Magia Record Episode 4: This Isn't the Past
|This Isn't the Past|
|First airing||25 January 2020|
Gekidan Inu Curry (Doroinu)
|Episode director||Midori Yoshizawa|
|Animation Director||Hitoshi Miyajima|
Iroha approaches the Chinese restaurant "Banbanzai" as she looks at a flyer for it. As the enters the restaurant, she sees Tsuruno Yui wearing an apron as she punches at a side of beef. The last punch she throws is strong enough to throw her dad against the wall, still holding the side of beef. Iroha begins to slowly close the door to the restaurant, but she's too late as Tsuruno notices the potential customer and stops the door with her foot, welcoming her inside.
As Iroha narrates about the meaning of having a friend, she meets up with Momoko Togame, Rena Minami, and Kaede Akino at Mitama Yakumo's place to eat snacks and talk about their next course of action. It seems all the victims of the Friendship Ending Staircase have returned safe and sound. Rena finds it odd that a Witch wouldn't have harmed any of her victims, especially after an extended period of time. Momoko wonders if perhaps it wasn't a Witch, but something else lurking behind the rumor. There have been other strange rumors circulating around the city as of late including a rumor where you see your future if you watch television at 4:44:44 am. Momoko mentions a rumor about an expanding underground empire under a certain manhole, but Rena dismisses it as being ridiculous. Iroha asks if there are any rumors about people disappearing, thinking perhaps that Ui Tamaki has been caught up in one of these rumor cases. When Rena suggests Iroha go to the police about it, Iroha dismisses the idea since she has no photographs or other evidence of Ui's existence. Iroha considers questioning people, but figures it would take a long time, especially with no leads. Momoko offers their help and Mitama hands Iroha a flyer for Banbanzai and suggests she stop there for lunch once she gets hungry.
Back in the present, Tsuruno introduces herself as the strongest magical girl as she hands Iroha large portions of fried rice, ramen, and vegetables. Iroha stares at the food since she had only ordered a regular sized ramen. Tsuruno says the large portions are what they regularly serve and that the food is on the house for a fellow magical girl. She encourages Iroha to eat up as she watches and eagerly waits to hear what she thinks of the flavor. Iroha eats some of the food before quietly saying it tastes good. Tsuruno begs her unrelentingly to give it a score and Iroha attempts to dodge the question before settling on a score of 50/100. Tsuruno appears devastated at the response.
After she finishes eating, Iroha apologizes for her rude comment earlier but Tsuruno brushes it off. She knows that her restaurant is known for its balanced dishes that always score 50%. Tsuruno then apologies to Iroha for not being much help in finding her sister, and offers to call a friend she knows that could help her in her investigations of the rumors of Kamihama. After making a phone call where she begs her friend for a favor, she happily declares that her friend has agreed to help.
Tsuruno and Iroha travel to Mizuna Shrine where they meet up with Tsuruno's friend: Yachiyo Nanami. When Yachiyo recognizes Iroha, she apologizes to Tsuruno and tells her she won't be able to help after all. She had only agreed to help because she thought it would be new information on the rumors she was investigating. Before she can leave, Tsuruno grabs her by the arm and begs her to stay and help. They grab a drink at the cafe in front of the shrine as Tsuruno tells Yachiyo about all she had heard from Iroha concerning the Friendship Ending Staircase. Having heard about it, Tsuruno is fired up to find out more about these creatures hiding behind rumors. Yachiyo opens her notebeook and tells them about the Seance Shrine she's been investigating lately. It seems if you write the name of the person you want to meet and then pay a proper visit to the shrine, you'll meet that person and become so happy you never leave the shrine. While researching online, Yachiyo found posts online from people who claim they meet the person they were searching for. However, those same people never posted again after that one post. The girls agree that it sounds suspicious and Tsuruno gets up excitedly, running towards Mizuna Shrine's entrance, completely certain that the Seance Shrine and Mizuna Shrine are one and the same. But Yachiyo doesn't think it's that simple, especially after she already tried writing a name on a plaque at Mizuna shrine.
