Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Yokohama Disturbance Arc [END]

Mahouka-No Capes

At least Tatsuya followed Edna Mode’s edict

spring14-highwBefore we get all in to the Fall 2014 season, let’s have another Summer wrapup. Or even a Spring / Summer, since Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei was a two-cour series. Let’s see how the last arc went for this series.

Yokohama Disturbance

Mahouka-Y'all are fucked now

Oh shit, you guys are fucked now

I’ll say one thing: the setups for the plot in Mahouka aren’t your normal high school issues. First was match-fixing by the mob at the magi-lympics, and now we have industrial espionage at the science fair. Now, maybe that’s not the fairest assessment of what’s going on, since these kids in high school are apparently doing major research (such as developing flying magic and now working on magic fusion reactors), but still it seems like maybe these high school students are a bit on the overachieving side. But if their brains match up to their magic fighting power, then it’s not surprising. Of course, one might argue with that idea as well.

Mahouka-Hey look, my body's down there

“Hey, is that the rest of my body down there?”

What wasn’t really clear throughout the arc, with the industrial espionage thing clouding the issue, is that there was a lot deeper stuff going on. And I can’t really explain all of it. They dropped in a whole bunch of threads with the relic, with Gongjin Zhou, with Aunt Maya, with the Great Asian Alliance (which doesn’t include Japan, interestingly), with the Magic Association, that were all kind of there, they just weren’t really explained. I’d hazard a guess that they’re far more well-developed in the books, but the anime didn’t really feel the need to tie them all together.

Mahouka-Were you shooting at me Mahouka-Oh, your uniform is messed up

“Try and shoot me again.” and “Oh, onii-sama, your uniform’s all messed up, let me fix that for you.”

Instead, they focused a lot more on the action, and that was probably a good idea. And while there was a lot of opposition, these fights were never anything but curbstomps. But only by the students. The soldiers, presumably more experienced magicians, the ones who had been magic high school students before, were pretty terrible. But that’s ok, we have the students to back you guys up. Or more like ‘to take over the front lines’, because while the students were all getting things done, everyone else seemed to be just kinda messing around.

Mahouka-Now go mess them up

They ain’t seen nothin’ yet

And that brings us to Mister Overpowered. Tatsuya’s been overpowered the whole series, with the “Oh he’s not a Course 1 student so he’s not as good” thing thrown in as seemingly a “We don’t want this guy to be TOO incredible” thing. Well, that didn’t work. He’s unbelievable. In the battle, before he gets into the army stuff, he wipes out a whole room full of bad guys with guns by slicing them into pieces with his hands, he repels bullets that are supposed to be “High velocity anti-magician bullets” and then straight-up zorches a truck that’s trying to drive in and blow up the building… from 200 yards away through 4 walls. And THEN Miyuki gives him a kiss and says “You have free rein.” What? What was he doing before? Holding back?

Mahouka-your tank sucks

Erika and the others got in on the action too

Anyway, after all that, and flying, and , the idea that he can not only fix himself, but also can restore people to a point back in time before they were even killed is not too farfetched. And at least it explains his limits, in that he’s holding so much reserve for this life-fixing spell that it reduces his magical capacity all the rest of the time. They do a very good job making it feel like a burden or even a downside, especially with the experiencing of pain of the person he’s trying to help. That did a very good job with reducing the expectation that he should use it all the time for everyone. And of course the high school students win the big fight, and Tatsuya wins the war by blowing everything to hell.

Series Impressions

Mahouka-Mayumi is a barrel of laughs

Mayumi had the entirety of the series’ intentional humor

This series didn’t change much. From beginning to end, there was very little evolution of characters, feelings, plot, anything. It started out as a show that has high school students beating the crap out of bad guys, and ended up as a show that has high school students beating the crap out of bad guys. And my impressions of it haven’t changed from the FI, through the other two reviews that I did, or until this final one. This show is one that says “We’re gonna be like this, you can like it or not.” It’s very magitech-laden, deliberate, far-flung, and futuristic. I mentioned in my last post about it that it’s very much like Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I will stick with that.

