Magia Record Episode 13: A Faint Hope
|A Faint Hope|
|First airing||March 28, 2020|
Gekidan Inu Curry (Doroinu)
|Episode director||Yukihiro Miyamoto|
|Animation Director||Yoshiaki Ito|
A Faint Hope is the thirteen and last episode of Magia Record Anime Season 1.
Mifuyu stands watch over the sleeping form of Iroha. Inside of Iroha’s dreams, Touka describes how the Wings of Magius was created to combat the system that Kyubey had constructed. Iroha doesn’t know what to make of all of us, as she had only planned to ask about her sister Ui. Yachiyo soon arrives to where Mifuyu and Iroha are, demanding that Mifuyu get away from her. Mifuyu ignores her, asking her to not interfere as they are showing them the truth about magical girls. Yachiyo says it’s too soon for that, but Mifuyu disagrees and uses her illusion magic to disappear. Yachiyo kneels down and uses a grief seed on Iroha’s soul gem, causing Iroha to wake up. She urges Iroha to follow her so they can leave at once.
As Iroha and Yachiyo ride the gondola out of there, Iroha wonders where Tsuruno and the others could have gone. Yachiyo believes that Mifuyu has taken them away somewhere and they should hurry and find them. As they continue to sit in silence, Yachiyo informs Iroha that she will disband the team after this. They walk through the museum, with Iroha trailing behind Yachiyo and asking her what she means by disbanding the team. Yachiyo says it means just that, and that it has nothing to do with Iroha. Iroha disagrees, saying it has everything to do with both of them and if Yachiyo won’t give her a reason why then she won’t accept her decision. Iroha is intent on keeping the team together and refusing to leave Yachiyo’s side. Yachiyo stops walking and tells Iroha that her wish when she became a magical girl was “I want to survive”. In exchange for such a selfish wish, the people around her die and Yachiyo doesn’t want Iroha to die either. Just as she says this, the Rumor of the Memory Curator leaps out of nowhere and eats Yachiyo whole. Stunned, Iroha can only sit there and stare as the Rumor swims through the air. The small Kyubey tugs on Iroha’s sleeve and is able to get Iroha to dodge out of the way just as the Memory Curator bites through the walkway Iroha was sitting on moments before. However, Iroha is still able to track Yachiyo’s magic signature and she vows to help Yachiyo no matter what.
Inside the Memory Curator, Yachiyo sits on a green chair as she relives the memories of when she first aspired to become a model through a movie projector. She was part of a group of five girls who were aiming to become a modeling group. As Yachiyo gets her photos taken, the other members of her group whisper among themselves. The girls badmouth Yachiyo’s haircut, believing that she thinks she’s better than them and saying she doesn’t have what it takes to survive. As Yachiyo finishes up, she compliments one of the girls on her own haircut and suggests they do a group photoshoot next. A copy of Yachiyo stands at the front of the room, using the images on the projector as part of her presentation on why she did what she did. As she lectures about the need to become a strong leader to protect her teammates, the Yachiyo sitting on the chair has drawn her legs up and can only beg her doppelganger to stop. She believes she had made her wish for the sake of her modeling teammates, not because she wanted to survive at their expense. That’s why she then decided to go solo as a model at the expense of what she really wished for. As she continues to lecture, the movie projector shows quick images of Kanae and Mel’s final moments. The Yachiyo in the chair continues to sit and beg for her to stop talking when she suddenly hears moans of pain coming from the Memory Curator.
Back in the museum, Iroha shoots arrow after arrow at the Memory Curator. She charges the magic on one of her arrows before she races ahead and stops in front of the Curator. She unleashes her attack, the arrow flying straight into its mouth and blowing up the Curator from inside. The dust settles, revealing Yachiyo’s shadow projected into the museum from the back of a projector screen. The screen catches fire and burns away, revealing Iroha standing on the other side. Iroha runs over and hugs Yachiyo tightly, glad to have found her safe and sound. The projector and the rest of the interior of the museum disappear as the Memory Curator dies.
