English: The irregular at magic high school
Status: Currently Airing
Aired: Apr 6, 2014 to ?
23 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.751 (scored by 27696 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisMagic—A century has passed since this concept has been recognized as a formal technology instead of the product of the occult or folklore.
The season is spring and it is time for a brand new school year.
At the National Magic University First Affiliate High School, A.K.A Magic High School, students are divided into two distinct groups according to their academic performances. The "Bloom," who demonstrate the highest grades and are enrolled in the "First Course," and the "Weed," who have a poor academic record and are enrolled in the "Second Course."
This spring, a very peculiar brother and sister enroll as new students.
The brother is an under achiever with some deficiencies and enrolls as a "Weed," while his younger sister is an honor student, who enrolls as a "Bloom."
The brother, with a somewhat philosophical expression, and the younger sister who holds feelings a little stronger than sibling love for him...
Ever since these two have entered through the gates of this prestigious school, the calm campus was beginning to change...
(Source: Aniplex USA)
Related AnimeAdaptation: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
Other: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Yoku Wakaru Mahouka!
Characters & Voice Actors
The purpose of this review is primarily to address the points raised in previous reviews about this anime. If you're looking for an accurate evaluation of the show, I'd suggest watching a little yourself or holding off until more episodes are released and the story develops further. Hopefully, this review will make the anime more enjoyable for you, or atleast clear up some questions. I'll try my best to avoid any spoilers, but in case I let anything slip, I apologize in advance.
Let me first state that I believe a review should reflect upon the entire show, not just the first half of it. For many anime, it is common for the first half to be slow and ease the audience into familiarity of a new world, yet all of the reviews so far are based solely upon the first 9 of 26 episodes. I strongly recommend that you stick with the show atleast up to the end of the 9 Schools Competition arc, where you'll be able to make a more holistic judgment about the anime. At the very least, I wanted to provide a counter balance to the other reviews in order to not mislead potential viewers. With that said, let's begin!
I'll start with a quick introduction of the show:
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei is based in a world where magic has only recently become more accessible through the invention of the Casting Assistance Device (CAD), but even so, the number of individuals capable of using magic are still in the minority. While the benefits of magic have just barely been explored, the potential of magic in domestic and global, especially military, affairs has the entire world scrambling to establish domination over this new resource. It is in this discordant situation that we find our main characters, a pair of siblings enrolling in their first year at the prestigious magic high school, First High School. However, even in an environment filled exclusively with fellow magicians, the siblings cannot escape the conflicts inherent in magic. Of the 200 students admitted into First High, only 100 with greater magical talent are selected to receive personal instruction (Course One or "Blooms"), while the other half shares the same curriculum, but instead receives their education solely from digital sources (Course Two or "Weeds"). Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei follows Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba as they face the discrimination, abuse, greed, and jealousy that their status as magicians entails.
So, one of the biggest qualms people seem to have with this series is the fact that the Tatsuya is essentially the most powerful character of the entire cast and, to be honest, I completely agree. Tatsuya's status as a Course Two student suggests that his magical talent is inferior to that of Course One students, yet as the story progresses, we quickly see that this is far from the truth. In fact, Tatsuya's mastery of martial arts and magical theory and engineering elevate his combat ability beyond that of any character, allowing him to easily overcome any and every obstacle he faces. And thus rises the protest: "Why, this is just wish fulfillment! The 'weak, unappreciated guy' turns out to be some overpowered, unbeatable hero and becomes popular with everyone!"
However, if you look closely, Tatsuya is far from that ideal, likable protagonist that you might think he is. Consider the following: Tatsuya isn't an attention seeker, doesn't seem to particularly enjoy life at First High and is a major target for bullies who are jealous of him. With his combat abilities and magical knowledge, he could easily find a position in society that would acknowledge his talents, yet he still choses to attend school. What possible incentive could he have for choosing to remain in such a place? (I'll cover this more later)
Another problem arising from Tatsuya's unmatched abilities is that he dispels any sense of danger or crisis from the predicaments he faces. While this is true for the first few episodes, the scale of the opposition he faces can only grow, so give it some time to develop and you'll be rewarded with more interesting situations and action. After all, a story with absolutely no major conflict couldn't possibly have become so popular.
