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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – The Ballad of Magic Jesus


Descending down from heaven to wreck your shit. How exciting. Wee.

I’m going to piss some people off with that title, but I don’t care. It’s too much fun to pass up. Unlike this show.

Mahouka has the distinction of being the only anime I’ve ever dropped coverage for since I started writing for RandomC, so I felt honor bound to keep up with it for the monthly impressions, and write this post. That doesn’t mean I enjoyed watching it. That became exceedingly clear once I wasn’t bound to blog it every week.

For the longest time, I didn’t want to admit it. No—it wasn’t certain yet. A character can be powerful without sliding into that most awful of wish fulfillment failures, the Mary Sue. That died in recent arcs, along with every character who went against our protagonist-god. Where Tatsuya was once merely powerful, he’s now utterly broken. He can kill with a single shot, catch bullets, and even heal or resurrect his allies. Perfect offense, defense, and support. He is the one, the only, the everything. Tatsuya is not just a Gary Stu. Tatsuya is a living god. He’s Magic Jesus, and watching him do his thing has become a chore.

Mahouka isn’t all bad. There’s tremendous depth in the world, especially it’s magic system. It’s too dry for me, too technical—it’s an engineer’s magic system, more hard sci-fi than fantasy, and I’m a froofy words guy—but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. With more time to explain what exactly was going on—time I’ve been told the light novels gave it—it had the potential to suck you in, provided you could keep track of all the minutiae. Yes, anime isn’t the best medium for lectures, but it had potential at least.

The side characters were largely good as well—I would watch a magic high school action/romcom starring Erika, Leo, Mizuki, and Mikihiko in a heartbeat. They were all skilled, but not overly so, and there were interesting facets of their personalities. Ditto for many other characters. The women in particular were great, because while this could have easily been a chauvanistic endeavor like so many other stories, most of the female characters were strong, with as much steel in their spines as any man, and usually more.

Then comes Tatsuya and Miyuki. They are not good characters, at least how the anime portrays them. (I’ve been told that Miyuki was better in the light novels, but I’ve seen little of that here.) The onii-sama fawning brocon and her emotionally stunted god-aniki. Nothing can challenge Tatsuya but his family being a bunch of bitches, and Miyuki’s one-note onii-sama fetish wasn’t even enough to titillate. It was just boring. Add onto that weak enemies—I don’t remember who the enemies were for any of the arcs, including the one I finished fifteen minutes ago—and I was utterly bored any time these two were on the screen, save for the occasional snatch of witty dialogue. But that could always be traced back to other characters, not these two lead weights.

Off the top of my head, the only part I really enjoyed was when Tatsuya was going up against Masaki. That’s when powerful characters work—when they’re facing other powerful characters. A clash of the titans. Seeing him and his friends work together—even if it still largely hinged on Tatsuya—was a genuinely good moment. Everything since then has been a slog, and most before it. Tatsuya went from overpowered to a living god—Magic Jesus, but far more violent. More a natural disaster than a living god, and with all the emotions of the same.

I badly wanted this to be as good as people said. I wanted another Kyoukaisen, another impossible-to-adapt series that rewarded deep investment. Instead I realized how wise I was to drop coverage when it came time to do the monthly impressions. Every month, the post would be due in a day or two, and I hadn’t watched a single episode since the month before. Not a good sign.

So ends the Ballad of Magic Jesus. I can’t tell how much was bad adaptation and how much was a polarizing, niche source material that’s not for me, but I can’t honestly be said to care anymore. It’s been said (by me, and the Capturing God) that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy. I don’t hate Mahouka. I’ve given up entirely. A Gary Sue numbs the viewer to any sense of danger or excitement, and Tatsuya is the most overpowered Gary Stu I’ve ever seen in a published work.

And I thought Kirito was bad, but he’s nothing next to Magic Mass Murdering Jesus.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Comments re-enabled, I’m back!, Vacation, & a taste of what’s to come, and Life or death.

September 29, 2014 at 11:46 am
203 comments »
  • September 29, 2014 at 11:53 amAnon

    I dropped the anime after a few episodes and picked up the LNs under recommendation of others. I’ve read to volume 9/10, hoping that Tatsuya stops being magic Jesus, and he never does. Even when possible rivals appear, the LN doesn’t waste a sentence to make sure that everyone knows Tatsuya is better.

    So Stilts, I feel that your impression would not change even if you had picked up the LNs. The world building and side characters are much more interesting than Tatsuya and Miyuki

    • September 29, 2014 at 1:16 pmBlank

      I kept watching because of Mayumi Saegusa. And Mari Watanabe. And Erika, Mizuki, Honoka.

      • September 29, 2014 at 11:28 pmJuan

        Try the LN or even the manga, they are all much better characters there. The Anime pretty much made them mere shadows of their real selves

    • September 29, 2014 at 3:32 pmHeavensGuardian

      Of course Tatsuya never stops being a Gary Stu if you define the concept by whether or not he can lose a fight. What almost everyone who reads the books fails to understand, and what everyone involved in this disaster of a show didn’t understand or care about, is that the Mahouka books are posing interesting points about the nature of wish fulfillment.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 29, 2014 at 5:52 pmMechamorph

        I think HeavensGuardian hit the nail on the head. The anime dwells too long on trying to make Tatsuya “awesome” while the novel outright states that while he is very powerful, the people surrounding him (especially those of the Ten Master Clans) are all highly exceptional individuals as well. They also missed the whole point of Tatsuya’s own story arc.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • September 29, 2014 at 5:57 pmAnon

        Even if your interpretation is right (it does make a lot of sense), this is clearly not an aspect the novels have given proper attention to. If this is the main point of the series, the author should be putting a lot more emphasis on it.

        Secondly, Tatsuya unhappiness are not coming from being a Gary Sue, instead it comes from Show Spoiler ▼

        And although the two facts are related, you can’t really say this is a deconstruction of wish-fulfillment when the unhappiness is clearly artificially introduced.

      • September 29, 2014 at 9:29 pmSynic

        This. Exactly this. The focus in the anime was definitely aimed more at how bad ass Tatsuya could be. A lot of scenes (particularly Masaki vs Tatsuya) left me speechless as reading the novels gave me an extraordinary framework of what to judge the scene on (Oh baby, the flips and acrobatics). Lets just say there were a lot of replays. But if they had spent more time explaining the darker side of the Yotsuba family and Tatsuya’s inner struggle, i’m positive this would have brought about more tears than “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MY MAGIC JESUS!!!!!!!!!” moments.

        Yes i cried reading the LNs. I found it extremely depressing to find out about Tatsuya’s backstory.

      • October 2, 2014 at 3:58 amGiorno Giovanna

      • December 31, 2014 at 12:51 amMincemaker

        Until he died for our sins and rise up on the third day, I will never recognise him as our Lord and Saviour.

  • September 29, 2014 at 11:58 amJ_the_Man

    You badmouthed an anime, Stilts. Here comes the monster mob. I don’t think I can save you. Just wanna let you know, you were always my favorite Ecchi-blogger (even though I don’t watch Ecchi). Fare thee well. The good always die too young.

    • September 29, 2014 at 12:02 pmStilts

      Bring it on! The man with the Iskander avatar is standing beside me! I can weather any—erh, wait. You can’t save me? Iskander can’t save me?

      Eep.

      • September 29, 2014 at 12:55 pmJ_the_Man

        Sadly, I am not the man. I am merely an admirer of the man, the victim of another OP as all get out character.

      • September 29, 2014 at 1:34 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Don’t worry, Stilts, I’ll always stand beside you!

        *ties on headband and becomes the second coming of Tank Man, only up against mobs of angry fans rather than tanks…mobs most likely being far more dangerous*

      • September 29, 2014 at 10:21 pmMgMaster

        Many of us will stand with you Stilts but I don’t know if we do anything to stop The One True God of All Stus’s divine wrath. But alas, let’s not repent and perish with dignity!

      • September 29, 2014 at 11:34 pmJuan

        No worries Stilts I think most of the true fans of the LN would rather mob the production team than you. All the ones I’ve spoken to are disappointed with just about everything with this adaptation

  • September 29, 2014 at 11:59 amMartianMage

    heh it’s kinda funny how Miyuki was explaining the supposed downsides of His regrowth spell. The way He was spamming it looks like this downside is almost non-existent to One True Tatsuya so I’m not sure if that downside is supposed to make us more sympathetic for Him or just another reason to make One True Tatsuya look more badass.

    • September 30, 2014 at 1:15 amSaiyaGin

      I agree, I couldn’t take that seriously either.

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:04 pmLitho

    Not Grade A anime by a long shot, but I actually found this bearable. Tatsuya was a breath of fresh air after watching so many other action anime protags squeek in their girly voices going “tsuyoku naritai” or “chikuso” or etc bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still dishwater, but he’s less gross compared to most of his gutterfilth contemporaries. For me, the chore was mainly Miyuki.

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:11 pmAnon

      Agree with you, that’s why it was so fun in the beginning. But then got stale as time went on since character development moved at a snail’s pace.

      • September 29, 2014 at 8:00 pmLitho

        I think the main problem with the anime adaptation (compared to the light novel – I’ve read up to vol.10) is the lack narration and internal monologue. The lack of either basically butchers the characters.

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:09 pmbaka~

    If we’re going to talk about OP-AS-**** MC’s, I’d rather pick Izayoi from Mondaiji than Mahouka’s Shiba. While both are technically overwhelming characters, I guess Izayoi’s candid personality shines brighter than Shiba’s cold and emotionless facade. Darn, I wish they get to continue that series =/

    • September 29, 2014 at 12:16 pmStilts

      Izayoi is an excellent example of how to do overpowered characters properly, as are Kuuhaku from No Game No Life (though Sora & Shiro actually have weaknesses, albeit ones that only rarely come into pay). They’re both titans, but since they’re constantly going up against powerful foes—in both cases, the whole damn world, including other living gods—they’re entertaining to watch.

      Plus the fact that Izayoi and Kuuhaku actually have personalities, not to mention interesting ones, makes them a lot more fun. Little-s stoics like Tatsuya are utterly boring unless you pull a Gladiator and bury them under so much pain that only someone emotionally numb could battle through it. But Maximus could actually feel, whereas Tatsuya cannot. That makes all the difference.

      • October 1, 2014 at 8:42 pmhaseo0408

        Fighting living gods, reminds me a little of Campione! as well. All the God Slaying Devil Kings in the story are completely invencible against mortals, even if all magicians and armies of the world band together they cannot dedeat a single one of them; the interesting part is that it´s a whole different stoy if they face a god or a fellow Devil King, you can see two unstoppable crashing with all their might breaking the earth and ripping apart the heavens. Also each of the Kings is son insane in his own way that is a blast to see in action, Tatsuya in the other hand is a robot.

    • September 29, 2014 at 12:38 pmwhemleh

      I think a key difference between overpowered characters like Tatsuya and Izayoi is the way they’re portrayed by the narrative they inhabit. Mondaiji made no bones about Izayoi, they came out and told us he’s completely overpowered, and that they’re going to have fun with that. Granted, I haven’t watched most of Mahouka, but it seemed they were trying to pretend Tatsuya wasn’t anime-jesus. This was a grave mistake.

    • September 29, 2014 at 1:30 pmPancakes

      The issue is not Tatsuya’s OPness as much as there is nothing else beyond the OPness. Gary Stus and other wish fulfillment substitutes can be fun to watch (Kirito in SAO, Kuuhaku in NGNL as Stilts mentioned), but there needs to be more than just total devastation on their part. Specifically, Gary Stus need to be shown to struggle and actually have to try. Just going around kicking people’s asses without lifting a finger or breaking a sweat simply grows boring after a while.

      This is why Tatsuya in its current form is terrible and completely broken, there is nothing beyond his powers or capabilities that seemingly annihilate everything without so much a flicker of perspiration. Just take his “resurrection” capabilities for example, he takes in all the pain, but it does not even register on his face. The “good” Gary Stus are always the ones that appear to actually be human when performing their miracles.

      • September 29, 2014 at 1:48 pmStilts

        The “good” Gary Stus are always the ones that appear to actually be human when performing their miracles.

        That’s a really good way to put it. A character can be OP as long as they remain essentially human.

      • September 29, 2014 at 2:37 pmYakuman

        ^ This. I completely agree with you, even Kirito struggles to defeat his opponents, at least initially. He’s an overpowered Gary Stu without a doubt, but at least he has to go through various hardships to take care of his role in the story and become every girl’s savior. I can symphatize with him, I have fun watching his fights.
        Contrast to him, Tatsuya is simply painful to watch. Not only he’s effortless in dealing with his foes, he actually does not need to go as far as killing so many people or at least the story does not emphasize the need to do so. It comes off as if he slaughters all these people just because it’s the easiest way to deal with them. And that’s so wrong. Actually I enjoyed Tatsuya’s (lack of) personality when he was simply living his daily life, but when it came to fighting, I couldn’t follow with my feelings.
        It’s a shame because despite all of the incomprehensible technoblabber and pacing issues, Mahouka started off as a fun series to watch, then somewhere during the last arc the characters and the world just came apart and it felt like they do not belong to the same story. Mahouka was about some high school kids, why put them through international conflicts, conspiracies, and other adult stuff? It’s not like they were the only capable people in the world.

