Magia Record Story Our Beginning is a Recurring Dream
The story opens with Hazuki and Nanaka at a cafe, discussing the immediate aftermath of Arc 2 Another Story 1. To recap, Meiyui and Akira have joined KMU, while Kako wants to wait and make her own decision, and Nanaka and the Azaleas turned them down, though Konoha and Hazuki allow Ayame to help her friends if they’re attacked. Hazuki is impressed that, despite all the differing philosophies on Nanaka’s team, the four of them still manage to operate as a cohesive unit.
On her way home, she reflects on their own team dynamic. While the Azaleas came to Kamihama with the belief they should remain independent of other groups, and prioritize no one but themselves, the Arc 2 war is clearly complicating such matters. If Ayame fights to protect her friends, for example, she'll likely be mistaken for a KMU member. And, of course, in that exact moment, Hazuki gets an emergency phone call from Konoha...
We cut to Ayame. She’s with Kako and Felicia, who are both being threatened by the same PB goons that went after them in A2AS1. Kako wants to de-escalate and retreat, while Ayame is raring for a fight, having already contacted Konoha and Hazuki about it. The fight soon breaks out, and eventually, Ayame pursues the retreating PB members alone. It's a trap - she's ambushed and soon overwhelmed, and suddenly recalls Konoha and Hazuki's warning that she should never go into danger alone. She braces herself for the end, and…
Konoha and Hazuki come in for the save. The PB goons realize they're outmatched and scramble away. Hazuki and Konoha scold Ayame for not heeding their promise, and move to take her home. But when Ayame confesses that Kako and Felicia were attacked, too, and that she left them behind, Hazuki says they'll escort them home as well (despite Konoha's reservations).
At home, they talk about how they need to reconsider their agreement that Ayame can help defend her friends. Hazuki points out that neutrality in this war is meaningless if Ayame's going to assist KMU anyway. They need to decide on their priorities, goals, and what they want for the future. That makes Ayame think of a book Kako gave her, about career research for students - while Ayame is interested in all kinds of different jobs it talks about, her only goal right now is to be stronger so she can keep her loved ones safe. Konoha says she can't give an answer about what she wants right now, which postpones that discussion for another day.
The next day, the Azaleas visit Mitama, who has a favor for them - to escort Nayuta, a Takarazaki native, to the Satomi Medical Center for a meeting. Nayuta talks about how the other day, she got caught up in a fight with PB goons, and now she's nervous about going out alone. She’s hoping for someone neutral to help guide her. Since Mitama and most of her clients are with KMU, she can't help, but the Azaleas would qualify - and would receive a reward for their efforts. Ayame is all for it, but it all comes down to what Konoha thinks.
This leads to our first branch: Does Konoha immediately accept the offer, or does she decline?
If Konoha accepts, she says she accepts, but Hazuki notes to herself that her conviction is not quite sincere, and you move onto the next day. This leads to an alternate route later on (see Bad Ending 3).
If Konoha refuses, before she voices her concerns, Hazuki intervenes and says they'll give their decision the next day, and you get an extra scene before advancing. In this extra scene, at home, Hazuki decides they need to have that discussion about their priorities right now. Konoha admits that her only priorities remain Hazuki and Ayame's safety, and that she would rather do nothing than risk their lives in sticking their necks out for someone else. With that consideration, to her, Ayame should not be allowed to help even Kako.
Hazuki seems to say that fighting will be inevitable no matter what they do...so why don't they take advantage of the situation instead? They can take on a job as bodyguards for hire, working with whoever hires them, and only attacking those who attack the Azaleas or their clients, be they witches or magical girls. That means they maintain neutrality, but in exchange, as part and parcel of the job, they must protect everyone for whom they're responsible - in other words, each other and their client. If a situation gets dire, they cannot simply save themselves and abandon their client - they must think of what is best for everyone involved. It's a clever strategy; if Kako or Felicia are under attack, then Ayame can intervene and fib that she was hired to keep them safe, thus maintaining neutrality. Hazuki trusts that after the scare from the other day, Ayame won't be reckless anymore and will wait for Konoha and Hazuki to back her up.
And that takes us to our next branched choice - will Konoha agree to bodyguarding, or not?
