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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – 05 »« Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – 03

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – 04

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

The pacing was a lot better this episode as we dive into the root of discrimination, and what kind of crisis it could lead to.

Better Pacing, More Banter

I don’t know if they’ve stopped adapting at the idiotic three-episodes-per-light-novel pace, but the pacing this episode was a lot better. It flowed better and felt more natural in a lot of ways. At the beginning they let us in on Tatsuya’s thoughts when he met Jyumonji Katsuto (Suwabe Junichi) – as strangely homoerotic as the imagery got there – and they let us enjoy more of the banter among friends. And the banter is good! I enjoyed it both in the cafe, complete with Tatsuya & Miyuki’s joke fooling Mizuki (though for Miyuki’s part, I think it was more of a “joke”), and later when Tatsuya was teasing Mari-sempai. The more time they spend on the banter, the more I like these characters, and the better the pacing feels. After a rocky start, if they can keep going like this from now on, I’ll be happier.

Tatsuya’s Magic & The Overturning of Social Structures

Once again I only sort of understood the explanation of Tatsuya’s magic, but honestly I’m not going to try much anymore. Some commenters mentioned last week that it’s all a lot more understandable if you have an engineering/programming background, and I have none of that. I understand people, stories, and ideas, so I’ll stick to that thank you very much! What I loosely understood was that Tatsuya used the jamming from using two CADs at once + his own ability to read spells as they’re being cast to jam them by using an activation sequence for the same type of spell. Or something. What was more interesting to me was the potential socio-political repercussions of this ability.

Apparently Cast Jamming (magic jamming) is normally only possible with a very expensive (and, if you’re a civilian, functionally impossible to acquire) material known as antinite. While antinite is rare and rigidly controlled, it doesn’t upset the status quo, but if there were another way to nullify magic, a way that was more widely known, without any known way to defend against, and one that cannot be controlled from a governmental level, then the entire social order would go all wahoonie-shaped. Suddenly weaker magicians could shut down the magic of more powerful magicians, and all the powerful would once again be as weak as any schmuck in the streets.

Tatsuya’s magic is potentially game breaking, and the fact that he’s keeping it to himself until he perfects it is very, very interesting. It keeps him unique, and for good reason – something he stumbled across rather than a gift from on high, though there’s part of that too, since he wouldn’t be able to do it if he couldn’t read spells as they’re cast – without violating the premise of spells being like code. Tatsuya has just figured out an interesting bit of code that no one else has yet. That won’t necessarily last forever, but for now he’s unique.

Oppai-sensei & The Male Gaze

Male Gaze (trope!) is a trope that can quickly, and usually does, veer into profoundly troubling areas. Read most American comic books if you don’t believe me…it’s kind of okay if High School DxD focuses on breasts and butts since it’s a fanservice show, but when a supposedly serious female character is running around in stripperiffic clothes (trope!), it sort of ruins the whole thing.

There is one good way to do it, and that’s when the male gaze is the gaze of a specific male character, in this case, Tatsuya’s gaze. That works great, because while it may give the male viewers some titilation – or the female viewers, in the case of shows like Free! – it serves the purpose of showing us what the character in question is looking at. Basically, job well done Mahouka on not being creepy this time…mostly. They unnecessarily lingered on sensei’s thighs a second time later in the scene, and that seemed unnecessary. Still, they worked in a little service (and a little of Tatsuya admonishing his teacher, which I thought was funny) without screwing it up too much. B+, not bad.

Judgement By Magic Skill…At A Magic High School

The root of this episode is the conflict this episode was how a bunch of the Course 2 (Weed) students are feeling discriminated against by the Course 1 (Bloom) students, and how an international terrorist organization known as Blanche may be whipping them up into a frenzy (and potential insurrection) for their own anti-magic goals. I have something to say about this kind of discrimination.

Are you kidding me!? I’m talking to the characters here, not the story or the author, because the conflict is actually pretty good. The root of the problem here is that the Course 2 students are taking their personal self-worth from their abilities in school, and that’s dumb. Here me now, all ye young people out there – your success (or lack thereof) at school or work do not determine your worth as a person! Your worth as a person is the accumulation of everything you are and can be as a human being, not by a single easily tracked metric (your grades, your salary, etc). Happiness and self-worth have to come from inside, not from the grades you get or the paycheck you cash.

But you know what? Teenage kids making this mistake is entirely reasonable. I imagine we’ve all either done it or are in the process of doing it right now, and probably a lot of that happened when we were teenagers. I do have to laugh at how they’re bridling at being judged by magic when they go to a magic high school, though. That’s like me going into the engineering school at college and then complaining that they’re judging me on my engineering skills. No, that isn’t the sum total of my worth as a human being, but it counts for quite a lot of my worth as an engineering student!

So the Course 2 student’s frustration is understandable, but also not, and I like that. That’s the kind of human complexity that adds depth. I get where they’re coming from – there’s more to skill at life, or even just magic, than one’s test scores – but those test scores do mean something. And all this is exacerbated by the discrimination from the Course 1 students, and powerful magicians in general.

Blur The Lines

Here’s how you fix this problem, and one way this story might go about it (I don’t know, haven’t read the source material) – blur the lines. In our own world, people may sometimes gripe at how much doctors get paid, but not too much, because most of us could have probably become doctors ourselves if we wanted to, but we decided not to. At the very least, our not becoming doctors was due to something like coming from a poor household and not being able to afford medical school, not something absolutely impossible to surmount. The line is soft, unlike with magic. With magic, it’s very black and white (or so I gather) – either you can use it or you can’t, and a lot of based off your natural skill. Yes, there is a lot of hard work, but hard work isn’t appreciated when others never even had the chance to her started.

So blur the lines. Tear off the special patches, mix up the classes, and make everyone look and act the same. Words and images matter! Or at least double the schools, and send the Course 1 and Course 2 students to different places. If you’re going to institutionally shaft half of the students in a school, they’re not really receiving the same education anymore, so better to just send them all somewhere else.

Just because someone is better at magic (or anything else) doesn’t mean they’re a better person. It just means they’re better at that one thing. That’s not the same, no matter how useful or lucrative the skill is.

Looking Ahead

Like I said before, if they keep the pacing nice like this and delve into this discrimination jazz to a satisfactory conclusion, I’ll be a happy blogger. Hopefully they will. Also, more of gigolo Tatsuya making girls blush please. That makes me laugh!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Delving into some interesting aspects of discrimination & fake equality. Pacing was much better this time! #mahouka 04

Random thoughts:

  • I liked that they skipped both the OP and the ED. If they have so much material to cover, they need to be doing this constantly. Those singles will already sell, just get the story in so the BDs will too!
  • Cut it out you two. You’re doing siblings wrong. Bakas.
  • Disclaimer: Please do not post spoilers in the comments. If you want to talk about future events, make sure to both enclose your comment in spoiler tags and identify what the spoiler is about beforehand (without spoiling), so other readers know whether to click on it. Also, if I ask any questions in my posts, assume they’re hypothetical unless otherwise noted. Thank you for your understanding.

Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Respect; How you know it’s a good idea; It’s not always the ones you expect; and Thinking about Looney Tunes.

 

Preview

April 26, 2014 at 6:27 pm
175 comments »
  • April 26, 2014 at 6:32 pmDuzz

    Hmm the pacing seems a bit off for sure, I mean this episode seem to be a huge info dump to be honest it kinda went through my head. However I don’t get why people who goes to a magic school want to be like anti- magic. That’s just stupid.

    Also I noticed the Tatsuya Miyuki scenes and I don’t get what makes the end so special that they had to roll credits like that.

    However there is Tatsuya biggest secret for those that is afraid of Wincest.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • April 26, 2014 at 9:39 pmcclragnarok

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 26, 2014 at 10:12 pmDuzz

        I have to disagree because:

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 26, 2014 at 11:07 pmcclragnarok

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 27, 2014 at 12:07 amUngas123

        You are wrong
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • April 27, 2014 at 6:52 amDuzz

      I would like to think so but this is from the devil itself from the LN

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 27, 2014 at 1:30 pmcclragnarok

        You are taking a fragment of a sentence of a translation, and extrapolating too much from there.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        I hope that clears up the misunderstanding. Once again, I have to go read volume 13 (and do lots of other stuff), so I may or may not check back again.

  • April 26, 2014 at 6:45 pmPtolemaios00

    I think you missed mentioning something important revealed in this episode, which is the Ten Masters Clans. Family names are important in this series, and the kanji for the important families usually includes a number. This is something Japanese viewers instantly pick up on while the non-Japanese-literate may not without highlighting.

    Jyumonji, Saegusa, Yotsuba…more will be revealed later and they are all significant characters. For now, the Shiba siblings already allege a connection to the Yotsuba.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:08 pmAnon

      This episode glossed over these things, unlike the manga or novels. I feel like this adaptation isn’t so much lore based (the nitty gritties), but more visual appeal.

    • April 26, 2014 at 10:02 pmAXiAMWoLFE

      One thing to take note of with regards to their family names.

      Yotsuba versus Shiba. Connection much?

      • April 26, 2014 at 11:42 pmUngas123

        While you are right that the Shi can also be four, the kanji Shi in Shiba is normally read as chief.

      • April 27, 2014 at 4:36 amSoran

        Yeah its true,and if i remember correctly Shi,beside meaning 4 also means death,as it brings misfortune and must be hidden, Yon is preferred so I suppose the two must be connected somehow.

    • April 27, 2014 at 3:52 amGermanguy

      your right, for me this Kanji hidden secrets was not viewable. Thanks for pointing it out

    • April 27, 2014 at 7:02 amzztop

      Mahouka family names explained:

      Jyumonji = 十文字 = 10 characters(ie.writing characters)
      Saegusa = 七草 = 7 grass(blades)
      Yotsuba = 四葉 = 4 leaves

      The hiragana for Shiba, しば,(司波), can also be written with the 四葉 kanji, which makes the connection between the siblings and the Yotsuba family even stronger for those knowledgable in the Japanese language.

      • April 28, 2014 at 4:42 amUngas123

        Whistles~♪~♪~♪ Pretends not to have read the novel…

        If the Shiba siblings are from the Yotsuba family which has great prestige and better stuffs as well. Why didn’t they use it as their last name which would give them better treatment and have easier time on their school?

        http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2039.jpg
        Look at how Mayumi (from 7th, Saegusa) and Katsuto (from 10th, Juumonji) are treated in their school…

        Situational Example: Episode 1 during lunch time, 00:17:11
        – Tatsu and his co. (Erika, Leo and Mizuki) were eating their lunch at cafeteria then Miyuki came and wanted to eat with them. –

        Suddenly a wild Group of Elitist Bloom Students appears.

        Elitist Bloom Student A used insult!

        Tatsuya’s Group got Angry! (But it failed. >Tatsuya only)

        Elitist Bloom Student B used shove!

        But it failed.

        At this point if Miyuki and Tatsuya were known to be from Yotsuba then Tatsuya or his friends can:

        Erika used Taunt!

        Group of Elitist Bloom Students got provoked!

        Erika used Tatsuya’s Family Background!

        It is super effective!

        Group of Wild Elitist Student is Afraid!

        Group of Wild Elitist Student used Teleport!

        The enemy has fled!!!

        Err… Well, something like that…
        Again, why didn’t they used if they are from the Yotsuba family?

      • April 28, 2014 at 6:09 amFlayvorOfEvil

        Because the Yotsuba family is Show Spoiler ▼

        Stilts edit: Minor spoiler. Quit it you fools.

        Examples
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 28, 2014 at 7:21 amUngas123

        Pretends to not have read the novel…

        @FlayvorOfEvil
        I see… So that’s why… Still a spoiler to me. A minor one though. So they can be compared to Show Spoiler ▼

        Stilts edit: Comparison to another popular work, so tossing it in tags just to be safe.

        P.S. @FlayvorOfEvil
        I hope you have read my opening on my post above before yours. I’m pretending I have not read the novel line…

    • April 27, 2014 at 11:51 amStilts

      I didn’t miss it, I just didn’t comment on it. My posts are already long enough without trying to be comprehensive for its own sake.

      • April 27, 2014 at 6:09 pmPtolemaios00

        I don’t doubt you didn’t miss it, Stilts. It was a rather glossed over in the episode, so it may not have warranted addressing it in your comprehensive post.

        However, as a LN reader, I just wanted to point out something important for future plot developments when it is first mentioned in this anime adaptation.

  • April 26, 2014 at 6:45 pmBraveSong

    I think people should read the manga as well to truly appreciate this anime. Jumping straight into the anime with no prior background can be difficult

    • April 26, 2014 at 8:17 pmdaikama

      Manga would probably help, but having read both, I definitely recommend the LN over the manga. Much more detail – and not just the magic system.

    • April 26, 2014 at 9:07 pmMgMaster

      Hmmm,as an anime-only viewer I actually disagree. I didn’t understand anymore than Stilts did and that didn’t affect enjoyment of the show.

