Landon already felt a bit uncomfortable watching magical girl anime. He knew real life magical girls. One of his best friends was a magical girl. They didn’t call themselves that, but as far as he was concerned, if you got whisked away by some talking animal and are granted powers by ancient forces who want to defend the Earth, you’re pretty much wearing the same boots as Sailor Moon and her ilk. So knowing the reality of these sorts of things gave the Japanese cartoon versions of these sort of things a weird extra layer. There’s no way Minky Momo’s just here to “protect our dreams.” So you can use transformation powers? What are you, some kind of holdover from the Cold War, meant to spy on unsuspecting Japanese elementary school kids? Because that’s what the real life magical girl Ichigo Sunshine was executed for back in 1982.
So when Landon popped in the 8th generation fansub copy of Hime-chan’s Ribbon, all he could think about was the “Magical Kingdom’s” nefarious reasons for sending down to Earth their princess. Why would their next in line for the throne need to give some Earth girl a magical ribbon that can let her transform into any person she knows. Is this some early-stage beta test for a Bodysnatcher program? That sort of thing was a bit dated-- since the last known replacement program like that was shuttered by the New World Order back in the late 70s-- but being dated wouldn’t really affect a children’s anime made in the early 90s. Yeah, that must be why that chick with the talking broomstick is giving that way-too-adorable-and-squeaky-voiced-to-be-a-real-tomboy main character a ribbon with magical transformation powers.
Yeah, that’s where Landon’s mind went as he watched the first episode of this new fansubbed anime. None of the other members of the “Go Home Club” had shown up in the club room yet-- probably because Landon cut last period so as to sneal off into said club room and watch the his new anime fansub VHS tapes. He figured that was the only way he’d be able to watch his crappy magical girl cartoons without anyone mocking his tastes. Even those in the Club who watched anime with him didn’t have the stomach for frilly girls with magical heart wands and talking stuffed animal familiars who spent their days trying to become pop idols and catching the heart of their boy toy obsession. Unfortunately for Landon, his anime watching would cut short, as he wasn’t the only one who ditched last perior to hide away in the club room.
“What the hell is this shit?” Molly said as she glared over Landon’s shoulders. Being one of said real life magical girls, she didn’t take too kindly to the fictional crap Landon so adored.
“Hey, you might actuall like this one. It’s called Hime-chan’s Ribbon. The main chick’s a total tomboy, just like you--.”
“Wait. Stop. What did you just say?”
“That the-- main girl is a tomboy just--”
“No. The other thing you said. The first thing.”
“That you might like--”
“The other first thing.”
“THAT! That right there! HIME. There’s a magical girl show called HIME? What the fuck, dude. What the fuck.”
“Why yes, a magical girl show uses the Japanese word for “princess” in its title. Not exactly surprising or anything.”
“Dude. Stop. No. Context. Magical girl. HIME. That’s fucked up.”
Landon blinked. He had no idea what the hell Molly was talking about.
“Wait. Really? HIME. You have no idea what I’m talking about? You have no idea what HIME means?” Landon prepared to answer, but Molly raised her hand crossing guard style to hush him. “And no, don’t tell me you already defined it. Don’t play that crap. Not about HIME.”
“You gonna dish out the Molly-approved definition already, or are you gonna keep with the condescending derision some more?”
“You really don’t know what’s up with this? Where have you been the past XXXXX years? You’ve been hanging out with me. Hell, you’ve been hanging out with me since the two of us were in diapers. And in all this time you don’t remember one lick of shit about HIME?”
“Wait. Is this some super secret Sky City thing, and the only time you probably dished out about it was when we were getting high in your dad’s basement or something?”
Molly paused. “Yeah. Yeah. It was. Several times, in fact. And see? I have perfect recollection of that. So what about you, Mr. Fucking Quick Wits? Why can’t a genius like you remember this shit?”
“Probably because I was stoned and don’t have access to the Sailor Scout Akashic Records like you do. That might be it.”
“Yeah. Yeah. OK. So. HIME. It’s-- well-- It’s-- fuck it. Let me show you what it is.”
Molly closed her eyes and concentrated. After a few moments, blue-white energy emanated from her right hand, and it slowly condensed into a shape that looked vaguely like a cassette tape.
“So the universal magical girl subconscious is formatted for VHS?”
“Betamax too, but I haven’t seen anyone bother with that since I was, like, seven.” Molly, looked at Landon’s Hime-chan’s Riboon tape, and casually smashed it against the wall. Before Landon could cry in protest, she popped the psychic cassette into the player. As the energy tape hit the video heads, a faint whiff of exotic chemicals could be smelled in the air. The screen craclked with blue and whte static for a moment before a hazy picture faded onto the screen.
