It’s a showdown!
Episode 13 finally pays off the buildup of rivalry between Airi Isshiki and Miyuki Shiba. And as expected, it is an epic fight, even though the result is already set in stone.
But despite that, Airi still deserves praise for giving her all for the sake of her mother and friends. In a way, the Lightning Éclair is very much like Miyuki, doing her best for those dearest to her. Her determination matches her will, allowing Airi to utilize her jump spell in tandem with the flying magic to get close with Miyuki’s training.
And the result is an epic air show between the two top scorers of their respective school. While Miyuki is graceful in flight, there’s a complexity in Airi’s movements that the younger Shiba could not match, proving that she is a worthy opponent. However, Miyuki’s magic output is simply off the charts, ultimately giving her the victory.
With that, the Nine Schools Competition draws to a close. And while Third High suffered an astounding loss, that doesn’t mean everyone holds grudges. The sauna scene involving students of both schools is fun to watch, and we get to see Miyuki and Airi starting a friendship despite everything that has happened. One hilarious part here is Toko using her water magic to harass the girls, particularly Honoka, which further emphasizes the relationship between all competitors-turned-friends.
Meanwhile, we get another rehashed scene from the main series of Tatsuya being a badass demon as he obliterates the Japanese branch of No-Head Dragon. His history with Miyuki is once again shown here, which also teases the Reminiscent Arc that will be released next year.
Naturally, a competition between prestigious magic schools can’t end without the much-awaited dance party. However there are some deviations from the original scenes that make them more comedic and retcons an important plot element. For one, Masaki is portrayed here as a desperate suitor of Miyuki. And there’s a scene that somehow lessens the gravity of discrimination between Course 1 and Course 2 students.
The only scene that didn’t change is the sweet dance of the Shiba siblings. Indeed, it is even more romantic since this is from Miyuki’s perspective, and her affection for Tatsuya is obvious here. However, it does fit as a proper ending for a spin-off that heavily focused on Miyuki.
Overall, the finale is good and fun, wrapping up the season nicely. There’s nothing really different that would affect the overarching plot, and it can be said that there’s no need for a sequel. However, the post credits scene does hint that, particularly with a surprising cameo from a certain blonde Strategic-class magician.
Episode score: 8.5/10.