The | Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei | Review ?

Welcome Back,

An anime of over poweriness, this anime just might be choice? 

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There are three very crucial aspects to this show that form a fissure among the viewers. If you are able to tolerate or enjoy these aspects, watch this show. If you find these elements unbearable then you should definitely walk away because they are ubiquitous throughout the entirety of the 26 episodes.

An over-powered protagonist. When I say over-powered I mean it in the most literal sense possible. This guy does not lose, ever. He’s a genius with combat capabilities surpassing every other person we encounter within the show. This world practically made him a god.

Someone tell Kira to take notes because becoming this guy is how you really conquer the world. You will never have to ponder who will emerge the victor, the contest was won as soon as our hero decided to make his appearance. If this aspect will bother you, DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW!!! This never proved bothersome to me.

I accepted the simple fact that this narrative would have a god in the driver’s seat and just enjoyed watching the moments when the other characters realized the true power our protagonist held.

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Exposition heavy dialogue. The dialogue can be said to bore some people to tears with the snail-like pace it moves at. In this story it’s not just that magic exists, no, there is a system to it.

This system that is more akin to science than the traditional wizards and wands style. The specifics of this system of magic, it’s integration into society, the social standing of those who can use magic, all of it is explored through the dialogue.

A fight with magic will occur and the next 10 minutes will be a discussion of the fight. History, politics, and a magic that behaves as science are all explored in heavy detail. If that sounds monotonous, pass on this title. Personally, I found this fascinating.

I loved that the author took time to craft a world filled with detail and societal nuances.

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Hints towards an incestuous relationship between the two main characters. With the main characters being an elder brother and sister who are very close, incestuous hints are littered throughout their interactions and thoughts.

This never impacted my enjoyment in the slightest, it’s a work of fiction, not myself. I can separate my own actions from that of the characters. Not to mention the simple fact that I could not think of any reason as to why incest is fundamentally wrong (potential genetic issues in offspring irrelevant, reproduction not mutually inclusive), but I digress.

If you dislike seeing siblings with a relationship that seems to go beyond the standard definition of a sibling relationship, then do not click play on that first episode.
For all of you who find yourselves unperturbed by the aforementioned elements then by all means, keep reading.

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Now, onto the standard format for reviewing on this site:

Story

This story is far from unique. Two new students showing up to a school and taking an ax to the beliefs and perceptions of the entire student body is nothing new. These siblings arrive and the foundations that everyone believed to be stable are shifted. That being said, I loved the execution of this concept in the world the author created.

In my exposition portion I mentioned that this world has an incredible amount of detail to it. Said detail is exactly why I love the idea of shaking the roots society stands upon. The school has a very discriminate social standing that our main characters are able to shatter.

Outside of the school itself we also have the governmental structure of Japan, foreign nations and terrorist groups, etc, etc. These components were all stacked together to build a world that felt real.

The narrative of this show is arc-based. This shouldn’t be surprising given that light novels serve as the source material. The arcs follow a logical sequence of time and progression, so a drastic disconnect between the episodes never seemed to exist.

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Art

The animation was fantastic. Madhouse once again came through in extraordinary fashion. The movement was fluid which was especially noticeable in the combat scenes. The back-drops were pleasant and the color palette was rich without feeling exceedingly vibrant.

The character designs are also something I found particularly nice. It’s an absolute fact that most men are going to be larger than women. Greater height, broader shoulders, simple size and body mass. Yet all too often this fundamental truth is all but forgotten in the world of anime.

But not in this series, no, the characters in this series are for the most part correctly proportioned. This also applies to females in the sense that they weren’t erroneously sized in their bust. Not being a fan-service show that may seem to be normal, but even then this show felt real in regards to how the characters were built.

The remainder of the character designs (faces, hair, etc, etc) were also pleasant. You won’t find exceedingly wacky hair styles or colors. The majority of the main and supporting cast were fairly individualistic in design, but there are a few noticeable exceptions where two characters will appear to be carbon copies of one another.

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Oh, and a special note: Coolest school uniforms ever. The end.

Sound

There’s not too much I can say in this department. The OST was good, but at the same time it wasn’t particularly special. Featuring a lot of techno music each scene was complimented well.

