Nine Schools Competition Part VIII「九校戦編 VIII」
We finally get to the juicy bit we’ve been waiting all this past 8 episodes of the Nine School Competition arc – team Tatsuya enters the game! In the lead up to the final battle between First High vs Third High, we see plenty of skills and magic (too technical again but what the heck, it’s action so I don’t mind) along with some neat strategising from both sides. That’s not all as Erika gets some air time despite not participating in the games – about time!
So the real reason Erika dislikes Watanabe Mari senpai so much isn’t because Mari’s a bloom and Erika’s a weed (she’s above that sort of demeaning comparison) or that Mari’s a disciple in the Chiba art of swordsmanship who’s ranked below Chiba, a fact no one seems to know. It’s because we’ve got another bro-complex apart from Queen of bro-com Miyuki. Erika obviously looks up to her brother Tsugu-nii (Chiba Susumu), who is a world-clss master swordsman. And who is Tsugu-nii dating? Mari senpai! A woman who causes the brother she has so much pride in to just drop his commitments as a member of the Chiba family to rush to her injured side, no wonder Erika’s angry. But it’s a nice touch to see this side of her and to see that Miyuki’s bro-con isn’t restricted to just the Shiba siblings though it’s safe to say that the Chiba siblings aren’t anywhere close to the level of affection the Shibas have for one another.
More of Erika this week was during her pleasant conversation with Mikihiko as they enjoy a private view of Mt. Fuji. You’d think that with the sort of trauma Mikihiko seemed to have from having grown up with Erika, that she’s more tomboyish, loud and brash around him, behaving nothing like a girl should. Yet now on the rooftop, he’s blushing at having Erika just call him by his given name~ Leo you better watch out, these 2 may just start rekindling a more mature kind of boy-girl-relationship flame soon! Erika knows Mikihiko very well, enough to see that he’s back to his pre-accident level of magic mastery and more. Yoshida himself hasn’t noticed it perhaps because he belittles himself post-accident where the child prodigy of the Yoshida family was reduced to being a course 2 student. Makes me want to know what accident this was (related to Yotsuba Maya?) and just how different his powers have changed as a result of it.
The person who’s drawn Yoshida’s inner true potentials out again is awesome oniisama Shiba Tatsuya. Team Tatsuya – Leo on defense, Mikihiko on offense and defense guerilla, easily breezed through to the final round by strategising a combat plan to suit all 3 of them. Tatsuya was right in choosing his close classmates and friends. Initially apprehensive of Tatsuya’s invitation was Mikihiko, who thought that his ancient spells though powerful, would not be effective in the modern fast activation sequencing CAD era. But give the boy some time to chant his long activation sequences and what you get is a very powerful and stealthy magic that can not only induce headaches in an opponent but see through an enchantment just where the monolith box is to enter the 512 worded code (damn that’s a lot to remember). It’s all about how you play up your strengths and use it to your advantage, something Tatsuya’s been doing all his life, that sneaky A-rank magic using oniisama. Saegusa’s caught on to her suspicions that Tatsuya can use the powerful combat magic Gram Demolition to dismantle spells – a magic that hardly anyone can use. Cardinal George figured it out too and while watching Tatsuya use resonance to disorientate an opponent (refer ep 01 – 02), the brilliant cardinal code breaker concludes that it’s Tatsuya’s combat skills they really need to watch out for. Indeed, Tatsuya hasn’t yet pulled out all his cards (e.g. Flash Cast) and though he is aware of the set-up Third High has placed to bait them with, it seems he’s got bigger fish to go for – give Ono sensei a day to find out where the No Head Dragons are. Next episode should be the concluding episode for this arc and if the first arc is any indication, we’re in for a great end.