18 thoughts on “[3.7 Spoilers] Confiscated Items

  1. Ohhhh damn.
    This is super cool.

    Hell- if I was practicing, this would be my practice; this is super funzy, and looks way less likely to blow up and kill the user.
    … very much leaning into to the softer and lighter feel of Pale (Magical girl story) compared to pact (Dark urban fantasy), and I am all for it.

    Liked by 6 people

    • I’ve only seen a couple magical girl anime, and I’m not really seeing the similarities. Aside from being about young teenaged girls who use magic I guess, but a third of the Harry Potter cast falls into that.
      Speaking of which, I’d peg Pale as being closer to a rural Harry Potter than a Wildbow mahou shoujo. There’s the mystery element, the sense that there’s more to the world than we’ve been told, the three protagonists, and even a magic school with a teacher that hates them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I saw the magical girl parallel too. In a modern-day setting, mysterious supernatural creatures seek out a team of teenage girls and endow them with magical powers in order to protect the city. Magical costumes that boost their powers. School-age relationship drama B-plot that manages to to get tangled up in the A-plot despite the protagonists’ efforts toward keeping secret identities.

        Liked by 5 people

      • HP isn’t required to maintain a secret identity, and the Magical world is very much governed by humans, and well understood. EVERYONE is magical.

        Magical girls have (as Coda mentioned) Costume transitions, Normal life and tween age drama getting tangled up in secret identities, mysterious patrons of a spiritual nature.

        In addition, thematically the Magical girls are RESPONSIBLE for something- cleaning up a magical mishap, resolving conflicts etc. While HP is in some sense bucking against authority (especially in the first books), I always felt like Magical girl stories were about answer the call, being responsible/dutiful to some wider community etc (In contrast to Blake from Pact, where the main goal is “don’t die”).

        The “Power of friendship” (IE, cooperation between the girls) is also heavily leaned in on. Navigating SOCIAL situations, and strange cultures; Empathy and understanding is highly valued. HP was very much focused on like… humans. It wasn’t a story about dragons and goblins, and Trolls and all the other magical creatures; it was a story of humans being large and in change, and human politics and hatreds.

        I see what you mean about the magical school- and I can easily see the story tending more in the Harry Potter like direction once the trio attend the BHI… but for the time being, with their training coming from spirits and Others, it feels thoroughly magical girl like to me.

        Liked by 1 person

    • There are some pretty dark magical girl stories. I remember, back when Pact was coming out, commenting that the darkest arc of Pact was only about as dark as an average episode of Madoka Magica.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Unofficial Transcription:


    Wicked Walkman [Walkman with yellow play button]

    Belonged to a girl I used to know. Plug in a casette, hit the yellow button.

    Not a magic thing, but it’s housed enough casettes and other mysterious stuff it’s taken on a certain resilience.

    Gold Casette [Gold Cassette labelled Crying Cold Tears]

    If real men aren’t afraid to cry, he might be the manliest man. A knight of sorts in denim hot pants instead of shining armor.

    This is a copy of the original, so expect some corruption. He should buy you time or give your enemies a few solid punches

    Gold Casette B-Side: Bessie Lee’s Lost Workout Tape [Gold Cassette labelled B Lee’s Last Workout]

    It’s a song recording off a tape so the quality’s not all there, but Bessie Lee is quality enough to make up for it. Most ghosts are miserable, but she’ll cheer you on and help you with your cardio.

    Casette: Ouchie Wa-Wa [Orange Cassette labelled Ouchie Wa-Wa]

    This is the original, so it’d be swell if you didn’t lose it. When you hit that yellow button, you might think it’s broken. It’s not. It takes a little while to start, but when it does, all hell breaks loose. The band struggled so hard to record this track. Blood, sweat, tears, and even fratricide. Never did

    figure out why it when that way. Left a whole bunch of ghosts behind and no explanations. We looked for the complete set of ghosts and didn’t find ’em. Did find the music though.

    If it looks like they’re doing anything complicated, give it a play. It’ll make your life harder but it’ll do the same for them.

    Jammer [A joystick with a red button on top]

    Any beginner technomancer is going to be making one of these. My teacher had me on th task in my first week. It’s the kind of thing you use when the ghost in the machine starts howling a little too loud or the gremlins flip a positive charge to a negative. If there’s moving parts and a power source, it should jam it up some.

    I keep mine around because it’s useful in a pinch, as you saw with the gunman last night.

    I don’t want to be a pain about this, but even though this is my spare, if you break it or lose it, I’m going to want you to find a replacement, a nice big button that survived a crashed elevator or plane when little else did. Not so easy, trust me.

    Sunset Specs [Pair of specs with gold trim and magenta tint]

    Owned by a pretty hip guitarist, he only took them off to sleep. They’ve pick up a few things in their time on the road. A little moody and a teeny bit cursed. Keep music playing to keep the specs happy, and they’ll reward you with a gnarly headache and a lightshow that lets you know the ambient mood.

    Grungy Keyboard [Really dirty old keyboard with a rainbow pattern on the top]

    Another big red ‘escape button’. When dealing with some magic stuff, sometimes you need ugly to deal with ugly. We know there are goblins in town, so when those little blighters show up, grab this nasty piece of work and smash the most expensive thing you can get to before the goblins can get to you.

    there’s also a chance that if the devouring song kids show up, the gremlins that this thing will bring running can deal with them. A small chance. They’ve got some techy know-how to how they’re put together, if they’re using the internet, and gremlins wreck tech.

    The gremlines will give you a hard time, but not so hard as our Kennet foes will.

