386th G-View: Magical Girl SPEC-OPS Asuka

The Moepocalypse Genre has become synonymous with yours truly around as I have covered and reviewed many over the years and will continue doing so for as long as I am able. This latest one is a Triple Threat, meaning it is part Moepocalypse, ECCHIMANIA and MiliMoe. Find out what I mean as we take a look at Magical Girl SPEC-OPS Asuka.

Magical Girl SPEC-OPS Asuka.jpg

Alternate Title: Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka (Japanese)

Genres: Action, Dark, Drama, Moepocalypse, Yuri

Themes: Magical Girl, MiliMoe, Military.

Objectionable Content: High

Number of Episodes: 12

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: Three years ago, alien invaders ravaged the Earth–until they were defeated by a group of young women blessed with powers from a mysterious source. The girls went back to their normal lives after vanquishing the ghastly monsters, but that time of peace is about to end. The same malevolent creatures have resurfaced, which means it’s time for the Magical Girl Special Ops force to head back to the battlefront and defend mankind.

the magical five

The Magical Five.

Let us go over each of the three above mentioned genres the show blends together alongside the Magical Girl stuff. First being military. The story can be best described as “Magical Commando Girls vs Terrorists”. Terrorists come in the following groups:

  1. Humans: Usually run of the mill corrupt people such as drug smugglers, kidnappers, the mafia etc. Some were able to acquire other means of fighting the commandos besides guns.
  2. Disas: Basically Killer Aliens that look like super creepy plushies. Even their disguises are far from cute. Several of them even reference iconic Western horror movie killers like Jason Voorhees.
  3. Enemy Magical Girls: Cannot have a magical girl show, especially of the dark variety, without fights between them.
Kurumi vs Abigail

“War Nurse” Kurumi in a heated battle.

Most of the weapons ally and enemy magical girls have are either magically enhanced firearms or blades. Very few are typical magical girl weapons. The closest being “War Nurse” Kurumi’s syringe. Speaking of the action, the battles are quite brutal and not for the faint of heart. There is one scene in Episode 4 that will truly test how much violence a person can stomach. However, if the reader is someone who feels a stronger pain when this kind of cruelty happens to adolescent and young girls rather than hot teenagers than perhaps it will not be as hard to handle for these people. For everyone else know that this show not only features beautiful women but intense violence as well. How intense? Visually it is not Mortal Kombat but more Samurai Shodown’s Fatalities.

Having said that the fights are badass and some of the best parts of the show with some strategies deployed every now and then along with a certain group known for being useless…actually being useful here. That was a nice touch.

Now we move on to the Moepocalypse part. Expect lots of gruesome and tragic backstories along with equally gruesome present day living conditions for most of the heroines and some foes. This being a part MiliMoe show many of the soldiers, especially Asuka herself, were left with eternal physical and mental battle scars that may never go away. Taking the present day status of the world Asuka and her comrades fought hard to protect there are many “What did we accomplish?” “Was it worth the sacrifices?” moment subtly and literally sprinkled throughout the show.

Asuka and friends in yukata

Asuka has friends worth fighting for.

 

Luckily over the course of the show Asuka realizes that the world is not all bad. There are many likable side-characters she interacts with and tries to help when in trouble.

That brings us to the ECCHIMANIA part of the show…

 

General Tabira Arrives

The above gif speaks for itself. Expect lots of steamy goodness during combat and casual scenes. Not much clothing getting torn though so that is one ECCHIMANIA tradition left out. No big deal. Still plenty of top notch raging otaku boner content for all good boys and girls here. The presentation is solid with the animation being great where it counts and the soundtrack being decent.

asuka x kurumi

Asuka X Kurumi. Favorite pairing.

When it comes to magical girls and yuri it is an undisputed fact that a majority of the genre is dominated by lesbians. As it should be. It is the natural order for most magical girls to be gay (some bi). SPEC-OPS Asuka takes this fact and is like “Screw it. Let us make 99% of the female cast gay”. So they did. You want sweet yuri? Done. You want naughty yuri? Done. Pay close attention because something very important becomes clear near the 3rd quarter of the show. Viewers will notice if they paid close attention.

