[Review] Twin Angels Break – episode 1

Two third-year middle school girls, Sumire and Meguri, fight evil as Twin Angels under orders from a hedgehog named Miruku-chan. The girls disagree, but as they work together, little by little they become friendlier with each other.

Source: Anime News Network

Hey, have you ever seen a magical girl show? Congrats, you’ve seen this one too. Cute mascot, transformation item, an awkward first battle reminiscent of Sailor Moon, the whole nine yards. That’s not a knock on it–the magical girl genre is as storied as sentai, and there are plenty of viewers who find that familiar sort of tale comforting. Just don’t come looking for any wild twists.

Genre fare still has to have something to distinguish itself from the pack, though, and that’s twofold here: Meguru isn’t your “I just want a normal life” sort of protagonist, but has been wanting to become a hero ever since she witnessed a pair of magical girls rescuing a drowning child (she’s reminiscent of Samurai Flamenco’s Masayoshi, which endeared me pretty instantly); and, as the title would suggest, the hero setup is pair-based.

The latter in particular is already lending itself to a very Class-S sort of show. You know the kind: cheerful, outgoing Meguru sees the cool, distant girl who we already know will be her partner and blushes, commenting on how pretty she is. Then, after the inevitable brush-off, declares her dedication to making friends. Also, the opening theme indicates that hand-holding will be key to maximizing the Twin Angels’ magical powers. This season is absolutely sparse on queer content, so this might be the best we’re getting.

Trans girl Yuki introduces herself with the word "Crossdresser" in the background. Suntitle: "I'm actually a boy!"

There was also nice surprise waiting for me when Meguru was introduced to her gaggle of Quirky Non-Magical Friends (a.k.a The Damsel Squad): one of them is a trans girl (they call her a crossdresser, but she seems to present female at all times and I’m beginning to be convinced that mainstream anime is allergic to the permanent concept of “trans” versus the more mutable “crossdressing”). More surprisingly, because anime, this fact is cheerfully accepted by her friends. This is accompanied by the old “[s]he’s more feminine than all of us!” comment, which might make trans viewers roll their eyes, but it’s pretty positive as far as anime’s track record goes.

In general, the tone of the show seems aimed squarely at an adolescent audience–probably Meguru will go from trying to be a hero by aggressively offering her seat to people on the train to learning the real meaning of sacrifice of heroism; friendship will be involved in her journey; etc.–which makes the fanservice elements even more uncomfortable.

Eyecatch of the Twin Angels, featuring the two of them as chibis.

Magical girl shows come bog-standard with the naked transformation scenes, but they go a step beyond here with little flourishes like a close-up butt wiggle, non-glowing nudity of our middle school protagonist, and a costume that has those stupid in-vogue hip straps and a very low-rise skirt. This is likely going to be regularly used stock footage too, given the genre. Whether the Class-S flavored interactions between the two leads will be sincere or also touched by that slightly fetishistic brush is unclear.

Transformation sequences aside, the show looks pretty harmless on the whole. It also looks like it’ll mainly appeal to younger audiences and hardcore fans of the magical girl genre. To anyone else, I can’t say you’d be missing much if you skipped it.

Also, the mascot is really, really annoying.

Read the ANN Preview Guide review.

 

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Vrai is a queer author and pop culture blogger; they’re profoundly meh on this one. You can read more essays and find out about their fiction at Fashionable Tinfoil Accessories, listen to them podcasting on Soundcloud, support their work via Patreon or PayPal, or remind them of the existence of Tweets.

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  • I generally wait till like halfway through a season and decide how I feel on each show that interests me by binge watching 3 or so episodes. Actually that’s a practice I’m starting this year so perhaps “generally” is misleading. Also allows to me to know which ones will and won’t get SimulDubs.

    This is one I definitely intend to try when that time comes. Miragephan said in a Podcast it’s supposed to be like a throwback to 90s Magical Girls shows, but your review made it sound more like Pretty Cure. But that was her assessment before the Pilot came out. Flip Flappers was also very PreCure inspired.