Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

12 December 2016: Autumn 2016 mahou shoujo SITREP

Jill and Rinne
You can tell this is a flashback because Rinne has barely any weight on that thing.

I'm following five mahou shoujo anime this season. Arguably, I'm following six if you include Brave Witches, but I'm not counting that one here. Surprisingly, ViVid Strike! is comfortably on top of these five, with Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (Magical Girl Raising Project) second, and Mahou Tsukai Pretty Cure! (Maho Girls Precure!) bringing up the rear. At least that's how the ranking looks if you count separately the two shorts: Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara. Second Season and Nazotokine.

Don't worry, it's not Rinne's own blood.

ViVid Strike! leading the way is a bit of a surprise, but understandable if you appreciate that it fully embraced the concept of magikal girl mixed martial arts. Arguably, it's not even a mahou shoujo anime because that aspect isn't really critical to the formula, and ViVid Strike! has effectively moved on well past its Nanoha roots. It is straight-up about young girls beating the ever-loving dog shit out of each other as a way to achieve atonement, happiness, or friendship. I do feel the way some of the fights turn out is sort of bullshit, but overall this is still a pretty satisfying show to watch.

Top Speed
Top Speed = Top Girl.

Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku has a lot of flaws, but I enjoy the ease with which its characters embraced the whole murder-rama carnival. I'm pleased we didn't have to waste a bunch of time on Snow White futilely pleading with the other magikal girls not to kill each other. The various twists are also satisfying, and work even though anyone watching is surely looking for and expecting twists of some sort. Thankfully, Mahoiku feels distinctly independent from "That Show" and does not strike me as an imitator—something I know a lot of anime fans were fearing initially. While I agree Mahoiku would not exist without the groundwork laid by that older series which clumsily misused Latin, I feel that series mostly just reaffirmed there is an audience for this sort of thing—something we've known since at least My-HiME.

Cure Magical
Her tassels are little brooms.

Mahou Tsukai Pretty Cure! is by no means a bad show, and not even a bad mahou shoujo anime, but it is not a very good Precure. It works mostly as little adventures involving witches in witch school and crossover hoots with the non-magic school. It is successful enough at this that the Pretty Cure staple involving fighting bad guys in order to protect the world seems incidental to the show. The villains, in particular, are the least memorable of any generation of Pretty Cure thus far, and there's no sense that anything is at stake, even though the yearlong show is in its final episodes.

Miton and Yuzuka
He had it coming.

Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara. Second Season is moderately amusing and seems less skeevy than the first season. It's a short with little gags that are occasionally clever.

This is one of the rare times Tokine isn't scowling.

Nazotokine is also a short, and arguably not a mahou shoujo anime because its office lady protagonist doesn't seem to have any real magic powers besides transforming into her vacuum-sealed battle costume. Well, I suppose her preternatural puzzle-solving abilities might be magic. Those God damn puzzles are hard as shit.

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