「刹那の本気」 (Setsuna no Honki)
No matter how we act, as long as you’re part of the Student Council, you won’t get any demerits toward your grades or school reports.
I’ll say, that’s a sweet deal if I’ve seen one. If anyone knows one I can join with those perks… It’s just too bad I’ve graduated already.
All jokes aside, Yusa joins our crew as the latest addition/transfer student, and it’s full speed ahead as our group embarks on yet another quest to
scare the living daylights out of someone ensure the scientists don’t get their hands on another ability user. As it turns out, our group’s next target is none other than Kannai Academy’s pitching ace, and I’ll say I should’ve expected this sooner rather than later. Key’s propensity to put in a baseball themed episode have been well noted given its prior usage in Little Busters! and Angel Beats! (to name a few recent series), and it ends up a decent way to both ease Yusa/Misa into the cast and move things along.
The only issue is, nothing much happens here aside from our group’s usual antics—Takajou practically killing himself, Ayumi cooking nothing but food with “special sauce,” etc.—and one wonders if this might not be the calm before the storm. The full cast—according to the OP anyway—is assembled at this point, the general premise and background have been set, and with a load of questions just sitting there waiting to receive answers, it’d certainly be the right time to start escalating things—or so one would think. This wouldn’t be the first time Maeda Jun’s toyed with our expectations though.
Either way, there’s one thing this episode does make me want to talk about, and it’s the concept of “intent” and “motive.” Given the nature of the powers they wield, one would think that there’s someone out there hell bent on using their powers for nothing but personal gain, yet we’ve seen nothing of the sort. There’s been some personal gain as a side result for sure, but they end up only a side effect of the overall motive (even in Otosaka’s case), and it’s interesting to think about in regards to whether or not this is intentional, and what it’s meant to imply.
One could argue it’s merely a way to set things up for a future antagonist, but is that really it? Or could there more to it? Part of me wonders if this isn’t a commentary on human nature as a whole, and there’s much that could be said about how it’s difficult to get a full grasp of someone without having actually talked with them. Toward this end, many of the ability users we’ve encountered so far turned out differently than one would’ve expected of them initially—whether in regards to motive or behavior—and it goes to show that one shouldn’t ever judge a book by it’s cover, however cliche the statement is. There are as many reasons for doing something as there are people on this planet, and no matter the goal—even if you’re technically trying to save their lives—it’s important to approach things with an open mind, and to take the time to understand where someone’s coming from.
That said, it’s taken a few episodes to really sink in, but despite her blunt approach, Tomori does actually have a knack for saying what needs to be said. Her words toward the end of this episode were merely one example, and it certainly feels like there’s something more to her underneath the many faces she seems to put on. The question is whether or not they’ll develop her in time for us to erase the impressions we’ve gotten of her so far, and I guess that’ll be one we’ll re-visit towards the series end. Until then, it’s nice to see that Misa’s still around as well—I’d go nuts if all we got were magic spells from her idol sister—and I suppose we’ll see how things progress as we approach the mid-point of the series. Count me in as one of those still waiting to see what “Charlotte” stands for…