Houkago no Pleiades – 02

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Pleiades is undeniably pretty and inoffensive show, but at the end of two episodes the forgiving sheen of newness has worn off, revealing what is (and was from the start, really) a fairly lightweight and highly derivative affair.

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Whether being very reminiscent of a show I’ve already watched is grounds for dropping depends on the show it reminds me of, and in this case, Pleiades is at a a distinct disadvantage. It’s directed by the same guy who helmed FLCL, while its obvious thematic and aesthetic inspiration would appear be Puella Magi Madoka Magica.

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Pleiades isn’t nearly as original as Fooly nor as dark and profound as Puella, and if we’re honest, contributes virtually nothing new to stand apart from either. But to be fair, both those shows cast huge shadows…and despite its directorial pedigree and familiar milieu, it’s also not really trying to approach the greatness of those singular classics.

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Rather, it’s content to have a good old time bringing two rootable former friends, who aren’t quite sure why they forgot one another or got split up in the first place, back together. Subaru and Aoi are the focus of this episode, with the latter giving the former flying lessons.

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Again, there’s nothing either deep or groundbreaking, but the two co-leads still made me care about them reconnecting, and indeed its the power of their friendship, and a mutually-remembered song, that nets them two big engine fragments for their alien president.

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Then Minato swoops in and snatches one, and here’s where the show falls down a bit. While he seems to be a nice enough kid in that hidden fountain garden room, to the point he almost resembles a potential love interest for Subaru, his complete character shift to sinister bully feels arbitrary, not to mention repetitive.

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Until there’s a little more revealed about why he’s picking on the girls and Subaru in particular, Minato will remain a rather dull enigma. But despite his sabotage, the girls are making progress, and have even secured a room at their school under the aegis of the official establishment of the “Cosplay Research Club”; as good a cover for a group of magical schoolgirls as any!

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

One thought on “Houkago no Pleiades – 02”

  1. I enjoy magical girl shows, and so far this is magical girl played absolutely straight. It’s really the anti-Madoka, a throwback to more idealistic and kid-friendly examples of the genre like Cardcaptor Sakura and Shugo Chara (albeit nowhere near their quality level), except that it happens to be airing in the late-night block. CCS is what it seems to be cribbing from the most, but it remains to be seen whether this Minato guy is more like Syaoran Li (the love interest/rival type) or more like a gender-flipped Fate Testarossa (the Dark Magical Girl type).

    Anyway, I can’t really call Pleiades a “good” series so far. It’s the lesser of the two late-night magical girls airing this season (vs. Nanoha Vivid) and I doubt there’s much appeal in it for anyone who isn’t a magical girl fan, but it’s kept me entertained in its B-grade way and I’m curious to learn about Minato’s story and why he wants the fragments too. For now, that’s enough to keep me watching it.

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