Episode Synopsis: Professor Ursula has, at last, decided to tell Akko the whole truth about the Words of Arcturus. Before she can, though, the faerie maintenance staff unionize and go on strike, demanding a greater share of the Sorcerer’s Stone’s limited magical energy, from which they draw their life force. With tensions rising on both sides, the new professor of modern magic, Croix, arrives with a solution – the Sorcery Solution System! By using the SSS to store magical energy from the Stone at off-peak hours, there’s enough magic for both sides to get what they want, and both sides end up embracing it. But there’s something sinister about Croix, and this system may not be as benign as it first appears. She also uses a variety of nefarious and dangerous methods to manipulate Akko into idolizing her. With Ursula’s shocked recognition of Croix, the stage is set for a battle over the future of magic, with the hapless Akko at the center of it.
Episode Review: First off, I don’t want to say that I totally called it…
…but I totally called it. I think my exact words were that the maintenance guys “give off a “seen it all” union vibe.” Perhaps the most surprising thing is that they actually weren’t unionized until this episode. As amusing as this magical strike is, it also gives us a lot more insight into how Luna Nova works – there’s a limited amount of magical energy available per day, and some of it goes to the maintenance staff; it’s literally their life force. This also explains why the maintenance staff exists at all – magic isn’t infinite, so the witches can’t just do everything with a spell and hope to have enough juice to make it through the day.
Akko, brash as ever, wakes up to find there’s no breakfast, hot water, or heat in school, and immediately rushes off to solve the problem by confronting the union. But because she has a good heart and an open mind, she rapidly ends up taking the union’s side – it’s hard to argue with “we need magic to live”, although somehow Akko is literally the only witch at the entire academy to find this compelling. She becomes the union’s human spokesperson, as faeries don’t speak human language, and translators – Lotte, in this case – are generally required.
This leads to some amusing moments, especially as the witch administration realizes they can’t force their way through the problem and sit down to negotiations.
Never change, headmistress.
Although, speaking of the headmistress and her laissez-faire attitude towards running the school, it seems odd that none of the school’s leaders are concerned with the larger problems they face. Sure, they’ll deal with immediate problems like the strike, but they don’t seem to grasp the big picture – even when it’s presented to them with charts and graphs.
They’ve complained that magic is declining, that there aren’t as many witches coming (leading to financial trouble), that there isn’t enough magic power being output every day… but no one is trying to figure out why, or how to fix it.
Akko, in reviving the Words of Arcturus, seems on the path to using the Grand Triskelion to revive the power of magic… but she’s just going with the flow and has no idea of what she’s accomplishing. Ursula, who both knows what’s going on and has finally decided to tell Akko, never quite seems able to get a word in.
My hopes rest with Diana, as it seems like she’s figured it out and knows what Akko has to do, but Diana and Akko just cannot seem to get along. When Diana tries her own hand at strike-breaking, Akko is ready to oppose her.
Diana and Akko get into quite the heated argument over the plight of the working class, with Diana ultimately retreating, but not before this:
So she knows what Akko has to do. Now they just have to become friends, or at least less antagonistic enemies, so they can work together to solve Magic. I’m rooting for you, girls.
Speaking of reviving magic, let’s meet its chief opponent.
Croix shows up with fancy buzzwords, “magitronic” devices, and a snake-oil sales pitch whose primary claim is to violate one of the bedrock laws of the universe.
The general idea is that those floaty cube things will store energy and then release it as needed.
There is, however, a particularly menacing part of the presentation where the Sorcerer’s Stone and the leyline go silent, drained of all magic.
As usual, though, no one is really paying attention. In fact, the only opposition to this plan at all comes from McGonagall here:
Her opposition isn’t rooted in anything firmer than “I don’t like new-fangled things”, though, and ultimately, she’s overruled.
So only one member of the administration is really standing against Croix, but everything else is going her way. The Sorcerer’s Stone is now surrounded by floaty cube things and a whole tower is now devoted to magitronic devices. Akko, who was twice unknowingly put in danger by Crois and twice saved by Croix’s modern magical intervention , now idolizes her. In her own words:
Before I close, though, what episode review could be complete without the latest in the Continuing Adventures of the Toady Twins, shown here bribing a fire spirit to heat up some water:
Never truly threatening, always petty and selfish, their antics are always fun to watch. Hey, at least someone at this school took some initiative to work around the strike.