I hardly know where to begin with that one. Wow – what an episode.
First of all, whether it was intentional or not, the contrast with the last two rather sedate, wistful eps could hardly have been greater. It really seemed like three eps worth of, well – content were crammed into this one. At the very least. Everything was big. Big reveals, big action, big breasts, big sex. Objectively I can say that some of this should have been meted out over the previous two eps – but viscerally, the effect was fantastic – an amazing thrill ride the likes of which we haven’t seen this season.
The suspicion that something was “off” with Mikaze certainly turned out to be true – but who would have guessed that she was a dark mage, aiming to open the gates of hell? Or that Chihiro was a white mage, aiming to stop her and bonded by her promise to the Principal to protect Maya? And yes, that certainly does look like Maya’s father in that shot from 2012. But back to Mikaze – there was certainly no subtlety to her transition. One moment she’s her moe self, the next she’s a slut – practically devouring Abe’s face in one of the most graphic french kisses this side of Seikon no Qwaser. Seriously, the intensity of the sex in this episode was shocking, all the more so due to the contrast with earlier episodes. Like so much else about this one the shock factor was huge – everything just happened, with little preamble. In the end, Maya’s faked death was actually the slow part of the episode.
So where does this leave us? Ironically, this time it’s Maya who turns tail and runs from danger and leaves Fumiaki behind – apparently frozen solid by Mikaze’s spell. Maya’s talisman – her notebook – is destroyed. The suspicion in this camp is that she’s the key, but it could still be Mikaze herself – or both could be red herrings. More importantly, it appears that Maya really does have feelings for Abe-sensei – and he for her. In fact, he did warn her of the danger she was in from Mikaze, even before Mikaze went full-on evil on him. And he was devastated by her seeming death. Most significantly he refused to allow her to take a picture of herself while imagining suicide, even knowing she might be the key. She, in turn, continues to be tsundere at best but there were signs in her demeanor towards him on their visit to the temple. And she did come to tell him the truth rather than letting him think she was dead.
Again, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin proves that no other series this summer can match it when it’s on its game. This episode was a tour de force, an insane mix of brilliant animation and fearless writing. How can you not look to the last two episodes with great anticipation? The only thing going against them is high expectations.