This is a solid episode, though there are quite a few deleted contents and information that I wished they could have kept.
First, we are finally introduced to the antagonists of this arc, the Parasites. And these two are pretty much a spot-on portrayal. Charles Sullivan aka Deimos Second s every bit as powerful as he in the novels, while his companion is just as mysterious. And as seen in this episode, Sullivan are a match for two Stars operatives, considered as the USNA’s elite magician strike team.
One of the many things to note in this adaptation is a brief scene of an experiment that causes the whole mess for this arc. In the novel, it was mentioned that the US performed a black hole experiment to replicate Tatsuya’s Material Burst, but an accident occurred and something emerged out of that black hole, leading to the events here. Of course, this deleted content can be shown in the later episodes when the story starts to really pick up.
Moving on, we have the scenes with Leo. And the anime actually changed this part of the story. In the novel, it is revealed that Leo and his clan is genetically manipulated to combined both physical strength and magical prowess; a super soldier capable of magic. Hence, why Leo can remain conscious even after his life force is nearly drained.
He is also heavily tied to the investigation after being recruited by Erika’s brother, unlike here in the anime where he merely got caught in the situation. Thus, there was no confrontation between the Chiba siblings, and we didn’t see Erika beat up her own older brother for getting Leo injured.
Some information were also glossed over that would have added more to the story. The fact that these Parasites can communicate telepathically by having a new organ in the brain is never mentioned, and how demons and spirits are still considered as myths even after magic has become widespread.
We have a funny scene involving Lina checking out her own body in a mirror, and it is every bit as cute as in the novels. Then there’s the meeting with Mayumi and Jumonji, which is a little rushed. The anime never mentioned that Mayumi actually resented her father for offending the Yotsubas, who could have provided tremendous help in the investigation, which is why the Saegusa went to the Jumonjis for an alliance instead.
For me, I wish they could have kept this to provide more insights on the political side of the story, though what they did here is fine as it is. Regardless of these flaws, I can say that the episode is good overall. Definitely an 8/10.