「入学編V」 (Nyuugaku-hen V)
“Enrollment Part V”
The discrimination at Magic High School boils over as explosions interrupt Mayumi’s attempt to make real change.
Keep Your Magic Simple, Stupid
We’re getting more needed exposition and peeks into Tatsuya’s mind, and as I said last episode, I’m inordinately pleased with both of these things. The first scene of the episode was another attempt to show that no, really, Tatsuya really is weak at magic. Part of me feels these attempts are contrived because Tatsuya doesn’t feel weak, and yet they make logical sense. Wait, that thing I just said didn’t make sense either? I’ll explain.
Tatsuya has definite weaknesses. His casting speed is crap, and he’s limited to five different commands in any given spell – think of the mixing of different commands in Magi, or in a computer program that executes several discrete actions – among other things. These are what the school tests, and Tatsuya is actually okay with being called unskilled based on those because he is unskilled at those, and they are important. He just doesn’t feel weak (as a character) because his weaknesses have never stopped him. They’re there, I understand logically that they’re there, but it’s more of a tell instead of show until one of Tatsuya’s weaknesses actually stops him from doing anything. Until he comes up short because he can’t cast quickly enough, he won’t feel weak, because he has work arounds galore.
One thing I do like is that Tatsuya’s weaknesses impose a limitation that he will have to work around. He can direct code simple spells faster than he can by using an activation sequence (a blueprint, I think), so if he figure out innovative ways to use only simple spells then he can fight on equal ground with others. That and his martial arts skills. Those together are why he continues to feel like a badass, no matter what his practical scores say otherwise.
I loved it when Tatsuya called up Mibu-sempai and negotiated for her to come out…and then turned to the others and said they should take them all into custody. That move was worthy of Sora & Shiro! (Except without their style.) After all, why state outright when you can imply, and then do whatever you want when your opponent misunderstands? Though personally, I’d just go ahead and lie to them – they’re going to feel betrayed anyway because your words were meant to deceive, so might as well go the whole hog instead of trying to be clever about it. I did so enjoy everyone’s reactions to Tatsuya’s call though. Evil indeed!
Mayumi & The Bully Pulpit
As soon as I heard that they were doing an open forum, I knew it would be bad news, though for only one of the reasons that I expected. That kind of setup is ideal for a bunch of disaffected kids getting unruly and venting their spleens without any idea of ways to fix the problem. Hell, both Tatsuya & Mayumi revealed that exactly that was happening – Tatsuya called Mibu-sempai out on how the school had no power to effect any of the change she wants (they already ban the terms Bloom and Weed, though personally I’d standardize all the uniforms between the Course 1 & 2 students as well…these things matter), and Mayumi said that in the earlier negotiations the others seemed to want the Student Council to come up with concrete plans. It could have turned into a riot…but not with Mayumi in charge.
All props go to Mayumi for freely admitting that if they can best her in a debate, she would change the school. That didn’t happen though, because their arguments sucked. Instead it was Mayumi with the coup de grace. After using the banned terms Bloom and Weed openly in the assembly to get everyone sitting up and paying attention, she announced her intention to abolish one last bit of institutionalized discrimination – that all Student Council officers are nominated from among the Course 1 students. She used this open forum as a chance to push for a change she had long wanted to implement. Bravo! She’s going to be a fearsome politician someday. She already is, really.
Side note: I still find the discrimination in this show a bit comical. As a theme it’s treated relatively well, but since I come from a country with many varied (and harder to eliminate) flavors of discrimination, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little. Imagine if these kids had any experience with racial or gender discrimination – once you’ve dealt with the kinds of bigotry you can never get away from, dealing with a few snippy remarks due to crappy grades doesn’t seem like such an injustice. Still not ideal though.
Looking Ahead – Battlefield High School
After watching so much anime, I’m used to fighting on high school campuses, but this is something else entirely. That’s not a scuffle, that’s a full-blown terrorist attack! (Though since that’s exactly what it is, I guess it fits.) I liked how they smoothly showed how both Hanzo-kun and Mari-sempai are sort of badasses, but the real question will be, what the hell is Tsukasa Kinoe (Katou Masayuki) and Blanche really up to? I’d hazard a guess, but that’s no fun when there are a bunch of light novel readers who know the answer. We’ll just have to wait for next week to see.
Author’s note: Expect next week’s post to appear on Monday as well. I’ll be out of town most of the weekend, and I doubt I’ll have time to take care of it Sunday night. Thank you for your understanding.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Mayumi nearly calms the crowds with a much-needed reform, until literal explosions start going off #mahouka 05
- Excited Mizuki, hng~
- I can’t help but want to be kind to a show that uses phrases like “bully pulpit”. The old history/political theater buff in me can’t help but love that.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Write by outline; Orderly, original; Respect; and How you know it’s a good idea.
a good setup episode can’t wait for the next one
Yay for some much needed Mayumi goodness along with Mari!
Mizuki is win. =w=
She gets so excited, lol, and just makes things happier. XD
So, 5 episodes in and I’m still wondering what people hate about this anime? No, I haven’t read the light novels yet(though I’m planning to), but the anime has so far been amazing, easily one of the best of the season.
I guess Miyuki? I know that she’s portrayed differenly in the LN, but this latest episode once again only showed her useless yandere/jealous side, so it’s no wonder that anime viewers are annoyed by her.
Im pretty sure that even in the LN Miyuki acted the same (or close to it) the only real difference is that we have the internal dialogue telling a different story in the LN.
I don’t know what it was they were expecting that they’re not getting. Because even as a LN reader, I find it hard to imagine any fellow LN reader running around bragging that was going to be the best show ever or that it would save the entire anime industry. They say it was a highly hyped series that isn’t living up to its potential. But from what I know, we (LN readers) were just happy that after 12 novels, it was finally going to be animated. Calling a series people who’ve read its source material a hyped series feels stupid to me.
Probably because of the annoying amount of info dumps? Even this episode bombarded us with information that I probably will forget soon. I like that the series is very detailed but they really could have integrated these explanations much better into the show. In a LN delivering details in such a manner is exceptable. Not so much in an anime.
