「入学編I」 (Nyuugaku-hen I)
“Enrollment Part I”

A complex world filled with highly competent characters. They opened up a lot of questions, which leaves me wanting to know more.

A Complex World

One of the most enduring impressions I had while watching this episode was the feeling that there was an answer for everything, and everything was happening for a reason. It feels like there’s no “just because”, no “because I [the author] say so”. Everything seems to follow logically from the foundations laid down before it–or so I feel will be the case in time. I don’t know if that’s true yet because this first episode raised a lot of questions, and it only had time to give us answer to some of them.

First of all, a suggestion – there are some three-minute specials (three of them so far) called Yoku Wakaru Mahouka that explain some of the mechanics behind the world. If you’re confused, I suggest you watch them, because they may give you the foundation upon which the rest of the series’ world building will lay. I’ll be the first to admit that having to watch chibified exposition shorts before diving into the series proper isn’t an ideal situation – ideally everything would be in the series itself – but we’re dealing with a series which is, if not as “impossible to adapt” as my beloved Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, is at least in the ballpark, so if things are liable to be left out, anything they can do to fill in the gaps and keep the story moving is fine in my book. Plus, with director Ono Manabu on the job – he was the director for both seasons of Kyoukaisen – if he thinks they were important to make, I’m going to believe him. He probably learned a thing or two from his previous gigs. I personally think the shorts helped, even if they too raised a few additional questions that are still unanswered.

Highly Competent Characters

Anime is filled with endless variations on the ordinary high school student (trope!), at least in part because of the idea that having a protagonist who is “like the audience” makes it easier for us to empathize with them. I disagree. I prefer characters to be interesting, and if that means they are highly competent, that’s fine by me. Take Mondaiji – and I’m hoping, this season’s No Game No Life – where the protagonists were anything but ordinary, but they were interesting, so who cares? Here we’re seeing more of that, with a main duo who are not in the least bit ordinary.

Our male lead is Shiba Tatsuya (Nakamura Yuuichi), and he typifies this. Though he’s “no good” at magic – an assertion I don’t believe for a second – he’s already proven himself to be extremely perceptive, cool-headed, and a master at martial arts. I can’t say I can empathize with him a lot – I can’t yet step into his shoes – but so what? I’m interested in what he’s hiding, why he has a secret agent vibe, and what his agenda is. Same with his imouto Shiba Miyuki (Hayami Saori). So far her competency has been hinted at more than shown, but I want to see more. Ordinary is overrated. Give me the geniuses and the irregulars any day of the week.

Huge Cast ‘o Characters

Once again, the chibi versions helped me remember all the characters, since I’ve been introduced to most of them twice now. There’s definitely a large cast here, but their characters designs and personalities are pretty varied, so I didn’t have much trouble remembering the major ones. I also appreciated how they all seem to be competent as well, even the “weeds” – a slang term for the bottom 100 of every class, who don’t get practical magic lessons like the “blooms” in the top 100…watch those chibi shorts, people! – if Shibata Mizuki’s (Satou Satomi) perception, Chiba Erika’s (Uchiyama Yumi) speed, and Saijou Leonhart’s (Terashima Takuma) sheer balls are any indication. I also got the feeling that Student Council President Saegusa Mayumi (Hanazawa Kana) sees more than she’s letting on, which once again captures my interest. Questions, questions, questions, I have so many of them!

Incest, Wincest, Wow!

If you read my Selector Infected WIXOSS post, you might expect me to be down on the heavy incest vibe in this series. You would be wrong. Time to add a little nuance. In that post I said:

While I’m all for using forbidden love to add spice to a storyline, I have to say that the incest thing has gotten out of control lately…

But it doesn’t bother me here. Why? Because here it seems to be a central part of the story. The main protagonists are a brother/sister duo, and I heard about the invest vibes from early on, so when they showed up I wasn’t surprised; it was all according to keikaku, you might say. Here it has the potential to add spice to the story – or at the very least, it’s important enough to the characters for it to be there – while in WIXOSS it seemed like it was just tossed in there. I’m fine with incest in a story when there appears to be a point, but when it’s tossed in there for the hell of it, it’d better be a comedy or I’m going to roll my eyes. That wasn’t the case with WIXOSS, whereas in Mahouka it not only seems to be important, they also mined it for comedy to boot. That’s fine with me, especially since I having a feeling that Miyuki’s reactions to Tatsuya’s just-barely-short-of-realizing-how-much-of-a-brocon-she-is obliviousness are going to be hilarious to watch.

Hard Fantasy

Mahouka could well be the ur-example of what I call hard fantasy. Some people think magic and fantasy ought to say “Damn the rules!”, and that logical consistency is for sci-fi. No, I say! It’s fine either way, but I prefer hard fantasy, where A follows from B, and, once you learn how it all works, you can begin to understand the setting as well as the characters do. I prefer magic with rules (trope!). That’s what this is to a T.

The idea of codified magic is also an interesting one because it gives a feeling similar to one of the reasons I believe the Harry Potter series was so popular – it feels like this could really happen. There could be wizards right around the corner living in some invisible city, or magic could be out there just waiting for us to figure out the science of it. It’s a fantasy that doesn’t seem as far off, like you can almost reach out and touch it…and that’s what makes it attractive, at least in part. The other part is that with enough information we’ll be able to understand and anticipate character’s actions, but we’re a while from that. It took probably two-thirds of Log Horizon before we knew enough to do that (also, until we had a good battle we could do it on…Rudy!), so it’ll take some time here as well.

Combat Magic

Another of my great loves is combat magic. I write it, in fact – did I mention I wrote a book? I need to finish this post so I can get back to editing. But I digress–I’ve never been one for wizard-types standing back and slinging spells at each other when they can get up close and try to shove those spells down each other’s throats. It’s so much more visceral that way, which is fun. So it should come as no surprise that I really enjoyed the fights this episode, especially the martial arts brawl at the dojo. Madhouse did some impressive work with the animation there, which is nice since Madhouse has been kind of sucking recently. (Note: This is why I’m starting to pay far more attention to staff than the studio – the studio doesn’t mean jack half of the time.) I’m hoping to see more of this as the series progresses.

Looking Ahead – More Exposition

To be fair, this was a dry first episode. A lot of introduction, a lot of exposition, and a lot of questions that haven’t been answered. I’ve heard a few people say it was boring, and fair enough – if the questions the series raises and the world it’s building aren’t interesting to you, there isn’t going to be much here. It’s a specialized taste, or perhaps an acquired one, like the love of a delicious Russian Imperial Stout. (That’s a style of beer, for the uninitiated.) It’s well in my wheelhouse though, so I’ll be looking forward to finding out more.

I don’t know whether I’ll be blogging this or not. I really don’t want to pick up another Saturday show, much less a story-rich 2-cour series that’s going to take extra time to write about, but if the series keeps being really interesting, I might go full masochist and do it anyway. I’ll probably cover Episode 2 at least, to keep my options open. Thank you for bearing with me, and thanks for reading!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A lot of exposition reveals a complex world full of highly competent characters. Also, a veeery brocon imouto #mahouka 01

Random thoughts:

  • Once thing I don’t understand is why so many people were likening this to SAO, other than the hype (I totally understand that). So far it’s nothing like it. About the most I can see is that they both have protagonists who could be called overpowered, but so far Tatsuya feels more like a Raishin (Unbreakable Machine-Doll) or Izayoi (Mondaiji) than a Kirito. It’s okay if a protagonist is powerful as long as it’s earned or makes sense; it’s only when the story starts bending out of the way so the protagonist can look cool that they enter overpowered/Gary Stu territory. Then again, Kirito didn’t feel overpowered in Episode 1, so we’ll see.
  • I forgot to mention, but I ended up liking the character designs/art. I was worried because they didn’t look that good to me in the promotional art, but they worked better when the characters were moving.
  • It was interesting how quickly the kettle heated back up after the magical ice faded.
  • I wasn’t so sure about this magic thing until I learned that you could use it to clean your clothes. Laundry done in an instant? I could save so much time! I’m in! Where do I enroll?
  • It’s rare to see people using just the keyboard. That’s interesting because A) it hints at a different, more futuristic kind of text interface, and because B) you call that fast typing!? If that was fast, they would think my speed is like lightning!
  • Yup, I’m definitely shipping Chiba x Leo already.
  • Disclaimer: Please do not post spoilers in the comments. If you want to talk about something that’s going to happen later, make sure to both enclose it in spoiler tags and identify (without spoiling) what it’s about beforehand, so other readers know whether to click on it or not. Also, if I ask a question in any of my posts assume it’s hypothetical unless I specifically mention otherwise. I don’t want to be spoiled, I just think aloud sometimes. Thank you for your understanding.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Useful lies; Missing the point; You don’t get credit for the words you don’t write; and Right, not best.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「Rising Hope」 by LiSA

Preview

279 Comments

    1. Like I said, pay more attention to the staff – especially director, series composer, and script writer – than the studio. While studios like KyoAni, Shaft, and Trigger have distinct flavors – mainly because their staff is more consistent – ones like J.C.Staff, Sunrise, and Madhouse are all about the staff. They’re too big, too decentralized, and too erratic for the studio name to mean much.

      Stilts
      1. 1st same eye color, also older brother
        2nd same eye color, also yandere
        3rd same eye color, also has two younger sisters
        4th same wearing glasses, also has perceptive eye

        Da fak?

        Ungas123
      2. I’d usually cringe at comparing certain characters to the ones in OreImo but there’s no problem here so far. Miyuki is like Ayase without the bitchy side,which was what I hated about her. Tatsuya seems like an interesting male lead so far and rather than calling him overpowered I’m more inclined to call him a pro,with several previous experiences. Not sure what to make of his personality yet though,but we’ll see.

        Maybe this is how the characters would be in OreImo if Kirino never existed,which their entire world seemed to revolve around. I’m totally fine with that 😛

        MgMaster
    2. Well… needless to say, it’d honestly be pretty hard to get much worse. When episodes beginnings pretty much never connect to events of the previous episode’s end and you end up giving the audience THAT kind of ending, someone legit deserves to be fired. The action scenes were generally abysmal with shoddy animation as well, which is a serious detriment to an action show. And don’t even get me started on those attack names… (That’s the author’s fault though.)

      Mui being cute was pretty much the only good thing about that, and I’m generally pretty lenient on shows.

      Kuntzy
      1. Haha, for a second I was thinking “WHAT, the fight animation in Mahouka was good!”

        Then I saw that you were getting upvoted and had to think for a minute or two to finally connect that you were talking about another show.

        SerRompalot
    3. Hogwarts gets anime rival? The series shows real promise.

      Mahouka could well be the ur-example of what I call hard fantasy. Some people think magic and fantasy ought to say “Damn the rules!”, and that logical consistency is for sci-fi. No, I say! It’s fine either way, but I prefer hard fantasy, where A follows from B, and, once you learn how it all works, you can begin to understand the setting as well as the characters do. I prefer magic with rules (trope!). That’s what this is to a T.

      I like how the magic is technologised and weaponised. Because thats what our world would do with magic if it suddenly became real!

      ewok40k
  1. First episode looked great imo! Had enough action and explanation without being a giant infodump, I think i’ll watch the ep and read the corresponding LN chapter to fill in any blanks.

    Dat voice cast tho, you can tell Madhouse and Dengeki Bunko is investing a ton of money into this.

    shiny
      1. OOh, I’ll check those out. Nah, the one of the ??? moments that stood out to me was at the end, when the other guy pulled out a gun CAD (?), why Leon extended his arm out to grab it (?). I mean, if your opponent has a mid-range weapon, I don’t think its a good idea to immediately run in a straight line to knock it out of the other person’s hand..? I’m hoping the original source gave a more… strategic explanation of what happened :’D

        shiny
      2. Ungas is correct on that, sometimes moving one’s body is way faster than invoking a spell to counter it. This is especially true when the person him/herself is more adept in CQC instead.

        Salleus
      3. Leo doesn’t have his own personalized CAD until slightly later and specializes in fortification magic while Erika is specialized sword based magics, hence their reliance on using martial arts.

        Also myth busters has proven that in under 20 meters, a readied knife can stab you faster than a holstered gun.

        FlayvorOfEvil
      4. Also that isn’t a gun but a gun shaped CAD. The shape helps the magician visualize/aim the magic being used, but the attack itself is coming from the magician. Worrying about range and such isn’t really a concern I would guess, but knocking the CAD away would interrupt the casting process.

        StrenX
      5. @shiny: The gun CADs only look like guns; they don’t actually fire projectiles unless the user’s using projectile magic (like say, a fireball or something) and sets its origin point at the muzzle. The in-universe reason for their design was something about improving aim or something like that, I can’t quite remember, but basically they’re no different from toy guns if you ignore the magic.

        Hanabira.Kage
      6. Gun can help out with visually acquiring the target, but the muzzle doesn’t necessarily have to be pointing at the target to hit it. Of course certain spells can be set so that it will hit whatever the muzzle is aimed at in which case it will require proper aim.

        FlayvorOfEvil
    1. Ayase can finally win the Oreimob owl in an alter dimension with bad geographers and magic… Oh wait! The MC is not into her as well here XD.

      Poor Ayase. At least she’s still yandere.

