Weirdly enough that’s sort of novel these days. I apreciate the show continuing to not be suffering porn. Nene got over her loss last week surprisingly quickly, tracking down Mangetsu more out of curiosity about the person who beat her than anything else, and even offering her assistance going forward. Being able to fight on her own terms for the first time was clearly a cathartic experience which has allowed her to open up to others a little more. She’s even able to finally acknowledge Kibou’s friendship, she might be out of the contest but Nene’s in a far better place than she used to be.
Much of this episode was dedicated to some sombre reflection on how things are going for everyone else. While Mangetsu is a little shaken by what happened at the end of last episode, and has found herself subject to recurring dreams which seem to be tied into it, she’s still as resolved as before to do this thing that gives her mundane life some meaning. Shingetsu on the other hand is increasingly concerned about her ongoing feud with Anna. The secret she’s been concealing from Anna for years is putting her increasingly at odds with her own idealised self, and her conversation with Mangetsu on the topic finally gives her the push to try and put this to rest once and for all.
As it turns out Anna is a relatively weak mage, with her family having actively discouraged her from pursuing victory in the Granbelm, Shingetsu was adopted into the family in order to compete in her place. Honestly though this whole sequence makes Shingetsu seem more than a little hypocritical. After her previous assertion that people should keep striving to reach their idealised selves, it feels a bit odd for her to then join Anna’s mother in trying to convince her that she should simply give up on pursuing her own dreams of becoming a mage. The reveal that the one advanced magic technique that she took pride in being able to perform was only possible due to Shingetsu’s covert assistance is one she takes suspiciously well. Her mother and Shingetsu honestly kind of drop the ball on this one, imediately accepting that the usually overly emotional Anna would just casually accept having her dreams undermined.
Naturally this doesn’t quite pan out and an abrupt mid credits stinger revealed that Anna has apparently killed or at least injured her mother in order to steal the family’s famed magical stone. This situation seems to have been deliberately set in motion by Suisho for her as always nebulous reasons and is clearly setting the stage for a final showdown between Shingetsu and Anna next week.