Some question the decision to use a school setting for this story, and perhaps, on a superficial level, the bright and slightly childish environment of a school seems to ruin the dark themes of the anime. But as we'll soon see, a magical high school is anything but a safe haven to develop a young magician's abilities. In fact, the shocking difference between our expectations and reality contributes greatly to the idea that there is a appalling lack of protection for these maturing magicians, who could decide the future of the nation and even the fate of the world.
The high school setting also gives us insight into the status of the magical community. As stated previously, the only real difference between the Course One and Course Two students is the presence of a magic instructor. The limited number of educators reflects the relatively recent expansion of the magic community, which can be likened to a third world country, but armed with enough power to change the world. In such a situation, it's only to be expected that outside powers would fight for exploitation of such an opportunity while others would fear its potential and plot its annihilation. Such is the daily environment that our characters find themselves in as they struggle to avoid succumbing to a variety of plots ranging from those of terrorists to governments, of classmates to family members.
The class differentiation between Course One and Two leads to a multitude of major problems in the show. While all 200 students have proven themselves through their enrollment to First High, the talent and effort of Course One students have been acknowledged to be above the that of Course Two students, as designated by the flower symbol on their uniforms that Course Two students lack. Driven by their families to become the strongest magicians, yet living in a world where the majority of the population is unaffiliated with magic, the only sense of security for these young magicians lies in their superiority over their Course Two peers. However, having already proven their ability, some Course Two students have the potential of overtaking Course One students and replacing them through hard work, and thus Course One students resort to using derogatory terms like "Weeds" to both flaunt their status of "Blooms" while discouraging Course Two students from attempting to work their way up to Course One.
The Course Two perspective is much more complicated, as they are caught between two conflicting ways of thinking. Having once been the cream of the crop, after entering First High, one of the most prestigious magic schools in Japan, these young magicians find themselves at the bottom of the pecking order, looked down upon by peers of superior heritage, talent, performance or even all three. On one hand, these youths are tempted by the anti-magic calls for "equality", which is to eliminate magic from all evaluation processes, but essentially ignores all the work that magicians put into honing their magical prowess. On the other hand, all Course Two students have already been acknowledged to hold substantial magical ability through their acceptance into First High. As such, it's only natural that they too would be proud of their magical talents and therefore would be loathe to simply surrender a major part of who they are. Then, the only choice left would simply be to work hard to earn a spot in Course One. But how does hard work hold up in the face of pure talent, or the lack thereof? Against peers with seemingly monstrous magical power and the fact that effort can only take one so far, it's unsurprising for some students to completely lose hope.
Now enter Tatsuya, a high school freshman labeled as a magically inferior Course Two student, yet whose unrivaled combat abilities allow him to challenge even the most powerful Course One students. The appearance of such an irregular existence has the entire school beginning to question the class system that has been such an intregal part of the school, as well as the Course One students' egos. In the presence of such a misfit, it is inevitable that people would start to raise questions, some of which can be applied to our own societies and lives. How are people and their abilities evaluated? To what extent are we able to appreciate a person as a whole through our current standards? Perhaps what we see as important today really came from insignificant roots.
Indeed, these are legitimate questions in their own right, but the story lies beyond them and focuses more upon Tatsuya himself. For what reason would someone who clearly understands that he would be undervalued choose to enter such a place? He's hardly the hopeless idealist that would take the time to prove society wrong and he would be much more appreciated had he chosen to attend a school with less of a focus on magical ability. And while we're at it, why has Tatsuya invested so heavily in the martial arts? He hardly seems to care about being combatively superior to his peers and practicing the martial arts doesn't seem to be his passion. In fact, Tatsuya barely seems to have any passions and nearly never shows any sort of emotion at all.