      Tatsuya used the jamming from using two CADs at once + his own ability to read spells as they’re being cast to jam them by using an activation sequence for the same type of spell

      For us who don’t like it when things get too technical,this was all we needed to understand.

    • April 27, 2014 at 1:17 amStilts

      To me, if I have to dip into another medium to enjoy the story, this adaptation isn’t doing its job properly. Perhaps that’s the case, but I loved the hell out of the “impossible to adapt” Kyoukaisen, so I know the impossible is possible. If they can’t make this work as an anime, they should have never tried.

      However, I’m broadly enjoying it so far, so I don’t think making it an anime was a mistake, whatever mistakes they may or may not have made in the implementation.

  • April 26, 2014 at 6:50 pmWanderer

    Cut it out you two. You’re doing siblings wrong. Bakas.

    Judging by the number of MiyukixTatsuya doujins alrady in existence, some people apparently disagree. ;) (yes yes, I’ve read your article on incest in fiction)

    More seriously, it annoys me greatly that the rest of the kenjutsu club apparently got away completely free with attacking Tatsuya at the end of the previous episode. The blatant level of “we don’t believe the rules apply to US” that attacking a member of the Discipline Committee implies is staggering, yet nothing was done to put them in their place, beyond their utter failure at actually hurting Tatsuya (which is not going to drive home the message that’s actually important). It… irritates me that they weren’t punished.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:58 pmdaikama

      @Wanderer: More seriously, it annoys me greatly that the rest of the kenjutsu club apparently got away completely free with attacking Tatsuya at the end of the previous episode.

      Keep in mind that the Public Morals committee is the primary disciplinary force in terms of which students get prosecuted for what. The members have a LOT of latitude – fair or not. That’s why Mari wanted a 2nd course student on the committee. It’s also why Mibu has a problem with the Public Morals committee since all but Tatsuya are course 1 students. Anyway, It was Tatsuya’s call and he decided not to press the issue. There is some missing internal dialog that explains Tatsuya’s “reasoning.” Mari asks if Kirihara was the only one who “used magic”. Tatsuya says “yes” because technically, the others were unable to use magic due to him using Cast Jamming.

      Theoretically he could said something about their attempts, but then it would have opened up the whole issue of HOW he prevented them from doing so, and THAT he did not want to explain for reasons we see later. Both Juumonji (10) and Mayumi (Saegusa = 7 grass) are from the Ten Masters Clans (families). It’s not the same situation as Tatsuya telling his friends (Erika, Leo and Mizuki) to keep it a secret.

      Lastly, in terms of physical attacks on Tatsuya, as he noted last EP, Kirihara was “arrested” for improper used of magic – that’s the Public Morals committee’s main job. Restriction of unauthorized magic use.

      • April 26, 2014 at 8:06 pmWanderer

        Theoretically he could said something about their attempts, but then it would have opened up the whole issue of HOW he prevented them from doing so, and THAT he did not want to explain for reasons we see later. Both Juumonji (10) and Mayumi (Saegusa = 7 grass) are from the Ten Masters Clans (families). It’s not the same situation as Tatsuya telling his friends (Erika, Leo and Mizuki) to keep it a secret.

        Hmm… I hadn’t considered that angle. For all that some folks complain that these early episodes are going too slow, there sure seems to be an enormous amount of information (narration, internal monolgues, what-have-you) that it seems is still getting left out, some of which would really be useful to know.

        Lastly, in terms of physical attacks on Tatsuya, as he noted last EP, Kirihara was “arrested” for improper used of magic – that’s the Public Morals committee’s main job. Restriction of unauthorized magic use.

        Well yes, but it’s kind of the difference between getting into a fistfight with an ordinary guy on the street, and attacking a police officer while he’s arresting an attempted-murderer. The former may not be good, but the latter is Really Bad™. Kirihara and Mibu were doing the former, until Kirihara pulled out lethal magic. The Kenjutsu club did the latter.

      • April 26, 2014 at 8:57 pmdaikama

        @Wanderer: “Well yes, but it’s kind of the difference between getting into a fistfight with an ordinary guy on the street, and attacking a police officer while he’s arresting an attempted-murderer.”

        I understand what you’re trying to say, but it’s not the same because Tatsuya, like any other member of the Public Morals committee (“PMC”), is still as student. Attacking them is no worse than attacking any other student. Well, other than you’re likely to get your ass kicked. :P In one sense it’s hard to reconcile that they could attack Tatsuya or any other student (magic or not) and get away with it, but again, it’s Tatsuya’s call.

        I guess the anime skipped over this as well, but the way the system works is that the word of a PMC member is pretty much taken as fact unless there is some substantial corroborating evidence to the contrary. Like I said, it was Tatsuya’s call here – including whether to punish Kirihara further (can’t recall if the anime included Jyumonji saying he expected Kirihara to be suspended at the least).

        For all that some folks complain that these early episodes are going too slow, there sure seems to be an enormous amount of information (narration, internal monolgues, what-have-you) that it seems is still getting left out, some of which would really be useful to know.

        LOL – that’s an understatement. Can’t even express the frustration of being unable to fill in all the blanks – even just what was passed over in volume 01 due to potential spoilers. *sigh* There’s a lot of setup and it’s NOT just the magic system (though that in and of itself is complex). It’s a complex story with a lot of characters and multiple plot lines – including political ones. There’s not much action until the end of the second volume, and even that is kind of short (unless the anime stretches it out. IMO you needed at minimum FOUR episodes for the first volume to do a proper job. This is why I said repeatedly before that the series is not for everyone.

        My impression is that the anime is trying to please all types of viewers and unsurprisingly failing to do so. There are already posts of “boring – dropped” so what was the point of trying to rush forward in the first place? You can’t skip enough material to satisfy those who like lots of action from the start, and in the attempt to do so, all that stuff you cut out harms viewers who don’t mind/like substantial world building and/or non action stuff (politics, etc.) Jack of all trades and master of none.

      • April 27, 2014 at 11:55 amStilts

        Another thing to consider – it’s actually to the Disciplinary Committee’s benefit to be lenient. They’re seen as tyrants and distrusted a lot, so taking down the one that clearly broke the rules but letting the others slide is liable to net them some goodwill. Though granted, that could backfire since most or all of the Kenjutsu members are Course 1 students (I assume), so it could come across as them getting special treatment once again.

  • April 26, 2014 at 6:51 pmPyroShield

    For those of you who haven’t read the light novels, FYI Tatsuya does NOT get a harem. Its a shame that the arc (Yokohama Incident) that shows how badass and OP Tatsuya is won’t be animated unless this gets a second season.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:06 pmLucarion

      We’ll probably get to Yokohama. Show Spoiler ▼

      Stilts edit: Added in spoiler tags. Watch it please.

      • April 26, 2014 at 7:23 pmboingman

        Keep those insinuations in a spoiler space. I don’t care to know “how far we’ll go”.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:50 pmKrono

      We shall see. All that’s required is a minimum of 3 woman attracted to him for people to label him as having a harem.

    • April 26, 2014 at 8:13 pmAex

      Well…
      Show Spoiler ▼

      That being said, I’m still glad they went a different route other than “all the girls around him the most fall for him” with Tatsuya, since it really wouldn’t make sense for his character.

    • April 26, 2014 at 8:14 pmPancakes

      Just based on this episode he could already be labelled harem material. Sister, martial arts student, Disciplinary Board head, and the councilor so far all have an interest in him in one form or another, not counting others to come.

      Is he a harem boy? No, not at this point, but it does reinforce the thought. Depends on how many girls end up actually enamoured of Tatsuya (which hopefully is not many).

      • April 26, 2014 at 8:31 pmDuzz

        However, remember it Really doesn’t matter if he have a harem or not because

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 27, 2014 at 5:48 amEien

        Uh, no, Tatsuya is not impotent, he is Show Spoiler ▼

      • April 27, 2014 at 8:28 amHanabira.Kage

        Mibu Show Spoiler ▼

        Stilts edit: Spoiler tags added. Please stop spoiling things openly people. Use those tags.

      • April 30, 2014 at 10:03 pmRyner

        @Hanabira.Kage: Isn’t revealed and heavily implied here that she does have a boyfriend, I mean she strongly denied Tatsuya’s insinuation about her boyfriend’s treatment of her, I believe she said his name was Shu. Not really a spoiler and I dont read the novels, only the manga, but this was revealed this episode.

      • April 30, 2014 at 10:03 pmRyner

        @Hanabira.Kage: Isn’t it revealed and heavily implied here that she does have a boyfriend, I mean she strongly denied Tatsuya’s insinuation about her boyfriend’s treatment of her, I believe she said his name was Shu. Not really a spoiler and I dont read the novels, only the manga, but this was revealed this episode.

  • April 26, 2014 at 7:05 pmShadow

    the imouto is getting on my nerves. For some reason i find it more bearable in the manga *despite being more ecchi in there* maybe is because i can’t hear her. I will end up hating her once this series is over.

    That aside, the rest of the series is really awesome! A truly interesting OP character *unlike that crap MC from SAO* A vast variety of characters, a plot that has many possibilities.

    After 3 episodes, the social conflict is starting to make sense and have a reason, i hope it keeps getting better. I was getting tired of Elite = Assholes and Low-Class = Humble.

  • April 26, 2014 at 7:05 pmSolace

    “Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow?”

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:10 pmLucarion

      This isn’t Atlas Shrugged. Because as Yokohama shows, Tatsuya’s actually trying to HELP other people. (Albeit for his own personal reasons.)

      • April 26, 2014 at 11:33 pmSolace

        Then can you explain to me just what was Tatsuya talking about at the end of this episode? Something about how certain people are jealous of mages because they make more money and they can’t ever make as much and Tatsuya basically going all Andrew Ryan, but that is suddenly not the real problem and it’s actually a front for a conspiracy revolving around foreign powers trying to make Japan weak by messing with their mages? Because it certainly sounded like something an objectivist ubermensch would say.

        He acts as though society shouldn’t provide equal opportunities for all. Granted we’ll never get there, but I wouldn’t say it’s futile. I think the key distinction between magic and say… sports athletes, tech geniuses, bankers, etc. is that being able to use magic isn’t really accepted as being human. I mean, if you showed me today, that there are mages amongst the public, I’d feel uneasy. Being able to play ball or curing another is much different than wielding the power to manipulate reality.

        Onto the rest of the scene…

        Right off the bat the only group the audience can actually sympathize with is demonized with the label of terrorists. At least in Deus Ex: Human Revolution you had substantial amount of time to chat with Humanity Front representatives to hear their side of the story regarding human augmentation (they’re really not bad people and made a great case against augs).

        The more I think about it, the more I feel that Satou was “heavily inspired” by DE:HR, especially the parallels between Sarif Industries (and other human augmentation tech companies)/Humanity Front/Purity First and the whole magic association/Blanche/Egalite with some BioShock thrown in.

      • April 27, 2014 at 1:55 amMentar

        Wrong order. Mahouka Enrollment Arc came first, DE:HR came later.

  • April 26, 2014 at 7:09 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    I don’t mean to turn this political and I don’t mean to offend, but I just can’t resist having seeing the explanations behind Blanche and all…

    Blanche…is basically the Tea Party of the Mahouka world…

    *prepares for massive down-votes*

    Anyway, moving on!

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2022.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2022.jpg

    …blushing senpais FTW!!!

    And am I the only one feeling like Miyuki is becoming more and more of a non-important secondary character by this point? I mean, from the beginning, we get told that she’s a genius and whatnot, but four episodes in and all we’ve seen was pretty much nothing from her except a near-obsessive/yandere brocon sister, making it seem like she’s just there for the fetish. Bear in mind that I haven’t read the manga or LN or whatever the source material is so I’m just basing my opinion on strictly the anime thus far.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:19 pmboingman

      I am feeling the same. Her constant outbursts of jealousy in this ep weren’t funny anymore and pretty annoying. I am starting to wish that he DOES get a girlfriend just to see her reaction.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:58 pmAex

      Blushing Mayumi has always been my favorite part of the LNs. Because of valid plot reasons yet to be revealed there’s little to no chance of Tatsuya ever getting a girlfriend, but if by some miracle he does, she’s a tie for my first choice.

      • April 26, 2014 at 9:47 pmSwarz

        Yay. Mayumi FTW!

    • April 26, 2014 at 8:06 pmReverseTales

      Regrettably, I think it’s because of how the anime cuts material that it doesn’t consider relevant to the plot. So she ends up being a selfish person, but gets better throughout the season.

    • April 26, 2014 at 8:10 pmboingman

      So Mari has a boyfriend? Did I miss somethng or was that the first time that came up?

      • April 26, 2014 at 8:15 pmAex

        First time. Comes out of nowhere in every version.

      • April 26, 2014 at 10:06 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        No, she doesn’t! She’s still available!

        ……

        *wishes*

        ……

        *sad sigh*

      • April 28, 2014 at 6:11 amFlayvorOfEvil

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Stilts edit: Thanks for the spoiler! Here, have some tags.

