Jumping right back into the action, this fifth episode begins with War Nurse healing Nozomi’s wounds – including reattaching her severed arm with a magical bandage. Asuka battles the two Russian sorcerers and, through expending a large amount of her magical reserves, is able to eliminate them. Meanwhile, M Squad rushes to the scene and retrieves the unconscious Nozomi and moves into position to support the Magical Girls.
Abigail launches an attack against War Nurse, revealing herself to be a Magical Girl named Barber Scissors Abby. She summons two Halloween-Class Disas monsters to aid in her fight with War Nurse. Despite her best efforts, the fight is rough and it appears that War Nurse will be defeated. It is that pivotal moment when the M Squad arrives and lends their aid to War Nurse, destroying the remaining Disas and distracting Barber Scissors Abby with a barrage of gunfire. Asuka arrives and viciously strikes Barber Scissors Abby, cutting off several of her fingers as revenge for what she did to Nozomi.
Just as Asuka is about to land the fatal blow on Barber Scissors Abby, an impenetrable magical field is placed around her. A new Magical Girl has taken the field, one with magic powerful enough to stop Asuka and the M Squad combined. It is revealed that this new individual is, indeed, the Queen that Abigail serves. Queen teleports herself and Barber Scissors Ally away from the battlefield. Asuka, frustrated that the enemy was not defeated, must concede that the fight was overall a victory.
After the battle, War Nurse and Asuka go to visit Nozomi in the hospital. Her father informs them that she is mentally distressed, suffering from severe PTSD in the wake of her ordeal. Nozomi wakes and immediately panics at the sight of the Magical Girls, the recollection of her magical torture more than she can bear. War Nurse offers the aid of her magic once more, this time in the form of erasing Nozomi’s memories from the previous week – including all of the positive memories that she made with Asuka. Everyone agrees that it’s for the best and, with the aid of the fairy Sacchuu, War Nurse performs the intricate procedure that will allow Nozomi a normal life.
Distressed by everything that has occurred, Asuka voices her feelings of inadequacy to Kurumi. Lizuka approaches the two and laments that the M Squad can only do so much against these new enemies, and that Magical Girls are needed to win a magical war. Asuka, frustrated and angry and determined, agrees to join the M Squad and take up the mantle of Magical Girl Rapture once more. In the final scene of the episode, we learn that the Public Safety Foreign Affairs intends to continue using Nozomi as bait to lure out these new adversaries.
I really enjoyed this episode. It was fast-paced, and packed with meaningful events. Several important revelations were made, and the action sequences were exciting to watch. I feel like removing Nozomi’s memories was a bit of a cop-out, and that it would have been more interesting if they’d explored the psychological trauma and healing process involved with her situation. Overall I’m very pleased with this anime so far, much more so than I thought I would be, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the story develops.
Score: 5/5 (I loved it)