We start episode four off with a reminder (at least for me since I was two weeks behind) that Sister Nana was coming to Top Speed and Ripple for help. You already get the feeling that it’s going to be a Sister Nana-centric episode since this is first time she’s spoken at length about anything. Considering how the show highlights girls, much like in harem anime, I would have honestly been surprised if this episode didn’t end up being about Sister Nana.
Anyway, we learn from this encounter that Ripple is very wary of people who aren’t Top Speed considering the recent issues in the game, and we learn that there are game admins. OR, at least, there is the idea of game admins. Sister Nana states that she has attempted to reach out to them about Fav’s amendments to the game, but got no replies back. This can either be A) The admins have very full work queues as it’s only been a week since she’s likely contacted them or B) The admins are not real.
I’d like to branch on the idea that the admins aren’t real for a quick second. If the admins are not real and Fav is in fact the leader of this game, like a Kyubey character, does he get these requests? Furthermore, if the admins are not real, does this game exist outside this particular city? We have no insight on how this game affects other parts of Japan, I was always just assuming it was, but what if this game is only in this city. Or, to broaden that idea, what if only girls in this city are chosen as magical girls?
Back to the story. One thing I’ve noticed about Sister Nana is that she is very weak and frail, and it’s obvious that Winterprision is her guardian/tank. We find out in a few scenes during the show that two are co-habitating in real life and are possibly lovers- or at least just very close friends. I’m going to guess they are dating based on how they interact and hold each other.
I think I’d have to chalk up Magicaloid and Sister Nana’s initial interaction as the most entertaining backstory to come out of this show- yet. Basically, Sister Nana is not a stable individual and starts talking to her (I assume) magical girl trainer, Magicaloid, about how her powers can only help her beloved but her beloved in not in the game! Woe is her.
Magicaloid’s power is the ability to pull one random item out of her little pouch a day and use it for a 24 hour period. She is basically committing fraud to Sister Nana who is told that these items will help her beloved become a magical girl, and when the items expire Magicaloid claims that their power was soaked in by the target. Of course, Sister Nana’s beloved becomes Winterprison and Magicaloid loses her “cash cow,” but when she claims to have connections with admins Sister Nana is willing to pay outrageous prices for help. Makes you wonder where Sister Nana gets all this money…
After a very fun, but fraud-lined, interaction with Magicaloid we get a very aggressive interaction with Cranberry who wants to fight Winterprision and kill Sister Nana. Cranberry first asks that they stop “going around like this and ruining the game;” speaking about how Sister Nana is trying to rally the girls to stop hurting each other in the game. What’s interesting is that Cranberry is the oldest magical girl there, and she is possibly the most powerful. Her power seems to be creating illusions, and she is well-versed in combat. Cranberry only became a magical girl to fight.
So, were there other magical girls before Cranberry who were killed by her because they were too weak to take her on? Or, is this the first iteration of the game where it’s resulted in death. I’m suddenly very interested in Cranberry and who she is a person in real life, and I really never thought I would be.
It’s important to realize that what happens during the night with the girls, isn’t their whole life. They have to deal with school or work the next day while having watch or contributed to another person’s death in some way. It’s gotta be tough, and while the show doesn’t fully cover the mental trauma some of these girls must be experiencing, it does take a break to show us a troubled Snow White on a train. I do appreciate what little grounding we are given, even if it’s not a lot.
Hardgore Alice is assigned to be trained by Sister Nana and Winterprision, but runs off after they mention where Snow White is. I’m wondering if maybe Alice doesn’t want to kill Snow White, and maybe looks up to her? I doubt that Snow White has inadvertently caused anyone’s death in the city, so I can’t see how she would want to harm Snow White- besides for candies, of course.
The episode ends with a teaser for the standoff between Pucelle and Cranberry, and I’m very worried for Pucelle and Snow White. If Pucelle is taken out by Cranberry, then Snow White is going to lose her friend, knight, and grip on sanity. If Pucelle wins, he’ll have to struggle with the fact that he killed another person. Either way, it’ll be a great aftermath.