      • September 29, 2014 at 5:57 pmboingman

        The brutality really didn’t sit well with me.

      • September 30, 2014 at 9:55 pminanis

        mm i was under the impression that one of the points was that the MC was NOT really a human? more like a experiment crafted by his motheras a “magic” walking weapon? people seems to judge this MC thinking hes a normal person… but hes not?

        atlest he didnt pull out a Sleine move and killed the whole cast.

    • September 29, 2014 at 1:52 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      Yeah, if you’re going to make OP/Gary Stu/Mary Sue main characters, then you need to have equally OP characters to stand against them to give those characters an actual challenge, make those main characters at least interesting to watch somehow (usually quirky personalities or a deep back-story), and/or make the plot itself and the side characters that are actually “human” (compared to the main character) interesting to keep the viewer engaged.

      The only thing this really had were likable side characters, but not much else. As an anime viewer, I instantly fell in love with Mari, Mayumi, Erika, Mizuki and Honoka, lol. And I did want to like Miyuki, I really did, and I even thought she was adorable (and hot) when she was first introduced…but sadly, she quickly came off as more of a synthoid whose sole purpose was to ogle, praise, and defend Tatsuya. I also heard Miyuki was much better in the source material, but it seems none of that actually translated into the anime.

      The other thing to add about Tatsuya’s OPness is that, even with how strong, skilled, and/or experienced some of the other characters were, they were quickly melted down to simply deferring to Tatsuya for things. Seeing Mayumi and Mari do that shortly before I dropped it (I even forget what it was about, but I think it was shortly after the Seven Schools Arc began) just cemented it for me.

      Frankly, in the end, I’ve read several fan-fictions that pulled off such things much better than this…

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm4bdn

    Well, Im only watching this because of the animation. It would have been great if Tatsuya decided to pick one of the girls for a change or revealing some of his secrets. The light novel is getting boring for me but I will still read it though.

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:37 pmdcostaz

    I enjoyed this show pretty much.

    I’m sorry you found it to be a big let down Stilts. I for one, never expect too much out of any show and procure to just enjoy the good the bad and the ugly.

    I do find my self drawn to Tatsuya type of overwhelming character as the lead. If one thing could be said of the character is that it is consistent all through the anime. Maybe this is what I most enjoyed … hmmm.

    All that said, I always enjoy reading your posts, thank you for taking the time to share your views with us.

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:42 pmsilke13

    Onii-sama, Onii-sama, Onii~~~~~~~~samaaaa~~~~~~~!!!

    • September 29, 2014 at 7:36 pmJoe

      Kurosaki-kun…Kurosaki-kun….Kurosaki-kun!

    • September 29, 2014 at 10:26 pmMgMaster

      I wanted to count them but that would’ve required going through the extreme boredom of watching a good part of the show again. Luckily, someone made sure to keep track of them, all 167 of them.

      • September 30, 2014 at 1:13 amSaiyaGin

        Wow, that must’ve been quite some work to do! I am happy to see that Jesus Onii-sama and his lovely sister have such loyal followers.

      • September 30, 2014 at 4:47 amErimaki

        Wait, there were episodes where she didn’t say it? Three, even?
        This has completely changed my world-view!

      • September 30, 2014 at 6:00 amlytterbug

        The ’3.79 onii-sama/min’ part had me rolling. No doubt more entertaining than the anime itself.

      • September 30, 2014 at 8:03 amStilts

        The onii-sama count is far less awesome than the Log Horizon glasses adjust count. Probably about as numerous (3.79 onii-sama/min, HAH!), but scary shiny glasses adjust is the best >:D

      • September 30, 2014 at 10:12 amckuri

        Actually, the have the unit wrong. It’s not 3,79 Oniisamas/minute – that would be really … exhausting – but rather 3,79 minutes/Oniisama.

      • October 1, 2014 at 4:32 amGiorno Giovanna

  • September 29, 2014 at 12:52 pmPurple Bomber

    I agree with everything you’ve said Stilts, but it’s for those same reasons that I actually enjoyed the anime. I just find it hilarious how overpowered Tatsuya is, and the escalation never let me down in “he did WHAT?!” moments. I suspect that novelty would wear thin if this had a second season and the adaptation kept the same pattern, but for the 25 episodes it got I managed to derive a twisted enjoyment of it.

    (also I did pick up the LNs behind the animes, so I can attest to the lost portions of character development)

    • September 29, 2014 at 1:01 pmStilts

      That actually makes sense. The line between “This is ridiculous” and “This is ridiculous, LAWL” is fine, and which side a story strikes you is as much about the particular viewer at that particular moment as it is about the story. I could easily have seen myself falling on the LAWL side, but alas, it was not to be. Thus I got a slog instead of a hilariously bad, unintentionally funny trainwreck.

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:02 pmboingman

      One of the last episodes where Miyuki used a spell to wash away all the blood of his clothes comes to mind. And later the resurrection of his school mates. LAWL all around.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:10 pmMartialBob

    I have to agree with the “magic jesus” point, especially where the fight with Masaki is concerned. Leading up to that fight Tatsuya specifically said that in an all out fight he might not be able to defeat Masaki. Their fight was entertaining especially when you remember just how much they were holding back. After these last couple episodes I have no idea how Tatsuya ever thought Masaki would even be a challenge.

    • September 29, 2014 at 2:43 pmYakuman

      A serious Masaki vs Tatsuya duel would be like: they shoot at each other, Masaki disappears into oblivion while Tatsuya blows up from the inside. The author should totally go with his ending xD

      • September 29, 2014 at 7:22 pmFlameStrike

        I believe it’s related to how Tatsuya’s self regeneration power works. His magic calculation area in his brain automatically reloads him when he falls below a certain hp level, however if Crimson used his EXPLODE power his brain would be destroyed too, thus no more regeneration. Going by this logic a sniper could work against him, if that sniper a few episodes back hit his head instead of his chest that probably woulda finished him off. On the other had this means he’s probably immume to decapitation XD.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:14 pmWeird D

    I stopped watching after the 10th episode or so… Can’t remember which. So I can’t comment on Tatsuya beyond him having the personality of a lobotomized autist. No, what I couldn’t stomach anymore back then was Miyuki. Seriously, all her lines involved ‘Onii-sama’ somehow, either talking to her onii-sama, or ‘don’t badmouth Onii-sama’. That’s it. The girl couldn’t speak about anything else.

    • September 29, 2014 at 4:40 pmx

      Well, your description isn’t too far from one of the problems he has (in the story), so I’d say that part of the portrayal was “well done” :p.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:20 pmPancakes

    Was wondering when you’d get around to posting this Stilts :P

    Without a doubt Mahouka is the new SAO, it is the perfect storm of everything not to do when writing a story. We have the all encompassing (almost to the point of suffocating) MC whose effulgence blinds all, shallow secondary characters which either don’t register or have a difficult time doing so under the weight of the MC, and even shallower villains which seemingly serve no purpose beyond showing how bloody OP the MC is.

    The key issue with Mahouka though concerns its world building. Simply put, there is too much of it. Mahouka is what happens when an author gets incredibly involved in his world, filling out all the minute details and events, spending hours getting the floor plans correct or the order of prayers in a fictional religion. Once all the necessary pieces have been arranged, all the mammoth essays completed on world history and who likes who, then author suddenly realizes “sh*t, I don’t have a story to go with this world!”. It is in this epiphany where Mahouka was born. There’s no denying Mahouka has a deep lore and well-designed universe, but its story feels like an afterthought, haphazardly thrown on top of the world building in order to show off the world building. The result is a story that becomes overwhelmed by the details and unable to provide the most important parts of any tale: entertainment, suspense, thoughtfulness. Rather than entertainment, Mahouka comes across as a scientific paper, filled with an immense amount of information, but only interesting for a select few already infatuated with the topic at hand.

    The lesser issue concerns the author himself. Characters such as Tatsuya don’t just come about at random, they are either deliberately designed as such or result from dilettantism due to a severe lack of experience. Personally I suspect the latter here, especially considering how Mahouka IIRC was orignally meant to be a game. Tatsuya was simply the most efficient means for the author to showcase his world and its magic system, just give the MC all the interesting stuff and then there is no need to better flesh out other characters. As a result Tatsuya transcends the Gary Stu label because he was not meant as an selfish insert, rather he was designed to be a total showoff in the most literal sense. Instead of deliberately destroying everything as a means of wish fulfillment, Tatsuya destroys because the author knows no other way to “properly” (in his mind) show off his world building.

    In the end Mahouka IMO cannot be ranked much higher than “poor” to “below average” (~3.5/10), it is an adaptation which arguably should not have been made due to the nature of the source material and the lack of a well entrenched story that is a requirement for a visual medium like anime. Fans of the series will definitely get more out of it (as they already know what’s going on), but for anime only viewers there is not much to really grab you and pull you in as Mahouka lacks the parts necessary for an engaging visual story. Mahouka in its adapted form only serves to teach one important lesson: it is better to write the story before the world, that way you can fit the world into the story than trying to get the story to cover the world.

    • September 29, 2014 at 1:57 pmStilts

      Stories that are about the world as much as the narrative can work. James Cameron’s Avatar comes screaming to mind. But the key is to make the story simple and the characters archetypal if the real character you’re going to be focusing on is the world. It’s weak in a way, lopsided, but not necessarily bad if done properly. (Once again, Avatar)

      Mahouka in anime form didn’t set up the story well though, and it’s a shitty world for the visual medium. Avatar was designed to wow with visuals, so it worked. This was designed as a thesis, which is better in writing. It all got snarled in the transition.

      As for whether it’s better to create the story, characters, or the world first, I’ve wondered about that a lot myself. I can personally attest that doing any of those first can result in imbalances; the world cannot revolve around the characters, nor the world around the story, nor any permutation thereof. They need to work together, so to some degree they must be created in parallel.

      For example, for my book I created the characters and the world first, with an idea of where the story would go, but not a firm one. I then spent years (literally) trying to make the story work. I eventually arrived at a solution, but had I developed them in parallel at first—especially the characters. Those I think need to follow the story and the world more than I did the first time around—I would have saved a lot of time.

    • September 29, 2014 at 2:10 pmStilts

      Actually, I ended up rattling off a post at Stilts Out Loud about this: What comes first: world, narrative, or characters? Thanks Pancakes!

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:26 pmoliviaven

    Stilts, you better watch your mouth or Tatsuya will smite you with his almighty giant magnifying glass.

    Jokes aside, I would have been less disappointed if they didn’t keep replaying the 2-3 OSTs over and over again. They weren’t great either. I’m not expecting Kyoukaisen level, but come on! 26 episodes of 2-3 OSTs? So obvious the Iwasaki half assed the OSTs while he worked on Akame ga Kill and Kuroshitsuji at the same time.

    • October 2, 2014 at 9:55 pmx

      Agreed. This was bad.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:27 pmbolton

    Took a long break from this site and it’s amusing to see this right under the pinned(?) Fall schedule. While I didn’t get to see Magic Jesus go off on the mobs of silly enemies who dared to face him, I can definitely say that I saw the emotionless trait of Tatsuya being a problem. And while I am never one to automatically knock bro or siscons out, Miyuki was definitely annoying from the start.

    Hope you don’t get too much flak for speaking your mind against this series. While I didn’t watch it myself, I enjoyed seeing my initial impressions align somewhat to how I thought it would end.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:36 pmMisk

    Yeah, I think I’ll grab Bible next time I want some Jesus action. I don’t understand how I managed to finish this anime.

    • December 31, 2014 at 1:03 amMincemaker

      Huge sections of the Bible, the Old Testament especially, ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY THE BOOK OF NUMBERS, are incredibly dry and very difficult to actually stay interested in. If you can finish all of that you can definitely sit through this anime no problem.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:43 pmZephyr

    I’ll just say part of me had hoped the series would be as good as some people claimed it would be, but ultimately my previews of the initial part of the source and weariness at potential adaptation issues had me putting this series firmly as a moderate. Got a lot of flak about it, but in hindsight (for better and for worse) it was right on the mark (and possibly even a bit generous in some regards).

    Just goes to show how a lot of details doesn’t equate to being a good story, how having an overpowered character that pretty much overshadows not only the other characters but practically the whole magical system itself doesn’t work well, and how some series just don’t adapt well from one medium to another.