All I can say…is that the characterization is really suffering. Miyuki and Mayumi (who is arguably a central character in her own right) are both suffering heavily under the lack of development/slice-of-life time. Beyond that, I don’t even want to get in to describing the classmates + Honoka + Shizuku lack of development — it just isn’t worth the time to go into detail. Suffice to say, for all the outstanding aspects Mahouka has, the cast is what really makes things great. And the cast is totally lacking development in the anime. Even Tatsuya’s character is suffering pretty heavily under the lack of development.
the same problem with to aru no index , we find index(mizuki) annoying. they portrait her as yandere and that’s different from novel
I’ll be darned, that was far better than I was expecting. Still not exactly great, but unlike last episode I got through the Mahouka drinking game (“Onii-sama:” Take a sip! Tatsuya wanking: Take a sip! Jealous Miyuki: Take a shot! Infodump: Take a shot! Super incest time: Bottoms up!) with my sobriety mostly intact. The plot finally progressed, and we got some action to boot.
The big problem I have with this show is that even after four episodes of exposition, the setting and characters feel artificially constructed. The worst offender is the school and the Weed/Bloom setup. The Weeds are gullible fools irritated over what is essentially overblown high-school snobbery. There’s no weight behind their gripes about discrimination when even the lowest of them is still far above a normal non-magical kid. However, the other side isn’t much better. Tatsuya doesn’t even care about the system’s faults since they don’t inconvenience him. It’s a very realistic attitude, but instead of painting him as the wise and compassionate soul like the author intended, it makes him look like a prick.
Mayumi’s response to the conflict is to assure everyone that things will eventually get better when they open a forum to debate allowing weeds into the student council when she graduates, so everyone should hold hands and sing kumbaya in the meantime. And then they all agree with her because HIGH SCHOOL SPIRIT! So much for logic or debate. If you’re going to throw in political conflict, both sides should have valid points, motivations, and reactions, as is the case in real life. See Legend of the Galactic Heroes for the gold standard on this. Or perhaps Mahouka is actually a subtle commentary on how both sides of political debates are often naïve self-absorbed sheeple either arguing for the status quo because it’s comfortable for them or following vague promises of a better future that resonate with their sociopolitical background… Yeah, perhaps not.
These attempts at social inequality analogies with Blanche in the larger world fail as well because the society and political structure of future-Japan, let alone the rest of the world, aren’t depicted. Is Japan still a de-jure classless democracy that “just happens” to be magician dominated, or is there some sort of formalized magical aristocracy that seems to be hinted at with these “ten families?” Tatsuya said that Blanche is rooted in wealth envy, but unless wealth distribution, quality of life, and income mobility have all regressed to pre-industrial levels it’s hard to believe such movements would be more widespread and violent than they are today. Not to mention that since magicians hold a monopoly on force, any anti-magician revolt is about as likely to succeed as a peasant revolt in the dark ages. There’s potential for some interesting social commentary on inequality here (accept massive structural inequalities, or risk killing the goose that lays the golden egg?), but it’s pushed aside for awkward incest moments, making Tatsuya look cool, and high school BS.
Speaking of high school, once again adult oversight of a national school dedicated to turning out ubermensch critical to the nation’s future is completely absent. You’d think that the people in charge of the country would pay at least some attention to the education of their future magicians. Except, the students don’t really seem to learn anything there aside from practicing telekinesis. This is supposed to be magic high school, but everyone we’ve seen came in with pre-existing magical powers, mostly combat oriented, and high level of competence using them. Is there some sort of magical elementary school where they learn all that stuff? And if so, why is potentially deadly magic taught so early on? Isn’t there supposed to be a shortage of magic teachers? Or is magic so easy to learn that a bunch of kids can figure it out on their own? In any case, why are a bunch of teenagers allowed to go to high school armed with deadly magical weapons/talents?! Teaching a kid to use magic the letting him walk around school with a CAD is like teaching a kid to shoot and letting him bring his fully loaded gun to school.
I’d be far more forgiving about issues like these if the show didn’t take itself seriously and present itself as “hard” sci-fi, or if it was more action and character driven. The whole setup feels less like a natural extension of the premise (industrialized scientific magic) and more like excuses to stick the characters in the cliché high school setting and build up drama. Instead of the plot evolving from the setting, the setting itself is twisted to provide the plot points the author wants.
The author gives a quite good reason for why the students have such offensive magic weapons/talents. Let’s just say the socio-political system in Mahouka’s universe can be compared to
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You are right about the other things though. This is actually reflective of the problems with the 1st 2 novels(which this arc is based on) and the author’s writing style.
It’s funny because Show Spoiler ▼
The thing is, such a situation does not jibe with the hands off approach the government takes to running the school. Governments don’t treat training soldiers like high school, let alone nuke-equivalents. To me at least, the contrast is quite immersion breaking.
You make some valid points based on what we’ve seen in the adaptation thus far, but I just want to make a few clarifications:
Tatsuya isn’t supposed to come off as a wise and compassionate soul. If he comes off as a prick, that was probably the intent. One omitted part of his thought process after his call with Mibu-senpai:
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He has zero issue with being a prick, or gaining a reputation as one, either.
Magicians are a significant minority of the population, so they don’t exactly have a monopoly on power. There are ways to counter magicians without having magicians on your own, though the most effective methods are only available to a national government or groups with that level of buying power. Even without those methods, however, a mob of people with guns would be able to bring down the majority of magicians.
Formal magic schooling doesn’t start until high school, but you have to have some skill to pass the entrance exam, so everyone who enters has a basic level of competence. Magic is heavily influenced by heredity, so children will often be taught by relatives, though there are also cram schools for that, since this is Japan. The more prominent magic families typically have a special trait/spell that is passed on, though there are cases when an individual has an innate, rather than learned, magic based on the family trait.
Magic is primarily for military use, so most magic is combat-oriented. It’s also hard to not teach lethal magic, since most spells can be lethal depending on strength and application (regulating temperature -> induce hypo/hyperthermia, acceleration -> Gwen Stacy’s death, etc.). Also, most of the students don’t have their CADs on them during school, only the Student Council and Disciplinary Committee (and IIRC, the head of the Clubs, Juumonji) are allowed to carry them. And while I agree that a high-schooler with a gun/CAD sets up a potentially dangerous situation, there are people who would encourage letting a trained kid bring a loaded gun to school (for protection), so it’s not as wild an idea as you might think.