“Hey. Hey? Is this thing working?” A young female voice whispered as the camera panned around a lunchroom. “Guess it’s working. Hope I live long enough to find out. Anyway. Yeah. This is Rahne Dashiel, one of those “Imouto Hime” you’ve hopefully heard about. Yeah, we’re real. Take a look.” The camera panned around the room again, this time slow enough to prove that the entire lunchroom was filled only with young girls. That cursory glance seemed to show the girls sitting in groups of five individuals. Not a single visible group seemed to break from this pattern.
“Isn’t that just creepy levels of symmetry? Five girls to a clique, each with a different hairstyle and hair color. Yeah, you might have two brunettes in a group, but the shades are different enough. My entourage of sister princesses are still in line getting their twice a day allotment of slop and vitamin pills.”
The camera looked down at a pastel pink tray, each section filled with either fluorescent-colored ooze or brightly-colored pills of various sizes. Some of the liquid had words drawn in different colored liquids on top of it. One section of orange pudding had “HAMBURGER” scrawled in yellow frosting, while a green patch of gelatin had “SALAD”spelled out by black stick-like objects. “See that? The other girls honestly think this crud is actual burgers and salads. I’ll admit, it doesn’t taste half bad for what may or may not be recycled dead girls, but what the hell? Really. What the hell?”
“Is something wrong, Rahne?” another voiced asked from off-camera. “It sounded like you were talking to someone.”
“Oh, no!” Rahne said, studdering a bit, “I was ju--”
The camera is focused upon a flat, metallic ceiling. It pans over, showing a three-tiered stack of bunk beds. The top bunk has a small covered pet bed instead of a regular bed. The lights are out and faint snoring can be heard in the background. The camera pans back to the ceiling.
“All of the others passed out as soon as the lights were dimmed. The first couple of nights I was here, I tried waking them up, wanting to do a little girl talk bonding stuff. If we were going to be cooped up in this room against our will, I figured we could at least make like friends. Nope. They were comatose. It might have something to do with the way the lights flicker every so often.”
The lights in the room suddenly turned on and flashed in a series of erratic patterns before fading back into darkness about 20 seconds later.
“Just like that. As soon as the first wave of flickering comes around, they’re out. I know we got a whole bunch of injections when we were first spirited away, and there’s a long period of about two days where I don’t remember much beyond television screens and loud, incoherent noises. Maybe something happened during then that didn’t stick with me. Maybe it’s because I already made a bargain with one of those animals. I met another girl about a week ago who was “aware” like me, and she said she also made a deal with That Penguin. Same Penguin I made my deal with I imagine. She said she had met another girl who had made a deal with another one of those animals. Not That Penguin. She got promoted early on in the project. Never came back. Same thing happened with the girl I spoke with. Promoted to official 7 Crown Princess status. Gone. I hope I never get the same. I’m supposed to be a Crashheart. I’d rather not find out what that mea--”
The girl’s voice stopped. Complete silence settled in for about twenty seconds. The camera panned back to set of bunk beds and focused upon the pet bed. Seven glowing, slitted eyes could be seen, wide open and staring at the camera.
The screen faced the back of a pig-tailed girl’s head. It turned, showing rows and rows of girls lined up, performing kata-like exercises. The camera moved slightly, as if whoever was holding it was moving with the crowd. A soft but permeating voice could be heard echoing through the crowd.
“You are the chosen ones. You are the future. You are the lovely defends of Earth’s potential. You will serve and sacrifice for the greater good. You will crush those that would destroy our peace. You will sacrifice and suffer, but you will be rewarded. If you shall fall, you will be renewed. You will be given new life. It will be a beautiful life. It will be a life free of suffering and sacrifice. It will be a life filled with joy and contentment. Make that small sacrifice. Spill blood. Have your blood spilled. Fight and fall and rise anew in glorious splendour. This is your destiny. This is your choice. This is your fate. This is you.”
The speech started to repeat itself as the crowd continued its monotonous dance. The movements of the camera holder made it obvious she wasn’t performing the same maneuvers as the others-- only moving enough to appear busy and a part of the crowd.
The camera was back in the lunchroom. The tables seemed to be a bit less crowded than the first scene. Girls still sat in five member cliques, but there seemed to be fewer of said groupings than before.