Iroha grabs Yachiyo’s arm, saying they have to hurry and find the others but Yachiyo only stands there and lets her arm drop limply. Iroha turns back and says she’s become strong thanks to all of them and that she will become the precedent that proves that Yachiyo’s wish doesn’t kill the people around her. Yachiyo looks down, unsure of what to say next. Iroha promises that she won’t die so easily. Yachiyo thanks her, calling her Iroha rather than Tamaki-san for the first time. The roof soon begins to collapse around them and Yachiyo suggests they leave at once. Iroha is uncertain, but Yachiyo believes that the others may have escaped as well since Iroha was alright. As they turn to run, Iroha is knocked down by some of the fallen debris. Yachiyo picks her up, telling her they can take her to Mitama’s place since Iroha spent much of her magic in the fight against the Curator. The small Kyubey beckons Yachiyo in its direction and Yachiyo follows after while carrying Iroha on her back.
They soon arrive on a series of steps within the museum. Yachiyo promises Iroha that they’re close to the exit when a large set of doors open and Mami steps through, now wearing a pin from the Wings of Magius. Mami asks if they too hadn’t heard the gospel of the Wings of Magius, proving that the highest honor is dedication to the liberation of Magical Girls. Yachiyo tells her they won’t be joining the organization, causing Mami to become furious that they would deny a way to overcome their grief. Mami’s eyes shine with a strange light as she summons her rifles and attacks Yachiyo. Yachiyo begs her to listen as nearby Touka appears drinking tea and surrounded by Black Feathers. Touka tells Yachiyo that Mami doesn’t have to listen to her just like how Yachiyo didn’t listen to them. Mami continues her assault on Yachiyo and is able to summon two ribbons to tie Yachiyo’s spear hand down as she points her rifle at Yachiyo’s face.
Before she can pull the trigger, a fire extinguisher is thrown in the air above them and a sword appears to pierce through it, enveloping the area in the surrounding gas. Yachiyo is just able to leap down a flight of stairs and get some distance between her and Mami, coughing as she holds on to Iroha. Sayaka Miki appears, walking towards the steps where Mami stands at the top. Sayaka says that this isn’t like her to bully the weak as Mami looks down at her, the strange light in her eyes flickering as she recognizes her old friend. Sayaka tells her they’ve been looking everywhere for her as Mami accuses Sayaka of coming there to hurl abuse at her. Mami blames herself for what happened to Sayaka and the others then asks if Madoka is there as well. Mami then says she needs to bring Madoka to Kamihama as well since Magical Girls can be saved there. As she struggles with the knowledge of the truth of magical girls, she grabs at her chest gasping. The strange light in her eyes glows fiercely as she rants about how they were all tricked into becoming Witches and Mami transforms into Holy Mami.
Holy Mami summons hundreds of her rifles and begins to fire them all at once in the direction of Yachiyo and Sayaka. Sayaka summons several of her swords and attempts to deflect the bullets flying at them, the deflected bullets destroying the museum around them. As Yachiyo attempts to flee by deflecting some of the bullets with her spear, she stops and turns back. Yachiyo summons hundreds of her own spears and attempts to launch them at Holy Mami only to have the barrage of rifles knock her spears away easily. Holy Mami continues to rain down bullets on her enemies as her rifles rotate in place like a machine gun. Yachiyo attempts to covalesce her spears into one tornado and directs the attack at Holy Mami but Holy Mami retaliates with her Tiro Finale, the sheer force of the bullet firing destroying the massive gun from which it was fired.
Holy Mami shoots another gun-destroying Tiro Finale at Yachiyo, but Sayaka leaps in and attempts to block the attack with her swords. As the massive ball of magic pushes at Sayaka, her arm tears off from the force of trying to push back the attack. Sayaka reattaches her arm with magic as she reaches back for her fallen sword, her swords chipping away as she tries desperately to stave off the attack and is just able to direct the attack away from them. Touka sits smiling as she watches the battle. She notices the time (5:50) and says she’s late for an appointment. She gets up and leaves with the Black Feathers in tow behind her.
Yachiyo summons a walkway of spears that fly towards Holy Mami as Sayaka races across them. She launches herself at Holy Mami only to be knocked away by Mami’s ribbons. Sayaka attempts to run and dodge behind some of the fallen bookcases, but Holy Mami soon finds her and continues her raining bullets down. Behind a different bookcase, Yachiyo lays Iroha down as Iroha awakens. Iroha weakly says they have to help, but Yachiyo believes they’re in no position to do so. Iroha’s soul gem is dark with impurities as she tells Yachiyo that she means to use her doppel. She promises to return to Yachiyo.
