Magia Record Story Mitsuru Inami Wants to Be "Normal"

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Part 1

We begin with Chapter 10, when Yuna and Juri bargain with Ao to enter her Kimochiverse. Yuna offers to go in with Juri and raise Ao from when she's a baby; if by the end of it all, Ao still believes her way is true and inevitable, then Yuna and Juri won't stop her. After a pause, Ao agrees to the bet, but also observes that Yuna and Juri will commit suicide if Ao doesn't allow this. Yuna simply says "Right." Okay, Ao says, but they have to stick to their promise that they'll give up on stopping her if she doesn't change her mind. That confirmed, she allows them into her heart, and time rewinds...

The event proper begins with Ao shredding Hikaru in a fighting game; Hikaru is a good sport about it and offers to play another. But no, Yuna says, Ao needs to do her homework first! Just then, Juri comes home too, thanking Yuna for preparing dinner even though they're both so busy with work. Juri spots Hikaru as they all sit down to eat - "Oh, Horse! Ya slipped in here again..."

As they eat, Yuna reflects - it's been ten years in the Kimochiverse. They just need to keep protecting her for four more years. While this setup is temporary, the life itself is very real, with all the trials and tribulations you'd expect. For example, dealing with an unemployed freeloader!

Juri groans about how exhausted the day has left her. Ao frets about how tough it is every day for her mom; Juri quickly stammers no, it's all good, ain't nothin' to worry about! She then ribs Hikaru about getting a job herself; Hikaru grumbles back. In narration, Yuna explains that Juri works in a vehicle repair shop; with an ongoing labor shortage, she's been working increasingly overtime. Today was the first day she's come home on a normal schedule.

Yuna, meanwhile, works in the city hall as the mayoral secretary. Given that her real-world dad is the Futatsugi mayor, it's a given she'd take up the career here. Still, as her career progressed, she became just as overworked as Juri. Even with Hikaru watching over Ao, their housework has been piling up...

Therefore, Yuna makes a family announcement: She will be hiring a housekeeper. She quickly explains her reasoning, and while Hikaru and Juri aren't quite convinced, they know the circumstances and agree to the plan. Ao is eager to meet someone new as well! So Yuna starts on the hunt and finds a candidate, and at the end of the episode, we're introduced to one Mitsuru Inami!

Everyone introduces themselves; Juri makes sure to clarify that Hikaru is just a neighbor, but Hikaru protests that she's practically family! Mitsuru responds with awkward, stiff formality; Yuna tells her to relax, though Juri is wary of how timid and weak this girl seems - not someone they can count on where it counts. Yuna snipes back that maybe she's just aware of all the pressure Juri's putting on; Juri protests she ain't doin' anything like that! But still, Yuna agrees somewhat to Juri's concerns, though she'll give Mitsuru a try nevertheless.

Mitsuru pipes up, handing over her resume and asking more about the job. Basically, Mitsuru will be focusing on housework while helping Hikaru with Ao on the side. Yuna figures they ought to start with a test run, and Mitsuru jumps up to sart with cleaning once Yuna fetches some tools. Mitsuru immediately turns competent and has the living room clean lickety-split, impressing the moms. In an aside, Juri figures Mitsuru's alright; Yuna agrees, and they leave the rest to Mitsuru. All that settled, Hikaru and Ao get ready for some fun and games...but Yuna snaps at them to do homework first! With that, another ordinary day in the Promised Blood household continues on its way...not knowing that their lives would soon be in turmoil.

A few days later, Juri comes home to find herself alone - Mitsuru's shopping, and Ao is at Hikaru's. Once she's sure she's alone...Juri pulls out a bag of cutesy sweets hidden in a closet! Juri explains that while working at the auto shop, the inflammable warning signs around the place remind of her youth, stressing herself out - but rather than venting her stress by brawling, nowadays, she takes her mind off things by eating cutesy sweets. That said, Ol' Juri the Great ain't the sort you'd expect to indulge in these kinds of treats, so she's self-conscious of eating them around the others... So of course, Mitsuru just has to enter the room as soon as Juri has a bite! Poor Juri chokes, but Mitsuru saves the day with a glass of water.

Recovered, Juri snaps out questions - how much had Mitsuru seen?! She'd seen Juri eat those cute, yummy candies... Juri threatens Mitsuru to not tell anyone! But when she sees Mitsuru shrink in fear, Juri realizes her temper and quietly asks Mitsuru to keep quiet about what she just saw. Mitsuru softly points out that it's not as though Juri has done anything wrong... Juri very politely asks "Will you please shut your trap?" and Mitsuru says yes, of course!

