Anime Vice News

THE IRREGULAR AT MAGIC HIGH SCHOOL #1 -- Special Review

Are you ready for a lesson in mumbo jumbo?

Join us as we view new pilots this season. See where they fit on the highly-scientific Rock-or-Suck Scale… FAIRY TAIL SEASON 2 -- BLACK BULLET -- THE COMIC ARTIST & HIS ASSISTANTS -- ONE WEEK FRIENDS -- MUSHI-SHI: THE NEXT CHAPTER -- BRYNHILDR IN THE DARKNESS -- CHAIKA THE COFFIN PRINCESS -- CAPTAIN EARTH -- NO GAME, NO LIFE

If I’d seen this pilot sooner, I would’ve bussed it with CAPTAIN EARTH and NO GAME, NO LIFE because it’s another, very pretty show that’s got nothing interesting going, plot-wise. And I knew that was going to be the case. Quite often, you really can judge a book by its cover in anime, and this show’s awkward title proved to be a reliable indicator of what was coming...

Anyway, somebody needs to edit together a super cut of every prologue giving viewers a history lesson on a post-Apocalyptic future’s backstory. We all could compare and contrast, and hopefully figure out how much of the exposition and ‘lore’ is actually needed for anybody to understand the show.

If we see a sign identifying this institution as a magical high school, and we see the students throw spells at one another, isn’t that really enough? You can establish the post-Apocalypse even more succinctly by just, y’know, showing some ruined city landscapes outside the school. Instead of burying us with an infodump, you could wait to explain the complicated political landscape of this world until the main characters actually deal with those things in the plot. EVA did that quite well.

I’m coming down a little harder on this for frontloading because I kept my eye on the time code from the beginning. A solid 14 minutes of continuous screen time is devoted to exposition here. More than half the episode, at the least. Even when we meet the creepily-incestuous brother and sister after the prologue, they’re literally just reciting excerpts from eachother’s character bios.

“I’ve always been reckless, little sister…”

“You’ve never been one to follow the rules, big brother…”

And so on. While the playful instructor who teaches them in magic was fun to watch, there’s no getting around that his scene is basically just another lesson. This is based on a light novel, but it really feels like a video game... with one exceptionally long tutorial.

Watch "Enrollment – Part I" and decide for yourself.

About the Author

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Marshal Victoryon April 29, 2014 at 2:12 p.m.

Hmm had no problem with the intro, the world build or the pilot. /shrug "Opinions vary" I supose?

Actualy with out that intro you wouldnt get that hes not a sub "weed" an was a soilder / Special forces type at one point. An that magic is not alacadabra type thing its more like formulas an gadgets. Its a intresting world build for me an has layered sub plots as it goes on.

sickVisionz moderator on April 29, 2014 at 4:18 p.m.

Just looking at the show it seems like these two go to some prestigious [insert institutional building] where teens are trained to use the power of [insert nonsense x] against an [ancient or incoming] threat. It's most likely that the [insert institutional building] is comprised almost entirely of [insert trait x] and these two, or really just the guy is actually [opposite of trait x]. Probably some harem or fish out of water shenanigans involved in it. At some point it will be revealed they or he is a [rebirth, reincarnation, or this generations]'s most talented user of [nonsense x] and saving the world or [insert institutional building] is up to him. At first they may seem like a fish out of water but they eventually make friends, reject their fate, then accept their fate and save the day, likely with the help of ragtag group of friends who [encourage or fight with] them.

The sci-fi Madlib anime shows are a dime a dozen.

takashichea moderator is online on April 29, 2014 at 8:02 p.m.

I hope this video clears some confusion. Like all light novel series, it gets unnecessarily complicated with the terminology.

Marshal Victoryon April 29, 2014 at 11:03 p.m.

@sickVisionz: So you just posted the plot of Twilight? Or Harry Potter?

sickVisionz moderator on April 30, 2014 at 7:03 a.m.

@Marshal Victory: And a few hundred anime.

hitsusatsu11on April 30, 2014 at 7:07 a.m.

I liked the first episode, Im going to pick this up and continue watching.

Marshal Victoryon April 30, 2014 at 8:18 a.m.

@sickVisionz: Not seeing the point of a generic list with multiple traits that could cover every thing from westerns to Star Wars but not his anime. Did ya watch this anime by chance?

zaldaron May 4, 2014 at 9:31 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: you like stuff why do easy Marshal....but I suppose that means you can have more fun, but really. A paint by numbers plot and pretty animation should NOT be enough...

Marshal Victoryon May 5, 2014 at 7:48 a.m.

@zaldar: Its not a grocery check list story. Heck by 4 its broadens its subplots to a nice degree. Easy? Where do ya get that its easy? Heck Toms gripe is that the jargan is gobblty gook because its bit hard to understand how the magic an world is set up.

Tho its not offering a lot new. Sure the world back ground is a touch different. Global ice age not warming caused a population decline an wars. Magic is kind of formula math like based a some times requires tech items to work properly. Main character an his sister have a shadow past running from one of the controlling families of the area. He may have had special forces training an every one keeps trying to push him into combat magic an he seems desperate to be a engineer not a combat mage.

Its not gone full on harem just normal school crush stuff. Brother an sister tho play the bro con sis con card a lot. Tho they are not related. An she does have a crush on him. An one of the subplots have a "humanist" non magic terrorist movement has took root in the school.

Problem some will have with the show is the main character is cool , calm an not a wussy. He does not have a harem of girls who beat him senseless. If any thing hes one of the rare leads you do not see much off any more in anime. Heck he wants to be a engineer not a combat type. But hes not gone all emotional about whats before him . Is just is with him an he deals with whats around him. That alone makes it not by the numbers easy check list... which the one @sickVisionz is broad enuff to cover Full Metal Alchemist an Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood to.

Oh an one more thing if the story is average but the animation is awesome that is just enuff for me. As I have been a long time fan of animation. Animation in an of it self is a story telling tool that can move a average story into something interesting for me.Same as bad camera work an special effects can ruin a good movie.

Dig Deeper into Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei is a franchise that started out as a light novel series.

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