Sayaka takes a moment to catch her breath and heal her wounds as the rain of bullets stops for the moment. Ribbons appear throughout the museum, creating a birdcage as two ribbons wrap themselves around the bookcase Sayaka was hiding behind and tears it in half, leaving no room for anyone to hide. Holy Mami smiles and aims her rifles at Sayaka only for Iroha’s doppel to block the bullets. Iroha begs Mami to stop, asking her why Magical Girls should fight one another. Holy Mami summons more rifles in response but is knocked to one side by the scorpion tail of Yachiyo’s doppel. Yachiyo appears, informing Iroha that she too can summon her doppel. Yachiyo warns Iroha that the power is dangerous to use for long and tells her they must finish he battle quickly. Touka sits in the back of a black car, the Rumor spreading creature chauffeuring her to her next destination. Touka narrates that she’s sorry she had to leave Mami behind to die like that, but thanks to her they’ll be able to create Uwasa that are more efficient at collecting emotional energy.
The fight continues as both Yachiyo and Iroha’s doppel forms attempt to attack Holy Mami. But each of their attacks is deflected by her ribbons or by her extreme agility as she uses her ribbons to pull herself through the air. The whole time Holy Mami is raining bullets down on them as she knocks Iroha into a far wall. Sayaka can only stare as she watches the doppel battle unfold before her. Iroha stands up, her doppel form having dissipated. As Iroha summons her doppel once more, her body begins to wrap itself in bandages once more as a white mask appears on her face. Holy Mami descends on Iroha and at the last second she is grabbed by Yachiyo’s scorpion tail and whipped around violently before being thrown far across the museum. Yachiyo leaps over to where Iroha stands motionless and dissipates her own doppel form before shaking Iroha. Iroha’s white mask disappears as well as the bandages as she returns to the waking world. Yachiyo warns her that that is the power of the doppel. Iroha says they’ll be alright as long as they remain together.
At the headquarters of the Wings of Magius, Touka stands on a platform before an applauding crowd of thousands of Black Feathers. As Touka gives a speech about Magical Girls and their wishes, Rena and Momoko watch from the crowd of Black Feathers. During Touka’s speech, the battle with Holy Mami rages on. Yachiyo and Iroha clasp hands as they use the power of connect. Touka believes that the power of wishes is what has advanced human civilization and that it is this power that is humanity’s greatest asset. It is the potential for human wishes that Kyubey and his race lack. Due to the miracles produced by the wishes of Magical Girls, Touka believes that magical girls are more humanthan even regular humans. However, Magical Girls are not afforded any respect. They become injured, defeated, and even die all without the knowledge or thanks of the rest of the world. As Rena listens to the speech, she is bumped from behind by a passing Black Feather. The Black Feather’s hood falls to reveal Tsuruno Yui, her eyes aglow with a strange pink light. Touka continues her speech, comparing Magical Girls to merchandise that has been used up by humanity. She believes that the emotions of Magical Girls are the key to making miracles and by their own hands they can take back their fates.
As the battle with Holy Mami continues, the museum continues to fall apart from the damage of the battle. Large boulders break off from the ceiling, one of which crushes Holy Mami beneath it and causing her to fall deep to the bottom of the museum. Sayaka calls out for Yachiyo and Iroha as the floor gives way under Iroha, causing her to fall into the same chasm. Yachiyo reaches out and just manages to grab onto Iroha’s hand at the last second.
Touka finishes her speech by informing everyone of the doppel system that she has created, in which no Magical Girls’ soul gem will ever become muddied and no girl will ever have to transform into a Witch again. Touka promises that the Wings of Magius are the only faint light of hope for Magical Girls and promises liberation to all. Rena becomes disgusted with what she hears and turns to leave only to find Kaede standing behind her, her eyes slightly cloudy as she smiles from underneath her Black Feather robes. As Rena attempts to leave, Kaede grabs her by the arm and asks her where she’s going. Kaede reminds Rena that she promised she would never leave her side again as Black Feathers surround Rena.
