I often wonder with stories, such as Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei whether there ever really was enough ‘untold’ story in the original series (in this case The Irregular at Magic High School) to justify the spin-off. As episode 13 of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei comes to a close with a few reveals about the bloom/weed system and a minor flashback for the Shiba siblings really the only take-aways, I’m kind of left thinking that there wasn’t in this case. Though that didn’t stop this final episode being pretty.
Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei never really found its own identity.
When the best part of the nine schools arc really was the ending with Tatsuya single-handedly taking out the terrorist organisation that threatened his sister, I always wondered what Miyuki would offer up as a finishing act. While we get a brief glimpse of the massacre that closed out this arc in Irregular, the focus here does remain firmly with the girls but mostly that just makes me wish I was watching Irregular instead.
Which isn’t to say this was a bad episode.
Airi, the blonde girl from third high who set herself up as Miyuki’s rival in this arc, puts in a promising performance in Mirage Bat. As a mid-season episode or even background to the events in Irregular, this was a pretty decent showing.
The two girls dominated the final of Mirage Bat and both were emotionally invested in the competition which really helped draw the audience in for this final event in the competition. Unfortunately, it didn’t engage me as emotionally as Eimi’s dramatic battle during Pillar’s Break and it didn’t come close to Shizuku taking on Miyuki.
Ultimately, Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei was a victim of earlier successes with characters we liked a lot more making it so much harder for a Miyuki/Airi match-off to really be a show closing event.
It also didn’t help that Miyuki’s only driving force here is to promote her brother. She brings nothing new to the equation and finds no other goal. Meanwhile, Airi’s motivation is reiterated and enhanced through the flashback of her conversation with her mother.
While Airi has been a character who I’ve had mixed feelings about she definitely got the best moments of this final episode and it would have been great to have seen her right at the end and find out what is next for her and the other girls of third high. After all the effort this spin-off seems to have put in to me investing in these characters, seeing them after the competition and their next steps would have really consolidated them whereas it kind of feels like they just disappear here.
All that aside, a chunk of this episode is given to a bath sequence. While it is good that Airi and Miyuki finally actually have a conversation, not sure why it is set in the bath with the other girls playing with water magic and ripping robes off each other (actually I know exactly why – fan-service – but I’m just not sure which audience this scene is trying to appeal to given I’m sure people who would really appreciate this scene probably checked out from watching this anime half-a-season ago).
We then have the dance party tying up loose ends and we finally find out why first high has two different uniforms and course one and course 2 students. I’m just not sure that Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei needs to exist in order to get this explanation. Still, if you have to do a spin-off at least give me some information that I missed out on in the original.
Anyway, that’s all for Mahouka Koukou no Yuutsouei. I’ll get to a full series review soon and I kind of hope we get more stories set in this universe but honestly I’ll happily go back to Tatusya as the main character.
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