As a society, not only do we really seem to dislike nuance but at times, it appears as if we absolutely abhor it. In the minds of many, nuance equals an excuse or acceptance of deviant behavior. And as such, nuance is to be avoided. In Gushing Over Magical Girls episode 6, we’re presented with an interesting query — one in which nuance is more important than appearances. So, ask yourself, is everything that can be taken sexually, actually sexual?
As Tres Magia licks their wounds after another humiliating defeat. Their frustrations finally boil over, leading them to argue over their lackluster performances in battle. Showing that, at the very least, she’s capable of inter-team conflict resolution. Haruka intervenes and stops her teammates from devolving into a fight with an over-the-top, motherly act. And after the ill feelings subside, she gives it her all to inspire them before their next fight. All friend groups have a person like this. There’s always someone who watches out for others, but have you ever wondered what toll that has on them?
At the beginning of the episode, we’re shown how Haruka has an affinity for kids. Her kind-hearted nature even compels her to befriend Korisu, who’s alone at the playground. As she sees Korisu alone in the park, she comforts her by playing with her, an act of kindness that Korisu seems to be thoroughly thankful for. As the day draws to a close, Haruka mentions that it’s getting late and she needs to go. She pauses when she realizes that Korisu, who should be the one to worry about time, seems unconcerned with it, indicating that her home life may not be kosher. So, to comfort her, Haruka gifts Koisur her bee fairy charm and tells her they’ll play again one day.
On her way home, Haruka’s spider senses tingle, and she rushes back to the park she was previously at to confront the now-transformed Korisu. Magia Magneta may be kind, but she sure ain’t smart. And almost as quickly as she shows up, she’s trapped in Nero Alice’s ability. With that, we go back to the original question, “Is everything that can be taken sexually actually sexual?” Well, let’s dive into the world of paraphilic infantilism, or, as others call it, autonepiophilia.
What is that you ask? Well, prepare to regret that question. Autonepiophilia is a fetish (both sexual and non-sexual) in which a grown-up adult derives pleasure or comfort from role-playing a regression to a childlike state. This may range from a teenager or adult pretending to be a baby or a pre-teen. Like most other fetishes, there is no definitive reason why they develop in people. However, it’s important to point out that this fetish starts pretty early in life. Most males develop it by age 11, while females typically develop it by 13. Also of importance is that this is a fetish that is not universally motivated by sexual pleasure. A large portion of the people who practice it do so because it allows them to be vulnerable, dependent, and taken care of instead of being caretakers.
As Magia Magenta wakes up in Nero Alice’s world, she realizes she’s now what we in the industry refer to as a “tax write-off.” While in the other part of town, Kaoruko is reminiscing about Haruka’s warm-hearted nature. Haruka is enjoying her new-found time as a baby. That is until she realizes that she needs to take a leak. But she quickly comes to terms with it and loses herself in the lack of personal responsibility (which we’ll get to in a bit). But as she drifts off, she remembers that she’s not a baby; she’s a magical girl! We’re shown how Magia Sulfur joins the fold, but that can wait for another day.
As she changes back to herself, she realizes that Nero Alice is in the middle of changing her soiled diaper and looking at her dead in the foo foo. But how severe is this “bad” act? Both legally and morally, intentions (nuances) are important — they are the differentiating factor between manslaughter and murder. Was Nero Alice doing something sexual? No, she’s just a kid playing house. She’s just trying to fill a void. It’s the viewers who are imposing their feelings on the scene.
Being a Caregiver Comes With A Toll
As Nero Alice retreats, Magia Magenta realizes that the kid in front of her is having fun—nothing more, nothing less. So, she gets over having Nero Alice making eye contact with her pocket rocket docking station and goes with the flow. When the urge to release the bladder water once more calls. She decides that one only lives once, so you might as well just let loose. She mentions feeling embarrassed, but her reaction indicates otherwise. As Nero Alice’s ability wears off, Haruka is left pantsless and soiled in a kids’ park. Which, in retrospect, sounds horrible. But that’s pretty much just a regular day of spring break.
To wrap up my review of Gushing Over Magical Girls episode 6, something that’s never really talked about when we as a society mention caretakers and public figures is the burnout associated with it. Being kind and being role models puts a lot of strain on individuals. With Tres Magia being so looked up to and Haruka being the nice girl in real life, it created the perfect condition for her to get lost in the responsibility-free world that Nero Alice built.
Screenshots via HiDive
© Akihiro Ononaka/ Takeshobo/ Gushing Over Magical Girls Production Committee