    One could go into a long essay about the problems that plagued this adaptation, and honestly, it was kind of sad seeing how far this show fell. I won’t go carrying over this impression to the light novel because I haven’t read it, but I’ll just say it’s been a long time since I’ve disliked an anime this much. Every knows the qualms I had with Sword Art Online’s developments, but in the end it’s as you say, just as Kirito is nothing compared to Tatsuya, the issues I had with SAO don’t compare to the issues I had with the Mahouka anime, which was flawed all around in terms of execution, direction, and development.

    • September 29, 2014 at 2:31 pmStilts

      That’s one point for RandomC’s shady anticipation level council! Now if only we didn’t keep screwing up all the others…

      I kid, I kid. But yeah, you had that one dead to rights. I’m glad me’n Zani listened to ya.

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:03 pmSK

      I wanted more tempered expectations going in, so I supported your decision of moderate. Very rarely do hyped shows meet expectations, so I appreciated what I thought was a reasonable decision, though the fan in me wanted mod-high. If it turns out as I hoped, then it’s a pleasant surprise. If it turns out as you guys had it pinned, then while fans of the original might be somewhat disappointed, new viewers are more likely to enjoy a show that meets expectations rather than underwhelming. I’ve learned this before, and learned it again; don’t pin everything on what you think of the source, but on how it might fare in an adaptation. You guys generally do a good job with your anticipation levels, so keep up the good work!

    • September 29, 2014 at 11:34 pmMgMaster

      Every knows the qualms I had with Sword Art Online’s developments, but in the end it’s as you say, just as Kirito is nothing compared to Tatsuya, the issues I had with SAO don’t compare to the issues I had with the Mahouka anime, which was flawed all around in terms of execution, direction, and development.

      This realization is the reason why I don’t regret watching Mahouka, despite probably being the most boring anime I stuck through all the way ’till the end. I’m assuming you mean the 1st season of SAO here and not the superior S2. Heck, I even regretted being so harsh with it because Mahouka reminded me how much worst it could’ve been.

      • September 30, 2014 at 4:09 amZephyr

        Yes. That said, I have my own set of qualms with S2 (especially with the recent episodes), but the latter was definitely a better watch than the first.

  • September 29, 2014 at 1:52 pmShrubbery

    I expected more hate, seems many people agree with this post so far, including me

    • September 29, 2014 at 2:22 pmStilts

      I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

      *ducks back into his bomb shelter*

      • September 29, 2014 at 4:16 pmZephyr

        Bomb shelter won’t do you any good when Tatsuya comes for you.

      • September 29, 2014 at 6:43 pmEuphonia

        I don’t think there’s anything on Earth that can actually protect someone from Tatsuya. They guy would probably turn the entire bomb shelter into energy and blow up half a continent.

      • September 30, 2014 at 4:51 amErimaki

        Pfft, vaporizing the bomb shelter? Too much effort. He’ll just use his super senses or whatever it was to look through the walls and turn everyone inside into ash.
        Like that one bus.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:03 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    Love, love, love broken characters! Underdog is overated and usually B.S…repent ye sinners!! granted aside from a few action sequences, this show was utterly forgettable.
    …,…..
    Matter of fact, what are we talking about again???

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:04 pmJhacks

    Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – The Ballad of Magic Jesus

    Lolz! If this was the actual title of the show I may have picked this one up. Glad I have dodged a bullet on this one.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:21 pmWatcher

    I love what I’ve read of the LN (paused during a slow stretch in vol 6, intend to continue at some point). But every criticism you mention is completely valid. Tatsuya doesn’t offend me, and I basically just get a shounen battle manga-like thrill out of seeing him so powerful, so that + all the great side characters = what I like about Mahouka. …Well, I’ve been spoiled to the development which apparently this series ends on, so I’m not sure how I’ll feel about that.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:25 pmJason Isenberg

    Well Kira, congratulations for lasting this long but we got a new Jesus in town and his name is Tatsuya, BOW DOWN TO YOUR CREATOR!

    • September 30, 2014 at 1:18 amSaiyaGin

      Yeah, the days when Jesus defeated his enemies are over.

      • September 30, 2014 at 1:31 amSaiyaGin

        Sorry, I meant ‘defeated them without killing them’.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:28 pmFT5.Havok

    Tatsuya can basically do anything! What a do you call a character like him? Flawless and so OP!

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:30 pmpaulrenzo

    I was supposed to go in saying that I’m the only one who like this show precisely because of the reason the author hates this show. Glad some people share my sentiments. Also the idea that Tatsuya is OP despite being “weak” with respect to the standards of the show’s universe.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:37 pmMentar

    Haaaaaah. You know, Stilts, I almost feel like I owe you an apology. As one of the loudest proponents of Mahouka pre-airing and early on, I almost feel partially “responsible” for this mess. Feels yucky. Ick. Sorry for that.

    On the first episode, I was hunting down the original capture before the raws were out. By episode 8, I started to watch only once the sub was out, and by ep14, I only started to accumulate the eps and skipped through them with fast-forward when I had something to drink. That’s how frustrated I was about the conversion. Really, really bad.

    I still love Mahouka – I really like the manga conversions (save the Yokohama conversion), and I love the light novels, all their partial shortcomings notwithstanding. But this anime was disastrously bad. Unskilled, sloppy, bad pacing, emphasis on all the wrong things while cutting out the critical parts, and, most damningly, the total distortion of the two most important characters besides Tatsuya: Miyuki and Mayumi. They were reduced to mere caricatures, while they are the characters really CARRYING the story. Both of them are the most popular characters in any popularity contest by far, while in the anime they were completely insufferable (Miyuki) and boring-slow (Mayumi).

    In a way I’d almost be curious to ask you if you’d see a substantial difference between anime and manga, but after this disaster I don’t dare ask ;)

    So, back to the novels it is. Sorry for the mess!

    • September 29, 2014 at 4:02 pmFool

      That’s right man, you should be sorry, and not just to Stilts. Because of your hyper-vehement advocacy when this was starting, knowing you generally have pretty good taste, I ended up forcing myself through the first arc in the hopes that the show would eventually get better, but of course it didn’t. Damn you, fool, for making me waste my time with this anime, lol, j/k

    • September 29, 2014 at 4:03 pmStilts

      No worries, no worries. You weren’t the only one hyped for this anime, and you’re wise enough to see when it all goes to shit, lol. And even if the LNs or manga are better, I shant be partaking. The world building is still too dry and engineer-esque for me to seek out.

    • September 30, 2014 at 5:17 amErimaki

      In a way I’d almost be curious to ask you if you’d see a substantial difference between anime and manga, but after this disaster I don’t dare ask ;)

      Since I’ve read the first arc and the beginning of the second in manga form, I would like to give my opinion on this:

      You adressed this below already, but the manga gives considerably more focus to characters like Mayumi, Mari and basically everyone not named Tatsuya, so that’s already a huge point to its favor. Just for example, Mayumi’s introductions in the two adaptations give a completely different first impression of her.

      There’s also slightly more monologues and things are explained more coherently. I admit reading those technical explanations at your own pace works way better for me than listening/watching them for several minutes. So the monologues are balanced better than the ones in the anime. (And explaining things in a way that sits well with me is much better than not explaining things too).

      The dry and engineer-esque world brought up by Stilts is still a problem but the manga handles that slightly better than the anime (and I seem to be more tolerant about that anyways). I can’t see myself reading Mahouka as text-only work, but the manga has pretty nice balance between visuals and text. (For the record, my enjoyment-based MAL rankings of the manga and anime have a three rank difference.)

    • September 30, 2014 at 9:57 amGermanguy

      No Worries, this Seed and Bloom at the start catches me. Serious themes at work. But then when this Arc ended, and the other began. More and more of my Firewood got lesser and lesser. At the end, i just “forced” me to watch (me, after the Tournament Arc..) to write some “germanguy” Short story Appetizers

      But then, this Show ended with a Big Bang. But a Big bang that “Hawks” Politics faction would be proud of..

    • October 1, 2014 at 10:45 pmFlayvor Of Evil

      I feel as if the anime is missing too much of the subtlety that makes the light novels exciting to read. In the novels, after Tatsuya nukes China, some of his fellow officers literally crap their pants at his overwhelming power. In the anime, they’re just like “meh, just another day in the office” All of the small details that make something good are missing and we’re just left with a big blob of a story. That being said, the Masaki vs Tatsuya thing was the best part about this show.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:43 pmdarkkodiak

    Tatsuya as a character is fine as is. For me, the problem is that we don’t see how his personality affect other people. He can be an OP character and doesn’t need strong opponents to challenge him. What I was hoping to see is the interaction he has with other people on a social level, as his stoic personality is a weakness for those situations. Not only that but it was hinted that while he has very little emotion, he does cherish the few that he has left. Granted, they are for his sister but it would seem both Tatsuya and Miyuki would benefit as characters if their back story were fleshed out. I could be wrong here but it seemed Miyuki’s feelings for Tatsuya is rooted in gratitude because of what he had to sacrifice for her.

    • September 29, 2014 at 3:07 pmSK

      The next arc is mostly a flashback to Miyuki and Tatsuya’s past.

    • September 30, 2014 at 10:54 pmJuan

      The next volume explains why Miyuki is like that. Actually it’s quite the logical explanation. IF you want to know the reason click the spoiler

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • December 30, 2014 at 1:12 amAndmeuths

        Had that come first instead of a very brief, contextualess snippet of the entire event, we’d have been saved alot of problems regarding Miyuki’s character. At least we have a starting point of understanding why Miyuki treats Tatsuya with a degree of reverence, and can start asking whether this is about control, fear, genuine respect, her view of “making ammends” (from her warped , Yotsuba to the core viewpoint) or a combination thereoff.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:53 pmAndré

    Mahouka’s plot is not very good. I have NO IDEA of WTF is going on. Let’s see if I can answer some questions about it.

    Who are the bad guys?
    Some random government organization from another country… Maybe.

    Why the bad guys are attacking?
    I Don’t know, really, I have no idea.

    who is the main character?
    Some random special officer who owns a company and studies during the day… Maybe.

    HOWEVER, I still watch it every week because the characters are interesting and action is decent… But I can’t say it has a good story because at this point I have no idea about what’s happening and I don’t really care.

    It’s like Metal Gear… I enjoy watching the cut-scenes, but that doesn’t mean I know what’s going on and who are the people involved in the plot.

    • September 29, 2014 at 3:00 pmAndré

      But I like Tatsuya… God-like character who just kills everyone easily are pretty awesome. When they’re doing it, I’m like: “hell yeah, destroy them, DESTROY EVERYONE!”. And when they’re not doing it, I’m thinking: “ok, when we’re gonna have another battle to see EVERYONE diying?”.

      These types of characters MUCH better than the typical shounen NOOB who cries and suffers during the whole story. I want more god-like killing machines.

  • September 29, 2014 at 2:56 pmAsrialys

    Tatsuya was pretty ridiculous. I thought some big antagonist would show up for the final arc. In the end, it felt like 26 episodes of exposure and build-up. Perhaps the head of the Yotsuba family is the antagonist, but that was only slightly suggested.

    Mayumi was my favorite part of the show.

  • September 29, 2014 at 3:16 pmWanderer

    Now that I have gotten into reading the Mahouka light novels, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a series that should never have been animated. Sure, it looks very pretty, and when things do happen they can look nice when animated, but an incredibly huge portion of the series is made up of stuff that is very uneventful to look. Also, the internal monologues and narration that were all cut out because an anime just can’t have exposition dumps every five seconds, actually provide a good amount of the charm of the series.

    I really think that the writing style for Mahouka is just incompatible with an animated medium, and that it was a mistake for them to try.

    • September 29, 2014 at 5:20 pmMentar

      You know… I don’t think that it’s necessarily absolutely “incompatible” with an anime conversion, but it would have required an entirely different approach, AND it would have required a really excellent scriptwriter and director. And alas, unfortunately we didn’t, just the opposite.

      This is what – in my opinion – it would have needed to pull this off:

      1) Complexity reduction of the magic details. Yes, hardcore fans of this aspect would have objected, but the balance for an ANIME would have required a toning-down. Those who absolutely demanded the details still could have read the novels.

      2) Use implicit storytelling. Fit more details in less screentime. The story wasted so much time with wooden static character faces doing nothing while Tatsuya would bore the audience with Too Many Details Almost Nobody Cares About [tm], to follow up with half a minute of oniisama worship and friend praise that I actually key-bound “fast forward 30 seconds” on my media player just for Mahouka.

      3) The backbreaker for me was the cardinal sin to strip the critical internal dialogue from characters – especially Miyuki and Mayumi – thus robbing the (in the novel) fairly multilayered characters of their depth, almost entirely. Unforgivable. I would argue that you can only really “get” Miyuki after the Reminiscence arc (volume 8) which was not animated, but killing her important internal dialogue entirely totally backfired and made her seem shallow and dense, instead of the torn girl sitting in a brake-less car headed for the cliff that she is, who is playing her cards close to her chest, yet knows much more than she lets on. And Mayumi… I would ask everyone to compare the anime to the first 10 chapters of the manga. The real Mayumi is a quick-thinking, playful and teasy Minx, capricious and impulsive, who only “calms down” in crises. The anime Mayumi was dour and slow – the entire opposite. These characters carry the “normal” story. How can you mutilate them like that?