      TheMoondoggie
  2. Whenever I listen to Nakamura Yuuichi, this guy comes to my mind:

    https://randomc.net/image/CLANNAD/CLANNAD%20~AFTER%20STORY~%20-%20Recap%20-%2003.jpg

    And of course, Saori Hayami saying “onii-sama/san” definitely gives Ayase-tan vibes! Plus, she is clearly into her onii-san/protagonist!

    https://randomc.net/image/Ore%20no%20Imouto%20ga%20Konnani%20Kawaii%20Wake%20ga%20Nai./Ore%20no%20Imouto%20ga%20Konnani%20Kawaii%20Wake%20ga%20Nai.%20-%2012%20-%20Snapshot%2006.jpg

    Tassadar
    1. I just realized that Nakamura Yuuichi is the VA for Kyousuke in OreImo as well! Plus, that I still don’t know how to embed pictures into my posts (help anyone?!) 😛

      Tassadar
      1. @Tassadar

        I’m not too sure, but I think you might only be able to embed with newer stuff. Maybe. I just copy the picture’s link into the text box and voila. Doesn’t seem like you’re doing anything differently so that’s the only explanation I can think of.

        Kuntzy
  3. Great post man. I really hope you’ll keep covering Mahouka in the future.
    Hmmm…. Now that I think about it, it’s been a while since last I read a post of yours. 😀 Looking forward to the next post.

    On a side note: Leo and Erika does indeed make quite a matching couple.

    Swarz
    1. Thanks so much! I love the light novels, but my one thing that spoils it for me is the inability to keep up with the huge cast. Which is a fault on my part… I read too much, to the point where I have trouble even recalling a character’s appearance, even if they’re missing an arm. So when I watched this, I was like:

      Character names -> Appearances in color

      “YES! It will all make sense now!”

      *Sees Saegusa*

      “You had black hair?! I thought you were blond!”

      *Sees Hattori, Mikihiko and Leon*

      “Who are these guys?!”

      ReverseTales
      1. This goes back to an old theory of mine – people are terrible at imagining characters when described. Try describing the Mona Lisa to someone in such a way that they’ll guess who you’re describing without saying words like “Louvre” or “painting”…they won’t do it. We’re bad at describing and imagining characters, even though we’re good with places and events.

        That’s one thing that’s actually valuable about LNs…they just show us what the characters look like, so we don’t have to worry about it.

        Stilts
      2. I was expecting Leo to be short with a slightly higher voice. He comes across as kinda hyper and rash in the LN, so…but then again, his frame suits his specialty much better.

        Hanabira.Kage
    2. From the Top-Left: Shizuku, Honoka, Mayumi, Mari, Suzune and Hattori(only male)
      From the Middle-Left: Azusa(golden-brown hair), Miyuki, Tatsuya, Erika and Leonhart(Leonhard)
      From the Bottom-Left: Mikihiko, Mizuki and Katsuto(this guy is the one who was near the camera with Mayumi in the 3rd special episode)

      But the only people who are important are the Tatsuya, Miyuki, Erika, Leo, Mayumi, and Katsuto. Everyone else has like one or two scenes in the entire series where they matter.

      FlayvorOfEvil
  4. *cries* The very first review for the series that was actually positive (Because most of them are ADD I guess…) and it was by the one dude who I was looking forward to doing it. Yayzers! Friggin’ Zephyr and Xumbra making me nervous 😛

    I should forewarn people though that vol. 1 is predominantly spent on the world building and introductions and really has little to no plot. It’s not until the second half of Enrollment that things kick into gear, so expect much of the same as this episode for probably 3 or 4 more episodes.

    And since I’ve seen this complaint a bit over on other sites I guess it should be stated. It IS technically a harem (he’s got 3 girls definitely into him and one that’s on the fence), it doesn’t escalate into Tatsuya being a walking chick magnet. Mizuki for one definitely isn’t into him.

    The incest angle also is used rather well. Miyuki’s initial monologue during the flashback at the beginning is highly relevant. It’s far from just stupid pandering and is given actual depth later on. It honestly feels like the author wanted to tackle the subject of incest (from one side of the equation at least) rather than “lol, it’s popular recently so it’s sure to sell.”

    Lastly the SAO comparisons were retarded from the start, which is why I felt the writers might be scared off by them because of its general reception. It’s pretty much inevitable that the two were going to be compared by their quality due to their origins but people talking about in-story similarities just made me scratch my head. It’s pretty much like comparing apples and oranges.

    Kuntzy
    1. Actually, you and others telling me that there was a lot of world building to be done early on helped me go into the episode expecting the right kind of pace, so thank you : ) And glad to hear you enjoyed the post…I woulda flayed it alive if it deserved it, but I didn’t feel it did. An acquired taste perhaps, like I said, but since I’ve acquired that particular taste, it was quite enjoyable.

      Stilts
      1. You’re very welcome.

        I’d personally like it if you continued blogging it but I won’t hold it against you if you don’t. Time is precious after all. It actually amazes me that you can work, do all this blogging, watch a bunch of shows, write a novel and somehow play LoL (played that for 2 months and decided it was way too addictive and a serious impediment to my free time and got out while I could before it was too late) all at once. Hopefully another writer will pick it up if that turns out being the case.

        Kuntzy
      2. I would also love it if you continued blogging about this series. Particularly since you are an author. I’ve read all of your posts on Log Horizon, and I particularly enjoyed your insights into its narrative.

        I also prefer hard fantasy, because I love how it feels when those “rules” are able to flow with the story. I think it’s harder for hard fantasy to flow (what if you write yourself into a corner?), but Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei does it well. The individuals of the cast all have a subtle depth to them, and drive the plot forward in an exciting way.

        So I hope that you will enjoy watching this (and maybe read the light novels afterwards!), even if you don’t want to continue blogging about this. My only concern is about the pacing of the anime, since I also feel that it is hard to adapt. Log Horizon felt a bit rushed at the end…

        ReverseTales
      3. @Kuntzy

        One thing is that I pretty much dropped LoL (+ most video games), hah. I only play video games with friends maybe once a week, and I haven’t played a single player game in ages – despite the fact that I have Planetary Annihilation I could be playing ;_; Time truly is a valuable thing.

        @ReverseTales

        Take it from me, it’s definitely easier to write one’s self into a corner and have trouble getting out of it. I’ve done the same myself – recently, in fact – and it took me a while of bashing my head against the narrative wall to (hopefully) have fixed it. I think it’s worth it in the end, though.

        Stilts
    2. The incest angle also is used rather well. Miyuki’s initial monologue during the flashback at the beginning is highly relevant. It’s far from just stupid pandering and is given actual depth later on. It honestly feels like the author wanted to tackle the subject of incest (from one side of the equation at least) rather than “lol, it’s popular recently so it’s sure to sell.”

      http://www.reactiongifs.us/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/bullshit_pilkington.gif

      No, it’s stupid pandering alright, no need to try to justify it. It’s pretty much THE archetype that the trifecta of anime/manga/light novels employ for fast, cheap viewership. Rather than a contemplative critique/commentary on incestuous relationships, the furthest extent the author goes on the topic is merely trying to justify it in the context of his story. It only exists to string the readers/viewers along for the ride, the proverbial carrot at the end of the stick, but no one ever gets the carrot. It’s all about entertainment value and not believability.

      This ain’t Koikaze x Index.

      Solace
      1. >Miyuki loves Tatsuya like a sibling

        That’s bullshit from just the first episode. The way she addresses and looks at him already shows that she wants to have his babies. Did you somehow miss how she reacted to Mizuki’s misunderstanding?

        Solace
      2. @Solace

        Obviously you believe that employing incest is a story is pandering no matter what. It’s not like people can’t actually write it in a story and handle it in a mature manner.

        For the most part Miyuki’s feelings are shown as platonic (which is a far cry from the usual) and she even acknowledges that she can’t act on those feelings. I personally would much rather read/watch something written like this than say stuff like Kiss x Sis, Oniai or Onisuki just to name a few which are shows that try to portray it as having nothing wrong with it and idealizes the angle.

        Kuntzy
      3. So basically, by including a possible incestuous relationship, regardless of justification, the author is pandering. It’s not like the justification is “because he was nice to me when we were young” or “we made a childhood promise”.

        1. The three media you mentioned are, first and foremost, in the entertainment business. If I’m browsing the fantasy section in a bookstore(or Amazon, etc.), the first thing I’m looking for is something that entertains me, even if it isn’t necessarily thought-provoking, not a critique of society. Are there times I want some social commentary? Sure. Doesn’t mean every single thing I read/watch has to critique every trope they use to be entertaining.

        2. This world provides social commentary in areas outside of incest, so if you’re looking for commentary in general, you should get it. Incest isn’t THE central pillar of the story, so if that’s what is going to decide whether you like/dislike the show, that’s unfortunate.

        3. Tatsuya’s feelings are indisputably platonic, though he enjoys trolling others (see Mizuki) about it. Miyuki’s feelings are more complex, but there’s certainly more than just her wanting his babies, as you put it. There is more nuance to their relationship, but that takes time to develop. Miyuki’s monologue in the intro sheds some light on her reasons. Would you like an infodump on everything regarding the two and their relationship in the first episode, to decide whether or not it’s just thrown in because it’s popular?

        SK
      4. Obviously you believe that employing incest is a story is pandering no matter what. It’s not like people can’t actually write it in a story and handle it in a mature manner.

        Let’s not put words in my mouth.

        You’re operating under the assumption that the incestuous undertones in Mahouka are done tastefully or maturely and I’d like to call bullshit on that. The constant fawning and praising by Miyuki isn’t what I call mature. The ball’s in your court to prove that it is. The way it’s presented is that it’s a pretty straight play on the trope of the imouto being a brocon because of some dark past. There is no nuance to be found in that relationship beyond that. It’s not something that develops. It’s just something IS, rather than something that adds to the characters. It was only included for titillation rather than making a statement. The author does the bare minimum of trying to justify it rather than solidify it as a point of development for both characters. But hey, if you like this stuff, more power to you, but don’t go pissing in my ear and say it’s raining.

        Actually, just so we both understand that we’re talking about Mahouka here (and I guess, by extension, the anime industry at large), you know that the whole idea of incest hasn’t exactly been done for making a statement or whatever, right? It’s just that it’s a bulletpoint that certain people in certain segments of the audience watch anime/read manga/read LNs for. I can only count 2-3 cases in the industry that tried to do a serious story on this subject (Koi Kaze, Miyuki, and another whose name escapes me).

        For the most part Miyuki’s feelings are shown as platonic (which is a far cry from the usual) and she even acknowledges that she can’t act on those feelings.

        Yeah, it is platonic in the sense that it’s currently not sexual, but she clearly wants it to be more than that. She can’t act on the feelings because sales for the series would drop once Tatsuya commits. That’s the explanation I give to why it’s platonic. Which is to say it is NOT mere sibling love.

        “It takes a strong man to deny what’s right in front of him. When the truth is undeniable, you create your own.”

        Solace
      5. @SK

        So basically, by including a possible incestuous relationship, regardless of justification, the author is pandering. It’s not like the justification is “because he was nice to me when we were young” or “we made a childhood promise”.

        Is it not reasonable to assume that the next work with incestuous themes (among the thousands of them at this point, 99.9% done with a blatant disrespect to the subject matter) is subject to methodology of guilty until proven innocent? And you should read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westermarck_effect

        1. The three media you mentioned are, first and foremost, in the entertainment business. If I’m browsing the fantasy section in a bookstore(or Amazon, etc.), the first thing I’m looking for is something that entertains me, even if it isn’t necessarily thought-provoking, not a critique of society. Are there times I want some social commentary? Sure. Doesn’t mean every single thing I read/watch has to critique every trope they use to be entertaining.

        The inclusion of incest is a detractor to the kind of story the show goes for. I’m saying if you’re gonna do it, do it right, especially incest is considered a taboo in current society. To have it and not go the whole nine yards is like if I made a work centered around lesbians and not tackle how society reacts to that (OH WAIT, THAT ALREADY EXISTS, >Sakura Trick). Unless somehow their world that doesn’t have that taboo, then free reign for those people.

        2. This world provides social commentary in areas outside of incest, so if you’re looking for commentary in general, you should get it. Incest isn’t THE central pillar of the story, so if that’s what is going to decide whether you like/dislike the show, that’s unfortunate.

        The Mahouka world is all sorts of borked since the author can’t into believable geopolitics assuming their world branched from ours. It seems like it does. That’s a whole separate topic I’d rather not get too involved with. He should consult Yoshimune Kouki on that. Like Pakistan is really gonna merge with India? Israel with the rest of the Arab world? America annexing Canada and Central America? The EU actually splitting when they know they’d be weaker divided in our current world?

        3. Tatsuya’s feelings are indisputably platonic, though he enjoys trolling others (see Mizuki) about it. Miyuki’s feelings are more complex, but there’s certainly more than just her wanting his babies, as you put it. There is more nuance to their relationship, but that takes time to develop. Miyuki’s monologue in the intro sheds some light on her reasons. Would you like an infodump on everything regarding the two and their relationship in the first episode, to decide whether or not it’s just thrown in because it’s popular?

        This point doesn’t say anything because it’s platonic due to a technicality, Show Spoiler ▼

        Solace
      6. @Solace

        For one, using the Westermarck effect is only really applicable to siblings that were raised together. For siblings separated, they can bypass the whole kin recognition and see each other as something other than siblings. The taboo itself isn’t actually illegal in many places as well. The wording used when describing incest as a crime generally categorizes it as rape. So if both parties are consenting adults, it’s technically not illegal but it bars from the possibility of marriage and is generally looked down upon. Japan is one of these countries. I don’t condone this irl myself, I simply recognize this kind of stuff as works of fiction and treat it as such.

