Crudely, there are two ways of looking at the world. You can take the optimistic route and see the world as good. Society is progressing and advancing. Justice is being done. People care about each other and freely show kindness. Do good, and your efforts will be rewarded. Or you can take the pessimistic route and see the world as evil. Injustice plagues our institutions and corrupts society. People will reject and wound you, and there’s not much you can do about it except burn it all down and start again.
Either you love the world, or you hate the world. Your choice will shape how you view society, others, and yourself.
It’s easy to take the pessimistic route after the beginning of this episode. Honestly, the nobility of this kingdom could do with a good old-fashioned purge. As they meet with Anis to discuss her return to noble society, you can hear the venom in their voices: “It seems our tomboy princess has settled down at last.” Finally, the princess has grown up after acting childishly for so long! What good news! Especially since it means an end to this “magicology” nonsense. Give the blessing of magic to uneducated commoners? Unthinkable! What would become of noble authority? Never mind the prosperity of the kingdom or the happiness of its citizens: all threats to power must go, and that means cloistering magic to the ivory towers of noble chateaus.
No matter how much Anis bends to the will of these smarmy old men, it will never be enough. All they see in her is a failure of a princess trying to make something of herself. They care nothing for her genius—she can’t use magic, so she’s unfit. At least she’s young: she can produce a suitable heir soon enough and get out of the way. All that’s left is to find the right partner—status, age, and Anis’s wishes notwithstanding.
Mired in their vile conversation, Anis cannot help but embrace herself tightly, desperately seeking shelter from their leering eyes.
Euphie wants to whisk Anis away from this bleak life, just as Anis did for her so long ago. “I cannot allow you to become queen,” she tells Anis. And now, with spirit contractor Lumi’s help, she’s charted a flight path to free Anis from her royal duties. Euphie will forge a spirit contract, secure adoption into the royal family, and garner enough support from the nobles to become the next queen.
It’s not smooth sailing: the spirit contract will ultimately transform Euphie into an immortal spirit, robbing her of her emotions, memory, and humanity. But Euphie isn’t willing to let Anis sacrifice her smile for a kingdom that won’t accept her. If it means Anis will be happy, Euphie’s willing to do whatever it takes.
So in a scene calling back to the first episode, Euphie extends her hand out to Anis, beckoning her to freedom.
But Anis slaps away the outstretched hand. Being queen is Anis’s burden: her responsibility and purpose. How could Euphie snatch it away from her? She isn’t the princess; Anis is. “If you take even that away from me… what value will I have left?” she implores Euphie.
Though the crown sits unbearably heavy on Anis’s head, she can’t help but cling to it. To Anis, once her royal duties have been poured out, she’s empty.
Here’s the point: Anis is starting to hate the world. Without the brilliant ray of magicology to illuminate her horizons, what light does she have left except her duty as queen? Take that away, and she has no purpose. Her parents think she’s a failure. The nobles don’t acknowledge her except as a body to birth noble offspring. This kingdom has no place for her. This world has nothing left for her.
So why not give up on it all? That’s what Tilty proposes when Anis flees to her. Why care about a father who overburdens his daughter? Why try to please nobles who uphold tradition as an excuse to prey on the vulnerable? “Why don’t you just ditch this kingdom?” Run away with me! Let’s tour faraway lands together, study magic and curses, chow down on the local delicacies, and enjoy freedom on our own.
Hate the world! Cast it away into the flames and live for yourself, because nothing else matters.
But humans were never supposed to go it alone. We weren’t meant to hate the world. Even Tilty believes that: she goes out of her way to care for Anis in her distress, and her dreamy fantasy of flying away with anis is something they do together, enjoying things they both love. That’s the problem with hating the world—you rob yourself of the possibility of joy and beauty.
As much as she’s tempted to hate the world, Anis can’t help but want to love it. She desires a place in this kingdom, even if no one will accept her. She longs for her parents’ love despite thinking they despise her. She wants to be queen even though it’s tearing her apart. “Don’t make me someone nobody needs!” she tearfully begs Euphie. Despite everything, Anis is still fighting for her place in the world.
However, like any professional fighter, Anis doesn’t have infinite energy. If she keeps chasing after the approval of others, she’ll be left gasping for breath before long. If she keeps spending herself for the kingdom, she’ll find one day that she’s sold everything: her freedom, dignity, and happiness.
As Euphie points out, it isn’t Anis’s fault that she isn’t accepted. “This kingdom where you can’t make anyone happy without magic is to blame!” Fight all she wants; she’ll never secure the crown because it’s not up to her. That’s the problem with loving the world—you’ll end up disappointed when it fails you.
What then? If we can’t hate the world because we’ll miss out on its beauty, and we can’t love the world because it’ll disappoint us, how do we think about the world? How can Anis reconcile her desire to be accepted by the kingdom with the fact that it will never accept her?
MagiRevo doesn’t give an easy answer. But it does offer comfort. Comfort in the care of a friend like Tilty, who goes out of her way to welcome Anis when the world has rejected her. Comfort in the love of Euphie, who comes to seek out Anis when she flees in confusion and anger. We might struggle to properly understand our world, to love what we ought to love and hate what we ought to hate. But we aren’t alone in the struggle.
It’s fitting that this series ends with a battle between Euphie and Anis. Sometimes life feels like a battle as we wrestle with the complexity of our lives and hearts. But if I know anything about this series, it’s that hope is woven into the fabric of its reality. Whatever the outcome of the next episode, I’m confident it will end in happiness for Anis and Euphie and healing for this deeply ailing kingdom.
The Magical Revolution of the Reincarnated Princess and the Genius Young Lady is streaming on Crunchyroll.
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