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.
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
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Enemy Magical Girls: Cannot have a magical girl show, especially of the dark variety, without fights between them.
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.
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…
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.
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.