        I will have to admit though, my self-taught definition I came up with for platonic seems to not match up with what it actually is. I initially believed that a relationship stops being platonic when lust (essentially being to the point you want to have sex with them) develops for the other person. I’m not really one to go look for every definition in the dictionary, so I created that based off its usage. I ended up being wrong, so I’ll concede that point.

        The imouto being a brocon because of some dark past point is wrong however. Won’t say any more for spoilers, but it started before that flashback scene in the opening. Even if the “dark past” event in question never happened, it likely wouldn’t have changed a whole lot. Maybe would have made her less clingy if anything.

        The author also isn’t going to go gung-ho on the relationships since this isn’t really a romance series. Almost everything in media today involves romance of some sort. I never stated that it’s trying to send a message btw. I simply stated that in comparison to many other incest themed shows, I’d much rather see something like this where the character(s) in question actually treat it as a serious issue. What I find mature about it is that unlike Yosuga no Sora, she doesn’t try to create her own logic regarding the matter to try to justify her feelings. Nor does she continuously wallow in her own self-pity. (I’m not too sure if I’ve seen something like that but it came to mind). She has intimate moments with him but she realizes there are boundaries she shouldn’t cross for their own good. Her actions can be immature at times, but I don’t really think her feelings are.

        Her constant praise can’t be considered immature whatsoever though because she’s simply stating the truth. As a Yamato Nadeshiko, her archetype dictates that she can’t tolerate those who would hurt or look down upon those she loves.

        Also, if I’m understanding that wonderful “Don’t piss in my ear and tell me it’s rain” line right, you’re essentially telling me that despite the fact that YOU replied to me, I shouldn’t state my own views because you don’t agree with them. Wonderful.

        Kuntzy
      7. @Kuntzy

        >“Don’t piss in my ear and tell me it’s rain”

        It means don’t sugarcoat how this series presents the incestuous undertones and expect people like me to buy into it.

        Solace
      8. @Solace

        So pretty much exactly what I said then. Gotcha.

        I don’t expect everyone to agree with me nor did I imply as such. I stated my view and you called me out. Quite rudely in fact.

        Might I add that despite you saying I was putting words in your mouth, you never actually said anything that contradicted my claim.

        Kuntzy
      9. So pretty much exactly what I said then. Gotcha.

        I don’t expect everyone to agree with me nor did I imply as such. I stated my view and you called me out. Quite rudely in fact.

        If you want me to clarify it some more, another take on it would mean you can sing praises about the series’ inclusion of incestuous themes, you can like it all you want, but don’t act like it’s something good or even admirable. You can try defending it all you want, but don’t think people won’t strike you down on it.

        Might I add that despite you saying I was putting words in your mouth, you never actually said anything that contradicted my claim.

        Because I realized that none of us are going to change our views. One of us is gonna continue drinking the cool-aid until the series is over.

        Solace
      10. you can like it all you want, but don’t act like it’s something good or even admirable.

        Now who’s the one putting words in someone’s mouth?

        I stated that I see it as a work of fiction and treat it as such. The author deserves to have his work viewed from a semi-unbiased standpoint and not hated on just for the inclusion of something that the reader views as morally wrong. When it’s clear the author shows no interest in adding depth of any kind and is simply used for fan service, then you can go to town.

        I’m a generally open-minded and lenient guy and it takes quite a bit to legitimately turn me off from a series. The concept of rape absolutely pisses me off, but if a series were to tackle it properly I wouldn’t rip on it for its inclusion.

        This is my final input on the matter because our view points are so far apart that discussion really is pointless. I can completely accept that there are people who view incest as disgusting and won’t watch something because of it. (Notice how I haven’t gone after anybody for saying so.) It seems more like it’s you who can’t accept that there are people that aren’t bothered by its inclusion. Saying that it’s fine if you like it while darn near everything else you say points to the opposite says quite a bit.

        Kuntzy
      1. Tatsuya was born in April of the year before Miyuki was born. They’re technically the same age for a month (hence the being twins confusion that was mentioned) and conveniently, April is when the series begins.

        They didn’t state it in the episode, but in the novel Tatsuya said that if he were born one month earlier or Miyuki was born one month later, they wouldn’t be in the same year.

        Kuntzy
      2. Strange, where I do live kids go to school by calendar years of birth, not by fitting the academic years.
        I will write this off as another cause of “because: Japan”.

        ewok40k
    1. The rule of thumb is ~4 episodes per LN. That’s not always how it works out, but it’s a good yardstick. So assume six LNs in 2-cour, though it could be less since this is dense material.

      Stilts
      1. Volume 6 is part 1 of 2 of Yokohama Disturbance Incident Arc. But since Volume 5 of the Novel was more likely a “slice of life” ep, they’ll probably cut some parts of it.

        Ungas123
      2. The end of vol seven is the perfect time to end the series because it ends on such a climax and establishes a turning point in the entire series. Too bad we can’t have the anime covering the entire 4 years.

        FlayvorOfEvil
    2. Edited by Stilts: I have no idea what any of the things you said meant, but they sounded like spoilers, so I’m tagging them all. Be careful please. Show Spoiler ▼

      Ungas123
    3. LN breakdown of anything that might be covered this season:
      vol 1-2: enrollment arc
      vol 3-4: nine schools competition arc
      vol 5: summer sidestories, though at least 2 have important details/plot developments
      vol 6-7: Yokohama disturbance arc (I would rather not get into this arc this season, that probably means they cut too much stuff out elsewhere.)
      vol 8: mostly flashback/backstory regarding events 3 years prior to the start of the story

      Definitely covering 1-4, possibly filling out with stuff from 5 and/or 8 would be my guess.

      SK
      1. They seemed to be trying their best to go through the start as fast as possible so I’m pretty sure it’s going to go up to the 7th novel, especially considering that scene at the start. They’ll probably cut out some of the 5th and turn it into OVAs.

        HakumeiJin
      2. I re-watched the ED, and there were a couple of scenes in there that might suggest they are intending to finish the Yokohama arc. It isn’t concrete enough to be proof, but I could see it hinting that way.

        As others have noted, the removal of transition scenes makes this episode kind of choppy, but we’ll have to see how it goes if they indeed try to get through 3 arcs.

        SK
      3. @SK: Given EP 01 pacing, I now think covering volumes 1-4 + 6-7 is a given. 🙁 Actually even if the pacing slowed down a bit, the anime could still easily cover volumes 1-8 the way the adaptation is going.

        Frankly, like you, I’d much rather the show just cover volumes 1-4 + flashback part of volume 8, and maybe the first OR last story in volume 05. Leave volumes 6-7 for a second season. IF they do this season right, the series is popular enough to where they most likely will get second season like SAO.

        daikama
      4. If they do get to Yokohama it’s going to come at the cost of some serious character development and nuance. 🙁 I’d rather them do Enrollment/Nine Schools Competition right and start off a second season with the last volume 5 story and Yokohama. It’d make an awesome way to kick into a second season.

        As an LN reader, as long as they’re faithful to the source, I’m just happy to see the world I enjoy animated–but, I’d like to see them do it proper justice for the anime-only watchers to appreciate.

        Altherion
  5. Stilts: I understand your reluctance to commit to blogging a 2-cour show on a busy day, but I’m sure that I’m not speaking only for myself when I say that I _strongly hope_ you’ll do it anyway. That’s why:

    1) Your review towered heads and shoulders over what any other blogger put out, since you reported a measured middle ground. Most reviewers break into the fanboys or hater camp, but you actually bothered to discuss your impressions, making it very worthwhile to read.

    2) You’re a self-professed Mahouka virgin. Meaning that you are in the precious position to write without prior knowledge (other than broad-paint spoilers which can’t be avoided). I’m quite curious how someone unsoiled/unspoiled will see the show.

    3) As you can see, the interest in Mahouka is high. It just wouldn’t feel right to have RC ignore it.

    Like you put it, the first episode was a bit “dry”. It couldn’t be helped. This is one third of the first book in a 2-volume story arc. What you may not know: The story started out as a web novel (like the one you seem to write), and the author couldn’t care less if the pacing was right for the mass market – he wrote it for himself and his fan niche. No editor to intervene here either. So, the start will not be geared to big explosions and fanservice to draw people in, you will have to be a bit patient. Once you’re familiar with the setting, the story will take off. And I am positively sure that if you liked Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, you will love Mahouka.

    So thanks for your efforts so far, and I’m starting a petition to get Stilts-coverage for Mahouka 😉

    Mentar
    1. Thank you for the compliment! My instincts when I approach a hyped show are to either A) avoid it entirely or B) develop a nuanced viewpoint to dispel the black-and-white nonsense of the fanboys and haters. Since this is my kind of story, I had to go with option two. Glad it appears to have worked : )

      We’ll see how long I can remain mostly unspoiled, though. I’ll manage it as long as no one drops huge spoilers in the comments, but the chance of that is…well, be kind to me guys. I like having a fresh view of these things.

      P.S. My novel won’t be a web novel, though it will be a self-published ebook, so I still have the advantage of not having editors who can force me to do things I don’t want to. I still listen to my editors though, because it’s silly to not get help from a pro, heh

      Stilts
    2. Throwing in for more Stilts blogging of this show. Especially interested in your views of the magic system given your taste in hard fantasy. This has one of the more developed and explained systems I’ve come across. Not sure how much of the exposition they’ll get into for the show though.

      StrenX
  6. Just a little nitpick, but for some reason the first 5 minutes or so felt like something that comes out straight from your standard eroge; Main character sees his sister off, meets the beautiful Seitokaicho, and befriends megane with big breasts and a tomboyish gal, and eventually other male character who’s somehow having contrast personality than his.

    Anyway, regarding the first episode itself, i pretty much enjoyed it. It has done a good job at establishing the characters and the worldbuilding. And the sparring between MC and the monk was intense. The most enjoyable scene of this eps. And compared to KamiInai and Mahousen, Mahouka shows much better improvement in terms of visual and soundtrack. Unfortunately, the pacing felt really off. The transition between one scene to another often strike me as being too rushed and awkward. And the narrative seems to be poorly-written. Certain terms (CAD, Number, activation seq) casually being thrown without any particular expositions that they come across as empty blabbering for me. I don’t even know what’s the deal with the so-called “blooms” that they had to pick a fight out of the blue. Hopefully these things will be explained in later episodes because this show already scream lots of potentials to me.

    Not a bad episode. But it could have been much better.

    Amiluhur
    1. The scene transition was a problem I had with it as well. They took out some scenes that bridge some of the jumps in order to be able to make it to the final scene of the episode. That was really the only good place they could’ve left of at. The scene’s they took out (that I immediately remember) were rather inconsequential, but they did make it seem like it wasn’t jumping all over the place. I seriously hope this doesn’t continue and they simply did it for the reason I stated because you want your episode to end on a point that makes sense.

      I know the terms will be defined for sure. Just not sure if it’ll be in the shorts that will be posted on youtube (assuming they continue) or in the show itself. You’ll learn about them in not too long, that’s for sure.

      The blooms thing is basically chalked up to elitism. Some people get off on the sense of superiority they get when talking down to others of a lower class. In this case “Weeds”. (herp derp. *insert marijuana joke here* I know some people are gonna do it.)

      Kuntzy
    2. Terms should be explained eventually, though I would watch the Yoku Wakaru Mahouka shorts for some more information.

      If you’re curious, (no big spoilers, these should be explained at some point)
      CAD
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Numbers
      Show Spoiler ▼

      activation sequence
      Show Spoiler ▼

      SK
    3. @Amiluhur: Yeah, I agree. It was very rushed and cut a lot of the exposition/detail in doing so. See my post below if you want specifics on just how fast the pacing was.

      ————

      @Kuntzy:That was really the only good place they could’ve left of at.

      JMO, but I don’t agree with that logic. It’s EP 01 out of 26, not the last episode, so I don’t see how ending on “right spot” takes precedence over telling the story at a proper pace, which given all the background info in this series, is important. I also disagree that the material cut was “inconsequential” unless all you really want are the action scenes. There’s a lot of dialog nuances which were cut that give you insight into the characters. Mayumi (SC Pres) is one example.

      daikama
      1. I didn’t necessarily say that I agree with it, I just tried to reason out why I think they’d do it. Constant scene jumping annoys me to a certain degree. I just feel like first episodes need to end on sort of a hook point (honestly, that wasn’t a very good one either but I still think it was the point that makes the most sense) to make the viewer end off on a good note and make them want to watch again next week. I’m just curious, but I’d like to ask what point you believe they should have ended off on? Simply for comparisons sake.

        I only say that the scenes are rather inconsequential because they don’t really add anything absolutely necessary (That I can think of off the top of my head. I’d have to give it another read through to be absolutely sure, it’s been awhile) that can’t be replaced by something that leaves much of the same impression that comes up later. I’d like everything to stay intact as well, but I’m not going to get too mad about it unless it starts completely ruining it. It’s a little premature to cry doomsday at the moment. (again, imo.)

        Kuntzy
    4. @Amiluhur

      I actually thought the same thing when he met the seitokaichou, I just forgot about it with everything else that was going on.

