Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – First Impression


Any sufficiently advanced technology…

spring14-kara Mahouka seems like it’s based off of one of those harem LNs that are so popular these days, so I figure it would be good for some mindless entertainment. And if it turns out to be better than that, I’m all for it. …Since I’ll be watching it either way, anyways.


spring14-highwIt’s Highway with Karakuri for this FI of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei, The Irregular of Magic High School. I don’t know how much I care for that English name, but how was the show?

Mahouka-Where was this

Magic + guns = stuff they need to explain in the future of the show

Highway // So we’re in the future. And in this future, after a 20 year world war and some global cooling (cause that’s much cooler than global warming), ‘magic’ is now something that is more of a technology than an art. And in this world, countries are making an effort to cultivate as many magicians as they can. And that’s how we get First High School, which is just absolutely huge, and the freshman class of something near year 2100.

Mahouka-Miyuki and Tatsuya

Miyuki might be a little overinvested in her brother

The main characters in this show are front and center right off the bat: Tetsuya and Miyuki, older brother and younger sister, but not quite a year apart, so they’re in the same year of school. But that might be where the similarities end. While Miyuki is brilliant at practical magic, Tetsuya is not. Not that he’s a slacker, but he apparently just doesn’t have the ability to make magic happen very well, and as such, even though he’s the highest scorer on the entrance exam, he’s classified as a Reserve student. Or, in the discriminatory terminology used in the school, a Weed. Compared to the “Blooms”, the Weeds are pretty much dirt, and there’s quite a bit of segregation, mostly enforced by the Blooms, which causes a bit of trouble when new wonder student Miyuki (who happens to be a bit of a brocon) wants to hang out with her Weed brother and his new Weed friends.

Mahouka-It's not all magic

He can kick a bunch of ninja’s butts, too

Karakuri // Oh boy. This looks like Tatsuya is another one of those ~special~ main characters. He’s been put into the lower Weed classification, but obviously he seems to be more than that, since he’s rather talented at other things. …Because these days, the main character always needs to be special (or be fighting against some kind of unjust system; in this case, it’s both). Of course, the plus side of this he’s rather badass, which is a thousand times better than him being a whiny kid who’s incapable of doing anything for himself. It’s not plot selective badassery either, from the looks of it. Tatsuya seems perfectly capable of winning fights (or at least, not sucking at them) whenever he wants, and not by some sudden surge of hidden inner power that he didn’t know he had until the heat of the moment. The big thing here seems to be that he doesn’t really want to fight. Or maybe he’s hiding his power (which given the dialogue, might be the more accurate assumption). So maybe he’ll become a more interesting character than he first seems to be. The doting imouto thing was kind of worthy of an eye roll too, but if the internet is correct, apparently it becomes less of a thing as the series goes on. …So hopefully the internet right about that and that Miyuki and the female characters have more of a life other than whatever their interaction with Tatsuya is and how he solves their issues.

Mahouka-Fight Fight Fight!

Face off: Blooms vs Weeds

Highway // The look of the show is pretty good, and the uniforms in particular are somewhat interesting to me. While the boys wear a high-collared coat, close to a gakuran, the girls wear longer coats, and some (with perhaps some correlation to ability level) have a interestingly diaphanous part below the ribs. I liked the look, even if it might not be too practical for fighting, and think it gives a refined air to those who might be more princess-ish. Of course, we’ll see if they all turn out to be elitist jerks.

Bonus Embarrassment

Show ▼


Maybe not the most spectacular of opening episodes, but the animation looked good and maybe the blatant tropes will actually transform into more useful/interesting things. This series has the fortune of having a bit of a darker seeming storyline to it, as opposed to just shoving the character’s boobs in people’s faces and using the main protagonist as the answer to everyone’s problems (so far). …However, it also has the misfortune of airing so close to Mahou Sensou, which may carry over some prejudice from that series. Of course, Mahouka has plenty of potential to surpass Mahou Sensou on just about every level (it wouldn’t be hard), but the premises are kind of similar, so people’s patience might be shorter in regards to Mahouka than they usually might be. I know mine kind of is, so I will be eagerly awaiting to see if this anime goes anywhere or not.


I agree with Kara, this was pretty tropey. We’ll see if it can break out of that and become something more than just a collection of stereotypes, but I’m not sure if it will. It seems interesting enough anyway, even if it’s just by the numbers. There were a lot of things they tried to foreshadow in this first episode, so we’ll see if they go anywhere, things like Tatsuya mentioning ‘numbers’ with respect to classmates, and the opening to the show where Miyuki says that she owes her existence to Tatsuya. And at the very least, Tatsuya isn’t useless. If anything, he’s OP, primarily because people don’t expect him to do anything (this is going to be a common problem for the Blooms and Weeds storyline, I think, that there’s a dividing line, but the Blooms will think that all Weeds are useless). I just hope they don’t make him TOO mysterious with the ‘secret’ that he’s hiding.


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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19 Responses to “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – First Impression”

  1. zztop says:

    Iwasaki Taku, composer for Noragami & Gatchaman Crowds, will be working his magic for Mahouka’s OST.

    The LNs span 12 volumes with an ongoing story, so I wonder how many volumes they plan to cover in 20+ episodes.(I’ve heard the show will be this long.)

    All 12 LNs have been translated into English & are available on Bakatsuki for your reading pleasure.

  2. belatkuro says:

    The buzz, discussion and beating this show has been getting for the past few days across different websites(MAL, ANN, RC, AS, /a/) is astounding. I already expected it given the hype before the season but it’s getting out of control already. And it’s just the start. What more when we get to the meat of things. The future is grim for this show. What more when SAO airs at the same time on Summer. RIP forums.