The three girls decide to investigate the various shrines in Mizuna ward and start at Inari Daimyoujin. After writing names down and praying, the girls turn to find Tsuruno holding stamp cards. It seems there is an activity where you visit the different shrines in Mizuna Ward and gather a stamp at each one. After completing the tour, you're suppose to arrive at a "marriage power spot". While it looks to be just a promotional activity by the Town Revitalization Committee, Yachiyo agrees to try it out. She figures it would be more time-effective than wandering around aimlessly and wants to see if the stamp card that is based on a local legend has any connection to the rumor of the shrine.
As they travel from shrine to shrine, Yachiyo describes the legend to Iroha: A long time ago, a lady who lived in Mizuna Castle fell in love with a man from the town. However, they were from different economic classes and her fiance grew jealous, eventually murdering the man. Every night she pleaded at a shrine for God to revive her lover and on the 1,500th night her prayer was answered. Iroha thinks the story has a beautiful ending, but Yachiyo reveals that there is a hidden ending that many have forgotten. The price the woman paid for this miracle was the lives of every person in the town.
Tsuruno walks up besides Yachiyo, happy to be hanging out like old times. Yachiyo rebukes her and Tsuruno looks dismayed for a moment before speeding ahead, excited to get to the last location. Iroha envies that Yachiyo has such a good friend. Yachiyo corrects her, informing her they were friends once but that was a long time ago. Still, Iroha would be happy to have a friend since she had no close friends other than her sister Ui. Her life revolved around taking care of her sister, and without her she feels lost. Yachiyo accuses her of living in the past, but Iroha is adamant that it's not in the past. As the girls arrive at the last shrine, Tsuruno is surprised to find it was Mizuna Shrine all along. But the shrine has already closed for the day. Even with the stamp card filled, nothing out of the ordinary has happened. Yachiyo figured the stamp card would be too common for the rumor to trigger so easily and wonders if there might be a clue in the various places they visited.
As the girls leave the area, they pass a grocery store with various sales signs posted on the front. Yachiyo stares at the signs in shock, muttering to herself about how she could have forgotten something so important. She turns to Tsuruno and Iroha and asks for their help. The girls agree to help and hurry inside. Yachiyo mutters finances to herself as she urges Iroha to grab more groceries. It seems Yachiyo is trying to maximize the points and savings she'll get from taking advantage of the store's limited time sale. When Iroha doesn't understand the importance of grocery sales, Yachiyo accuses her of still being a kid. As they continue shopping, one of the shelves begins to rumble and Yachiyo stops: she's sensed a Witch's Labyrinth. Upset she'll miss the sale, Yachiyo and Iroha transform and enter the barrier.
Once Inside, they are attacked by the Witch Candy. Iroha races ahead, Yachiyo calling out to her to stay behind. But Iroha insists she's a magical girl too and launches her arrows at Candy. Candy dodges the attacks before burrowing under the ground of her barrier. She pops up underneath Iroha and splits her head open, revealing a pelvis bone and attacks with her rabbit ears (which are now covered in teeth). Yachiyo pulls Iroha to safety before turning her attention to the familiars swarming around them. The familiars begin to pile around them when Tsuruno appears and burns through them with her fans. Tsuruno announces herself as the Strongest Magical Girl before narrowly dodging an attack from Candy. Iroha grabs Tsuruno's arm, connecting with her and imbuing her with her magic. The amount of magic launches Tsuruno up into the air, crashing into the ceiling of the barrier. Tsuruno's not worried and thanks her for the boost before launching her "Flaming Waltz Dance" straight down into Candy, destroying her in the process.