If I had a gripe with the show it would be the season finale. It has nothing to do with what happened. There was plenty to like. Thing is…it had “Manga Lure/Bait” written all over it. Meaning “You want more? Go read the manga”. That is bummer but it is the job of anime to get viewers to pick up the manga. I just hoped for a more satisfying conclusion. I have a feeling the show did criminally poorly so my hopes of a 2nd season are slim.

Overall Magical Girl SPEC-OPS Asuka is another enjoyable Moepocalypse show. The babyfaces are likable and the heels are either fun to hate or lame jerks, which is a good thing. The action, violence and fanservice are all pretty good, the presentation is solid and the yuri delivers without fail. Recommended to Moepocalypse and ECCHIMANIA enthusiasts who can handle an added dose of physical and emotional brutality. As for everyone else, be careful should you decide to give it a go.

 

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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23 Responses to 386th G-View: Magical Girl SPEC-OPS Asuka

  1. Mauron says:

    I had to drop this one after episode 8’s opening. While the scene by itself isn’t too much, and I can relate to Kurumi’s motivations, she went to far for someone who’s a love interest. For reference, Kurumi is… gathering intelligence… while the rest of the class is on the beach.

    Like

  2. Jack Cactus says:

    As edgy and gratuitous some of the elements in this show can be, I actually enjoyed this show a lot, more than I had expected myself to (I think it’s Mia)

    One thing they did deliver quite well is the “gun-porn” and as a firearm enthusiast, I was pretty impressed with their effort.

    Now to the gals, Asuka was not much to write home about but Kurumi, this girl is a monster and we all love her for that. Her undying love for Asuka is cute albeit disturbing sometimes. Tamara who is secretly part of Asuka’s harem was unexpected but boy was it good when she let it out. And now to Mia, the best magical girl there is, I expected her to be the typical not-so-bright gun wielding gungho but damn, not only she cares for others well being, she was humble when NozoSaya saved her. Not to mention, this gal is a hecking astral beauty.

    The yuri is hella interesting, Kurumi being psychotically in love with Asuka with no bars held, Tamara has a secret crush on Asuka, Mia has some potential with one of her teammates (especially in ep12 where they were said to be in the same hotel), Peipei is presumed to have a sexual relationship with………a loli (what’s with people these days?) and Abby, oh Abby.

    And Sachuu is the best.

    Personally I’d say it deserves a 7 from me because I was thoroughly entertained but I don’t think I can actually recommend this one to others.

    Liked by 4 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Edgy and gratuitous. Moepocalypse shows in a nutshell.

      Oh. Good to know they did their research on firearms.

      Asuka is awesome. Kurumi is glorious. Tamara is the best. Mia is the tsundere of the group essentially.

      Dood. Accept that lolicons exist and move on. Consistently complaining about it will only give you headaches.

      I didn’t care for the mascots at all.

      “Not for everyone”. The #1 phrase associated with Moepocalypse shows.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. KZO says:

    Show gets a 10/10 from me because everything revolving around Peipei in the final episode, of course Kurumi’s doggy and the scene with Abby and Queen also helped. If you’re a yuri fan, no matter your tastes, the show makes clear in the final episode that it was all worth watching.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Nick says:

    I actually quite enjoyed Spec Ops but I still had some issues with it, the final ep probably being the biggest of them all. But before all of that, everything leading up to that ep was great. I liked the magical girls, each had good points about them, I think Asuka is probably my favorite although had some of the others gotten more screen time I might change favorites. Kurumi was excellent too, I really liked her. Maybe not so much her sadistic torturing side, but her passion for doing the right thing and helping people was a nice quality. Also her love for Asuka was wonderful too.

    Man did this show go hard with the action and gore too. Like you said, these type shows aren’t for everyone, so that right there is going to be a big turn off if you can’t stomach it. Ep 4 indeed was probably the worst in terms of stomach churning moments. I can handle the blood and gore (not so much in live action stuff honestly but anime is fine) but seeing Nozomi being tortured like that was hard to watch. Seeing cruelty like that on women and girls isn’t something I like watching, so I will say that bothered me, same can be said for a certain SAO ep, but in the overall picture it had a reason in the story in showing just how bad these people were. Also Asuka went to town on them after so they fully got what was coming for them.

