Either due to the show still managing to entertain or Utena just being memeable, Gushing Over Magical Girls still has a boisterous presence in the anime-affiliated corners of social media. While it stays true to its comedic deviance, the show always brings in new kinks and situations. And in Gushing Over Magical Girls‘ episode 5 we’re taken deeper into the pervy rabbit hole.
Welcome, Nero Alice!
Enormita really has to be one of the most laid-back workplaces ever. Quite a few of us know what it’s like to have three billion calls within the hour when our workplace is short-staffed and our manager needs us to come in. It’s comforting to see Venalita summon Kiwi and Utena to Natch Base via a friendly line message. There the girls are met by a loli holding Venalita as if it were a teddy bear. Venalita informs the duo that the little girl’s name is Morino Korisu, and ‘s the newest member of Enormita. Worried that a literal kid, a youngling, a pre-adult if you will, has to fight Tres Magia alongside them. Utena questions the validity and sanity of what she just heard. But Venalita assures her that Morino is here of her own accord and volition.
Nero Alice vs. Tres Magia
As Enormita heads to the battlefield to give Morino (Nero Alice) a chance to test her powers for the first time, we’re shown how OP her ability can be. Consider for a moment: what is real, and what is fantasy? Naturally, one would answer that something real actually exists. It’s something you can touch, feel, or taste, then it’s real. But all those sensations are just chemical and electrical processes in your brain, and the brain can be fooled. So, if you feel something, taste and hear it, then is it real? Tres Magia has to contend with this question the hard way. Due to Magia Magneta’s naivete, Tres Magia quickly fall prey to Nero Alice’s psy-op-styled attacks. It’s revealed that Nero Alice can trap people in toy houses and present an altered reality. Once trapped in a pseudo-wonderland, their minds are also affected. Both Magia Magneta and Magia Sulfur are changed mentally and physically, and they assault Magia Azure.
It may be conjecture, but it can be speculated that the girl’s attacks mirror their own mindsets. Magia Baiser’s sexually charged attacks don’t seem to be influenced by Enormita’s magical power, rather Utena’s perversion. Leoparde’s outfit and attacks are both loud and bold and meant to draw attention but have little sexuality to them. Nero Alice’s attacks have a sexual aspect but there are some undertones to them that suggest something more broken. While Magia Azure is being accosted, Magia Magneta takes the form of a paternal figure, and Magia Sulfur takes the form of a toddler. Indicating what may be Morino’s attempt at fabricating what she mistakenly considers a happy family.
As Gushing Over Magical Girls‘ episode 5 progresses, the girls meet outside of their Enormita duties and accompany Mornio home to stave off boredom. As they enter her house, they notice that she’s alone. Utena also notices that there’s a note from Morino’s mom telling her to buy dinner because she’ll be late. It’s easy to see it’s not the healthiest of environments for a little kid. As they enter her room, they notice that while her house is well-kept, Morino has several ragged looking toys. This may give us a little peak into Morino’s character, as a child who spends a lot of time alone will develop a deeper attachment to their toys as they provide a sense of comfort and security.
While playing with one of the more ragged teddy bears, Kiwi accidentally breaks one. Morino takes little issue with this and fixes it right away. But as Kiwi takes another disheveled doll, Morino quickly takes it off Kiwi’s hand. Utena, noticing her attachment and the sorry state of the doll, volunteers to fix it for her and works through the night to do so, catching a cold in the process. A sick Utena returns the doll to Morino and, in true anime fashion, nearly crosses the rainbow bridge because of the flu. Morino activates her powers and transports Utena to a makeshift hospital, where she treats her. Fan service for this scene aside, it’s interesting to see that in Morino’s altered realm, she depicts herself as an adult. This may be due to her being frustrated that at her age, there’s little she can do to help the situation. Or she’s simply emulating what she’s seen. Either way. Whatever she does indeed cures Utena of her ailment, and the episode concludes.
Compared to previous episodes, this one was milder but may be more abrasive for some due to the introduction of Nero Alice. Unlike the previous episodes which maintained their original animation quality, there is a dip in animation for this episode. Several frames take longer than necessary, stay stuck in place, or seem odd and misplaced. There’s less emphasis on symmetry in facial expressions, leading to lopsided faces and movement. For being touted as the top Magical Girl group, 2/3rds of Tres Magia leave much to be desired, as rookie mistakes are plentiful. Overall, the show’s enjoyability far outweighs its pitfalls. The fact that it managed to rank in the top ten weekly ranking despite its subject matter shows that there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Screenshots via HiDive
© Akihiro Ononaka/ Takeshobo/ Gushing Over Magical Girls Production Committee