But it is. Just because some people think little kids should carry weapons to school for self-protection doesn’t make it NOT crazy. It’s like some people actually watching Highschool DxD for the plot. Now that’s pretty wild.
What you have here is potentially emotional teenagers having access to the power to kill each other. Think X-Men without having Xavier around. I mean, have they even tried addressing the idea that some bad apples might actually be using their powers for nefarious ends?
I think the No Game No Life comment section defined “plot” for Highschool DxD fairly well.
That said, it does have decent character development and story progression where it could’ve been much shallower and less self-aware. Our hero is clear about what he wants… OPPAI! and his tastes grow in time. Unlike Ichika in Infinite Stratos forever stuck in that false pretense game.
Again, I’m not saying that it’s a good idea; however, I am saying that it is in the realm of possibility for such a policy to exist. The state of Georgia recently passed a law allowing guns into churches and school zones (as well as govt. buildings and some parts of airports), if the churches grant permission. I don’t think it’s that big of a leap from there to allowing guns on school campuses for properly trained students.
You can’t base everything on your thoughts and beliefs, then ignore any other viewpoint because you think they’re crazy; sometimes, crazy policies are enacted for various reasons, justified or not. I wasn’t alive during WWII, so I don’t know what people felt during this period, but I think Executive Order 9066 (internment camps for Japanese-Americans) was a crazy decision; however, the social and political climate at the time allowed (encouraged?) that to occur.
I understand that things happen because people felt there was a need to, justified or not, but in retrospect those were trying times, but that doesn’t mean it was okay. Sorry if it looked like I was pointing fingers; didn’t mean it that way. There’s a difference between understanding why things happen as opposed to be complacent or even accepting of them.
@SK: Perhaps it’s just my interpretation, but the impression I got from those scenes was that we the audience were supposed to take it as evidence of Tatsuya’s intellectual superiority and ability to emphasize with the proles. And while Magicians aren’t invincible, their power in it’s infancy, was able to end World War 3. That’s literally the power of the entire modern world overshadowed by a small handful of magicians. Yes a mob might be able to kill a single magician, but a mob could also overwhelm a single knight. It’s the concentration of military power in the hands of the few (which was only broken with the spread of firearms) that enables aristocratic tyranny.
As for the early schooling, that again feels like twisting the world to provide the desired situation. There’s not enough magic teachers to teach at high school, yet there are enough to homeschool people? On the one hand magic is supposed to be difficult to learn and teach, necessitating the Weed/Bloom setup, but on the other most of the characters we’ve seen are already proficient with it from their elementary school days. I get that Japan’s school system is really tough, but mastering magical pseudo-physics/engineering/programming by high school?
About firearms in school, as someone who’s been shooting since he was 10 and has a couple of kid brothers who started even earlier, nobody wants to have kids bring guns to school. Most proposals are to let teachers or adults with concealed or open carry permits bring their firearms to college campuses. Unless they’ve magically cured teenage stupidity in Mahouka, nobody, especially in stringently anti-gun Japan, would even consider letting kids bring guns to high school, let alone organize them into committees where they’ll have to use them on other students.
Intellectual superiority, yes, but I see it as more of him providing a completely logical view rather than letting his emotions entering the equation. Don’t remember if it was included, but he admits to Miyuki that if he didn’t have his talents outside of standard magic, he might have allowed himself to be tricked by Blanche, despite logic saying that what they’re pushing for is probably BS.
The incident that first made magic public did not directly concern WW3. It occurred in 1999 when a magician stopped a nuclear terrorist attack, but magicians have been around far longer than that, so magic wasn’t in its infancy. WW3 occurred during the mid-21st century, so magic was a part of those battles from the start, but it didn’t necessarily end the war. In honor of the first incident, magicians worked together to halt the use of nuclear weapons, but not the war itself.
There are many muggle soldiers with standard weaponry, far outnumbering the magicians. Most magicians would be vulnerable to a wall of bullets, a landmine, missiles, and other weapons. Magic defenses aren’t automatic, so a good ambush could work as well, and the defenses will wear down through sheer attrition. Since magic is an all or nothing proposition, if you wear a magician down enough, something will eventually slip through unaffected the magic defenses, with the magician taking the full brunt of the damage. The more powerful ones would pose a more significant threat, but if nothing else, humans are resourceful and capable of solving challenging problems.
I wouldn’t say it’s homeschooling, more like a parent prepping their child to take over the family business. As I pointed out in another post, magicians will work in something related to magic, so older family members would likely take some spare time teaching the younger ones magic. If a kid grew up in an environment surrounded by programmers, and everyone, including the kid, knew that was what he would eventually do for a living, I don’t think it would be that hard for him to pick up the basics of coding, or for someone (or multiple people) to spend a few hours a day teaching him.
And where did you get the idea of most of them being proficient from elementary school? The only snippet we’ve seen of anyone prior to high school was the bit to start the series, and that was only the Shiba siblings, not most of the cast.
I’m aware that most proposals are to allow adults to carry firearms, concealed or not, I was being somewhat hyperbolic. However, I’m sure that if those policies are widespread, someone somewhere would push to allow underage students to carry as well. While Japan may have a strict anti-gun stance now, a policy change wouldn’t surprise me if, say, they were forced into war with China and had one of their islands occupied, and the US did not provide as much assistance as the Japanese expected. Someone else described the political atmosphere of the MKnR universe as similar to the Cold War, with heightened tensions everywhere. A pacifistic view tends to be crushed in that kind of environment.
I just accepted the explanation of, magicians need their CADs for self-defense/helping out in disasters, and combined that with many prior examples involving magic schools allowing students to carry around potentially lethal tools like wands (Harry Potter)/talismans (Tokyo Ravens)/etc. as reason enough for them to carry CADs with them. The points you raise did make me consider things I hadn’t before, though in the end I’m comfortable with my justifications based on info from the LNs. If what I said works for you, cool, if not, I’ll chalk it up to people having different lines for suspension of disbelief and leave it at that.
