With Mash’s acceptance of Lance as a good person, the formerly hostile student seems to have become friends with both him and Finn. But their newest challenge will pit them not only against magical problems but even their fellow students in Mashle: Magic and Muscles Episode 5, “Mash Burnedead and the Unpopular Classmate.”
It’s been obvious from the beginning that many of the elements of this series are inspired by Harry Potter. From the school’s preferred flying broomstick-powered sport to the way each episode is titled, the series hasn’t been shy about where it pulls inspiration from. This continues in Mashle Episode 5 as we learn that the student body is split into three dorms, each one housing students grouped together based on elements of their personalities. Honestly, it’s getting old.
Even setting aside my feelings about anything that calls attention to a franchise whose continued success profits a well-known TERF, the way this show apes it’s inspiration just feels lazy. There is no joke, or humor wrapped around it. There isn’t a subtle wink like they are making a point about the various elements of the franchise, it simply feels like it is pulling these things from something they know is popular in the hopes that having the correlation between them makes them popular too. It feels like the little kid who blindly copies their big brother in the hopes that they can be cool like them. It’s sad and I hope they dial it back soon.
Beyond these background elements, Mashle Episode 5 sees students from two classes sent into the woods to challenge Giant Forest Spiders. Slaying the creatures and collecting the jewels on their heads will earn students the coveted coins they need to become Divine Visionaries. With a lot riding on the outcome, it is unsurprising that some students have decided to stoop to underhanded means to earn all they can.
While getting lost in the woods, because how could Mash do anything in this scenario except get lost, he is confronted by new classmates who each present their own challenging personalities to our protagonist. These new personalities bring a set of all-too-familiar characters to the series. They are executed well enough for what they are trying to bring to the episode but don’t have enough going for them to make me look forward to future appearances.
Throughout all of the forest travels and new appearances, we see Mash being his usual oblivious self. This is an episode where he fails to ever really engage with any plot element as the show leans into his less-than-intelligent nature. Mashle: Magic and Muscles Episode 5 tries to play into this with some attempts at humor, but they fall flat as the obvious and predictable nature of them drains them of any punch.
When all is said and done, Mashle Episode 5 delivers a rather meh entry. It delivers many of the basic elements the series has thus far but fails to bring any of the heart that has been its best element. This leaves it with little but cheap humor and lazy imitations.
Mashle: Magic and Muscles Episode 5 is streaming on Crunchyroll.
Mashle: Magic and Muscles Episode 5 — “Mash Burnedead and the Unpopular Classmate”
Mashle Episode 5 delivers a rather meh entry when all is said and done. It delivers many basic elements the series has thus far but fails to bring any of the heart that has been its best element. This leaves it with little but cheap humor and lazy imitations.