Nine Schools Competition Part III「九校戦編 III」
As predicted, we’re going to have to wait one more episode until we get to the proper games itself. In the meantime, enjoy this week’s token hot spring onsen scenes where the other girls discover that with Miyuki, gender somehow just doesn’t matter. There’s more about the theory behind magic (don’t ever expect this to let up in this first cour) and some recognition that the Shiba siblings are a powerful, special pair of siblings.
We start right where things left off with the first high school students’ lives in peril from an out-of-control car threatening to crash into their bus. The reason Watanabe shouted for everyone to stop and not activate their individual magic against their well wishes to help everyone, was simply because spells launched disorderly will cancel each other out, rendering all magic useless. So it takes someone calm and composed to take charge, assess the situation and resources quickly enough to come up with a quick plan. Cue
chairwoman elfin sniper Saegusa – Jumonji blocks the car while Miyuki takes care of the fire. But observant Watanabe observed that someone else had cancelled out a magic sequence – Gram Dispersion, presumably Tatsuya’s doing as Miyuki can tell. Everything goes well and the students make it to their accommodation hotel which actually belongs to the military. Though not part of the games, Erika, Mizuki, Mikihiko and Leo have made their way over by working part-time at the hotel although in Erika and Mikihiko’s case, it wasn’t on their own accord; their parents made them go.
A lot of interesting things were said in this episode and for such dialogue, it’s quite forgivable that the action is mostly postponed. What we got is essentially some character building on supporting characters Hanzou, Erika and Mikihiko. It’s good that the spotlight isn’t hovering over Tatsuya as much though I’d like some on Mizuki and Leo soon too please! For starters, if you’ve not realised it yet then let patriarch of the 10 clans and essentially, the man with the most influence in the entire magic community Kudou Retsu (Kiyokawa Motomu) tell you as he announced at the banquet in front of all participants – magic is a means; not in itself an end. Large scale magic if used erroneously, is inferior to small-scale magic used creatively. That’s essentially what Tatsuya does right? As Hanzou comes to realise, superiority is not just based on magic but also experience. The student who was once the strongest in the entire first high school having gone undefeated until Tatsuya came along, has his confidence hit from simply witnessing Miyuki in action with the car incident. He’s in awe but it does leave a bitter taste for a girl younger than him to be better. But I personally think that knowing who you are and what your weaknesses are, is the first step to improving and becoming a better person.
Who you are also counts. We know the clout the ten numbered clans have but even Erika shows us that her Chiba family’s influential enough with the military. As she says, what good are connections unless you use them? But such influence comes at a price, of being recognised by your family’s status and not the individual and to have to live up to the expectations of such a family name. Tatsuya would know that burden; Erika does as well. I’m guessing Mikihiko’s from such an influential family as well seeing as how he practices spirit magic under a particular school. He’s at the games because his father wants him to go understand where Mikihiko should stand on such a stage. He lost his powers in an accident a year ago and is weakened to the status of a weed. Was he a bloom or not doesn’t matter – he now feels his strength or rather, the lack of it, is what holds him back into his present inferiority complex. He can easily blame the accident and call for security to deal with intruders/thieves. But having watched Tatsuya go up against the bloom senpais successfully, Mikihiko has drawn new strength in giving himself a chance.
Tatsuya’s an inspiration to his fellow weeds and a wake up call to the blooms who have so far deemed themselves superior (was it just me though or did the production staff get his uniform wrong at the banquet since he was quite clearly wearing a bloom coat). If anything, Mahouka’s overarching theme is about self-confidence and not letting society define you with its convenient but narrow parameters. However, as Kirihara rightfully observed, Tatsuya’s truly badass and in a league of his own. Just watching him, Kirihara could tell that Tatsuya’s got a true thirst for blood and that he wears it like a coat, insinuating a previous military participation. He’s not far off as the pieces come together slowly but eventually. Question now is, does the prince of the third high school and Ichijo family heir aka Crimson Prince Ichijo Masaki have the same thirst for blood? He seems to already have his eye on first school ace Miyuki. We’ll have to find out at the games itself so please, let the games begin!