Rating: 3/5 curious clouds
Zhou opens up the episode with a shady conversation that reminds us of all the power struggles behind the high school façade of the Mahouka world. Then after the opening we move back to Tatsuya and his friends who decide to help out with security procedures it the thesis competition.
Ichihara visits Chiaki Hirakawa (the saboteur girl) to… console her? More like convince and re-inspire the little chibi smarty pants to swap sides. It’s the day before the competition and everyone at the high school seem somewhat calm. Ichihara’s little act to console Chiaki gives us a little insight to her personality, though all very brief before we swap back to the outer world again where Fujibayashi is having dinner with some… guy.
The next morning at the centre in Yokohama, Fujibayashi visits the Shiba siblings. She seems to have high expectations of Miyuki should anything… troublesome happen. Masaki and the members of Third High also arrive at Yokohama. Masaki’s interactions with Miyuki are too cute. It seems like there’s no young man out there immune to Miyuki’s charms. There’s definitely a rivalry between Tatsuya and Masaki now…
Later Fujibayashi ends up meeting with the guidance councillor, secret spy, shadow, person – Haruka Ono. They exchange greetings and chat over coffee, making mentions to respect each other’s boundaries. Seems like Fujibayashi knows that Haruka has been spying on her…
WELL THEN, Lu Gonghu didn’t last long in his imprisonment cause at the same time all this tension is building up with the political figures and personnel outside the high school realm. The student council is probably the only ones (other than Tatsuya) who are aware of the unease surrounding the thesis competition. Saegusa asks Jumonji to keep an eye on things (with bulletproof vests LOL WOW). Luckily the pace does pick up at the end of the episode as First High presents their Thesis project.
I really wish they would tell all the high school scenes in the first third of the episode and all the politics in another third before tying it all together in the last third. Right now, I’m recapping everything in order but it all seems rather disconnected because as with all other Mahouka arcs, the audience isn’t given full comprehension of the actual conflict of the arc with all the motivations of the characters until the big reveal and resolution. By then, we’re just mostly interested in the magic action. There just isn’t enough time for us to appreciate the subtleties in the plotlines of each arc when we’re constantly uprooted from one scene to the next in order to fit enough of the “hint scenes” into the twenty-five minutes each week.
Episode twenty-three does devote quite a bit of time on the inner-workings of Fight High’s thesis project which gives anime-only viewers a lot more insight to the mechanics behind the magic. Third High is probably the only school that can rival First High at this point because of Cardinal George. Somehow I feel like Mahouka needs to come with a glossary of all the terms behind the magics because I find myself spacing out of the dialogue or needing to rewind and rewatch certain scenes to digest all the information. Mahouka is all or nothing with those explanations LOL
The episode ends at a pretty clichéd moment if you ask me because an explosion goes off, shakes the hall and Tatsuya is given a wide dramatic shot before the credits roll in. Right now we can pretty much predict that Mahouka is going to end after the Yokohama Disturbance Arc. With only two more episodes, I’m looking forward to how they’ll wrap it up because the light novel DOES continue. Perhaps a season 2 is in order then? It’s definitely possible.
What are you pondering today?