Man, they just look so cool, don’t they? When we last left off, it turns out First High will need Tatsuya to compete anyway. Oh sure, his engineering genius has single-handedly won the girls so many events, but he can’t help the guys! They’re just too proud to have Tatsuya calibrate their CADs. Uh-huh, that sounds about right. As a result, the only solution is to injure the guys and have Tatsuya take their place himself! Genius! Brilliant! I couldn’t have come up with a better plan myself! Alright then, let’s start the show.
— It’s silly that this even needs to be said. The anime isn’t even shy about kissing Tatsuya’s ass and pretending as though he’s a living god. Nevertheless, our Gary Stu has to demand that his two bros allow him to calibrate their CADs. The guys in this universe are the only ones who are clueless for some reason. Well, it’s obvious. If the girls are all going to fall in love with the Gary Stu, that only leaves us with the other half of the population for the bad guys.
— Tatsuya and his bros proceed to discuss battle strategy. What is it with these Gary Stu shows and needlessly drawn out discussions about battle strategies? It’s like every Gary Stu-wannabe out there fancies himself a brilliant tactician. Leo then asks, “But when exactly does a defender do?” Are you kidding me? Even if you say, “Leo’s not familiar with Monolith Code,” then why the fuck was he chosen? It’s pretty obvious why, actually. So that Leo can ask dumb questions, which will then allow Tatsuya to painstakingly explain to the audience how Monolith Code works. W-w-world building!
— Finally, the magical separating sword has made its comeback. I almost forgot it existed.
— Tatsuya then turns to Mikihiro to discuss magic the way magic is usually discussed in Mahouka: the incredibly dry and boring way. Let’s just skip ahead…
— To after the credits, where we see Tatsuya leaping from bush to bush like a banshee. He’s also owning people left and right, but of course he is.
— See, I thought that since Tatsuya would be busy with the Monolith Code event, we wouldn’t have to listen to him prattle on and on about the crappy magic spells. But that’s where I’m wrong. Mayumi will take over the job! Needless to say, I don’t care again, so I’m going to skip ahead…
— …to more scenes of Tatsuya being a badass. Y’know, Leo and Mikihiko do their jobs as supporting characters. Meanwhile, Tatsuya’s jumping around like Mighty Mouse. Had we seen Shun and his teammates compete, this might have been a close match, and therefore, it might have been interesting to watch. Good thing we got rid of those chumps, huh? The thing is, I can understand giving yourself God Mode in a video game, because you’re directly controlling the character. But watching someone else with God Mode on them? Why? What on earth do people get out of watching Tatsuya be boringly awesome?
— Now it’s the Crimson Prince’s turn to explain exactly what Tatsuya had done. Give me a break. We just saw what he did.
— But speaking of the Crimson Prince, what will he and Curious George do now? The latter thinks that the strength of Tatsuya’s magic is nothing to worry about, so you want to force a straightforward encounter. You just have to be wary of–… ah, who cares? By the way, I’m sure Georgio is wrong. Just watch as Tatsuya blows the two of them out of the water.
— God, that BGM with all the fucking whistles is the worst BGM I’ve ever heard in an anime.
— More uninspired combat scenes follow. We’re basically just wasting time until we get to the finals. As a result, you get to watch some boring spells get thrown about as Tatsuya steamrolls through his opponents. Even the people watching from the sidelines are like, “Yeah, he’s holding back.”
— For some reason, we see a scene in which Erika is berating her brother. Apparently, he’s supposed to be in Thailand, but instead, he came all the way out here to see Mari. This offends Erika somehow because she fancies herself a rival of Mari’s. In any case, what’s with the imoutos in this fucking anime? They’re all so clingy and weird: “Ever since you got involved with this woman, you’ve become corrupted, Brother!” Naturally, the big bro gets to turn around and lecture his imouto. That’s pretty much the takeaway from this scene. Hell, you could even say it’s the takeaway from the whole anime. Imouto throws a tantrum so that the big bro can be all self-righteous and shit.