      I would still argue that the friendly interpersonal banter between the characters were the _best_ parts of the show. And it could have been so much better in competent hands.

      4) Adjust the balance. We don’t NEED the Tatsuya worship emphasized, we need the opposite (in the LN, this aspect still exists, but in a much lesser form). Let the deeds speak for themselves. It feels like misusing quality stereo equipment: Turning bass and treble to maximum does NOT improve listening quality, just the opposite, in fact.

      Well, whatever. The damage is done.

      • September 29, 2014 at 11:18 pmJuan

        I agree whole heartedly with your comment. It’s a shame that the adaptation was THAT disappointing. Might I add also the terrible way the actually animated the magics. I mean the charm of an Anime is that it brings characters and flashy things like magic to light. With the exception only of Tatsuya’s Material Burst at the end of the last episode all the other magics were just horribly done.

        Just look at Inferno… Let’s put a red filter here and a blue filter there…. Where are the roaring flames and whatnot. Sometimes it might not be exactly as it is in the LN but for a visual media I don’t think the fans would mind the taking of artistic license to make it look nicer.

  • September 29, 2014 at 4:22 pmwentFULLbollywood

    i dont know who is worst. this guy or sakamaki izayoi

    • September 29, 2014 at 11:20 pmJuan

      If you wanna go by fights, well Tatsuya has yet to actually lose to anyone yet but he has come close to losing a couple of times when facing off with some of the antagonists (I won’t use villains) in the volumes immediately after the ones animated.

      With regard to Izayoi, well he had his ass handed to him on a silver platter already. As in a complete defeat… he couldn’t even do anything in all his OPness

  • September 29, 2014 at 4:27 pmJean

    I have read the light novels and very much enjoyed them. That said:

    I didn’t like this adaptation at all. They skipped 80% of the exposition and flat out marketed the show as “action” when it’s generally not. There have been shows where exposition and character interaction are most of the show and this show could have been good if they’d stuck to that as a formula, but instead the direction was emphasizing all the final effects with no buildup, no explanation. As a show, it feels very incomplete.

  • September 29, 2014 at 4:35 pmzztop

    Word is Bluray sales of Mahouka have been very good in Japan. Most likely intense support from the established LN fanbase.

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

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:35 pmZephyr

      Yeah the new series thing scares me a bit because it feels like he’s repeating some of the things that contributed to things not working out too well with this adaptation, mainly the excess terminology. The premise description has like 6 different ” ” terms in the span of 5 sentences already.

      I’m a fan of Sci-Fi stuff so I love terminology as much as the next guy, but that worries me.

  • September 29, 2014 at 4:36 pmDorian

    There was just way too many details that needed to be explained and explored that never did that crushed this adaption. As was said previously said sometimes a show with a lot of details doesn’t really translate well from book to show.

    I do find it funny that everyone says Tatsuya can do anything, when he can’t utilize any of the magics he’s created. Leo’s Sword, the Sniper Rifle, rewritten Ancient magics, Gravity Magic, he can’t use at all.

    Though I get what people mean. His few magics he can use are so wild and great, do you need anything else? Yet, that’s just the thing. They are so entirely situational that they aren’t going to be of any use in regular life.

    And before someone says “Regrowth can prevent death”, that’s only if Tatsuya 1) isn’t burnt out and 2) has a template with which to use Regrowth on. The second one in particular is a huge problem. If you showed him someone that was critically injured and it was his first time meeting them, that’s the template he’d have to work with. Also, if they had already lost a limb, he can’t exactly replace it. Stuff explained in the novels, yet I’m sure never was explained in the anime.

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:03 pmStilts

      Thanks for the info on Regrowth. That’s yet another detail that would have been nice to know. Not “Do you expect him to take all that pain on himself?” (when he kept doing exactly that), but “Well, he can’t do it if he hasn’t met you before.” That’s a much better reason to not go around healing people (which really would make him Magic Jesus, lol)

      • September 30, 2014 at 5:35 pmcshin9

        He can basically resurrect and heal people. Plus, he takes on the sins pain of others.

        It’s already been done. I prefer to read the original.

      • September 30, 2014 at 9:22 pmSK

        @cshin
        Tatsuya’s power can’t actually resurrect anyone; once someone dies, he can restore the physical body but it won’t bring them back to life. One of the main points of those black mobile suits is to ensure the soldiers live long enough for Tatsuya to help them. If the sniper he encountered earlier had managed a headshot, he would have died.

      • October 1, 2014 at 10:50 pmFlayvor Of Evil

        Also in the chapter about Tatsuya’s past, the only person that Tatsuya ever cared about besides Miyuki dies protecting Tatsuya, but Tatsuya’s regrowth couldn’t do anything to stop it.

      • October 2, 2014 at 4:07 pmcshin9

        I meant that “he can resurrect [himself]” and “he can heal people”, not “he can resurrect people” and “he can heal people”. It’s an instance of grammatical ambiguity.

    • September 30, 2014 at 12:57 pmDrasca

      I kinda assumed the template business, given how he restores off his previous version. So many ‘my grandfather’s axe’ moral & identity issues though. If you’re overwriting the previous version with another version, aren’t you just killing the current person and putting another in its place?

      Given Miyuki has tiggered Tatsuya’s replacement software early on, and presumably on a regular basis… does this not also mean she regularly kills Tatsuya when she’s pissed and his backup triggers so he has no memory of it?

      So many blatant ethical violations that are not explored.

      “aren’t going to be of any use in regular life”
      When his sister kills him on a nightly basis, that’s auto-regeneration is pretty useful ;)

      Tatsuya is military and that’s part of his job. Clearly useful for his role. Most military don’t blow things up every minute either, but when they do…

      With respect to ‘not utilizing magic’ Since he’s made tools, and friends capable of using said tools that support him, they become an extension of him since they’re a support network. Using magic directly is unimportant. The ‘how’ less important than the fact that the objective’s been cleared.

      • December 30, 2014 at 1:20 amAndmeuths

        The author was rather blatant in telling the audience that human rights have been chucked out of the window in the world of Mahouka, and flushed down the toilet, especially when Mages are involved. Every character you see has been the direct product of rampant human right violations in the earlier years of the 21st Century. In a way, it’s a kind of a sugar dystopia. Our modern ethical system more or less collapsed under the strains of twenty plus years of protracted global warfare, and the emergence of Magicians, who are clearly different from humans in all so many ways.

        Just one more thing the anime sacrificed for more Tatusya worship.

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:02 pmnewhope

    That was one probably of the worst shows I’ve ever sat though.

    Poorly written.
    Awful boring characters who’s only real purpose is to worship God-sama.
    No real plot thats worth a damn.
    Awful info dumping do I really need to know exactly how every spell work.
    No tension due to our lord and savior one shoting everything.

    Setting was god everything else sucked.

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:02 pmMormegil

    “Off the top of my head, the only part I really enjoyed was when Tatsuya was going up against Masaki.”

    Same here. The end of the 2nd arc was decent enough. It was pretty much the only time I enjoyed the show. It sure took a long time for the fights to start, though.

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:40 pmSK

    In hindsight, the source material probably isn’t ideal for an anime adaptation, though I would argue it could have turned out better than what we got. Cutting most of the monologues (usually Tatsuya’s, though other characters had theirs cut as well) takes away some characterization, since viewers no longer understand the underlying reasons behind certain actions. Stripping Miyuki’s character down to essentially “onii-sama” bro-con was, IMO, the most egregious mistake, as I’ve seen very few responding favorably to her portrayal in the anime.

    I would also argue that Tatsuya’s conflict in Mahouka isn’t necessarily going to be some entity, as there are few (if any) who can challenge his massively OP powers in direct combat. He isn’t all that interested in fighting, so as long as your actions don’t negatively affect his sister (and by extension, their friends/surroundings), he really doesn’t give a damn what you’re up to. The magic battles against Blanche/No Head Dragon/Great Asian Alliance troops aren’t meant to be the real sources of conflict, so the fact that he curb-stomps all of them with little effort isn’t an issue for me. I don’t think it comes across well in the anime, but his issues revolve more around his personal lack of freedom and the societal place of magicians than any specific entity. For all his might, there is little he can do about his and Miyuki’s circumstances with force; he believes he could wipe out the direct cause of his issues, but without dealing with the underlying stuff, he realizes he’ll end up in a never-ending spiral of conflict.

    Anyways, while I still enjoy the LNs and would probably watch a second season if one were to be made, this adaptation was not quite what I was hoping for. Some of the issues come from the source itself, whether it’s the unfriendly-for-adaptation style of writing or the various flaws within the work (YMMV for Tatsuya, other problems brought up in prior episode comments, by Solace among others), but some arose from the conversion from text to animation, and I would hope some of these are fixed if another season were made.

    • September 29, 2014 at 6:07 pmStilts

      I can only say that if Tatsuya’s societal struggles are the point of the whole thing, they weren’t emphasized at all here, and I hope they were better done in the light novels. Also, that sounds tedious and frustrating, so while I can sympathize with someone struggling against those shackles, I don’t especially want to watch/read about it. Sounds like a recipe for aggravation.

  • September 29, 2014 at 5:48 pmRyan Ashfyre

    In what can only be described as an exercise of sheer will on my part, I haven’t had this hard a time slogging my way through an anime since flippin’ Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora (which, if you haven’t already seen it, don’t. Consider yourself warned).

    Honestly and truly though, someone needs to put poor Tatsuya out of his misery. Incorrigible a MC as he is, I can’t help but feel just the slightest bit sorry for him. He has virtually no life with which to call his own and if I could, I’d pull a Killua from Hunter x Hunter on him and rip his surprisingly beating heart right out of his chest.

    Really, it’s the least anyone could do for him.

  • September 29, 2014 at 6:17 pmBeedle

    I enjoyed Mahouka. Sure, it wasn’t the harem-comedy I thought it would be when it started, but it was fun to watch the world grow nonetheless. Each character felt real, and names weren’t just names– side-characters actually had their moments of awesome. I think the problem this adaptation had was that there is just so much information to adapt; Mahouka is its own expansive world.

    Next, we have Tatsuya. From the onset– literally from the first scene of the first episode– it was pretty clear he’s Irregular. That he’s an irregular in a magic school– a place where nobody is normal– only contributes to the fact that he would be totally broken.

    I really loved the final episode, though, and I wonder if it really is a turning-point– ie the plot will be followed up. Magicians are no longer just “members of society that can wield data in a different manner”; they’re now, or will soon be, military weapons which, iirc, was something Tatsuya and co didn’t want to happen in the first place.

  • September 29, 2014 at 7:00 pmil-Palazzo

    The Author is so bad at creating villains, he resorted to plagiarizing from Romance of the Three Kingdom. (Zhou Gongjin is just another name for Zhou Yu. And no, lampshading it doesn’t make it any smarter.) Yet the result just move from “pathetic” to “forgettable”.

  • September 29, 2014 at 7:03 pmDvalinn

    I ditched this show when coverage of it stopped on this site, and never looked back. Seems I made the right decision. I don’t make a habit out of dropping shows that make it past my 3-episode rule (which it did because it still showed some potential back then) but Tatsuya is such an almighty, overpowered bore that I just stopped giving a damn. He’d given me no reason to care about his stonefaced exploits, and the nature of the world and its magic itself meant people in the show were just blabbing exposition all day long.

    Apathy is indeed the right word to describe my feeling towards it in the end. What a bore.

  • September 29, 2014 at 8:41 pmflCer

    I’m perhaps a little embarrassed to say, but I liked Mahouka in the end, and yearn for more. It wasn’t always that way. To make things clear, all the demerits everyone is talking about I agree with. It’s as if I’ve become numb to all the atrocities.

    Jesus is aptly named. Having recently re-watched Fate/Zero, I feel that one of Rider’s description of Saber is fit for us viewers to describe Tatsuya; He’s too dazzling to behold. Especially how his resurrection technique works – He has to endure 150 times the pain of his target – and keeps a straight face when doing it. Miyuki says it with a discomforting face as if it was a terrible woe that everyone should sympathize to, but the reaction I gave was – real?

    In my opinion, flaws help us sympathize with characters when we can relate with them, but in this case I can’t even. He’s simply too perfect, in a state that one cannot hope to achieve. His flaw of 150x more pain is something he’s able to shrug off like it was nothing; Comrade gets gunned down? No problem, wait till I resurrect the other few guys and experience 150x their pain in succession without a sweat.

    His flaws are there to exemplify his flawlessness. It’s bewitching to think of it.

