Episode 24 – Mashle: Magic and Muscles Season 2

Despite the waves made at the end of the big brawl in last week’s episode, Mash still has a long way to go. The amount and types of obstacles to his acceptance are checked off in this season finale of Mashle, making for a fulfilling enough finish to this run. It’s honestly quaint and appreciable to get back to the breezy sketch comedy that characterized early Mashle after so much (mostly) played-straight fight focus. Even if it is wearing out its welcome as the episode goes on, it functions well enough as a bookend for this season. And there’s the promise that more effective escalations are coming in the story, whether that’s a potential third season or viewers picking up the manga to see what happens next.

For the anime’s part, though, it’s got a handful of loose ends to address, several of them being effectively thematically tied to the story’s proceedings. Orter Madl is teased one more time as an unmoving obstacle to Mash’s integration into magic society. Orter’s opposite-number positioning, alongside his design, is based on the central character of the entire franchise that Mashle exists as a takedown of, all giving the kid serious potential final-boss energy. That’ll have to wait though, as the centerpiece of this episode is Mash taking on his true arch-nemesis: exams.

After a (pretty funny) beach excursion, the entire cast suddenly remembers “Oh right, this is a school” and Mash has to succeed at classwork and tests if he wants to avoid expulsion beyond that whole “not having magic” thing. Mash not being much for academic work is an amusing shortcoming, but makes sense, given how much time and effort he puts into exercise instead. Fitness is the sort of thing you can just do, with repetitious routines providing results over time from just working at them. Studying is something you have to think about, and that consideration just doesn’t jibe with Mash’s style. He’s just not equipped for this (though it turns out Dot is, in an amusing little revelation).

It’s the humor-based approach to the show that might seem too low-key and stretched out at times, at least until an escalation such as Mash jumping out a window to avoid studying. Finn’s pep-talk to him reigniting his resolve works as a somewhat light reminder that there are more sides to Mash than the audience or himself realizes. Yes, he’s a One-Punch Man-esque comically strong powerhouse, but he’s also a good boy who wants to do right by his friends and the family back home supporting him in this. It’s a simple, heartwarming result to see him succeed in his tests and get to continue at school after all that.

Mash’s good-boy attitude is also the driving factor of the other, somewhat more majorly serious focus of this episode. After some initial allusions to information control exercised by the magic academy, it turns out that keeping a lid on Mash’s existence after all that is about as impossible as you’d think. That’s another escalation that fits with the arc of this season, as it began with the student body at Easton finding out about Mash’s lackmagic status, and now wraps with the wizarding world at large becoming aware. The first step to acceptance is coming out, after all, and it seems like Mash still has a lot of steps.

The fact that Mash has made such an impression on his friends and immediate peers in the school is positioned as the thing that saves him from an immediate pillorying by the populace. Lemon finally gets to do something, which is nice, and her earnest defense of Mash highlighting his worthwhile kindness sells the themes and vibes of the whole series—and also appropriately ends with her reiterating the gag of her entire character. Dot coming to Mash’s defense is similarly deflating in the jokes it deploys. On-brand for Mashle, but doesn’t help this episode beat the awkward pacing allegations. Still, it ends on a solid enough showcase of Mash being Mash, and between all the discussions of friendship, kindness, and proving oneself among all that, does a decent job covering a multitude of conceptual bases as a finish.

The story is very pointedly not over even as this anime adaptation coasts to a pausing point. The Divine Visionary exams haven’t even properly wrapped yet, so how Mash finishes that remains to be seen. I already enjoyed Mashle, but this season was such a clear, immediate improvement on the first that I’d gladly take another season to see where else they could go. The fact that there’s an obvious arc for a full story with an ending they can (eventually) reach makes an even stronger case to continue it with that objective. Here’s hoping that Mashle doesn’t spend too much time taking a break from working out, and can come back with another set of reps soon.


Mashle: Magic and Muscles Season 2 is currently streaming on

Chris is still the reviewer for Mashle, and wizards are still nerds. Get some reps in with him over on his Twitter, or peruse the magical back catalog of his blog.