Mahouka-The one enemy that was any challenge

Apparently a lucky hit.

If you like watching the good guys win without much opposition, this is definitely a show you’d enjoy. The only credible threat to the supremacy of the students (as a group) that ever came up in the show was Lu Gonghu, who is supposedly ranked as a top-ten close combat specialist in the world. But despite that, he was handily beaten twice by small groups of students. As in barely any contest. Mari almost severed his arms, even. And nobody is a contest for Tatsuya. I think he’s more OP in his universe than Superman. Not only is he super good at magic (despite being the titular ‘Irregular’), he’s super good at hand to hand and super smart. It’s so much so that it’s past the point of him being a Gary Stu, and just being “The Man.”

Mahouka-Ichijou doesn't want to be left out

Ichijou didn’t want to let Tatsuya be the only one vaporizing people

My complaints with the show are mostly about the stultifying pace and the far-too-inclusive story. When I say pace, I don’t mean how they split up the show, I mean in the personal interactions. One person says something. They finish. Then the next person talks. They finish. Then the first person talks. They finish. Everyone’s really polite, but it’s so unnatural. If someone comes up to greet you and your friend, you both return the greeting at the same time. You don’t wait your turn. I don’t mind that the show took its time with the story, but sometimes getting there was a little bit painful (and you guys know that I generally don’t mind waiting for a slow show).


And finish up with the giant explosion

Madhouse’s production was ok, not stellar. The nature of the fights didn’t leave much in the way for fancy animation. The effects that were used for the magic spellcasting were pretty good, always getting the point of the spell across when desired. And dealing with that many types of magic was kept clear and understandable, so I give them credit for that. But otherwise, the show was a bit uninspiring. The first OP, “Rising Hope” by LiSA, was tremendously popular, although I found it to be fairly generic rock without a hook for me to get into it (even the fairly cool breakdown wasn’t enough). But even with that, this is a popular property, and the first three volumes of discs have sold over 8000 each, making it a fairly significant success in the world of anime.


I enjoyed watching The Irregular at Magic High School, and thought that it made a pretty good story. The main things that I think held it back were the stiff formality of the show and the myriad unexplained plot points, even though I don’t really mind a show that leaves things unresolved, it just felt that they put in an awful lot of stuff that clouded the issue. Oh, and the annoying “let’s name every episode the same thing-Part ‘n’” thing. For other people, I would say that the seemingly incestuous nature of the relationship between Miyuki and Tatsuya was a big turnoff for a lot of people, and I would bet that the completely overpowered nature of Tatsuya (and the “just” overpowered nature of the rest of the students) taking a lot of the tension of any fights away probably didn’t endear the show to those who like to see the good guy fail at some point. That wasn’t going to happen in this show. But generally, the show had a good premise, and even if the subjects of the plot arcs were kind of weird (school olympics, science fair), they were interesting and exciting throughout.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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27 Responses to “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Yokohama Disturbance Arc [END]”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Whaaa? You mean this show was still running? Don’t even remember it was even still on.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Yeah, it was running. A two cour series with a total of 26 episodes.

  2. zztop says:

    Mahouka’s author is writing another new LN series, DOWL Masters.

    Synopsis:The novel series takes place in the year 2400, where the world is controlled by the “Solar System Alliance.” The reason the Alliance was able to take control is because they wield mobile weapons. Those humanoid weapons use “Cyclonics” electric chips that convert the superpowers and wisdom bequeathed to mankind into interference power. These humanoid weapons which amplify their pilot’s psychic powers are called “Titanic Dowls,” or just “Dowls” for short. Dowls do not lose to other weapons, and are part of the Solar System Alliance’s unit, “Sophia,” who keep the world under the Alliance’s thumb.

    However, this will soon change when two Dowl Masters—Aoi Saotome and Reine Ward Takajo—have a fateful meeting at a high school in an aerial city.