    • April 26, 2014 at 9:17 pmMgMaster

      I’m also starting to find Miyuki kind of annoying as it’s already been 4 episodes and I’m not attached to her as a character in any way. It’s not that bad thought so I’ll be patient for now.

      But if this keeps up,she’ll get to the point where some of us will simply loose interest in her,enough so that we might not even care about any character exposition and/or development she’ll probably receive later on.

      • April 26, 2014 at 10:51 pmc2710

        She’s reminding me of a certain bitchy imouto that we all came to know and possibly hate?

      • April 27, 2014 at 2:38 amMgMaster

        Nah,she still isn’t nearly as bad and would have to work really,really hard get at her level of bitchiness. I don’t think that’s possible tbh. Even if she’d remain like this throughout the entire series I wouldn’t consider her as bad,although that wouldn’t be saying much…

    • April 27, 2014 at 3:55 amGermanguy

      yes, mijuki’s envy of other Woman for his brother. is becoming a bit overbalance and it is danger to collapse the “funny part” of it. She needs more trust in brother, that he will not forget her, even if he gets a girlfriend.

    • April 27, 2014 at 9:58 amBear

      So you equate the Tea Party with the Socialists? How droll. If you want to make any kind of comparison it should be with the Occupy Wall Street crown. The Tea Party is anything but a group intent on forced equality. The OWS want’s to take down the 1 per centers which are in some ways the equivalent of mages, and especially the Ten Families,which is what Blanche is after. If you’re just trying to make a comparison based on the Tee Party being a terrorist group, can you identify where such acts have taken place by a group that just wants a balanced budget and lower taxes? Oh, and check out the acts of violence and criminality that happened at OWS.

      • April 27, 2014 at 11:50 amStilts

        Yeah, I’m going to step in right here and ask ya’ll not to get into this. Please don’t devolve our pleasant anime blog into an angry discourse on contemporary American politics. We all have better things to do, like watch more anime.

      • April 27, 2014 at 3:44 pmBear

        @Stilts

        I agree. Delete my comment and the section of the comment I’m addressing to and it becomes moot. The subject doesn’t belong here in the first place, but that’s your choice.

  • April 26, 2014 at 7:13 pmChaos

    Totally agree they need more bantering among the friends and more jokes coming from tatsuya. Lucky that will be true in the long run. Maybe that why I didn’t enjoy certain part of the show so far. Sometime there are those weird mood like the weird part when tatsuya was comparing himself and juumonji and the counselor talk. Or in previous episode out of no where miyuki atk tatsuya after cad calibration. They need to integrate those scene better.

  • April 26, 2014 at 7:26 pmGoXDS

    to expand on your points about the Course 1 and 2 problem, Sayaka’s problem was more so her non-magical achievements aren’t being given any credit at all, even when she’s one of the best (as shown last episode when she beat the Kirihara). ofc, there’s likely a bit more issue with feeling frustrated by the lack of recognition from poor magic abilities in the general population. in either case, they’re being manipulated pretty strongly as Tatsuya mentioned at the end of the episode.
    as for sending Course 1 and 2 to different schools, not sure if it was mentioned (probably in one of the mini series episodes), but that’s not an option. there’s way too few competent teachers available and hence why there’s only 9 Magic High Schools. there’s also a bit of history in the Course 1 and 2 discrimination that we might learn of later

    • April 27, 2014 at 12:05 pmStilts

      There’s a shortage of teachers, alright. So send all the Course 1-level students to 5 schools (with smaller class sizes) and send all the Course 2-level students to the other 4.

      And I do get that she’s frustrated that her non-magical achievements aren’t being respected, but I think that’s because she’s treating it like a high school (where students tend to be celebrated for whatever they’re good at, whether that be grades or sports or student leadership or whatever) when it’s really more like a school in college, i.e. the business school, the architecture school, the engineering school & etc.

      They’re all specialists, so if you go to a specialist school and aren’t as good as others, it’s sort of fair to judge your abilities in that thing based on your performance. That doesn’t equal your worth as a human being, but it’s still valid for that one area.

      • April 27, 2014 at 2:09 pmActus

        Agreed. Realistically speaking,it would make a lot more sense if they placed all the excellent students in one school and the lesser ones in another. It would mean (though not necessarily wanted, but alas, it is reality) that the better schools would have more teaching staff and the lesser ones have less.

        Also in regards to the ability point. It is impossible to create a school that caters for everyone’s perks. That would require a separate curriculum for each and every student, which for obvious reasons, is not tenable.

      • April 28, 2014 at 8:29 amStilts

        It’s not impossible, but certainly difficult. It’s always worth considering whether a school’s grades are accurately reflecting the abilities it aims to test, and whether it works for a large portion of the population. If there are anomalies, hopefully they’ll be recognized as such and treated differently.

        Human beings aren’t factory widgets, so we shouldn’t all be treated the same, even if we can often be treated broadly the same and it works out alright.

      • April 28, 2014 at 10:37 amdaikama

        @Stilts: I completely agree with the vast majority of what you say though I don’t think the true solution is to simply split course 1 and course 2 students into separate HS.

        – “There’s a shortage of teachers, alright. So send all the Course 1-level students to 5 schools (with smaller class sizes) and send all the Course 2-level students to the other 4.

        IIRC, the anime skipped over some of the details so I’ll add them in a spoiler to save space. LN vol. 1, pg 1 info on schools (NO spoilers): Show Spoiler ▼

        IMO, segregating course 1 and course 2 students into separate schools doesn’t solve the underlying problem which is elitism/discrimination based upon rankings which are derived from a rigid set of criteria. As history shows, you can’t solve discrimination via segregation. It just doesn’t work. IMO, all you will accomplish is creating a set of elitist schools – effectively replacing “bloom” and “weed” on an individual basis with “bloom schools” and “weed schools”.

        Segregation might make the course 2 students HS life more enjoyable, but it also might foster greater discrimination/elitism post HS. For example, Hattori learned something after getting pawned by Tatsuya – i.e. the standard HS entrance tests do NOT fully capture a person’s entire ability, and therefore, it is foolish to view someone solely based upon those said test scores. Obviously he’s not fully on the “course 2 bandwagon” like Mayumi or Mari, but Hattori did take a step, even if a small one, in the right direction.

        RE: class size. While you could make the 5 “course 1 schools” have smaller class sizes on a relative basis compared to “course 2 schools”, class sizes for course 1 schools would still be larger than the current system. (x number of teachers/900 vs. x number of teachers/1200). That is not something which would be considered “acceptable” in the MKnR world – especially given the fact the quality of instructors is less for 4th-9th HS per info above. I also would expect that the vast majority of school funding would go to “bloom schools” with “weed schools” receiving a relative pittance.

      • April 28, 2014 at 3:00 pmStilts

        @daikama

        I think you should be wary of bandying about terms like segregation. Understand that this is different than racial or sexist segregation. Even if there are certain innate traits that underlie the separation of people into different groups, this is fundamentally about academic achievement, and we separate people by that all the friggin’ time.

        Like I said, think of these magic high schools like universities, because that’s more what they are. Different people go to better or worse colleges all the time based on their skill and achievements (and connections, money, & some other less savory reasons, granted). Is that valid? I would argue it is. When it becomes heinous is when people think they’re better because they’re a Bloom, or they went to Harvard, or whatever.

        No. Just because you’re smarter, more talented, or better educated doesn’t mean you’re better, it just means you’re smarter, more talented, and better educated. It’s entirely reasonable to treat people differently based on these things, as long as you don’t become a bunch of arrogant pricks about it.

        Unfortunately, the Blooms are being arrogant pricks, and yes, putting them together with those who aren’t as talented as they are is liable to improve this attitude (or solidify it…bit of a toss up). But when it comes to giving the best education possible to the largest number of people, making some people second-class citizens in their own school is just silly. I can’t think of any school that does that, or at least not so brazenly.

      • April 28, 2014 at 7:06 pmdaikama

        @Stilts – In retrospect perhaps I didn’t sufficiently consider the associated connotation with the word “segregation” since I was using it in the meaning of “b: the separation for special treatment or observation of individuals or items from a larger group (segregation of gifted children into accelerated classes)” (Merriam-Webster online dictionary). Therefore, replace “segregation” with “separation” in my post above to avoid further issues.

        I’m quite cognizant of how scholastic based separation in schools and universities works IRL. For example, my application to an Ivy-League university was turned down (in hindsight, I’m glad I attended the university I did instead). My point is that under the setting of the MKnR world, IMO separation does not address the issue disdain and resulting discrimination by course 1 students towards course 2 students (i.e. “bloom vs. weed”). IMO, that is as much, if not more so, at the heart of Mibu’s complaints. Frankly, while JMO, even if you scrounged up a few magic teachers and formed large course 2 classrooms at 1st HS, I don’t think that would solve all the problems.

        “When it becomes heinous is when people think they’re better because they’re a Bloom, or they went to Harvard, or whatever.

        That’s my problem with the separate school solution. IMO, all you do is substitute “Harvard” and whatever for “bloom” and “weed”. As I’ve illustrated with my example of Hattori above, if Hattori was in a “course 1 only HS”, he wouldn’t have dueled with Tatsuya… and lost. That experience, that personal interaction with a “mere” course 2 student, gave Hattori sufficient reason to reconsider the validity of his “bloom superiority” viewpoint. If you separate course 1 and course 2 students into different schools, how will that help to resolve the former’s condescending view of the latter?

        But when it comes to giving the best education possible to the largest number of people, making some people second-class citizens in their own school is just silly. I can’t think of any school that does that, or at least not so brazenly.

        I recommend that one does not consider MKnR society and social structure in terms of RL – especially when it comes to magicians. If human resources (i.e. qualified instructors) are limited, then it’s “quality over quantity” in MKnR. A primary role of course 2 students at 1st HS, officially known as “reserves”, is just that. Readily available reserves “who fill the gaps” caused by course 1 students who drops out of 1st HS. Any student (course 1 or 2) who is unable to graduate from magic high school may then graduate from normal high school. To explain in greater detail risks the ubiquitous spoiler problem.

        TO BE CLEAR, I am NOT advocating or endorsing in ANY way “second class citizenship”. Furthermore, IMO there is substantial room for improvement at 1st HS beyond the obvious need for more teachers. One easy solution is to simply have ALL students wear the same damn uniform design. [LN readers - I know the underlying situation] Second, as Tatsuya shows, the current academic evaluation system needs to be reevaluated and improved so that all relevant skills are fully taken into account.

        FYI – it is high school. It’s the first formal magic education magicians get. Those who graduate from magic high school may attend magic university (there are rare exceptions allowed for enrollment as well) where they can then specialize in magician curriculum (technical skills), magic artificer (engineering and other CAD related skills), or magic researcher (theoretical magic knowledge).

        No. Just because you’re smarter, more talented, or better educated doesn’t mean you’re better, it just means you’re smarter, more talented, and better educated. It’s entirely reasonable to treat people differently based on these things, as long as you don’t become a bunch of arrogant pricks about it.

        I don’t know if that’s directed at me or a general statement, but I never suggested anything to the contrary. In fact, my post started “I completely agree with the vast majority of what you say though I don’t think the true solution is to simply split course 1 and course 2 students into separate HS.”

      • April 28, 2014 at 8:26 pmStilts

        Oh no, the last bit wasn’t directed at you, it’s just something I like to repeat often in the hopes that eventually people will learn. Most never do, but that doesn’t stop me trying ^_^

  • April 26, 2014 at 7:31 pmMonks

    I actually found this episode to be poorer all around than the previous one. It feels like there was almost no advancement of plot, the sibling romance references are being overused to the point of already starting to feel trite, and the presentation of the few massive info dumps could have been far more exciting. I don’t mind Tatsuya’s stoic character type, but having him mechanically regurgitate blocks of information for the audience is not my opinion of good direction.

    A bit disappointing really, as I enjoyed the previous few episodes quite a bit. Hopefully this series can live up to the expectations it set (at least for me) with the first few episodes.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:46 pmAex

      Stick around my friend, because things are about to liven up!

  • April 26, 2014 at 7:36 pmdaikama

    Agree that the pacing was better thought, as before, IMO the presentation at times was off. I agree with Stilts that Tatsuya’s impression of Jyumonji was “strangely homoerotic” while watching rather than simply suggest that Jyumonji is someone who has an large, intimidating presence – both physically (think star US football linebacker) and personality wise.

    The more time they spend on the banter, the more I like these characters, and the better the pacing feels. After a rocky start, if they can keep going like this from now on, I’ll be happier.

    You and me both. The banter between all the characters is one of the things I like about the series. Not just between Tatsuya and/or Miyuki and another character, but all the characters. We saw a brief glimpse of that when Mayumi couldn’t hold back laughing at Mari being teased by Tatsuya as well as Erika’s verbal jab at Leo at the cafe.