As an aside, I feel like tasers, rather than guns, would be a more apt comparison for CADs, since they wouldn’t typically resort to lethal force, though both tasers and magic with CADs can be lethal.
@SK/Hochmeister: Regarding CADs at schools. Fairly certain the anime left this out. From LN vol 01 during the part where Erika knocks Morisaki’s cad from his hand (anime EP 01 end):
FYI – the “certain committee” members are Public Morals Committee members (the committee lead by Mari) though I suspect someone like Juumonji (clubs group leader) is also allowed to carry a CAD. Can students circumvent the system? Sure. No different than RL with guns or other weapons.
Ultimately, it is team selfish brats, vs team selfish brats, at the academy for the entitled.
Money is only one of the reason for Blanche, and actually it’s more like an excuse. In this world, mages are used as dangerous weapons, and are so feared and distrusted, as you would expect. Since magic ability depends heavily on genetics, some even think mages as a separate race, bit like mutants in western comics.
We see only Course 2 studends, and they don’t get any practical teaching, of any kind. They have to self-study since the school don’t have enough competent teachers. That’s the point of this system.
As was already mentioned, carrying CAD in school is expection allowed only to few.
Distrust for magicians as a rationale for Blanche would be fine, if there had actually been any buildup of that. As it is, we’ve had a anti-magician “equality” organization dropped in when all we’ve seen are the viewpoints and conflicts of the privileged and slightly less privileged magicians.
Student Council seems like the most interesting characters so far: Mayumi & Mari in particular were extremely competent and decisive this episode. Hopefully the other weeds that hang out with the main char will get a little more interesting/varied – I think there is potential for this to be a very deep cast of characters.
I like the way that the show has the terrorists exploiting the innocent (mostly) idealist of the students to further their agenda instead of just some faceless org composed of ‘pure evil’ people. It will be interesting to see how many of the students besides Kinoe knew what was going to happen.
Mayumi should take back her promise. The course 2 students don’t deserve shit now.
You call that a debate when one side is fumbling so hard that the other side wins by default?
What’s with the author portraying any opponent as incompetent nincompoops? Doing that doesn’t make your main cast look any better.
And didn’t Mayumi imply she wouldn’t appeal to emotions? But she did just that, and everyone FUGGIN CLAPS, like what she said was truly profound, when all it really was was “but we’re all students of this school so let’s stop fighting over trivial stuff, ‘kay?” And then that awkward smile and pause of applause. All it’s missing is that Baghdad Bob meme.
Someone else put it succinctly:
The debate was the best part of the episode.
Course 2 guy: “Magic-based clubs get more of the budget.”
Pres: “No they don’t”
Cut to Tatsuya and his friends watching: “Man, she’s really winning this debate.”
What a mess the writing is.
To be fair, I don’t think that’s a sign of bad writing because most people are very bad at debating. True, it may have been more of a beating than a proper fight, but that’s how most kids argue, so I found it fitting. Add on the fact that they didn’t have a lot of time to prepare and it makes sense…oh, and the fact that the most competent enemies didn’t even care to enter the debate. Merely having the debate take place was enough for their plans.
Horizon did debates much, much better than this. This is the proverbial straw breaking the camel’s back, where it’s not just once that people opposite the main cast are shown to be indecisive, unfocused, and for this debate, utter morons. Mayumi’s rebuttal toward the use of Weeds in the school somehow excuses how systematically disenfranchised some of them feel they are because OH THEY TREAT MEMBERS OF THEIR GROUP THE SAME. One student rightfully yelled bullshit on that. That “debate” is more like political damage control. That most likely empty promise of opening the school government for Course 2 students? Just simple lip-service to quell the masses.
@Stilts:How do you find reading light novels personally, if you have ever read one?
I’ve heard issues with readers saying the writing style’s too narration and commentary-based, not letting room for scenes to breathe.
Does this usually reflect bad writing by the author, or more of a mainstream writing style amongst light novelists?
Here’s one blogger’s take on the subject.
Let me put it this way: I’m writing a novel, and I’ve toyed with including illustrations throughout it, much like a light novel. However, I will never call my book a light novel. Light novels are easy to write and quick to produce, but most of them lack the depth of a true novel. There are exceptions – Log Horizon and Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon, or at least I suspect after having watched (& blogged) their adaptations – but most of them just don’t have the same writing quality from everything I’ve seen.
Writing in first person, dense publishing schedules leading to an over-reliance on tropes and unoriginal, uninspired plotting…I can put up with these things better in anime or manga because they’re passive endeavors, where I often turn off my brain and use them to decompress. Written word is my thing though, it’s my canvas, and seeing it done so simplistically has generally not been a favorable experience for me. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten through a full volume of a light novel, even when I tried.
Clarification: This isn’t a knock against young adult novels, of which many light novels are. I once heard an author say that the only difference between young adult fiction and adult fiction is the age of the protagonist(s), and that’s exactly the correct way to look at it. Young adult fiction ought to have the same care, attention, and complexity as adult fiction, because kids aren’t stupid, nor are light novel readers. What they’re generally given is more like junk food than a proper meal though. It satiates without filling.
Take all this with a grain of salt though. As I said, I’ve never managed to get through a light novel and I rarely try, so this isn’t the most informed of decisions. Feel free to brush me off as not knowing what the hell I’m talking about if you like.
Solace: Seriously man, what’s wrong with you? Did your grandmother trip over a light novel lying on the ground, breaking her hip? Where is this irrational hatred coming from?
The point Mayumi was making is that in many cases the very same people that decry discrimination _give credence_ to discrimination by playing the victim. The school bans the terms “bloom/weed” and Mayumi and Mari are actively trying to work against it. If less people would so willingly take over the role as oppressed victim and bemoan it, the discrimination problem would be much less prevalent in the first place. This isn’t “BS”, it is the simple truth.
Considering how much shilling you’ve been doing across the anime blogosphere in the past 2 weeks, I don’t think you should be throwing rocks in this glass house.
