In order to fully catch up to some sort of reasonable blogging schedule, I decided to just cut short the screenshots and do my thoughts on the two episodes. It isn’t something I’m gonna do often, but when you put your own deadlines in place, ya gotta meet em. I failed hard so I can only make it up by ensuring 35th Test Platoon’s 6th episode is done properly.
Episode 4: The Necromancer Laughs
Back at the festival, Ouka takes Takeru to the side to explain to him what she found out about Mari. In their battle with 15th Platoon, two of 15th Platoon’s members are incapacitated as one of them has shadow-magic like thorned vines burst from her abdomen, revealing Haunted, the Necromancer. The Chairman and the head of the Inquisition, who had been shadowing Mari to see Valhalla make its move, open fire, but before they could finish him off, the Necromancer envelops the mock battlefield in a magical barrier.
Inside, Haunted confronts Mari and teases her. Takeru activates his Relic to face down Haunted. At this point, Haunted counters Takeru. He apparently did a ‘Hero’ transformation using a lost-type magical item, Dáinsleif. Elsewhere, Ouka finds Suginami and Usagi, and indicts the School Chairman on Mari’s false arrest. Having investigated the crime scene Mari was arrested at, she realizes that her magic type isn’t the same as the magic catalyst found at the scene. Back to Mari and Takeru, Haunted removes the amnesia spell after Takeru reveals that Ouka’s investigation shows that the kids in the orphanage had been killed.
When Mari refutes this, Haunted complies, revealing the reawakened corpses of the children he had been keeping, stating that he could easily revive them, considering of course he had killed them as well. Mari goes crazy at this, but Takeru restates his intention to help her atone for her part in their deaths and the other deaths she caused. This leads Takeru and Haunted to fight, revealing Dáinsleif’s ability (Haunted’s Hero artifact) as well as Lapis’ flexibility in being able to transform to any sword type.
Noting that Takeru was outmatched, and knowing full well magic use will trigger the explosive collar, she nevertheless uses a protective spell the nun at the orphanage had taught her, although her targeting was off. The countdown to the collar was disabled at the last moment, as Ouka had blackmailed the chairman to disabling it. From there, Ouka and Usagi delay Haunted with anti-mana dust and gunshots before Mari launches another attack, which misses Haunted again. Haunted comments on her poor aim but its true target being Takeru’s sword, which absorbs the magic and uses it against Haunted and Dáinsleif.
Defeated, Haunted retreats, although it seems that Haunted knew about Takeru’s lineage as part of a clan of demon hunters. The barrier taken down, Takeru collapses, and later is seen recovering. Ouka butts in, saying bad news happened. It seemed that the Chairman had publically announced the witch apprenticeship program, although Mari stated Ouka had something to do with it too, and the two start sniping at each other.
Episode 5: The Witch Hunt
The episode starts off with Usagi’s matriarch (she can’t be called her mom in my eyes) giving her an ultimatum. With her low grades and performance, she only has one month left at school before she is married off in an arraigned marriage. Back at school, a new student who somehow gained enough influence become committee chairman explains the revival of an old school festival, with one caveat. He intends to add a token system that can be replaced with school ranking points and/or cash. Most of the 35th Test Platoon are put off by this, except for Takeru, who declares the 35th will participate in the festival. Suginami explains to the other two girls that due to his debt and younger sister, he intends to use his share of the tokens to pay off his debt.
As he fires up his wary team to go forth with the festival, Usagi approaches the room, only to remember what her matriarch had said when hearing Takeru’s voice. Doubting herself, the others wonder why she’s late, and how she’s an important part of the team. Mari asks why she wears her headband even though it makes her look like a rabbit, even though she hates it (Usagi = Rabbit). Suginami lies (maybe) and tells Mari she actually likes being called Usagi, to which Mari says she’ll just call her ‘Usa’ from now opn. This leads her to burst in the room complaining about the name, as well as explaining the headband came from her deceased grandmother. Takeru gets trapped into saying the headband is cute, annoying the Tsun Hunter and Tsun Witch. This romcom trope session was interrupted by the captain of the 23rd Test Platoon, who offers to join forces between the two smaller platoons in the Festival.
As the students prep for the Festival, Usagi meets with the newcomer, Reima Tenmyoji, and Usagi goes into a panic attack. The newcomer comments that she needn’t be in a place like the Anti-Magic Academy anymore, and they’ll be together forever, indicating he’s who she’s going to be married to. Takeru who was passing by with some supplies notice this, and after the newcomer introduces himself to him, asks him to take care of his ‘belonging’. Usagi apologizes and asks for help before she collapses and passes out.
Elsewhere, Ouka is approached by Sendo Shizuka, the student council secretary, who leads her to a hidden room behind a bookcase and coming face to face with the student council president, Hoshijirou Nagaru. They appear to know each other and when cutting to the chase, she asks Ouka if she’s heard of Mephistopheles, who is apparently an urban legend. A witch that devoues human minds. Asking what she’d do if she believed her to be real. Ouka berates her for believing in urban tales, only to be informed that she and her platoon/subordinates were attack, leaving only her and Shizuka alive, much to Ouka’s disbelief.
Back to Usagi, Suginami explains Usagi’s brave front, before reminding Mari about her help in experiments (a condition for her enrollment). As it seems that Usagi doesn’t want Takeru to leave, he stays, with Mari proclaiming to beat him up if he does anything lewd. When she wakes, she thanks him for staying with her the whole time, before they both head out.
