It was 100% given that Felicia wouldn’t truly turn her back on Iroha. I’ve played Kingdom Hearts, I know how these ice cream friendship pacts work. The question to ask then is what bone the following episode would throw instead to keep us on a loop. Evidently, all sorts of things.
A lot sure happens in this episode. Felicia joins the Magius and then defects. Kyoko apparently gets recruited and later defects as well. Everyone fights. Tsukuyo (Maaya Uchida) and Tsukasa (Aya Uchida), twin agents working for the Magius, reveal that the organization can control witches. Iroha summons her witch-like familiar again in order to defeat the Uwasa of the Week. Mifuyu shows up and reveals she’s a higher-up within the Magius’s ranks. Chewie seemingly dies but you later find out he was actually on another ship the whole time. This episode is certainly eventful but maybe a bit too eventful. I don’t remember prior episodes feeling like this and I can’t help but wonder if Gekidan Inu Curry was rushing a bit here.
Regarding the Wings of the Magius, I’m a little frustrated with how little you learn about them. You know they want to eradicate witches and save all the magical girls but how exactly that all ties to the Uwasas to the point that those need to be left alone remains to be seen. How they’re able to control witches isn’t elaborated either and for now, that ability looks to be at odds with the organization’s objective. I realize that the mysteriousness is intentional but it’s nevertheless annoying. We have enough mystery boxes in Magia Record as is. How many more do we need? Not to mention, it doesn’t make sense for them to act so vague. Felicia and Kyoko are bound to be the most confused and least caring towards the organization’s agenda but it wouldn’t have hurt to give more clarity.
Since Felicia and Kyoko are a no-go, I suppose that’s why we have Mifuyu showing up at the end. I wouldn’t have minded if her fate was left a mystery and Yachiyo was chasing a dead end but given what we know, it’s a logical development that she has joined the Magius. The real issue is trying to maintain ominousness with this character. We’re already predisposed to find Mifuyu off kilter after the Seance Shrine and why she can’t come back to Yachiyo and Tsuruno might as well have been summed up with a shrug. Still, I am curious to see how this will affect Yachiyo. We see her threaten to stop Mifufyu with force but given how distressed she was over killing a fake one, you have to wonder if she actually can muster the resolve to attack the real deal.
The one mystery or thread that I want to learn most though is the witch familiar things. As wary as I am towards turning a once disturbing part of the mythos into a “cool” video game power-up, I want to at least know how exactly it works. The twins imply that this ability has to do with Kamihama but like with how it ties to the Uwasas and Kyubey, we don’t know why this city is such an anomaly. I want to imagine there’s a limit to how often you can summon your witch but I’ve yet to find a consequence of some kind. Iroha’s Soul Gem fully recovers again and the twins easily make their witches disappear once they have no need of them. Maybe the lucky potion kicked in to help Iroha come out unharmed (and by the way, I love that there’s a counter to convey her luck running out) but that doesn’t explain how the twins are fine or how Iroha was perfectly fine after using the power for the first time.
I realize I haven’t talked much about Felicia and that’s honestly because this episode surprisingly and sadly doesn’t do anything fancy with her. You do get a flashback about her past but it reveals nothing you couldn’t already infer from last episode. The most curious thing about it is the glitch-like graphical effects which is similar to the effects use to convey Iroha’s memory problems. Maybe Felicia’s memory has also been tampered but in what way and why it is tampered is something that’s apparently being saved for later (like everything else in this show). In the present, you have Felicia backing out of her cult membership as expected though her coming to Iroha’s aid gets overshadowed by her simply trying to kill every last one of those witches. The inner conflict works a little better at the end when Felicia decides to be alone again, afraid that her bloodlust will harm those she care about while also struggling to agree on giving that vendetta up. While Iroha realizes she can’t invalidate those feelings, she still insists that the two of them are friends who should stay together.
Thus we have everyone moving to Yachiyo’s place so that they can be together. It’s an absurdly convenient development. It even happens because of Iroha’s luck potion kicking one last time. However, I do find the scene really heartwarming. As much as I love Madoka, I can’t deny that the show didn’t explore the group dynamic among all five main characters. It couldn’t as the part of the tragedy is what bonds they did manage to create getting cut short. In a way, this is the one thing the spin-off show is able to do that its predecessor couldn’t. And while I’m mixed on Magia Record‘s lighter tone, this silly sorority house scenario does realize it in an enjoyably and satisfying manner.
Thanks for reading!