If Konoha rejects, move to Bad Ending 1. If Konoha accepts, she thinks about how she's still terrified of what will happen - but Hazuki is correct. If they remain "neutral," it's not going to end well for them at all. She says for the three of them to continue to thrive, they need to adapt, and bodyguarding will be the way to do that. Ayame gets fired up and dubs their team "The Azalea Sisters;" Konoha loves the name (because Ayame came up with it), and they call up Mitama to accept her request.
The following morning, they begin their escort quest, and shortly run into PB along the way. The goons are looking for the Kimochi stones, and recognize Nayuta as the one who "impersonated" being a member of PB. The goons go on the offense, but the Azaleas step in, explaining how they're hired bodyguards who protect anyone in exchange for due compensation.
PB calls them out, saying it's not very neutral to exclusively protect KMU girls, but they counter by saying Nayuta is from Takarazaki - she's not with KMU at all. The goons get angry and fight anyway. The Azaleas have the upper hand, even after Sakuya runs in to help. After taking some licks, Sakuya is willing to hear the Azaleas out. They explain themselves to her, and she lets them go; while she doubts they're actually staying out of the Kimochi Wars, she's now willing to wait and see if they remain true to their word.
Hazuki thinks it turned out quite well - they were given the opportunity to prove their neutrality. On their way to the hospital, Nayuta explains her whole quest, that she's looking for her dad (which hits home for the orphans), though Ayame doesn't seem to get why she’s so determined to do so. At Nayuta's prodding, Ayame talks about how she was abandoned, but Konoha and Hazuki were always there for her, so she doesn't really mind. To this, Nayuta sees her opening and says that if Konoha or Hazuki disappeared, how would Ayame feel? That sense of loss and need for answers is precisely why Nayuta is searching for her dad, and it clicks for Ayame.
The trio and Nayuta fight a witch, rescue a nurse, and chat more about Nayuta's cause (which is also to reveal the truth of magical girls to the world), which prompts Konoha to reflect on how she really can't prioritize past Hazuki and Ayame, but being a bodyguard will force her out of that role. In any case, they successfully get Nayuta to the hospital.
Some days later, after some successful jobs and with plentiful advertising from Mitama and Puella Care (for a price, of course), the Azaleas are inundated with requests, including from magical girls outside of KMU. They're now recognized as a neutral party. They adhere to three rules for taking requests - they can only take jobs that occur in Kamihama; they are a defensive group uninvolved with Kimochis (so they won’t take hit jobs against other magical girls, for example); and they need to be compensated with grief seeds. They're pretty chuffed about their new busines. From there, we get three vignettes peeking into various jobs.
In the first vignette, they take on a request from Hotori to help her train to fight witches - she found out about Ui getting kidnapped, and that prompted her to train to protect her sister and friends, and also to fight witches on her own. The situation is pretty dire, though - Hotori gets nervous and can’t land hits. Ayame coaches her, starting with the goal to land a single hit on a Witch, which Hotori eventually does, and progresses from there. By the end of their training, Hotori is now able to solo a Witch! Afterwards, Hotori remarks how while she and Ayame are both 13, Ayame is a very strong magical girl, comparing her to a super sentai hero. That gets them both gabbing about Drarangers (Hotori’s favorite show), and eventually their goals for the future - like what kind of person they want to be. Hotori wants to be like one of her sentai heroes, while Ayame, in light of Nayuta's ambitions, wants to be someone who can help everyone.
Their next request is from Chika; this seems to be shortly after the events of Chapter 4. Chika wants to escort some of Tokime clanmates back to the village and explain what happened to the adults, but with Neo-Magius monitoring the area around the temple, she's uneasy about risking the trek and revealing the village's location to NM. Thus, she has an unusual request: distract the Neo-Magius for a day so she can escape. Since it's not directly related to the Kimochi wars, the Azaleas take on the job - first, they'll evaluate the situation, then once they have a plan, they’ll coordinate with Chika to arrange her departure.
On the job, they see that they're outnumbered by NM grunts. They brainstorm ideas to draw NM's attention - perhaps feigning to be a fellow member of NM, or pretending to be one of the Tokimes? But that could jeopardize their neutrality. Hazuki comes up with a plan, though - they quickly make arrangements with Chika, and then openly approach NM, who are hiding out in some alleyway. The Azaleas lie and claim they were hired on behalf of Kagome to help interview NM members on magical girl supremacy. Hazuki says she knows the NM are a very busy bunch, so to make it quick, Konoha and Hazuki offer to interview all of the NM members around there at once - they all just need to be rounded up together. And with that secured, Chika and her clanmates sneak out. All said and done, NM is actually very happy about the interview - it's another channel to help them spread their ideals (and Hazuki was a good listener, which made them happy to talk). Hazuki reminds herself to apologize to Kagome for deceptively using her name, though.
