It’s not the cuteness. Okay, well, it’s not ONLY the cuteness.
[NOTE: This article contains spoilers for Magical Girl Raising Project and Puella Magi Madoka Magica.]
Rather, it’s about how Fav releates to Puella Magi Madoka Magica’s bunny-cat mascot, Kyubey.
Kyubey, if you’re unfamiliar with the series, is often seen as a soulless, calculating character who’s only interested in his own personal gain. He’s adorable, fluffy, and portrayed as a veritable sentient stuffed animal–but his callous actions in Puella Magi Madoka Magica prove his flippant (some would say evil) intentions.
This year, while there weren’t really many notable mascot characters to speak of, one stuck out to me the most as I made my way through the majority of Magical Girl Raising Project. From the very first episode, I knew this little bugger would end up being problematic for the girls involved in the story and as a character in general. You probably already know who I’m talking about, in fact.
Of course it’s Fav, everyone’s favorite mascot character from Magical Girl Raising Project’s in-world social game and the anime in general. Fav exists as a black and white tadpole-like creature with one red eye and one black eye. If you’re familiar with Monokuma of the Danganronpa video game and anime series, Fav resembles that dastardly bear more than a little. Fav and Kyubey share more than a few similarities, which, if you’ve followed along with both series, you’ll be familar with, leading me to give him the playful nickname of “Not-Kyubey,” or the Kyubey of 2016. We needed one, after all, to balance all of the awesome out.
Fav is actually a whole lot darker than we give him credit for as Magical Girl Raising Project reaches its end, however. Like Kyubey, you can’t determine his true intentions by his speech inflection or anything like it. He speaks like you’d expect something adorable would–very politely, if matter-of-factly. As the game in the show’s mascot, he’s got to be approachable and cute, since it matches the tone of the mobile game. You wouldn’t suspect anything if you were just a regular player–until, maybe, he reached out to you to offer you some sort of powers simply for playing. World-changing powers.
So no one really suspects anything beneath the surface, even if we as viewers are a lot smarter than that. At the onset, like Kyubey, he appears to be offering the girls a very special gift (that of becoming a magical girl) but it ends up that he’s simply the overseer of a magical girl project that was orchestrated as the result of his master’s desire to have a much less “boring” selection process for those who would become magical girls. Fav may not have had “direct” input into how the game would go, or so we’re told, but it doesn’t make him any better that he acted as a willing accomplice for Cranberry after all of the events that unfold in the show.
His reason for pushing the magical girls to fight each other in the first place is that the city they all live in has a finite supply of mana, which will slowly be drained until the city is no more. The number of magical girls has to be reduced, he reasons, if the girls aren’t taken out of the game. He doesn’t reveal up front that being removed from the world of magical girls means death in the real world, however–a move not unlike Kyubey would have made in Madoka when it came to creating magical girls in the first place.
Fav is no doubt a nefarious creature much like Kyubey who came before him, but given that the magical girl Cranberry was involved with the battle royale set up between all of the players, at the very least the blame isn’t solely on him for the events that unfold in Magical Girl Raising Project. He should be blamed, however, for pushing real human beings to take each other’s lives. But in the end, he created some real drama that kept me coming back to the show even during some of the slower bits where I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue watching. So thanks, Fav, and congratulations on being this year’s most nefarious mascot character, and 2016’s Kyubey. That’s, uh….a real honor.
Top Image Credit: Twitter