    • Highway says:

      I have to apologize, I messed up and accidentally deleted your other comments (I thought they were in the approved page, and due to timeouts and distractions, they weren’t). Please feel free to resubmit them (especially the observations about Lu and Zhou 🙂 ) if you have the opportunity.

  3. zztop says:

    I think Lu & Zhou are just a 2 big super-otaku.

    See, Lu dresses like a rejected Dynasty Warriors ripoff for fights, a 15-yr old schoolboy for casual, and looks like a cartoon beastman.
    Zhou obviously watches too much Black Butler, and even goes around cosplaying as a butler even on missions.

    And they’re the deadliest agents of the Alliance? Pfft.

    • Highway says:

      Thanks for reposting. Since I don’t get caught in the spam filter anymore, I think your comments are #1 for number caught, although Hannox might have a higher percentage.

  4. zztop says:

    Some explanations:
    1)The Asian Alliance is a unified China and 2 Koreas. They are the typical evil dictatorship that want to colonise Japan for national glory.

    2)Miyuki’s magic serves to seal Tatsuya’s more extreme powers, unsealed with her kiss. This was implemented by the Yotsuba family as a means of controlling Tatsuya, to prevent him from ever turning on them.

    3)Auntie Maya fears Tatsuya’s powers, since they are stronger than hers. It directly threatens her position as one of the world’s strongest magicians. Vol 8 of the LNs elaborates on the history of the Yotsubas and how exactly Tatsuya ended up as he is.

    • Highway says:

      1) Gosh, no nationalism to appeal to the audience there. Just line up all the countries that the Japanese hate most on one side as the big bad guys.

      Are there similar shenanigans in the other families? Like I was kind of surprised that Katsuto Juumonji was claiming to be in charge. Have the heads of those other families been passed to the stronger children already?

      I have to say that I’d be really intrigued by the idea of a Mayumi Saegusa x Tatsuya couple. That really seems like it would be interesting to see how they get along, although it’s also been interesting to me how Mayumi has been the only one who questions Tatsuya’s abilities and choices in using his power, such as when she was the only one of the students who realized what Tatsuya did in the Monolith Code final with Regrowth. There’s interest on her part, but it’s tempered with a genuine fear at what he seems to represent.

      And I’m guessing that nobody is supposed to know that Miyuki and Tatsuya are Yotsubas?

      • zztop says:

        Pfft, a direct military Chinese invasion of Japan in real life is rather unrealistic. If they truly wanted to conquer Japan, they would do so through business acquisitions and economic takeovers.You spill less blood AND make profit!! 🙂

        LN readers say the whole Yotsuba thing’s supposed to be secret, although Tatsuya and Miyuki have revealed their secret family identities to the others in the later volumes.

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          Invading Japan Proper is a futile venture since:
          1) Logistics is a nightmare.
          2) No natural resources to exploit.

          Exactly the reasons why America used the bomb rather than go through with a naval invasion. They did the analysis for a naval invasion and the costs were pretty steep. The Kiri no Kantai’s tactic is much better: Naval Blockade.

          That said, China’s bullying/Mexican standoff over inconsequential islands such as the SENKAKU (there is no other name) islands is just a game of who blinks first.

        • Di Gi Kazune says:

          *WHAPS SPAMMY*

          spammy likes to eat theses.

        • Highway says:

          I think it’d be really tough to take over Japan through M&A (mergers and acquisitions), especially for the Chinese. The Japanese would probably rather have their companies go out of business, and enough of them are still closely held that it would be possible.

          I can see the Yotsuba thing coming out to some people, especially other Ten Master Clan members and Leo and Erika.

      • Wanderer says:

        I’m not sure the foreign nations are supposed to be the big bad guys. Sure, China and co. are often Japan’s enemies in the series, and so is the US unofficially (which is the USNA, in series), but the people who are presented as being the most evil and dangerous are generally the various people in charge in Japan. Particularly the leaders among the Ten Clans, although not exclusively them.

