「数学的連鎖(アリスマティック・チェイン)」 (Arisumateikku Chein)
Ah yes now this is my sort of thing. Shizuku doing her best; Shizuku laying on the heat; and gosh darn it you bet, Shizuku being cute. Am I sucker for Shizuku? Of course not, I just objectively know the best girl when I see her. Sure, Honoka might have the advantage in certain categories, but silent yet deadly is always the most dangerous for my poor heart.
Although well-known now that Yuutousei won’t be adding much to the overall Mahouka experience – because this point cannot be repeated enough – it’s episodes like this which are very nice additions to the overall story. Letting characters like Shizuku and Honoka hog the spotlight (for once) is a treat, for while the events on offer are superficial at best (magic mechanics breakdowns are always hit or miss with Mahouka), seeing a perspective not limited to Magic Jesus is a veritable breath of fresh air. It’s well-known after all that Tatsuya effectively solves every conundrum under the sun, but it’s everyone else around him who carries those advancements to their logical conclusion. No minelaying Shizuku? No perky Honoka shining bright? Just your usual light novel shenanigans. Seeing the “human” side of the equation in action is arguably what keeps me coming back to this series every week.
Helping build up that humanity as well are the antagonists and here again Yuutousei has done a good job in providing suitable material. Much like the secondary cast there’s nothing exceptionally special about Airi, Touko, and Shiori in practice, but they provide a decent foil for the ubiquitous tournament format; these girls (especially Shiori) are all seeking to better themselves and prove their worth against suitably matched opponents, and have appropriate backstories to back up their desires. It may not be the most memorable or important thing to grace Mahouka’s universe, yet it’s still nice seeing relatable struggles emerge which show there’s more to these battles than simple competition – particularly when Tatsuya is removed from the picture.
How long that stays the case remains to be seen, but this arc still has plenty of time left for the minor character gang (and undeniably Miyuki) to strut their stuff.
Shiori’s tale here reminded me of Saki.
A fetching and talented ne’er do well is plucked up by the local ojou-sama and taught to shine, but then… she must face the one (by proxy here as Tatsuya isn’t allowed in the shooting event) and as she is brought low, all of her demons return to confound her and doom her to disappointing the one person who matters in the world. But then… it turns out that her stern-talking ojou-sama is actually pretty nice.