The voice acting was also solid. The respective actors managed to express the unique qualities of their characters. Their performances weren’t too stand-out or deserving of excessive praise, but at the end of the day I could say they did a good job.

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Characters

This section is probably pretty surprising. I mean, with an over-powered main character there’s no way he could actually be a good character, right? Well, this is where I disagree with many people. I am not one to say that “over-powered” and “bad character” are mutually inclusive terms. They can be synonymous, sure, but no subjective thought could ever be set in stone.

Tatsuya Shiba, or as I like to call him – Japan’s lord and savior, is a 16 year old genius who comes across as very calm and apathetic. He possesses almost no magical affinity but still shows up at the magic high-school to study as an engineer. His combat capabilities aside, I think Tatsuya is a good character.

He may come across as just a boring lump of clay with a sister-complex, but as we come to learn of his dry humor, logical manner of thinking, and direct mannerisms, my perception of him as a character was altered.

He never undergoes any sort of development, but we do get insight into his past, learning why he is who he is, discovering why he holds his sister so close to his heart.His emotionless attitude becomes sympathetic, bordering on tragic. 

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Then we have his sister, Miyuki Shiba. Her character can be summed up as this: “Onii-sama”. (And get used to that name, you’ll hear it a lot.) I kid, I kid, Miyuki harbors extreme love for her brother (so much so that it might as well he obsession), but she does have a few additional aspects that make up her personality.

(The name still stands, though. Many, many times will “Onii-sama” grace your auditory glands). Miyuki is in part the ideal daughter. She’s intelligent, capable, well-spoken, beautiful, her genetics and upbringing ensured she would be nothing but the best.

She’s also a girl who holds a great deal of resentment towards her family, simultaneously feeling extreme gratitude towards her brother. She has a massive brother complex and most of her actions are taken in an attempt to help her brother or make him proud of her. However, I do think that I am in the minority for finding Miyuki to be an interesting character.

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The large majority of those who watch this show find her to be bothersome and annoying. But fear not if you happen to be one of those who find her irksome, her initial presentation in the first few episodes changes slightly, accompanied by less screen time as the episodes progress.

The supporting cast is fairly large. You have the respective councils within the school, the normal students, military personnel, family members of students, etc. None of the supporting cast are particularly deep characters, but I wouldn’t classify them as complete cliches either.

On first glance these characters will seem to fall into a general archetype. Contrary to that initial perception, however, these characters do not fall into the pitfall that is stereotyping. As I said though, they are lacking in depth. Whilst walking the path of a character, Mahouka’s managed to get past the trap of cliches, but stopped short of the bridge of development.

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One element I loved about the cast on the whole was their perception and strength. Tatsuya will definitely steal the spot-light, but these characters are all skilled in their own regards Some fights they will manage alone, some explanations will come from their own lips. Tatsuya is ultimately the one who will save the day, but prior to his arrival we witness the remarkably adept capabilities of the cast.

A special shout-out for the best girl that is Mayumi Saegusa. The adorable student council president and the only character capable of trolling Tatsuya to the same caliber he trolls others.

Enjoyment

I won’t lie, I initially turned this show on after looking up shows with a bad-ass protagonist. I had watched one too many series with a weak male that had to be protected. One too many series where the protagonist was the only character to over-react to a situation. This show was a fulfillment of my wish to not watch a spiky-haired pansy get his ass kicked.

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I have two original blu-ray disks of this anime. If you guys want a give-away just mention it down in the comments…

I never expected an emotional narrative with compelling themes and deep symbolism, I just wanted a protagonist that would kick ass in a spectacular fashion, and this show delivered. The copious exposition was just a bonus for me who loves detailed world building.

Overall

I loved this show. The sheer amount of “Holy shit that was awesome” moments made this show great. From the first episode I never looked to see who would win, I just wanted to see how many jaws Tatsuya could drop when he showed the world how he won.

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All in all, if you want to watch two siblings who love each other very much kick some ass, accompanied by friends that talk about how the two siblings just kicked ass, watch this immediately.


That’s it…

Hope you liked today’s post !

As always, Stay Awesome, Keep Smiling

Adios !!!

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