    Oppai-sensei & The Male Gaze

    That scene didn’t work so well IMO, and I agree that it was awkward/strange for the anime to linger on Ono-sensei’s thighs. *sigh* IDK why the anime chooses to amp up these things (as it did w/ Jyumonji’s “naked” introduction and elsewhere). Point to take away from this is that Ono-sensei was very inappropriately dressed. She tried (and failed) to use seduction on Tatsuya. Part of the world building that was left out by the anime is that in the MKnR world, society is much more prude than in RL. Bared shoulders/arms/legs, miniskirts, etc. are considered risque. Technology has progressed to the point to where clothing has built in cooling functions (NOT magic) so people typically wear full sleeve shirts/skirts, jackets, pants, etc. year round.

    RE: Cast Jamming (taken from MKnR Wiki)

    Cast Jamming is a Non-Systematic Magic[1] that interferes with the phenomenon-altering mechanism of Eidos. Its nature is similar to that of a magic cancelling system… Cast Jamming scatters vast amounts of meaningless Psion waves, and as such it is a technique that prevents rituals from affecting Eidos.[2]

    Cast Jamming works by greatly reducing the speed of a magician’s data upload to his base station, by overwhelming it with a large amount of data. The Psion noise propagates randomly and rapidly across all the eight varieties of the four systematic frequencies, and essentially becomes an antennae that blocks all transmissions.

    Specific Magic Jamming is utilizing the Psion waves that interferes with one another when using two CADs simultaneously. One CAD is doing the jamming spell, and the other CAD doing a spell reversal. From two opposing spells, the simultaneous activations will release Psion incident interference waves as Non-Systematic Magic.

    This technique is discovered by Tatsuya, he chose not to publicize it because of the negative effects it could bring to the Magic community when a spell that can negate magics without the use of the expensive Antinite spread

    A simple way to think about Cast Jamming is that it’s like any sort of jamming signal – you produce noise/static (in this case Psion “noise” – remember Psions are the building blocks of magic) which prevents transmission or in this case spells from working.

    It should be noted that magic is a BIG deal in the MKnR world. EP 01/Chibi shorts gave hints about the major role magicians played and continue to play in terms of national military strength. That’s why Antinite, despite being very rare and of limited effectiveness, is relegated to military purposes. Something like what Tatsuya developed would have major repercussions upon worldwide military strength in a world that went through WWIII not too a long ago. Hope this helps non-LN readers.

    As for pacing, this is the shortest LN IIRC, so it may still be covered in 3 episodes total. That’s my guess as the next arc (9 Schools Competition) is considerably longer and thus should require more time/episodes. At any rate, a step in the right direction which I hope continues.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:45 pmboingman

      Thanks for the explanation. I was afraid that her dressing like that could have simly been part of her character instead of there existing a good reason. I don’t need cliched ditzy teachers.

      • April 26, 2014 at 7:48 pmAex

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Stilts edit: Please try to refrain from little “hints” that verge on spoilers. Spoiler tags added.

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:52 pmWanderer

      …In case of TLDR on the magic stuff, in D&D terms it sounds like Cast Jamming is Antimagic Field, while Specific Magic Jamming is Counterspelling.

      • April 26, 2014 at 8:15 pmdaikama

        JMO, but I wouldn’t try to use D&D or RPG type explanations/analogies. Instead, try to think of scientific analogies for the MKnR magic system because it’s primarily based upon scientific concepts. For me, Cast Jamming is like radio jamming (the transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal-to-noise ratio.)

        For Antinite based Cast Jamming, it’s Psion noise within a certain radius, but if you’re outside that effective radius, you can cast magic (thus =/= “antimagic field”). So it’s like broad spectrum radio jamming in that it affects all radio traffic within a certain area. Specific Cast Jamming has to do with understanding the spell being cast and creating a specific Psion noise counter. In that sense it’s like jamming a particular radio frequency. Hope this helps.

      • April 27, 2014 at 12:08 pmStilts

        Your explanation reads as almost exactly the same thing as an antimagic field and counterspelling to me, lol

      • April 27, 2014 at 2:54 pmdaikama

        @Stilts:Your explanation reads as almost exactly the same thing as an antimagic field and counterspelling to me, lol

        Well, “anti-magic shield” is an undefined term. Is it an MR% or absolute? Can friendly magic be cast or does it entirely prohibit all magic? Point I was trying to make here is that, like general radio transmission jamming, Antinite based Cast Jamming hampers, but does not absolutely prohibit, all spell casting (activation ritual) within a certain AoE. Furthermore, it does not affect successfully cast spells – whether within the AoE or spells which are cast outside the AoE. It’s simply Psion noise. From the LN:

        Antinite is known to fulfill the same conditions by emitting Psion noise. In theory it is possible for a magician to evoke noise for Cast Jamming by themselves, but in practice it’s exceedingly difficult. …under the influence of Cast Jamming the user’s own magic would also be affected, since even if the magician in question consciously tries to tune the noise of Cast Jamming, his subconscious would reject it. Because of that, it is thought that in order to use Cast Jamming it’s essential to use Antinite which satisfies the condition of emitting just Psion noise…

        For Specific Cast Jamming from LN (should have gone with that in the first place):

        The point is, when using two CADs simultaneously, the incident Psion waves resembling Cast Jamming envelope a mage and emit Idea containing Eidos phenomena. If you initiate an interference magic activation ritual with one of those CADs, and start a reverse ritual in the other, those two activation rituals will amplify one another without needing to be translated into magic rituals.

        Then if you release those Psion waves as an External Systematic Magic, each CADs developed activation ritual will naturally build up and the two types of magic rituals which result, can cause interference to some extent. … It can only be used on magic the opponent is in the midst of casting and moreover it’s not like they can’t use it, it’s just more difficult; also of course I can’t use any magic whatsoever myself.

        I guess it depends upon your definition of a “counter spell”, but what I was trying unsuccessfully to illustrate is that unlike at least how I envision a “counter spell”, this is still Cast Jamming which focuses on spell casting prevention rather than remove (i.e. debuff) the effects of a spell already in effect (i.e. no spell cast thus nothing to counter).

        Unlike Antinite which continuously hampers all spell casting within its area of effect as long as it’s used (it’s not like Kryptonite – you have to continuously pump Psions into it), Tatsuya’s Specific Cast Jamming requires a defined target area and must be timed with the opponent’s spell casting attempt. Miyuki later points out that one has to able to “read the activation ritual your opponent is in the middle of [casting], and project CAD interference waves, it’s not like just anyone could do it. So admittedly in that sense it is similar to a “counter-spell” in that one must be able to tailor the CAD generated Psion interference waves to the particular activation ritual in question in order to inhibit spell casting.

        So you’re right in that my 2nd example (specific radio frequency jamming) was overly simplistic. Sorry about that. LOL – guess I should stick to the official explanations rather than try to use RL analogies on the fly. Hope this clarifies things.

        Oh, since I’m making corrections/clarifications, in my main post above, along with the inevitable types (*sigh*), my comment about Antinite in my post above was very poorly worded. It should read: “That’s why the rare element Antinite, despite its limited effectiveness, is relegated solely to military purposes.” Hazards of late night posting I suppose. XD

      • April 27, 2014 at 3:33 pmStilts

        An antimagic field prohibits most (though not all) magic within a set area, while a counterspell interrupts a spell as it’s being cast. Counterspelling does NOT remove the effects of a spell that has already been cast – that would be a cure or a debuff (depending on the target).

        So antimagic field and counterspell work as direct comparisons, even if they’re produced via radio jamming-like methods rather than the *waves hands* “It’s magic!” way of other magic systems.

        Which just reinforces my suspicion that the author could have explained all of this soooooo much more easily if he wasn’t so intent on throwing out all this technobabble.

      • April 27, 2014 at 4:45 pmdaikama

        @Stilts: I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree here because if an “antimagic field prohibits most (though not all) magic within a set area”, IMO that is NOT the same as SOLELY hindering (but not prohibiting 100%) spell casting. It goes beyond that. For example, with Mage B using an “antimagic shield”, Mage A casts a fireball at Mage B from 50m away. It hits said “antimagic shield” and either goes *poof* disappear OR the effects (heat/fire damage) does not apply to Mage B.

        In this case, with Antinite, if Mage A casts a fireball 50m away, Mage B using Antinite is roasted. Period. Same if Mage A is able to overcome the Antinite interference and casts “flame spear” 3 feet away from Mage B. Mage B is burned to a crisp. Maybe I’m misunderstanding you, but “prohibit magic” =/= hinder spell casting.

        As for “spell countering” I’ve always viewed that as a “debuff”. For example in one old-school D&D type RPG I’ve played, spells like “pierce magic” or “pierce shield” will remove a defined list of already applied anti-spell buffs. To prohibit casting, you would use a “hold” or “silence” spell. I guess it’s different for MMORPG games.

        All I can say is that “techobabble” or not, I understood the what was going on when reading the LN while I didn’t know what you meant by “spellcounter” and perhaps even “antimagic shield” (if I still haven’t understood your definition correctly). Lastly, JMO, but having some fairly unique terminology gives the story some individuality compared to copying some standard MMORPG game system. JMO/YMMV

      • April 28, 2014 at 6:19 amFlayvorOfEvil

        Both antinite and Tatsuya’s specific cast jamming are counter spells and not anti magic fields. They prevent magic from being casted by breaking the concentration and disrupting the immediate psion flow of the area. Its like if you were trying to draw a picture and someone kept on screaming in your ear while shifting the paper around. Its actually possible to cast magic under the effects of cast jamming, its just really difficult and really annoying.

        The antimagic field is Zone Interference. This is happens when a magician uses their psions to gain control of a certain area in space and prevent other magics from occurring inside. Once again this is subjected to the relative strength of the magician so during magical battles, magicians try to take over the other person’s zone interference so that they are defenseless against magic.

      • April 28, 2014 at 8:31 amStilts

        Ahhh, okay, I gotcha. I was misunderstanding then. So all forms of Cast Jamming are counterspells, it’s just whether they’re an area of effect or single target (Specific Cast Jamming). An antimagic field will pop up elsewhere.

        Thanks, that’s a big help!

    • April 26, 2014 at 7:54 pmAex

      Since you’re kinda talking LN differences I’ll just stick my toe in and say that I think showing the abuse Tatsuya had to deal with from the 1st Course students after he humiliated the kenjutsu club probably shouldn’t have been cut. It drives home the Coarse discrimination even further, plus the attack they did show wouldn’t have seemed quite so random.

    • April 26, 2014 at 9:03 pmKuntzy

      @daikama

      While the focus on sensei’s thighs (wtf was with that voice btw?) was pretty jarring, I’d have to disagree with you on Jyumonji’s “naked” introduction.

      Having played football in high school, I’ll just say that you can get a much better idea of just how physically imposing someone is when they’re wearing such thick clothing. In this sense, showing him naked works with getting over how much of a physical specimen he is.

      You just can’t appreciate a man’s body through their clothes unless they’re like body builder big. (Absolutely no homo. Trust me.)

      • April 26, 2014 at 9:31 pmdaikama

        @Kuntzy: Having played football in high school, I’ll just say that you can get a much better idea of just how physically imposing someone is when they’re wearing such thick clothing.

        Actually, I do understand, I played a little HS football (grades dropped so that was the end of that). Also, a gym I used to work out at was a body building gym. I once spotted for a guy bench pressing 500lbs (which was ridiculous b/c there’s no way I’m dead-lifting 500lbs from that position if he tears a pec or triceps.). So I see your point, but I still think it was weird the way they did it with naked Tatsuya. A quick top half still of Jyumonji alone would have worked just fine. JMO.

      • April 26, 2014 at 9:55 pmKuntzy

        @daikama

        Lol, well, I definitely fucked up one of my sentences while rewriting it.

        I’ll just say that you can get a much better idea of just how physically imposing someone is when they’re wearing such thick clothing

        This was supposed to be “can’t get a very good idea” rather than that. It originally started as the same beginning, but went to talk about them being shirtless.

        Sometimes I feel like I should actually read through my posts before submitting. ^_^;

        Anyways, I get your point. Makes sense really. I guess I’ve pretty much become immune to guys being nude at this point and it doesn’t bother me at all.

        Either that, or I’m sexist or something, lol.

        And I don’t think I’ll ever be benching 500 lbs. lol. Maybe if I hit the gym and actually worked at it I could go for 300, but that’s a big if. If it weren’t for my job I’d probably have lost all my muscle mass by now due to laziness.

    • April 27, 2014 at 2:13 pmActus

      Would a better analogy of the jamming merely be the negation of waves? You have a wave of a certain frequency and certain wavelength. All you have to do is do the reverse, which effectively negates the wave back to nothing.

    • May 8, 2014 at 5:44 pmAnatidaephobia

      Sorry I came in late on the convo, but I just still don’t get the relationship between the ‘interference magic activation sequence’ initiated during Cast Jamming and the particular activation ritual the opponent is casting. I am assuming here that there is NO general “jamming spell” (by which I mean a specific activation sequence for jamming just any and all spells), because ‘one must be able to tailor the CAD generated Psion interference waves to the [opponent's] particular activation ritual in order to inhibit spell casting’; and that this is why Tatsuya’s ability to read activation rituals is handy for this technique and makes him the only person (so far in the anime) able to utilize Specific Cast Jamming.

