I’ve decided for the new spring season, I’ll be covering a couple series on an episodic basis. On top of that, I’ll continue to do a weekly round up and briefly touch on other shows that I can’t really talk about all that much on a weekly basis. Anyways, with that said, here are my thoughts on Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei episode 1 (The Irregular at Magic High School).
The series started off with a prologue to help the audience understand their world a bit. In the future, the world’s population has been reduced down to three billion due to war. Nations are now in a sort of arms race, competing to see who can be the first to develop magicians.
After this prologue we’re introduced to the two main characters, Shiba Miyuki and Tatsuya. I must say, after hearing Miyuki’s voice, I was reminded a bit of OreImo (Hayami Saori voices Mitsuki as well as Ayase from OreImo). The relationship between the two siblings seems to be on the border between affection and respect. Miyuki shows a great deal of respect for her brother in her manner of speaking and addressing him. However, she seems to get easily flustered when they interact with each other. At a first glance, it seems to me that their relationship dynamics are a bit unusual (a bit “too close” for siblings). It looks like Tatsuya would do anything to protect his sister and has sacrificed a lot for her already. Miyuki seems to be burdened that her brother has been put into such a position because of her. As a result, she tries to do her best to make him happy because of the sacrifices he’s made for her. I’m hoping that this is where the line is drawn though and the relationship between the two doesn’t develop into anything besides sibling love.
Throughout this episode, we got to see a lot of Tatsuya’s personality even if it was only the first episode. From what we’ve been told, he’s gone against his father’s wishes to attend this school, and he’s a very analytical person. He’s had several monologues where just evaluates the situation at hand and handles it appropriately. His whole demeanor is very calm and relaxed. He hasn’t really shown any emotion so far but he tends to look at things from an objective perspective. It appears that he also lacks practical skills but makes up for it in his analytical ability and physical capabilities. However, in this world, only those who are able to use magic are considered an elite.
That leads me into my next point about the atmosphere of the series. There’s clearly discrimination between even the students who were privileged enough to attend this school. The students in class 1 feel as if they’re superior to the reserves and look down on them because of this. While everyone who attends this school is supposed to be considered an elite, there is a clear division among the student body. It’s like the paradox of “everyone is equal but some people are more equal than others” is applicable here. It doesn’t really make sense that they’re being divided since all of them have magical abilities and are considered to be special, yet a handful are considered to be more special and receive special treatment.
Overall, I thought this was a solid first episode to Mahouka. I’m not familiar with the light novels at all but I really enjoyed the set up of the world. There are a lot of tropes and stereotypes within this first episode but I found the execution of it to be better than I expected. The music and animation were both pretty high quality in my opinion and I’m looking forward to the next episode!
You can watch Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Episode 1 on Crunchyroll (may not be available in all regions)