    All in all, the series was quite original. Instead of watching the characters overcome trials and change, we see one Tatsuya mow down one problem after another like they’re all pebbles, holding back only for the sake of letting other characters getting some screen time.

    I digress.

    Mahouka was decently enjoyable after you’re numb to all the nuances Tatsuya pulls. I’m actually hoping for a third season now… what’s wrong with me.

    • September 30, 2014 at 4:24 amGrandier

      Agree. You’re likely in the boat I’m in: you’re so sick and tired of all these pathetic loser protagonists, you’re hungry for someone who is actually competent at being a badass. Tatsuya fits the bill perfectly. Sometimes, we just need a hero to be a hero – not some whiny idiot with a past we couldn’t give a rat’s ass about. The fate of the world is at stake and you’re worried about the one time you over cooked a chicken? Sorry – give me the guy who’s there to kick ass and chew bubble gum.

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:20 amStilts

      I can understand despairing of loser leads. A lot of people are tired of a bunch of Ikari Shinjis—though I would argue that Shinji was actually a good character because he’s so useless as to make the viewer as pissed at his useless as the other characters and he himself are, which was part of the point—so having a strong character who can do awesome things is nice.

      That said, Tatsuya is an utterly boring way to do it. Check out Izayoi of Mondaiji, Shiroe of Log Horizon, or Kuuhaku of No Game No Life, just to throw out some of my favorites. They’re all very competent, but they’re interesting characters, so their power works because it’s only one facet of them. With Tatsuya, that’s the end all and the be all.

      tl;dr If you want to see competent, and even overpowered main characters, there are better examples than Tatsuya.

      • September 30, 2014 at 12:21 pmGrandier

        I reiterate, sometimes we just want to see a badass being a badass. Both of your examples were two losers who could barely handle the situations they were in.

      • September 30, 2014 at 1:22 pmStilts

        I gave four examples, and the latter three were supremely capable of handling the situations they’re put in. Not without trouble, though that’s because they have much tougher enemies than Tatsuya does. The only enemy he can’t seem to beat—societal and social obligations—he utterly bends under. Understandably so, but that doesn’t make him any less badass in the one area he apparently cares about the most.

      • October 1, 2014 at 2:40 amGrandier

        Please – they were incompetent male protagonists who are just as shallow and empty as Tatsuya. Big difference, Tatsuya could handle his situation with ease while the others barely stumbled their way through. Once again, the sake of the world at stake and they’re too busy worrying about the one time in their lives they over cooked a chicken.

      • October 1, 2014 at 4:21 amZephyr

        I think there’s a fundamental mis-association here between competence and only the ability to handle situations with ease. It’s one aspect, but you yourself said that that Tatsuya was shallow and empty, and that’s the point. He’s so overpowered and written in such a way to showcase that part of him (there was no one written to directly oppose him on his level) that you can’t apply the word competent to him, because he’s essentially a mechanical, world breaking bot. He just is. He just does. People get mowed down without a challenge not because he’s competent, but merely because he was written in such a way that he essentially breaks the world he’s in. That’s bad writing. Not a competent character.

        I get wanting a badass who’s simply a badass and that’s fine. But let’s not go stretching the definition of competence to support that. The other characters listed by Stilts were much more competent precisely because they actually had challenges from opponents of their level and overcame them. Without that, how can you even tell how competent a character is? It’s the equivalent of some experienced player mowing down first time players. How competent can you really say he/she is? You can’t tell.

        Tatsuya is certainly a capable character, but competent? Verdict’s out on that. Especially compared to other more well-written characters.

      • October 1, 2014 at 12:24 pmGrandier

        Tatsuya isn’t challenged because he is a certified badass. You don’t have to like it, you just need to accept it.

      • October 1, 2014 at 1:20 pmZephyr

        No thanks. You can like him for what he is, but I’ll stick to liking certified badasses who are better written, have actual personality, development, and are challenged by someone of a similar level.

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:36 amCybersteel

      I feel like OTT was more of a chunibyou in the ln (DARK FLAME MASTA)

  • September 29, 2014 at 9:22 pmporn

    a popular anime being bad mouthed (critically analyzed) and no one flamed? that’s weird…. is it raining?

  • September 29, 2014 at 10:14 pmTaryel

    Everything that I wanted to say has been said by the great people under me. I loved this show I think the voice actors they picked for the roles were spot on. A lot of people only see the Harry Stu part of Tatsuya, because they still haven’t shown you everything. If they announce a second season and they animate the Reminiscence Chapter, then you will see how fucked up Tatsuya’s back story is.

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:12 amStilts

      The thing is, I got spoiled on Tatsuya’s backstory, so I know why he’s like that. That doesn’t prevent him from being (and feeling like) a Gary Stu because those parts, at least so far, are barely emphasized. I’ll jump into spoiler tags.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • December 30, 2014 at 1:29 amAndmeuths

        That’s why so many novel viewers are so pissed the monologues have been axed, because from a very early point on, Tatsuya and Miyuki’s monologues touches on that conflict running in that background. True, it is a Tell at the early volumes only referred to again and again in internal monologues, it only really get’s shown first during Tatsuya’s battle with Masaki (with all those limitations put on him (hinted at initially and than spelled out later) in that battle, not to use anything fancier than the Gram Dispersal anti-magic spell), and the next arc after the anime was suppose to demonstrate what would happen when Tatsuya chooses the course of “Nuke em hard.”

  • September 29, 2014 at 10:35 pmMi-Chan

    I will sadly be one of the attackers on the blogger.

    I enjoyed Mahouka and looked forward to it every week. Mainly because Mahouka to me has been done in a way that still “introduces” us to the main charecter. In the introduction, of course we don’t know yet about the charecters and have only started to know about our main one, let’s not forget there are far more “powerful” people than Tatsuya apparently, he’s just one of many, and that is what I am looking forward to. How powerful is their aunt? what happened to their mother? waht happened to Tatsuya? What are all the powerful magic families? Who is the guy with the long purple hair? many questions.

    I thought Mahouka took its time to explain things and gave each episode with great detail that sometimes I thought was slightly boring but yet necessary to understand.

    I don’t look at anime asking it to go on par with the animes I thought were amazing, but I look for something enjoyable, excitable and makes me look forward to it every week.

    Regardless, Mahouka was amazing and such a shame that you had to review it with such negativity but that is your blogger opinion and this is mine.

    Thanks though for taking the time to write the post, M.

    • September 29, 2014 at 10:57 pmJuan

      I strongly suggest you try picking up the Light Novels if you haven’t. The anime barely even scratched the surface of the things you are asking (even if about 80% of the current novels were animated). Given your comment I think you would enjoy the LNs

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:16 amStilts

      And if the story had focused more time on Tatsuya going up against powerful enemies (his aunt, his mother, the purple haired dude, etc.), I would have agreed with you, and enjoyed it much more. Instead he beat up on some nameless terrorists, nameless gangsters, and nameless other country/alliance/whatever.

      Your opinion is absolutely valid though, and I see where you’re coming from. And I don’t think you’re attacking me for stating it, so keep on keepin’ on my friend : )

      • September 30, 2014 at 9:22 pmMi-Chan

        I tried throwing a few tomatoes but I ended up ruining my PC D; lol jk, but I also understand where you’re coming from :P

      • October 2, 2014 at 3:09 pmZwei

        Not having a competitive opponent was definitely a big drawback along with all the jargon that weren’t explained or displayed properly in the anime. That said I finished watching it. I haven’t read past what has been animated already on the LN but I’m kind of interested as to what happens next.

  • September 29, 2014 at 10:49 pmJuan

    Right off the bat I’ll say that I am a fan of the LN of Mahouka. That being said, I have to agree with Stilts for the most part regarding the Anime.

    One of the main draws, or turn offs, depending on your preference of the LN was the explanation of the magic. The author went to great lengths to explain how the magics worked and early on set the rules of the “power of magic”. This effectively took the magic in Mahouka out of the “it can do anything” and placed it firmly in the science perspective. I always wanted a Mahouka anime but was wary about an adaptation since it’s obvious that a lot of the details would be lost in adaptation.

    That said though, I have to say that the adaptation was far below in terms of quality, than what I would have expected given the popularity of the LNs. The visuals were nothing short of disappointing, the animation of Inferno and Nifelhiem were pathetic to say the least.

    Another problem with the anime for me was that the director/writer spent a lot of time acting like someone who wanted to spoil the story for the readers. In the LN from the get go the reader would know there was something “off” about Tatsuya but the author managed to mask it and only progressively unravel it part by part until you reach his full OPness. During that time, you are also shown his weaknesses and his back story which in a sense temper his character development. He is the epitome of the Magician as a Human Weapon but as with the things in this series it all comes with a price. This part the anime failed completely to focus on.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to have OP characters but the Anime tried to focus too much on the OPness of Tatsuya and elevated Miyuki’s bro con to dangerously annoying levels. A lot of the other character interactions were also cut from the series. In particular those between Mayumi and Tatsuya where very entertaining in the LN. This brings up another part the anime didn’t adapt. In the LN Tatsuya has a lot of interior monologue during the conversations.

    The thing about Mahouka is that the parts that were animated I believe are more of the “Introduction” of the real story. If you go by the last line of the Anime which is also the last line of Volume 7 of the LN “it marks the beginning of the history of the race known as magicians in all it’s high glory and dark suffering”.

    That said, I would still recommend the LNs to those who don’t mind info dumps the anime however was very disappointing.

    • September 29, 2014 at 11:00 pmJuan

      Just to add. Another thing about Mahouka, or at least the parts the Anime adapted is that it’s pretty much a case of a Whale in a small pond. I mean seriously you have Tatsuya who stands at the pinnacle of his fields going into high school where kids learn them. It’s not surprising he goes too OP.

      • September 30, 2014 at 8:22 amStilts

        Very true. If they were going to write about a big fish, put it in a big pond with a bunch of piranhas. Clash of titans etc., etc. Okay I’m repeating myself now, lol

      • September 30, 2014 at 3:29 pmJuan

        Well like I mentioned earlier, up to the end of Volume 7 where this adaptation ends, it’s pretty much more like an introduction to the world of Mahouka.

        In volume 9 (Vol 8 was back story explaining why Miyuki is all Oni-sama) Tatsuya is pitted against another strategic class and some beings where he can’t use his decomposition on. In the following arc it’s shown that one of his classmates (same year level) is somewhat immune to decomposition.

        He has yet to actually lose though to this point but I guess this is the kind of story that keeps the MC winning all the time. His fights though have been more challenging for the most part, admittedly though he is still OP xD

  • September 29, 2014 at 10:56 pmMgMaster

    That feeling when you play LoL or Dota and your champion/hero is one with strong wave-clearing abilities in the late game. That’s what it felt like when Tatsuya was facing wiping out his foes.

    • September 30, 2014 at 5:31 amCrook

      Who fed bot Tatsuya?

  • September 30, 2014 at 12:27 amCyouni

    For some reason, they decided to erase anything where Tatsuya and Miyuki had personalities, goals, motivations, and limitations.

    I am not surprised in any way that didn’t turn out well.

  • September 30, 2014 at 1:45 amJirachier

    First of all I’m not defending the anime adaptation, in fact I think it was pretty terrible, this could’ve been one of the better anime of this year but thanks to Madhouse CHOP CHOP CHOP method, it was ruined.

    Now about Gary Stus and Tatsuya being one etc. My favorite type of protagonist is indeed overpowered ones, that does not mean I do not enjoy well done stories with weak->strong or strong->stronger/strongest, I tend to like things when they’re very rare and uncommon. You don’t have to make an OP protagonist struggle in his battles for a story to be interesting, it’s not a necessity, and assuming he will find difficulties it should only be against a select few characters within the verse.
    When it comes to mahouka, Tatsuya might be the most powerful magician in the world, however it does not mean that there is no one who can put up fight against him, it’s just that he’s at such a high level that the characters capable of doing so are numbered and are spread all across the world so you can’t expect him to bump heads with them early on in the series.
    What is more important is that while Tatsuya is our lord and savior magic jesus, he’s also someone that I would never want to be. The way he has been portrayed in the anime and the scarce amount of information conveyed on his situation makes him seem like someone who has an easy life just beating up fodders and drinking his sister’s coffee when in reality he might be the most unfortunate person in the world. He was experimented on when he was just 6 years old, by his own mother and aunt, he is shunned by his entire clan. Even outside of his clan, everyone who knows his capabilities just wants to use him to achieve certain goals and while pretending to be allies/friends they wouldn’t hesitate for a second turn on him if they deemed him too difficult to work with or if they fear that an outside force will acquire him. The only emotion he possesses is his love for his sister, which is worse than being a slave, a slave is forced to do things but he has control over his own thoughts and feelings, Tatsuya is forced to love his sister because of the operation that was performed on him, now while it’s true that if he was not experimented on he might still love her, but it would definitely not reach this level of obsession and he would be able to choose other priorities, he might even come to hate her if he were to ever regain his emotions.
    So yes, Tatsuya is overpowered, he is amazing, he is god, but even with all the might under his control, is he really happy ?

