“Enrolment Part IV”「入学編IV」
I’ve not read the light novels but the problem I have with Mahouka as an anime is that compared to this season’s other offerings full of passion and drama – Captain Earth, Haikyuu, No Game No Life, Sidonia, Mahouka’s come off as clinical and seemingly distanced, just like main protagonist Tatsuya. That is, until this episode. Not only has Tatsuya warmed up to his classmates enough to tell them his secret, he’s managed to make not one but 5 different girls blush! Also, Miyuki and Tatsuya play up their “sibling love” and I’m warming up to being amused by it now.
The cat’s out of the bag and it’s about time. I was getting quite tired of having to pause and take notes just so I understand the magic technicalities to review here. Tatsuya’s used cast jamming to nullify last week’s fight (and earned quite the badass reputation in school). Well, a variation on cast jamming since he doesn’t have antinite, the military-only resource used in nullifying magic. So what does Tatsuya do? The guy practically created his own “Specific Magic Jamming” technique, accident or not. Although you’d have to be as accurate and fast as Tatsuya is in reading magic sequences to use it, it still poses a very viable threat to the fundamental divide between the blooms and weeds of society. That’s why Miyuki’s so concerned for Tatsuya that he doesn’t get used. Either that or she’s protecting her one-true-place by his side…
That threat takes the form of anti-magic faction Blanche’s Egalite branch, who has infiltrated the high school and is manipulating the course 2 students to unite against further discrimination. Claiming to be a grassroot organisation, they’re actually terrorists who aim to rid Japan of magic because they’d stand to profit. To do so, they also need Tatsuya’s special power, a fact Tatsuya knows all too well. But is it truly discrimination or just an official guise for equality? Like Tatsuya said, the true discrimination is in the groups’ median incomes. Magicians hold more power and earn more for it but what non-magic people don’t realise is that magicians have to work really hard to manifest their abilities. Sounds like our society doesn’t it? A surgeon can charge tens of thousands to do surgery and be accused of charging exorbitantly for healthcare, a right that everyone should have regardless of cost. Yet no one cares to admit that it takes that surgeon at least 10 years of tireless training and school fees.
Tatsuya’s already crossed hands with the course 2 male student infiltrator and it seems he’s trying to recruit Tatsuya through the feminine wiles of Mibu-senpai and Ono-sensei (Cardcaptor Sakura’s Tange Sakura), the school’s health counselor. That’s the only way I can explain why she’d be dressed so provocatively and with long still shots of her thighs – uncomfortable much? But Tatsuya’s a brilliant gigolo who won’t be fooled! No, the guy’s got hidden yandere/sadistic potential as his other special power to make Mizuki, Mibu, Mari, Mayumi and Ono-sensei blush! Looking forward to seeing more of this because when was the last time we got a yandere MC?
That thing about numbers Tatsuya mentioned in episode 01 – turns out the Shiba 司波 siblings are really the Yotsuba 四葉 siblings, having played with the words 「四」&「司」which both are pronounced し(shi) and 「波」&「葉」which both are pronounced ば (ba). Yotsu = 4, student council president Saegusa = 7, ninja sensei Kokonoe = 9 and this week’s new character Jyumonji Katsuto (always very welcomed Suwabe Junichi) Jyu = 10. They represent the prestigious 10 Numbers clans and I wonder if their power/prestige is ranked accordingly as well? If Egalite needs to be stopped by the clans, the Yotsubas most of all will be involved. That might explain why Tatsuya and Miyuki are enrolled in high school under the Shiba surname instead – to protect Tatsuya’s true identity.
Things really heat up this episode. How will Tatsuya play both sides as Shiba and Yotsuba? Will their aunt step in to pull them back to their duties as the Yotsuba clan? What will the clans do now that it’s become clearer Egalite/Blanche is up to something? Can Tatsuya really protect Miyuki? Hopefully there’s more badass Tatsuya action too as we get to a bigger, deeper plot!