The episode starts off with a solid 7+ minutes of the cast stroking Tatsuya’s ego. He’s been able to secure multiple victories for their school through his advanced engineering abilities and the other schools have taken notice. While they want to give him even more recognition, Tatsuya turns down the opportunity to be listed as the creator of Kitayama’s spell. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about magic, can read and deconstruct spells with ease, but he’s unable to cast them as efficiently as everyone else.
Honoka who’s been wanting Tatsuya’s attention for a while now finally gets some acknowledgement. He fiddles with her CAD and comes up with a strategy to secure an easy victory. This cheap trick makes me curious about the integrity of these events. Being allowed to completely disorient your competition gives you a huge advantage right off the bat. While Mari’s situation involved tampering with their own equipment, it doesn’t feel that different from what Honoka did to her competition.
After the match, we get to see the group that was behind Mari’s sabotage. It seems like a gambling ring is behind everything. With most people likely to bet on the favourites, they need third high or any other school to come out ahead to make their money. I guess we’ll see what their next move is and whether the other schools are cooperating with them.
I actually enjoyed this next part where more of Tatsuya and Miyuki’s past are revealed. Tatsuya’s goal is to one day free himself and Miyuki from the Yotsuba family’s control. He’s currently being manipulated by his aunt by following her orders. Even though he’s aware of it, he realizes he’s powerless against her at the moment and continues to follow her will.
Overall, I felt that this episode was an improvement over the last few. I appreciated that we got more insight into Tatsuya and Miyuki’s past since that seems to be the main focus of the story (at least in the long term). The episode kind of ended at an odd spot in my opinion though. We get Morisaki venting his frustrations about being outclassed by a weed and then the post credits, we have a confrontation between Ichijo and Tatsuya. There wasn’t any lead in to this event but suddenly they’re face to face. Regardless, it’s nice that they’re finally meeting face to face (after only 13 episodes!) since the conflict between the two had been showcased in the opening.
You can watch Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Episode 13 on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions, free users can view the episode one week after it airs.)