    • September 30, 2014 at 4:22 amJuan

      I think it was said by Shizuku’s Mom in the Visitor Arc. “In the world of magicians, being immensely talented does not bring happiness. In fact, happiness receeds from them”

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:28 amStilts

      Aye, I agree that I would never want to be Tatsuya … just as I would never want to be Jesus. Being nailed to a cross doesn’t sound fun.

      The problem is that empathy is born from emotional attachment, and it’s hard to have an emotional attachment with a human who is so devoid of emotions himself. I gave the example of Maximus in Gladiator above, but he works because he has the emotions, he’s just shoving them all down under pain and desire for revenge. That kind of little-s stoicism works because you know he feels, and you empathize with his pain and a world all set against him.

      Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files is another example. The whole damn world seems to have it out for him, and you feel for him because he is an emotional, feeling human being. If he were a terminator, numb to the whole world, that wouldn’t work.

      More to the point, they explored this so little that it didn’t connect. Which is to say, I completely agree with you, that just doesn’t mean the story worked.

      Oh, and Tatsuya could still stop being a Gary Stu if he started coming up against powerful enemies. But since that doesn’t seem likely—and if he did, the no-defense-possible state of some of the high-powered magics we’ve seen would likely lead to a boring battle, like a serious one between Tatsuya and Masaki—he shall remain a Gary Stu to me, until proven otherwise.

      • September 30, 2014 at 12:38 pmDrasca

        My bet on Tatsuya’s greatest enemy:
        The Capturing God, stealing Miyuki from him. He’d be devastated if that ever happens… What? Yes, I would prefer the show’s direction to be a rom-com with heavy plot-drama undertones :) The battle for romance hijinks begins!

        What good is strategic weapon against winning hearts and minds? It is the will of nations that makes and breaks wars, and in this case, the love of the female cast.

    • November 3, 2014 at 6:20 pmOne True Tatsuya’s Apostle

      God damn it!!!
      Get your fact straight:

      No one forced Tatsuya to love Miyuki.

      He chose to love Miyuki.

      He loved Miyuki before get operated, he loves Miyuki after get operated.

      Nobody implanted the brotherly love into him, it is already there.

      • November 3, 2014 at 6:30 pmOne True Tatsuya’s Apostle

        And considering Yotsuba’s tradition, which is: “their family members are more important than the politic and their own lives”, 99% chance that Miyuki will still be Tatsuya’s top priority even if he has other strong emotions.

        There are many possibilities, but the bottom line is that Tatsuya loves Miyuki.
        If he was not operated and was not alienated, he MIGHT loves something more than Miyuki, but he still loves her nonetheless. And for his family, he will do what has to be done, like a good Yotsuba would.

        Don’t you dare say that “he is forced”.

  • September 30, 2014 at 4:09 amGrandier

    Why I like Tatsuya: He isn’t some emo bitch protagonist who gets bogged down by his past. It was refreshing to see a badass character just be a badass character and not some whiny, crybaby who just can’t get over themselves.

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:30 amStilts

      I talk about that above, but tl;dr, while I understand despairing of whiny leads, there are better examples than Tatsuya.

      Also, apparently he is very much bogged down by his past. He just doesn’t have the emotions to express as much. (That’s apparently shown later on.)

  • September 30, 2014 at 5:26 amMiaminights

    “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – The Ballad of Magic Jesus”

    Best blog post title ever.

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:33 amStilts

      Nyahaha! I’m pleasantly surprised that I haven’t gotten more shit for that. I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to make this post … until I thought up that title. Then it had to happen!

  • September 30, 2014 at 5:45 amCorin

    I will substantively agree with this impression except on one point – I still think Tatsuya isn’t as bad as you can get. I’m still of the opinion that the Kiritos of the world are worse.

    For all of his ridiculously over the top power, I’ll give Mahouka credit for never making me feel like Tatsuya was the sole driver of the plot – in fact, in most cases the plot appears to drive him. Which is kind of a problem in itself, but at least he doesn’t feel like a walking black hole that sucks all character and plot development into himself. I can actually kind of like side characters and watch them do something that isn’t about the main character, for instance! That’s something you gain a new appreciation for after the SAOs of the world.

    Sure, I could have done without the Jesus moments, and definitely without quite so much of Ms. Onii-sama, although that’s probably asking a bit much given just how over-reliant those siblings are on each other. But other than that there was remarkably little that had me rolling my eyes, although there was similarly little that was terribly exciting. So my overall impression of the Mahouka anime is probably at worst a mild distaste.

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:32 amStilts

      That’s an interesting way to look at it. Kirito is certainly more of a black hole, sucking in all the other characters and spitting them out as shallow shadows of his gaming awesomeness, but he does at least pretend to struggle from time-to-time.

      I guess it comes down to what bothers you more—how utterly dull Tatsuya is, or how much Kirito destroys other characters. Personally, I’ve only watched a few episodes of SAOII, so I don’t know where I fall on that yet, lol

      • October 1, 2014 at 10:57 pmFlayvor Of Evil

        Kirito in Alicization has a lot more struggles because it’s pretty much the first time where he isn’t OP and people around him are OP.

    • September 30, 2014 at 9:14 amRyan Ashfyre

      I understand where you’re coming from, and no doubt that, at least with respect to the anime, Kirito is a plot-sucking black hole all on his own, but comparing him to Tatsuya in that sense is comparing apples and oranges.

      You can’t blame Kirito for being focused on so much. That’s on Reki Kawahara for treating him like a damn wish-fulfillment character all the time, which he totally is. Just sayin’

      Tatsuya, on the other hand, could be said to be the complete opposite. He doesn’t do anything, and even when something happens that forces him to act, it’s as if it doesn’t affect him at all, even when it concerns himself.

      Take what happened in the finale as a perfect example. Show Spoiler ▼

      Say what you want about Kirito, but at least he actually does stuff and makes things happen. Tatsuya is his polar opposite in that he rejects almost everything around him, even his own sister to a certain extent; but that’s another argument in and of itself.

  • September 30, 2014 at 6:16 amLaughingMan

    Are you kidding me? You DIDN’T drop this shit after the first episode?!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkaby4LWf7M

  • September 30, 2014 at 6:50 amLucarion

    I really, really, REALLY didn’t like this. And now I feel like a complete idiot for defending it…

    Seriously. I dropped the show at 9 when I realized this show was never going to get better for me.

    Hype feels poisonous now. Because after hyping the show to high heaven and waiting for an anime for THREE DAMN YEARS!~~~This is what I got. I kept my expectations in check, I really did, but I didn’t expect it to be THIS bad. Great. I can’t even be happy about new shows anymore after seeing the shit I’ve had the most enjoyment with get this kind of treatment. Turned off a lot of people too. The fanbase will also never stop getting shat upon…we’re never going to know peace. Because, no doubt, more people saw the anime than the manga or the novels…

    That said, thank you for sticking this long Stilts. You’re a stronger man than I am. I only went back into the show to see Material Burst…and even that wasn’t portrayed right.

    Anyway, just…let me share a few things that might be of interest to some. Not everyone, but some, and really…I can’t expect more than that:

    Shiva/Mahesvara aside, Tatsuya was partially inspired by Dante’s Satan. That’s partly why he has a lot of Devil and dragon symbolism and imagery into his character, and have been described as both quite often in the novels. What’s more Satan is bound in Dante’s inferno by Cocytus (fucking thing didn’t even get explained in the anime), which fits with Miyuki’s role as his limiter. Seriously, one of the worst things the anime did was to try and portray Tatsuya as an out and out “hero” and downplayed the terror, his utterly twisted way of thinking, his family circumstances, and the horrors the he and Miyuki do upon their fellow man.

    Zhou Gongjin isn’t the only character ripped out of Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Tatsuya’s one of them too. He’s this story’s Zhuge Liang–the peerless strategist and great inventor. He also shares a good number of parallels with the figure of Xiang Yu–the peerless warrior-king.

    • September 30, 2014 at 8:37 amStilts

      I wouldn’t be so quick to despair about adaptations you’re excited about. Certainly, temper your expectations—the adaptation process is always fraught with peril—but it’s better to learn what kinds of adaptations are the hardest to do, and so know when to temper your expectations more, or when you can be cautiously optimistic.

  • September 30, 2014 at 7:02 amRS456

    I am guessing there will be a season 2 for this anime. His aunt was finally introduced and his sister knows a lot more than she leads on.

  • September 30, 2014 at 7:10 amMizuDori

    I for one thought the show was great! Yes, tatsuya was very OP and yes the tatsuyaxmiyuki thing was a bit overdone and joking aside I really do wish they hadn’t used the highschool setting for this.

    Tatsuya was a clever protagonist. Compared to characters like kirito, there seemed to be a lot of logic in what he was doing. I liked how they went about finding out ways in which he had deficits and then countered for them in a logical and clever way. Yes, the setting is very convenient – much like Doctor Who’s sonic screwdriver… magic solved all. But if there’s one thing that i hate it’s the pass-off of technical brilliance for ‘FIGHTO’ and ‘GANBARE’ and ‘KIAI’ – that said coming straight out of a kendo competition where they award ‘fighting spirit’ for such exhibits. I guess it wasn’t the most ground breaking intelligent show, but shows like this and Aldnoah Zero, which feature leads who think under pressure and come up with a plausible (yeah sometimes it’s a bit far fetched) but empirical.

    I guess it’s something that I, personally, am a big fan of. Going all out and cleaning stuff up with a big voice and lots of guts – ichigo/bleach-style – is BORING SHIT. I think the show plays upon a lot of ‘exposition phases’ where you see Tatsuya preparing and sussing things out before working out a theory and using it – and he doesn’t always come out unscathed (although i really wish he did a bit more).

    Although, Stilts is correct – the final showdown/arc was definitely lackluster. I can totally understand why as a final memory, the aftertaste of the main character is OP/Jesus/One and only – type.
    And yes, i think it would appeal to the technical/detailed-oriented viewer, because the magic was complicated. There were drawbacks to different abilities, such as flight time – could have easily turned into a spamming of flying ninja killers… oh wait… (another reason the final arc was – understandably – pretty terrible). But! leading up to that was very clever. The comp was a highlight, with a lot of tactical play – each character has a particular set of strong abilities that you could use to beat another in a different way. I think tatsuya had a very suitably awesome ability – cold hard logic where he could maximise efficiency and insight for raw power. (but yes, the whole flash cast being spammed, i hated. The whole destroy things in one shot – should never have been there and used on such a scale coughdestroyingshipcough, and really miyuki and him having some kind of funky gattai/power combining/unlocking/secret ace thing was seriously shite writing!).

    This show and A/Z had errors and issues and things i didn’t like, but they had a main character who, whilst being OP, was empirically OP. I give kudos to that. seriously, screaming and blindly carrying on about how much kiai and guts and how quickly you can throw your final waza/move is not good enough to float my boat – kirito was a terrible lead in that regard (using nito to slash at a shield and thinking it will work by how much faster he can hit it is not an example of using ones brain, for instance)

    • September 30, 2014 at 10:01 amRyan Ashfyre

      >] “Tatsuya was a clever protagonist. Compared to characters like kirito, there seemed to be a lot of logic in what he was doing. I liked how they went about finding out ways in which he had deficits and then countered for them in a logical and clever way. Yes, the setting is very convenient – much like Doctor Who’s sonic screwdriver… magic solved all. But if there’s one thing that i hate it’s the pass-off of technical brilliance for ‘FIGHTO’ and ‘GANBARE’ and ‘KIAI’ – that said coming straight out of a kendo competition where they award ‘fighting spirit’ for such exhibits. I guess it wasn’t the most ground breaking intelligent show, but shows like this and Aldnoah Zero, which feature leads who think under pressure and come up with a plausible (yeah sometimes it’s a bit far fetched) but empirical.”

      With all respect, that’s one of Tatsuya’s biggest flaws. He’s so logical and methodical about what he does that it makes you feel like you’re watching an unfeeling robot, not a human being; and worse than that, arguably, is that he’s so serious about himself that he’s no fun to watch at all.

      Now, to be clear, I’m certainly not saying that a MC can’t be intelligent like that, not at all, but there are reasonable limits. Tatsuya’s character, unfortunately, doesn’t even seem to recognize that those limits even exist and just goes on doing what he’s doing for as long as the world allows it.

