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After a long and tumultuous journey that resulted in several deaths along the way, Magical Girl Raising Project has come to an end. Lives have been lost, shattered, and completely turned upside down, but there are those who are still standing at the end of the season. And while it might not be who you thought you’d see remaining when all is said and done, it speaks volumes about the lessons learned and the hearts changed after the Magical Girl Recruitment and Training Project. 

[Note: This article contains major spoilers for Magical Girl Raising Project.]

While it seemed for the longest time that Swim Swim was going to be the actual ringleader after getting rid of Ruler and taking over her role, the final episode of Magical Girl Raising Project, “File not found,” flips the script a bit. Swim Swim ends up being killed while out of her magical girl form (the real her an elementary student, at that) by Ripple, which leaves Snow White and Ripple the last ones standing with Fav.

Surprisingly, Fav comes clean with another revelation: the fact that he actually pit Ripple and Swim Swim against one another so they would fight and kill each other–leaving Snow White to become his Master as part of the Training Project. Obviously, things didn’t go down that way, because Ripple survives and manages to destroy Fav’s terminal (and thus Fav himself) with Swim Swim’s weapon. The nightmare is over, or at least the nightmare that was endless in-fighting, treating each other like enemies, and the like.

So we do get some sort of happy ending. Snow White and Ripple are working together to make the world a better place. Ripple has finally become less of a loner–less of a scrappy fighter with nothing to lose–and Snow White is less naive and innocent. She’s changed so much since the beginning of the journey and has begun to understand that there are more important actions to be taken to change the world if she truly wants to do so. Ripple is learning that the smaller-scale acts of kindness Snow White was famous for in the beginning are important too.

This role reversal and the acceptance by Ripple that she too can have friends and enjoy the company of others was an extremely satisfying moment in the series for me. Snow White toughening her resolve, learning more about the world, and understanding that sometimes you’ve got to do a whole lot more than stick to your little community spoke to me in ways beyond the confines of the show.

Across the length of twelve episodes, it felt a bit anticlimactic to see all but two magical girls killed off in the game and in the real world, but I definitely appreciated both the chosen girl who was meant to stick beside Snow White and the fact that the one girl who understood and appreciated being a magical girl to begin with was left standing. Although we know she’ll likely never be the same, she’s going to be able to work toward an even brighter future than she would have if she had remained in this bizarre, murderous game. 

Magical Girl Raising Project had many themes, and constant change was certainly one of them from the very beginning. This was a satisfying end to what could be a sometimes frustrating, always heartbreaking series of events, and I’m glad to see a glimmer of hope in the darkness for humanity and the magical girls left who are going to move on, start healing, and keep helping out as best they can. Its multiple dark moments paid off in the end with beautiful transformations for characters who needed it most. But I’m still hoping that, if a second season ever occurs, there’s still justice for the magical girls who unfairly lost their lives.

Magical Girl Raising Project can be viewed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll.

Comments (1)
  1. From the way you talk about the potential second season, and “justice for the magical girls who unfairly lost their lives”, I get that you haven’t read the Light Novel. Let’s just say that I’m hoping for a 5th season, since it has my favorite characters.

    Let me try and give you a bit of a preview of what’s to come without any spoilers.
    In the final episode of the anime, Fav mentions that Clamberry had actually ran multiple tests before the one that Snow White participated in. What he neglects to mention is that those other tests also had survivors. But unlike Snow White, they didn’t make it through with pure luck, but had rather embraced the test, and killed to survive. After their ordeal, most of them went on to become highly successful magical girls, never speaking a word about how they got to where they are.

    However, with Clamberry and Fav’s deaths, the lid was blown wide open on everything that she was doing. As a result, the magical world became split between those who thought her actions were inhumane, and those who thought the results speak for themselves. Ultimately, the higher ups decided that Clamberry’s actions do not fit the moral of the magical world, and defending her actions is illegal. As a result, they began a crackdown on anyone who might be irreparably influenced by her tests, or who might try to reproduce those tests, arresting or erasing their memories as necessary.

    Hearing about this, Snow White volunteers to help catch rogue magical girls, to prevent anyone else from having to go through what she and her friends did. Despite having avoided battle in her own test, she turns out to be extremely effective in learning and exploiting the weaknesses of her targets. Wielding Ruler, she brings swift justice to many rogue magical girl, earning her the nickname “Magical Girl Hunter”.

    But all is not well in the magical world. Conspirations abound, as both those who wish to embrace Clamberry’s ways, and those who wish to restore peace and order, have little qualms as to sacrificing magical girls to achieve their respective purposes. In the midst of this, Snow White desperately fights to prevent more innocent girls from losing their lives.

    Later arcs of the light novel (and hopefully, later seasons) introduce a WHOLE lot more magical girls, and an ongoing war between multiple factions. The death toll only rises as multiple factions find justification for their actions. It’s really a deep and interesting story, that, at multiple points, leaves you guessing as to what the ones pulling the strings are really planning.

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