Oh Mahouka, Mahouka, Mahouka… what far-right nonsense will you peddle this week?
— Ah, the Madonna-whore concept in a single character. At first, Mayumi goes, “Here you are, having a conversation in such a proximity to a beautiful girl, but you’re not showing any signs of making a move. Sorry that I have such a childish figure.” But when Tatsuya actually decides to tease her — “If you were offering yourself to me, I would not hesitate to partake of you” — the girl freaks the hell out. Hitchcock would be proud, except, y’know, there isn’t any commentary here on the representation of women in anime. Haremettes simply throw themselves at the harem lead until he decides to pay them any attention. Then all of a sudden, these girls must pretend as though they hate sex. Japanese maidens are always pure and virginal, yo.
— By the way, Mayumi doesn’t appear again for the rest of the episode. Her inclusion this week is thus completely pointless and arbitrary.
— Oh no! Someone’s hacking Tatsuya! Quick, type super fast on the keyboard! That’s how you stop a realtime hack! Sometimes, two people have to type on the same keyboard at the same time! But our Gary Stu’s got this!
— Oh man, you thought the Nine Schools Competition was ridiculously important? It turns out our evil hackers are attempting to steal any information they can get on these kids’ upcoming thesis presentation. Yeah man, everyone knows cutting-edge research can be found in high schools. Fuck college. It’s just where we go to get hammered and sleep around. But anyway, this Magic Thesis Competition is such serious business that the Disciplinary Committee will even provide personal bodyguards for each team member. Wait, surely you aren’t suggesting that Tatsuya needs a bodyguard, are you? This manly Gary Stu over here? A bodyguard for him? Hah.
See? You heard the man. On a more serious note, if they’re going to provide everyone a bodyguard, why not be safe rather than sorry? It’s not like a trained bodyguard will somehow make you less safe just because you’re perfectly capable of defending yourself. But no, Tatsuya is a strong, independent Gary Stu, and he don’t need no bodyguard!
— According to Mari, “teams for this contest are sometimes targeted by industrial spies.” That’s right, industrial spies targeting a high school thesis competition. First, Chinese terrorists try to stage a violent protest at a Japanese high school. Then, the Chinese mafia tried to rig an athletic event. And now, industrial spies are after the secrets of a high school thesis competition. But why are we even beating around the bush? We all know these industrial spies are truly Chinese badmen. In fact, even if the spies are Japanese, it just means they’ve been brainwashed by the Chinese badmen to do their bidding!
— Mahouka has a distinct pattern, and it’s a sad, pathetic pattern. One small, potentially interesting thing will happen, then the characters will proceed to talk about it ad nauseum. Soemone tried to hack Tatsuya? Let’s spend the next five to ten minutes talking about it!
— Man, after 20 weeks of this stupid anime, I still don’t know half of these character’s names. I had no idea who the dorky-looking guy was until the purple-haired girl called him Kei. And yes, I don’t know the purple-haired girl’s name. The show has a ton of characters, but none of them have any personality or depth.
— Later that day, the worst spy ever attempts to keep an eye on Tatsuya and his friends. I say she’s the worst spy ever, because, well, take a look for yourself:
I mean, seriously, you’re out in broad daylight. As a result, you are making yourself look even more suspicious by hiding behind a tree like, well, some sort of shitty spy. But this is Mahouka, so no one gets to be smart except for the Gary Stu himself. Also, notice how the streets are empty and devoid of life. This universe is practically dead. Every single location looks untouched and unlived. Where is everybody? In fact, where are all the poor people? Have we seen a single poor Japanese citizen in this show? Gasp, what have you guys done to them?! Obviously, poor people are busy picking up their bootstraps offscreen.
— Apparently, our spy is a fellow classmate who wants her revenge on Tatsuya. What’s her beef? Shrug. I bet it’s stupid anyway. By the way, the girl’s also dumb enough to think that “classified documents [to the evil Chinese badmen] is the most effective revenge.” As a result, she’s manipulated into working for the Chinese badmen! Those evil bastards have brainwashed our innocent, virginal shoujos!
— We also learn that the evil Chinese badmen have now added First HIgh School to their list of targets. Man, if only my time in high school was this exciting! Had this really been the case, maybe I’d still be hung up on it even now!
— The next day, Mikihiko tells Tatsuya that someone’s using Ancient Magic to stir shit up at the school, but it’s not Glorious Nippon Ancient Magic. Uguu, it’s dirty Ancient Magic from a foreigner! An evil foreigner at that!
— Another terrible spy stalking our kids:
You can’t really spy in this country when it’s so devoid of life. Anyone who isn’t a part of Tatsuya’s gang is automatically a suspicious person. It doesn’t help either when these spies can’t seem to act natural. Instead, they have to dash behind corners like some sort of caricature from a comedy. Sadly, this is not a comedy as much as we would like to think otherwise.
— I’m practically ignoring the scenes with the two investigators, ’cause they barely seem to be adding anything to the narrative.
— Erika and Leo leave Tatsuya’s side just to deal with the spy. I guess they’re serving as Tatsuya’s bodyguards even though he didn’t ask for any. This is a great insult!
— The spy tries to scream for help, but our two high school students have conveniently erected a barrier that will prevent anyone from interfering. That’s nice. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here, thinking, “In Mahouka, no one can hear you scream.”
— The two kids eventually manage to subdue the man, ’cause naturally, a trained spy is no match for a pair of high school students. He tells them, however, that he’s not an enemy. Hell, his name is even Jiro Marshall. Ah, those Americans are butting in on Japan’s affairs, aren’t they? More specifically, however, he’s here to prevent cutting-edge technology from falling into the hands of those dirty Chinese badmen.
Even better, he adds, “I thought this country was cured of its pacifist complacency…” That’s right. Being a pacifist means you’re just a complacent hippie do-gooder. Fuck, man, those Chinese badmen are after us! We need to fight back! We need to fight back right now! We need to bring back Japan’s glorious army, go over to China, and teach those assholes a lesson! I suggest we start with Manchuria!
— Sigh, even the American spy has to run like a Narutard. But it’s okay. He is quickly killed off by a Chinese badman.
— And that does it for this week’s episode. I mean, Mahouka has always been a boring show, but this episode was especially low-key for some reason. I mean, this is the first season’s (I’m assuming they’ll make more of this shit) last arc right? So you’d think the story would take special steps to build up to some fantastic finale, but I’m just not feeling it. It’s just Tatsuya wandering around while people — both good and bad — attempt to spy on him. There’s no sense of urgency. There’s no sense of danger. Everything feels so goddamn relaxed. And yeah, I get it, he’s a Gary Stu. He’s overpowered. He can kill you just by farting in your direction. But geez, evil operatives — let’s disregard the fact that they’re Chinese for the moment — have infiltrated the country, but it may as well feel as though nothing has happened.
— On the plus side, Miyuki barely had anything to say in this week’s episode.