Episode 1: Three Is The Magic Number (Part 1)

It was a peaceful, quiet Saturday afternoon in Mitsuzawa. The sun was shining, the rivers were calm, and a soft breeze drifted through the trees overhead. All across the city, people were headed this way or that way, going about their daily lives without a care in the world. It was a perfect day, after all.

Of course, if it had stayed perfect, that would have been a pretty boring way to start the new series.

Over in one of the downtown parks, the fragile peace was suddenly shattered. A black tear appeared in mid-air, and through it crawled a strange millipede-like creature, ten feet long, dripping with black slime, and with a single bloodshot red eye. The monster blinked, surveying its new surroundings with visible confusion, then swivelled its red eye in the direction of a young man sitting on a nearby bench, typing out something on his phone.

Sensing he was being watched, the man paused, looked up from his phone for a moment, then shrugged indifferently. "Meh," he muttered, turning his attention back to his social media posts. "The StarLight Trio will take care of it."

***

Indeed, at that very moment, the StarLight Trio were on their way to the scene, having been alerted by their youkai familiars. That is to say, two-thirds of the Trio were on their way.

"Where's the new girl?" asked Black Star indignantly, glancing across at her colleague as they flew towards the park. "I hope Chika isn't holding her up again."

White Star wasn't anywhere near as concerned, beaming happily as the wind rushed through her hair. "She's at a karaoke party today," she explained. "I already texted her twice, but I dunno whether she saw them. To be honest, I'm pretty glad this happened: it keeps up the dramatic tension regarding who got Red Moon’s Emblem!"

"I guess so," conceded Black Star. "You seem in pretty bright spirits today," she added, noting her team-mate's bright expression.

"Of course I am!" said White Star. "We finally get a Season 2! Even the greats like Cowboy Bebop never got a Season 2!"

"There's a narrative reason for that," remarked Black Star drily.

Below them, the hideous millipede monster drew closer. The girls' grips tightened around their wands. "Ready for battle, Amaya?" asked White Star.

Black Star's expression changed into a determined grin. "I was born ready," she said.

The two magical girls swooped down into the park, landing neatly in front of the monster, wands poised. The man on his phone looked up, smiled with relief, and switched to his phone's camera app. "Wow, that was quick," he mumbled to himself.

Noticing the man filming her, White Star happily assumed a heroic pose, holding her wand aloft. A three-member team meant a new three-part catchphrase. "Time to let the light of justice shine-" she began.

"-banish the forces of darkness-" continued Black Star.

A few seconds of awkward silence followed, during which White Star remembered that they were one member short. "...and so on," she finished quietly, her pose slackening for a moment.

"STARLIGHT TRIO- uhh, duo... STARLIGHT DUO, GO!" shouted both girls in unison.

"We need to work on our choreography," added Black Star.

The monster wasn’t too impressed by the duo’s entrance either. Rearing up on its numerous hind legs, it began to spit jet-black slime at them. White Star backflipped out of the way of the slime globs, while Black Star merely conjured up a spherical shield against which the slime harmlessly splattered.

Neither of these approaches worked for very long. As the slime barrage continued, soon Black Star’s shield was so covered with slime that she could no longer see. “This seemed like a better idea at the time,” she mused.

Meanwhile, White Star continues to acrobatically dodge the monster’s slime attacks until she backflipped straight into a hedge, crashing through the undergrowth. “Owww... oh hey, there’s a bird in here!” she remarked.

“This isn’t working!” said Black Star. “We need to do something about its slime attack!”

White Star popped her head out of the bush, a bird perched neatly on top of her hat. “Gee, you think?” she replied. As yet another glob of slime shot towards her head, she quickly ducked back down into the bush, then peered out from amongst the leaves. “You distract it. I’ll take care of its mouth.”

Black Star waved her arms to try and attract the monster’s attention, but this had no effect, hidden as she was behind a wall of black slime. Sighing, she raised her wand and instead bellowed, “Distraction Attack!” A white ball of light shot out of her wand, soared high into the air, then exploded in a tremendous shower of coloured sparks. The entire park was illuminated, and everyone within turned their attention to the skies, including the monster.

“Nice going, Black Star!” said White Star. “Now it’s my turn!” Poking her wand out of the bush, she yelled, “String Shot!”, and a long white thread snaked out of the wand’s tip and wrapped itself tightly around the monster’s mouth. Undeterred, the monster tried to continue its slime-spitting, but the globs steadily backed up, filling its jaw until its head inflated to comical proportions. Finally, the monster’s head exploded, scattering black slime across the field; Black Star, having just dismissed her shield, had to rapidly put it back up again to avoid being coated. The now-headless monster swayed, then fell to the ground with a thud.

White Star emerged from the bush, pulling twigs out of her lilac hair. “’Lilac’? I’d say it’s more like a light violet colour,” she said.

“Who are you talking to?” White Star’s familiar, Kousen, had finally caught up to her, perching herself on top of the bush with wings unfurled. “And anyway, your hair is purple.”

“No, the narrator was right,” said Black Star, folding her arms. “It may be a bit of a flowery description – literally – but it’s also definitely the most accurate.”

By now, Black Star’s familiar Kage had also caught up with the group, hovering overhead with the traditional can of beer clutched in her hand. “Yo, I hate to interrupt your discussion on colour theory,” she said, “but that monster isn’t actually dead yet. Its head’s growing back. Also, the heck is a lilac?”

White Star and Black Star turned in horror to see that Kage was right. The monster’s head was regenerating, and while it was dazed for now, it would soon be back to spitting horrid slime at everything in sight. “Right, of course,” said White Star. “Monsters can only be killed by Finishing Moves. It’s been so long since Season 1 ended that I forgot.”

Black Star raised her Wand, but as the headless monster thrashed around, she found it difficult to aim. “Come on, White Star!” she said. “Let’s do this together!”

White Star nodded, aimed her own wand, and the two girls yelled, “Finishing Move: StarLight Beam!” Two beams of light burst out of their wands, one white, one black, and they combined in mid-air to form a blinding silver beam that tore straight through the millipede monster’s body. The creature screamed, then dissolved into nothing, leaving its Black Heart behind. There was a burst of applause from the man sat on the park bench, and then a blissful silence.

“Well, that went pretty well,” said Black Star, adjusting the hem of her skirt. “Think I’ve still got a little rust to shake off after the hiatus.”

White Star, meanwhile, was now pulling twigs out of the frills of her dress. “I think we all do,” she said. “Man, these twigs got everywhere! I hope the next monster doesn’t spawn near any bushes.”

A sudden voice caught the girls’ attention: “Heeeeey~!” White Star and Black Star looked up in time to witness the arrival of the third part of their trio: Blue Moon. She set herself down before them, holding down the hem of her cyan-and-white dress to avoid accidentally flashing her team-mates, then smiled up at them with mismatched eyes. “Sorry I’m late,” she said, “I didn’t hear my phone go off. So, what’d I miss?”