Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Episode 6: Chiba Erika
Surprisingly, the arc isn’t over yet – the incident in the library and the aftermath of the terrorist attack dragged on for longer than I thought it would. All this will definitely end next week though, I promise! And to be honest, for someone who’s been peeved at all the content and development that’s been periodically cut out, I think it’s a good thing that Madhouse decided to take their time with the events in this episode, some of which is arguably unnecessary in the greater scheme of things. After this initial arc, Sayaka doesn’t really play much of a role any more – but Madhouse still went ahead with developing her character, if only slightly. Even though she was a participant and driving force in the events leading up to the terrorist attack, she was also very much a victim at the hands of many. Both society and herself judged her as a Course 2 Weed and not as a kendo champion, while Blanche and Egalite also manipulated her to meet their own ends – it took her far too long to realize that stealing cutting-edge research had nothing to do with ending discrimination by magic, which was a false front all along.
If there was a highlight to the episode, it’d probably be Erika’s fight with Sayaka. That was… really, really cool. I’m a Mayumi person myself, but I can’t deny that Erika was absolutely badass all throughout that fight. And I’d expect nothing less considering her heritage – Erika comes from the Chiba magic family, a member of the Hundred Families renowned for their sword skills. It’s no surprise that she was able to tell Tatsuya so much about Sayaka a few episodes back – Erika herself is deeply entrenched in the same sort of field, one that Sayaka made her mark on as a rising star. So it’s almost natural that Erika would want to see how she’d fare against someone like that – the terrorist attack just gave her an excuse to do it. Of all the standard (i.e. not Tatsuya) Course 2 students, Erika is among the best – she’s able to integrate her magic and sword skills together, and still overpower Sayaka even when a Cast Jamming field is deployed. At least both of them had one thing in common during that fight – they both resented Mari. And Erika still does! You’ll find out why later on.
Clearly Tsukasa was less important than I thought he was, because it took hardly any effort to capture him. In the end, he was also a small fry whose influence didn’t really extend beyond First High – the true threat is Blanche and their HQ, which will be where the arc’s finale takes place. Everyone’s got different motives for going along – Juumonji has the interests of the school in mind, while Kirihara supposedly just wants to “vent some anger”. Looks like someone’s crushing on Sayaka :D And Tatsuya wants to protect his daily life with Miyuki, which translates to “wanting to protect the many secrets he has”. Whatever the reason, I love how everyone’s just piling into a van and driving off to confront their local terrorist organization. It’s like they’re on a school trip!