We jump forward to a month after Mitsuru was hired. This time, Hikaru's the one alone, with Yuna and Juri at work and Ao at school, and Mitsuru, again, shopping for dinner. That means it's Hikaru's turn to indulge! Her indulgence of choice is...her Yuna photo album, grown-up edition! She goes gaga for Yuna's classy adult charms, but is fully aware she can't do this in public - Yuna doesn't like it, and while Hikaru is being secret about it, she knows Yuna would still get mad even if it was all done in private. Still, Hikaru argues to herself that it's not so bad; this is fine art appreciation---! But her hand slips and all her photos are scattered all over the room. Mitsuru helps her gather them up, and Hikaru thanks her, and - wait, since when was Mitsuru here?!

Indeed, Mitsuru saw Hikaru looking at the album in enchantment, and hesitantly asks why there are only Yuna photos in there...? Hikaru, blustering, calls it a magic spell or a good luck charm - for family safety, prosperity, and good health above all! Mitsuru is confused, but she does agree to tell no one of what she saw here, begging Hikaru to *please* stop bowing, this is getting really awkward!

...But the secret doesn't stay hidden for long, 'cause that's the moment where Yuna, Juri, and Ao come home! Yuna instantly knows what's up, and Hikaru stammers she knows, she knows, she was trying to do tihs privately! Juri wryly asks if she *really* had to come to their house just to do this? Hikaru says she hides the album here, so yes, she couldn't help it! Juri has something to say about that, but Yuna's more concerned that Ao came across this... But in fact, it wasn't Ao who initially discovered it, but Mitsuru just so happened to be standing behind Hikaru, and...

That sounds awfully familiar to Juri - and Ao giggles, too. Yuna asks what Ao is hiding, and after more giggles, Ao eventually fesses up that Mitsuru caught her playing games instead of doing homework, so Ao asked her to keep it secret... Hikaru and Ao are really in the same boat! Juri confesses nothing but gets suspiciously antsy, asking if Mitsuru's the kind to go snooping for secrets... Say, where *did* Mitsuru go anyway?

None of them had noticed she'd left, but just as they all wonder, Mitsuru is there again! They all reel as Mitsuru apologizes. Yuna listens as Mitsuru explains this always happens - that's how she is, you see. A person who blends in perfectly into the background, someone utterly forgettable, with no presence at all - a person who's like nothing more than thin air...

The next day, while Ao is at school, Hikaru and the moms meet in a local park to talk about what's up with Mitsuru. She doesn't sit right with Yuna. Juri *almost* gives away that she's been caught by Mitsuru too, but manages to cover it up and save her pride at the last minute. But still, they must heed extreme caution - they're just a few years out from completing their gamble with Ao. They have to fight every day to ward off the Kimochi and keep things normal...and Mitsuru has shown herself to be a risk.

Yuna explains that they'll be meeting Mitsuru. Hikaru is startled - "Don't tell me that she's already here!" She shouldn't be, Yuna clarifies - she should be arriving shortly. Everyone's on edge, but Juri observes that while Mitsuru's ability to erase her presence is certainly something, if she actually had ill intent and was targeting Ao, why would she be so obvious about it? Whatever it is, Yuna says they'll need to take immedaite action if something is amiss. Hikaru wonders why they're not doing this at home, then...before realizing Yuna is anticipating a battle.

Hikaru voices discontent - and again, Mitsuru pops up just then! She apologizes for being late, but Yuna says no, she's right on time...and gets a strange feeling about Mitsuru. Perhaps she senses something familiar about her...

They get right down to business. Mitsuru insists she's not sneaking up on people on purpose! She explains that she has zero presence; no matter what she does, she just can't get people to notice she's there. She begs for another chance, saying she'll be more conscious of this from now on. Yuna tries to ask questions, but Mitsuru keeps on pleading and pleading and pleading; Juri and Hikaru note to themselves that she's suddenly become very strong-willed - just as they and Yuna feel the sharp presence of a Witch.

Mitsuru suddenly quiets down, mumbling...and then asks, is everything all cleared up now? Yuna tries speaking, but Mitsuru keeps going - well, she doesn't really know what to say, but she better get dinner ready, so is it okay if she leaves to do her shopping? After a pause, Yuna lets her go, apologizing for making her come out of her way like this. Mitsuru stammers out no, no, it's okay, and skitters away. The girls (well, women) figure it's better to get her out of range of the Witch...except the Witch's presence moves with Mitsuru.

It changes nothing. Their duty is to eliminate all anomalies from this world. The hunt begins.

They pursue the Witch into an alleyway and breach the Labyrinth, and there within is Mitsuru herself! She panics upon seeing them, freaking out that they won't think she's normal anymore! Yuna's like "huh? Normal?" and Mitsuru goes off in an explanation that starts off funny and then goes "oh no Mitsuru is not okay at all." where she's like "Well, this is just a normal everyday thing, you know? Witches run around and they make these places called Labyrinths, and they're *supposed* to attack muggles but this one's after me for some reason?" She transforms, continuing in the vein of, "And well, yes, you see, I'm a Magical Girl, and you might think that's not normal, but I've been doing this since I was a kid, so it's normal for me! So I'm normal!!! I'm completely 100% normal!!!!!"