Now, let's talk about our other main character, Miyuki. Miyuki is what would widely be described as "perfect": beautiful, extremely talented, well mannered and intelligent. With Miyuki as the little sister to the plain and less talented Tatsuya, one would naturally expect for there to be some tension in their relationship. What's more is that despite Tatsuya being nearly a year older, both siblings are enrolled in the same grade, with the younger sister ranked as #1 of the entire class while the older brother is just barely accepted into the school.
Even so, Miyuki respects Tatsuya to the point worship. Perhaps in some other shows, there would be no explanation for their relationship, or it'd be a simple and lame "Oh, he's nice" excuse. But in Mahouka, the commonplace relationship between older brother and younger sister is completely skewed by the magic world and in order to fully comprehend how it came to be this way, you'd have to understand the dark secrets behind magic families and the public perception of magicians, which may or may not be revealed later in the anime.
To sum it all up, ladies and gentlemen, the anime is not even halfway through yet! Things have only just begun to get interesting! I believe that Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei has not yet had the chance to develop its main themes that made it so popular and if you choose to give it the time, it will undoubtably prove itself to be a remarkable anime. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you found it worthwhile! Any feedback is greatly appreciated from both "helpful" and "not helpful"s alike! read more
Instead of a number score, I'd like to give this show a rating of 'lol'
The first episode impressed me. The voice actors and Madhouse managed to create an impression of a vast, intricate world with careful writing, cinematography, and decent voice work that immediately set up some interesting personality conflicts while the 'weed' characters, who did not really trust each other, separately realize they'd need to work together to succeed as 'irregulars' at the magic high school...because the students with better grades are shooting civilian-grade combat magic at them for no reason. All the while, Tatsuya and Miyuki both want each other to themselves. They pull off some awkward social maneuvers to gain a few minutes of alone time and soon everybody knows that Miyuki is deeply in lust with her big brother. The situation got fucked up, so fast, and on so many levels, that I could not wait for the next episode - and yet, the colors were soothing, the voices were serene, the backgrounds were pretty, the outfits were tasteful. This first episode was so efficiently structured carefully well-drawn, it was actually relaxing.
Setting up. Implying. Hinting. Beginning. After that, Tatsuya steamrolls through every fight and social interaction, knocking his opponents the fuck out before they could use (computer-assisted!) magic incantations, and fully comprehending the psychology of every near-stranger he meets despite having no real friends. Anyone who tries to argue with Tatsuya will quickly falls to his knees, either swearing fealty to him or blubbering unintelligibly because he correctly guessed their thoughts. That would be awesome if it made any sense, but it doesn't and why should it.
There were some conflicts that didn't involve Tatsuya, like the kendo team girl who wants to beat the magic swordfighting club with just her wooden stick. These were interesting, but Tatsuya always solved them by pulling some advice out of his ass despite having no prior involvement in the situation.
I've no problem with characters who are stronger than everyone else. Their stories can be pretty awesome - check out Samson, Superman, or Fredrica from the recent Hitsugi no Chaika. The real problem is that all the minor conflicts are solved too easily and in completely ridiculous ways, with not even half the austere clarification of a Norse saga - "and Hjalmar drew his sword and stuck off all eleven of their heads!"
Despite the tenuous connection between events actually happening, there's endless erudition on things that don't matter in the least. A lot of this explains the magic system, which is plain embarrassing. When two magicians duel, their spells activate so slowly that a well-trained sprinter can run across the room and attack his opponent from behind while he's still fucking around with his "fast-activation" spell! Of course, professional warriors will raise their barriers and support spells before approaching. These spells are strong enough to deflect assault rifle bullets, but magic terrorists are still subdued by high schoolers with swords. The strongest magicians were supposed to be walking nukes, but if you're fighting a 'pro soldier' you've got half a chance of winning with just a ripped body and a 800Y pipe.