        And I’m guessing that nobody is supposed to know that Miyuki and Tatsuya are Yotsubas?

        As of the current point in translations, none of their schoomates have actually been told that Tatsuya and Miyuki are Yotsubas. Mayumi has been suspicious for a while, however, and Erika worked it out on her own during a conversation with Tatsuya and nearly had a panic attack when she realized that she’d almost blurted out something that the Yotsubas clearly wanted kept secret. Jumonji (who I will call by his family name because I can never remember his given name) possibly knows as well, but he’s so stoic nobody really knows what he’s thinking.

  5. mikazuki loser says:

    What about ichijou and miyuki ?

    • Highway says:

      While that’s an interesting couple, and Miyuki is the only person who’s interested Ichijou in any way like that, isn’t Miyuki currently in line to become the head of the Yotsuba clan? Or are they somehow disgraced by their parentage (that’s another thing that the anime just wasn’t clear enough on).

      I don’t think that they’d let the Ichijou and Yotsuba clans merge like that. A head marrying a non-head (like Mayumi marrying Tatsuya) would be a different story.

  6. Wanderer says:

    It wasn’t so much “industrial” espionage as it was “real” espionage. A foreign nation attempting to steal secrets and weapons in order to increase their military power. And then it turned into a smash-and-grab, which got its butt kicked, so they tried to turn it into an all-out invasion, which got obliterated.

  7. Wanderer says:

    Spammy, do I have to have a talk with you using my cudgel again?

    • BlackBriar says:

      Any talking to Spammy goes in one ear and comes out the other.

  8. BlackBriar says:

    While there’s no denying the massive info dumps on the show’s magical and scientific society, Mahouka as whole proved entertaining to watch. Even the ever present incest vibe became tolerable at a point. Besides trying to make sense of what’s what, I was put off by how stiff the lead Tatsuya was. That bugged me more than his OP nature but he loosened up a bit over time. For a guy who micro manages his composure, he sure has a capacity for bloodshed and doesn’t hesitate when it comes to dispatching enemies. That and his slight change of mood awarded him a second opinion.

    Not just Tatsuya, Miyuki shows she’s vicious when it comes to a fight. You can she takes a certain degree of pleasure in freezing any deemed a threat.

    As I was watching the final episode, I suddenly felt sad it was its last run. If a second season ever comes around, I’d be more than inclined to see it.

    • Highway says:

      I’d definitely watch a second season of it. I don’t know if Tatsuya really opened up or got less stiff, as much as we got used to the way he is and the way the show overall was.

      And yes, he was completely unmoved by killing bunches of people. But neither was anyone else in the main characters particularly squeamish about that. They know the stakes, they’re willing to end lives.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I don’t know if Tatsuya really opened up or got less stiff, as much as we got used to the way he is and the way the show overall was.

        I see where you’re come from. It’s like once a habit on something develops, it’s isn’t easy to notice until someone else points it out and Tatsuya’s attitude became the norm after a while.

  9. Foshizzel says:

    Woooooooooooo it’s over! FINALLY! Just kidding ill admit this was one series I kind of looked forward to seeing every time it updated, but ya Tatsuya was always “cool” even though he can do ANYTHING even bring back the dead and heal people which is fine cause “magic” so ya part of me is sad to see it end while the other half is glad to see it go…I know weird…

    I could see another season of this xD

    • BlackBriar says:

      Aside from the heavy exposition, Mahouka had a very Index/Railgun-like feel coming from it that couldn’t be shaken. Particularly how they viewed magic in a scientific and sophisticated manner. Out of the three arcs, Yokohama Disturbance was the most exciting.

  10. Di Gi Kazune says:

    We should have the Steven Siegal Awards: For ridiculously OP’ed MC that don’t get hurt despite the carnage. That is how I remember all of his movies…

    • BlackBriar says:

      If such an award ever existed, we wouldn’t have a lot of candidates because some MCs do get hurt even when they’re OP.

  11. AllenAndArth says:

    tatsuya is basically a nuclear bomb

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