What’s the show? Magical Girl Ore, Episode 5.
And so what happens in this episode? That’s a very good question… umm… yeah, this is an unusual episode to say the least!
Oh? How so? Well… 99% of the episode doesn’t have any of the main characters from the show, instead it’s told from the perspective of last week’s antagonist character Cyborg, except there’s 6 of him and the entire plot of the episode revolves around their side-job of coming in as ‘fixers’ for anime-projects that are struggling to make their animation deadlines.
…Right… It gets weirder. A storyboard artist, while playing a mobile game that might or might not be Pokemon Go falls into a lake, fuses with an ancient energy and turns into a giant Godzilla-esque monster called Chizilla and is threatening to wipe out the town of Suginami where 70% of Japan’s anime shows are produced.
Wut. And so Cyborg and his 5 identical copies go to the Japanese government to get money to help complete the animation on the episode the guy was working on before he went all monster-sized in the hopes that it will appease him and thus save anime.
I’m not sure what to think or say… Hey, I was just as confused as you were.
So what did you want to say about this episode then? Well, they way I see it it’s one of two things. Either this was a self-indulgent, high-concept idea that didn’t hit its mark or it’s the most brilliant, scathing take-down on the inner-workings of the anime industry yet. Or maybe it was both, or neither, I don’t really know!
Uh-huh, so it has a lot to say it just doesn’t know how to say it? Again, I’m not sure! Comedy and especially parody is always a good medium for taking shots at controversial subject matter or at a problematic industry (South Park, regardless of your opinion on the show itself, has been doing it for years). But as much as this particular episode talks a lot about a lot of different things in the Japanese animation industry, from scheduling and budgets and staff issues and outside contractors and foreign studios, it doesn’t take enough of a hard stance one way or the other to really make an impact.
Why do you think that is? Well this isn’t an independent anime, it’s made by a fairly big animation studio, and I think the Japanese are too polite and too appreciative of their jobs to ever truly speak out in such a defiant way as making an episode that’s especially scathing of working conditions and other issues in the anime industry. Which is fair enough, people in this industry still love anime and it’s hard for them to speak out. But this feels less like a middle finger and more like a tongue-poking out emoji.
So where does that leave the episode? It’s still a fun and funny episode, even with an absolute minimal of scenes from the main girls/boys. I’m not sure if it’s going to be business as usual next episode, I’m honest not sure what to expect anymore because apparently this show has no rules, which for someone like me who loves when things get weird, makes me very happy. I’ll reiterate a thought I had with the previous episode that this totally feels like an Adult Swim show, the fourth wall doesn’t exist, either does logic and sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes not, either way it’s still interesting.
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