Mission complete! After returning to Kamihama, Chika talks about how the Tokime clan is quite isolationist - as a whole, they believe they should only draw upon their own power and not rely on others. Chika kept her recruitment of the Azaleas locked down and top secret, even from the other Tokimes, to not disrupt the clan's harmony. Hazuki remarks that growing up as part of such a traditional family must be tough, but Chika says she doesn't feel connected with the bloodline itself, actually - she's connected with actual people in it instead, for helping restore her faith in humanity. For that end, and for preventing magical girls from becoming witches, she will do everything she can to support them, even if it must be secret. This resonates with the Azaleas, particularly Hazuki, which makes sense if you think back to their first event.
The next job is with Maria, the day care volunteer - this time, to slay a witch. She greets them as "the Azaleas Sisters," which upsets Konoha and Hazuki because the nickname was intended for just the three of them (but Ayame signed their response to Maria with it). Fittingly, Maria is very good at handling Ayame’s boundless energy. In any case, they agree to take out the witch that's within range of the daycare that Maria works for. Since Maria is part of KMU, Konoha asks why she didn't ask someone there for help, but it turns out no one was available at this time of night, and the witch is too speedy and evasive for Maria to take on alone.
They win, of course - Konoha using her illusion magic to disorient the speedy witch (though Ayame almost botches it by running headlong into the witch without paying attention to her surroundings). Maria expresses her gratitude for them helping save the kids, which prompts them to talk about children.
Maria explains she aspires to become a preschool teacher or get some other job working with children, remarking that while working with kids can be very difficult, it is immensely rewarding - which is almost word-for-word with what the director at the Azaleas' former orphanage once said. Konoha begins to wonder if maybe she can follow in the director's footsteps - since she's now becoming someone who cares about people beyond her inner circle, and admired the director so much, perhaps she can take on a similar role as a protector and advocate for kids. She surprises herself with her own thinking - she never expected she'd imagine herself in a job benefiting others in that way.
With all those jobs finished, we approach our next branching point.
At this point, the Azaleas have tons of bodyguard experience, to the point they have a job every single day. Even though they have a huge workload and Ayame is tuckered out, Ayame still wants to go out and do some training that day. Konoha protests, worrying Ayame is overworking herself, but Ayame says she wants to train hard so she can help and protect people when she's older.
This job has been forcing all three of them to think about their futures, though their discussion is interrupted by an emergency request - the new meguca, Sae, to whom Maria had given a referral. Sae is from Kamihama, but not a member of KMU, and the witch she wants them to take out is...one of the Mirror Witch's familiars that's grown into a full-blown Witch. They express reservations about this job, compounded by Sae pressuring them to defeat the actual witch ASAP instead of giving them time to think about it. While Ayame wants to go in guns blazing, Hazuki does not trust this new girl, stating she might be a saboteur from one of the other factions. This leads to our choice: Does Konoha accept or reject their client's request?
If Konoha refuses, go to Bad Ending 2. But if Konoha accepts the request, she surprises Hazuki through her willingness to trust this suspicious stranger. They negotiate with Sae and agree they'll analyze the situation and figure out a route that avoids the familiars. Inside, Hazuki remarks on how the new labyrinth is an exact replica of the original witch's, before they're promptly spotted by clones and overrun. Konoha forces them all to retreat, stating that if she's going to take this kind of risk, she needs to know why.
Sae explains that her sister, Sayumi, has vanished in the new labyrinth. They were both playing together when her sister lost her stuffed animal, and stumbled into the labyrinth looking for it - and Sae wasn't able to find her in her initial excursion into the labyrinth. Now they're all raring to go (though Hazuki is still skeptical - if that's all there was to it, why wasn't Sae more upfront about the reason?), and head back inside; this time Konoha casts her illusion magic on the familiars so they can move unimpeded.
