This episode was split into two halves. The first half continued the Duelo match that just began in the previous episode. As expected, Mash’s inability to fly was mistaken as Mash being not motivated, earning him scolding from his teammates and booing from the audience. Since Mash himself was rather forced into joining the match, he was initially content with staying still and let his teammates to do the work, which made Tom all the more angry.
Speaking of Tom, he’s a side character that I like. Since he first approached Mash and forced him to join the Duelo match, I knew that I’m going to like this guy. He’s short-tempered and equally a weirdo on his own right for comparing people to bamboos, but he’s a friendly guy, enough that he’d accept Mash despite his another level oddities and not-so-good reputation. Not forgetting that he has a strong sportsmanship. I am confident to say that even if he learned that Mash is actually markless, Tom would still stand by Mash’s side as his friend.
Thanks to Tom, Mash was finally motivated enough to play and bring his team to victory using his absurd strength that earned him his first coin. Thumbs up for Mash making himself fly by using his legs like a helicopter and humiliated the opposing team by going for an overkill victory. XD
In the second half, we are finally introduced to the rival character, Lance Crown, who challenged Mash because like him, he also aimed to become Divine Visionary and wanted to get the coin Mash has. Like many rival characters, he’s the cool guy type who no doubt is popular with girls and not to mention extremely talented and powerful student, being one of a few mages who has two marks. However, there is one comical reason that made him stand out from the typical cool-type rival character: he has a severe sister complex and he is proud of it. He loves his sister so much that he thought it’s stupid for other people to think they have other priorities. He believes that his sister should be the most important thing in the world and everyone should share the same view of him. Now, that’s a whole new level of sister complex! I’ve seen a lot of characters who has severe sister complex, but this is the first time there’s actually someone whose complex went as far as not accepting other people’s different priority. XD
On a serious note, Lance’s love for his sister is somewhat a double-edged sword.
While Lance’s sister complex was exaggerated, I still admire his love his sister. His sister, Anna, is also very cute and loving. I genuinely sympathize with Lance when Anna suffered a disease that’ll cause her to lose her magic within five years. While their parents gave up and believed Anna to be a disgrace to their family, Lance’s love for his sister remained unchanging. He was disgusted by his parents and even disowned them right at that moment. He’s determined to become Divine Visionary to save his sister by changing the law to allow those unmarked live freely. Thanks to his love for his sister, Lance didn’t have the same prejudice that most people have for those without mark, another aspect that I like about Lance.
On the other hand, because Lance was too absorbed in aiming to become Divine Visionary, he couldn’t careless about other people’s well-being. He didn’t stoop so low as to really endangering them, but if he was in Mash’s place during the labyrinth test, he would’ve abandoned Lemon. When someone has a goal to fulfill, he believed that they should focus on that goal ignoring anything else that may get in the way. Because his sister’s life is one the line, Lance was ready to be ruthless if needed be. That’s why he criticized Mash’s decision to save Lemon while risking himself failing the test. His single-minded thought made him forget a part of himself that his sister loved most about him: a person who would willingly help others. Fighting against Mash and feeling his sincerity helped him rediscover this part of himself that he had forgotten, stopping him to become someone the opposite that his sister loved.
However, even though I like Lance as a rival character, I was surprised that the fight ended so quickly without much action. I was disappointed, but this was just me preferring more action-oriented fight. Thinking more objectively, it was all about making Lance realized the error of his way, so this was an acceptable outcome at the very least, putting aside my preference for full-blown action.
And as I had expected, because of Mash’s overpowered strength that by logic and common sense would’ve been impossible, Mash was easily able to fool Lance by making up a spell called “Hamstring Magic” that Lance mistook as a physical enhancement magic. Thanks to this, people believed that all of Mash’s power and strength is due to Mash physically enhanced his body using magic. And thus, Mash once again successfully hid the fact that he can’t use magic. (^_^)