Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka 2

There’s something innately horrific about the concept of “cuteness.”

So many of the things we think of as cute– like cats, dogs, and other fuzzy little animals– are killers at heart. All of those physical traits that combine into this ball of fluff and joy are adaptations that make that animal perfect for killing and eating other animals, many of which we also find cute. Big, expressive eyes make you better capable of seeing your prey. Fur keeps you insulated, so you can be on the hunt when it’s cold. Those tiny little paws and mouths contain deadly claws and teeth designed to rip flesh and render something else dead. Some people see this as us equating these traits with similar traits in children, and thus it’s some sort of projection of our parental instincts that makes us adore animals– we see them as our children and want to protect them and such.

The catch is that all of those things that make a baby helpless and in need of our protection are the very things that make “cute things” deadly. If that notion’s true, we’re infantilizing tiny little murder machines. We want to nurture that killer. We want to hold it and squeeze it and call it George.

So it really does make sense to carry out this thought to something like the creatures in Spec-Ops. Those adorable little plushie-like creatures you see in magical girl shows have all of the same cute-killer traits, so why not turn them into biological weapons of terror? Why not have them go to war with humanity and bat around their heads like a dollar store pet toy? This isn’t some ironic, meta-textual, post-modern reflection or criticism of magical girl shows or anything like that. It’s just a natural conclusion to make if one wants to go down that path.

If given the chance, Luna or Kero would probably try to eat you and play with you before doing so. It’s just something a magical cat dog fuzzy thing might do. Why not play that out?

If anything, the whole concept of the magical girl itself plays to this notion. You have a bunch of cute girls wearing very feminine outfits going around doing the sort of stuff traditionally “tough” looking characters do. What Superman and Batman do in spandex and battle armor, they’re doing in pleated skirts, big ribbons, and high heels.

So yeah, cute things killing you isn’t deconstruction. It’s simply what the genre calls for. It’s what nature demands.

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