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The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10 Review – Best In Show

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The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10 Review – Quick Summary

In The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10, “I don’t want to lose,” Shizuku Kitayama got her wish to compete against Miyuki Shiba in the Ice Pillars event. As the CAD engineer for both of them, Tatsuya Shiba lavished his skill on both of them, and at first, Shizuku seemed to hold her own. But what will happen if Shizuku actually pushes Miyuki hard enough to provoke a serious reaction? Later, Honoka Mitsui competed in the Mirage Bat rookie competition. Will her Light Magic give her an edge?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10

The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10: Mayumi Saegusa remains a world-class troll

We haven’t really seen how powerful Mayumi is this season. But when it comes to trolling, she’s over powered! Capture from the Funimation stream.

As the elegant troll Mayumi Saegusa and her friend Mari Watanabe are learning, it’s not easy to get Tatsuya to rise to their bait. While they sat in the stands, they teased him about supporting both Shizuku and his own sister. Mayumi even asked him if he’d prefer to be at his sister’s side. Tatsuya, being an honest sort, said of course he would.

Observing that he sure wasn’t shy about it, Mari asked if he had ever heard of something called a “sister complex.” Tatsuya pointed out, in quite a reasonable tone of voice, that supporting his family did not make him a “siscon.”

Mayumi was beside herself with glee — she had material to work with! She leaned across Tatsuya, who sat between Mayumi and Mari, and the two whispered about how Tatsuya had no hope of recovery.

With a patient look, Tatsuya said (01:24), “I don’t think there’s any point in whispering about the person between you, do you?”

I liked the character interactions in the first series. In this series, there are occasions like this where they feel even more relaxed and in-character!

Best in Show Moment for The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10

The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10: Shizuku had really, really wanted to win

Shizuku had really wanted to win. Against Miyuki, though, there had been no hope. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: A Tough Decision!

This episode presented me with a really difficult choice for my favorite moment. The build up to Miyuki’s victory managed to make a foregone conclusion a lot of fun to watch. I mean, we knew that among mortal magic users (i.e., everyone but Tatsuya or Miyuki!), Shizuku wielded formidable skills. But we still knew she had no conceivable chance of winning. The flashback that made it clear what it meant for her to use two CADs at once was nicely done.

And all while Shizuku fought, we saw Miyuki become more and more impressed. The crowd even began to think that maybe, just maybe, Shizuku had a chance. All I could think of was that backed into a corner, Miyuki would come out swinging — and she’s the equivalent of a strategic weapon. I didn’t wonder about who would win. I wondered how much damage the arena would sustain!

The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10: Airi is beginning to realize she'll have her hands full with Miyuki

The totality of Miyuki’s victory shocked Airi Isshiki and Shiori Kanou. Capture from the Funimation stream.

But even though I recognized the craftsmanship that went into the moment of Miyuki’s victory, there was another scene that hit me harder in the feels. That scene was later, in the aftermath of Miyuki’s victory — and Shizuku’s loss. 

Shizuku is generally reserved. She’s powerful, and she’s proud. She’s bright and she really, really, really wanted to win. She didn’t just lose. Miyuki crushed her. There was no way that wouldn’t hit Shizuku hard.

It did.

Delivery: But Honoka Did Good

Honoka’s Tentative Approach

Honoka came back to their room to find Shizuku in the shower. Honoka’s a kind soul, and she knew her friend had to be hurting. Seeing Honoka try to figure out the best way to comfort her friend, without coming out and saying, “Hey, that had to wreck you. You wanna talk?” was a great lead up to my favorite moment. Honoka had even knocked before entering the room she shared with Shizuku, simply out of respect for her friend’s feelings!

They exchanged a couple pleasantries. Shizuku even managed to congratulate Honoka on her victory. Finally, Shizuku admitted that she had never expected to win, not really. But what seemed to bother her was that she didn’t just lose. “I was totally helpless!” she said (15:12). Honoka couldn’t stand the pain in her friend’s voice, so she barged into the shower.

Shizuku just stood there, facing away from the door. I got the sense she’d been there for awhile. She turned, and in a broken voice that her voice actor, Yuiko Tatsumi, should be proud of, Shizuku said, “I really wanted to win!”

The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10: I don't think Shizuku had ever faced this level of defeat before

Shizuku seemed reluctant to turn and face Honoka. Capture from the Funimation stream.

The reserved and quiet Shizuku began to cry.

The sight overwhelmed Honoka. She sprang forward and embraced her friend. They both stood, under the shower, until Shizuku said, “You’re going to get wet.”

“I don’t care,” Honoka said (15:37), close to tears herself. 

Shizuku’s reserve broke. She collapsed into Honoka’s arms and said, “I really wanted to win, Honoka!”

Portraying Close Friendship is Tough

That scene of the two of them under the shower felt so raw and so warm that it affected me more than Miyuki’s victory itself — and the latter is the kind of thing I gravitate towards! The authenticity the scene projected pushed it over the top.

I wanted to make one point about it. In the Reddit discussion about this episode, I read one commenter refer to this scene as fanservice. I didn’t see it that way at all. First, I didn’t see any salacious shots of Shizuku. Second, not all shown or implied nudity is necessarily fanservice. It can be an important technique to communicate a feeling or a state.

The Honor at Magic High School Episode 10: Not all nudity is erotic

Nudity isn’t always erotic. Capture from the Funimation stream.

In this scene, the shot of a naked Shizuku conveyed vulnerability, which the voice actor reinforced by sounding so defeated. The scene worked in part because Shizuku was naked. I think it was a solid choice, especially in light of how difficult it is to portray female characters in general because of how much our understanding of social norms and their interactions are changing. 

Have you ever tried writing a scene with female characters, all the while avoiding cliches or disrespectful tropes? What were your favorite moments in this episode?

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