      The anime also mentioned that Specific Cast Jamming “can, up to a point, block an activation sequence of the same type”. This implies that either the first or the second (or both) magic sequences activated by the person cast jamming must be specifically tailored to counter the opponent’s activation ritual (the magic sequence used for the jamming must be one that specifically counters the particular sequence that the opponent is trying to cast?). but if so, why would any OTHER spell be prevented from being cast if the sequences called up during the jamming only serves to disrupt that one sequence that particular opponent is trying to cast? Especially if the other activation sequences are of a ‘different type’? Tatsuya’s disrupted Kirihara’s spell. Couldn’t Kirihara simply have casted a sequence of a different type straight after – one that would not be disrupted by the psions of that particular ‘frequency that Tatsuya is casting? And by this reasoning, his friends could technically have casted a ‘different type’ of activation sequence to do Tatsuya in too, so why did their sequences dissipate? I don’t see just how Cast Jamming must be specific to the sequence it’s trying to disrupt and is yet supposed to be able to disrupt any and all kinds of spells cast within the vicinity….

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:06 pmPancakes

    Now this was better and a decent improvement over the other episodes. A clear point of conflict is visible and (what hopefully is) Tatsuya’s first real challenge. Although I did have a giggle at one of the screens showing locations of Blanche attacks, I highly doubt anyone outside of Canada knows where the hell Yellowknife and Goose Bay are :P

    At this point too the less screen time Miyuki gets the better, she is now more of an annoyance than a central character, seemingly thrown in just to give a provocative incest angle and some sexual humour. It’s one thing to have underlying currents of attraction subtly hinted at, but to have it shoved into the viewer’s face at almost every opportunity? Miyuki is too flat to make it work right, and Tatsuya is of the wrong personality to properly derive humour from it. Hopefully this doesn’t last because at least for me it’s starting to detract from the show.

    • April 26, 2014 at 8:48 pmmmmmm

      The occasions that Miyuki throws her fits etc decrease a lot.

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:07 pmAmiluhur

    *huge yawn*

    Been waiting till something exciting happen during first 4 episodes and it just didn’t. Just more, more, and more winding dialogues and over-expositions full of incomprehensible technobabble that seem to go on forever. No characters has come across as interesting so far, no plot points has come across as truly meaningful so far, and no enjoyment value that it’s managed to give me. I hate ecchi comedy with passion, but that kind of show at least trying to be fun and exciting. Mahouka with its sheer amount of potential, on the other hand, just managed to be dull and uninvolving. It’s tiring.

    OK, i’m done with this show.

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:11 pmMatt

    Haven’t seen the episode yet. Thanks for all the Mayumi screenshots.

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:21 pmboingman

    The info dump about Blanche kinda came from nowhere. If Blanche is supposed to be a government secret how come that Mayumi and Mari know about them? Due to their families?
    Can’t say that I enjoyed this episode as much as the previous ones. Miyuki’s antics are getting annoying and the scene with the failed seduction by the teacher was awkward.

    • April 26, 2014 at 8:38 pmAex

      The short answer with knowing about Blanche is that Mayumi is from the same kind of important family as Jyuumonji, and Mari’s bf is big in the military. I also don’t think it was that strange for Tatsuya to educate Miyuki considering she’s on the Student Council, so if Blanche does make a move against specific students she’s likely to be a target.

      And the failed seduction scene was meant to be awkward :) (Aside from the thigh shot. No idea what that was.)

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:25 pmCroos

    • April 26, 2014 at 8:31 pmc2710

      Let’s have “senpai of the week” for every episode shall we?

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:30 pmc2710

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:39 pmYou know, for kids!

    • April 26, 2014 at 10:27 pmechykr

      I was thinking the same thing. LOL

      You’d think that shot was only there to placate the female fans in an attempt to corner the fujoshi market as well, considering the novel and anime has a pretty high male audience thanks to all the pretty girls. :)

    • April 27, 2014 at 12:20 amUngas123

      Tatsuya looked like Katsuto’s dick in that angle LOL

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:40 pmNetto

    Interesting development on the issue of Blanche and Egalite. That’s quite an underhanded way foreign countries try to undermine a nations military power. Is that why I got the sense of Cold War vibes with this show with a tinge of conservatism?

    Also the random fanservice went up a notch again.

  • April 26, 2014 at 8:56 pmZephyr

    While the fourth episode seemed better in some respects to the previous episodes, the thing that really gets me is how this and episode three really highlight everything that’s both positive and negative about the show.

    On the positive end, there’s a lot of potential to be had when going into topics such as discrimination and inequality (and politics), and there’s clearly a lot of budget here from which to work with regarding the animation and action scenes in particular were quite fabulous when we’ve gotten to see them.

    The problem for me personally though, lies in the writing quality and ability to properly world-build when a series doesn’t do much plot-wise four episodes in (and it looks like this’ll at least extend to six episodes or more), and relies on conveniently placed (Tatsuya almost always ends up explaining this in some conversation of some sort) and long winded explanations for incidents that by themselves have totaled probably only a minute of overall screen time. To say the least, it’s not an ideal ratio or method to get people invested into whatever world you’re trying to present.

    I do like the fact that effort was made to give detail into the world, but the fact that there’s a lot of explanation doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always a good thing, and the fact that almost every explanation has turned effectively into an info-dump, as well as the fact that much of the explanation seems lost on first time watchers definitely ends up being a negative example of this phenomenon.

    To tack on to this, there’s much to be said about Tatsuya and his overall development and presentation as a character. For lack of a better comparison, his emotionless demeanor makes him 1.5 dimensional at best, and there’s much that can be said about how his supposed weakness in practical magic is not a weakness at all, despite much assertion of the opposite. His strengths essentially overcome his weaknesses to the point where it’s nonexistent, and the fact that much of what he can do can be attributed to an explanation that starts with “it just so happens” (specially modified CAD from episode 2, advanced calculation ability, magic jammer technique that no one else has) doesn’t help things in terms of the writing and story either.

    Then there’s the contradiction behind how he endeavors to try and keep his actual skills a secret and his recent actions, the fact that he just let the kendo team off for what they did, and the obvious intent to use his and Miyuki’s relationship in an incestous manner—the latter of which counteracts the tone of the discrimination and inequality concept they’re trying to emphasize here and really takes away from the enjoyment.

    Ultimately, I don’t know if it’s just because the adaptation has omitted some important details from the source (from all indications it has), but there’s definitely issues with how some of the story has been presented and some of the execution behind some of the developments we’ve seen so far (at least in regards to the anime version of Mahouka).

    I’ll keep watching to see the potential many say this series has and will demonstrate at some point in the future, but it is somewhat testing on the patience of a first time viewer like me to see this develop the way it has and with the pacing it has, and there’s definitely much to be desired at this point.

    • April 26, 2014 at 9:33 pmMgMaster

      Lol,maybe it’s just me but it feels weird seeing you of all writers criticizing a show so much. Not that you’re wrong though :P

    • April 26, 2014 at 9:34 pmAex

      It’s unfortunate, but the answer to a lot of your concerns is that this first arc is the weakest arc because in the midst of learning a lot of stuff about the world and magic, you’re just supposed to kinda accept that this is how Tatsuya is. Then you find out why he’s like this in the next arc. There are good reasons for why he’s so incredibly stoic, so good at deciphering, and just carries a badass CAD everywhere, and they are revealed early next arc (episode 7-8 by my guess), but so much happens in this arc that the story really suffers from the reveal taking so long.

      In short, I really can’t blame people for losing interest before they know, but once you know, you rewatch these events in a different light.

    • April 26, 2014 at 10:04 pmKazakiri

      Specialized CADs are not unique to Tatsuya, and although his CAD arguably is special, the reason it is special has yet to be revealed… Speaking of which ‘Specific Magic Jamming’ isn’t as important in the arcs past enrollment..

      • April 26, 2014 at 10:19 pmZephyr

        And that’s it really. The qualm with it all is that while his CAD may not be the only special one out there, it doesn’t change the fact he has some kind of limited edition one or what not that conveniently boosts abilities that just so happen to be already above and beyond everyone else. In the end it’s not a big deal by itself, but when it adds up with the list of other things, it’s just not great writing.

        The fact that it’s only one of many things that seem to be “left for later” doesn’t do this notion any favor either, considering how much info-dumping has already occurred and the notion that you have to trudge through what’s essentially half a regular series before getting any semblance of an explanation for some of the more everyday things.

        As for the specific magic jamming… I don’t know, but that actually makes it worse for me sadly, because one can argue its inclusion and the length explanation may not have been needed or could have been truncated in some way to ensure a smoother and easier transition out of the Enrollment Arc.

        But alas. I think a comment Stilts said before really covers it here. The series watches like someone’s first novel, and it happens to be exactly the case here in terms of the original creator and his resume. It doesn’t automatically make it any better or worse than what you see around, but it does mean there’s probably going to be certain things that could be better in terms of writing and world-building, and I feel there are definitely things that could’ve been done better here. Again, there’s potential, but it looks like some of it will remain unfulfilled because of the things that result from this inexperience, among other things (yes, the way the director seems to be going about it contributes somewhat).

      • April 26, 2014 at 10:52 pmKazakiri

        Specialized CADs are publicly available actually… The only difference between a normal CAD and a Specialized CAD is that Normal ones can store multiple Activation Sequences, while Specialized can only store 1 or 2 and are optimized for speed…

        “The two types of CAD are general and specialized. The general type placing a larger burden on the user but capable of a wide range of up to 99 activation sequences, while the specialized type is only able to contain up to nine activation sequences but possesses subsystems able to reduce the load on the user, making it possible to invoke magic faster.

        By its nature, aggressive combat type magic sequences are generally stored in specialized CAD. ”

        You can argue that Erika’s baton enhances her abilities aswell, albeit in a different way.

        Also not all his abilities aren’t above everyone else… Thats why he uses specialized, to compensate.

      • April 27, 2014 at 12:03 amAltherion

        @Zephyr

        But alas. I think a comment Stilts said before really covers it here. The series watches like someone’s first novel, and it happens to be exactly the case here in terms of the original creator and his resume. It doesn’t automatically make it any better or worse than what you see around, but it does mean there’s probably going to be certain things that could be better in terms of writing and world-building, and I feel there are definitely things that could’ve been done better here. Again, there’s potential, but it looks like some of it will remain unfulfilled because of the things that result from this inexperience, among other things (yes, the way the director seems to be going about it contributes somewhat).

        I’m mostly done trying to defend the series to people because I feel the adaptation is, at best, mediocre (in the sense of being engaging for new viewers, at least). But, I’m a little tired of seeing people target the author without actual experience with the novels.

        I’ll readily agree that Enrollment is the weakest arc of the series (and much could have been done better)–but, I’d like to point out that Enrollment is what got most of us LN fans into the series to begin with. Due to a lot of omissions and the fact that the novels are almost always in Tatsuya’s head, the entire feeling of the anime is different from the novels. In large part due to Tatsuya’s viewpoint, the novels actually feel fairly exciting even during exposition. At least, I feel they do. Enrollment is a pretty bulky two volume arc, overall–the fact that most of us that enjoy the novels had enough fun to continue on should say something about the quality of writing.

      • April 27, 2014 at 12:21 pmStilts

        @Altherion

        Note: I don’t mean anything bad about Tsutomu-sensei by saying this watches like a first novel. I’m writing a book myself right now, and I freely expect you all to be saying that about me, especially a few novels down the line when I’m much better. Every author writes a first novel at some point, and they’re never as good as the later ones because even the slowest of authors gets better.

        Now was the LN better? Probably. This is pretty dense material, which makes it hard to adapt, especially when they don’t take a full four episodes per arc like they should have. And was the LN still good? Apparently, or at least it was intriguing enough to keep people reading until later volumes, and that’s pretty much the goal.

        Just because an earlier book (or arc) is weaker doesn’t mean the story is bad. Authors evolve, especially new ones. The ones with enough promise survive to keep writing and get better.

        I should get back to editing…

      • April 27, 2014 at 12:55 pmAltherion

        @Stilts

        I wasn’t particularly targeting your comment. I’m just a little weary of the general mindset that “Oh, the writing for the anime is poor, that must mean the writing for the novels is lacking, too.” I really think the key issue with this adaptation is that we’re more or less completely cut off from the characters’ inner dialogues. By contrast, the LN is almost always showing a character’s inner dialogue. It really does change the entire tone of things and makes it nearly impossible to fairly extrapolate impressions from one medium to another.

        Truthfully, I think there are simply some things that are incredibly difficult to properly adapt to different media. In the case of Mahouka, it doesn’t fit well with the traditional observer-style perspective of anime/video/etc. Combine that with a need to compress content to reach a point that it probably shouldn’t be shooting for… And you end up with the current mess. This is very much akin to trying to translate a purely first-person novel into a purely third-person movie.