      • October 1, 2014 at 6:38 amMizuDori

        I hear what you are saying, but I think that’s the point of the show. He IS an unfeeling ‘robot’ so to speak… Is it a flaw? debatable. I don’t think it is. But considering his backstory and his set of unique abilities, it’s hardly a surprise that he’s a calculating, cold-hearted tactical genius. He pours a lot of time and effort into preparation and keeps himself calm and collected in those situations.

        he’s in a world of magic as well. The limitations of magic do not seem to be very well established and he’s pioneering breakthroughs in those areas – might be an area where the audience feels as though he’s going way too far beyond what’s ‘possible’, but what IS ACTUALLY possible in this world? No one really knows.

        i think it’s debatable whether he was a ‘fun character to watch’ more than anything. Certainly for me, it’s something I would aspire towards in the world of kendo for instance – cold, hard, tactical play; anticipation with dominating the situation and playing your game – it’s all very good to watch someone come back from the brink and use their humanity and energy and spirit to win, but it’s low percentage and realistically inefficient. There are a lot of people who’d think otherwise, evidently, however and they (and you) aren’t necessarily wrong.

      • October 1, 2014 at 11:19 amRyan Ashfyre

        >] “I hear what you are saying, but I think that’s the point of the show. He IS an unfeeling ‘robot’ so to speak… Is it a flaw? debatable. I don’t think it is. But considering his backstory and his set of unique abilities, it’s hardly a surprise that he’s a calculating, cold-hearted tactical genius. He pours a lot of time and effort into preparation and keeps himself calm and collected in those situations.”

        With all respect, you seem to be going out of your way to try and make excuses for Tatsuya, with respect to the anime, being the way that he is.

        Now, to be sure, I’m not mitigating his backstory and that he was seriously screwed over in his childhood. He definitely was, but is it so much to ask that he, sometimes, acts like a normal human or gives us a glimpse into the inner torment that, hopefully, exists behind that placid face of his? No, I certainly don’t believe so and the fact that such an opportunity was passed over not only reflects badly on Tatsuya himself, but on the execution of the show as a whole.

        >] “I think it’s debatable whether he was a ‘fun character to watch’ more than anything. Certainly for me, it’s something I would aspire towards in the world of kendo for instance – cold, hard, tactical play; anticipation with dominating the situation and playing your game – it’s all very good to watch someone come back from the brink and use their humanity and energy and spirit to win, but it’s low percentage and realistically inefficient. There are a lot of people who’d think otherwise, evidently, however and they (and you) aren’t necessarily wrong.”

        Here, I have to wholeheartedly disagree with you, and I can sum up why in one sentence:

        If the character himself/herself isn’t having fun, then it’s absurd to ask anyone watching to have fun either.

        That aside, you would seem to be arguing that the ends somehow justify the means; because Tatsuya does all these amazing things in a logical and methodical way, we should give his character more credit than I think he deserves.

        Not that I can’t appreciate that line of thought, but… with all respect, it’s anime. It’s not supposed to be realistic (not to be confused with “unbelievable,” mind you). When you go the storytelling textbook route that Mahouka does and you put yourself in the uncomfortable position of explaining everything and showing how everything works, you undermine the otherwise fantastical world of magic and sorcery that could be a whole lot of fun to watch.

        Ultimately, storytelling comes down to a matter of people and when you create a MC like Tatsuya that, however you might want to justify it, doesn’t act and come across like a human being, you have shot yourself in the foot.

  • September 30, 2014 at 7:22 amOwaranai

    A good main character that keeps the interest of the audience is one where he is imperfect, flawed, has his weaknesses yet is also allowed to showcase his strengths and most importantly, go through a process of development and growth that has failure as part of the repertoire.

    Tatsuya is not a good main character, period.

    I feel a little silly for expecting anything out of the show now, aside from pretty explosions and the somewhat interesting portrayal of magic in a technical way. Agreed that the side characters were actually a lot more interesting (Erika’s my favorite) as they actually DEVELOP and CHANGE.

    Badassery is good, yeah, but being nigh-invincible turns the entire story boring since the story should be centered around the main characters. It’s like turning on invincibility mode for a rpg or strategy game and bulldozing through every freaking thing that’s in your way, with the occasional hiccup since you can still get stunned or something like that.

    Generally, though, I’ve always been skeptical (for shows that don’t look so good) and cautiously optimistic (for shows that have great reviews or I have personally read through original material) for LN adaptations. I suppose it could be a tall order for the producers to make something that’s closer to the level of storytelling in the LNs for Mahouka as compared to the animated version.

    Sad to say, I’m a little less warm to the LNs now after its subpar showing on an animated level. Here’s to hoping someone puts in one more convincing argument for it.

  • September 30, 2014 at 8:03 amYanDaMan

    I actually agree with everything you said. It’s funny how I loved everything about this show BUT the 2 main characters. All the side characters were great, especially the female cast: Erika, Mari, Ms.President, all the student council.

    The Miyuki (Mizuki?)and Tetsuya interactions were cringe-worthy. I dont normally mind sis/bro-con antics for entertainment’s sake, but they did it so freaking much in this series that it got old and tiresome, and every single scene with them 2 were literally waste of screentime.

    This series has a great setting and world and lore, but the incest antics needs to go.

  • September 30, 2014 at 8:48 amGinobi47

    I am quite impressed of Mahouka.

    This is the first anime i have ever seen that has a good concept and good side characters yet it was ruined by a lousy MC.

    I really cant blame the ones that adapted this though. While I never read the Light Novels, a friend of mine said that it wasnt any better than the anime.

    While there was more characterization, it didnt change the fact that the writer made no effort pumping all his fantasies into Tatsuya. As a fellow writer, I know how everyone wants their MC to be awesome, but making them messed up perfect is the best way to completely destroy them.

    Overall, Mahouka is exactly what it seems, an anime with awesome production values but easily forgettable. It reminds me of Argevollen but with more cute girls

    • September 30, 2014 at 3:36 pmJuan

      With all due respect to your friend, if you look at the comments above and below you will see that a majority of the people will disagree. The LNs are a lot better than the adaptation. While Tatsuya is still as OP as he is in the Anime, the internal monologues and character interactions with the Side Characters as well as their own internal monologues make for rather good character development.

      That said, Mahouka isn’t for everyone. The author spends a lot of time explaining things and how things work and fit into the system. If you don’t have the patience for that then it might not be for you

  • September 30, 2014 at 8:53 amSmithCB

    I honestly haven’t read all 126 comments…so…given this hailstorm of response on the way the series was adapted, is there any chance that if a S2 comes along, the studio will respond with a different approach to the adaptation, trying to solve some of the larger problems that have been discussed here?

    • September 30, 2014 at 9:17 amRyan Ashfyre

      If the series sold well enough to make a S2, why would they think of doing anything different in the first place?

      • September 30, 2014 at 6:55 pmnewhope

        To be honest considering how popular the novels are in Japan this shows sales weren’t all that great.

    • September 30, 2014 at 4:27 pmZephyr

      ^ That. And for that same reason there’s no need or reason for the author to do anything about the way he goes about things as well, which is why his newest series seems very similar in style regarding the extreme amount of terminology present in the brief premise description we’ve been given.

  • September 30, 2014 at 11:42 amplatinum

    At this moment I still haven’t finished the anime (I think I’m on episode 20 or something), but I think that going in, I didn’t really know what to expect. Guess that’s why it didn’t bother me as much as other people? :X I dunno.

    I actually really like the magic system/engineering/hard fantasy elements and I’m just so much more intrigued with that that I’m just fine ignoring the main characters completely. …not sure what that says about me, but I digress. And I think that a lot of the character concepts are interesting, but without any inner dialogue (seriously, what’s up with that?), it’s almost impossible to really get into the characters.

    Like I’m pretty sure I don’t remember almost all the names of the main cast save for Tatsuya and Miyuki (onii~sama onii~sama onii~sama! *barf*).

    P.S. I think I’m like one of the 10% that doesn’t really mind Kirito as a character. I mean, to me there’s OP (you spent ~80 hours grinding your character to level 99, adding on all the uber skills, while everyone else is more around level 60 and not as obsessed) and then there’s MAGIC JESUS. We know Kirito worked his ass off in SAO so that he could be a top player and beat the game. We know that he’s determined and kind of a dork. Tatsuya? …well…all the parts of him are interesting, but we never really get a sense that this shit was hard for him, plus he has barely any personality. Maybe in the novels it’s different and better explained, but I truly despise Tell, Don’t Show storytelling in a visual medium and I think that that’s where his character fails the basic needs of a character.

    tl;dr Kirito and Tatsyua aren’t the same, at least to me.

    P.S. Great, now I’m going to always be like ‘Tatsuya = Magic Jesus’ and I’ll just laugh and laugh. XD

  • September 30, 2014 at 11:59 amイエスの天罰

    I mainly enjoyed the anime because of the action scenes starring Magic Jesus. Call it a guilty pleasure, but watching such ridiculous OPness was entertaining to me. I suppose the lack of character development was a bonus for me here. I didn’t have to slog through badly written scenes that forcibly tries to elicit an emotional response from me (eg: Kirito’s trauma that came out of nowhere).

    Having read up to the 12th LN, the gaping holes in character development, world building and technical explanations are rather jarring. I can only imagine how dull that must have been for anime-only viewers. But then again, I don’t think much of the character development in the LNs either. Still feels pretty one dimensional; I doubt the villains even have a dimension to them (though a pretty common flaw eg: SAO, Aldnoah Zero). And the technical aspects are jarred by the fan translation because of the inaccurate translations (eg: nuclear fusion was described as fusing electrons lol) and/or badly phrased English and the fact that some things are better explained with diagrams.

  • September 30, 2014 at 12:50 pmMunchkin

    How great is it to imagine a remake of Mahouka in an alternative universe where Tatsuya doesn’t exist (time travel + Xmas special). Mikihiko gets shot by terrorists, they could give more insight on who were the 4 other people who noticed the Patriarch illusion trick, the crew gets owned by Masaki (or not! though most likely pwned), people actually die while fighting the terrorists. There is no more God to hide behind, it’s sink or swim for character development. Bonus points for the -167 Onii-sama mentioned above.

  • September 30, 2014 at 1:51 pmNerroth

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a spinoff based around Masaki, set out at Third High. The Crimson Prince may be a powerful character in his own right, but he doesn’t seem to be quite as problematic as Tatsuya can be. Plus, the alternate setting might allow for a better look at how things work at Third High itself, and the role played there by the Crimson Prince.

    (As it happens, Masaki has the same Japanese VA as Kirito. Maybe they need to wean his character off of his one-sided crush on Sachi… I mean Miyuki, and create a new character voiced by Tomatsu Haruka for him to deal with instead.)

    • October 1, 2014 at 6:20 amN

      Tomatsu’s already voicing Mibu Sayaka in Mahouka, ha.

      • October 1, 2014 at 6:38 amNerroth

        So much for that idea…

        (Still, there’s probably someone further down the SAO VA list who could be drafted in.)

  • September 30, 2014 at 2:11 pmWiley

    Magic Jesus! , haha that was great

    honestly I am awed you actually finished watching it for the sake of the monthly impressions, kudos for that

  • September 30, 2014 at 6:52 pmdark-kyon

    This anime was mediocre,but the last arc was the best unintentionally comedy of the year and maybe ever,impossible take seriusly.to me was worth seing only for read comment and analysis of the bad and insipid wha was.

  • September 30, 2014 at 9:42 pmAtalla Wanderer

    The OST isn’t bad.

    • October 1, 2014 at 1:00 amflCer

      I especially liked the openings, they were good.

    • October 2, 2014 at 7:05 amStilts

      That’s true. The 2nd ED in particular is one I always enjoyed.

  • October 1, 2014 at 7:26 amanon

    I actually dropped this show around it’s third episode and both the LN and manga bored me so obviously not a fan but still I think this post is a bit out of line.

    It’s been said (by me, and the Capturing God) that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s apathy. I don’t hate Mahouka. I’ve given up entirely. A Gary Sue numbs the viewer to any sense of danger or excitement, and Tatsuya is the most overpowered Gary Stu I’ve ever seen in a published work.

    That depends on the viewer I personally prefer watching what you call Gary Sue characters than non-Gary Stu characters, and I didn’t mind Tatsuya at all even if I did there are plenty of people who didn’t so don’t make statements about what happens with ‘the viewer’ when it’s obvious different viewers have different tastes.
    Also you’re wrong, the opposite of apathy is being interested since apathy describes a lack of interest, both love and hate are forms of interest, neither is the opposite of apathy.Not to be rude but it does beg the question why you wrote this post if you were apathetic about the show.

    Just a suggestion but maybe bloggers here should stick to writing about shows they enjoy?

    • October 1, 2014 at 9:10 amCrook

      The fact that you dropped the anime so early on makes your argument a little unjustifiable. Tatsuya’s amount of power is very different in the later stages of the anime. Naturally, the anime (but mainly his little sister) made implications towards that throughout the series, which becomes evident in the last 8-ish episodes.

