Another case of I wrote a review but it couldn't get published for reasons so here it is:

Magical Girl Raising Project Episodes 9 & 10

The death toll keeps on rising in episodes 9 and 10 as only five girls stand out of the original 16.

Episode nine has three girls dying which ends with that week having five drop outs. Nana couldn't take it anymore with her wife dead and leaving her with no support, no one to lean on, no one to protect her. She disappoints a bit because instead of even thinking about avenging her wife, she decides to join her by hanging herself. We kinda expected something more out of her, but it turns out that she just wasn't strong enough. Losing her only supporter turned out to be too much for her to take in.

Snow White was also in a similar situation when La Pucelle died; however, she came out stronger as she didn't kill herself. But the relationship between La Pucelle and Snow White wasn't as strong as the wife-wife relationship of Nana and Shizuka, or at least whatever was shown of it.

Ripple kills Calamity Mary with a shuriken to her head with help from Top Speed. But Mary's calamity had called in other magical girls and one of them comes in to increase the death toll; Swim Swim was probably hiding nearby and she surfaces right after Mary is downed to take out Top Speed.

Our speculations are confirmed when we see Top speed is pregnant (though she looks like she's more than just three months pregnant). They only showed a small part of Tsubame's life with her husband and didn't go deep into her past like with other girls, but even then this had an impact since whatever they showed of her made her out to be a very likable person. Not to mention the fact that they just killed an expecting woman which makes this death even more brutal and emotional.

Down on the streets where Mary was wreaking havoc, Snow White and Hardgore Alice are helping people to safety, and in this situation, the other two girls of the Swimming club show up to take out the two helpers. Minael transforms into an axe and launches herself at Snow but Hardgore takes the blow for her and then goes on to chase the angel.

Tama is also there with the invisibility cloak, but she's a bit conflicted: should she kill Snow White or help out these people suffering at Mary's hands? She is aware of her duties as a magical girl but she doesn't want to go against Swim and she also wants to live. She can't decide what to do and in this internal confusion, her cover gets blown as Snow White hears her thoughts.

Tama has turned into an interesting character here. She has the right mindset and wants to do the good thing, but she is with the wrong people and can't escape them. Does she want to escape deep down? She wasn't completely one of them before too which can be seen in her reaction to Ruler's death. Will she betray Swim and do what is right? It is possible but given the situation of episode 10 where she's with Swim Swim and is being chased by Cranberry, it is very likely that she'll die before she gets to do something else. But this anime has a lot of unpredictable twists so who knows what she'll do or what'll happen to her and when.

The new rule is that they have to cut down the girls to four now since those items given out used up too much magic. Fav terms this as a "miscalculation." Obviously Ripple isn't taking this well and neither is Koyuki. Nine girls have died in this madness, and when they thought it was over, this new rule is announced. Koyuki is on the brink of losing it; she can't take anymore of this insanity. Everything she thought about magical girls and their purpose is turning out to be a lie to her and it's too much for her to take in.

Episode 10 has Swim Swim targeting Ako. Minael had transformed into Hardgore Alice's doll and travelled to her home to find out stuff about her true self; once that information is retrieved, killing her becomes easy. Ako can't transform in public because it's against the rules so she has no other choice but to run from the pursuing Swim Swim. After killing a pregnant woman, this heartless swimming loli kills Ako while she was unarmed. It is underhanded since she is taking her on while she wasn't even magical, but there are no rules when it comes to killing.

Ako was on the brink of suicide before being helped out by Snow White (remember that little scene where Snow gives a little loli her keys? That scene is relevant here). She decides to be of some use to her and help her just like she was helped back then. Alice turned into the third person Snow White could rely on for support, but even this one dies, and right in front of her at that (Ako did take her sweet time dying).

Things were already bad for Koyuki as is, and they've just gotten worse. How will she survive now? We've asked this question twice already and each time Koyuki would find someone to protect her, but now how will she manage to survive? Will she really take Ripple's hand if offered that easily? Will she even want to continue living this hellish life of a mahou shoujo? Suicide is not an option since Koyuki isn't that weak. Will she go into hiding? Will we get to see some drastic changes in her now or will she remain the same naïve girl she was before who would easily believe that the magical girl approaching her will help her?

After taking out Ako, Swim Swim sets her eyes on Cranberry, the evil villain of the show, but she doesn't know that. Swim is obviously at a disadvantage here as Tama is injured and Minael is taken out in such an anticlimactic way. Cranberry is walking around and just casually punches through a rock and throws it down to reveal a dead Minael. No one really liked the twins anyway so the death's a bit fitting in a way. It also shows that Cranberry wants some amusement and this first pursuer turns out to be a bore. The death also tells us how twisted Cranberry is as killing someone is just second nature to her.

There are some major revelations here too. As is the name of this game (Magical Girl Raising Project), the purpose really is to raise magical girls. This whole game is a selection exam where the best girl would be chosen for the world of magic. However, this wasn't supposed to be a death match. How did things turn out this way? It started when the world of magic appointed Cranberry as the supervisor for the selection process; Cranberry was a twisted individual so she screwed things up and turned the process into a death match where the last girl standing gets selected. Fav only serves as the communication link between Cranberry and the world of magic. Some higher-ups from the magical realm should stop by to see how things are going especially since they're concerned about the lives of the shortlisted girls. They shouldn't leave things completely to the supervisor especially since it's a rather high-profile selection. Being so trusting in this situation isn't what one would expect from them, unless the previous selection exams would always go smoothly, but then we would need some information on that to come to this conclusion.

Another thing about the opening minutes of this show: we see Cranberry fighting a monster or something, is the selected girl supposed to fight these things? We'll leave this for later when we learn more (if we ever do, that is).

Another problem of this show bares its fangs in episode nine: the animation. While the visuals are generally consistent, except for a few moments in episode 10, the fight sequences are very weak in this show. The previous fights were kinda short so there wasn't much to draw there, but Ripple vs Calamity Mary is pretty long with most of it being close combat. Better looking fight scenes would have been much appreciated here because of the length of these scenes. If these scenes were more appealing, it would have added to their intensity.

There are a lot of ways these events can end up. Ripple wants to avenge Top Speed, Snow White doesn't know if she even wants to live anymore after all that brutality, Swim and Tama are about to fight Cranberry; a lot of things are going on and the end isn't clear. This show continues to keep us at the edge of our seats as it moves into its final episodes.