The magic problem's worst problem is its complexity. For all the explanation, its effects are ordinary: the characters shoot light beams, project shields, and float around - once Tatsuya has made the genius innovation of having one process in his magic computer manage the others. He's the FIRST PERSON IN THE WORLD to think of it - everyone else is retarded, even offscreen. Since the practical effects of magic are so basic, there was no sense in coming up with so much bullshit to explain them! It serves no narrative purpose, so just shout some nonsense words like in all the other shows!
So, as I was watching this show implode on itself, the soothing effect vanished. I was pissed off instead. How did everything interesting get sucked into the black hole of Tatsuya's basic competence? Not even the brother-sister incest subplot was exempt. After all, it served is purpose in hooking the viewers.
Madhouse and the voice actors are obviously competent. They simply did the best they could with the first episode until they had to adapt more of the plot, which couldn't be saved no matter how good the sound and animation were. The shame falls on the LN author, ASCII Media Works, who printed it, and all 3.15 million people who bought it.
And that's what puzzles me. Why did they buy it? read more
-Protagonist is considered "weak", but is actually really strong
-Both deal with magic and science
-Mahouka is like Majutsu no Index but with more explanations about how magic works
Mahouka Kouka no Rettousei features a fusion of magic and science where magic has been made into a science. In Toaru Majutsu no Index, it features a similar fusion of magic and science, although admittedly its more of a science vs magic thing.
Personally, I find both fun and entertaining to watch because of that combination ^^
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei and Toaru Majutsu no Index are highly similar in the case that they both invole...
Magic and Science in many ways.
A "weak" male main character made fun of just because of their levels or ranks
Both protagonists have a sort of unique power that separates them from others.
Love-struck female characters that you just can't help but enjoy.
Awesome Action in the first episode. (maybe)
Both deal with a world involving magic and science.
Both feature a male protagonist who is stronger than it would first appear.
Similar genres, mix of sci-fi/fantasy and action.
A boy with exceptional combat skills enrolls in a combat oriented high school to meet his brand new harem, with no initial intention of actually participating in combat. His dreams are shortly crushed by the student council president within the first couple of episodes.
-Chrome Shelled Regios has a far more interesting setting and a more stylized art direction.
-The characters in Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei all look bland, but the dialogue between them tends to be a bit more clever.
-Both have pretty good action sequences.
Both have light novel source materials and focus on a cool MC hiding his untold back story and past experience from the rest of the militaristic high school and slowly showing it off as he gets into more fights surrounding a mixture of hand to hand combat, specialized weapons, and magic / kai. Also both have an interesting support cast to make up for the withdrawn personality of the MC.
Similar mc who is rather weak in terms of their official status in the school, but turns out to be the most powerful badass around.
Similar school uniforms and combat suits. Laid back protagonists. Pure wish fulfilment self insert mc's.
Pseudo harem approach.
Both mc's extremely capable to the point that usual equipment cannot bring out their maximum potential.
Both mc's coerced into taking up positions that require fighting.
Similar supporting characters.
Similar character designs.
Unique to Mahouka:
Cute little imouto.
Siscon male mc.
Brocon female mc.
Not so modest protagonist when it comes to displaying his combat abilities.
More details of techniques and their implementation.
Unique to CSR:
Protagonist very modest when it comes to combat skills. Always holds back.
Dense mc, incredibly dense.
Has a survival theme.
Multiple female mc's.
A boy enrols in a brand new high school to "learn" new things but more or less another reason. They both join a group, 17th Platoon or the student council/disciplinary committee.
- Both have a protagonist who has others originally consider him weak
- Both protagonists are both absurdly overpowered
- Both protagonists have a sort of impassive attitude
- Schools for learning combat skills (although Mahouka's does more than just combat)
- Student council is somewhat similar to the 17th
Opening Theme#1: "Rising Hope" by LiSA (eps 2-13)
#2: "grilletto" by GARNiDELiA (eps 14-?)
Ending Theme#1: "Rising Hope" by LiSA (ep 1)
#2: "Millenario (ミレナリオ)" by ELISA (eps 2-13, 18)
#3: "Mirror" by Rei Yasuda (eps 14-17, 19-)
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