Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka 5

“I was born to provide combat support, so I have no dreams or wishes besides victory, chu!”

In an episode where a traumatized kid had magical brain surgery to keep her from living a life battling PTSD, and the revelation that the same girl will be used as bait to lure out more magical terrorists, this line was the most haunting thing in my book.

Spec-Ops’ magical pet character, Sacchuu, spouts this during the next episode preview. It’s playing off the idea that the magical pets in magical girl shows often only seem to be “useful” to the extent that they’re the ones who grant the girls their powers. Yeah, they give some advice and act as friends, but on a purely practical, monster-fighting level, they’re “support” at best. So, given Spec-Ops almost utilitarian take on the magical girl genre, it makes sense that these “fairies” are embodiments of the support role. We’ve seen Sacchuu act as some sort of magical observation device, piping in information through his eyes to Asuka in the middle of combat, and we see his evil counterpart Gobu relaying messages to the evil magical girl queen. They aren’t the medical sort of support like War Nurse Kurumi, but they fulfill more menial tasks so that the actual magical girls can focus on more direct roles.

It all makes sense with this “tactical” attitude on things, but what’s haunting about that throwaway line is the fact that Sacchuu and his fellow fairies are born for this role. It implies a certain sort of hierarchy within the magical world from which they and the other spirit folk come– that you are born and bred with a certain tactical and strategic role in mind. Someone like Kero was created to protect the Clow Cards, but that’s a very specific role, and something that’s unique to him. More often than not, the role of these magical pets is something that the individual is tasked with– it’s a duty, but not their destined lot in life.

It brings up all sorts of questions. Are they genetically/magically engineered with the sole purpose of making contracts and acting as magical conduits? That would make them not so much living weapons as living batteries– existing only to fuel someone else’s abilities. And do they even have wills of their own? Are Sacchuu, Gobu, and other fairies really  individuals, or are they simply a vessel with the appearance of personality and self-determination? Are they simply acting on some sort of programming that happens to take the form of a cute mascot? If they’re more than simple automatons, what do they think of their role? Is it something they can help? Can they work their way out of this role, or is this all they can be? Is their becoming “good” or “evil” simply a matter of who they’re bound to, or who creates them?

And by extension, what does this say about the magical girls in this world? These fairies have something to do with how magical girls get their powers, so are they in turn influenced by all of this? The girls clearly have wills of their own, but are they influenced by the pet with whom they’re bound? And in turn, if there is a greater force behind that creature, are the girls influenced by that force? Is a girl’s moral compass more about her or more about who she “serves?”

Are these even relevant questions? I don’t know, but that one line leads down an entire line of thought that paints everything going on in this show in a different light. It’s clearly a battle of ideologies here, but is the ideology of the ones doing the bulk of the fighting their own, or that of “greater” masters? With the way the supposed “good guys” are pulling strings and manipulating events, that may be a legit matter to question the very existence and purpose of magical girls.

Maybe the initial war was just a ploy to condition the world for this next move.

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