Just like there are good and bad anime, movies, ect. there are good and bad Light Novels. Consider Vol 3 of Mahouka. It’s about 80,000 words and 280 pages which certainly is of novel length, yet it’s a “Light” novel. Bad writing? If you haven’t read it how can you judge? Does it fail to be good because it’s not a depressing nihilist tome? (that seems to be part of the definition of a “true” novel by many) Because it has illustrations it’s not quality? While illustrations are uncommon in modern literature, how about Jules Verne and Charles Dickens. 19th century authors novels often had illustrations. Dickens wrote under deadlines like a madman. Did his writing lack depth? Sure, it contained tropes and may be simplistic in your view, but insanely popular at the time and he’s still considered one of the greats. I’m not denigrating your taste, just pointing out that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s err… cover or it’s anime. YMMV.
Of course, of course, not all of them are bad, and I’ve enjoyed the underlying stories in quite a few of them. I freely admitted that my opinion comes largely from a position of ignorance because I’ve never made it through a light novel. There is a reason for that, and the largely first person driven, dialogue-and-action-at-the-expense-of-description writing style is easy to write, but it doesn’t draw me in like a proper novel does. Yes, it can work sometimes, and yes, there are some light novels that are undoubtedly good (and probably some that are only “light” in format and illustration), but by and far I find how they’re written to be lacking in depth.
From what I’ve seen. Which isn’t much. Grain of salt etc etc.
I do think the author is trying to get this scene done and over with by degrading the quality of the arguments presented by Course 2 students to show the supposed excellence of her speech.
Sure there are those who are bad at debating, but if it is a public debate, surely there is at least 1 person, amongst half the school population in Course 2 that is at least satisfactorily adept at debating. The lack of such a person is absurd. It does not take a genius to figure out that an argument that lacks substance (as per Solace) is unconvincing.
E.g. They could have easily analysed the accounts of the magic oriented groups. If for example, both magic and non-magic clubs get the same budget, do magic clubs have less members? If yes, it means that the spending per student is greater than Course 2. If there are more members in the magic club, then obviously, they should omit this argument and resort to another.
This is hardly a case of baseless victimisation. Obviously, if it is a matter of being categorised there would not be such an outcry. Perhaps, accusations of segregationist thought would be flung around, but nothing worse than that.
I have taken the initiative to go through the forum scene again. Her argument basically (after the mention of ‘bloom’ and ‘weed’) is that certain Course 2 students regress to accepting themselves into that category and that this constitutes a ‘barrier of awareness’ (whatever that means). What is most incomprehensible is how she then supposedly furthers her argument by stating that the student council is dealing with the problem and that the entire student body has to change as the body is composed of both Course 1 and Course 2 students.
Is this even an argument? She proclaims that the council is dealing with it, but in what way? It is merely a baseless promise which is evidenced by the ban of the terms ‘bloom’ and ‘weed’ (why else would they ban the terms). At this stage, it is merely a proclamation of the status quo. i.e. the current practices are fine. There is nothing else to do other than what is done at this very moment.
Thus, Mentar, it is indeed ‘the simple truth’. But sadly, this truth is merely a restatement of the current facts with no progress whatsoever. It is merely a waste of time. I am surprised that the staff of this show could allow themselves to produce such a horrible script. If this argument was done in the light novel, the author should truly put down his pen and study Cicero’s treaties on rhetoric.
Solace’s argument is valid and legitimate.
Actus: The “barrier of awareness” means that as long as the second-course students are willingly taking over the role of “discriminated victim” _themselves_ (e.g. due to the active soliciting of Egalite), it is going to be very difficult to _overcome_ this split. Take the likes of Erika, for example. She would get mad if she got exposed to first-course arrogance and slap their CADs away, but she surely wouldn’t feel inferior to them. Compare this to Sayaka, whose frustrations definitely grew when she “recruited” into Egalite.
In other words: In several aspects Egalite’s political drive consciously _exacerbates_ the problem by encouraging students to _define_ themselves as victims whose grievances had to be redressed. And that if the students’ genuine goal is to come together on equal terms, they would have to stop seeing themselves as inferior (weeds) or superior (blooms). THAT is the core of Mayumi’s argument, and it _is_ the simple truth.
Finally, what you call as “baseless promise” is Mayumi’s approach to take a step in the right direction. Those who actually paid attention would have noticed that the change she was proposing required authorization of the general assembly. It was nothing she could decide/decree by herself. And big big “duh” – I’ll spoil this much – she will manage to require sufficient support for her initiative against significant pushback.
It really never ceases to amaze me what stuff some people are projecting into Mahouka. Seriously.
If Mayumi and co. truly cared, why did it have to take for push to come to shove for them to do anything? She could’ve just said “No, none of you guys are inferior.” Or even better, try examining how that situation came to be. When and how did this whole rift appear? Her whole speech at the end reeked of politician speak, made to just shut them up without making any promises to results, so I’m not surprised people went https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9xRhwmHBBE
Still, the whole situation is laughable seeing how DIRE the author wants to make it seem, but that narrative cognitive dissonance isn’t going away anytime soon.
Keep shilling bro.
The ‘barrier of awareness’ could be interpreted in that light. Yes. But it is not clear in the circumstances what she actually wants to say. It could very well be that she meant it to say that this so called ‘barrier’ is merely that the Course 2 students are unable to realise that they are actually equal to Course 1 students. This is surely something that constitutes a ‘barrier of awareness’ albeit with the opposite meaning of how you interpreted it. Such metaphoric and abstract concepts are definitely not suitable for actually addressing an important issue.
As for whether they actually think themselves as inferior, that I do not know, nor do I believe that the audience has sufficient information/evidence to deduce this point. Unless an actual survey is conducted, general statements covering a wide demographic is unsubstantiated. A person could very well assert that society is a very equal place and that everyone on Earth thinks that way. It is unlikely, I would say, that that is the case, but it is not known unless a study is actually conducted.
As for the ‘baseless promise’, my argument still stands. She merely said that she will put forward the proposal. Whether or not it will actually be adopted is unknown. (please don’t reference materials from later on as that is in the future and it therefore cannot be deduced from current facts)
If what she has done is merely stated the approach of the student governing body, then it is – as I mentioned – no different from the initial banning of the terms ‘weed’ and ‘bloom’. That means that nothing new is to be done.
Mayumi does not have the authority to unilaterally enforce the proposal, as opposed to let’s say, the Fed, announcing further taper. It is thus a promise that has no ‘bite’ and is thus a ‘baseless promise’.