    As for the sexiness of this show, yes it was glorious. From the battle outfits to all the romantic moments in between, Spec Ops really didn’t hold back in letting the viewers know these girls are gay. I just wish we at least got a kiss somewhere, I say that so much about shows. But anyways, I loved this side of the show a lot. And like you said, the magical girl genre really is the undisputed lesbian genre. I think I always knew that but seeing you mention it makes me think of all the magical girl anime I’ve seen over the years and how true this is.

    But after all is said and done, the final ep really did ruin things for me. Not saying it made the whole show a write off, but it just left so much to be desired. It felt like they barely touched on the key points of the story and just skirted around it as much as possible without getting into the details that much. After all is said and done they’re still pretty much at square 1. The bad guys (well girls actually) are still out there looming more than ever and the war is far from over. I hate it that this is just a lure for the manga because I’d just love it if they made another season instead of leaving it like this. Probably one of my biggest issues with watching anime in general. So my final score was definitely impacted by the overall lack of plot progression and such, but still it by no means indicates that I disliked the show. It had a lot of good points aside from the story so in my books it’s still a good watch. I just hope as get another season in the future, I want to see this story continue.

    Liked by 4 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Asuka is awesome. Kurumi is a treasure.

      Yup. It was hardcore and cruel. When I watch the show again I’ll skip episode 4. Not something I want to watch again like episode 1 of Magical Girl Site.

      Yup. Most magical girl shows are super gay, which is a very good thing. It’s also why most that feature het romances suck. To be specific crappy het romance subplots.

      Yup. Need a 2nd season to rectify the still GLORIOUS but unsatisfying conclusion.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. GurrenPrime says:

    I really enjoyed the show for the concepts it explores, though I feel like it could’ve handled a lot of them better. The heroes using torture, for example, could’ve been a great way to show the moral ambiguities of war, but instead was just used for bdsm fan service.
    I also must disagree on the animation being good: while it wasn’t unwatchable by any means, I only ever noticed it when it was sub-par rather than noticing anything impressive.
    I’d have better appreciated the “read the manga” ending if the English translation of the manga was anywhere near being caught up with the Japanese version.
    Overall, I was kinda disappointed, but am hopeful for a second season.

    Like

    • Black--wave says:

      There are 38 chapters translated on /u/ releases thread and there’s something going on with the morality of torture in the most recent untranslated chapter. So I recommend picking up the manga now.

      Like

    • OG-Man says:

      “Magical Spanking”. Nuff said.

      Not your preferred art style essentially.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Giack31 says:

    I think this was the most cruel and brutal Moepocalypse show I have seen but also my favorite one (those two things are not related)
    The violence and torture was brutal and hard to watch at times but I got though it.
    The characters are pretty interesting. Kurumi is so much more than she was originally presented as and I love it.
    The Yuri was good. Asuka x Kurumi and Nozomi Syako are good ships. The “sex scene” in the last episode came out of nowhere but was very welcome.
    I don’t think the ending is that bad. It was a decent way to finish things. They just finished an arc the previous episodes and they weren’t going to start another with one episodes left and not many chances of getting a season two. It’s true that it didn’t solve much but at least it didn’t finish with a cliffhanger or something.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Aru 'El says:

    I always feel kinda bad when I heavily disagree with people but… yeah I didnt like this one at all (altought i did follow it every week, im kinda masochist dont question it).
    As far as im concerned the animation/art always seemed a little off and it kinda took me out of it. Also never been a fan of fanservice so…. yeah, but i have (i think) a decent amount of patience before it starts annoying me.

    And then the kurumi style torture happened. I let the first time it happened slide (even tought that episode was giving a really weird tonal dissonnance from beach episode to tortuture to depressing backstory: repeat). But then it came back in the last (before last?) ep. Oh boi.
    Maybe its just me, but having people get tortured and sexually abused (including a child), having them thank their torturer cause it ”made their live better by bringing them to the good side” AND its not portrayed as being wrong, thats a huge no. Sadly for me (?) my moral compass is not dead when it comes to anime.
    Not sure what i was expecting from the killing bites studio tought.
    Honestly by the point the yuri happened i was so beyond caring i couldnt even be happy about it (im also excluding Kurumi’s yuri case since im not exactly into yanderes… and she made)

    Kinda sad too, i had hopes at the begining i might finally enjoy an edgy magical girl again. And not cause theyre so cringy its funny/entertaining. Oh well.

