The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 10 of
The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc ?
“In which we seem to be missing a lot of important information.”
For all intents and purposes, this is the action climax of The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc. Our heroes fight against the parasites in a final, winner-take-all battle. While the actual outcome is obvious enough (the heroes win) the episode leaves a ton of nagging questions—mainly about what exactly is going through Lina and Tatsuya's heads.
The last time we saw Lina in person, she woke up fully recovered after her battle with Tatsuya, unsure whether she had somehow been healed or if her wounds were all just an illusion in the first place. Then, last episode we saw her on security footage killing some captured parasites who were in the bodies of AWOL USNA soldiers.
This episode's opening has Lina and Tatsuya meet by coincidence in a school hallway, and both admit they know that the final battle against the parasites will happen later that night. Despite being told last episode that he could work with Lina, Tatsuya chooses not to. She decides the same.
Their motivations for not working together are not directly explained—especially in Tatsuya's case. We're shown nothing to tell us why he doesn't reach out to Lina, which is even odder considering he does reach out to her at the end of the episode.
As for Lina, her reason is that she wants to do things on her own—to prove that she isn't second fiddle to Tatsuya and Miyuki and is capable of doing the duty she has been given. However, there is clearly something more going on. Her sudden dogmatic focus on the letter of her mission—to the point that she refuses to assist Tatsuya even when doing so won't compromise her own mission—is out of character for her. Tatsuya theorized last episode that being the USNA's assassin on this mission was destroying her soul. However, Lina has said nothing to indicate that herself so it's hard to say if that's a factor. All in all, it's like the pieces are all there but no one is bothering to put them together.
Then comes the lack of general information. Tatsuya's plan seems to be to disable the parasites one by one and then have Mikihiko seal them. However, not everyone appears to be in on the plan. Erika simply goes for the kill and states that she won't fight any other way. This looks like a conversation that should have happened before heading into battle—especially when the stated goal is to disable and not kill. Likewise, even if they weren't working together, it's a mystery why Tatsuya didn't lay out the “no killing” rule and rationale to Lina before they were in mid-combat. Lina, even as mentally unstable as she appears this episode, wouldn't create a rampaging, invisible spirit hydra if she knew her actions would cause it.
...which leads to the next question: did Tatsuya know that the parasite hydra would be formed if there were no suitable hosts around? It seems like both he and Miyuki were aware (given how the latter rebukes Lina in the climax), though how they obtained the information is again unexplained.
However, what is most shocking about the climax is that, from the start, Tatsuya had a way of taking care of the parasites and perhaps even saving their hosts. Miyuki has a spell that can flat-out destroy them in a single hit, but unlike Tatsuya, Mizuki, and Pixie, she can't see the parasites. However, this is easily overcome as Tatsuya has a spell that lets her see through his eyes.
Lina, bewildered at seeing the spell Miyuki uses, calls it “Lunar Magic.” But this is just more technobabble as what it means isn't explained, nor is the reason why Lina is so shocked to see the “Cocytus” spell. This isn't even the first time we've seen this spell; Miyuki uses it in episode 25 of the first season and no one even comments on it. I feel like there is some massively important context we haven't been let in on and are expected to just know.
And really, that's this whole episode in a nutshell. The “what happens” is obvious but the “why it happens” is often baffling—to the point that I wondered if I had somehow missed an episode where they conceived the plan and set everything up. Maybe next week's episode will spell some of this out for us but I wouldn't be surprised if you need to read the novel to truly understand everyone's thought processes on this one.
• I also wondered why Kudou's troops attacked our heroes instead of helping them. Up until now, he seemed fond of them. And if he wanted one of the captured parasites, all he needed to do was say so. He is basically the leader of magical society in Japan after all. Even Tatsuya is in no position to refuse.
• I had assumed that Ayako, as a member of the Yotsuba family, would hold some dislike for Tatsuya (like most of them seem to). But her heartfelt thanks apparently proves otherwise.
• The best scene in this episode was the final conversation with Lina and the subsequent one with Miyuki. Tatsuya did something quite unlike his usual self and reached out to another person unprompted. While he thought he had been rejected, it was nice to get his thought process and have Miyuki help him sort through it.
• I always wondered how I am supposed to feel about the heavy incest angle of this show. Am I supposed to feel bad for Miyuki and her love that can never be or am I supposed to hope she somehow gets with Tatsuya in the end? Or is it just supposed to be for laughs with her being flustered by all their romantic-but-not situations?
The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc is currently streaming on Funimation.
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