Around this point, the story takes another branch, but not one that you choose here - the split depends on whether you immediately accepted Mitama’s request, or stalled. In this route - the correct one - Konoha stalled on the request, and had that discussion with Hazuki and Ayame about the job (to see what happens otherwise, see Bad Ending 3).
As they delve further, Sae remarks that she really doesn't like talking about her family - hence why she didn't mention her sister at first. Konoha doesn't pry. They chat about why the Azaleas became bodyguards, and Sae marvels over how they're working hard to accomplish their goals - she says it'd be nice if both of their goals worked out, but doesn't elaborate on her own ambitions.
Further inside, they find Sayumi's name tag on the floor, chat a bit about family (basically, the Azaleas aren't blood-related but they are a family nonetheless) before Konoha has Ayame cut the small talk, and soon find Sayumi, unconscious but alive...and a Sandbox Witch lurking about. They wonder if regular witches are passing through the Labyrinth as well, but there's no time to chat about it - they have to grab Sayumi and get out. But Sayumi's beloved stuffed animal is snagged on the Witch, and it retreats further into the labyrinth, trying to lure the gang deeper into its depths. Sae says she has to pursue it.
The route diverges here depending on whether the Azaleas had the conversation about their goals before accepting Mitama’s offer. In the correct route, where they did have that discussion, Konoha remarks that it’s dangerous for them all to go after the witch together. If it were just the Azaleas, they would likely have grabbed Sayumi and retreated by now, but with Sae here, they need to prioritize her wants, too. Still, they can't run in blindly. She limits themselves to just grabbing the stuffed animal and retreating, and Sae is cool with that. So instead of taking her client and whole family into the depths of the labyrinth, Konoha forces Ayame to stay behind and guard Sayumi, while the other three advance. They attack the witch, Sae moves to grab the toy, but gets distracted by a Maria clone, and...she dies. The Azaleas panic that the attack must've hit her soul gem, and with all the commotion, Ayame runs in to see what’s going on, a Rooftop witch gangs up on them, too, things spiral out of control...
And so the Azaleas have no choice: despite Ayame's anguish, they have to get out of the labyrinth immediately, and fail their biggest mission yet.
Bad Ending 1
This branch occurs during their conversation after Mitama’s job offer. If Konoha rejects the offer, life goes on until a certain tragedy happens, which affirms Konoha’s resolve to stay out of the Arc 2 wars. They soon fall out of the loop on greater Kamihama matters, and Ayame grows increasingly depressed and listless. One day, she begs Konoha to let her help Kako and Felicia, but Konoha refuses. Ayame runs away from home, gets caught up in a fight but doesn’t contact Hazuki or Konoha for help, and dies. Konoha breaks down and regrets her life decisions.
Bad Ending 2
In this branch, where Sae begs them to help her find her little sister in the Endless Mirrors, Konoha refuses. She argues that it's too dangerous for them to take on the labyrinth alone. Hazuki also comes up with the excuse that if they defeat the Mirrors witch, that'll be a violation of neutrality, considering that groups like PB use the labyrinth for their operations. But Sae freaks out, insisting that they need to defeat this witch immediately, and declares she'll go in alone, muttering to herself that she was a fool for thinking she could trust others.
The next day, it turns out Sae never came back from the labyrinth. Ayame insists they investigate. They do so, and find her corpse. Word gets out that they were responsible for her death by not going in after her, thus losing all their clients, and they return to as things were before - just the three of them. But this time, they've lost their hopes and dreams for the future.
Bad Ending 3
Now, if Konoha immediately accepted Mitama’s job without thinking it through, then the Azaleas never sat down to discuss the conditions of the job with each other. This includes the idea of what to do if they’re all thrown into a dangerous situation, and how they agreed that they need to act in everyone’s best interests and for all of their safety. Therefore, deep in the Mirrors Labyrinth, Ayame joins the other three in pursuing the Sandbox Witch instead of staying behind with Sayumi. Ayame and Sae attack the witch to retrieve the stuffed animal, but when they get caught in a trap, Hazuki and Konoha panic and rescue Ayame first instead of Sae...resulting in them being responsible for Sae’s death.
Konoha copes by insisting the three of them are all that matters. They bring Sae's sister home safe and sound, but word gets out about their failure to save Sae, their reputation is ruined, they have no future, and return to isolationism.