      @Kuntzy & @daikama

      I think Kuntzy was right about them wanting to end on that scene. If the other scenes merely help with flow, that’ll make the story overall and impress the most experienced viewers, but that’s not their primary goal – it’s getting asses in the seats next week. People tend to remember the first and last things they see the best – this is actually a sales tactic – so putting strong scenes at the beginning and the end increases the likelihood that people’ll remember those, like them, and tune back in. And that’s what they need to do to not lose fistfuls of money.

      Stilts
      1. @Stilts: People tend to remember the first and last things they see the best – this is actually a sales tactic…

        I understand that (something covered in my Consumer Psych course). Same goes for the fact that anime is a for profit business. Where I disagree is the “necessity” of doing so. This is a highly popular LN (how many comments have been made about all the hype before the show even aired?). It already has a large “built-in” audience from my perspective. So is there really a need to sacrifice pacing in an attempt to capture every eye-ball for one more episode? Not IMO.

        Director Ono Manabu has been given great (IMO), highly popular source materiel, AND the luxury of a two cour/26 episode run. Unlike the 1-cour seasons of Horizon, there isn’t a time constraint requiring compression and lots of material cuts – unless he chooses to make one of his own. In the same spirit as something you once posted, IMO the sole focus should be on making the best show he can (and best IMO =/= covering as much source material as possible).

        If he does that, then I fail to see how this show wouldn’t be quite profitable, and accordingly, most likely given a 2nd season (per Log Horizon, SAO, etc., etc.). Even Maken-ki got a second season so I don’t think it’s a stretch to presume MKnR would IF the first season is done right. At any rate, as I’ve posted before, I realize that it’s just the first episode so let’s see how it plays out. I truly hope my concerns prove false.

        daikama
      2. In which case, we pretty much agree. I agreed with Kuntzy about why they did it, but I also agree with you that they should focus on making the absolute best story possible since they’ve probably got more flexibility than most series. I don’t know if that means they should have slowed it down and ended at another spot – maybe that would have been off-putting even to a LN reader – but putting it all in there is the ideal. Or at least doing the things they put in well.

        Stilts
  7. Even though I have read the LN I would rather everyone refrain from spoiling the story for the anime-watchers. I just find the voice-actress for Miyuki a tad bit off but that may just be a personal preference. Well, looking forward to the next episode! Am glad the fight scenes have improved

    Vandsy
    1. I also found the voice actor for Miyuki a tad strange! However I soon got over it, and it seems like it’ll be interesting, considering Miyuki’s personality. The one voice I haven’t gotten over yet is Leon’s.

      ReverseTales
  8. Wow…this is the second incest pairing im approving~! First was RDG’s Souda siblings and now this! Its kinda rare for me to love incest pair…but i cant had enough of looking at them both…its perfect *w*

    Tatsuya seriously reminded of me Hei from DTB. And i love him already XDD…and yes, thats one huge cast over there. Its like a seiyuu Allstar plus LiSA with the ED. I wasnt really looking forward for this one, but now im totally hooked up! Cant wait til next week!

    and yes, LeoXChiba~ and how i love the combination color of Mizuki’s design, especially that purple glasses’ ornament with her black hair. Well, most of the female characters got my attentions XD

    onion warrior
  9. So they said this is better than SAO…

    >Gary Stu MC
    Welp, this guy’s more wish fulfillment than Kirito.

    >Yandere imouto wants MC to bone her
    Ha, more incest than OreImo.

    >Fail map in the OP
    Oh well, you can say that in the other dimension left is your right and right is your left. Also where is Pakistan and why is Japan a special snowflake again?
    >implying India and Pakistan will ever be friends

    >that weird feel that the episode skipped scenes
    I have never read the LN yet but I do expect scene skipping, as always. I hope that what I felt that time was just me.

    Yeah, this is sooooooo much better than SAO. I got to give it 10/10.

    TheMoondoggie
    1. I find it funny you said stuff about the continents positions and not the East/West EU mess. Some maps are like that just so you know. I’m assuming that contributed to the EU screw-up because Japan is considered in the east and North America is the west. Someone obviously wasn’t educated well enough and that leads us to that little mishap.

      I feel like people hate on the overpowered MC thing a bit too much as well. In my opinion, rather than being an inherently bad plot device, it highly depends on how it’s written. I’ve gotten much enjoyment from seeing characters such as Izayoi and Alucard, and Tatsuya isn’t any different. It’s nice to see a main character on the opposite side of the spectrum every once in a while. (once in a while being key.) It’s something that grinds peoples gears though, so complaining is expected.

      Kuntzy
      1. FYI I don’t hate Overpowered MCs/Gary Stus. They’re very common everywhere especially in action LN series that I actually like(SAO, Campione, Index and Blade Dance.) MCs are meant to win in the end all the time anyway, no matter how much the odds are against them.

        Also I did refer their mess on East and West with my “left is your right and right is your left” thing.

        TheMoondoggie
    2. K, my bad. Japan’s world map has even left me going “wtf!?” at one point so I figured since you never specified Europe, you might’ve made that mistake as well.

      Kuntzy
    3. There’s a lot to disapprove about this first ep, but I feel inclined to interject about the map…

      the only legitimate gripes one can have about it is the fact Europe is split into two parts with blatantly wrong location prefixes, and that America is represented horrendously.

      However, many countries publish their world maps with their continent/country in the center.

      bolton
      1. @bolton (et.al.): …the only legitimate gripes one can have about it is the fact Europe is split into two parts with blatantly wrong location prefixes, and that America is represented horrendously.

        The anime didn’t explain the situation at all. :< You should NOT judge the map based on RL. As mentioned in the "chibi" pre-airing short, Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Yoku wakaru mahouka! 03 (thus I do NOT consider this a spoiler), WWIII occurred about 50 years before the main story’s time. So just like many wars (including RL), in the aftermath national boundaries changed, some countries were split up, others absorbed, etc., etc.

        *sigh* This is exactly why I’m not happy with the anime cutting out so much background material, adding things, etc. I really hope EP 01 is an aberration in this regard.

        daikama
      2. @daikama

        WWIII was explained (albeit very briefly) in the prologue of the first ep, so don’t worry, even to those who didn’t watch the shorts, this is not a spoiler. What I was referring to is how East EU is located in the western part of Europe, and that West EU is located in the east.

        bolton
      3. @bolton: Thanks for clarifying. Yeah, the anime should get east and west correct. I just hope all viewers understand that in the MKnR world, nations and national boundaries are not exactly the same as RL – though north, south, east and west are the same. 😉

        daikama
  10. i was pretty much interested on how this, INSANE DISCRIMINATION by course 1 (honor students) to course 2 (irregular) would affect the relationship of the brother and the sister….

    and also, i cant wait to see how the course 1 would react once they saw the true power of the brother…

    —— looks like i got another anime on my watch list…

    The Last Idiot
  11. I agree, there is little similarity with SAO as one protagonist is a Gary Stue and the other isn’t.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Znail
    1. Too bad he is not perfect; he isn’t exactly great at magic. He only is specialized in certain magic.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      But on the other hand, I find Miyuki almost a Mary Sue, a Yamato Nadeshiko personality and beauty. Plus she can do great magics. This is the reason why she’s a course 1 (bloom) student.

      Ungas123
    2. @Znail: I disagree with your spoiler for the most part.
      WARNING LN Show Spoiler ▼

      daikama
      1. Well, the subject doesn’t bother me personally and you are wellcome Stilts.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Znail
      2. @Znail: Gary Stu is a bit undefined as many over use the term…

        That, I agree with, and frankly, how we define the term seems to be one main reason as to why we hold different views. Right or wrong, despite it’s origins, when I see the term “Gary Stu” my first thought is an unbeatable character who easily wins 99% of the time – clearly overpowered given the setting/story as a whole (key since there are characters who at first seem that way, but later prove surprisingly vulnerable). Whether they are good at many things or not isn’t the critical factor. For example, my guess is that many consider Goku from DBZ a “Gary Stu” type character even though he’s only good at one thing (fighting).

        Frankly, I don’t like the term. I prefer “hax” though perhaps that suffers from the same deficiencies.

        daikama
      3. Hax character works as a term for me and less ambigious then Gary Stu. I always think about the origin of the term wich is supposedly (haven’t read it and don’t regret it) a Star Trek fanfic where a teenaged human girl called Mary Sue showed up on enterprice and was better captain then Kirk, better engineer then Scott, smarter then Spock, outfenced Sulu etc. This obviously breaks continuity of that series as those are supposed to be fairly competent people at their specialisations and it doesn’t make sense for someone to have time to aquire all the knowledge needed.

        I think DBZ has other issues though and it’s mostly related to how Japanese media does super powers. I actually think that western media does it a lot better, one of the few cases of that though. DBZ and other series doesn’t have any absolutes. I character is only fast, strong etc by comparision to his current opponent. A super fast character is only that fast until he meets a super faster character. And if needed a hero or villain will power up and get stronger, faster etc as needed to make whomever win that is currently wearing plot armor. There are obviously exceptions to this, but it’s fairly common problem in my view. And neither this series nor SAO suffers from this specific issue at least.

        Znail
    1. 4. Stilts is blogging it.

      Stilts said:

      I don’t know whether I’ll be blogging this or not. I really don’t want to pick up another Saturday show, much less a story-rich 2-cour series that’s going to take extra time to write about, but if the series keeps being really interesting, I might go full masochist and do it anyway. I’ll probably cover Episode 2 at least, to keep my options open.

      So he’d probably stop after episode two. This isn’t Highschool DxD or Kyokaisen anyway.

      TheMoondoggie
      1. Mahouka does have very conservative dress. The swim suits you see in the second arch are probably the most you’ll ever see and they go down the thighs… though there may be a nude scene in there just because. just one.

        FlayvorOfEvil
  12. As a big fan of the LN, going into this season MKnR was one of two shows in which I had “high expectations”, if perhaps somewhat cautiously so. After watching episode one, it seems I was not nearly cautious enough. The one risk I unduly discounted was pacing. I assumed that MKnR, having the luxury of a two-cour run, would follow a pace similar to Log Horizon’s adaptation = 5 episodes per LN on average (more for extra long MNnR volumes 3 & 4). If episode one is any indication, it seems I was wrong, very wrong.

    Rather than 5 or even just 4 episodes per LN volume, the first episode moved at almost record speed. MKnR episode one (using LN English TL word count) covered approximately 43% of LN volume 1. Rounding down to 40%, that’s 2.5 episodes per LN volume pacing, or TWICE the speed of Log Horizon’s adaptation. Keep in mind that (again going by LN English TL), the total word count for the first four volumes of MKnR is about 17% greater than the first four LN volumes of Log Horizon. Not good.

    Rather than the risk of “infodump” alienating some viewers, the adaptation seems to be going in the opposite direction – risk of cutting too much material and leaving a lot unexplained. IMO what’s being cut isn’t simply “excess” info, but meaningful background information along with conversations and the “small details” which all add up to give both the characters and world setting that extra level of richness, depth and realism. I do NOT expect a literal, word for word adaptation, but with 2-cours, I do think it’s very reasonable (necessary TBH) for pacing similar to Log Horizon, especially given the series complexity and level of detail.

    JMO, but of what I’ve seen so far, this is perhaps a serviceable adaptation, not a good one. Along with the significant material cuts, there were at a couple of material dialog changes (or possibly bad TL) which I found questionable. I’ll leave it at that unless people really want to know due to potential spoiler issues.

    Overall, IMO MKnR episode one was a decent/average episode despite my disappointment (again, I had “high” expectations). Importantly, it’s only one of 26 episodes so there’s a lot of room for possible change in adaptation – including the pacing. I would think the pacing would slow down at least a little (e.g. cover 8 or so LN volumes in 26 episodes) though I probably shouldn’t guess given my track record. In the end, I still plan to watch… for now as this goes on an “X episode rule” trial basis rather than my full season watch list.

    daikama
    1. So basically, you’re displeased with how they shortened Tatsuya’s 1st encounter with Mayumi, possibly the explanation of what types of magic Tatsuya and Miyuki use for their morning training(I really liked the contrast between their magics…), the cake shop scene with Erika(minor thing I suppose), Haruka’s introduction was cut as well (hope they can remedy that).

      Kazakiri
      1. @Kazakiri – I’m disappointed because, so far, they are going at what I consider a ridiculously fast pace which, again so far, removes a lot of the detail, complexity, depth and richness from the story (primary reasons I like the series so much). They have 26 episode not 13. No need IMO to be in such a rush. I used Log Horizon as an example for a specific reason. There’s a lot of “infodump”/exposition/explanation in that series as well (arguably less so than MKnR), and, again so far, they are covering material at TWICE the pace of Log Horizon. I highly doubt people would consider Log Horizon anime as good if the anime was compressed into 13 or even 15 episodes while attempting to cover the same amount of source material.

        For me, episode 01 felt choppy, rushed and a bit shallow. Even if I hadn’t read the LN, I would have noticed those things and reached the same conclusion – an “OK” episode in need of improvement. To be clear (if not already), I get that it’s only one episode. I truly hope that the pacing and material cuts are markedly reduced from here on. That being said, from EP 01 (incl. OP) it seems likely that volumes 1-4, and 6-8 will be covered. IF (key) that is correct, then I’m cautiously pessimistic about the pacing and material cuts. Again, I hope I’m wrong about that. (FYI – general comments, not directed specifically at you)

        Since you asked, some specific examples and explanations of what I alluded to in my post: Show Spoiler ▼

        daikama
    1. I like the way Toaru is written and the story flows really well for me, but I don’t like the characters as much because I often find me self saying. “Touma’s story is boring, I wanna see Accelerator, Misaka, or that other lvl 0 kick ass”

      Mahouka’s characters are satisfyingly op, although sometimes I feel like a lot of their development is not too important since Tatsuya’s skills compensate for pretty much everything. But I can’t find myself getting into the story as much because the writing feels kinda choppy.

