Episode 10 opens up with Sana waking up and finding herself in a cottage with a family of her dreams and a doll that resembles her (though I think it’s meant to represent Ai). It’s a dream of some sorts, as evidenced by the aesthetic matching that of a painting (knowing Shaft, it’s entirely possible they even used actual paint for this). For a brief moment, I thought this was going to be plot of Episode 10. Like somehow, Sana is still trapped somewhere in a pocket dimension and Iroha has to bust herself and convince her to let go of living in a falsehood. But no, that’s not what happens. The dream sequence is extremely brief and is likely just there for stylistic reasons. Iroha takes Sana to safety and reunites with her friends to take on crazy lady with Splatoon powers.
Kind of like how I thought Altina showed up last episode for some last minute action, I feel like Altina is just here so that we have some action in the beginning of this one. It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for the fact that I find her character rather grating. Adding onto that is that we have those twins showing up again and I’m starting to realize how annoying their little synchronous shtick is. I will say that it is kind of interesting that Altina is a bit of a rogue agent, clearly doing her own thing and caring little for her peers. Both Mifuyu and Mami end up appearing to keep her in check. Perhaps there’s some infighting or instability within the Magius? The door is certainly now open for that possibility
About Mami, she’s apparently now a member of the Magius. I don’t know what consensus is on that development but I personally don’t mind it. If Madoka was any indication, Mami never handles the truth about her job very well. Her getting drawn to the Magius’ objective honestly does make sense, certainly more so than Kyoko giving the group a try. There’s also the implication that she’s doing it for Madoka and Sayaka’s sake (via stock footage but I suspect we’ll actually see those two soon enough). While that really makes me wonder again what timeline this show takes place in, I can see that being another motivation of Mami’s.
If I had to complain about this reveal, it’d be the timing. When exactly did Mami join the Magius’s ranks? Last time we saw her, she actually helps Iroha against the Magius. They’re suddenly enemies now? Also, what happened to investigating Kamihama for Kyubey. It’s entirely possible that Mami simply joins the organization as part of the investigation. Conversely, it’s just as possible that Mami is that genuinely drawn to the Magius’ objective that helping Kyubey has fallen into the wayside. If that is the case, I honestly can’t hold it against her. This is Kyubey we’re talking about here.
The B-part of the episode fares much better for me. As Sana tries to get accustomed to living in Mikazuki Villa, Yachiyo finds some old mugs that belong to her and her previous roommates. Inspired, she decides the whole group should go shopping for new mugs as a show of solitary and to help Sana feel welcomed. It’s a definitely cute scene as the characters ponder on what to get and the store they browse in is exaggeratedly designed (like any location in Madoka) with shelves upon shelves of unique mugs. That I enjoy this more than the action earlier says something about Magia Record but I’ll take it.
Seeing everyone at the villa chill out and enjoying each other’s company has Sana wondering what her family has been up to. So, she pays her home a visit. I expected the show to reveal her family misses her now but it turns out that the most they’ve done for her is leave food at her door. They haven’t noticed she’s disappeared and remain happy without her. A nice detail is how they’re stylized as mannequins because really, they might as well not be real people to Sana. It sucks for Sana but I think the writing makes the right decision here. That family is rotten to the core and while second chances are nice, I’d rather have Sana more convinced to be rid of them. Sana wants a family and her real one isn’t the one she seeks or deserves. She’s better off looking towards people who will welcome her, something which Iroha and the others are more than willing to offer. Admittedly, Sana doesn’t really know any of them but then again, this is obviously only the beginning for her and them. Time will eventually fix that.
After the credits, we see Mifuyu and Mami giving a report to some higher ups about recent events. Mifuyu later wonders about Yachiyo and is greeted by the twins who offer to cook her dinner. That’s a neat parallel right there. Both Mifuyu and Yachiyo have been driven by their mutual history with each other and as a rift forms between them, their respective voids are being filled by the new friends they’ve made so far. Meanwhile, Sana joining Iroha’s team pays off in more ways than one. As Iroha explains what she’s doing in Kamihama, Sana reveals that a member of the Magius she ran into in Endless Solitude is named Nemu Hiiragi. Iroha realizes this could very well be the same Nemu for her recollection of Ui. Finally, this stinking show is having Iroha investigate Ui’s friends!
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