— Erika refuses to apologize. Instead, she storms off. I just have one question: who the fuck cares? Why would the affairs of the Chiba family be of any importance to me? Aren’t we about to watch the biggest finals of the current arc? Nevertheless, we’re wasting our time watching a tiff between Erika and her oniichan.
— In her anger, Erika calls her brother stupid. Boring ol’ Miyuki then argues that since Erika’s oniichan is a world-class swordsman, you can’t call him stupid. Woosh. Way to miss the point entirely. But of course, Miyuki’s used to worshiping the ground her brother walks on, so she wouldn’t understand a person’s random bouts of anger. She’ll just murder her brother instead, but it’s okay, ’cause he can revive himself!
— Aaaaand the truth comes out:
Naw, it’s not like we have anything more important to do. Please, go on and on about this oniichan we have only just met.
— Wait… is it? Is it the finals? No, now we get to watch Third High steamroll through their semifinal opponents. Christ. I get the feeling there’s going to be yet another episode to this painfully drawn-out arc.
— Our Crimson Prince is walking face first into danger, but god, he’s just so invincible like our Gary Stu. What happens when two invincible Gary Stus collide? Sorry, that was a trick question. There can only be one.
— Oh good, now that Tatsuya’s a spectator, he can go back to telling us about this universe’s shitty magic.
— The sad thing is, there isn’t even any strategy here. It’s like watching a bunch of level one characters go up against the final boss of a JRPG. Hah, people actually thought this adaptation would be an improvement over Mahou Sensou. At least Mahou Sensou was campy. This is just boring.
— One character tells us the Crimson Prince intends to lure Tatsuya into head-to-head combat. So now we cut to Tatsuya thinking the exact same thing. Good world-building means redundancy! After all, if one aspect of your story is just that awesome, tell it again! No one will mind!
— With about three minutes left in the episode, and the characters going on and on about Georgio’s Cardinal Code, yes, it looks as though I’m in for yet another shitty episode from this arc. It gets better after the first arc, they said. The first arc is the worst arc, they said. Yo, this is ten times worse than the previous arc. At least the previous arc had ridiculously contrived discrimination that I could laugh at. Oh, and how could we forget the terrorist attack out of nowhere? In the past few weeks, however, I’ve had to sit here and watch blow-outs and blow-outs after blow-outs. Not even a single exciting game in an entire competition between the nation’s best and brightest magicians. Not a single one. When did the last arc end? Holy shit, eight episodes ago. I’ve just watched two months straight of this shitty arc.
— Remember when DBZ made tense fights ridiculously long and drawn-out? But that’s the thing! They were still tense fights! Goku and Frieza are neck-and-neck. No one has the upper hand! Oh no, Frieza just powered up! What will Goku do now! It’s like we’ve gone a complete 180 from that. And sure, you can subvert the cliches, but only if it amounts to something interesting. Subversion doesn’t mean dick when you go from tense, drawn-out fights to drawn-out blow-outs.
— I’m not even going to talk about First High’s semifinal match. I’m done. I’m running on four hours of sleep and I still got Aldnoah.Zero and Captain Earth to write about. Looks like there will be no League of Legends for me tonight.
— Aaaand now there’s a conversation between Mikihiko and Erika. Skipskipskipskip. For the love of god, skip this shit.
— Oh cool, we’re just now learning that Mikihiko used to be a prodigy. Character development!
— Then there’s this scene:
I don’t even know why she leaned in close. There’s no one within earshot of them. Oh right, he’s the Gary Stu. Gotta feel that Gary Stu aura even though she’s a grown woman.
— And the episode finally ends with the pair from Third High being extremely confident in their chances of winning. Y’know, both teams are comprised of three individuals, but I guess this third guy for Third High is just a fucking chump. But y’know how it is in these Gary Stu stories. It’ll seem like the bad guys have it all figured out, but really, the Gary Stu was a billion steps ahead the whole time. He’ll then give us a drawn-out explanation for what he had done. Come back next week for that riveting explanation!