Nine Schools Competition I is the eighth episode of the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei anime.
Kokonoe Yakumo introduces Tatsuya and Miyuki to Ono Haruka as one of his students. Afterwards, Tatsuya was chosen as an Engineer for the Nine Schools Competition. Back at the Shiba Siblings' home, Tatsuya surprises his sister with the flying CAD he had developed.
It’s the twelfth of July and Tatsuya and Miyuki are at Kokonoe Temple where Miyuki is training with Kokonoe Yakumo for Mirage Bat the Nine Schools Competition. Kokonoe is making balls of light in the air for her to target. Suddenly Tatsuya senses a presence and challenges an interloper, who is revealed to be Ono Haruka. She exchanges pleasantries with Yakumo. Tatsuya is initially on guard until Yakumo vouches for her, stating she is one of his students. Haruka asks if Miyuki is participating in the Nine Schools Competition and Yakumo confirms she is competing in both Ice Pillars Break and Mirage Bat. Tatsuya reiterates his question and Yakumo informs the Shiba siblings that Haruka also works as a Public Safety Investigator. She confirms this and that she is a junior disciple of Yakumo’s. Tatsuya comments her concealment magic was impressive and he concludes she is a BS Magician, though she takes offence to the term. She asks him to keep her status secret and Tatsuya agrees in exchange for being informed ahead of time if any issues like the trouble with Blanche occurs again.
At school, Tatsuya’s class dominate their opponents in Physical Education class, the girls having come to watch the match and cheer. After the match Tatsuya and Leo go over to speak with their classmate Yoshida Mikihiko. The three make introductions, having not really spoken before and Mikihiko admits he’d been meaning to speak to the pair. Erika joins the trio, along with Mizuki, and reveals she and Mikihiko are childhood friends. Erika’s immodest choice of attire flusters Mikihiko leading Leo to make a remark which angers her and earns him a kick.
At lunch, the Shiba siblings join Mayumi, Mari, Suzune and Azusa in the Student Council Room. There they discuss the Nine Schools Competition over lunch. As the school’s honour is on the line, the Student Council takes the lead in the preparations, choosing the contestants based on merit. Mayumi comments that though they have the athletes decided they are short of engineers. They have Azusa and Isori Kei from the second year, but few third years to choose from. Mayumi asks Suzune but she declines, citing she lacks the skill. Tatsuya tries to leave, but Azusa suggests he be an engineer, as he’s the one who adjusts Miyuki’s CAD. Mayumi is thrilled with the idea and when Tatsuya tried to object, Mari and Miyuki convince him to participate. The five agree to meet after school.
A bit later in the lunch break, Azusa gets excited looking at Tatsuya’s Silver model holster and brings up the genius engineer Taurus Silver, whom she admires, until she’s reminded that she has to finish her assignment. Mayumi agrees to help, and Azusa says she’s working on a report on the Three Major Puzzles of Weight-based Magic. She understands the first two but doesn’t understand why Flight Magic can’t be actualised. She explains that the overlapping layers of magic eventually cap out and the next layer fails but she’s not sure why the spells can’t be cancelled and recast to stop the build-up. Suzune brings up a study which tried using anti-magic to cancel out the spells, but it failed, and the researchers didn’t know why. Mayumi casually asks Tatsuya and he states the experiment was fundamentally flawed because unless the entire sequence is erased, anti-magic won’t stop the build-up and instead caps it out early. Tatsuya’s knowledge shocks the others. The bell sounds, ending lunch and leaving Azusa in a panic. After school Mayumi nominates Tatsuya to the engineering team, but the appointment is objected by some of the athletes due to his Course 2 status. Juumonji Katsuto suggests having Tatsuya demonstrate his abilities to reassure people by adjusting a CAD. Kirihara Takeaki volunteers to act as the user for the test CAD.
In the lab, Tatsuya confirms the task is to copy the data to the competition CAD without altering the sequences. He comments he doesn’t recommend copying the settings from different models so will take a safety first approach and once he has Kirihara’s measurements, proceeds to manually enter the data at an intense speed, shocking the audience and leaving the other engineers in awe at his advanced skills, which Isori Kei explains to Chiyoda Kanon whilst they watch. Done, he has Kirihara test the CAD and he reports it feels absolutely natural. Some of the others complain his methods are too irregular to which Azusa fiercely objects stating she supports his appointment as the skills he demonstrated were so advances she couldn’t hope to mimic them. The student counters that it doesn’t matter if the result is pedestrian. Hanzou points out the test CAD has lower specs yet Kirihara couldn’t feel the difference and supports Tatsuya’s appointment. Katsuto agrees with Hanzou and settles the discussion.
At home, Tatsuya receives a call from Kazama Harunobu. Kazama addresses Tatsuya as Special Officer, meaning the line is secure. Tatsuya compliments their hacking ability and Kazama comments Tatsuya’s security is far too hardcore for a civilian home. Tatsuya asks the reason for the call. Kazama informs Tatsuya that the Third Eye CAD’s overhaul is completed and ready for testing. Tatsuya states he’ll head over in the morning, missing school as he’ll be too busy on Sunday. Kazama mentions Tatsuya is participating in the Nine Schools Competition and mentions there has been suspicious activity by an international crime syndicate in the area near the Southeast Fuji Training Area where it is being held. With intel acquired from Mibu Yuuzou, Kazama states it appears to be the No-Head Dragon syndicate from Hong Kong.
At midnight Miyuki brings Tatsuya, who was working, some coffee wearing her outfit for Mirage Bat. Miyuki shows it off and Tatsuya compliments her when she noticed he’s floating and realises the spell for Flight Magic has been completed. Miyuki showers Tatsuya with praise as tells her he’ll be taking it to FLT on their next day off for testing but wants her to test it first. She activates the CAD and confirms it’s working well while flying around the room. Tatsuya states he bypassed the overlap issue by having the machine do the calculations a person can’t.