Back with Ouka and the remaining Student Council platoon, Nagaru points out that it’s been a month since they were attack, and when the newcomer just arrived. Cutting back to Takeru and Usagi, Takeru won’;t butt into her business, but he’ll still be there for her. Asking if he could marry her, she notes he can’t, and explains her predicament. As the sole heir to her clan, the only way the Saionji clan can advance is by marrying into the Tenmyojis. Explaining it’s her last month in school, Takeru asks her to stay at his place for the night.
Later, as she takes a shower, her mind gets a little lewd, thinking that she and Takeru would do that, though she knows if she and Takeru have kids, she won’t have to go through with the arraigned marriage. This becomes a back and forth before she throws in the towel with a ‘que sera sera’ (well not the exact wording). She gets out and gets disrobed in front of Takeru, only for comedic timing to show itself. Mari first comes in, berating Takeru for the broken intercom system, before staring. Ouka comes in berating Mari before stopping and starting as well. Suginami declares they should look for his lewd magazines before doing the same. Their reasons for outrage are different from each other, with Mari stating how could he when he already has her; Ouka unable to comprehend for him to go that low; and Suginami dismayed by not being asked to join in.
After he’s recovered from the beat down he got from the girls, he explains who she was going to be married off to (and Ouka narrowing her eyes). Suginami is blunt in saying he’s rich, but if she doesn’t like it, she should marry Takeru instead (leading to everyone bitching). Asking why everyone is here, Takeru explains to Usagi that it was a meeting for the Usagi rescue mission, everyone explaining to her that she’s important to all of them.
Suginami comes up with a plan, and her plan for certain victory, as she explains the next day, is a cosplay party (much to the happiness of the 23rd Test Platoon). Suginami had dressed up Ouka in a China Dress, Mari in neko-school swimsuit, Lapis as the imouto in dress shirt, and Usagi as…a nearly nude bunny (leading her to say she’s been defiled to the point of being ruined for marraige). Takeru though is a long-haired maid-type. With this certain victory in the bag, the 23rd Test Platoon’s captain takes a commemorative photo of the group.
Elsewhere, it seems Reima stands over a knocked out student (Sendo?), commenting that it might be time to switch bodies (indicating he/she/it maybe the witch Mephistopheles).
Well, episode 4 was the end of the introductory arc no doubt. For a second, I had gone into episode 4 thinking Ouka would be outing Mari for being a true killer, but as it was revealed who the real killer was. Takeru actually encounters actual resistance in this fight, being bested by Haunted with Dáinsleif, but only through the combined efforts of his platoon did he manage to force Haunted back. Mari is then cleared of the crime (presumably) though still under the care of the 35th Test Platoon.
It is the start of the next arc, episode 5, do we get to see a little bit of the other characters. The twist with Mephistopheles being mentioned shows no doubt who the next enemy is, but with such a power, it may be a little hard to find her. That said, I don’t exactly care to remember who this witch takes her name from, I’m pretty sure I repressed that memory from a particularly bad scare encounter.
I’m gonna go watch happy things now. Like puppies and kittens and monsters (and Roman era legions) being utterly obliterated by modern weaponry. Well I think I’ll talk more about the weapons. I’m amused that someone of Usagi’s stature is able to heft the Barrett M95 around. That said, the ‘paintball’ rounds used in mock combat seem similar to the immobilizer/shock rounds. A similar fictional thing for me would be the Tactical Training Round-style simunition used in the Halo universe. I wouldn’t put it past them, being able to put a charge of enough incapacitating force into a .45ACP round, it’s been said technology was highly advanced in this universe.
Another thing of note would be the detail some stills gave, the one that caught my eye was actually when student council president was explaining her experiences with Mephistopheles. I had brushed it off in early rewatching, but what caught my eye was the reloading bench in the background. My blogfather was able to note it looked like an ‘interpretation of a Hornandy Lock-N-Load® Classic’ as well as a similar reloading press by a company called Lee. He also noted the ammo cases with labels containing bullet type and grains, powder type and grain, cases, primers etc. While I thought the thing on the left resembled what I thought to be a tumbler-type case cleaner, it reminded him of the old VHF Hi-Fi antennas from the eighties. Never really thought about it before.
I think this is why I started watching anime really. Certain shows go into details. I mean American/Western shows do as well, but Anime at times goes into fine details. And I did kinda rip off a line from Schumacher with that sentence. I never had the chance to really geek out over Ouka’s choice in pistols, but I do appreciate the attempt to stay within the general silhouette of the Beretta Px4 Storm SD. I think I can agree with Suginami in that she and I are kindred spirits in that we’re both perverts in a way. She gets aroused by the combat robots being displayed in the tournament, while I may or may not be the same with firearms.
And that is the reason for this little rant. Miguel, my blogfather, had written about an ‘investigative reporter’ who seems to be stirring the fake outrage pot over the prevalence of Firearms magazines in grocery store shelves. She equated the gun porn into something raunchy and naughty, attempting to shame her viewers into thinking there is a need to be outraged. But as one commenter noted:
Not just do they hate the 2A, they hate when the 1A is used to promote the 2A. Your freedoms offend their delicate sensibilities.
I find it amusing that there was more detail in a background still for anime that is being dismissed by some as your generic paranormal-action school harem show than a news report by an ‘investigative reporter’ for a news affiliate.