      FlayvorOfEvil
  13. At last, Kyousuke gets to be lovey-dovey with Ayase-tan.

    A bit off-topic, but please bear with me here.

    I was at the AnimeJapan 2014 convention in Tokyo last month, and there was a brief chat-show stage event involving the lead VAs Nakamura Yuuichi (Tatsuya) and Hayami Saori (Miyuki) discussing their thoughts on doing this show. (Was watching this from the big screen outside as stage tickets were apparently sold separately)

    Anyway, and I’m not making this up, there came a part where they were discussing what name the show’s weekly internet radio chat-show should be named, both Nakamura and Hayami were quite in tune in their respective answers:

    “My Elite Student Can’t Be This Cute”
    “My Cute Little Sister Can’t Be Such An Elite Student

    To great laughter and applause.

    Anonymous
    1. Glad you loved it Stilts.

      As an afterword, for obvious (copyright etc) reasons, neither Nakamura’s nor Hayami’s cheeky suggestions were adopted, much to their (feigned) disappointments.

      Anonymous
  14. This episode was…ok, I guess. I certainly didn’t hate it as much as some people did. Its overload of exposition for a world that doesn’t look too special so far (magic academy, unconvincing discrimination, yadda yadda) was its biggest flaw. The characters were entertaining though (I didn’t even mind incest imouto) and I did like some little bits, like the practical use of their magic in daily life. Mostly gonna stick with this one for now for the hype, really, I want to see what’s it’s all about.

    SAO comparisons worry me though. You’re right, Stilts, in saying overpowered protagonists can work if the story doesn’t bend itself over to accomodate them (die in a fire, Kirito). Still not a trope I’m fond of (unless we have villain protagonists, it feels rather fitting then). And there’s other stuff that worries me.

    Oh well, I’ll see. Will I end up liking or hating this show? Guess I’ll find out.

    Dvalinn
    1. There is a standard by which magic proficiency is measured in their world, as magic is treated as a science rather than occult. That’s pretty much what the “practical skills test” is for. Whether or not you are a “Bloom” or a “Weed” is based on your practical score.

      Kazakiri
    2. I agree. the unconvincing discrimination is killing my enjoyment in an otherwise pretty decent show. it feels like a lot of series this season is going for the “we’ll tell you the full details at a later time in the series, so keep watching” sort of approach. we’ll have to see how well it goes i guess

      plushkin
    3. The discrimination is a bit annoying, but after seeing that in so many damn shows, I guess I’m starting to build a tolerance to students being assholes unnecessarily. What saved me partially is that it’s institutionalized, which is always a trickier (and potentially more enduring/interesting) proposition than just some haughty noble jackass being an asshole.

      Stilts
      1. Again, it’s an infodump problem. There are reasons why there are blooms and weeds and a backstory about how that came about. Unfortunately, numerous studies have shown that it is very easy to instill discriminattory emotions where there is little or no reason for them based on real differences.

        Bear
      2. Bullying is a huge ongoing issue in Japan, especially among students, so references and commentary on the subject are going to be all over the place. Just have to realize that it’s a product of the current social/cultural situation.

        spike
  15. Rather than SAO, which was mainly sci-fi (even the fantasy elements are merely part of a computer programme), the co-existence of Magic and Technology gives off that Index-vibes seen in Strike the Blood.

    And then there’s Tatsuya, who despite being classed as “inferior”, already looks and feels badass even though he’s hardly showed off any of the supposed skillz which we only had a brief glimpse in the prologue.

    Unlike Index’s Touma, who didn’t get much of a choice when classed as “inferior” (Level 0) because his “haxx0rs” ability was simply unmeasurable, it looks as though Tatsuya had purposely flunked his practical exam in order to be classed as “inferior” (Weed) so he could hide whatever “haxx0rs” ability he’s possessing from plain sight.

    Oh and fun wincest ftw. 😀

    echykr
      1. Show Spoiler ▼

        Kazakiri
  16. https://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2001%20-%2016.jpg “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”

    I’ve been waiting for this to be animated for so long! It’s finally here :D. Dem Action scenes >.< with the good bgms to match.

    Animated Erika and Mizuki, yesssssss!

    magoiichi
  17. Some people just can’t hold off spoiling because they’ve already read the LN. I’m not one to talk though as I’ve also read it. But the amount of spoiler tags and spoilers in here is too much.
    Really? Can’t you guys wait until they get to those parts before discussing them. There’s no need to show off that you know the LN inside out. Or do you guys feel some sort of superiority that you know more than anime-only viewers and need to blab about everything. Just fill in the blanks for what’s missing in the current episode and not give away details in future episodes.
    You guys need to control yourselves.

    /rant

    1. Couldn’t have said it any better. Specially when Stilts had had already stressed on the matter. I saw some heavy spoilers above. You know, just because it’s concealed by a spoiler tag, doesn’t mean people don’t read it.
      If anyone wants to talk about spoilers there’s always sites like Animesuki and Jcafe.

      Swarz
    2. Honestly, if people use the spoiler tags properly then I don’t mind them talking about it. I want everyone to be able to discuss things here, so it’s up to them to spoiler tag / mark their spoilers, and it’s up to those of us who don’t want to be spoiled to have the self control not to click on them.

      LN readers can’t enjoy the show on the same level as an anime-only viewers, but I still want them to enjoy themselves and get excited talking about stuff that’s coming up. All I ask is that they spoiler tag things so they don’t ruin things for others, which so far everyone is doing admirably well.

      Stilts
  18. The best part in the episode so far for me was that one scene of them running to the dojo, using magic just to move fast. It wasn’t needed to be explained but it to did help with world building (and was actually fascinating to look at). Now that I’ll be going into the series, I’ll avoid the hype train because honestly, those people who’re over hyping it are annoying me with saying “Oh this is going to be great because the MC’s are so badass!” “OP MC’s incoming!!” I swear that’s the only thing they care about, a main character that wrecks sh*t. But yeah….idiots be comparing this to SAO just because of that fact and the fact that the OP is sung by the same person -_-. I swear a lot of the people in the anime community needs to take a chill pill and use their brains. Anyways, I’m hooked and I do hope this show lives to the “hype” that people are just spazzing over.

    SDFGS
  19. The one thing I would say is that to those who haven’t read the LN’s is that you might want to withhold judgement about what appears to be situations and relationships. There is still a lot of information that you need to get the whole picture.

    Bear
  20. To say I was unimpressed would be a understatement, I found the voice acting awful and jarring and the constant onii-sama,onii-sama,onii-sama annoying as hell.

    I’ll give it another 1-2 episodes but I think I’ll drop this, shame really the LN where decent.

    newhope
  21. Truthfully, I wasn’t that taken by it. I’m still willing to give it a chance, but the first episode bored me as a whole. I mean, I did enjoy what we saw of that universe and I think that the world-building has the potential to be interesting. Also, the animation was as great as you’d expect from Madhouse. BUT. I’m the kind of person that is more attracted to characters and I just didn’t like the main character. Or his little sister, for that matter. Which brings me to… Is the brocon / incestuous undertones thing really necessary? It’s a stupid, overused trope that never goes anywhere. They could use it to delve into the psychology and social stigma associated with incest, but ha, they never do that. It’s only ever used for the sake of fanservice, which just makes me plain uncomfortable. Plus, super-powered high schoolers? Again? But I digress. I’m willing to watch more, if just to see what all that hype is about.

    Bronte
  22. So I heard this is Atlas Shrugged: The Light Novel: The Anime.

    The story gets real crazy once the cognitive dissonance toward the interesting setting and the flaunting of how OP Tatsuya is settles in.

    Solace
    1. Okay, let’s count how many times she’d say “Onii-chan” or “Onii-sama” each episode.

      Someone in 4chan did the same with “/adjustglasses” for Log Horizon.

      TheMoondoggie
  23. I’ll just say that this episode in general ended up definitely more of the dry variety in my book. It’s not bad given what we’ve seen so far, but there’s something to be said about having a main character who clearly is more powerful than anyone else there, and whose ability given what we know of the universe could make him infinitely more so. When you’re gifted with an ability to recognize and analyze magic, see before hand what’s being done, and you’re in a world where magic can be engineered, what that essentially means he could theoretically engineer anything he wants, and it worries me somewhat that there’s this kind of potentially overpowered element in a universe such as this.

    That said, the uniforms looked better than and thought and the fight scenes were fairly well done, but yeah, it’s ultimately a give and take… as the incest element was made to be a much more significant part than I thought it should’ve been. It’s all fine and dandy to be incestuous or have elements of it in a show, but that and hearing “onii-sama” thirty times are different things entirely. Then there’s the general sense that nothing of note really happened here, the irony of the strongest magic technicians in the school being used as the view from which to discuss the inequity of the system, and some jarring execution on part of the shift from one part to another.

    All in all, I’ll keep watching, but this episode had me more worried about how things could deteriorate over time than it did have me excited about what could come of the story line.

    1. Zephyr as magic is a technology, there are like in our world limitations to what one can achieve, so you don’t need to worry about Tatsuya being able to engineer anything he wants. Also as magic is dependent on the user’s capabilities there are, as you would find out, some things that one is competent/incompetent at.

      You could say MC is overpowered just like Accelerator from Index but we all know what happened to that guy…

      Kazakiri
      1. If it was actually a normal piece of technology, sure I’d take that at face value. But the thing here is we’re talking about hard fantasy, which means it explains itself as a Sci-Fi would. That doesn’t mean that everything will/can be explained, and it doesn’t change the fact that we’re still talking about “magic” here, which inherently doesn’t have the limits regular tech has.

        All things considered, there’s still a lot of risk here of the MC breaking the universe here whether or does end up reverse engineering spells or not. And from what I’ve been hearing from various places, the notion that the MC is overpowered isn’t exactly something people are disputing, which makes me feel my concerns make more than enough sense here. That, and I’ve also heard bits and pieces in regards to just how overpowered he becomes, which doesn’t bode well.

        Again, I’ll keep watching to see how it turns out, but I’m just saying it wouldn’t surprise me if things don’t turn out as great as they could’ve been because of how the MC is given the structured environment (among other things).

      2. Regardless of the story/setting one doesn’t overuse magic without consequences(death or disability in most cases)

        Relax MC won’t break the universe; That`s largely an “If he goes crazy because (insert reason here) ” speculation people have been doing.

        With regards to reverse engineering; Someone tried to do that to Misaka Mikoto, result? The sisters` specs were largely inferior…

        Whether or not the specifics regarding this magic and that will be explained is mostly up to the adaptation.(they already skipped one explanation) Although I agree he’s overpowered in some regards, but there is a reason he’s a weed as you’ll come to see…

        I’m not entirely sure whether we’ll reach up to that point, but there are as in or world limitations to technology,(yes I know technology advances) there are also limitations to magic.(tidbits in Volume 3-4 but Volume 6-7 will expound more on this)

        Kazakiri
      3. Relax MC won’t break the universe; That`s largely an “If he goes crazy because (insert reason here) ” speculation people have been doing.

        With regards to reverse engineering; Someone tried to do that to Misaka Mikoto, result? The sisters` specs were largely inferior…

        Depends on what you mean by breaking. If you mean Show Spoiler ▼

        And let’s not apply another series’ logic here.

        Solace
      4. @Zephyr

        All things considered, there’s still a lot of risk here of the MC breaking the universe here whether or does end up reverse engineering spells or not. And from what I’ve been hearing from various places, the notion that the MC is overpowered isn’t exactly something people are disputing, which makes me feel my concerns make more than enough sense here. That, and I’ve also heard bits and pieces in regards to just how overpowered he becomes, which doesn’t bode well.

        Don’t worry too much about the Tatsuya being overpowered stuff. I can’t really say anything else without spoiling. But, Tatsuya is (generally) more of a Shiroe (of Log Horizon fame) style hero than he is your typical “RAWR! I’m-a break the world!” type of Gary Stu hero. Mostly he gets by on his intelligence, subtlety, and experience.

        Altherion
      5. @Solace the comparison was meant to show that just because you can reverse engineer something doesn’t mean you will get the same results as the original if you were to try and apply it.

        Kazakiri
      6. Technicality spoilers:

        Break the world
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Magical engineering
        Show Spoiler ▼

        FlayvorOfEvil
      7. Mmm the thing for me is that the fact that magic can be engineered in this respect (Mahouka) means that its human-made in the first place, and it reasons it can be made by someone else as long as they’re using similar tools.

        The Railgun analogy is different because there’s a nature vs. nurture aspect to it that causes things to change following your initial, attempted cloning of the original specimen. There’s natural variability when it comes to this, which is not nearly as present in Mahouka from what I’ve seen. It’s kind of equivalent to being software being installed on a computer. It’s tangible, concrete content, and it thus reasons it could be replicated in perfect or near perfect shape. And even if it doesn’t really get replicated fully, it reasons the MC can still utilize some of the capability of the spell even if it may not be as strong, which still doesn’t bode well.