The Azaleas escape the Mirrors labyrinth with Sae’s sister, Sayumi, in tow. Outside, Sayumi comes to. They come up with the cover story that they stumbled across Sayumi looking for her stuffed animal, saw her entering a shipping container that nearly collapsed on her, and rescued her. They give Sayumi her stuffed animal, but she asks where her big sister is, and Konoha says they haven't seen her, and the trio escorts her home. Afterwards, they decide to swing by Mitama and then Livia's to tell them what happened, and that they will be suspending their activities indefinitely.
We cut to Konoha leaving Mitama's - as she departs, Mitama worries about them. Konoha, meanwhile, knows that at some point, they were objectively going to fail a job, but then, in a flashback, recalls a conversation she had with Hazuki, where Konoha said she was happy they started this work. Hazuki agreed - it was a good chance for Ayame to think about what she wants to do as she grows up, and let her understand that change can be a good thing. Even so, back in the present, Konoha thinks that they can't continue like this.
She returns home, and Hazuki confirms she told Livia about the incident and their hiatus as well. With all three Azaleas gathered, they discuss what they want to do, given what happened, with Hazuki casting her vote for quitting. While working for other people isn't as bad as she thought, this incident proves they can't protect their clients and the three of them at the same time. Konoha agrees, while Ayame isn't so sure; Konoha decides that they can all take some time to think things through independently, and make a decision later.
The next day or so, word has spread about what happened. Kako goes to the park to visit Ayame (with Akira and Meiyui accompanying her there but walking off once they get there, so Ayame and Kako can talk among themselves). Kako doesn't ask if Ayame is okay - she knows she’s not okay. Ayame, with a sad look on her face, tells Kako she doesn't have to worry, but Kako can’t help it. With that, Ayame cracks a bit - they were Sae's bodyguards, but Sae died under their care. Does that make them murderers? Kako objects - no one is at fault for this death.
Ayame wants to quit, but Kako counters that there are many times Ayame has saved lives through her work. Ayame is scared she'll let someone die again because she's too weak, and decides that her dream of taking on a job in the future where she could help lots of people is impossible. Kako begs her to give bodyguarding another shot, but Ayame decides she's just happy to be with Konoha and Hazuki. She'll still protect Kako and Felicia if they're in trouble, but otherwise, she doesn't care about being a bodyguard. In the distance, Akira and Meiyui look on sadly.
Next, we have Hazuki and Nanaka meeting up again. Nanaka wants info about the witch they fought, but Hazuki says she doesn't have any useful information. This is unusual for Hazuki, Nanaka notes out loud - normally she'll give such information out, and so she prods Hazuki for any reasons she's not doing so this time. Hazuki simply says that's because it's inconvenient for her, and that Nanaka must surely know the circumstances of what happened by now. Nanaka remarks that accidents happen, and this time, it’s not the Azaleas fault - but since they know the cause of the problem, they need to nip it in the bud to prevent it from happening again. Hazuki dismisses her, saying the witch attacking others won’t be an issue - it seems like one that likes to hide and keep to itself.
She's about to leave, but Nanaka asks her about them quitting as bodyguards - will they resume their activities? Hazuki asks if there's a job Nanaka wants to hire them for, but Nanaka says she asks because Hazuki's demeanor has changed since she became a bodyguard, and Nanaka had wanted to see how she would grow from here. Hazuki figures they probably won't be returning to the job, and takes her leave. Outside, she notes to herself that Kamihama has become more hostile to them since they botched the Sae job, and resolves to tell Konoha and Ayame that they need to quit for good.
Now, we're onto Konoha, meeting with Maria, who’s heartbroken over Sae's death. Konoha can't get over what happened, either, and regrets ever becoming a bodyguard in the first place. Maria, however, counters that if they stop being bodyguards now, that means Sae's death amounted to nothing. She begs them to keep continuing their work. Konoha is shocked she would say that - but thanks her, thinking to herself that she knew doing nothing was the wrong move; that this was her old self talking, trying to fight the hard work of change. Konoha says she'll speak with Hazuki and Ayame, weighing everyone's thoughts before they make their final decision.
With all that laid out, we come to our first branching point for part 2.
The Azaleas sit down to talk together, with Hazuki and Ayame arguing they should stop being bodyguards. Ayame argues they can find some other way to be neutral, while Hazuki says she wants to quit, and wants them to move out of Kamihama for good, noting their cratered reputation. Ayame vehemently objects to moving out, but Hazuki insists Ayame can still talk to Kako and Felicia over the phone or email or something similar - point is, the Azaleas need to prioritize themselves first. Finally, we have Konoha, who simply says she wants to stay in Kamihama and continue serving as bodyguards.