      • October 1, 2014 at 1:17 pmanon

        I actually read the LN and manga even before the anime was announced and read much further than where the story was in third episode of the anime, but true not the entire story.

    • October 2, 2014 at 7:03 amStilts

      Generally I do avoid blogging things I don’t like or am apathetic about, but as I said in the post, since I blogged half of it and it’s the only show I’ve ever dropped from coverage, I felt honor bound to stick with it and provide some closure on the site.

      If the post rubbed you the wrong way, I’m sorry for that. I try to avoid roasting things (I prefer to damn with faint praise) because nobody likes hearing that the thing they enjoyed is shit. But though I prefer to think of myself as an entertainer, some part of writing here involves being a critic, and if I whitewashed my feelings on this show then I would have been lying.

      And my point was not that apathy was the opposite of love alone; it’s the opposite of hate as well. It’s the opposite of any form of interest. But people tend to think that hate is the opposite of love, which was what I was refuting. Sentence construction aside, it sounds like we agree.

  • October 1, 2014 at 9:22 amZreon

    I wholeheartedly endorse your post.

    I think there can be fun overpowered protagonists, but this definately isn’t one.

    I really tried to give this anime a chance, but at some point I actually started to actively hate it for its protagonist. I do agree that the world has potential and depth and the side characters are rather likeable, but in the end that wasnt enough for me.

    I managed to almost make it through the whole thing, but in the end, somewhere around episode 20, the self revival and one-shot killing of opponents was too much for me to take any longer.
    Any tension is instantly killed as soon as he enters the scene.

    This was the most disappointing anime for me in a long while.

  • October 1, 2014 at 11:22 amAnonymous

    The key to really enjoying Mahouka is to actually switch off your brain, sit back, relax and worship One True Tatsuya (as the folks over in Reddit prefer to call him) in his divine and majestic splendour. I realized that half way during the Nine Schools Arc. XD

    Though if you want my serious opinion, you can still have a story of a pair of kickass pwnage siblings, which can be better told via the POV of one of their classmates, perhaps Mikihiko or Honoka.

    And considering Tatsuya’s omnipotency, I remember reading a blog post that suggests the author based him on the Hindu legend of Shiva, with his right hand annihilating enemies and left hand bringing life to allies.

    • October 1, 2014 at 2:05 pmGermanguy

      yeah, but this Regrow was the ice on the cake. But lucky he can not use it without retractions. So his Shiva goodness has chains that bound him to human. Like he install a Body Backup to heal them. But can it bring Death Bodys back to life, even if from the original body is nothing left as core and pieces after a explosion? I think, there is some limitations.. When the target is not instant dead, and is still running to the Light. he still has time to regrow him back, and pull him back, like the soul chain in Bleach Ghosts, of this Light tunnel into his New Body

      I made this up in the blink of the eye while write this here…

  • October 1, 2014 at 12:22 pmKing

    Honestly, I don’t know why everyone is bad mouthing this series so much. I mean, it’s not the best anime I’ve ever seen, but I thought it was pretty good. If they had just made Tatsuya a little less powerful and a little more emotion then it would be a favorite of the season for me. But I’m not a hard-core anime watcher so i don’t see too many shows per season. And it also would have been nice if they had answered some questions that were left unanswered because there were way too many of those.

    • October 1, 2014 at 2:23 pmErimaki

      Long story short, Mahouka received lots of hype early on, but failed to meet those high expectations.
      That’s basically the main factor that fuels the discontent with the numerous narrative shortcomings the series had.

    • October 2, 2014 at 3:05 amSherrisLok

      There is plenty of right-wing bullshit, xenophobia and incest to hate the series.

  • October 1, 2014 at 1:49 pmGermanguy

    Guys, it is a Anime. Did it entertain it you? Then it mission was a success. But did you felled like mindraped, then it was a huge failure. But now to debate that long to defend you way of love for this Anime. Is it really that wroth? The New Season is on the Front-door. Time to clean up your House, and make room for the new Anime Guest. Good memories goes to the “Good and Warm” Memories Room, and “Dark cold and nasty” memories get kick out of the door. Some time, you had to let go.

    Look to the bright Side of Life! :)

    • October 1, 2014 at 1:51 pmGermanguy

      this is my Way of Anime-Veteran life. Think about it. You wanna look back and remind you of happy memories dont you? See, way to go everyone

  • October 1, 2014 at 11:01 pmFlayvor Of Evil

    I honestly only watched the show for the climaxes of each arc. I found vol 6 and 7 to be an extreme chore to read, but I will always continue to read Mahouka for the climaxes that it offers. That being said, I’ve used the PgDn button so much it’s starting to wear away.

  • October 2, 2014 at 2:21 amanonomom

    It’s funny when an incompetent piece of shit get threatened in real life by made up character. If you just drop that glasses and stop masturbating to shit like seirei tsukai you could have seen the flaw that make the character human, but noooo keep fapping to that brainless haremshit “Fanservice” pixel.

    • October 2, 2014 at 3:48 amnewhope

      Grow up, anime is about entertainment and this show was about as entertaining as going to the dentist.

      And yes I’d say seirei tsukai was better show than this even though it was mediocre show.

      • October 3, 2014 at 1:07 amanonomom

        Shows your education level. I can’t for the life of me understand how people could stomach shit show with shit characters like Seirei Tsukai, probably because they’re too stupid to realize that.

  • October 2, 2014 at 4:36 ammagoiichi

    I liked it. Didn’t care for the Incest Sister, all the other schoolmates were interesting for what little screentime they got.

    At the end of the day, I’d rather have Jesus Tatsuya than Jesus Yamato…

  • October 2, 2014 at 5:26 pmgrss1982

    From what anime is the screenshot above from? They look like the Destroid Monsters from Macross.

  • October 4, 2014 at 1:02 amSasha

    Yaaaa, as someone who has read the LN I can tell you that the second half of this anime was a terrible adaption with many important parts left out. The first part was decent, but the second part was sword art online level bad. Also Tatsuya is suppose to portray a character with godly(literally) powers and nothing else. I think the writer was trying to portray a character with powers beyond imagination, but lacks basic human qualities and human interactions. In that sense I think Tatsuya is a great character that reflects societal views. I personally am a bigger fan of the world building than the characters of the series as they are just general archetypes. Also you seem to think highly of Horizon, but I can never get myself to watch that anime. I tried watching it when it first came out and did not make it past episode 2. I tried again a year later and didn’t even make it past 1. When season 2 came out I tried episode 1 and gave up again. It is such a bland setting and bland characters.

  • October 8, 2014 at 2:23 amL

    I guess stilts enjoys Naruto and the stupid weak MCs that train to be powerful after 100s of episodes. I for once loved an OP MC like Tatsuya, you complain so much about the show, but when was the last show that showed a very OP MC from the start? Last I remember was Kaze No Stigma and that was ages ago, before that was Hellsing.

    This show is quite unique in this respect. Also Tatsuya isnt really invincible, he will die if he gets hit on the brain, his self restore needs his magic calculation area in the mind, thus shooting him in the brain can kill him. He aint immortal.

  • October 16, 2014 at 5:53 pmIceHism

    This is kind of hilarious because as an LN reader, I think i hate this anime a lot more than most anime-only viewers. It needed a more artistic director that was willing to take liberties with the show to show what the world of mahouka is like. Not someone who just sticks to what they know from Horizon which was also a terrible adaption of the LN. After this, i’m practically convinced, Horizon and Mahouka aren’t suited for the animated medium without taking more liberties.

    If I had to point everything to one staff member, it is the director of this show. It’s just completely obvious that the staff members didn’t understand what the appeal of Mahouka was from the source material at all. Because of this, parts that should be emphasized were put into the background or were not mentioned. And parts that should not have been emphasized were emphasized to the extreme.

    First of all, the setting. this is perhaps the most important narrative element of Mahouka. It is the framework that makes Tatsuya and Miyuki’s life hell and tells you why everything is even happening in the story. The anime simply didn’t get it and even changed it into something lighthearted when it isn’t. They, for some odd reason, cut out all the reactions from stock characters and even removed most of them from ever appearing! (9sc was suppose to be filled by way more non-magicians, in the show, this was completely removed). But that’s only one thing. The setting in the anime never talked about the status of magicians, the hierarchy of the society, the ten master clans, and what the state of international politics is like. You can’t have an engaging setting if it feels like it isn’t even tied into the plot! Not only that, the setting in the anime was shiny but it felt vanilla and ordinary. Completely opposite from the book which did have a shiny setting but also made it uncanny and full of complexities. This is a big problem that in the end, the anime never overcame it and it’s obvious that the staff went full yolo after the first few episodes.

    Infodump: Ah yes, infodumps. The ones that are 100x more tolerable in books than in 24 minute anime episodes. My problem here is that they chose to put in the wrong infodumps rather than ones that truly contribute to the plot. If they actually used a more artistic approach to animating the magic, they wouldn’t even need to explain how each magic spell works! Spend more infodump on the setting of the world, the fundamentals of systematic and non-systematic magic as a whole, and how it relates to magicians in society. While it’s fun to read how each spell works in terms of science/physics, the anime is on a time constraint and needs to be more tight than the book.

    Art / Animation: This is truly where i felt that everything was so wrong. The point of animating magic is to make them flashy and cool to look at. Otherwise, there would be no point in animating this LN. The art is uninspired. Setting is shiny and clean but shallow. The character’s faces hardly move or make reactions even though they are so emphasized and talked about in the books. Everything was just really bad here.

    Symbolism: Mahouka has so much symbols and references, I’m especially disappointed in this.

    Characters: Ah yes, here we are. One of the things about characters is that you can’t really develop them according to the source material… if you fail to even characterize them properly to begin with! The drastic cutting of monologues, and interactions between many of the characters make them extremely unrefined. I would say that almost every character in this show got butchered by the amount of things they cut. Miyuki suffered the most damage in this part. Also, stop glorifying Tatsuya without adequate compensation. unfortunately, that was not done.
    One important thing about this show is that the series basically hides all the wrong things. the anime never explained tatsuya’s magic until later. in the novel? It’s stated in the first arc LOL. You already know what tatsuya can do in a fight.

    Fight scenes: heh, would you be surprised to know that they actually cut away most of the fights from the end fight in yokohama disturbance arc? haha. That’s why the last 2 episodes are among the worst adapted in the whole series.

    Advertisement: Look, this is not nearly as much as an action series as people expected it to be. Who decided to advertise that this is an action book? This book is something different. This isn’t a shonen battle LN. It really only just proves how poor of a grasp that the staff had on the source material.

    Plot: While i can’t say much about this since the volumes that the anime covered are all introductions to the real story. They did a terrible job with the first three arcs. These arcs were never about putting tatsuya against someone strong, it is mainly to explore the world and telling us about who the siblings are and how they fare through daily life and why things are happening the way they are.

    I certainly did not continue to read the LN for mahouka for what this anime staff thought the main appeal was. I’m sad they misunderstood and i can attest to this with most other LN readers of mahouka who also have the same feelings regarding this adaption as i do.

    I’m sad. I wanted this to work out. I wish someone more competent decided to pick this work up. Now, everyone is going to hate it because western fans reading LNs? HAHAHA. Most wouldn’t pick up one in their life i bet.

  • November 15, 2014 at 8:33 amRob

    I immidetaly thought this after the 6-7th ep. Tatusya is a straight Gary-Stu from some cheesey lone-wolf FanFic. After seeing Tatsuya on more than 4 occasions outshine every character and doing something everyone thought was ‘unbelivable’ and ‘never been done before’ was dull. Last episode I saw was during the magic sport event thing and when one female character lost her footing on the surfboard Tatusya was right beside her treating her injuries and telling the medics what to do. So he’s a doctor as well as some overpowered gary-stu. It just isnt right

  • November 19, 2014 at 9:47 pmearlgreyaulait

    tatsuya was OP, and it did get to my nerves slightly, but what made every episode so hard to watch was miyuki’s brocon, her constant blushing and her perverted desires just do not sit right with the pace of the anime and if anything slows it down. not to mention everytime a scene like that happens, it takes up almost a minute of the anime, like i don’t need to watch a full minute of a younger sister fawning over her older brother.

    i feel that however, the fact that tatsuya was OP was just to make up for his lack of emotions? perhaps he could feel 150 times the pain of the people he healed, but maybe he didn’t have the capacity to express it. on the battlefield, i thought was the only place he had maybe forgotten about his inferiority complex, which he faces almost daily in school life. decked in his mobile suit though, he perhaps did feel like god. it was afterall the only place where he maybe felt that he belonged to?

    but i would have preferred if the plot had stuck to him relying on his brains and skills more than just pure brutality though, limits the space for character development.

    the side characters were enjoying to watch though!

    overall, i don’t think this anime was that bad? it entertained me for a good half of the series and the violence and action scenes were not that badly done either (:

  • December 30, 2014 at 8:38 pmDafuq