      • April 27, 2014 at 3:36 pmStilts

        Very true. Though honestly, it’s not impossible in the slightest, they just needed to use different methods than the “standard” way of telling a story via anime, which they didn’t do. Also they needed more time per arc. That’s sort of huge.

      • April 27, 2014 at 6:15 pmAltherion

        Definitely agreed on the need for more time per LN and a different style of adapting. I’m still holding out some small hope that they’ll slip in exposition as magic is used in the next arc (since the LN does do that). In the novels it is more for reinforcement and expansion, but if done properly it could be quite enlightening for anime only viewers.

        Not that it’ll help much with characterization. But, the only thing they can do to help with characterization now is spend time. Whether they will or not… :(

    • April 26, 2014 at 10:06 pmspike

      Regarding writing quality I think it’s best summed up that Mahouka does a fairly poor job of following the “show, don’t tell” rule of writing. Whether that’s a result of adaption issues or the original source I don’t know, but that seems to be the main problem. This episode was basically like reading pages and pages of exposition only briefly broken up by some actual character interactions.

    • April 26, 2014 at 10:15 pmPancakes

      Summed my disparate thoughts up pretty well, little else to add. What the issue seems to be is a novice writer’s work being slimmed down to fit an anime format. The work in question also happens to focus excessively on world building to the detriment of the story (i.e. the massive info dumps and the inability to fit all the details into direct dialogue between or within characters) such that everything needed to understand the work will not be present in the anime.

      The adaptation here seems to have been linear with no thought given to actual flow or explanation for those unfamiliar with the series. Yeah a series can pick up and explain discrepancies later, but it still hurts the show overall to leave these required answers to a later date (episode 8 is what many have been mentioning). What should ideally have been done is to rearrange the main work and include better and more numerous hints of Tatsuya’s past in the opening episodes. It would have removed much of the criticism, especially the comparisons between this and SAO relating to Tatsuya.

      Also telling viewers new to the series to read the manga/LNs to answer their questions is almost disingenuous, viewers should never have to resort to secondary material to answer what should be covered directly by the show. Adaptations are meant to broaden a series’ reach, not limit it to a specific group; they are always designed to increase the number of fans. Mahouka though seems like it has been made purely to appeal to fans at the expense of those of us who only watch the anime.

      While Mahouka is better than a number of shows this season so far, ultimately it is the info dumps and the speed at which important background details are being filled in that is structurally hurting it. Almost wonder if an additional 12 episodes with some filler material would have helped mitigate these issues.

    • April 27, 2014 at 12:14 amdaikama

      @Zephyr: First, you were right to give the show “moderate expectations” though we disagree in terms of the reason. I failed to appreciate adaptation risk. Lesson learned.

      In terms of infodump, etc., that’s personal preference IMO. As you say, “the fact that there’s a lot of explanation doesn’t necessarily mean it’s always a good thing…”, but the reverse is true as well (i.e. doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing.) As I noted several times, the series is not for everyone and that’s fine. I can’t think of any anime, story – whatever, in which literally every single person will like it. Simply a matter of taste IMO. Given your comments, I highly doubt you would like the MKnR LN because the “infodump” in the anime and manga are nowhere near the LN level.

      Again, I think Spice and Wolf provides a good example here. It had little action and LOTS of exposition about the value of coins, monetary depreciation, micro and macro economics, etc. up until EP 06 (sewers scene). Boring for some, very entertaining for others. I’ve read the Spice and Wolf LNs and the early “infodump” is important because later plot lines (past what the anime covered) build off of that early “infodump” foundation.

      The more complex the story (e.g. characters, world setting, multiple plot lines, etc.), the more “infodump”/world building exposition needed just as the larger a building, the greater the foundation required. The LN does a much better, more thorough job of explaining things, and like Spice and Wolf, the early “infodump” provides a broad foundation upon which various plot lines throughout the story rest. There is a LOT going on with many “players on the field”, and personally, I’d rather have a slower start with more explanation, and less required in-universe suspension of disbelief/WTF moments later on. JMO – others may certainly disagree.

      Then there’s the contradiction behind how he endeavors to try and keep his actual skills a secret and his recent actions, the fact that he just let the kendo team off for what they did, and the obvious intent to use his and Miyuki’s relationship in an incestous manner—the latter of which counteracts the tone of the discrimination and inequality concept they’re trying to emphasize here and really takes away from the enjoyment.

      See my explanation above about why Tatsuya let the Kenjutsu members off. That’s actually consistent with the story. Again, lots of internal dialog left out by the anime. Miyuki let the cat out of the bag with Cast Jamming so Tatsuya felt obligated to explain. Given how Leo, Ericka and Mizuki have proven to be allies before, he probably felt able to trust them whereas he had very good reason NOT to trust Jyumonji, Mayumi and Mari.

      I don’t understand what you mean by the “obvious intent to use incest” (brocon really) counteracts the tone of discrimination and inequality. As for the “incest” part itself, the anime is exacerbating that with little details here and there. It also left out a major plot point last episode. If you want an idea of what was cut out, read my spoiler here. – particularly the last 14 lines. WARNING: It is a major spoiler assuming the anime doesn’t cut out that part of the plot completely. Only read if you’re giving up on the series or don’t care about being spoiled!

      I honestly have NO idea at this point if the anime will bring that central plot line back into the story later or cut it entirely. However, it is information the author intended the reader to have by that point in the story. Lastly, as I’ve posted before, I agree that it would be beneficial if the anime toned down the “incest” part rather than the reverse. IDK why they are doing that. :(

      To tack on to this, there’s much to be said about Tatsuya and his overall development and presentation as a character. For lack of a better comparison, his emotionless demeanor makes him 1.5 dimensional at best, and there’s much that can be said about how his supposed weakness in practical magic is not a weakness at all, despite much assertion of the opposite.

      There’s a very good reason for Tatsuya’s demeanor, but once again that would entail another major spoiler well beyond the one linked above. Also once again, hints/clues in the LN are being left out by the anime as well. His weakness in standard, practical magic is a big deal. The anime left out the part about how professional magicians are ranked using the same exact standard as the one used by magic highschools. A Magician’s career options and compensation are directly tied to their ranking. Higher rank = better job and more pay. That’s why he’s “irregular”. Tatsuya doesn’t fit “the system”.

      …there’s definitely issues with how some of the story has been presented and some of the execution behind some of the developments we’ve seen so far (at least in regards to the anime version of Mahouka).

      Agree completely. The anime adaptation is lacking thus far.

      Hopefully not too tl:dr and answers some of your questions.

  • April 26, 2014 at 9:05 pmcclragnarok

    This comment is probably a few episodes late, but it’s been pretty obvious that the anime is meant for people that have read the light novel and/or the manga. I think most of the complaints you’ve had are direct consequences of this issue.

    While the anime has reproduced the dialog (though with quite a bit of omissions) and action scenes fairly faithfully, the background narration has been completely left out of the anime. Unfortunately, the narration is very important for explaning the magic system and other world building purposes. In my opinion, the magic system is one of the best parts of the Mahouka light novels, so this is a pretty big deal. Having a science+programming background does help when reading the explanations in the light novels, but most of the explanations are simply missing here.

    While I understand the desire for evaluating the anime on its own, I really recommend at least reading the corresponding chapters of the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei manga (Enrollment and then the Nine School Battle arcs) as you watch the anime. The manga contains (just barely) enough background narration to keep you from getting lost. There’s still a ton of stuff left out, but the stuff that’s included is presented fairly efficiently using diagrams, etc.

    • April 26, 2014 at 10:36 pmcalcilis

      assume some of you read the LN or atleast the manga , due to time constraint , the producer cant just show every info dump in full detail , we got only 26 EP . but i do recall most of the info dump goes to a series of special episode featuring all the characters in chibi style uploaded on youtube by the producer themselves , but sadly those video only available for JP youtube user

      • April 27, 2014 at 12:21 amdaikama

        @calcilis: FYI – the pre-airing chibi shorts have been English subbed by two different fansub groups. Also, the producer/director/whoever does have choice in terms of how much source material to cover. 26 episodes is a lot of time depending upon how you use it. Some shows take 5 or even 6 episodes per LN volume (and I’m NOT talking about super long LNs like Horizon.)

  • April 26, 2014 at 10:52 pmewok40k

    quote:

    “Your worth as a person is the accumulation of everything you are and can be as a human being, not by a single easily tracked metric (your grades, your salary, etc). Happiness and self-worth have to come from inside, not from the grades you get or the paycheck you cash.”

    That paycheck is literally what is your worth on the work market, and no Pollyanna style sugarcoating can help it. This also means large sections of the society, including but not restricted to NEETs are essentially worthless.

    • April 27, 2014 at 12:28 pmStilts

      Ah, so you agree with me!

      That paycheck is literally what is your worth on the work market

      That’s what I meant. (Though in fact, it’s your skills and marketability that determine your worth on the work market, whereas your paycheck determines your worth in monetarily supporting yourself and your family. But that’s a quibble.)

      My point was that it’s valid to judge someone by how they do in a specialized field (engineering, magic) when they’re at a school that specializes in said field (an engineering school, a magic school). That doesn’t equal the sum total of your worth as a human being, but it is relevant to that one field, provided (hopefully) that the school in question is gauging your abilities appropriate. Tatsuya is weird enough to throw a wrench into that, but most others are not.

      That doesn’t mean it’s right to discriminate the way the Course 1 students do, of course.

  • April 26, 2014 at 11:30 pmTheMoondoggie

    Oh so there’s my Magic Physics explanation. I thought they removed that entirely. They actually can’t since it is a necessary part of the story.

    your success (or lack thereof) at school or work do not determine your worth as a person!

    Success at school or work matters because that is how society judges it’s members. Even if you say that you yourself specifically don’t , that’s just you trying to sit on a high horse.

    The discrimination between Bloom and the Weed students, however, is an entirely different matter. To me it’s more of because of some the Bloom students’ elitist attitude, the fact that the labels and the distinctions exist(why is there Course 1 and 2 anyway if both sides can actually use magic? I can understand if Course 2 is full of people who cannot use magic, but they’re actually pretty good, even better than some Course 1 students), and the fact that there are places Weed students aren’t allowed, such as a position in the Student Council.

    Stilts edit: Fixed the quote for you

    • April 26, 2014 at 11:32 pmTheMoondoggie

      meant to quote the “your success (or lack thereof) at school or work do not determine your worth as a person!”

    • April 26, 2014 at 11:52 pmSolace

      >Even if you say that you yourself specifically don’t , that’s just you trying to sit on a high horse.

      You sound like a fun person to be around.

      Tangentially related, there’s a real big problem of people being judged by their occupation. You see it at social gatherings all the time. First words out of someone’s mouth is generally “Hi, my name is _____. So what do you do?” We all know what this means. They want to know what kinda job you have. Some people aren’t particularly proud of what they do for a living, but they make ends meet, and feel that they shouldn’t be defined by that one aspect of their lives. Same with what colleges you attended, all the way to when you were a wee lad or lass, and you played an instrument but that kid didn’t over and was seen as inferior. You don’t know them personally to make any final judgments.

      That. Is. Messed. Up. But people do it anyway. It’s efficient. Though the last thing I’d want is people to rub that in. Yes, I know that I am considered a low number in society, but I don’t need to be constantly reminded of that every moment of my life.

      • April 27, 2014 at 3:10 amTheMoondoggie

        Yes, I know that I am considered a low number in society, but I don’t need to be constantly reminded of that every moment of my life.

        But you needed to be. Or rather, society thinks you needed to be reminded of it.

        Society, my friends, has got to be the most damning thing humanity ever created. On one side, it showcases the best humanity has to offer: science, politics, morals, etc. On the other hand it discriminates those that shows the bad/worse/worst side of humanity, to the point where they ostracize them. And it constantly checks on it’s members, making sure that every poor soul follows status quo. You owe society simply because it existed before you and that you were born into it. You are to follow it’s rules and pay it’s dues. You’re not an over-achiever? Got low grades? You’re just a simple office employee? Bow down before the rich, talented jerks of the upper-class please.

        And don’t even think about escaping: you’ll be branded as an outcast, will never get a job, and will either die on the streets, in the wild or in some gov’t facility where they turn you into a cookie.

        But don’t think it’s all bad: work your ass off for the good of society and you will be loved by friends, family and the girl of your choice.

      • April 27, 2014 at 12:36 pmStilts

        Ahaha, you two need to lighten up! Did you know that what society thinks of you doesn’t matter? Did you know what others think of you doesn’t matter? Self-worth and happiness are derived from inside, which is a lesson that few learn.

        My point was the one’s grades or paycheck or occupation or whatever is only one small part of their worth as a human being, and we shouldn’t take our self-worth from these things, because what happens when they’re gone? Happiness should come from inside.

        Understand that I’m dipping into philosophy here, Zen and Stoicism specifically, and the lost art of regular people developing philosophies of life. That’s how you avoid problems like this, because my job? That shit doesn’t define me. But these students are letting their school performance define them, which is why they’re so frustrated if they can’t measure up.

