It’s time for the witch-hunt.


And the darkness continues! As someone who knows exactly what’s been skipped out and what hasn’t, the breakneck pace is starting to feel a little jarring now – but other than that, holy shit! I can’t even contain all this hype! And we’re only on the second episode – this is what I mean by Silver Link not wasting time messing around with fanservice. It’s straight into Gundam Kirei, best girl Lapis and witch-hunting.

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AntiMagic 2 Img009I think you can separate the darkness so far into two different types: implicit and explicit. An example of implicit darkness would be Sougetsu. He wasn’t the one who set the Einherjar on the school, but the way he took advantage of it was almost just as bad – it was wrecking havoc all over the city, and what did he do? He decided use it as an opportunity to have Takeru contract with Lapis. This is the point where you’re supposed to start realizing that he’s a bit of a dick. He very well knew that normal students stood a snowball’s chance in hell against King Arthur, and yet he sent them out anyway with a morale-boosting speech – all in order to stall for time so that Takeru would find his way there. In other words, they were sacrifices. And even own adopted daughter isn’t exempt from this sort of scheming. Ouka and Vlad were about to win! But if they won, then there would be nothing for Takeru to fight against – so this faggot decided to suspend the witch-hunt ‘by order of the King’ at the worst possible moment, leaving Ouka completely vulnerable. He basically left his daughter to die. So it’s not even that Takeru contracting with Lapis was some sort of ass-pull, because Ouka should have defeated King Arthur by the time he arrived – instead, things happened as they did because Sougetsu set it up that way. It was all his fault. If there’s anything you don’t understand about this series, or if there’s anything that ends up unexplained, the words ‘it was all Sougetsu’s fault’ is most probably the correct answer.

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AntiMagic 2 Img027As for explicit darkness, the obvious examples are Haunted and Laugh Maker. I really love Haunted, it’s amazing how insane he is – it’s precisely because he’s got so many screws loose that he’s such a hilarious character. As a higher-up in the magic organization Valhalla, he is at odds with Inquisition – and the whole point behind the operation was, as he said, to rescue an important Valhalla member from the contraindicated prison deep inside AntiMagic Academy. And that’s another point to make about Sougetsu – why the hell are witches locked up underneath a school? Haunted is also a big fat liar, by the way. He told Mari that he wouldn’t get civilians involved, and what’s the first thing he does with the 50 human sacrifices he chopped up? He summons a massive Einherjar and a horde of zombies, telling them to attack the city. I was slightly sad that they didn’t include the really long chant he had to do for the summoning, though – they showed him stabbing himself and screaming like a maniac, but imagine if he was screaming about dead female goats on top of that or whatever it was! A scene about him getting turned on by thinking of Mari and her frustrated face was omitted too, for understandable reasons. It’s why he lied to her in the first place – so he could get the chance to see her despair. Poor Mari-san.

Laugh Maker is a witch who makes people laugh. I’m serious. I think Ouka and her outburst last week came a little out of left field, but now I think it’s a little clearer why she keeps disobeying orders and killing every witch she sees, to the point where she was known as the ‘Calamity’ as a result of her kill count – because it wasn’t technically a witch who killed her family, it was Ouka herself whilst having her body controlled against her will by a witch. It’s basically like the Imperius Curse, except she was fully conscious of what she was doing at the time. And after killing her parents and sister, she was ordered to start laughing over their corpses by Laugh Maker.

And she did.

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AntiMagic 2 Img045I think the second half of the episode was a section where proper world-building and more context would have been great, as flashy as it was – it’s something which I think Silver Link just assumed people would just go with the flow for, and yet I can see the anime-only version of myself being kind of confused as to what just happened. In essence, Inquisition has multiple divisions, each of which has a specific name and function. Spriggans, for example, are normal platoon soldiers – like the ones Ouka ran into in the city. Dullahans, on the other hand, are witch-hunters – this is what Ouka was before she got demoted. As witch-hunters have to… well, hunt witches, they have to go up against magic somehow. And the most effective way of doing that is through using magic themselves – or more specifically, a special sort of sentient Magical Heritage called a Relic Eater. Ouka has Vlad, a cool-looking pair of massive revolvers voiced by the one and only Nakata Jouji (of Kotomine Kirei fame) and Takeru has Lapis, sword loli and resident best girl.

AntiMagic 2 Img069I do have a few gripes with the fight scene, because it was as rushed as it was cool. A little more budget could have been placed into the magical circles, and it feels like they underplayed the threat of the Einherjar – Takeru was being pretty optimistic when he confronted it in Ouka’s stead, given that Ouka couldn’t have won without Vlad and ‘Tepes Rain’. And remember, Takeru with Soumatou lost to an Ouka without her Relic Eater when they fought as middle-school students. King Arthur’s intrinsic magic was just as destructive as I thought it would be, though – and ‘Knights of the Round’ stood up to ‘Twilight Enchantment’ for quite a bit before it was absorbed! I would have also liked a bit of Latin where it was due – if you’re a light novel reader, you know what I mean. A contractor entering Witch Hunter form is supposed to do the activation chant in Latin, although in this episode both Vlad and Lapis’ chants were translated into Japanese and read as such – it should roughly be ‘desiring with supreme ardor—the hammer of witches’, or ‘summis desiderantes affectibus—Malleus Maleficarum‘ in Latin. It was odd, because they kept in the English for Twilight Enchantment even though that’s a much less important chant than the general Relic Eater one.

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In addition to the Itou Kanako ED, we also had an OP by Afilia Saga this week – the visuals were very conservative in that it spoiled practically nothing about anything. Are they trying to keep all future plot points under wraps? The only thing of note were these four split-second frames below, which I was very happy with. If you’re a light novel reader, click the spoiler for a few more thoughts – if you’re not, then you probably shouldn’t.

[spoiler] Where is Nagaru? And Isuka? I think they managed to get Kyouya and Hayato very close to their novel illustration counterparts though, which is a great thing. I could recognize Kanata too. And Nero looks sexy. I can’t wait for Kyouya to become even edgier than the rest of the cast combined – I love how they had all of the 15th Platoon in one frame, then immediately the background gets dyed red and only Kyouya and Nero are left. [/spoiler]

I think that’s all I had to say. I liked Ouka’s smile at the end, that was nice. And ‘Kusanagi Double-Edged style—Yamata no Orochi!’ was very cool. How many of you thought that Takeru on his deathbed was material from the final episode? If you did, you were way off – this doesn’t even qualify as proper despair yet!

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. valkirie08

    Well you can’t do anything with the pace they are going… 9 volumes in 24 episodes is gonna be one heck of a rush job. Well probably they will go vol. 1-5 for the first cour (with the cliffhanger in vol.5 being a good ending for the 1st cour) 2nd cour should probably be juuussst a little bit better as they only have to adapt 4 volumes compared to 5. Still looking forward to it! Especially on how they will adapt vol. 5 which i think is the best in the series right now.

    1. Vantage

      I think so too – it would have been easier to accomplish Vol 1-4 in one cour, but it would have ended at a relatively anti-climactic place whereas the ending to Vol 5 is essentially ‘WHAT JUST HAPPENED IS THIS REAL LIFE AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH’

      I liked Vol 5 for that huge turning point, but I think Vol 10 has to be the best one so far – the change in perspective and the way it rode off the amazing second half of Vol 9 was really compelling. Pity we’ll never get to see it animated!

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