「来訪者編Ⅸ」 (Raihou-sha-hen Ⅸ)
“Visitor Arc IX”
Alright now things are getting spicy. Maybe not in the incest is wincest format mind you, but hey, those with a taste for familial introspection have been getting plenty of that these past few weeks. Nawh, this time it was all plot, and the setup for the grand showdown (plus some extras) has been made plain for all to see.
Being firmly on the record for wanting more characters having their time to shine, I was pleasantly surprised we actually got that this episode with Erika, Mikihiko, and Leonhart going all out—albeit only for a bit. For all the fun of electro-armour and smug redheads acting smugly, I’m really hard-pressed denying that having all three fail in the process was a serious letdown. Sure, from a plot standpoint it’s fine and makes sense; you need something to give reason to bring parasites, Tatsuya, and Lina together for one final brawl. The issue is that everyone and their hard crushing kouhai knows that if Tatsuya had remained behind that such a defeat likely wouldn’t have occurred. Regardless of certain circumstances, Mahouka has done so well at making Tatsuya the end all be all of power that you can effectively assume the outcome of various events just based on his presence—and that’s before going into any potential Gary Stu traits. It’s not a particularly bad thing of course given what Mahouka is all about, but it’s not unlikely to breed issues later on depending on what each new arc chooses to focus on.
As for this arc, however, it’s nice to see everything pretty come out into the open thanks to some timely (and wholly unintended) Shizuku intervention. Naturally given the talk of Seven Sages earlier in the season we were going to get one of them being the main enemy of the moment, but having it tie back to good old first season foes Blanche and No Head Dragon? And involve some tasty shenanigans regarding the intentional disruption of magic-based technology alongside some omnipresent overseer system? Didn’t see that coming, though I like the direction. Probably just my love of all things Deus Ex that I’m getting a kick out of this, but this is the sort of realm where I think Mahouka shines best; throw Tatsuya to the side and let the geopolitics shine—i.e. magicians are little more than disposable pawns—and I’m down to keep on exploring. Of course this might just be my hobbyist love of political science talking (got a hearty chuckle out of how Tatsuya also noted the serious flaw with Gu Jie’s plan), but hey, I can pretend otherwise.
After all, we aren’t dealing with such nitty gritty anytime soon, not when a three-way battle is about to commence—and Lina is about to learn just what she actually wants in life.