Hi I’m Simon and here I am again with a review of the anime (and only the anime) Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, The Irregular at Magic High School. The 13-volume Light novel by Tsutomu Satou has spawned 5 manga adaptations, 2 video games and a 26-episodes anime. Produced by Studio Madhouse and directed by Manabu Ono, it started airing in april 2014.
I can’t imagine a more generic and clichée name for an anime.
PLOT: In a world where magic was achieved as a form of technology, Tatsuya Shiba and his younger sister Miyuki enroll at a High School for magic. While his gifted sister is marked a “Bloom”, Tatsuya himself is branded a “Weed”, which makes him subject to hate and persecution by the “Bloom” students. But soon after entering the school, Tatsuya makes it clear that his low scores in practical application of magic do not disqualify him as a bad magic user. And so he starts by beating his “Bloom” opponent in a heartbeat in a duel. From then on Tatsuya gets more and more amazing, making it all the more clear he is not just a normal student.
Characters: So lets start with the main pair of siblings, Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba. Those two are probably the strongest mages in the entire series up to this point. There’s one guy (who looks like a clone of Suzaku Kururugi) that can kinda compete but not really. Especially Tatsuya is so stupidly overpowered, it makes you wonder how much he can fuck around to make that anime 26 episodes long. Everything he does is so roundabout and concerned not to blow his cover (which he eventually does anyway), he doesn’t seem like a normal student but like an idiot who waltzed into a highschool by chance. And yet everything he does is frickin amazing and mindblowingly cool. His whole personality and behaviour seems to be anchored on the fact that he knows he’s stronger than everyone else, so why doesn’t he do anything? But oh well. So now Miyuki. She’s timid, shy, and oh so in love with her brother. Now, before you scream “Incest! Burn her” or anything like that, read on. As much as I hate to disappoint fans of romance, myself included, nothing happens. Although the show makes Miyuki out to be extremely jealous, freezing her surroundings unconsciously whenever Tatsuya gets along with another girl, nothing happens. Which can get funny at times because Tatsuya develops a harem throughout the show. Also, they’re not really siblings, though, as of yet, we don’t know their exact circumstances. There’s so much hinting at a romance that never happens, it’s outright annoying. The other characters are pretty much exchangeable and barely even needed. Which is sad because there were some interesting ones among them like Saegusa and… that other woman, but ultimately there were so many it was hard to even remember their names. So except for Tatsuya and Miyuki it was pretty mediocre in the character department.
Story: The story is a bloody mess. Although it seems like it knows what it does and to go into a specific direction, the direction changes every 5 or so episodes, so all you really get is some 5 episode story arcs. They eventually cumulate and it becomes obvious the perpetrator and main enemy is the same organization for the entirety of the anime, which peaks in a more than disappointing fight. So even though the story is a mess it is still fun to watch, but gets annoying once you realize nothing is gonna happen, because you wait and wait for something more and then the arc resets and a new storyline starts. Just rest assured that Tatsuya and Miyuki will trump themselves over and over, both in stupidity as in epicness.
This is more fun than it should be.
Animation: The looks and animation is the strongpoint of Mahouka. The colors look beautiful and the action scenes are well choreographed and executed. Even the school uniforms have a unique design. The character designs too are something different, they probably won’t appeal to every one but oh well personal taste is hard to judge. Over all the animation is fluent and the special effects looks stellar. Though Tatsuya always has a really straight line as a mouth which looks kinda weird.
My Recommendation: For fans of magic and those who like it well explained (kinda) this is the right thing. As is for fans of not just normal action. If you don’t expect more than good looks and action from it, you will have lots of fun. For those who have seen Mahouka and want something similar, I recommend the Fate -franchise for pseudo-explained magic and even better looks with a much better story or Guilty Crown, which, even though it’s not really good, has a very similar feel to it.
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Thank you and have a nice day 😀