What Happened With Märchen Mädchen Episode 9? – A 20 Question Anime Discussion

What’s the show? Märchen Mädchen Episode 9.

Ah, another single episode review, got a lot to talk about huh? Well I don’t know if this counts as a review, I’m going to quickly hammer out my thoughts and post this, no editing, no pictures, just straight from brain to keyboard.

Right, so let’s cut to the chase then? What was it about episode 9 of this show I’ve never heard of that’s got you needing to talk so badly? So I guess a little background info is needed first, so Märchen Mädchen is a magical girl anime of sorts, I found it to be entertaining from the get-go, nothing remarkable but certainly fun and charming and the lead girl had just the right amount of shy and awkward and adorable. But around about episode 5 or 6 the animation quality started to drop. Then at episode 8, it was announced it would be going off the air for a couple of weeks to improve animation quality, and then it finally comes back and episode 9 is probably the most inconsistently animated episode of an anime I’ve ever seen.

Ouch, that bad huh? Mmhmm, and originally I was going to make a big ol’ rant about it because I was upset, upset that a show that had shown so much promise and had such cute character designs ended up this bad. I was going to show comparisons between episode 1 and episode 9 and had all these “jokes” worked out to caption them with.

But? Well I thought that’s not really fair on the one group of people who will be the most affected by these negative words.

And who’s that? The animators, of course. I mean these are dedicated and talented individuals who have to put up with ridiculously tight schedules and absurdly long hours, only then to have to read some asshole on the internet bitch that it wasn’t up to standard? How is that fair?

Let’s be fair, they’ll never read this, but I suppose I see your point… And it’s not even about trying to spread kindness instead of hate, that’s all well and good but that’s not going to get anything done! Where the anger should be levelled against is the studios and production companies who put these impossible schedules in place without regard for the well-being of the people who actually do all the hard work, all so they can earn a quick buck.

Oh? How do you know the production was rushed, I mean aside from what the finished product ended up looking like? This is all just an educated assumption but let’s look at like this, the original light novel author of Märchen Mädchen, Tomohiro Matsu died in May 2017, at the time of his death only one volume of the light novel was out. Of course there was more material for more light novels so the other two were released in July and December of 2017 respectively. So what’s an enterprising publisher to do to capitalise on the tragedy of a light novel author dying young but rush an anime into production in an insanely short window, just so they can sell more books!

So 8 months isn’t enough to make an anime? There’s no hard figures on how long it takes, like any projects there will be delays. Some sources say 6-7 months, some say a year or more regardless of that there’s no doubt in my mind this anime was only made to profit off the tragedy of the novelist dying.

Well that sucks, but it’s hardly a new thing, people are always trying to capitalise off these kinds of things and the quality often suffers as a result. I’m not saying that this is some kind of scandal that needs to be exposed, I’m just trying to say that when things like this happen in anime, we shouldn’t immediately blame the animators who are already working their hardest as it is.

But it’s their job, isn’t it? And if they don’t do a good job at it shouldn’t they be held accountable? Imagine having to work an 80-hour week, facing insurmountable deadlines, doing all that is humanly possible to get your work done only to be spit in the face for all your hard work.

You make it sound so dramatic! It is dramatic, there’s a reason the Japanese have a word for people who suddenly die due to the intense pressures and workloads from their jobs, it’s called Karoshi, you can read all about it on wikipedia if you feel like it, but it’s a serious problem in Japan. And these companies who are trying to make money by rushing out a product are only making things worse for these poor people.

Hmm, I see what you mean… but well, and I know my sole purpose here is to play devil’s advocate so forgive me if I sound callous, but isn’t a lot of the things you enjoy, like electronics and clothing products and what not made by people in terrible working environments? Listen, that’s a whole can-of-worms that I’m not nearly educated about to even begin discussing. That’s a different side of consumerism, what I’m talking about is entertainment and art, movies and video games are made without the kind of pressures that are involved here and there’s plenty of anime out there that aren’t overseen by cruel companies that are enforcing ridiculous deadlines on their employees.

So basically you’re saying? I’m saying it doesn’t have to be this way! Make anime for the love of anime and for the sake of telling a great story, not to turn a profit from an author’s sudden death and risk the physical and mental health of your animators.

Well said, though I get the feeling that this isn’t going to be read by anyone with even an ounce of influence on changing things. Oh I know, but it’s better than writing a 20 Question Anime Review that makes fun of how bad the animation was, I feel better for having taken the high road in this instance.

And is that why there aren’t any pictures or gifs of said ‘bad animation’? Well it’d be a little hypocritical of me if I were to include them when I just spent all this time telling people to be considerate of the animator’s feelings… Plus if they really want to source them out, they can just go on MAL or watch the episode for themselves.

So where does this leave you with the show? Well funnily enough the preview for next week’s episode looks like the animation is pretty much back to the good quality it was at the start of the season, so maybe they fixed up the final 3 episodes and not this one.

Out of curiosity, what would you have done if you were in charge of this show? Seeing how bad episode 9 was, I would have cut it completely, had a voice over at the start of 10 explaining the events of episode 9 and then if the budget allowed for it reanimated for the DVD/blu-ray release. But of course, that’s just what I would have done, the reality of the situation may have made that impossible.

Only time will tell if things are truly improved for the final 3 episodes. Indeed, indeed.

So how do we wrap up this, whatever this was, it wasn’t really a review at all was it? No, but I guess all I can say is, be kind to one another, don’t judge until you have the full story and don’t lay blame where its going to only harm. Especially if the one’s you’re blaming are only doing their job.

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One comment

  1. I ended up dropping Mädchen over the hiatus… though they had some good ideas, the production with the production (and it was more than animation) weren’t going to be fixed in two weeks. That would have required a complete do-over.

    Liked by 1 person

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