    Overall: on the pleasant side of meh till the last ep (yeah im mean).

    Like

  8. LuzeP says:

    This show not for the faint of heart. As always when it comes for Moepocalypse show, one should be ready for the worst. Nozomi’s torture was hard for me to watch. Watching Kurumi’s tortures not as bad as Nozomi. The girls were killing people before that, so I keep that in mind. The animation was good, I like the drawing style. It’s old school. It might be a turn off for some people. The girls are all hot, I’d give 9/10 mostly for the hotness. And yes all magical girls are lesbians. Kurumi’s love for Asuka is undeniable but I’m rooting for harem route. Certain Magical Girl Mama included.
    I too am disappointed with the ending. I’m mean that’s barely a bait for me, nothing has been done yet. I hope they fix this and give us a sequel. This kind of ending only ruin the show.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Precisely. Kurumi’s prisoners deserved to be punished.

      Huh. Didn’t notice its old school charm myself but after you mentioned it it makes sense.

      Whether Asuka marries Kurumi or she gets a yuri harem either one is fine by me.

      Yup. Needs a 2nd season.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Otaku Judge says:

    I enjoyed this show a lot, but it’s unlikely to stand the test of time. Like you point out, the non-finale is a bummer. I hate when anime is just used to sell the source material and doesn’t stand on its own.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. yurimylove says:

    this is a cool magical girl show that’s a bit out of the box, with weird mood whiplashes in some episodes but I like it for the quirkiness. I’m still rooting for Kurumi x Asuka. Peipei is hot but she can’t be the same girl as the one in photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      It was all over the place with the mood it conveyed at times, yes.

      She’s a Magical Girl so I’m not surprised. Plus the new Peipei is much approved.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Spooths says:

    I would never call this show good, but I did enjoy it. The plot and pacing were meh, and the tone was wildly inconsistent. But some of the characters (namely Kurumi) were interesting and the animation was pretty good. I don’t think I could seriously recommend it, but it was a fun show to watch if you don’t want something particularly good and just want entertainment. Although Kurumi the mind-breaking sadistic rapist was pretty entertaining.

    Like

  12. K says:

    Funny story, I had bought the first volume of Spec-Ops on a whim more than a year ago and it was an intriguing read. What especially fascinated me was how magical combat was mixed with military tactics, even if there wasn’t a lot shown. When I saw that it was getting an anime adaptation, I had to watch it. For the most part, I was not let down. Heck, I might just buy the other volumes.

    Asuka’s my fave Magical Girl. After all the crap she’s been through, she needs a hug. Tamara was alright with me when she first appeared but when her fondness for cute things was revealed, my opinion on her went way up! I like Kurumi’s desire to help Asuka but the lengths she would go for her can be unnerving. She’s one you should not mess with if you value your life! Mia’s a cool lass and I loved that she bonded with Nozomi and Sayako. Speaking of those two, they are so lucky to run into most of the Magical Five but unlucky to be caught up in terroristic activities. They did well surviving all that, being virtually powerless and all. Pei Pei didn’t do much and I found it funny that the OP and ED showed us her pre-surgery self. She seems like she’d be interesting.

    For a Moepocalypse show, it wasn’t dripping with despair like you would expect. It showed it off in more subtle ways at times and there were some brief moments of happiness. However, when it’s time to get brutal, nothing’s held back. Ditto for the fanservice.

    Will watch if another season were announced. Unlikely that’ll happen, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. piano_cello_conducting says:

    I think the biggest surprise of this show was that it does follow the normal agenda and flow of a magical girl anime. Usually most mahou shoujo anime will start with the girl discovering her powers and getting her group together before facing the main villain. This show starts after the main villain has been defeated and the group is not even together for entire show. Basically, it shows that after a main villain has been defeated, there will always be conflicts and I thought this made this anime stand out from others in the genre.
    On the issue of the yuri though, they really pushed it far. It’s not often you get a non-hentai anime where you actually have show a yuri couple having sex. Also the last episode clearly shows that Pei Pei is also a lesbian meaning all the magical girls are either full-blown lesbians or at least ambiguously gay. Having said that my enjoyment of the yuri aspects was somewhat lowered because there is no couple that I actually root for. The main couple Asuka x Kurumi is too one-sided for me to care though the yuri moments are actually fun to watch.

    Like

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