In the story, the seasons have changed and it will soon be the second spring. Tatsuya and Miyuki have finished their first year at First Magic High School and are on their spring break. The two go to their villa on the Ogasawara Island archipelago. After only a small moment of peace a lone young woman named Kokoa appears before them. She has abandoned the Naval base and she tells Tatsuya her one wish.
I attended one of the theatrical releases and I'd have to say as a fan of the novels, I came away very satisfied.
I'm gonna keep this short and spoiler free. The movie flowed quite nicely with no overly long info dumps that messed up the pacing in the TV anime. The action is fun and exciting, not just Tatsuya, multiple characters get to kick some ass. The movie was also very comical, quite a few scenes had the audience in my viewing cracking up. The story was pretty straight forward and not to convoluted, which allowed it to be more
engaging and straight to the point. Also for the fan service lovers, there's a few scenes in the movie that you'll be happy to see.
The only cons I have are the fact that if you've haven't read volumes 8-11 of the LN, you'll be a bit lost and confused about some things that transpire or happened in between the movie and the TV series(The movie takes place after volume 11), the movie's production value could have been a bit higher(it looked more like a glorified OVA than an actually theatrical film), and it could have done with a longer run-time(like 15-30 minutes longer would have been nice).
Overall, the movie should be a very enjoyable experience to fans who keep up with the source material and even anime only fans should have fun watching the characters go on another adventure/mission. Even if you didn't like the TV anime series, you might like this more if your main problem with the TV anime was its pacing and minimal action. Just don't expect this to be a real continuation of the anime series as this is just mostly a standalone action flick(though it technically is considered canon).
PSA: To get the full amount of the enjoyment of the film, you should either:
a)Read volume 8-11
b)Read the summaries on the Mahouka wiki to at least get a grasp of those volumes and what transpires in them.
The reason I say this is that there are characters(Lina in particularly) and events that are referenced(via flashback or other means) that are in the film, but do not appear in the anime and only appear in the LN volumes that I've mentioned. They author stated that this movie is primarily targeted for the fans that keep up with the novels, so the best way to enjoy this movie is to have a good idea about what transpired between the anime series and the movie.
The irregular at magic high school movie, while visually interesting, suffers from poor pacing and a plot hole ridden storyline that represents a microcosm of the series as a whole. The movie itself plays like an extended bonus episode rather than a continuation or culmination of the show it is based on.
The movie suffers from pacing whiplash, going from mysterious high-stakes action to slice-of-life cute girls doing cute things with a gratuitous amount of fanservice (the majority of the movie), back to serious, fast-paced action. The new characters introduced barely get any characterization due to the bloated cast and the plot is problematic. Many
things happen in the story that should have wider implications than what the movie allows. Like branches of the military attacking each other, an act of war from an outside nation, magician slavery, and tension between military and civilians. all of which are dismissed at the end of the movie. As for the main characters, there is no growth or significant development in their story, or in any other recurring characters' stories. The action portion of the movie, although spectacular, cannot save the movie from its weak storyline and character development.
Overall, I left the movie a little dissappointed. Maybe the light novels do a better job at pacing and the overall plot, but the movie is little more than spectacle and fanservice.
First review so yeah..
Went to the US premier. Just like the anime, visuals and sound were on point, I think the fight scenes were well drawn and quite flashy. Basically every scene had its own sound track that matched it very well. I felt like the movie was a little rushed and the story was kind of loosely put together. There were things that didn't make sense in terms of relevance to the plot. I feel that the way that the movie was put together, there wasn't a balance in terms of fighting and plot development. Just like the anime, there was a lot of
explanation before any action could take place. Overall, it was alright.
Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei is one of the more popular Light Novel series to have come out within the past decade or so, spawning an anime adaptation by Studio Madhouse in 2014.
That anime was also a gigantic piece of shit.
Thankfully, this movie isn't so bad.
That isn't to say this was a good or even passable film, however. It still suffers from flat characterization, holes and leaps in logic, pacing issues, and a major switch from one major object being a threat to another, with the first object being ignored entirely after the halfway mark, among other problems. It feels like a short filler arc
of the show, though thankfully issues carried from the show are largely subdued.