So now we must decide: Whose decision is the right one - Ayame, Hazuki, or Konoha’s?
Ayame’s choice leads to Bad Ending 4; Hazuki’s to Bad Ending 5; but if we take Konoha's decision...Konoha recaps how they took on this job to begin with to maintain neutrality while protecting Ayame's friends. Things were going well until Sae's death, but up until that point, Ayame had started having hope for the future. Hazuki confesses she'd been thinking about what she wants to do with her life as well, which prompts Konoha to admit she's been doing the same. Ayame is relieved, and finally smiles - she'd been feeling guilty that she was considering things that had nothing to do with them as a team/family. Konoha is in the same boat. She believed that thinking only of her own wants would be a betrayal of the three of them. Hazuki was the same way. In taking on their jobs, though, she's found that as a magical girl, and as an orphan, she wants to be someone who can enact change in their surroundings - she's not sure how or what she wants to do to make that happen, but the desire is there.
Their job, Konoha realizes, has allowed them to find hope, and she doesn't want to give up on that. While they're afraid they'll fail again, the three agree they also want to keep trying. After all, the orphanage director they so admired once told them that, in times of adversity, people need to hold hands, work together, and support each other to make it through. And so, for Sae's sake and for their own as well, they once again take up the mantle of Kamihama's bodyguard service.
First, however, they need to regain trust among the Kamihama magical girls, they decide the best way to do that is to destroy the offshoot Mirrors witch that killed Sae, so they can truly fulfill Sae's request. They head back to the Mirrors branch, observing how rapidly the labyrinth has been expanding. They run into some copies, but decide to evade them and hone in on the witch. They know, though, that they’ll likely encounter the other witches inside the labyrinth as well, but Ayame seems pretty gung ho about taking them on.
They soon get swarmed with clones, however - there are far, far more copies present than before. They need to conserve their strength, so Ayame figures they need to look for openings and keep pushing their way forward. In their haste, however, they get caught in a trap, and it cuts to black - but Nanaka’s team, Hotori, Rion, and Maria swoop in to bail them out.
Everyone’s combined effort finishes off all the clones. Konoha asks what they're doing here. Nanaka explains they'd been looking into this labyrinth as well (Ayame accuses her of stalking them, but Akira claims it's basically because "if you guys struggled against this witch, then it's a serious threat to Kamihama"). Through Hazuki’s unintended “hint” that the witch liked to hide out, and Nanaka’s deduction, they tracked down the labyrinth’s precise location. Hotori and Maria came because Hotori wanted to convince them to keep being bodyguards after everything that happened, and Maria was worried about their wellbeing, and spoke Mitama, who seemed to direct them towards Nanaka, who had tracked down the labyrinth's location, so... (and Rion, of course, is just here because Hotori was going).
Well, Ayame says there was no need to fear - they've resolved to keep being bodyguards. Hazuki says they'd like to be left to fight the witch alone to fulfill Sae's request, despite Akira’s eagerness to help. Nanaka reasons that, well, they came here to investigate the labyrinth and nothing more...so they'll keep on doing that. If they happen to be going the same way as the Azaleas, so be it. And Witches are dangerous, so they'll be sure to avoid them... But if they just so happen to come across any clones, they'll have no choice but to cut them down along the way. Konoha realizes that all this only happened because they've made efforts to change - before, they were isolated, but now, there are other magical girls who are willing to help them. With any activity, meaning and purpose lie in connection with other people. And so, they accept Nanaka's “offer.”
They all tread deeper into the labyrinth, rumbling with clones along the way, with a funny exchange where Rion and Hotori face off a Rion clone, who seems much friendlier than the original. Ayame fends off that Rion clone, declaring herself as one of the Azalea Sisters, and everyone begins teasing the trio over how cute that name is - but they're interrupted when they sense the presence of the sandbox witch that killed Sae. Nanaka notes it's not the Mirrors witch, which prompts Akira and Meiyui to explain what they've learned as part of KMU - that there's a plethora of witches gathered in the "mother" Mirror Witch's labyrinth. Before they can speculate further, more clones come to fight, so Nanaka and her squad decide to take them on, leaving the witch to the Azaleas.
