Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Episode 15: Gram Demolition
It was all about Monolith Code this week, so I’m glad they put aside a bit of time at the start of the episode to give us the run-down – teams of three are each assigned a monolith somewhere on the field with a code hidden inside it that they have to protect. The aim is to get close enough to the enemy to split open their monolith and steal their code – or alternatively you could just beat the entire opposing team in a straight-up fight, as you’re free to do whatever you want to their monolith if they’re all knocked out. As it’s an event that holds increased risk of injury while combining physical ability with magical prowess, it’s only open to men, much like how something like Mirage Bat is only for women. No point seeing Tatsuya prance around swatting lights out of the sky in a leotard, right?
While there wasn’t really any doubt that First High would storm through to the finals, I did appreciate that there was lots of fast-paced action – and alongside that, Gram Demolition was properly introduced for the first time. Even taking into account what we’ve seen of Tatsuya so far, this is a very overpowered magic – actually, in stricter terms it’s actually a type of counter-magic, designed to limit the effectiveness of whatever magic an opponent or enemy might use. In this case, Gram Demolition literally dismantles the activation and magic sequences deployed by another CAD using nothing more than a huge barrage of psions, and you can’t really do anything against that – not many magicians can use it since you need a high psion count to deploy a large number of psions, but of course Tatsuya is one of the special few. I’d say that Ichijou and Kichijouji are wrong in being warier of his combat abilities than his magic abilities – it’s not that he’s unable to wield strong magic. He’s just unable to wield strong magic that’s legal for a high school competition.
What I did like about the episode was that other characters were given chances to shine too, instead of everyone just lauding Tatsuya – Leo and Mikihiko both played key parts in ensuring victory for First High, with Mikihiko’s Spirit Magic in particular used to easily scout out the enemy’s monolith and copy down the code. I’m looking forward to how they fare against Third High in the finals, especially as the open plains stage renders that sort of stealth trick impossible – it’s going to be all about direct, head-to-head combat, and the stage isn’t going to help them this time. Sort of like the Final Destination stage in Super Smash Bros. These opponents are actually going to make for an interesting match too – if anything, this is going to be one of the few times in the entire arc where tension is actually present. Even though Ichijou was being a Tatsuya and just calmly walking forward like he was going to school or something, he managed to completely destroy his opponents all by himself. I think that was the best Monolith Code match of the episode actually – Ichijou is as efficient and tactical as Tatsuya is, but at least he’s flashy when he’s doing it. And that can only be a good thing.
Finally, Miyuki did a bit more stand-up comedy! I don’t know how she does it… I don’t think Erika does either.