Visually, the movie is passable. For one, they fixed the lighting issue to a decent extent, now I don't have to squint to avoid my eyes being set on fire from the needlessly bright lighting effects. The artstyle is as bad as ever though, and the CGI is both horrible and prevalent. The fights and overall magic were pretty bad as well. At the very least, we got to see characters in a variety of fashionable uniforms outside of their school attire, which was thankfully absent throughout the film. Studio 8bit, while doing a mediocre job by anime film standards, still has a far more visually appealing product that the original, which is the long and short of it all.
Taku Iwasaki returns as the composer of the music for the film and it was far superior to his work on the show. There were two moments where the music did not fit the scenes, including a happy piano track halfway and an awful dubstep song during the big magic fight sequence near the start of the third act. The rest of the tracks sounded perfectly fine, with one vocal track near the beginning being probably the best in the movie, if not for GARNiDELiA doing another stellar performance with the ED song “SPEED STAR”. This is already a far cry from the amount of terrible tracks and times where the music does not fit the scenes in the original TV series. These audiovisual improvements did fix major gripes I had with the original to the point where it almost felt unfair as part of any enjoyment this film provided was fixing mistakes that should've never happened to begin with.
Unfortunately, that's where any relative positives end, as the film is still a mess. There is this important character named Angelina, who has important relations with much of the relevant cast from the show. However, she wasn't in the TV anime and the film doesn't even establish their connection and instead assumes we already know, despite the fact that a large fraction of the audience of this film are only familiar with the anime, potentially leaving the viewer incredibly lost. Two groups of characters effectively on the same side fight to the death because they're too stupid to explain what is going on, and one of them named Siegfried has some sort of bad blood with Leonheart, that again, is not established in this film, leading to the exact same problems as with Angelina. There is a character who only exist to be an obnoxious sadistic psychopath knife-wielder for the sake of such a character trait, and he disposed of by an enemy who should be an ally hit because both sides are stupid they don’t communicate that they have the exact same goal and should be working in tandem to stop the big threat of this movie. As for the characters we’re already familiar with, they are still immensely flat and dry, and some characters don't really have a reason to be in the film due to sheer irrelevance, such as Mikihiko. This isn't entirely the film’s fault, as the 2014 anime showcased them as worthless garbage anyway, and oddly enough, the women largely feel the same in this film, not even feeling like individual character tropes like in the show proper. Thankfully, the worst aspects of the main sibling pair are subdued due to the limited runtime, however, they are still as generic and dull as ever, if not nearly as infuriating.
There is this asteroid that is threatened to be in a collision course with the Earth, and this is established as the main threat due to scientists. However, that gets dropped halfway through the film with no resolution and instead it gets replaced by this satellite the researches were trying to move for some unexplained reason. Unfortunately, given that not many people have seen this film and this review is written without spoilers, I cannot go into further detail, nor can I explain any of the other problems with this film that require spoilers. However, there are a few that can be listed here, such as the sheer lack of subplots, the fact that it took Mayumi so long to realize that her plane was taken by her friends and that there was an important passenger with them (it took a day), the lack of consistency regarding magic being used with or without codes (since it has been established you need to use magic codes to use any form of magic), and that the scientists have no motivations for their actions beyond a one-off line of dialogue about the Navy accepting them. We aren't even made aware of their plans. Lastly, it turns it that some of the character graduated, but Tatsuya is the same age and no one has reportedly aged. This could also explain why Erika is somewhat of a different character than before, but then we’d have missed important character development; not like the series could even attempt such a thing.
Ultimately, while this film was a considerable improvement from the 2014 Madhouse anime, it is still a lackluster film without much of an engaging narrative and a sheer lack of decent characterization, as well as an inheritance of some of the series’ major problems, even if it does attempt to at least subdue issues involving the production, the main duo, and the lack of cohesion with the music and the scenes back then. The third arc is where most of these issues come to a head, turning a movie that would have otherwise been classified as “so ok it's average” into a bewildering mess that just happens to be an improvement. Even fans of the anime could get confused as to what’s going on regarding certain characters, which is a large issue. You could say this review is damning with faint praise, but that’s the best thing this lackluster film deserves. Regardless, with all that said, I bid you adieu.