When Mizuno and Marino were younger Mizuno would teach her spells that were hers alone.
The episode then kicks off with a baseball game between Class 1 and Class 2 where Takuto serves as Class 1’s pitcher with the boy from the restroom, Hiroshi serving as his catcher and of course Mizuno is too distracted by him to swing. So Marino steps up and hits the ball right out of the park upon reciting the spell she was taught when she was younger. Amongst this the trio from before, the True Glittering Stars meet up with Takeo Takumi/Sword Star telling Tsukihiko Bou/Stick Star and Ginta Ryou/Camel Star about the girl in his class who he suspects is Manticore, Marino.
He then steps up to the plate however Takuto has Sugata for back up, after this it’s Class 2’s turn to pitch so Takeo replaces Takuto as the pitcher. But soon after Takuto sends the ball flying he runs straight into Marino and helps her up as she blushes, before this though Keito, Sugata, and Wako reflect on how they had brought up the totem pole when they were younger. Marino and Takuto then get a chance to talk with her telling him how Mizuno always talks about him and him complimenting her. As Keito gets up to bat Sugata smiles as he hands her a bat, but she strikes out.
Eventually the match reaches a deciding point however as Takuto swings for the third time a strange force manipulates Takeo’s pitch making it move around his bat, due to this Class 2’s team wins. After the two classes congratulate each other Mizuno teaches Takuto the spell she taught Marino when she was younger, thinking that no one uses them and Ruri teases him about his recent actions. While Marino gets a drink from the fountain Takeo appears and exposes her as Manticore by saluting and reveals that he used his First Phase to move the ball. Later on the other trio look back on the game, thinking that Takeo’s last pitch was odd.
Meanwhile Marino and Mizuno have ice cream together again, this time having Mint Chocolate instead of Pineapple with Marino trying to get her to stop teaching people spells as it makes people think she’s stupid, thinking that Takuto is the same. She then remembers how their mother had left them all alone on the island to go after their father, who they didn’t even acknowledge as such. As they walked home after seeing her off Marino broke into tears so Mizuno taught her a spell to make everything okay. Inside Vanishing Age’s lounge room, it’s revealed that Marino had been the girl that Takeo/Sword Star had liked and it’s decided that he’ll be next to challenge the Tauburn.
Mizuno then wakes up and leaps out the window onto a bus, where she starts to sing as Takeo steps into the Cybercasket and apprivoises his cybody. Sending everyone into zero time as Takuto meets him with the Tauburn, pulling out both of his Star Swords. Their battle then begins as they clash blades with Takeo eventually using an extension of his First Phase that allows him to manipulate a red sphere. With Marino watching him he goes all out, splitting it into four however Takuto recites Mizuno’s spell and uses the parts on the Tauburn’s back to open the way to slash right through him.
Upon his defeat Takeo is pissed off as he throws Ryousuke his badge, Sugata reflects on how Takuto may not need his help, and Wako wonders what he was talking about with Takuto on the beach remembering how Mizuno had told him that the spell would only work if he believed in it. Marino and Mizuno later take a bath together with how she had bumped into Takuto still in her mind and Mizuno pointing out how they always end up liking the same things.
I was wondering when a baseball episode would come up for the slice-of-life school segments as they’re pretty much a staple for school life sort of things, and they’re generally pretty fun at that. And while this episode didn’t really disappoint on that front it was nice to see some focus placed on Mizuno and Marino’s childhood, showing just how much they had relied on each other in the past. Among all of this it was also nice to see Mizuno have a song to fill the void left by the Fish Girl/Sakana-chan’s monochrome.
The baseball game was pretty fun to watch and had an energetic feeling to it and though some things were kind of weird about how some things were set up. It was good to see Hiroshi again while Mizuno acted in a rather cute manner and some sort of tension seemed to be built up when Takeo was in front of Marino, more so when Takuto got closer to her. To the point where she had blushed for things like when he complimented her, which considering how many girls he now has interested in him I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his First Phase.
However what was really the most interesting part of this whole segment itself was how Keito was shown to have been friends with Sugata and Wako when they were younger, even helping raise up the totem pole that Wako had talked about in the fourth episode. But what had really stood out was how she had reacted when Sugata smilingly handed her a bat and how she was more disappointed by striking out than you would expect her to be. If it’s to be taken as her liking him it would also happen tp explain how if anything she actually supported Wako getting closer to Takuto. So far Keito is also one of the characters that I find to be pretty interesting so far so something like this was nice to see, and I’m interested to see what had actually led to them drifting apart.
While it was Stick Star/Tsukihiko’s turn in the last episode it was Sword Star/Takeo’s (voiced by Yuuki Kaji) turn in this episode, with him receiving some focus quite early with the girl he suspected to be Manticore being none other than the girl he liked, Marino. Simply because he liked her, he also seemed a bit more determined to show off in front of her and even coming across as being sort of jealous as he tried to continuously catch Takuto out. He also happened to follow the tradition for characters who always keep their eyes closed of opening them when they were serious, starting with this and carrying on to the battle scene at the end. However while his abilities were kind of cool it was out shined by Takuto using the Star Driver equivalent to Funnels.
One of the things that I liked about this episode the most though was how it looked a bit more into Marino’s character and just what sort of past she and her sister, Mizuno had. Which through it we were able to see just how important Mizuno was to her with how their relationship had now contrasted quite a lot from what it was then along with showing just how she was uncomfortable with her teaching others the spells which she had some attachment to. The words said at the end were also pretty interesting as well, with how Mizuno had said that they both always end up liking the same things and her speechless expression seeming to foreshadow the beginning of another love triange between them and Takuto. So while it was pretty nice and touching to see their past shown along with just how important things like Mizuno’s spells were to Marino, it also set up something that could be pretty interesting as well.
While it didn’t exactly feel like it could replace the Fish Girl’s/Sakana-chan’s Monochrome it was also great to see Mizuno have a song to fill the void that her departure had left, to the point she had even replaced her on the bus in the ending. The song itself still had a nice and uplifting beat to it that seemed to suit the set up for the battle and would generally serve quite well as a battle theme. However I don’t know whether it was to be expected or not, but it just didn’t have that sort of memorable and iconic quality that Monochrome had to it that made it stand out so much. Despite that though it was still kind of nice and I suspect that it’ll grow on me a bit more as the series progresses.