“Managed to sneak out of my room last night. The pet in our room was summoned around one in the morning, and she was in such a hurry that she left our door open. I didn’t record it. I figured I’d have a better chance of feigning ignorance if I wasn’t seen trying to record this stuff. Maybe I could feign sleepwalking or something. I don’t know. Kind of regret it now. Overheard some talk. The Council didn’t like the way things were going. Too many casualties. Not so much among us “Imouto Himes” but among those we were attacking. Not every target needs to be shoot on sight. This is justice, not warfare. Those behind this project disagreed. New times. New strategies. This wasn’t the Cold War. This wasn’t about posturing. It wasn’t about conquering. It wasn’t about politics. It was about control. Death sends the strongest message. Obey or die. Wait. My little gaggle of gals are back.”
The camera swung around, showing four girls of various ages sitting down at the table. The began to eat their brightly-colored foodstuffs.
“This pizza is to die for!” one girl exclaimed as she spooned herself a helping of yellow glop. “Olives and mushrooms. Joy!”
“It can’t beat this, what did they call it, panini?” another girl chimed in, sipping a clear liquid from an unmarked cup. “Fancy sandwich thing. Think there’s ham and cheese and spinach. Total yummers here.”
“I--I--” a third girl, the tallest and oldest of the bunch began to stutter. “I’m being called. Girls! I’m being called!” She stood up and looked at the ceiling. Her eyes rolled back and began to glow bright yellow, and a great big smile adorned her face.
“Oleander O’Neal, due to your fellow 7 Crown Princess ascending to greatness on the battlefield, your sister Splendour V calls you to arms. You will be taken to the fields of glory in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1--”
With the countdown finished, Oleander O’Neal vanished.
Explosions rattled the TV’s speakers. Gunfire and laser fire could be heard in the distance. Screaming started to drown out the cacophony of action. The camera bobbed up and down, as the girl was obviously frantically running about. The camera stopped and focused upon a giant spider-like robot. It reared up on its hind legs, and as it reached the peak of its movement a beam of light shot down from the sky and crashed into the spider’s thorax. The camera focused upon the location of the impact, and a girl decked out in a yellow frilled blouse and matching yellow pleated skirt stood up. Seven glowing orbs circled her head like a crown. She stretched one arm out and motioned as if she were reaching for something on top of her head. A vortex appeared in the middle of the crown of orbs, and she reached inside it. When the girl withdrew her hand, it was covered in a glimmering gauntlet. She mouthed a few words, inaudible due to the distance and the surrounding noise. She then smashed her fist into the spider below her, rendering it in two. She disappeared for a moment as the spider exploded, and the camera pulled back. A few moments later, the girl emerged from the explosion, a golden aura protecting her.
“That was kind of awesome, wasn’t it?” the girl’s voice said, finally interrupting the action. “Normally I’d agree. We’re fighting some transhumanist cult who want to uplift humans and meld them with insect DNA. We’re supposed to kill them all. “Kill and purity” was the mission statement when I got “promoted” this morning. Just glad I didn’t get called up mid-fight like Oleander did. I saw one Nibiru Eden get ported right into battle a few minutes ago. She freaked out instantly. Had no idea what was going on. Got impaled by a giant scorpion stinger within seconds. Real sad.”
Another explosion rattled the camera, and it quickly panned to the right. A large metallic object had crashed a few feet away, and as the camera rested upon it, the object started to unravel and form into a centipede. As the creature skittered about, the camera followed it. The few fleeting glimpses of the centipede revealed that each segment of the beast was made out of what appeared to be a bronzed human head. Each face was distorted, permanently affixed in some manner of agonizing scream.
The centipede skittered about for a few seconds more before rushing towards the camera. Right as the creature was inches away from the screen, a rapid succession of fist strikes launched out, sending the centipede flying backwards. Before the beast hit the ground, the camera’s view shot forward, and those same fists reached out and grabbed the centipede in mid-air.
The centipede was ripped in twain, dark juices seeping out from the two halves. They were quickly cast aside, and with that, heavy panting could be heard over the surrounding noise.
“Had-- had to say that at least once. Keep up my image as a brainwashed, true-believer Crashheart. Seems my role is supposed to be that of the berserker rager. I’m supposed to run around the battlefield, mindlessly killing anything that’s moving and isn’t a Hime. I’m the cannon fodder of the troop. That’s what that means. No way I’m playing that role. I’ll smash some heads and gut some monsters, but I have enough senses about me to not play my role too well. Just enough to keep alive.
“Help!” another young voice shouted in the distance. The camera quickly turned around again, this time focusing upon a girl in a blue dominatrix-like leather outfit. “Help! I think my leg is broken! I--I can’t get up! Help!”
“Damn,” the regular girl’s voice said, dejected. “I won’t make it to her in time.”