They fight the Sandbo Witch, but when they mention something like "Let's do this for Sae!", Sae pops up at the mention of her name! The Azaleas are in a fritz - Hazuki insists she must be a clone, but Ayame detects Sae's magic, which indicates it has to be the actual Sae. But isn't Sae dead?! Sae goes something like, "I've been looking for you guys everywhere - let's forget about the witch and get out of here" and takes off. Hazuki, convinced she’s a clone, thinks she may be trying to draw them further into the labyrinth, and decides Konoha should pursue Sae, while Ayame and Hazuki finish off the sandbox witch.
And that leads us to our next branch decision: Does Konoha stay with Hazuki and Ayame, or does she pursue Sae?
If Konoha stays behind, see Bad Ending 6. If Konoha decides to pursue Sae, she reflects that their purpose here is to avenge Sae's death, and for that, they need to destroy the Mirrors offshoot. Hazuki and Ayame assure her they'll be fine - if all goes south, Nanaka and company will undoubtedly step in to help them slay the Sandbox Witch, so Konoha takes off. She catches up to Sae, calling her an impostor. This infuriates Sae, who is revealed to be a clone, and she sics a Rooftop witch on Konoha.
The fight exhausts Konoha (with the screen going ominous and dark like it does before a witch/doppel occurs), but she does take down the witch - only for the Sae clone to get salty and take down Konoha instead, leaving the others for the Mirrors witch to finish off. In a dark space, Konoha can no longer feel her body - it's very cold. She realizes she must be in the deepest part of the labyrinth...the witch's zone. But she can't fight anymore. Hazuki and Ayame find her, but after extending so much effort, everyone's soul gems are so dark... Konoha asks Hazuki and Ayame to take her hands, and has them promise that they will pursue their dreams - and they all vow they will not let their futures end here…
Cue them all doppeling out, combining into their Megazord doppel and wrecking the offshoot Mirrors Witch.
We don't get to see the actual fight scene, though - we just get the labyrinth fading, and the trio waking up back at the shipping terminal where they found the labyrinth. But this time, the labyrinth is gone - they slayed the witch! It’s not the main witch, just an offshoot, but a win is a win nevertheless. The whole squad celebrates, with Konoha thanking Nanaka for her help. The mafiosos remark that they felt the presence of a powerful doppel before the labyrinth was destroyed, and Hazuki confesses that it wasn't just one of them that doppeled, but all three. Maria and Kako agree to get in touch with Mitama (considering it’s the crack of dawn) to have her ensure the Azaleas are ship-shape.
Nanaka remarks how they've changed. Akira agrees, saying they've grown...softer, somehow. Meiyui says that's part of working with other people. It's all too deep for Ayame, who's just happy with how things have gone. Since they're having trouble getting in touch with Mitama given it's so early, they decide to take a rest, first - as it turns out, doppeling out is exhausting. Just then, however, they hear a voice - none other than Sae herself!
Everyone is thrown for a loop (and Maria gives Sae a huge hug, tears in her eyes). Sae is extremely disoriented, and they all demand an explanation at once. Sae says when she realized she was outgunned, she activated her magic to pretend to be dead. When she lifted the spell, however, she was alone - and there were still witches and clones lurking about. She used her magic again to conceal herself so she wouldn't be found.
With that settled, her first order of business is ensuring Sayumi is safe (which she is) - and then Ayame gets mad, saying Sae could have at least called, only for Sae to confirm that phones don't work in labyrinths. Still, Sae apologizes for worrying everyone, and thanks the Azaleas for defeating the witch. They're now in an awkward place, however - all the Kamihama megucas think Sae is dead, and her family must be worried sick, given she's been gone for over 24 hours. Sae freaks - she has to call her family, she has a part-time job at stake, etc etc etc - but Konoha remarks that what matters right now is that she's alive. Hazuki says she'll help come up with an excuse, but in the meantime, Sae needs to head home ASAP. Sae does so, but not before thanking the Azaleas for their work.
