. So I can’t really complain. If one looks beyond the apparent necessity of the scene taking place in the hot springs, then the fight was relatively entertaining. Nothing to write home about, but any opportunity to see more of this world’s magic is a good thing in my book. My only other real complaint, at the moment, is actually the music. Put plainly, the show’s music selection tends to be a bit… lackluster. Nothing memorable, at least.
The episode is fine. If anything, it strikes me as mostly Harmless. Possibly just barely sweet enough to qualify as Junk Food. Still, with the tone and direction things are taking, I’m really hoping this doesn’t wind up just being a death game. But if you’re more interested in something that a little lighter, check out EvilBob’s latest recap of Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san. It’s… pretty zany, really. And seems to be allergic to seriousness of any kind.
But if you think Maerchen Maedchen might just win you over, be your own judge. It’s Simulcast on Crunchyroll, Thursdays at 11:00am EST. That’s all for me, here, folks. As always, thanks for reading. Keep up the awesome.