Who is best girl, and why is it Mari?
If you were wondering why this episode was so fluffy… well, let’s just say that it’ll be a zero-sum game. All this will be balanced by a requisite amount of darkness very, very soon. But for now, we can bask in the perfection that is best girl. Were you ready for Mari? Funky, cute, cool, smug, feisty Mari? I didn’t think so.
You’re welcome. At the cost of compressing a lot of the less important stuff, most notably all the Lapis scenes, we are now done with almost all of Volume 2! I do actually approve of the way they’re doing this, because it’s all for the sake of the climax of the volume. It’ll be like the last ten minutes of last week’s episode, except this time there’ll be an entire episode dedicated to the insanity. I can’t wait. I was really glad that they properly animated that scene of Mari getting framed though – last week it felt like she just randomly collapsed after being arrested. And they even had Haunted using his Belladone Garden to kill the poor victims who managed to find them! As you can probably tell from last week’s episode, Mari was not too happy about working with Haunted. Her goals are to eradicate the prejudice and discrimination surrounding magic, and to show everyone that it can save people as well – but it’s very easy to guess why she’s with Haunted despite that. And it’s also very easy to tell why Haunted is still around her – because Mari has a happy ambition, and it’s that crazy pervert’s wet dream to watch her despair as she’s forced to work for Valhalla and do the exact opposite of what she wants to do. As the next episode is all about Haunted, let me propose a drinking game: every time he mentions despair, take a sip. Every time someone dies, down it.
As representatives of the never-ending war between plot and justice, Ouka and Mari basically have a love-hate relationship going on, which has led to a lot of smug and many humiliated faces. And a Takeru whose face basically screams, ‘not this shit again’. I loved that face. I also really love Mari’s muffler and hat. A best girl must have the best fashion sense, after all. And the cutest smile. And the cutest embarrassed face. And a scene where she misses throwing a can into the trash, and walks over to pick it up. Lapis does overtake her in best girl points later on, but as that’s a long way away Mari is the correct answer for now. They seem to be skipping a lot of Lapis scenes for some reason, although at least the words ‘Malleus Maleficarum’ made it into the anime. The fang is anime-original, but holy shit it’s a fang. I don’t always agree with the choices Silver Link makes, but when I do…
As for all the new characters, a lot of background information was again skipped, although there was enough to make it possible to infer who they were and what roles they play. An important guy is Kurogane Hayato, the guy with Sougetsu who looks like a police officer (which is basically what he is). I want to marry his voice. I was so looking forward to hearing what he would sound like, and that deep, manly voice is just what I was hoping for! It’s perfect! He’s one of the two Inquisition members who are investigating the Mari case (along with the other lady, Oonogi Kanata) and they were practically waiting for Valhalla to turn up and try to rescue Mari once she was off-campus. Which is not Haunted’s style at all. Why would he try to rescue her when there’s hardly anyone around? That minimises the number of potential casualties! Kirigaya Kyouya is the sweet, summer child who provoked Takeru before the tournament started – a member of the high-ranking 15th Platoon, and also another important guy. He’s in the OP with his waifu, after all! And as the 35th Platoon have indeed managed to make it through the first round, they’ll be up against Kyouya next week. Note that, even though there’s a school battle tournament just like there is in Asterisk and Rakudai, in AntiMagic no-one has really given two shits over it. In the other two, the tournament essentially is the story, whereas here it’s just a thing that happens to be occurring at the same time as the story. It’s not being dragged along by a sandbox tournament storyline – instead, it’s the one dragging along the tournament, mixing its school setting with real-world problems.
Are you ready for the despair?
P.S. If you’re a light novel reader, Volume 11 Chapter 4 is now translated, up on the usual site!