What Kind Of Power Is “Heart”, Again? – Chapter 8, Act 1, Strip 47

And here’s the clash! Western-style combat readiness ritual squares off against Japanese magical-girl transformation in unbridled combat! Only one can be victorious, so which style of transformation will turn out to be more powerful?

Interestingly, it seems to be the Western-style one. ._. And that despite the fact that I actually forgot to include the face-paint and the bandana in panel five… uh, I mean, despite the continuity error caused by the movie editor, which I purposefully included in panel five. Totally.

But yeah, inconsistencies aside, there’s little room for doubt that our plus-sized Rambo-aficionado still seems to hold a measurable edge over our friends, even in their transformed states. Just compare the size of the opponent’s “Boff!” in panel one to Biff’s petite “biff” in panel two! Not quite on the same level. And Biff might have further reduced the effectiveness of his attack by aiming straight at the enemy’s center of gravity (particularly well insulated)…or, well, given the amount of gravity in question, it might have been the case that Biff’s attack was just naturally attracted/deviated to the enemy’s center of gravity.

Less surprising is the advantage of the Western-style transformation displayed in panel three, since it really comes with the territory: Stepping on somebody’s tail is just mean – and the Rambo-style thing naturally allows much wider sway for ruthlessness and brutality than a magical-girl-transformation. There are depths you just can’t allow yourself to sink to when you’re wearing that kind of uniform.

The key problem seems to be that Mopey’s attack was entirely ineffective. Mopey is the leader of the group – which is established less by her formal authority as faculty head than by the simple fact that we saw her transformation sequence first, despite the fact that she wasn’t the first to transform. That sort of precedence is strictly reserved for a leader in all schools of magical-girl protocol.

By dint of that fact, her attack could have been expected to be the most effective, certainly not the least. Something isn’t quite conforming to expectations, here, and in the context of such a cheap plot, there must be some sort of reason for that…

More on Monday.

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