Two days later, the Azaleas meet with Sae again. Her family was in a tizzy, she got scolded by her job, but otherwise, she made it through alright. She relays Sayumi’s thanks for helping her find her stuffed animal, and Ayame says she's always up to play with Sayumi. While the Azaleas's reputation is still shot, they're confident that over time, the truth will spread and things will turn around. Sae pays them with two grief seeds - one on her own behalf, and another for saving her sister - but thinks it's not enough compensation. Konoha figures Sae can serve as a living testimony and help advertise for their work until the Azaleas are back in Kamihama's good graces, and Sae is happy to do so.
With that, Hazuki has one other question - what was exactly the goal that Sae mentioned she was after, way back when they first entered the labyrinth? Sae says, essentially, it’s to "live a rich, luxurious life with my family." Ayame reads it as her wanting to live happily with her family, just as the Azaleas do. Sae supposes she's right.
Sae heads off to her part-time job, and they all go separate ways. In a monologue, Konoha reflects on how, compared to their life of neutrality, they get into a lot more danger now...but it's worth it for their involvement with other magical girls, and their new outlook on growth and change. While the life of a magical girl is cruel and harsh, the Azaleas vow that - even if only slightly - they will make their futures brighter.
The End - except, wait, there's one more scene to go...
Afterwards, the Azaleas are making some oyakodon together. Konoha insists she can do it herself, but it's Hazuki's turn to cook today - but even then, Konoha's cooking has gotten...edible, actually, according to Ayame. Hazuki remarks that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses - but they have a long life ahead of them, and can overcome their weaknesses over time.
In that light, Konoha confesses that in the future, her dream is to help orphans like them, in a position like the director's. She recoils at Ayame and Hazuki's stunned expressions, but Ayame scurries off to get the job research book that Kako loaned her. She opens to the section about jobs that involve helping kids, and pulls up an entry on guidance counseling, which interests Konoha. Ayame then pages over to the part about "Bodyguards," which she's decided she wants to be when she grows up because of how much she likes protecting others. And finally, Hazuki says she wants to become a politician of sorts - not one in the public eye, but someone changing the system behind the scenes, so she can reform the system from the inside and ensure that what happened with Azalea House never happens again.
Now that they all know what they want to do - not simply for each other, but as human beings - and now that they know these desires aren't a fundamental betrayal of each other, they vow that they will work together to make sure they all achieve their dreams. Today, then, marks a new chapter of their lives - one in which they will build upon each other's dreams for the future.
Bad Ending 4
If you go with Ayame’s choice (quit being bodyguards but stay in Kamihama), then upon seeing how distraught Ayame is over the idea of becoming a bodyguard again, Konoha apologizes for not taking Ayame's feelings into account, and Hazuki realizes that part of why they became bodyguards to begin with is so Ayame could protect her friends while maintaining neutrality. They decide they'll quit their job, but remain in Kamihama. Hazuki respects this choice, but warns that their reputation won't recover anytime soon, and they decide to live quietly. But as time passes, Ayame becomes more and more withdrawn, staying at home instead of going out to play. Konoha and Hazuki spend almost their entire days hunting Witches for grief seeds as Ayame's soul gem deteriorates in condition, and naturally, the Azaleas return to a life of isolation.
Bad Ending 5
If Hazuki wins out (the Azaleas leave Kamihama), then Ayame cedes that Hazuki may be right, and that they should leave - at this point, Ayame thinks she’d probably be better off not even knowing Kako and Felicia are in danger than risk being too weak to save them. Hazuki says if they leave, they can start over in a new city, and take on whatever jobs they'd like - it doesn’t even have to be bodyguarding anymore. While Konoha is not happy with this decision, she decides if Ayame and Hazuki are so determined, she'll stand by it.
They move out of Kamihama, but once they move, it turns out their poor reputation follows them into the new city. Konoha, in monologue, remarks how Hazuki began to act strangely. As it turns out, Hazuki worked tirelessly to erase their negative reputation without Ayame or Konoha noticing, and they fail to connect the dots in time, and under all that pressure...Hazuki witches out.
Bad Ending 6
When the Azaleas encounter Sae in the Mirrors labyrinth, they must choose whether to have Konoha pursue her or stay back. If Konoha stays with Ayame and Hazuki, Hazuki gets upset, but Konoha simply can't afford to lose her family here. Another witch joins the fray, but Konoha remains confident - until Sae sneaks up from behind and kills Konoha, calling her a fool. In her dying thoughts, Konoha laments her poor decision and her fundamental inability to change - she apologizes to Ayame and Hazuki, but knows her apologies can't reach them anymore.