    As for the premiere, it’s just what I expected. There seems to be some decent budget for it as the animation is pretty nice, especially that spar in the middle of the episode. The art is also decent but I think I’ve been spoiled already by the LN/manga art so much as I prefer those to here.
    Still not used to Miyuki and Mayumi’s voice, especially the latter as I still think KanaHana is a miscast. But ehh I’ll get used to it.

    One complaint I would have is that the infodump was cut to a minimum in this episode. Loads of info about different things were actually explained at different parts, like the “Numbers” that Tatsuya mentioned. There was also the basic explanation of the magic system when they were magic skating/sprinting and when Miyuki cleaned their clothes. Though there’s the specials to provide additional infodump, it wouldn’t have hurt to have some around in the episode. No use complaining about it I guess.
    The OP is awesome though as expected of LiSA.

    There’s still plenty of time to build things up given that it’s 2-cour and this is just the beginning of the story after all. And my hunch as to how much it will cover was sort of confirmed yesterday. We’ll most likely cover up to volume 7 as the whole Enrollment arc will get covered up to episode 6(given the episode titles) and Enrollment is 2 volumes in the LN. Not hard to do the math for the volumes per episode after that.
    We’ll see how they do it but I know some LN readers will not like it.

    Whoever will blog this though, I wish you the best of luck. Given the reception across the anime community, you’ll need it.
    Though I think Metanorn will be a quiet and decent place to discuss this so I can take it easy here.

    • Highway says:

      As you say, it’s a 2-cour show, and as such, it’s probably better to leave a lot of questions, provided they get to them (and even better if they show us, not just tell us). Not even I *prefer* an infodump episode (even if I don’t mind them when done right), I’d rather have things come out in the story. I mean, if you do too much infodump, you get Mahou Sensou, and that was absolutely terrible.

      There are the three shorts for the show that have been released that skylion informs me have info about the magic system, but they’ll probably get to that in the show as well, making those redundant.

      Right now, I don’t think anyone’s planning on blogging this past this FI, although I’ve been trying to keep my schedule open for surprise (at least to me) shows. I’m not a stranger to liking shows that cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth (like OreImo or Golden Time), so maybe I’ll end up picking it up. It depends how it looks going forward.

  3. Foshizzel says:

    Those Aquarion EVOL character designs and that epic OST! I think this will be a fun one and far better than freaking Magical Warefare xD

    • d-LaN says:

      It is worth noting that the character design for Mahouka is the same person who did the art for the LNs. The only other anime that I can recall getting this treatment is Oreimo with Hiro Kanzaki.

  4. Mexu2d says:

    THIS IS AWESOME, THESE ARE THE ONLY WORDS TO DESCRIBE THIS. He has a Lelouch Vi Brittania feel, and I feel like there’s a lot more about him that he isn’t saying. I think this is my favourite anime this season.

    • Karakuri says:

      He does kind of have a Lelouch feel to him. …Hopefully Tatsuya lives up to that, because it would make the anime more interesting (probably).

  5. skylion says:

    This was a pretty good intro. I love magitek and if they manage to explain a bit more without infodumping, my interest can only rise.

    Tatsuya seem like this: He has a huge wealth of practical knowledge, but no talent. It’s like he knows everything about baseball, but cannot manage to get to first base. Am I off on this one?

    • Highway says:

      I think that’s close to right, although he’s probably better than that. It’s not exactly a rare situation. There are plenty of coaches and analysts in the world who aren’t that great at *doing* what they coach, yet they’re excellent coaches.

      Tatsuya does have magical ability. I think the show made it clear that he was actually fairly strong as a magic user. He’s just not strong enough to be placed in Class 1. Now, of course, there’s the big “secret” and all the mysteriousness. In that fight at the end of the episode, I don’t think Miyuki was trying to keep him from using magic for his reputation at school, I think she didn’t want him to be exposed. So he’s got some special power besides analysis.

      • skylion says:

        …yep, and that will be the game changer. Hope they pull it off well. This one has a good beginning.

  6. Kyokai says:

    Love the character designs and I’m sticking for another two episodes at least. Yuuichi Nakamura man! If the Gary Stu syndrome lessens and some more plot depth is seen, I should be here for good.

    • d-LaN says:

      Why do I get a feeling that the word “Gary Stu” is the next fad in aniblogs? Everyone loves to use it to describe anyone slightly OP now.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Why not? We’ve already got the Mary Sue fad labeling any female characters that act almost too perfect and righteous. Like Hajime Ichinose (Gatchaman Crowds) and Mako Mankashoku (Kill la Kill).

  7. Overcooled says:

    I want a compilation of all the fight scenes with every instance of incest or girls fawning over the perfect main character cut out. It’s always depressing when a good action anime is bogged down by the mediocrity of annoying tropes.

  8. BlackBriar says:

    A decent start and I can already feel Index/Railgun vibes from the setting, certainly with the discrimination between classes. The lead male seems very capable. He’s quiet and doesn’t want to stand out which is refreshing and something I can respect after watching leads in other animes striving to be glory hounds.

    The only factor that’s bogging things down is the near incestuous relationship between the siblings. Sometimes, I fall into the impression that they’re even related.

    Since it’s two cour, it might show an acceptable amount of progress in its world building.

    Side note: Is anyone covering the First Impressions for Akuma no Riddle and Gokukoku no Brynhildr?

    • d-LaN says:

      The only incest-y vibes I see is coming frm the sister though? The brother doesn’t look like he into it. And they are related since they are brother and sister no?

      • BlackBriar says:

        I meant to say that sometimes it seems like they’re not related. My bad.

  9. zztop says:

    I like the rocking OP! 🙂
    I hear Elisa(of Valvrave) will be doing the ED, Millenario.

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