Gokukoku no Brynhildr – 13 (Fin)

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“Sometimes we fail to operate logically, and act on emotions. That’s why I despise humans.” – Ichijiku Chisato, Human

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Chisato tried oh so very hard to operate logically his entire life, and if Mako could kill Ryouta and Neko all he had to do was recreate a Kotori-like vessel to restore his sister’s soul. But who is he kidding? Saving Rena was always an emotional crusade. I did not expect him to be a human shield for Mako when Hexenjagd made their appearence, but then again, neither did he. Ultimately, he was the very model of human he most despised: the kind who sacrificed his life for another; who couldn’t stand by and watch a defenseless Mako get gunned down.

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His was one of many sacrifices made in the final episode of Bryhildr, in which bodies go down left and right in melty or bloody messes. First Neko and Kazumi knock Ryouta out and proceed to Chisato’s lair on their own. Then Kotori ends the extra terrestrial phenomenon taking place on her back by ejecting herself, quite possibly saving the world from resetting (while that might have been an interesting possibility, there was no time to explore it). In the process, Chisato’s sister Rena actually awakens, only to die again when Kotori melts.

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For a finale where serious shit needs to get down, the show didn’t forget its characters and why they do what they do. Realizing that in her present state of being cleaved in two by Mako, Kazumi can’t do anything other than tell Ryouta to press on in saving Neko. While the shot of Hatsuna healing up last week precluded any possibility of Kazumi dying, I was still moved by her “last moments”, in which she laments not having Ryouta’s babies and not losing her virginity before dying, but takes solace in the fact she at least fell in love.

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Did Mako’s death rays take way too long to kill Ryouta and a surprisingly ambulatory Kana? Sure! But pacing aside, but I did like the fact Kana showed up, having given up the forcast ability she used to protect Neko when it came time to protect her with her physical body. Ultimately, none of this moved Mako into surrendering, and she just goes into a self-destructive fit of rage, summoning antimatter that Neko has to neutralize using her hidden powers. For one glorious minute Kuroneko was back, but after kissing Ryouta and telling him he’ll always love her, it’s back to business. She takes out Mako, but there’s a cost: her memories are reset once more.

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But hey, she’s alive, as is Kana and Kazumi and Hatsuna, and Kogoro managed to make a breakthrough with the pills, so all’s pretty well that ends pretty well. With Kuroneko’s memory and Kotori being the only sacrifices that stick, I’d say Ryouta & Co. came out on top in the end. Kogoro’s interest in the drasils gave us pause, but that wasn’t a sure sign he’d pick up where Chisato left off, throwing the world into chaos again. Maybe he’ll operate logically and leave well enough alone, letting his nephew and his harem/family live in peace.

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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – 13

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Whether it’s Shizuku in speed shooting, Honoka in Battle Board, or his own sister in Ice Pillars, this week even the First High rookie ladies dominate their NSC events, thanks to Tatsuya’s engineering prowess and personal attention. That, in turn attracts both envy and derision from the struggling guys, and the attention of his rival-in-waiting, Ichijou Masaki.

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As one girl remarks at a banquet, giving your CAD over to an engineer for close inspection and calibration is akin to bearing your innermost feelings to that person. In that regard, Tatsuya is quickly developing into the school ladykiller, having already “won the hearts (i.e. CADs)” of so many. At that banquet, for instance, he is literally surrounded by girls.

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But Tatsuya isn’t one of those happy-go-lucky school anime leads who has a mission to collect as many lambs as possible for his flock. He has other reasons. He was called upon to do a job, and he’s going to do it to the absolute maximum level. And we still have yet to see the Shiba Tatsuya whose time his sister promises “will come without fail,” pledging herself to him in the coming fight against the Yotsuba clan. All of this is a means of honing his magical skills in preparation for that fight.

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One could say he’s using the girls as test subjects for his new magic methods.. That sounds…a bit underhanded, but the girls obviously don’t care. It’s an equitable deal: they get to win due to their full potential being optimally exploited, while Tatsuya gains valuable data and gets to watch his magic being used the way it’s meant to be, something he couldn’t pull off himself. The ladies’ success also motivates Hanzou Morisaki, who still wants to prove blooms are superior to weeds; a seemingly outdated position to be dusting off at this juncture…until you realize the girls Tatsuya is helping are all blooms.

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Still, none of this is really news; it was already established in the last couple episodes. Rather than make a big bang at the midpoint of the series, Mahouka chose to keep things in cruise mode, reinforcing Tatsuya’s impact and letting First High bask in the gleam of victory a little longer before their enemies come down on them, whether its the bookies who need First High to lose to save their own skins, or the ever-ominous Masaki.

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First Cour Average Score: 7.00
First Cour MAL Score: 7.75