Episode 8: The Horrible Trap of Summoner Ascot
Review by Peter Laliberte
June 19, 2013
Ascot summons a new monster and sends it after the Magic Knights. The Knights make their way through a forest when another earthquake hits. A group of animals come running out of the bushes. The girls go to see what they're running from and come across a field full of dead animals. Hikaru attacks a rock that turns out to be a monster in order to rescue an animal trapped nearby. After Hikaru frees the animal, Umi attacks the rock monster to no avail. It chases her until Fuu destroys it. They mourn the animals and Mokona conjures a first aid kit to treat the animal Hikaru saved. Sometime later Hikaru tries to stop the animal from following them but quickly declares she's taking it with her. She convinces the other two to let her and she names the animal Hikari. That night while the girls sleep, Ascot gloats about how they don't know Hikari's true nature.
In the morning Umi notices Hikaru gone and Fuu suggests she just took Hikari for a walk. Hikaru and Hikari are indeed playing outside. Hikaru wonders why Zagato is trying to destroy such a peaceful world when she notices Hikari missing. Hikari comes out of a bush to give Hikaru a flower. Hikari leads Hikaru further into the forest. Fuu thinks something is wrong when Hikaru doesn't return for breakfast. Hikaru blissfully picks some flowers and Hikari transformers into its true form. Umi and Fuu find them and attack Hikari, but Hikaru stops them. Ascot orders Hikari to attack and it injures Hikaru. Umi goes after Hikari while Fuu checks on Hikaru. Hikaru begs them not to kill Hikari. Hikari captures Umi and knocks away Fuu. Hikaru tries to get through to Hikari but Ascot tells the monster to listen to him. Hikari sets fire to the field with its flame breath. Umi urges Hikaru to fight and she tearfully does so. Hikaru's sword evolves and she kills Hikari. Ascot cries over the loss of his friend. Umi uses her magic to make it rain and put out the fire. Later they make a grave for Hikari and another earthquake hits. The girls once again set off to save Cephiro.
As expected it follows the formula. The monster beats down the girls for a bit, one of their swords evolve, the monster is defeated in one attack, and Ascot cries about it. Though I think it's a bit worse this time around because it's not that the monster was too powerful, it was because Hikaru wouldn't do anything. She only knew the thing for a day at best and it was clearly hurting her friends. She took too long to take action. Hikaru's innocence and open heartedness can be admirable but here it was just a detriment. As a viewer Hikari's turn isn't all that impactful because we knew it was evil from the episode preview and there were only one or two scenes with Hikaru bonding with it. It might have worked better if it was around for a few episodes before it turned on them.
2.5 out of 5 stars
Buy the collection (eps 1-49) on Blu-ray from Amazon