@Solace: As you know from earlier episodes, the viewer does know for a fact (Mayumi dialogue, Mari explanation for the selection of non-discriminatory personnel, etc) that Mayumi does care. She also openly embraced the opportunity of an open forum, where she would have had the option to discredit Egalite upfront for their actions, giving her an advantage. Based on this, your suspicion towards her feels very disingenuous to me.
I don’t quite get your obsession with equality. Second-course students _are_ inferior in their magical skills compared to first-course students _based on the (questionable) metrics that are measured in practical tests_. In this aspects they are NOT fully equal, and this is exactly the reason why “full equality” is a goal which I consider not helpful at all. However, inferiority in practical magical skills does _NOT_ indicate any kind of inferiority AS A PERSON. Weeds are not “worth less” than blooms. This is what Mayumi pointed out.
She DID make concrete promises (that she’ll push to abolish the “no second-course members of the SC” rule), and she’s going to keep it. I can’t remember any other demand of Egalite that she refused – which is something you seem to be terribly enraged of.
It seems likely to me that you have some RL-induced bone of your own to pick with this, but nevermind. I do share Mayumi’s opinion that trying to sharpen the rifts in a discriminatory conflict is mostly counterproductive as long as 1) a widespread perception of the problem in itself has been established, and especially 2) when the “other side” has recognized the issue and shows willingness to work on it. Then, exaggerated distrust in the honesty of the other side tends to defeat the purpose and makes efforts to find common ground unnecessarily harder.
So we’ll have to agree to disagree what is “BS” or not.
@Actus: For my taste, there are too many terms with too many different meanings/interpretations conflated here. Students in first and second courses are not “equal” in all aspects, and in my opinion it’s not realistic to try to attain that. First-course students are generally better in practical magic (based on the metrics used in exams), and they have access to direct tutoring by teachers which the second-course students do not. They, on the other hand, have other skills which first-course students don’t. The issue is that different skills and levels of proficiency do not imply different “worth” of people.
Let me take the opportunity to quote and comment Mayumi’s relevant part of her speech, the way I interpret them. I will readily admit that there may be different ways to read it, but this is _my_ interpretation based on anime and LN knowledge.
“I won’t deny that there is a discrimination among the students that is being pointed out.” (Yes, we recognize that there is a problem. So, you are justified in pointing it out.)
“These are terms that have been banned by the school, the student council and the disciplinary committee, but unfortunately, I must admit that they are still in wide use”. (There are still jerks who won’t be discouraged by that. Just having the rules in place alone can’t prevent that.)
“It’s not just course 1 students.” (Makes clear that the majority are, and that they share the lion’s share of the blame – but not ONLY them.)
“Among the course 2 students, there are those who despise themselves as weeds, and are resigned as well as accepting of it.” (Think Mibu Sayaka prior to Egalite’s call to rise up)
“Yes, such a lamentable culture does exist here.” (Lamentable indeed. So what to do?)
“The issue is this barrier to awareness.” (In other words, as long as people are not aware how much considering themselves “blooms” and “weeds” cause and perpetuate this discrimination, it can’t be overcome).
“As student council president, this barrier to awareness… is what I’ve wanted to somehow break down. Every one of us, from course 1 and course 2, are students of this school… and the time we spend here as students of this school… for each of us, these three years are irreplaceable.” (She’s waxing a bit of emotion here. But for me, the message is ‘stop being asses towards each other, you are all students of the same school. Treasure your time here instead’)
Following this was her promise to change the “no course-2 member in the SC” rule – something which she has no authority to do right away. “Empty politician promises”? Since the viewer knew from earlier episodes that Mayumi/Mari ARE genuinely concerned about the issue, I find this distrust unwarranted. It rather seems to me that some viewers have their own negative experiences about discrimination in their own real lives, and are therefore showing a very distrustful/cynical view on things. More power to them. But going as far to call this “BS” indicates to me that their point of view is so extreme that they consider this outcome here to be completely unrealistic, and I opt to politely disagree with that.
>I don’t quite get your obsession with equality.
I don’t understand where that impression comes from. Most of my arguments dealt with how asinine the open forum is. Maybe you got me mixed with someone else.
>She DID make concrete promises
Whether or not she can follow through is a different matter. My problem is not whether or not the promise was concrete (like “I will do _thing_”); it was whether or not it will solve anything in the long run. Opening the student council for Course 2 students can go either way, but considering that when blacks in the United States finally got suffrage by the ratification of the 15th Amendment, southern state governments imposed literacy tests and poll taxes to prevent/discourage them from voting in elections. Who’s to say the more privileged Course 1 students won’t fudge future elections? Not that any of this matters at all in the long run, it’s just high school. This whole situation is akin to kids with toys picking on kids with smaller toys, when all those kids should be happy to have friggin toys. #firstworldproblems
(Then author decides to doubleback on that and somehow mages aren’t really privileged at all. What are we to believe?)
My other issue is how Mayumi managed to instantly change the deep-seated opinions of Course 1 students with just one speech, no logic required! And it wasn’t even as profound as the author tries to make it, by making the students clap; it wasn’t profound period.
>It seems likely to me that you have some RL-induced bone of your own to pick with this, but nevermind.
It seems to me you’re particularly invested in defending this work. I have no such attachment, in either end of the spectrum. I only say it like it is, but nevermind.
Just want to point out that the only SC member who is elected is the president, an office which I believe does not include the Course 1 restriction. (“I think, according to the rules of the student council, all members aside from the president must be Course 1 students, right?”) Changing this rule would only affect the candidate pool from which the president can fill the other spots of the SC, so election shenanigans along the lines of your examples aren’t a huge issue.
Thank you for that. That addresses the above completely. Now to see if they can manage to get the support of 2/3 of the student body to overturn the Course 1 SC restrictions.
They actually cut the debate by a lot, to the point that it almost do not make sense.
Here is the original version:
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Stilts edit: Added spoiler tags due to wall ‘o text.
Opps, I realise it is a whole chunk of txt here. Doesn’t seems so long when I read it x.x
Thank you very muchfor this! The manga had also a longer version, I think. But again, the only thing stated was the budget, that was easily dispatched.
