Friday, June 22, 2018

Magical Girl Site Episode #12 Review (Series Finale)

The most wonderful gift in the world.

What They Say:
Aya Asagiri lives a life of torture. Bullied by her peers and physically abused by her brother, she contemplates suicide as a means of escapism. One particularly harsh night, her laptop abruptly turns on and beckons her toward it. There, a website known simply as the 'Mahou Shoujo Site' offers her a chance to sculpt her own fate with the help of a stick that will grant her powers. But will something as simple as a magic wand truly be enough to save her from a life not worth living?

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
Out of all the misfortune to grace this divisive series, last week's episode really took the cake. Offing Yatsumura in its final moments set the stage for what was easily going to be an emotional ending to the series, if not anything else. With Aya more broken than ever before (Which is actually rather impressive, if we're going to be honest), combating the tempest seems all but impossible. Well, at least that's what we were lead to believe going into this week's finale.

The earlier part of episode twelve focuses on the existential, inner struggle Tsuyuno faces after death. Instead of being greeted by an afterlife or anything like that, she's placed in blanked out world in front of Nana. Following a lengthy, philosophical monologue, Yatsumura converted into a site administrator and loses all recollection of her past. It is at this point that the 'true' antagonist of the series is revealed. As it turns out, all of the administrators follow orders passed down by their 'king.' Who is the king, you ask? The most unfortunate girl in the world, of course. I have no idea what that means, but the way Nana presented it made it seem like a pretty big deal. Either way, the only thing that matters to Yatsumura now is the preprogrammed mission of collecting more magical energy to feed to that king. The best way to do that is to, of course, kill Aya herself.

Deciding to stick with her best friend to the very end, Aya teleports Sarina, Kosame, and Rina away, leaving her all alone with a collapsing yellow cube, a dead Tsuyuno, and the most menacing admin out there. As soon as Aya is able to make it to Tsuyuno's corpse, however, she starts to slip back into 'consciousness.' While this seems great for our protagonist at first, things quickly go awry when it becomes clear that Yatsumura isn't exactly feeling herself. The scene then tails off into both a physical and mental struggle for Aya as she's forced to figure out how to deal with this both without dying or re-killing her friend. This ultimately results in the cliched, yet powerful idea of love trumping all other things.

Aya winds up teleporting both her and Yatsumura to the beach they promised to visit together earlier in the series. Unfortunately, this alone isn't enough to snap her out of her delusions. What is enough, however, is TIME TRAVEL. Yup. Apparently, Aya is able to teleport herself back in time to when Yatsumura is still a child and somehow manages to transfer some of her own energy into her. I want to believe this is a sort of metaphor or something, but I really don't think it is. It wouldn't make sense. It wouldn't explain how, once the daydream-ish scene came to a close, Yatsumura came back to life and held the now-dying Aya in her hands. 

In yet another emotionally-fueled scene, Aya clings to life and promises, yet again, to stay with Yatsumura forever. When you pick apart this act piece by piece, there are tons of questions that need to be answered. But, in all honesty, the execution of these strange ideas being mushed together actually works out in a very impressive way. A new theme is immediately brought to light- and it isn't just "Friendship defeats everything!" It's the concept of finding good things in a world of pure evil. The fact that Aya and Yatsumura were able to persevere through the worst types of adversity humanly possible proves that they are truly not 'unfortunate.' Oh, and remember how I was worried about everything being tied up in just one more episode? Well, thanks to an unexpectedly surprising move from the director and writing staff, they decide against tying anything up. The series ends with plenty of room for a continuation and even heavily hints at it.

Will there be a sequel to Mahou Shoujo Site? Maybe. As is the norm for this type of thing, it depends on how the series fares overseas. And in the event that there isn't a sequel, the anime serves as a huge motivator for continuing the story through its manga predecessor. I know it sounds a little weird, given that I've been all over the place with my opinions on this show, but I'm actually looking forward to any mention of a new season. I feel like Mahou Shoujo Site still has a lot left to give, and I can imagine how anything following episode twelve could turn out great. But, as always, I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

In Summary:
Is Magical Girl Site the tryhard-edgy anime that the Internet's keyboard warriors are making it out to be? Yes and no. There's plenty of over-the-top, chaotic nonsense in this series that, frankly, would not fly in real life. But you need to take into consideration that this isn't meant to be an emulation of a typical Japanese setting. I mean, they can stop friggin' time for Christ's sake- and people are calling the show illegitimate because no one stands up to bullies. While its final arc shines in terms of thematics and execution, still expect utter nonsense spread throughout the bulk of the series. But if you're able to deal with that and don't mind a hefty dose of moe gore, I urge you to give this a try. If anything, it's definitely entertaining.

Episode Grade: A-
Series Grade: B-

Streamed By: Prime Video

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