Yachiyo attempts to pull Iroha out of the chasm only for ribbons to shoot out from the darkness and wrap themselves around Iroha. The ribbons pull tightly at Iroha as Yachiyo struggles to bring Iroha up. Iroha shakes her hand free and falls into the chasm, her hand still reaching towards Yachiyo. Yachiyo calls out Iroha’s name as the small Kyubey runs across Yachiyo’s arm and leaps into the chasm after Iroha. The ground soon gives way under Yachiyo and as she begins to fall, Sayaka manages to leap in and grab her, leaping out of danger as Yachiyo cries out for Iroha. The museum finishes collapsing behind them as Yachiyo recalls that Iroha promised her she wouldn’t die.
The credits roll as the Black Feathers applaud Touka’s speech. Some of the Black Feathers in the audience can be recognized as Felicia, Sana, Tsuruno, Kaede, Kuroe and others. Alina looks down from a nearby walkway at the applauding congregation. She yawns and turns towards the open doors of a balcony and steps out into the night. She looks up at the crescent moon and hopes that Walpurgisnacht will be coming soon.
- Kaede is revealed to be a Black Feather of the Wings of Magius.
- Kuroe, now as a Black Feather of the Wings of Magius, reappears after her only appearance on Magia Record Episode 1.
- When Rena discovers Tsuruno is now part of the Wings of Magius, Tsuruno's eye color is magenta instead of orange. This could be a reference to her future fusion with the Uwasa of the Chelation Land Mascot, and her transformation into Rumor Tsuruno.
- In the Blu-ray/DVD edition of the episode, Tsuruno's hair changes from her usual light brown hair color into aqua, and then returns into her original color.
- Shizuku Hozumi makes a cameo appearance in this episode, as one of the Black Feathers who guard Touka.
- The shape of the Uwasa of the Memory Curator is changed almost completely.
- The fight between Iroha, Yachiyo, and Sayaka against Holy Mami is greatly expanded in this episode. In the game, only Iroha, Yachiyo, Madoka, and Homura fight against Holy Mami, while Sayaka only arrives to help the group to escape.
- During the fight, Iroha's and Yachiyo's Doppels (Giovanna and Campanella, respectively) are used, but Holy Mami does not explicitly use Candeloro/"Florence" in the same way.
- Iroha is kidnapped by Holy Mami, while Yachiyo and Sayaka escape at the end of the episode. In the game, however, the fights ends with Iroha, Yachiyo, Madoka, Homura, and Sayaka escaping. Iroha is kidnapped by the Wings of Magius on Chapter 8.
- Madoka and Homura are absent from the events of this episode. However, Madoka is mentioned by Mami.
- This episode's ending is called Nigredo (ニグレド), by the group ReReGRAPHICS. Nigredo has two meanings:
- In alchemy, "Nigredo" means "putrefaction" or "decomposition". Many alchemists believed that as a first step in the pathway to the philosopher's stone, with all alchemical ingredients being cleansed and cooked extensively to a uniform black matter. This could be a reference both to Alina's obsession with death, and the Magius' goal to achieve the salvation of Magical Girls, sacrificing several of their own members to achieve that goal.
- In analytical psychology, the term became a metaphor for "the dark night of the soul, when an individual confronts the shadow within". This could be a reference to the Witches (and, by extent, the Doppels), being a Magical Girl's dark side.
- Sayaka interrupting Mami's confrontation with Yachiyo by throwing a fire extinguisher and piercing it with a sword to make it explode directly references her doing the same thing to interrupt Mami and Homura's confrontation in Rebellion, which itself references her blowing Homura with an extinguisher in the first episode of the original series.
- Sayaka's deflection of Holy Mami's second cannonball, which flies in an arc before exploding, directly parallels Mami firing a Tiro Finale at giant Lottes in Rebellion.
- In the original airing of this episode, Holy Mami's amassed rifles create the outline of a flower. This detail is removed from the Blu-Ray release, where the amount of rifles are greatly increased and the shape is non-existent.
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|Why Is This So Unbearable?||A Faint Hope||Episode 14|