As someone who likes action-packed battle, I was surprised that I didn’t mind with how two battles were finished in one episode. What I had expected to be at least one person each will get one full episode fight, turned out to have two fights concluded in one. I did feel a bit disappointed that each of the two fights were not extended like adding some additional scenes or the sort. Perhaps, what made me satisfied with this episode even though things were finished so quickly was thanks to how Mash and Lance settled their battle with their respective opponents. At its core, this episode was all about how four people born in the same magic supremacist world but grew up differently.
Wirth grew up in an environment where his parents made him believe that one’s growth depends on the people around him. One needs an environment designed to bring out the best top-tier magicians. High-ranking people should be with high-ranking people, the strong ones should be with the strong ones, that’s the mindset that Wirth had for his whole life. This especially seemed true for Wirth when his parents and brother both work for Bureau of Magic and he had been educated that achievement and magic are the only things that matters to determine one’s worth. No thanks to this, Wirth became obsessed with proving his worth, particularly to his father. Unfortunately, being a jerk-father he is, Wirth’s father never once acknowledged all the efforts that Wirth put into his studies and training, instead kept telling him that he hasn’t proved his worth yet. This was why Wirth was so fixated on being part of Magia Lupus because he was accepted as someone who is exceptionally strong, acknowledged by Abel.
Mirroring Wirth, Lance was also born in a privileged family with parents as trashy as Wirth’s did. What made Lance different from Wirth was that he has a younger sister who unconditionally loved and supported him and that was more than enough for Lance, preventing Lance from forming a toxic mindset that Wirth grew up to have. Wirth’s behavior and his ragged book was all that Lance needed to figure the similarities they have and Lance could empathize with Wirth’s underlying desperation. Remembering how his own sister still did her best despite their parents telling her it’s pointless, Lance genuinely gave Wirth his respect for the work he’s put in after seeing his ragged books. Lance’s acknowledgement was all that Wirth ever wanted for his whole life, that also made him realize that he never really care if he had worth to people like his parents. As someone who had similar experience as Wirth, though I couldn’t say I like him for what he said and did, I could understand how he felt and couldn’t blame him for his earlier behavior. I hope that from this experience, the next time I see him, he’ll be a developed character.
On the second half, we also have Mash and Abyss. Okay, as it turned out, Abyss did have an eye that allows him to cancel one’s magic like I had guessed. However, he wasn’t like Mash who was born without magic, he was capable of using magic like normal magic users. Sadly, even though Abyss could use magic like any other people, he became a target of contempt from others, including his own parents, for his eye that cancels magic, dubbing him as a cursed child. It was very hard for him to the point that he was imprisoned and his own parents even tried to kill him for it. Though Mash, who was born without magic and should’ve been suffering the same discrimination even worse than Abyss, also grew up in similar circumstances, as Abyss said, Mash was still blessed compared to him because he has a loving adoptive grandfather caring for him. And just like Wirth, Abyss found his reason for living in Magia Lupus because Abel needed him precisely for his eye. Even knowing Abel only needed him as a tool matters not to him, because all that matters that for the first time someone wanted him for who he is.
That, of course, changed with his defeat at Mash’s hand. While Mash couldn’t understand the suffering that Abyss experienced, as someone who was born without magic, Mash didn’t share the same view as the majority of the magicians who loathed Abyss. To Mash, Abyss was no different from any other person and he has no reason to change his attitude towards Abyss. If Abel was the first person to need him, Mash was the first person to ever treat Abyss with kindness as well as the first person to willingly becoming his friend. I hope this is a friendship offer that Abyss will take later.
An additional note, I swear now that I watched this episode, Mashle has plenty of bad parents here. Almost comparable to the bad parents in Fruits Basket. (_ _lll)