Another girl in a pink and white dress teleported in front of the fallen girl. “Fear not, my sister, for Splendour V is here to assist you in your last time in need!”
“Oh thank you! Thank you! Can you fix my leg? Hurry! Before those things find us! Quick!”
“No need for healing of mere limbs, my dear Illuminatrix! You have fallen in battle, and your sacrifice will be rewarded! You have been deemed worth of renewal!”
Illuminatrix was enveloped in a pink light, and she beamed with joy. “Oh thank you! Thank you for sparing me further suffering! Thank you, sister! Thank--” Illuminatrix began to vanish, her body dissolving into faint particles that ascended into the sky. “Wait! No! Wait! This doesn’t feel right. This-- No! Stop! I feel myself-- I’m remembering! I’m-- No! This is wrong! I’m remembering my life! I’m remembering me! But-- no! Now I’m not-- No! I’m fading away! I’m feeling myself ceasing to be! No! Sto--!”
Illuminatrix was no more. The pink light then enveloped Splendour V, and the same soft, ever-present voice from earlier could be heard. “Splendour V, you have deemed yourself worthy of promotion. Take upon the mantle of Illuminatrix as a fellow sister is delivered to the battlefield to ascend to your old role as Splendour V. May you deliver beautiful justice in your new role.”
The camera quickly turned away from that scene and started to dart away in the opposite direction.
“No, man. No way. That’s not happening to me. I don’t want to be evaporated. I don’t want to changed into someone I’m not. No way. No way No--”
The voice returned.
“All my children. All my children. This battle cannot be won if we stand divided. This foe is too great to be won as individuals. We must unite into one.”
The voice started to sing, and four other female voices could be heard joining the song.
“Do you hear the call? Do you see the sign? Tife’Maat, the guardian beast-- the great unifying mother-- the magical sphinx-- calls us to her side! Into the belly of the beast we go! Unified! Glorified! Beautified! Justified! Our might combined as--”
The camera swung around one last time, and in the distance a massive beast stood. It was enveloped in a rainbow of colors, and a long tongue rolled out from its many-toothed maw. As it spun out of the beast’s mouth, the tongue started to angle itself, forming into a staircase-like shape. The camera focused in on the bottom of this fleshy stairwell, and four girls lined up and started to ascend it. The first girl in line, the one with the glowing orbs adoring her head, spun about in a joyous motion when she reached the monster’s mouth and happily leaped in. The other three girls followed suit, each all too eager to be devoured by this magical beast.
Once all four girls were consumed, the voice returned once more.
“Crashheart. Crashheart. You are needed. You are loved. You are required. You are cherished. We want to embrace you. We want to engulf you. We want to cradle you. We want to share with you the joy of oneness. You must embrace your role. You must choose your salvation. You--”
Rahne laughed. “Nope. Nope. That is not happening. That’s-- Wait.”
The camera paned around again as the soft voice continued its attempts to beckon. Once the camera settled, a door appeared out of nowhere and opened. A small figure emerged, engulfed in shadows. A small black flipper extended from the darkness.
Landon was transfixed the entire time the video was running. As far as Molly knew, he was in shock due to what he just saw. Horrific images of magical girls being turned into brainwashed assassins and soldiers should surely snap him to his senses, at least on some level.
“Wait. This thing ends on a cliffhanger? What a fucking mess, man! A one-shot OVA that ends on a fucking cliffhanger? I’m so pissed right now!”
“That was reality, dude! Real peeps dying! Real girls being fucked with! Reality! Dude!”
“But a cliffhanger! What happens next?”
Molly just sighed and snapped her fingers. With that motion, the psychic cassette evaporated, and the VCR exploded, taking the TV along with it.
Landon looked at Molly aghast. “Dude!”
“Dude! Really? The VCR and TV?”
“Yes, dude. And fuck you too.”
“I’m sorry, I just got so engrossed with it, and my mind was all in anime mode. That was some heavy shit.”
“You think? Heavy shit? Of course it was heavy shit. That’ll teach you to watch your shitty magical girl anime.”
“Well, I’m all angry and ready to go to go smash some magical pet faces if it means we can help your buddies, but I don’t know about quitting mahou shoujo cold turkey, man. That’s asking too much. Way too much.”
We Take EXtreme Offense
Posted 27 June 2013 - 10:49 PM
Posted 28 June 2013 - 10:05 AM
I dig it, very "the Ring". Also reveals more of the whole MG thing.
Yeah, like J-Pop or K-Pop idols, picked out, trained up, used up and finally thrown out. And by thrown out, we mean allowed to die/killed.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users