However, I hated the President when she said this:
“This is fundamentally different from the situation where the privileged, fearing the loss of their special rights, act in defense of these rights by instituting systemic segregation”
You can’t say that when you admit later that “under the current system, aside from the President, only Course 1 students may join the Student Council”. The Student Council represents all the students in the school, not only Course 1. That is no “wall of consciousness”.
The debate was a book example of a Straw Man Argument, with very poor straw men in fact.
She’s not trying to argue anything there, and more clearing up misconceptions. The Course 2 students think Course 1 gets the lion’s share of budget just by being Course 1. Mayumi clears that up.
@Solace Did you really expect some sort of highly intellectual debate after you heard that they were having an open forum? I sure didn’t. Its not even an issue about the quality of writing, but rather a result of circumstance. In fact, if it /were/ some sort of well written debate I would call THAT bad writing.
1) These kids are angry about something and just want to vent.
2) These kids are high school kids.
3) They were manipulated into this plan by smarter people.
4) They had one day to prepare.
5) As Stilts pointed out, people suck at debates. I once had a college English class where we had to research certain topics and debate on them in groups and let me tell you, it was painful watching some of them. People literally showed up completely unprepared and some were speechless when rebutted. It was as if they only researched their own points (if they even managed that) and never considered the counter points. shock! and we had WEEKS to prepare XD
Also, I think you’re missing the point of the debate.
Why is it that when a criticism is made, someone always seems to think the person wants the extreme opposite? Why not a middle ground? But you guys raised some fair points. Still, it doesn’t roll well with me when everyone not the main cast is portrayed as dim-witted or easy to manipulate. In these sorts of demonstrations, the same group might have different opinions on that matter, and I doubt all of them are really that stupid. I mean, you couldn’t even find one person who can articulate their points clearly, but instead four morons who ended up facepalming and shitting their pants? I find it important to portray the other side with just as much care as you would do with your main cast, so it doesn’t seem like you’re pushing an [IMO, horribly written] agenda. Ideally you should have a variety of different characters from all factions across the spectrum.
@Solace I know I’m opening a can of worms here, but what agenda?
Without any context, you’d think Tatsuya is being hero worshipped here…
OTOH, this series is intriguing, yet not intriguing at the same time for me atm.
Reminds me of a a certain pair.
I think even with context, he’s being hero-worshiped here – “You changed my outlook on life!”
He’s not being hero-worshiped at all, she’s just getting swept up in what he said. Which is to say, it’s about what he said, not about him.
The two are not mutually exclusive. A random sentence, or in fact, more or less anything Tatsuya saying being met with “You are so amazing!” and “You changed my view of the world” is more than bordering on hero-worship.
Well, imagine if Tatsuya had been the only one on hand to try to deal with the gas attack instead of having Hanzo there with his quick reactions. With Tatsuya’s casting time there’s no way he could have stopped it before it filled the room, and depending on what the gas actually was there would have been a bunch of incapacitated or dead students. That bit near the end there seems pretty clearly designed to show off what powerful mages like Hanzo and Mari can do: things that were vitally important for protecting the students, and things that Tatsuya, however badass he is with the skills he’s developed, could not have done.
You can argue that that doesn’t make him feel weak to you personally, but it certainly drove home the point to me. There was the clear distinction between the things Tatsuya could do and the things he couldn’t do, and the difference between a fighter with some very specialized and well-trained but weak mage-skills, and a true mage.
You’re not wrong, but to me that reinforced the fact that Mari and Hanzo are strong in their own right as opposed to anything to do with Tatsuya. Hanzo in particular needed that since Tatsuya handed his ass to him so soundly.
Let’s just say that Tatsuya is definitely capable of dealing with the gas on his own.
And I’m not talking about his healing factor here.
…well, you’ll see what I mean next episode.
What the fuck are you writing about next episode for? Grow up and keep it to yourself.
Fully agree about Tatsuya’s magic capabilities, it does seem contrived considering so far the only flaw for him is in practical tests and practice events, real world applications are all “trololo here’s 5 or 6 workarounds that crush the competition”. Still cannot shake the perfection/Gary Stu vibes he keeps giving off, although this is likely from the stoic personality and one dimensional development of Tatsuya’s character at the moment.
As for the debate it was definitely cut up, it’s obvious a huge amount of context is missing and I haven’t even read the LNs. The Student Council President “won” too handily, her words were very superficial and saying many things without saying anything at all (i.e. your average coached politician’s speech), yet received standing ovation. This then quickly jumps to her promise to try and allow Course 2 students onto the council before her term is up with yet more applause; over the course of this there was very little from the opposing side to help give understanding to her remarks or explain the crowd’s happiness with them. This is coupled with the confusion over the expectation that the forum would be emotionally charged, yet was actually logic-based which (not) coincidentally the President also assured she would win hands down. Definitely a case of trying to fit too much into this episode, ideally the forum should have had more time and the cutoff could have been when the Course 2 students revealed their Blanche rings.
Also need less bro-complex Miyuki, the over-obsession is irritating and detracting. IMO she literally seems to serve no purpose than to better illuminate Tatsuya’s stoicism and unique, “only I have them” strengths. If there was something else to Miyuki beyond her incestuous infatuation then it would be fine, but all we have seen so far is nothing but her lusting for Tatsuya. The info dumps are not nearly as bad as the significant lack of MC development so far. Only one episode left in this arc, hopefully the next improves upon things.
Despite me being a hardcore Miyuki fan…I’m going to have to agree on what you said. Hopefully, the next episodes manages to change some people’s opinion of her.
Granted, the story has other scenes where they can flesh out her character, but Miyuki got as popular she did for a reason. In the anime, all we know of her is that she loves Tatsuya to an almost obsessive degree; in the novels, she still loves him the same way, but not only were we given a nice reason with that cutout monologue, it also showed that she’s quite aware that her feelings will probably go nowhere, and is actually just satisfied with spending time with him and helping him as much as she possibly can. Even her broconess felt a little better because she’s portrayed as less clingy jealous imouto and more full blown waifu who does the housework.