    Enter Key [A key with a big loop]

    A failed project. Was a way to open doors and passages, but I got greedy and tried to tune it to the digital landscapes. The good? It’ll carry you to somplace distant. The bad? There’s a lot of bad. You use it by sticking it in a light socket. It will do pretty much exactly what you expect if

    you stick something metal in a light socket. Then technology will sorta fritz around you for the next week or so, you’ll have electric spirits sparking through your head, yadda yadda. If you aren’t dead from the whole electro-cuton thing.

    Also works as a crummy tazer. Wear the gloves I gave you while using.

    Computer Bug [An ID Card with a red centipede on it and the serial number 200-44430 11101139106-1]

    If you get to a computer, and it’s an old fashioned one with a disk drive or cd drive then stick this in. Ignore the ick factor.

    If you can find a computer or somethign that’s related to the devouring song, then this might get us in. It will do the work for you, dredging stuff up.

    A final few notes

    You insisted on doing this, and this is all I can give without giving up so much that my teacher gets mad at me. Temporary and spare stuff. Whatever else is going on here, I think they’re fair. Make me your call to the lawyer and if I can’t do anything for you, I’ll call Ray. Or I’ll call friends. I really do think you’ll be ok.

    If you get into a pinch, surrender or run. Most of the stuff I gave you is for buying time or helping you run. These guys… I don’t know if you got it last night, but this isn’t like eating a rabid dog or forty-nine body parts. As terrible as the ritual of the devouring song is, it’s kind of fair. If these guys can foil the likes of Ray, Alexander, Mrs. Durocher and everyone else, these guys are out of your weight class.

    Liked by 5 people

    • In case it matters: The Grungy Keyboard isn’t just a keyboard. That’s a Commodore 64, and the entire computer is housed within that case. It was potentially the most popular single computer model of the mid-1980s. They’re about as durable as they look and lots of C64s are still mostly operational today. You bash something with this, you’re bashing them with both the physical and metaphorical weight of an entire computer system.

      They do, indeed, pick up a lot of grunge, too, thanks to the textured plastic housing.

      One of the things the C64 was famous for was its sound capabilities. Nothing spectacular by modern standards but it was one of the first affordable home computers that could play more than one note at a time with a selection of different instruments. Couldn’t tell you if this is relevant, but with the music stuff on the first page, it’s possible. (There’s even a Swedish metal band that uses that sound system as a prominent instrument in their music.)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Sorry, I think I lost track of something, when did the trio confiscate a bunch of retropunk stuff with notes on them? I might be reading this wrong, I remember they had a fight with mostly Zed, then they went to a meeting with kennet others, then heard that Brie, who I understood to be the last winner of the last Hungry Choir, was restrained by goblins or something. If there was a part where she surrendered a bunch of useful stuff and gave notes on how and when to use it against some ‘them,’ I missed it.


    • You didn’t miss anything. As you said, Brie was captured by the goblins, and that was the last we heard. We’re supposed to conclude that this stuff is the gear they confiscated from her when that happened. The notes were written by Zed for Brie, not by Brie for others.


  4. The last sentence of the last note is telling. I don’t think we’ve met a Mrs. Durocher yet, but that could be the third practitioner that Miss diverted and distracted. Still, that the girls are being perceived as a greater threat than the Choir of all things speaks to the mindset of the Blue Heron Institute practitioners.


    • I mean the girls are unknowns that theoretically have an entire town of Others under their sway, a mysterious group that appear to be actively protecting and are using the choir.


  5. Really neat stuff. Doubt the locales will be too happy, were already upset they didn’t have as strong a stranglehold on what the girls learn.


  6. I would consider myself a mid-tier magical girl buff(My genre resume includes:

    Sailor Moon(DiC dub of Seasons 1-2, Cloverway Dub of Seasons 3-4, Subs of Season 5, Kondansha Translation of the manga upto the end of the Death Phantom Arc.).
    Cardcaptor Sakura(Nelvana Dub, Animax Dub, most of Tokyopop’s Translation of the Manga).
    Tokyo Mew Mew(sadly, just Mew Mew Power).
    Madoka Magica(English dub of the original series).
    Lyrical Nanoha(English dub of the first two seasons).
    Ojamajo Doremi(4Kids dub ofthe first season, entire series fansubbed, what’s been fantranslated of the Light Novels).
    Fushigiboshi no Futagohime(Fansubs of first season)
    Precure(Futari wa, HeartCatch, suite, first half of Smile all fansubbed, a few of the movies).
    Winx Club(Non-Japanese exampleBits and pieces of various dubs, probably most familiar with 4Kids dub of the first 3 seasons).
    Sailor Nothing(non-Japanese, literary example that deconstructs the warrior of love and justice sub-genre years before Modoka came along)
    My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic(Non-Japanese example with non-human cast, I’ve seen the first 2 seasons and listened to it through season 6).

    And honestly, I think Harry Potter could qualify as a spear counterpart example of the genre.

    That said, three young girls becoming witches and having to balance normal school life with learning magic and having to keep magic a secret gives me Ojamajo Doremi vibes, but the general tone and having to fight eldritch beings with the risk of death, becoming something eldritch, or a fate worse than death gives me more Madoka vibes. Admittedly, if your only frame of reference for the Genere is Sailormoon and those that most closely mimic its formula, I can understand not seeing the parallels.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe I’m missing it in the comments but the “knight in denim” seems like a clear nod to the Knights of the Basement in Pact. Maybe this gets mentioned in the story later. If not, very cool Easter egg.


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