        It’s not me sitting on a high horse at all. People are free to judge you. That doesn’t mean you have to give two shits about their opinions or let their feelings effect you. Our happiness is almost always totally under our control; you just have to reject other’s attempts to label and judge you and steadily work towards the situation you want to be in.

    • April 27, 2014 at 12:39 amWenike

      The reason Course 1 & 2 exist is a fairly mild spoiler and hopefully revealed later but tagging it just in case.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      For those questioning Mibu, this should be explained next week but its also not a spoiler. Due to the Nine Schools Competition and its prestige, clubs that do activities that help win the Competition get more of the school funding. Which essentially means that magic-oriented clubs tend to get more funds since its a magic competition. If a non-magic-oriented club did well in a competition, they’d get a budget boost, but there is only so much funds. Also, a magic high school would be expected to have superlative magic-oriented clubs.

      • April 27, 2014 at 2:47 amTheMoondoggie

        Yeah, there’s that too.

        1. When the school meets the 100 quota, what happens to the rest?
        2. Can’t they just send all 900 to Magic University?

      • April 27, 2014 at 8:16 amHanabira.Kage

        I don’t think it was mentioned what happens to the rest, but I guess they just get told “sucks to be you”?

      • April 28, 2014 at 6:28 amFlayvorOfEvil

        Its like college applications. If you don’t get into the college you want, pick another one. If you can’t get into those, sucks for you find a job that doesn’t involve a degree(magic).

        Everyone in First High can use magic, but most of the 2nd course can’t use general magic as fast or as flexible as the course 2 students.

  • April 26, 2014 at 11:33 pmechykr

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2031.jpg

    It’s been ages since I last heard Tange Sakura in anime roles, ever since playing one of the most beloved loli mahou shoujos, she’s practically gone into semi-retirement for nearly a decade.

    Going from Cardcaptor Sakura to flirtatious school doctor Ono-sensei sure is a great jump. Though she’s probably now old enough for such roles. She is after all, the badass Red Saber in Fate EXTRA.

  • April 26, 2014 at 11:37 pmewok40k

    Oh my, this has about same potential consequences for table quasi-feudal social order as gunpowder had to feudalism by giving everyone power to strike down armoured knights with muskets.

  • April 26, 2014 at 11:40 pmechykr

    Miyuki – the Ice Yandere. Gets all frosty everytime her onii-sama is seen to be flirting with girls besides her.

    And already Tatsuya has unintentionally expanded his harem, capturing the hearts of Sayaka, Mari and Mayumi in the same day, much to Miyuki’s displeasure. XD

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2037.jpg
    “And to think I’m always showing off my curves to onii-sama every night…”

  • April 27, 2014 at 1:15 amonion warrior

    Imma gonna take back everything i’ve said about approving the incest ship in this anime. Thats it Miyuki, back off now. You’re doing it way too serious and its not funny. If you want your oniichan, then just have it with him already…suggesting sexual intention is not a smart move if the guy didnt even want to notice it. And Tatsuya seems to be flagging every female in this episode…my gosh

    that aside, i was hoping other characters got to have more screen time rather than TatsuyaxMiyuki moment. Enough with that already. I want to see more Erika, Mizuki and Leon please!

  • April 27, 2014 at 2:13 amMentar

    The main problem with Miyuki is that the anime has systematically cut out any internal dialogue of her, therefore it’s difficult to sympathize with her plight. However, it’s impossible to explain this without significant spoilage (at the very end of this episode, they were finally beginning to lay the foundation with the “Yotsuba” revelation).

    So, if you are wondering why the hell so many people love her (since not all of them can be looks/brocon fetishists): Be a bit more patient and for the time simply consider that she might actually be not an oblivious kid latching on to her oniisama for endless spoilage, but a fairly smart girl who has some real reasons to act the way she does, and who is playing her cards close to her chest. She sees and knows MUCH more than she lets on. If you (re)watch the show under the assumption that what she says isn’t the ravings of a spoiled fool, but usually clear-eyed statements of a smart girl, some things will start making a lot of sense soon. Don’t fall into the Hattori trap!

    I can only say that I am _not_ a looks freak and that I hate 99% of all imouto characters, so I have no faible for brocon-ism at all, but that I primarily follow Mahouka to see what will be Miyuki’s fate. I love the girl and I want her to succeed with her wish (and no, that does not necessarily mean Tatsuya ending). She’s been through a lot and her future outlook is somewhere between terrible and hopeless. Cut her some slack.

    *waves the Miyuki Guard banner proudly*

    You’ll see. Once the anime lets you. Grr.

    • April 27, 2014 at 7:05 amAex

      The main problem with the anime is that the anime has systematically cut out everyone’s internal dialogue, therefore it’s hard to sympathize with anyone’s plight >.< Miyuki is just the most extreme example of this.

    • April 27, 2014 at 11:05 pmerohakase

      The cutting of Miyuki’s internal thoughts hurt her character so much it’s absolutely silly. Cutting out both of the Shiba siblings thoughts hurt both of them quite a bit since if you “heard” what they thought by now you’d be a lot more “Oh, I see” instead of “Meh, Tatsuya flat, Miyuki batshit”.

      I’m just somewhat pleased they didn’t remove gigolo scene. I’d consider myself a member of the Miyuki guard aswell since she’s one of the more interesting characters(especially with the stuff in the Visitor arc).

  • April 27, 2014 at 2:30 amMormegil

    I can see why this anime gets hundreds and hundreds of comments all over the internet. Absolutely riveting stuff when the characters sit around and talk for episodes on end.

    • April 27, 2014 at 3:15 amKazakiri

      The anime actually cut out a lot of banter which @Stilts would have really appreciated.. Too bad @Stilts, you missed out a lot of fun dialogue…

    • April 27, 2014 at 3:42 amaeria

      The way I see it every episode review ended up with non-LN/manga reader being further confused by the lack of exposition & complicated magic and dismayed by certain bad directing/writing and it-is-incest-or-just-brosiscon; while LN/manga reader did their best to assure the first group that there are more to the story than what had been told (or, not told) in the last 4 episodes.

  • April 27, 2014 at 5:55 amUngas123

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2015.jpg

    This guy

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2038.jpg

    and this guy (roll it back a few seconds and play it again),

    If you guys noticed they have the almost same hair style, has the same black hair and wears the same glasses.

  • April 27, 2014 at 7:59 amOwaranai

    Wow. There we go, all those explanations. To those of you who were willing to take the time and effort to post explanations and spoilers even, really appreciate it.

    I’d say the pacing seems a little better now as well as compared to the first few episodes. One cannot help but feel that there’s so much more to the show because there’s some hefty source material behind it, and the only thing stopping me from picking it up is because there’s 13 volumes out there, and I don’t have the time to read them since I’m already on another series. Keep building the anticipation up, LN readers. Always reminds me that sometimes a good story might be slow to build up at the start.

    I’ve pretty much given up on trying to fully understand the terms, but gaining a basic grasp of what the magic is about doesn’t seem too hard. Not sure if it’s a bad or good thing but I’m getting used to seeing all that exposition for this show 3 episodes in. For all that exposition, you would think the show would consider making internal monologue a top priority. I do like parts of the episode where they talk about societal and deep-lying issues though. Gives a bit more suspense to an episode with pacing that doesn’t sit well with most people.

    Suffice to say, the show does have a lot of potential and room for development and improvement.

  • April 27, 2014 at 8:10 amHanabira.Kage

    That teacher was actually trying to seduce Tatsuya, for personal reasons. I can’t quite remember what, but I do think the male gaze was very well-utilised here.

  • April 27, 2014 at 11:08 amDorian

    As has been stated, a lot of Mahouka depended on those internal dialogues and things that are clearly being left out. Its highly frustrating as you clearly are missing things that are highly important to character and world building. Things that should be explained are.

    It should not be a novel or manga reader coming in to explain why things are happening. As grateful as that is, it should be the characters themselves should be filling those blanks in for us. Its a pretty poor adaption that’s only being saved by the actual potential of the show. Making this even more frustrating for me.

    • April 27, 2014 at 12:42 pmStilts

      It should not be a novel or manga reader coming in to explain why things are happening. As grateful as that is, it should be the characters themselves should be filling those blanks in for us.

      That’s most of my problem with the anime so far right there. Well stated.

    • April 27, 2014 at 6:04 pmaeria

      Agreed 100%. One of the LN/manga reader commented above how they are tired of defending the LN/author and that’s unfortunate.

    • April 27, 2014 at 9:35 pmSeraph

      I really don’t find the anime that hard to follow. I feel you would have to be an idiot to not follow it so far as they are info-dumping sufficiently to not be lost (and I havent read LN, but did see chibi specials). Any experienced watcher of anime accepts you don’t know everything and that in time it will be explained if it is important, if not then it obviously wasn’t important. I do agree though you shouldn’t need a manga or LN for something to make sense and if it you do it is poorly converted. LN should just add enjoyment of small things unless it takes new path entirely.

      LNs are far from new and I think despite some criticism action type ones like Strike the Blood and Tokyo Ravens were capable of cutting material without losing people, even if some aspects were lost. I can’t tell whether its a puritanism or an elitism that has people slamming this for not meeting their expectations of including everything that would make it potentially unwieldy or even slower. Not all LNs are written to be converted into anime, even if they likely have started or will be in the future.

  • April 27, 2014 at 11:30 amStöt

    @Stilts. I don’t think the specific anti-magic technique uses both CADs. What I understood was that using two CADs for a non-skilled user usually mean that the two devices interferes destructively on each other and cancels the magic, because of some misalignment or whatever. Our MC uses this phenomenon with his CAD to cancel the opponents magic by sending a perfectly misaligned signal.

    In other news, this doesn’t really excite me. emotionless MCs are something I despise.

    • April 27, 2014 at 12:04 pmUngas123

      That guy has emotions. He was flustered when he saw a bit of Erika’s oppai and he also was surprised at Mari when he heard Shun was joining the Public Morals Committee.

      Remember EP1? He was totally annoyed at Mizuki when she saw Tatsuya and Miyuki’s “Aura”. He was happy when Miyuki was worried about him before the opening ceremony as well.

  • April 27, 2014 at 11:37 amChoiceQuotes

    If you have a sense of humor and can appreciate some devil’s advocate…

    “The Gaming-Age Forums began as an adjunct to Gaming-Age, a video game news and reviews website, running the UBB forum software and hosted on the Gaming Age servers. As Gaming-Age outgrew its hosting, IGN took over hosting of Gaming-Age’s forums. After IGN ceased hosting of GAF in the summer of 2001, GAF moved to ezboards, and the administration of GAF became more estranged from Gaming Age.”

    “Yes, onii-sama.”

    I look at Kanananananana-chan as I finish my dinner. It’s almost time. I continue. “As the Gaming-Age staff became gradually more divorced from the day-to-day operation of GAF, problems with the new Gamesquad hosting cropped up. As software bugs in vBulletin 2, the version GAF was using at the time, continued to worsen, the Gamesquad hosting became increasingly more impractical, until the forums’ database became corrupted, forcing a move to new hosting in order to change software and salvage what was left of the forums’ database. In the spring of 2004, a fundraiser was held to move GAF to new hosting. On June 6, 2004, GAF took its current form (known as “NeoGAF” to long-time posters) and moved to new hosting and new software, vBulletin”

    “I see, onii-sama.”

    “As of April 4, 2006, the forums were relaunched as “NeoGAF”, the former in-moniker, by its administrators. NeoGAF also features its own front page, an upfront admission that the forum’s audience had drifted from that of its birthing news site, but yet mandated a single portal to represent the forum’s members. Initial plans are to use the front page to highlight the individual accomplishments and biographies of GAF’s publicly industry-relevant members, as well as to offer a more visible home to any extraordinary information that would otherwise have to be housed in an ordinary thread of conversation. More details can be gleaned (if sparsely) from this official thread declaring the changeover. In December 2007, the forums held a fundraiser, and ended up raising $5,600 for Get Well Gamers, a California-based charity with the goal of entertaining sick children.”

    “Onii-sama, you know so much!”

    #dead
    ———————————

    “Errr.. the dialogue in the end implying Discrimination is not wrong? Wut”

    ^“Magical bootstraps”

    ^“Wait, so Mahouka is in addition to being typically puerile is also racist and nationalist?”

    ^”Isn’t the whole point of the show that Japan needs to protect its pure Japanese magic?”

    ^”Well…. VARIETY!?”

    ^”I suppose it can join the vaunted ranks of Angel Cop if it is true.”

    ^”Incest and nationalism go together like peanut butter and jelly.”
    ———————————

    “mahouka is pretty much the only anime with the incest atmosphere where i whole heart agree with the lust for the bro. with that broke ass protagonist around (forgot his name, niisama?) who needs any other men?”

    ^”But he’s a weed, how could anyone love a weed?”

    ^” http://i.minus.com/i8DHRnSlilMyX.gif his sister apparently seems to.”