The barrier dissipates and the girls are back inside the grocery store. Iroha stares at her soul gem, the bottom of it beginning to fill with impurities. She keeps this to herself as they walk out into the street. It is now late at night and the sale is over. Yachiyo asks the two girls to come with her to check out something. She says they are heading to the Seance Shrine and notes that the woman in the story always prayed at the shrine at night. The girls leap over the shrine's entrance and walks towards the shrine's center. As they walk, the small Kyubey comes running toward them and leaps into Iroha's arms. Yachiyo is surprised to see it there as Iroha explains it appeared during the Friendship Ending Staircase fight. Three plaques fall from the sky at the girls' feet and Yachiyo hands one to Iroha. Tsuruno holds out her hands for a plaque but Yachiyo doesn't want her to write anything down since they don't know what will happen to them. Iroha writes her sister's name down only for the plaque to spring to life and take flight. The girls transform into their magical girl states and head towards the shrine's center.
Dark shadows take form, demanding that Tsuruno write a name as well before reaching out towards her. They pull her back and begin swarming around her. Tsuruno prepares to fight them off and urges Yachiyo and Iroha to hurry to the center. There, Yachiyo pulls the rope attached to the bell and both girls bow their heads in prayer. When she raises her head, Iroha finds they are now inside the shrine's barrier and it is now sunset. As they turn to look, Mifuyu Azusa stands there waiting for Yachiyo while Ui stands on a different pathway.
- During the three's trial and error, they stop and pray at an Inari God (稲荷大明神)'s shrine.
- The spots on the stamp rally card are Former Mizuna Red Light District (元水名遊廓), Gift Shop (お土産屋)、Mizuna Family Garden (水名氏庭園)、Kamihama Art Museum (神浜美術館), Cultural Theater (文化劇場), Mizuna Castle (水名城), Mizuna Shrine (水名神社). The blank before each place's name is reserved to fill in a certain hiragana, which then turns out to be "みずなじんじや" (Mi Zu Na Ji N Ji Ya) respectively, namely Mizuna Jinja (水名神社/みずなじんじゃ) or "Mizuna Shrine".
- During Yachiyo's narration of the ancient story:
- Ria Ami and Manaka Kurumi make cameo appearances in the episode.
- In a scene of the water surface, the ripples abnormally contracts from outside to inside, possibly a metaphorical expression of "returning to the past", in contrast to Yachiyo's narration "days that are lost can never return" and the title "This Isn't the Past".
- Shoes can be found in many scenes. And in one scene, there are many Japanese-style socks Tabi in front of a shrine. This might be echoing the rally event's theme "Follow in the Footsteps of the Tragic Lovers" as well as implying the real price behind these "footsteps".
- The people walking in procession during the explanation of the Tragic Lovers' story appear to be wearing the robes of the Wings of Magius implying that they too are being sacrificed for a miracle.
- Yachiyo's words "The dead can't be resurrected so easily." "Days that are lost can never return." "There is always a price to pay for a miracle." possibly echo what Homura says in PMMM.
- In Episode 5 of PMMM, Homura says to Madoka "Just as the dead don't return to life." when commenting Sayaka's becoming a magical girl.
- At night before the three enter Mizuna Shrine, the winged insects in several scenes are possibly ephemera, aka. mayflies. They have a shared implied meaning in both East Asian culture and Western culture: ephemeral, short-lived. After the three enter the shrine, some of these insects are stuck onto a cobweb.
- Rumors have marks similar to a Witch's Kiss that they mark their victims with.
- The rune card from the first episode that corresponds to the Seance rumor reads "We do not glorify the past". Both episodes featuring the Seance rumor deal with the past as a theme, and this episode has the word Past in the title
- The legend about the broken couple is added a "true ending" in the anime.
- In the anime, Candy remains relatively unchanged except for the buttons that ornament her dress.
- This episode showcases Mitama's famous "cooking skills" by having her eat a slice of cheesecake covered in ketchup, sprinkles, and an umeboshi.
- This is the first appearance of the rumor spreading creature. In the previous episodes, the rumors were told as is without the creature being shown.
- When Yachiyo takes Iroha and Tsuruno into the grocery store, the song playing on the overcom while they shop is the one she sings in the musical stage adaptation about the virtue of the 10 point sale.
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|Sorry for Making You My Friend||This Isn't the Past||There's No Place For You Here|