「来訪者編Ⅱ」 (Raihou-sha-hen Ⅱ)
“Visitor Arc II”
Ahh, two weeks in and you’d think Mahouka had never left. Although still definitively in the introductory stage, the second season has quickly fallen into the usual rhythms of the past, with new threats shown, upcoming battles teased, and secondary cast ready for the moment in the spotlight. Well, at least if everyone’s favourite Magic Jesus deigns to share in the festivities.
While Mahouka is inevitably coloured by what Tatsuya does (and how much Miyuki loses her stoic composure over it), it’s episodes like this which highlight just how well the series works when you remove the divisive components. Take our latest murder mystery: it’s pretty standard material light novel-wise sure, but there’s no denying the intrigue involved with having Rorschach’s disciples go full magical vampire and leave America’s finest left wondering why bullets don’t do what they’re supposed to. Fleshed out settings like this work best when you have a diverse cast capable of taking advantage of what they can offer, and the characters we got this week in Erika, Mikihiko, and the like prove the point. Give your support room to breathe and the results can quickly surprise you.
Of course, given this is Mahouka, Tatsuya won’t remain silent for the long so the main fun of the moment is in guessing how this latest mystery winds up solved. While easy to think Mikihiko will have some time to shine considering the focus on spiritual energy once again, it’s a greater leap guessing how Angelina winds up involved with everyone else given how the latest enemy is heavily involved with her side and the current lack of reveal concerning her true identity. I don’t think we’ll have to wait long before Magic Jesus discerns all (the OP pretty much spoils what’s coming down the pipeline), but the manner at which we reach that stage? Yeah, there’s definitely room for surprise. In the end though it’ll be Mahouka through and through; somehow, somewhere, another magic explanation is waiting for its grand debut, and you can firmly wager when we get it the technobabble will be something to behold.
After all, with the amount of focus on Caster Jamming and supposed enemy invulnerability, you damn well know this arc is just itching to show what makes its internals tick.
ED: 「名もない花」 (Na mo Nai Hana) by Miki Satou