        But yeah, I mean again I’ll continue watching. I just hope it ends up closer to what you’re saying than it does what I fear it would turn out to be.

      8. The nature vs nurture part is present here as well.(partly anyway)

        Some magic sequences are public knowledge while some aren’t.

        With regards to the software analogy, I mostly agree, it can be replicated perfectly. The thing is for a computer to run the software, it would need to at least satisfy the minimum requirements of the software. Tatsuya is a Laptop, can upgrade the ram, but can’t upgrade a lot of other things.

        It will be clearer once the standard for how magic is assessed is explained.

        Glad you’re watching though… (I like discussions..)

        Kazakiri
      9. In the Mahouka World there are two main types of magic. Systematic magic which is taught as curriculum at magical universities and follows a universal system of physics manipulation categories and ancient magic which has super natural origins that cannot be explained through systematic magic and requires a blood line to function.

        Systematic magic is basically manipulation of particles and energy. For instance fortification magic works by stabilizing the relative coordinates of a certain group of molecules to that of another group. As such if you cast fortification magic in the air and link it to a huge chunk of earth, whatever comes in contact with that block of air must also exert force on the earth.

        Ice magic functions by converting heat into magical energy which is then dispersed into the atmosphere and vice versa.

        Ancient magic such as ninjutsu, spirit summoning and contracts are not based on physics manipulation but are other systems of magic that aren’t really explained.

        Tatsuya’s magic
        Show Spoiler ▼

        FlayvorOfEvil
  24. LOL, this magnificent bastard is triggering flags all over the damn place without even trying! I like his attitude he’s not a pussy like most harem protagonist and he’s also not a douche bag like Lleouch. I look forward to more of this series, DEM FLAGS!!!

    Duzz
    1. People are comparing SAO with this because of the MC. Chrome Shelled Regios, however, is the right show to compare with.

      But many didn’t like or didn’t watch CSR because its generic, both in animation and story(FYI I gave CSR an 8/10).

      TheMoondoggie
  25. Oh another comment I just read the first few chapters of the light novels. He suppose to be plan and ordinary looking. They make him too good looking in the anime, other then that I have no complaints, although I wonder how well the Railgun would hold up in this school. I think they would mesh well. Again.. DEM FLAGS!

    Duzz
      1. Lol the way he described Miyuki was alright I didn’t have any complaints but his description of Kyous- I mean..Tatsuya was like one line and does not match the picture given. At least Shirou from Log Horizon was more oridnary ish unless you really get close to him form a distance.

        Duzz
  26. @Stilts

    Anime is filled with endless variations on the ordinary high school student (trope!), at least in part because of the idea that having a protagonist who is “like the audience” makes it easier for us to empathize with them. I disagree. I prefer characters to be interesting, and if that means they are highly competent, that’s fine by me. Take Mondaiji – and I’m hoping, this season’s No Game No Life – where the protagonists were anything but ordinary, but they were interesting, so who cares? Here we’re seeing more of that, with a main duo who are not in the least bit ordinary.

    Now, Stilts, I don’t think being ordinary automatically excludes them from being interesting or even competent. Those characteristics aren’t mutually exclusive, as you can have an ordinary dude (a bum even) be interesting from their speech and actions and display some semblance of competence. You ever watched The Big Lebowski (1998)? The Dude is as ordinary and as bummy as you can get but I found him to be a compelling character from how awfully he dgaf 90% of the time, but he’s not all incompetent (things just go real bad for him in spite of his [re]actions). For me it’s not so much feeling empathy but having a layer of believability in the character’s actions in the context of the world.

    You can also look toward real life and judge people based on their looks and say he/she is pretty ordinary, but surely you jest, you don’t know that person’s life story, their mannerisms, etc. They could be a real interesting person underneath. In writing, it’s up to the author to make their characters (even the “ordinary” ones) interesting without breaking the dynamic, power, social, or otherwise, for an ensemble cast, esp. Writing up a short trait list and giving each one maybe a few frames of screentime is as lazy as one can get with making [ordinary anime Japanese high school boy] interesting, while it’s hard trying to show over a long period rather than tell. It’s almost confined by the economy of time and money.

    It’s not as simple a brush off as “who cares?” when talking about not breaking those dynamics (although breaking them would be a cool plot point, for example, the Nephalem in Diablo 3, every modern BioWare RPG) for the sake of “interesting” characters, which in anime, for the most part, they’re just built upon archetype after archetype and canned quotes, rather than meaningful dialogue. They shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. I just see it as sloppy writing when the author just says “fuggit, DOIN’ IT LIVE.” A cohesive world with characters that adhere to the same mechanics would do me wonders.

    Solace
    1. Oh, of course, of course. I said the ordinary high school student trope is so often used in part because the the empathy idea, whereas the other part is because sometimes it’s exactly the right character type for the situation. Ordinary characters can be interesting, or can become interesting, but they’re also often bland, so I don’t mind when an author goes for characters who aren’t ordinary from the get-go.

      You’re absolutely right, though – it’s preferable when we see complex, natural, cohesive characters that fit well into their world. No idea if that’s the case here yet, but I treasure it when I see it.

      Stilts
  27. Well its finally here man I’ve been lookin forward to dis, da light novels are epic I cnt wait to see tatsuya being da monster he iz. And here iz a prediction if da anime iz az gud az da light novelz expect dis anime to be epic and also see how much of an ova powered character tatsuya iz

    Dra5ke SoS
  28. Like a few other LNs, I’m kind of on the fence for this adapation so far.
    Yes, quite a few scenes were cut out, and the pacing seemed fairly fast. And daikama, above, helps break down how much was actually covered, but I’m holding out hopes that it will be remedied.

    One thing to note is how the first LN (Number 1) was a lot of information dump. A lot of introductions. And a lot of explainations. They’ved remedied that to an extent with the chibi shorts, helping establish some of the information left out. This, not to mention that the first half of Volume one is again world estbalishment. If we look at it from the angle of events happening, the second half of Volume 1 can easily take 2 episodes (3 if being generous). Leaving the discussion I, and other LN readers had, of roughly 8 episodes for the first Arc (Enrollment).

    And, based on how their showed Sakurai early on with Tatsuya’s Material Burst in the beginning, it looks like parts of Volume 8 will be included (as we discussed and suspected). I sincerely hope (and ehco) that the first 2 major arcs will be the only ones covered. Feasibly, as I stated above the rest of Volume 1 can take 2~3 episodes, with Volume 2 taking an additional 4 or so (LN readers just think of the events, if not rushed and with the same style of pacing it will take a few episodes).

    So, essentially, I’m being optimistic here in saying: DO NOT PANIC.. yet.

    As for a few LN readers thinking that going all the way to the end of Volume 7. I honestly think that will be the WORST idea for this adaption. Remember that the Second half of Enrollment Arc is somewhat long (compared to the info dump of the first half) not to mention the Nine Schools Arc being much longer than Enrollment. Then, we add in pieces of Volume 8 (which they’ve showed one scene of thus far), and some pieces of Volume 5, and then that would be ideal. To stretch and blitz through the material going all the way for a hail mary to the end of Volume 7 seems ludicrous, at best, and the highly wrong decision.

    Yes, we see Masaki and Kichijouji in the ED, BUT its more than likely a typical gimmick that we see in anime all the time in that we wont be meeting the two of them until much later. More than likely that scene we see in the ED wont happen in the second cour towards the end (or so I hope).

    /end rambling.

    Overall decent episode, while I had some grievances, if they don’t rush the rest, I think it’ll work out well as an adapation. (I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope they follow the LH example and do 4~5 episodes per LN after this first episode)

    Stratski
  29. If the anime follows the LN closely, I suggest you, Stilts, to blog it at least 3 episodes, since the LN is really slow paced at the start, but it keeps getting faster and faster until it becomes quite good 🙂

    Guren
  30. Okay, for EVERYBODY complaining about the “unrealistic” discrimination, those reasons are explained in the specials if you bothered to watch them AND people will hate and discriminate against each other for any stupid reason in real life, even if those reasons are FAKE. Here’s a Stanford experiment that unintentionally demonstrated the effects of discrimination: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

    “The results of the experiment have been argued to demonstrate the impressionability and obedience of people when provided with a legitimizing ideology and social and institutional support.”

    Also, please stop screaming apocalypse over the MC. It’s only the /first episode/ and we don’t know if there are going to be other people as powerful as he is or if everyone around him is just weak/hasn’t shown their power… Or he seems in complete control because he is very observant and we’re hearing everything from his point of view.

    Concerning the comparisons to Kirito, I think the MC is more like Shiroe than Kirito because Kirito is more of a straight forward character who’s personal growth is more defined by deus ex machina power-ups than it is by interesting character interactions and personal motivations, like Shiroe. In this sense, I could see the MC being more like Shiroe than Kirito…. but Shiroe is God-like, top-tier kakkoii character so Tatsuya can only try to be half as cool as him.

    Dfog
    1. >Okay, for EVERYBODY complaining about the “unrealistic” discrimination, those reasons are explained in the specials

      All they said was that they don’t have enough teaching staff and/or resources. So, (a) why not have bigger classes, or (b) accept only the first half? Why are there institutions where one class is obviously more privileged than the other? My guess is that the author used this as an easy way to introduce drama in the form of class warfare. It doesn’t add anything deeper to the setting, since Tatsuya is only a Weed by a technicality.

      Solace
      1. Again, things should be explained in time. I wouldn’t just brush it off as a way to add drama.
        Regarding point a:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Regarding point b:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        I wouldn’t really call Tastuya being a Weed only a technicality. That would be like saying someone who excels in all the necessary theoretical knowledge to be an astronaut, but lacks the physical capabilities to be one, is not an astronaut by technicality. Sometimes, knowledge can’t overcome a gap in ability.

        SK
      2. That would be like saying someone who excels in all the necessary theoretical knowledge to be an astronaut, but lacks the physical capabilities to be one, is not an astronaut by technicality. Sometimes, knowledge can’t overcome a gap in ability.

        This comparison is not apt at all. Tatsuya is akin to said aspiring astronaut having the knowledge and physical capability to operate and repair million dollar equipment in space, while not being able to follow simple protocol (in other words, Jeremy whats-his-face in The Hurt Locker).

        Solace
      3. The purpose of magical high schools are to train magicians that can benefit society with their magic. Since Tatsuya is unable to use normal magic, this severely decreases his flexibility when it comes to doing mundane things.

        Also, magic is very heavily dependent on one’s psychological state. Severe stress or changes to one’s psych can cause one to lose the ability to use magic.

        FlayvorOfEvil
      4. My example was assuming that Tatsuya was limited to the abilities he was allowed to use at the time of the entrance exam.
        Given that requirement, he is barely capable of accomplishing the basic tasks of being an astronaut. He might have the physical capacity to deal with the special equipment, but he struggles mightily with all of the necessary steps to actually get there. Can you really call him an astronaut, if he can barely do what you would expect from one? Put another way, if you run into someone who can cook excellent omelettes, but anything else turns out bland and unappealing, is that person a good cook?

        There are baseline standards, and Tatsuya, given the limitation stated above, is barely over that line. He doesn’t meet the standard for a Bloom, that is the objective truth, no technicality.

        SK
      5. the discrimination is still crazy though purely for two reasons:

        a) being reserve for 1st High School still automatically makes you better than High Schools 2-9

        b) the fact that there are personal instructors doesn’t automatically make you a better student. As shocking as it may seem, there are people who work better when left bloody well alone. (Steve Jobs – college dropout. God to about 50 million ipod users)

        the problem from a story telling standpoint is that there’s just no real reason for these no name side characters to be acting like jaggoffs, and the inclusion of this contrived hostility plays out like conflict for conflicts’ sake so there’d be some drama at some point in time. (Think of the whole Beater nonsense back in episode 2 that showed up one more time in like episode 8 and then never again)

        plushkin
      6. @plushkin
        Regarding point a:
        That’s not how the numbering works. While First High IS generally regarded as the best, doesn’t mean all students (esp. Weeds) at First are better than students anywhere else. Students generally go to the one in their area, or the one that emphasizes certain areas they are interested in (3rd is combat, 4th is theoretical, so on).

        Regarding point b:
        While there are exceptions, the vast majority of people learn better from an instructor than trying to learn it themselves, especially if it’s a practical skill. You could try to learn a martial art on your own, but generally, you’re better off finding a master who can teach you properly. The Blooms also have an advantage to begin with, so generally speaking, the gap would be more likely to widen as they get personal training while the Weeds doesn’t.

        As an aside, I would argue that Jobs’ success after rejoining Apple was tied more to his vision, which was innate, than his technical skills, so him being a dropout was irrelevant to his success.

        SK
      7. Regarding point b:

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Then the government can’t into Show Spoiler ▼

        Solace
      8. Most (maybe all?) magicians do end up affiliated with the military at some point, but First High is still very much a high school.

        Not everyone who wants to be a US reserve gets to be one. There is a selection process involved, whether its physical, psychological, or whatever. The Weeds would be like those borderline cases, where they might get accepted if the reserves need more bodies at the moment, but if the pool of candidates grew, they would be the first ones dropped. Sure, the borderline cases can become fine soldiers/reserves, I’m not saying they can’t. But, there’s probably a reason why they were borderline cases, and they probably need a little extra something to get to that point.

