Magical Girl Raising Project has consistently introduced several twists and turns throughout its run, so if you’ve been watching since it debuted, you know things can change in the series at a moment’s notice.
NOTE: This article contains spoilers for the latest episode and beyond of Magical Girl Raising Project.
It wasn’t exactly expected that La Pucelle, for example, was actually a male in real life outside of his magical girl persona and it was a complete shock to see poor little Nemurin die in real life after failing to secure enough candies to remain in the disturbing metagame that began as a result of mascot character Fav’s desire to thin the magical girl herd.
One of the latest episodes made a very smart move by taking off the kid gloves and introducing a betrayal that I didn’t see coming–I’m sure most other viewers didn’t either.
From square one, character Ruler has been painted as the “big bad” of the series beyond that of Fav and whatever shadowy organization is inevitably behind him–some entity has to be bestowing the power onto the magical girls, after all. She’s selfish, callous, and never fails to look out for number one. She’s even commanding a whole cadre of magical girls including the submissive Tama, bizarre twins Peaky Angels, and quiet Swim Swim. All of the girls seem to have joined together under Ruler’s iron fist, for fear of retribution from this princess-like character.
Swim Swim’s behavior when interacting with Ruler is particularly vexing. She doesn’t dare speak out of turn and treats Ruler as if she were some sort of deity. She also pays very close attention when Ruler pops off with some sort of bizarre speech about being noble and ruling others, almost as if she’s some sort of slave. It’s very off-putting, especially since Swim Swim could take on Ruler at any point, but chooses not to.
When the plan is for Ruler and crew to attack Snow White and La Pucelle to steal their candies, it seems as though Ruler is going to get what she wants and remain the current villain throughout this story arc. Likewise, we’ll likely see La Pucelle sacrifice herself to keep Snow White and her candies safe.
That’s what any normal anime series might do, and it’d be par for the course. Someone would sacrifice themselves–or a member of the villain’s group would end up being soft after all and break up the plan. Things could have gone down an extremely formulaic route, but instead Magical Girl Raising Project went in a completely different direction, and the series has been all the better for it.
Ruler and crew encroach on La Pucelle and Snow White. Swim Swim takes Snow White’s candies and all, but instead of giving all of the candies to Ruler’s crew and ending things there, Swim Swim demonstrates that she’s been cooking up a nefarious plan all along. She gives all of the candies to everyone in the group but Ruler, which means Ruler herself ends up dead last in the rankings for the week and as such dies. Swim Swim was biding her time, it seems, for a good long while as she plotted to take over. In the end, the “team” decides instead to stand behind Swim Swim as the new ruler, and things are thrown into chaos–at least for what the audience was expecting to see play out.
While the following two episodes beyond this twist have also subverted expectations, this one was by far one of the most significant for me, despite the unexpected loss of two familiar characters. It’s given viewers something to think about before writing off possible plot twists, citing the fact that other series haven’t gone there much, so this one won’t either. It’s a testament to why this series has consistently delivered throughout the season and one great reason to hang in there until the end. It could very well be the next best Madoka Magica by its no-doubt thrilling conclusion.
Magical Girl Raising Project can be viewed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.
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