    ^

    ”Hey how you doin Onii-sama? lemme whisper in your ear
    Tell you sumthing that you might like to hear
    You got unbeatable skills and your body looks ripped
    Mind if I touch it? and see if its ripped
    Naw I’m jus playin’ unless you say I can
    And im known to be a real nasty imouto
    And they say a closed mouth dont get fed
    So I don’t mind asking for some bro complex
    You heard what I said, we need to make our way to the bed
    And you can start acting kuudere”

    ———————————

    “Dropped. The incest “jokes” are just annoying, siblings don’t talk like that. Everyone else wanting the main dude’s dick is annoying too. Every second comment out of his mouth seemed to get a blush and an “Onii-sama~” as a response. The scene that introduced the boobs was the worst. I think there was a teacher attached to those boobs but they spent so much time focusing on the boobs I’m not actually sure which one is the character. And then Onii-sama went and did some weird almost pro-Republican speech? Equality is a lie and non-magic users need to know their place? Perhaps white privilege is the true magical power.”

    ^”Magic is Might.”
    ———————————
    “Mahouka is terrible.”

    ^”It sounds too much like Madoka. Now there comes the frightening possibility of confusion whenever I recommend the much better show to others!

    “Oh yes you should totally watch Madoka! It’s a very deep anime with a good compelling story”

    “What was that? We should watch Mahouka? You mean the show with the gary-stu and the incest? Nobody take recommendations from this man! I bet SAO is his favourite anime!””

    ^”Wait, SAO is your favorite anime? Nobody take recommendations from this man!”
    ———————————

    “my going on theory is that for mahouka protag to achieve great infinite power, he had to sacrifice his penis.

    equivalent exchange.”
    ———————————
    “Oh god I’m watching Mahoukas newest episode and it’s been 3 minutes and everybody is already dickriding Onii-sama. Every conversation revolves around him. God this show is not even cheesy. It’s a dairy story. I love it”

    ^“I meant to write Dairy store. Basically it’s not cheesy. It’s cheese itself. And milk. And butter. And yogurt. And sour cream. The cheese itself oozes out of it.

    Mahouka is Cheesosaurus Rex.”
    ———————————
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BmMTPPBCUAArR-e.png

    omfg this is shit they’d give jack donaghy on 30 rock to say as a joke”
    ———————————

    “So first we have transparent self-insert incest fetishist male power fantasy that is also intensely boring and lore-y. That was the start.

    THEN it turns out the show is also really creepy nationalist. Okay, well, not much of a surprise I guess.

    AND THEN we find out that it’s also super-right-wing-Randian “fuck you got mine we are the special ones who earn our keep” bullshit in it.

    Somehow it goes there DESPITE *supposedly being about how unfair it is that perfect MC is discriminated against for lack of magic ability.*

    But I guess it makes sense because he becomes a stone cold libertarian badass through hard work alone and arghlwggnbwtlerehlgh

    It’s amazing how Mahouka can combine a victimhood complex and superiority complex all together into one character.”

    ^”Recently, My Sister Is A Social Parasite”

    ^”Are we sure the twist isn’t that these guys are the antagonists?”
    ———————————
    “how to improve mahouka – watch it under the assumption that cardboard-kun is an extremely closeted gay guy. it holds up very, very well”

    • April 27, 2014 at 9:27 pmaeria

      “my going on theory is that for mahouka protag to achieve great infinite power, he had to sacrifice his penis.

      equivalent exchange.”

      This is GOLD. Also, taking one of the advise to heart, I shall now watch Mahouka with the assumption that Tatsuya is gay. It will make his non-reaction to almost all female characters throwing themselves at his feet bearable.

  • April 27, 2014 at 3:33 pmGinobi47

    Though Incest is wincest but yandere imouto is where it’s at!

  • April 28, 2014 at 12:34 ambakakubi

    Wow, this is probably one of the most discussed anime in randomc’s history.

    Not saying it’s bad. I’m just quite surprised by the sheer amount of comments.

    • April 28, 2014 at 1:00 amCrook

      I’m guessing most of the discussion has to do with the odd writing style and the info dumping. It naturally wants its audience to discuss it, I suppose.

    • April 28, 2014 at 8:47 amStilts

      Wow, this is probably one of the most discussed anime in randomc’s history.

      Ahaha, I’m afraid this isn’t even the most commented upon show I’ve blogged, though it’s up there. RandomC has been around for a while, after all ; )

      • April 28, 2014 at 10:13 amGermanguy

        *gaugh* SAO *gaugh*

        :)

      • April 28, 2014 at 10:34 ambakakubi

        Actually Stilt-Nii, you’re right. I’ve been following RandomC for a long time (since divine), and now that I think of it, I remember blogs with multiple PAGES of comments.

        So yeah, I can’t say this is the most discussed show in RC history, but I’d say it’s one of the more discussed one most recently.

        Anyways, thanks for a great post again. Those siblings need to learn how to be siblings!

      • April 28, 2014 at 2:03 pmCherrie

        @bakakubi: Div’s changed the number of comments per page. It used to be 150 and now I think it’s 200… so that might be why you see less pages. This count is for new comments – not replies.

      • April 28, 2014 at 5:32 pmbakakubi

        @Cherrie O.o

        I had no idea. Thanks for letting me know!

  • April 28, 2014 at 8:20 amdaikama

    @Ungas123: JMO, but comparisons to popular works like that are spoilers by inference and should be in spoiiler tags. The name was just mentioned in passing so I think erring on the side of caution is the prudent thing to do here.

    Also JMO, but it might be a good idea for LN readers to add some sort of warning in bold for any major spoilers so that non-LN readers are sure to avoid reading those spoilers. Lastly, glad to see many using spoilers tags in general.

    • April 28, 2014 at 8:35 amdaikama

      *sigh* posting fail. This is supposed to be a reply to ungas123′s post far above.

      @ Stilts – agree. Please use spoiler tags and ideally some extra warning for big spoilers.

    • April 29, 2014 at 1:22 pmUngas123

      Point taken, will avoid that as well.

      P.S. Some people, like me for instance, are a bit lazy to check and proofread their own work which sometimes leads to misleading or incomplete posts. LOL

  • April 28, 2014 at 11:14 amBlackWhite

    I just finished reading the 4th LN (end of 9 schools competition). I have two main gripes with it so far.

    1) The passive, calm and collected, dark hero. While I agree that having an OP dark hero as the protagonist lends itself easily to “cool” and “epic” scenes, I also can’t help but cringe at how it’s screams wish fulfillment. He feels very similar to Kirito in this regard. Maybe Stilts is right in that OP protagonists are generally more entertaining when they’re flamboyant like Shiro from NGNL and Izayoi from Mondaiji. Granted, I still loved Light from Death Note even though I’m not sure what his defining distinction from Tatsuya is. It’s probably something about Light being multidimensional while Tatsuya feels 1 dimensional.

    2) Characters are black and white. The antagonists suffer especially from this. So far, it feels like they are bad for the sake of having a bad character in the plot. It’s on the facedesk level of Sugou Nobuyuki from SAO (creepy guy who semi-raped restrained Asuna). That being said, Mahouka is certainly not a sole culprit. Anime in general suffer from this black-white syndrome. The main method this medium comes up with to add dimensionality is to give the antagonists some random, tragic back-story. Not that it’s particularly effective; it usually feels cheap. I suppose standards need to be lowered in anime. I can’t expect the shades of grey present in Game of Thrones characters to be in every conflict heavy plot.

    As for this adaptation, I suppose cutting out much of the exposition was necessary. After all, if they didn’t do that, there would be no screen time for blushing sempais and Miyuki in hardcore sis-con mode. So it can’t be helped. However, I do appreciate the author, (who clearly graduated with an engineering or science degree) for integrating concepts from programming into the magic system and using physics (particularly thermodynamic concepts such as entropy) to explain how and why the magic is doing what it’s doing. It is a double-edged sword though, as this naturally excludes some of its readers/viewers.

    • April 28, 2014 at 2:39 pmPancakes

      You’re not the first to make the SAO relation, it’s the main point of contention among some critics due to Tatsuya’s personality and power. The reason for this apparently stems from the late explanation we get concerning Tatsuya’s past; until that has been elaborated though upon a proper comparison cannot be made.

      As for Light you’re right that the main difference between him and Tatsuya is depth. We had the benefit of knowing what Light thought at all times, his planning, operation, and deception. Light’s philosophy was always visible to the viewer whether through his interactions with Misa, Ryuuk, L, Near, or through internal thought. Tatsuya, however (as you mentioned) is very flat at the moment because we know nothing about him besides the basics. His past remains hidden, the source of his power secret. The only information we get from Tatsuya so far concerns world building and not characterization, what ideally should be the primary focus of any story. Miyuki too has full knowledge, yet there is no secondary character elaborating yet, no indication given why these things are being kept secret the viewer. If it was meant as a means to build suspense it has been handled poorly; this is the reason why I mentioned above that the adapters should have rearranged the source material to include better hints concerning Tatsuya in the opening episodes. What works fine in books does not translate well to an animated format where the viewer has to be told through actions and speech (usually at a faster pace), not written words.

      Lastly bold, singly defined characters are sadly just a part of storytelling, whether it be anime or Western productions. Like you mentioned the tragic back story is the simple and easy mode to quickly create characters with some depth and “realism”. It’s likely tiring because it’s used so often that most of us have grown numb to “tragic” characters since most of their back stories are often the same, just with different names. Sadly not every writer can provide characters to the level of George R.R. Martin.

  • April 28, 2014 at 3:28 pmDusty

    Maybe it’s because I’ve read the LNs but I find that the pacing of the anime has been rather slow. Though it’s probably more because of the source material rather than the adaptation.

    A couple nitpicks:
    1. The monologue about Juumonji was a little…weird and drawn out. Though I can’t quite imagine how they could have changed it.

    2. They never bothered to once name Ono-sensei (the guidance counselor). And they focused too much on her trying to get a reaction from Tatsuya, far beyond pointing out that she was being heavy handed with it.

    And some thoughts:
    1. Along with Kirihara’s VA choice, I also don’t feel comfortable with Ono’s VA; she sounds childish rather than adult woman, creating a very strange impression when she tries to influence Tatsuya. She also very similar to Azusa’s VA IMO, making them a little hard to distinguish (thankfully they haven’t shown up together).

    2. They probably could have spent more time showing how some students, unnerved by Tatsuya (Course 2 First year) being a Disciplinary Committee member; kept purposefully creating incidents during the recruitment week to try to scare/injure him. Or at least increase his workload.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • April 28, 2014 at 3:45 pmDusty

      Also could they have picked a more distracting area to roll the credits? There was tons of blank space on the side of both Miyuki and Tatsuya during their conversation at the end. Very annoying.

    • April 29, 2014 at 2:10 pmUngas123

      @Nitpicks
      1. I agree… They mostly removed Tatsuya’s monologue on the previous episodes then suddenly he has one and a bit… gayish? LOL. Fujoshi people should rejoice TatsuyaXKatsuto
      Spoiler below for a Magician’s physical quality
      Show Spoiler ▼

      2. She was supposed to seduce Tatsu to do her “bidding” but that wasn’t explained in the anime which made their scene totally weird.

      @Thoughts
      1. I agree with Haruka’s VA. I also compared it to Aa-chan when I heard it. On the other hand, are you implying the reason Kirihara’s VA didn’t fit because of his arrogance on the previous episode? Cut him some slack he will redeem himself. And if he really was truly an arrogant ass-wipe then he wouldn’t find his actions wrong and be stubborn about it. But according to Katsuto, he did; that’s a sign of maturity and humility.

      There was a reason for his actions and Mibu’s action on the previous episode and it is a plot spoiler
      Show Spoiler ▼

      2. I know he was supposed to be assaulted more, and I really mean MORE, than what this episode had shown which made him more famous (infamous at Bloom Elitists) on his school.

      • May 1, 2014 at 6:16 pmDusty

        On the Physical attributes of Magicians: Show Spoiler ▼

        On VA selection:
        Not exactly clear what you mean by “I agree with Haruka’s VA.” Did you approve of the choice, or agree with me in that it’s somewhat indistinguishable from Asuza and doesn’t fit a mature, seductive character like Haruka?
        Show Spoiler ▼

        About Kirihara, it’s probably more of Sugita’s voice doesn’t match up my mind’s voice for Kirihara (or at least the inflection he used). Or maybe I’m playing to stereotypes and wish that his voice was emphasized a little more antagonistically(?) or like the stereotypical delinquent character. Not sure if I could choose a different VA though, don’t know too many and can’t point out a character I’d use as reference. Closest voice in recent memory would be Daisuke Ono, doing Kyousuke from Yozakura Quartet Hana no Uta (using EP 6 as reference). A character that might say “yare yare” or something like that. I really like Sugita, but I don’t feel his voice fits Kirihara that’s all.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        But yeah I’m looking forward to being proven wrong and see how the develop his voice/character. :)