        Also, what you say is based on the idea that everyone has more or less the same potential, which isn’t true for magic. The US Army doesn’t really emphasize individual soldiers. There may be some differences, but by and large, another individual (with the same training) could be swapped in without a significant impact on ability. Casting speed is a major factor in an individual’s technical grade, as the first caster generally wins in direct combat. Individual differences matter a lot more in this context. Having one high-tier magician is generally better than having a couple mid- or low-tier ones, as the former would be likely to beat the latter, even at a numbers disadvantage.

        Example that should be shown soon
        Show Spoiler ▼

        What you said in your last sentence implies quantity > quality, and that there is no reasonable argument to be made for quality > quantity. I could say we should have a rotation system so that everyone gets a chance to go to the top colleges in the US. Integration, right? However, some people just won’t do as well as others, regardless of whether they have access to world-class facilities and faculty. My proposal might raise the average level of students, but takes away time for those at the very top, preventing them from achieving some of what they would have before. I could make a case for either side, depending on other factors, but you flat out deny one of them. If that’s how you feel, fine.

        BTW, just curious, have you read the LN, Solace? You’ve said things that imply you have, but you’ve also asked questions that make me think you haven’t.

        SK
      9. These are public institutions which are equal opportunity employers. Everyone gets the same training top-down, left-right once accepted. No one’s a special butterfly because they want everyone to participate when called for duty Your analogy of rotating students from less privileged colleges into the more prestigious ones isn’t what I’m talking about as those are private institutions, not to mention plays down the importance of equal treatment. My comparison is say, a state university segregates students in its main college because some tested worse than others in some subject areas. But why accept them and not give them the same treatment as you do for the “elite” kids if they’re valuable as reserves? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to make sure everyone is trained properly when the need for the reserves arises? This is a time issue. Training people takes time and so to compensate for a low amount of educators and staff, the “school year” ought to be made longer. And just what is up with this arbitrary quota if they can’t accommodate for everyone accepted?

        Just one last question: what energy source is used to perform the reactions involved in casting magic? Especially since it involves the 2nd Law of thermodynamics and these reactions would require a lot of energy to manipulate phenomena. We’re talking macro stuff.

        Solace
      10. First, an important point to keep in mind:
        Not all magicians are equal.

        Some magicians are, in fact, special butterflies. Some are comparable to a couple of soldiers, some to a battalion, and some to strategic warheads. Giving priority to those at the top of the class makes more sense, if they can have the kind of impact that an ICBM would have, rather than spreading the attention to those who are worth a handful of soldiers at most. In the US army, the variance of an individual soldier isn’t as large, so having everyone at a competent level is better than having a few elites mixed in with essentially a mob of peasants with pitchforks. In magic, those few elites could win you battles, regardless of the magic ability of the others around them.

        Your university analogy doesn’t quite work. A state university accepts people for various reasons, to major in various subjects. Scoring poorly in one area isn’t a huge detriment, if that’s not what the individual is there for. The students at magic high school are there solely because of their ability to use magic, and the individual differences can be pretty significant, as I noted above. It would be more like the college accepting students on a conditional basis. Some schools provide financial aid if and only if you are above a certain level academically. The school can’t afford to help out everyone it enrolls, but if you are willing and able to deal with the condition of “no financial aid”, then they will accept you. If they were required to help all enrolled students equally, they would simply reduce enrollment, eliminating many students who entered on that conditional basis. Since reducing enrollment isn’t an option, they decided to teach who they could, while accepting additional people under the condition that they can, in essence, only audit classes.

        The specifics of the reason for the two course setup are explained sometime during the Nine Schools Competition, so I’ll throw this under a spoiler tag.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        There may have been reasons for the quota, but even if it was arbitrary, it’s not an uncommon situation for a government to say “we need x amount of stuff” without actually providing the necessary funding/staff/resources to accomplish the task. The government will still expect you to provide x amount, and if you can’t do it, that’s your problem, not theirs.

        For your last question, I think what you’re looking for would be in the Visitor arc, which won’t be covered this season. However, I will say that magic generally follows the relevant laws of physics, as much as possible. If magic can be accomplished by breaking one law at the start, then letting nature do its thing, it will do that rather than fighting nature the entire way.

        SK
    2. The only difference between Shiroe and Tatsuya is that Shiroe is a benevolent tyrant and Tatsuya is a Maou. Shiroe can forgive someone but will still punish them if they cross the line while Tatsuya
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Ungas123
      1. Show Spoiler ▼

        Kazakiri
      2. Show Spoiler ▼

        Shiroe and Tatsuya are fundamentally different characters. The only similarities that they have are that they are tall, have black hair and are inventors.

        FlayvorOfEvil
      3. I disagree there are other similarities such as; Their ability to undertake the role of a villain, Both are calculating people, Have magic that can easily influence their world setting, both have a harem…

        Kazakiri
      4. @Evil: I didn’t get that impression in the LNs.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Stratski
  31. Excellent, I was hoping Stilts would be the one to cover this series. I still fondly recall your two lectures on Horizon as well as the blow-by-blow analysis of the series back then. I eagerly look forward to reading your weekly thoughts on Mahouka as well.

    Dreyakis
      1. I’ve lived in Mahouka so long now that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to watch this series from a clean slate. Hence why I’m interested in seeing how newcomers to the series will respond/evaluate it.

        Dreyakis
      1. Now this might be a *little* biased. (haha)

        I found this episode to be enjoyable, but am reminded how Horizon was presented in its first and second seasons with very little hand-holding for first time viewers. To me, this adaptation was made under the assumption that the viewer has a decent grasp on the source material. Some of the details within the episode were communicated in a way that would be vague to newcomers, but someone who had read the manga/light novel would instantly grasp the implication(s).

        That aside, the anime presented a very neat and tidy way to grasp the characters formally introduced so far. We will have to wait and see regarding how the writers handled the story as the Enrollment Arc continues to unfold.

        Dreyakis
      2. It’s alright Drey, I’m probably just as biased…
        I agree that a lot of newcomers might be confused as to the nature of some things.

        As an example:

        It was implied that Yakumo was using something other than Taijutsu in his spar against Tatsuya. The newcomer knows that Yakumo was using Ninjutsu, but as to the nature of what ninjutsu is, there will probably be some misconceptions.

        Ninjutsu is a form of ‘Ancient Magic’

        I know they can’t stop and explain every little thing, but there are some other things that will need more elaboration.

        Mayumi’s admiration of Tatsuya’s “Written Test Results” bothers me quite a bit, as aside from the ability to read activation sequences, this is supposed to be one of the primary things that piqued Mayumi’s interest.

        Kazakiri
    1. @Dreyakis: as a fan of the LN, just want to say thank you very much for doing the MKnR LN English TL. Please pass my gratitude on to the others who work on translating the LN as well.

      Thanks again, and very much looking forward to volume 13 (almost out!)

      daikama
      1. @daikama: Always a pleasure to serve.

        Though in regards to Tatsuya’s test scores piquing Mayumi’s interests, I strongly suspect that they will return to that detail at a later date. After all, they still have to recruit Tatsuya into the Public Moral Committee. What better way to berate your lazy kohai than to rub his superb test scores in his face? (laugh)

        Dreyakis
    2. Glad to hear that the english translator enjoyed my post! I’ll try to keep it up (and remain unspoiled, lol) for as long as I continue writing about this series 😀

      Stilts
  32. Please please please go full M and cover this show! I’ve yet read the manga or the LN, and I was drawn to the show instantly. I’m going to force myself not to read anything until the show is over for the season.

    bakakubi
  33. i have seen the manga version (based on the LN), and i am quite amazed and i cant wait to see some of the scenes get animated…

    among of this scenes is where Show Spoiler ▼

    … this and all other awesome brother epic ownage for his little imouto despite being called among the “worst of the crop”… in short, BEING DISCRIMINATED for being a “non – achiever”

    The Last Idiot
  34. I’m glad this is finally getting animated. I always heard Daisuke Ono’s voice for Tatsuya, but Nakamura Yuuichi has done a great job. It helps that they have similar vocal styles. I honestly didn’t expect Hayami Saori to voice Miyuki, but I’ve grown used to it so far. HanaKana has also been pretty convincing with Saegusa, although I didn’t really expect her to voice Saegusa. The only spot that is completely different than I imagined is Mari. I never expected them to go with the Inoue Marina route for her voice, but I guess I always thought she would have more of a mature older voice. The other characters are pretty spot on though.

    Annyms
    1. Well, I do like to talk to people. As much fun as hearing myself talk it – seriously, my voice is sexy yo. Listen to the podcasts – it’s more fun to talk with everyone here : )

      Stilts
      1. Speaking of which, are you guys going to be able to do a wrap-up podcast for the Winter Season, so we can hear that sexy voice of yours, or are you too swamped to do it?

        And now this conversation thread is over 215 replies. Crazy.

        I hope you blog this show, mainly because I think the commenters here need a place to argue share their thoughts on the series. If the show had 50 comments or fewer, you could probably do a night flight, but it’ll be harder to do now with all of this buzz.

        The upside is that you win either way (except for the extra work): if the anime turns out good, it’s all good. And if it turns out to be a train wreck, we can all ride it together until it crashes gloriously into the sun. Just like a Supertrain would.

        I don’t think it’ll be another Kyokaisen, but I think it’ll be entertaining.

        s_w
      2. We burned out doing the podcasts, mainly because we all talk too bloody much, lol. They’ll return whenever we retool them into something we can manage more easily along with all our blogging. Or find someone to help edit/host so we’re not so perma-swamped.

        Stilts
    1. Masaki Ichijou from the Numbered Families, Ten Master Clans to be exact. The Saegusa Clan (Mayumi Saegusa) is from 10MC as well.

      Masaki’s signature magic earned him the title “Crimson Prince”.

      Ungas123
  35. – anime: the only medium where it’s ok to say that incest doesn’t bother you. but seriously all was going fine until those heavy incest vibes showed up, these two are one scene away from going full yosuga no sora, and i’m not ok with that at all, it’s super creepy and it’s gross. i get that some shows use suggestive incest to be funny, and hopefully this show goes that route, but if they keep up these super creepy incest vibes, i will have no problem dropping this show.

    – shibata mizuki…………… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVvRwtzHcWI

    cookievalenzuela666
      1. It’s like counting the chickens before they even hatch. While Miyuki has a bit “dangerous” side, she understands that

        Show Spoiler ▼

        And Erika also falls under
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Ungas123
      2. It’s like counting the chickens before they even hatch.

        It is but it’s not really bad: Think of yuri goggles when there isn’t any yuri and everything’s actually just friendship. People see it because they want to see it that way. That also make up reasons, such as the reason I posted earlier, to justify their eventual ship.

        And it’s not really something to get upset with, calm your spoilers.

        Just go with it.

        TheMoondoggie
  36. My first reaction of watching this episode: So much information being driven down.

    Then after a while, the Kyoukaisen vibes sets in.

    Now, after seeing all those comments Gary stu stuff aside (I don’t care and it doesn’t look like that issue exists at this point, yet)

    …Does this look like a prequel (timeline wise) to Kyoukaisen, without the dictionary length of the LN?

    :3

    info600
    1. @info600: FYI – there are three “chibi” narrated shorts for the show (Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Yoku wakaru mahouka!). Watching them (about 3min long each) may help you process some of the background information. As I and other LN readers have noted, this is a very detailed, complex world setting. Frankly, the anime cut a lot of detail/world mechanics out of the LN material covered (whether that will be added in the future – no clue). Personally, I like that stuff – makes the world setting more realistic and lush, but not everyone does so YMMV on that point.

      I’d say similar to Kyoukaisen in in terms of detailed world setting and the same director, but that’s about it. And yeah, Kyoukaisen LNs are really long LOL.

      daikama
  37. 207 comments. That tells me just how hyped people are about this one. As I am.

    Even after reading through the manga part, the info was still boggling. Think I better get down to watching the shorts to get a thorough explanation.

    Somehow the heavily implied incest actually works for me, probably for some of the same reasons Stilts have listed. It was amusing to watch Miyuki go off into her own world. I don’t entirely like the idea, but this is one of the instances where I thought it might just be fun to watch.

    There’s a little bit of everything going on here, and it looks like they are eager to get the story going quick without spending too much time on introductions. I like the pacing well enough for all the hype, though, and…Gary Stu? Doesn’t quite look like it to me. If anything, a pair of glasses for Tatsuya to occasionally push up while sprouting clever lines would suit him more. 😀

    Definitely following this and looking forward to more interesting developments.

    Owaranai
  38. Wow, what an average episode with the MC having average looks. But don’t worry it will later fit in with the “hype” other people attributes to this series.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Gaze of Providence
  39. To sum it up in tropes, a Stoic ‘irregular’ boy who seems like he just won at the Superpower Lottery and his Ace/ Yamato Nadeshiko little sister with Big Brother Attraction tendencies, both of them being Teen Geniuses with Hidden Depths, enroll into an elite High School in a world where Functional Magic is treated as Sufficiently Analyzed Magic. Fair Enough.

    In all honesty, calling Mahouka being the Ur-example of hard fantasy might be quite the stretch. Of course, I don’t know any other work that has preceded Mahouka with the same or even greater detail about the workings of Functional Magic, but we’ll never know though. Instead, it’s rather believable that given the popularity, it could be the Codifier for it.