That's when PB decides to transform, leaving poor Mitsuru screaming in shock. They agree to sort this mess out later, but for now, it's a fight! The Witch goes straight for Mitsuru, who easily deflects the attack...making it fly in PB's direction instead! Juri roars into a counterattack, thrilled to be in the heat of battle again, and the fight goes on...

Once the Witch is slain, it's time to hash things out. We learn that Mitsuru has always wanted to have "a normal life" ever since she was small, prompting her wish to Kyubey. Ever since then, she's lived the normal life she so desired, but has been forced to reconcile that with being a Magical Girl. Mitsuru lived on the run from Witches, managing to survive for years with no idea what her powers were - you see, when Witches targeted her, they somehow were defeated on their own, and she'd get the Grief Seed! Eventually, she came to understand the true nature of her magic, calling it "Unconscious Avoidance", a passive ability that automatically deflects attacks thrown her way. She apologizes for that attack being deflected into PB - she didn't mean it!

Mitsuru's MGS delves more into her backstory, but we get the gist of it here, that her mom was not a very good mom, forcing Mitsuru to be "normal" and not stick out. That's left Mitsuru in state of passive stillness - not too forward, not too behind; not to excel, and not to fail; to maintain moderation in absoltely all things...someone with as minimal a presence as possible.

Mitsuru beats up on herself, and Hikaru tries comforting her - "You're better than me! I don't even have a job!" "Nooo, I'm nothing more than a useless scab" "And I'm nothing more than a leech...!" Juri tells them to put a lid on the pity party, just as Yuna realizes something - has Mitsuru ever been in Futatsugi? The question throws off Mitsuru, but she says yes, she'd lived there for some time because of her parents' work...and then she comes to a realization too!

Juri's still confused. Yuna brings up the story of the Magical Girl ghost, and now Juri remembers - for some reason, in the gang war clashes way back then, people would be thrown down and knocked around for no reason at all. Those occurrences grew into an urban legend of a Magical Girl moving among them like a ghost, attacking from blind spots, even wrecking Juri... Was that Mitsuru?

Mitsuru's tried her best to suppress memories of that time, but yes, she remembers the whole thing, Torayamachi and Ryuukazaki - she apologizes again, saying she really didn't mean to do all that! Juri is pissed, swearing she'll make Mitsuru pay for her time, but after some words from Yuna, Juri groans and says it's all water under the bridge. But still, Yuna notes, how strange for them to meet again here...what exactly is going on with this world?

Mitsuru has no such doubts - if anything, this is heaven to her! To work in a household of magical girls means she really will have a completely normal life now!

But no, Yuna says - she's firing her.

Hikaru and Juri are surprised by this. Mitsuru is left in stunned silence. When Juri voices an objection, Yuna calls her out - wasn't Juri the one against this to begin with? Anyway, Yuna will explain things later, so just wait. Yuna is about to call Mitsuru's housekeeping agency, but Mitsuru pleads - wouldn't it be more convenient to have a meguca working for fellow megucas? As the trio walks away, abandoning Mitsuru in that alleyway, Mitsuru screams in their wake, imploring them all to reconsider - "I just want to live a normal life with you!"

Once alone, walking through their neighborhood in the setting light, after seeing how desperate Mitsuru was, Juri demands an explanation *now.* Yuna says alright, and has them all stop walking and face each other to ensure they all see behind each other, to be alert of Mitsuru's approach. Yuna says it's all quite simple - Mitsuru is dangerous to Ao. Ao comes first; with Mitsuru around, they won't know what to expect, and there's far too much that can go wrong. Well, why couldn't she just explain that, then? Because explanations lead to negotiations, and Yuna will not negotiate on this. Better to sever things immediately and without hesitation, and explain things to the agency instead. She repeats again that Ao takes first priority above all else.

Hikaru says yeah, that's true...but Ao was quite fond of Mitsuru. Indeed, once the family is home, we see Ao distraught and wailing when she learns Mitsuru won't be coming anymore, and refuses to calm down. Yuna leaves her to Juri and Ao as Yuna calls the agency ("Calm Help"). She asks to cancel her contract starting today, saying she was assigned Mitsuru Inami... The agency states that they cannot cancel any contracts with her. This is unheard of. Yuna asks why. The agency simply says they must continue with this contract going forward.

Yuna asks why again, and realizes the person on the other end of the line is Mitsuru herself. We cut over to Mitsuru standing out in their neighborhood in the dead of the night (maybe even right outside their house), as she explains that this is her company, and she's its only employee, hahaha...! So they'll have to continue with this contract, you see... Oh? Yuna doesn't want to? "I see... but... I'll be visiting you again tomorrow..."

With that, Mitsuru hangs up. Yuna realizes, with horror, that Mitsuru will be coming here again. And Yuna narrates, Mitsuru would live up to those words...