    Oh well, that’s just my two cents about it, anyway great article! And seeing the anime being the way it is now, I think I’m set for seeing this through and through to the end.

    1. In all honesty, calling Mahouka being the Ur-example of hard fantasy might be quite the stretch. Of course, I don’t know any other work that has preceded Mahouka with the same or even greater detail about the workings of Functional Magic, but we’ll never know though. Instead, it’s rather believable that given the popularity, it could be the Codifier for it.

      It is a stretch since Fullmetal Alchemist with its alchemy mechanics, while not as complex as magic in Mahouka, are well-defined in what it can or cannot do.

      Solace
    2. Ah, I misspoke on the ur-example thing. It’s absolutely not the first, but it does seem to be a very good example of the form. That’s what I meant. Sorry about that!

      Stilts
  40. wow… 228 comments and still counting… do you guys plan to reach the 400 mark before the episode 2?

    but anyway, the no. of comments are can be considered as a proof that this anime is already making some waves in this season just like how log horizon beat all other big titles last season…

    a good anime is something that would be in otaku talks for a long time that’s what i believe.

    The Last Idiot
    1. That, plus it also (like Log Horizon) is a show that’s fertile for conversation. With so many details and so much going on, these kinds of shows always get more discussion…especially when I’m blogging it, since I spend so much time down here in the comments section 😀

      Stilts
  41. Who says this episode was boring? I thought this was an interesting introduction to this series. Some wincest, a bit of highschool drama, a little ninja action fight, and the mystery of why the Main Character seems to be more powerful than he lets on.

    wissenschaft
  42. i wasn’t as impressed as i was with WIXOSS. i have to disagree about the incest, it looks like it’s just there to have that edgy factor.

    the production values are through the roof but i don’t know if that’s something that should sell the show. mahouka definitely looks impressive but what it has laid forth so far is bare. tatsuya is not interesting. he’s very bland. his social skills are very average in that all his conversations and comments have very little presence. it really felt like i was seeing conversations from the chibi shorts all over again, and it didn’t feel like a main story was being set up.

    the weirder thing is, while tatsuya is definitely trying to keep a low-profile, he just can’t help but satisfy his ego with his sarcastic “i know more than you do” comments then and there. he reminds me of lelouch vi britannia, except for the fact that the anime isn’t trying to set itself up to be a trainwreck at all. this contradictory behavior comes off as ungenuine to me, like he isn’t really trying to keep a low profile at all and is content with letting people assume he has power.

    it seems clear that tatsuya is “trying” to hide his potential with how he made a mental note about megane’s ability of perception. it looks like he’s scheming something without his sister’s knowledge, seeing as how she doesn’t seem to understand why tatsuya is placed in the 2nd course (or that he’s probably done this intentionally).

    so far, mahouka just looks like another staple shounen. it’s stylish and has a helluva lot of characters with an established power hierarchy akin to bleach and naruto. the character designs are interesting and fine but i’m definitely not a fan of the main protagonists (assuming they are the shiba siblings). they just seem extremely talented for no reason at all, they look and act a lot older than what first-year highschool students should be like, and the fact that they way too overqualified to being in a magical academy makes it even more awkward.

    i’m usually not one to jump the hate (or criticism) train; i really liked shingeki for what it’s worth, but this one doesn’t seem like it’s worthy of so much praise. i probably can’t argue with the LN sales though, hopefully i can grow to like this.

    bolton
    1. Feels like I’ve been saying this a lot, but most of what you say should be addressed in due time, assuming they don’t cut too much out. The bulk of the plot for the first arc (vol. 1-2) comes in the 2nd volume; the first volume is more of an introduction/infodump/worldbuilding kind of deal, so it will probably take a few episodes for things to start picking up.

      SK
    2. @bolton: What SK posted is right. IMO, Bear’s post above states it well: “The one thing I would say is that to those who haven’t read the LN’s is that you might want to withhold judgement about what appears to be situations and relationships. There is still a lot of information that you need to get the whole picture.”

      A lot of questions/issues should ultimately be addressed – assuming they don’t cut out too much of the source material and/or make other material changes such as adding anime only parts. Keep in mind, this is an adaptation, and only one episode at that.

      As for Shingeki, personally I like MKnR LN more than Shingeki anime or manga, but JMO. A big difference between the two is that Shingeki (manga and anime) starts off with a bang, a very good one at that. MKnR starts off much more slowly. IMO, MKnR LN doesn’t hit stride until volume 03.

      ———————————–

      @SK Feels like I’ve been saying this a lot…

      LOL, I know how you feel. Can’t say more with out some pretty big spoilers. 🙁

      daikama
      1. @SK Feels like I’ve been saying this a lot…
        LOL, I know how you feel. Can’t say more with out some pretty big spoilers. 🙁

        @daikama and SK

        I’m with you two. I’ve basically given up on getting too involved in discussions for now. There’s no way to really explain anything in other ways without massive spoilers. Hell. Even saying “Nope, you’re totally wrong.” can be a pretty big spoiler for some of this stuff. 🙁 Once we’re done with Enrollment it’ll probably be easier to discuss (I hope).

        Altherion
    3. @SK, diakama, Altherion

      Frustrating isn’t it? You want to blurt out the answer so people get the right impression of what’s going on, but you can’t without spoiling things. I feel the same way. Even some things that people are getting correct have nuances that are only evident when you get more information in the story. Most anime is straight forward, but this one has a lot of depth that is well thought out. It’s hard to say wether some information from the LN’s should be considered spoilers because it’s unclear how much of the information is going to be conveyed in the anime. Maybe Stilts can give us LN readers some guidelines about when it might be appropriate to pass on information or clarifications from the LN’s that might be glossed over in the anime. That’s assuming the adaptation is faithful to the LN’s.

      Bear
    4. @Altherion: I hope so as well, but a lot depends upon what source material is cut/anime only additions (i.e. how it’s adapted). At this point, I’m not so sure getting past the initial arc will make things that much easier. Again, I hope so as well. Still, there’s quite a bit of relevant information given throughout the series beyond the initial Enrollment Arc. For example, I can think of things from the Visitor Arc (vol. 9-11) and Double Seven Chapter (vol. 12) which are on point for some of the above discussion.

      ————————————

      @Bear: Well stated IMO. It is indeed a frustrating situation as an LN reader. I would like some clarity from Stilts as well. I actually drafted an overall/general (“no spoiler”) explanation about CADs (incl. general vs. specific) plus a little about MKnR magic (systems/types and sequences). As you know, the “chibi” pre-airing shorts barely scratch the surface for those things. I decided against posting because someone might consider such background information a spoiler. Putting it in a spoiler tag defeats the purpose because the vast majority of non-LN readers (probably RC readers in general) won’t read it. What about noting the differences between source material and the anime (i.e. “they left out this, added that”)? Is that a spoiler in terms of the anime? Some official RC guidance would be welcome here. Lastly, as you point out, the key issue is how the adaptation proceeds.

      daikama
    5. @SK, daikama

      well, that wasn’t as bad as I expected, I appreciate not being harassed. I will try to stick with it for until the second or so volume in hopes that it will fulfill your expectations. perhaps I will read the LN itself, because personally, I’d appreciate an infodump before people start swinging out their gun (CADs?) and start casting shit. the problem with having such a large world that is wildly different from the current present is that explanations are almost necessary, especially in the case that this world is supposed to represent our future. It’s really hard for me to believe that “magic” was “found” in the 21st century (I understand that i’m supposed to be suspicious) and how obscene the class discrimination between the courses can develop. I’m not even sure what year we are set in and for how long the school has been running, and while many people seem to be fine taking it in stride and seem to appreciate the fact that they didn’t dump this info on us, I’m having trouble being immersed into this universe since, again, Mahouka’s setting is supposed to emulate our future.

      again, I hope this can meet your guys’ expectations. I’m a little too worried that they will take many things for granted and leave viewers like me in the dust.

      bolton
      1. @bolton: You’re welcome. TBH, even though I’m a big fan of the LN, I had issues with the first episode. If I hadn’t read the LNs, I too would likely wonder what all the “hype” is about. Goes back to my comment about Shingeki vs. MKnR. Shingeki starts off with a ton of gripping, dynamic action very well suited for animation. MKnR takes time before things get rolling. Still, IMO MKnR anime didn’t do the source material any favors by rushing through approx. 43% of the first LN volume in one episode.

        personally, I’d appreciate an infodump before people start swinging out their gun (CADs?) and start casting shit. the problem with having such a large world that is wildly different from the current present is that explanations are almost necessary, especially in the case that this world is supposed to represent our future.

        I completely agree that there needed to be much more “infodump” with this story before rushing on to the action (FYI – that was a “CAD” – Casting Assistance Device, not a gun though guns and the like do exists in the MKnR world). However, I would not say that MKnR “represents our future” because, well, there IS magic. This is more of a fantasy (magic, et.al.) setting than a sci-fi one though it clearly contains elements of both as I’m sure you realize. I think a much better description is an “alternate version” of RL world or “based upon” RL world.

        again, I hope this can meet your guys’ expectations. I’m a little too worried that they will take many things for granted and leave viewers like me in the dust.

        LOL, you and me both. My other concern is how faithful the adaptation is to the source material. Been burned on that before. In this case, I noted one anime-only addition which I felt was detrimental in terms of accurately portraying character relationships and a (separate) change in dialog which removed an early background hint. :<

        All I can say is that, sadly, I share your concerns. Hopefully they will prove to be unfounded. One cautionary note – I don't know if just getting past the Enrollment Arc (which at current pacing would last another 4 episodes) will provide all the answers you are seeking. As I posted above, not all "infodumping" is contained solely in the first arc. For example, volume 08 has a lot of important background information which is hinted at off and on in the previous volumes (another reason not to cut lots of material and/or alter material). Also FWIW, when I first read the LN, I wasn't truly hooked on the series until about the end of volume 3. YMMV.

        Again, I truly hope our concerns are proven wrong. If you do decide to drop the anime, I definitely encourage you to try the LNs at least through the Enrollment arc if not the Nine Schools Competition arc as well (e.g. vol. 1-4).

        Hope this proves useful to you.

        daikama
    6. @Bear and daikama

      Definitely frustrating. What’s killing me so much right now isn’t the lack of knowledge–I’m sure we’ll get more on that from the show as time goes on. I feel like Enrollment does a lot of the groundwork in the world, but it really isn’t until Nine Schools that we see the actual how of things–so, I’m okay with people making guesses and having ideas that (in retrospect) don’t make a whole lot of sense for the world. I’m sure as stuff goes on and people have questions about things that may not be explained well in the anime we’ll have plenty of chances to provide low-to-no spoiler explanations. After all, the world is so structured that we can (probably) just pull out the technical explanation and attach it to the poorly explained phenomena without having to provide any actual plot related spoilers.

      What’s actually killing me is the misconceptions and exaggerations floating around about the characters. While I understand why they used the hook that they did for the intro…Show Spoiler ▼

      In any event, those are the things I’m having trouble about keeping my mouth shut on whenever I see them. Technical aspects, I’m hoping will come with time–and if they don’t, that’s what us LN readers are for, right? 🙂

      Altherion
      1. @Altherion: I agree, especially about the hook. Specifically…
        **WARNING: SPOILERS – Up to date LN readers ONLY **
        Show Spoiler ▼

        daikama
      2. @daikama: No worries on the length! Honestly, I think us LN readers need at least a little bit of the opportunity to vent just so we don’t store it up and accidentally start throwing stuff around where we shouldn’t. On that note, switching to spoiler mode (Warning to all: current LN spoilers, please do not click unless you are up to date):

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Altherion
  43. Hmmm is this a 24 episode anime? If it is then it would turn out to be pretty epic ish. I just burned through all the light novels but DAMN, DAT volume 8, how thehell they gonna animate that…that’s fucking harsh. Anyway. I can see how at a glance before it had that off feel to it, turn out this anime might turn out darker then I expected.

    People this ain’t a fan service anime …Prepare yourself.

    Duzz
  44. Just started reading the manga along with the VN after watching the 1st episode. Looks good so far. It somewhat reminds me of Toaru Majutsu no Index, which also has the science/magic aspect to it.

    persona4eva
  45. Animation is good as expected of Madhouse, story is pretty meh, characters (especially the Gary Stu MC-kun) are pretty generic and boring but the voice actors at least suit them. MC-kun and Imouto were getting a little too chummy together in just the first episode. I’ll let it slide for now but if this series takes the incest route then this shit’s getting dropped.

    In short, not really impressed right now, but so far the show is at least watchable for now. I’ll give this show the 3 episode rule and see if I wanna keep going.

    LaughingMan
  46. Show Spoiler ▼

    Don’t read this comment unless you’ve read the manga, novels, and possibly a wiki.

    CTT
    1. Show Spoiler ▼

      Duzz
    1. It just barely begun. But there’s no way this series won’t do well, as far as the general popularity of the novels is concerned, and the rather high accuracy of adaptations that Madhouse so excels at.

      Crook
    2. Technically it already does being a 2 cour run. If there is anything after that will depend on the sales numbers and how much source material is covered in these 26 episodes.

      Pancakes
  47. I didn’t even have to look it up to know who was doing the music for this series. AS soon as the shrine fight scene started, I knew Iwasaki Taku was the mastermind behind the soundtrack. That man has such a distinctive sound. I loved his work on Noragami, so I hope he does this series well, too!

    Trippwire

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