Tune in next week when we see Tatsuya’s Lannister-esque policy when it comes to dealing with his enemies.
While it maintained EP 04s slightly less rushed feeling, EP 05 felt a little more stilted to me – sort of cut and paste transitions between scenes rather than a natural flow. Straight into the “only necessary” information then right on to the next scene.
From an LN reader stand point, by far most disappointing part were the cuts made to “side” character scenes and/or dialog. Both Erika and Leo got screwed over as did Honoka and Shizuku and even Mari and Suzume to a lesser extent. “Side” characters add a lot to the story and are some of my favorite characters. So far, probably the majority of “SOL” type character banter (long and short) which I enjoy has been cut out. Here, one of my favorite scenes in LN vol. 02 (about 11 pages worth at 12pt Times Roman) was left behind. :<
Character depth issues go beyond just the "side" characters IMO. Miyuki so far has been reduced to nothing more than a hard core brocon. Lots of non-LN reader backlash on her character and it’s hard to blame them. As hard as it may be to believe, she is more than some badly confused waifu. She’s ranked #1 in the entire freshman class, but you would barely know it based upon what the anime has shown so far.
Here was one more example of just how good she is left on the proverbial cutting room floor. At the end of that cut scene, Miyuki did the same test, on the same machine as Erika, Leo, Mizumi and Tatsuya. Info about Miyuki’s, Leo’s and Erika’s time for that same test in the spoiler below. Using tags to be safe, though IMO this is “missing info” rather than a spoiler since you know Miyuki’s supposed to be very good at magic.
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Agree with Lumin that the reworked debate fell short of the mark. Once again, the anime amps up odd things. IMO the anime overplayed the 2nd course student “angst” and “despair”. Same goes for the anime only addition where Tatsuya, Mari and Suzume are “shocked” by Mayumi mentioning the “W” word (“Weeds”). That’s too heavy handed IMO, and at the very least is character inconsistent for Tatsuya. He’s much less emotional/stoic than to be bothered by something like that. At least there wasn’t some uncomfortable “fanservice” addition. Still, dialog changes/cuts continue to have an adverse affect IMO – including cutting or altering dialog which hints/setups future plot lines. Spoiler stuff so leave it at that.
Not an issue for me, but I did find it odd that when previously the anime cut out/highly compressed earlier LN magic system exposition, now it adds anime only magic exposition (getting rid of gas bomb and subduing masked soldiers). O.o
At any rate, the increased magic exposition and use of Tatsuya’s internal dialog was a welcome sight. I hope this trend continues.
@Stilts, I genuinely want to know your opinion about Tatsuya’s line:
I don’t know yet. I’ll need to know more details to say for sure, but I have sympathy for those who are truly forced to do something they don’t want to do, while simultaneously having an irreverent, contrarian mind which loves to point out how most of the things “forcing” us to do anything are either illusions or societal expectations that can go @#%* themselves.
tl;dr – I don’t know yet. You’ll have to ask me again when they reveal more.
Tatsuya has definite weaknesses. His casting speed is crap, and he’s limited to five different commands in any given spell
Thats one of the qualms I had with this episode. Yes, its trying to illustrate how Tatsuya is no super-mega-awesome and that he does have weaknesses, but it changes a lot about what was presented in the LN.
Not sure to mark these as spoilers since its something that should have been presented but was skipped over. SO I’ll tag them anyways just in case. There are minor spoilers in terms of the LN
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In terms of this episode and last episode I do enjoy how they’re delving more into Tatsuya’s head especially since we hear a LOT of Tatsuya’s internal monologue during the LNs.
Overall, I’m thinking this Enrollment Arc will last 2 more episodes. Which would put us at a 3.5 episode LN coverage, which isn’t too bad, but not ideal. I sincerely hope they keep up with this relatively shorter pace so as not to blitz through and not do the next arc justice :S
@Stratski: “Overall, I’m thinking this Enrollment Arc will last 2 more episodes.”
Can’t say for sure, but I’d be truly surprised if that was the case. Right now, roughly 38% of volume 02 is left. The rest of the arc is mostly action (as you know) which compresses more easily than dialog/exposition. IMO, one more episode and were done with vol 02 & the Enrollment Arc.
@Stratski: Sorry for the extra post (hit “submit” instead of “preview”).
In terms of your spoiler, I’m not sure you’re correct about one item. Show Spoiler ▼
Also, curious as to your and other LN reader thoughts on this. Show Spoiler ▼
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@Dusty: Thanks for the comment. Regarding what you said:
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Oh! I forgot to mention this as well:
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I like the anime adaptation. It’s pretty nice. However, I think it’s sad how they’re rushing too much, and as a result too much is being cut out (and oddly enough, there’s these random scenes that just… what?).
Particularly in the case of Tatsuya and Miyuki. Even though she’s not my favourite female character in this series, I’m still a bit upset about how they’re only portraying her as a shallow brocon. But my main gripe is with Tatsuya.
I know that he’s OP and a know-it-all jerk. And the anime shows that well. But he’s also so much more than that. The series and “supporting” cast are also much more than that.
The reason why he’s so knowledgeable when it comes to magic, the reason he discovered psuedo-Cast Jamming, is because he spends so much time researching, something which anime/games don’t really show because it seems boring. They’d rather do the Hollywood “spam keyboard and hack Gov” thing.
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The point I’m trying to make is that they’re only showing a narrow view of things. I get that they have to do 7-8 volumes in 24-ish eps. But there’s so much content that gets left out, people are getting wrong impressions left and right, and that makes me feel really sad.
I like reading. Whether it’s a comic, manwha, manga, light novel, novella, full-blown novel, etc. as long as it has text and draws me in, I can even substitute it for food (sadly not permanently though). I get really excited about adaptations, because the author’s story gets told to more people, and I get to see the characters almost literally come alive. But it’s a bittersweet feeling since all adaptations, no matter how faithful, are constrained by time. So things like this happen.
Tom Bombadil WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
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To extrapolate a little…
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@Lucarion: Yeah, I thought that was pretty cool myself. 😀 Frankly, vol 12 is a lot of fun to read IMO. Show Spoiler ▼
@ReverseTales: Glad you’re enjoying the adaptation. Wish I could say the same. It’s OK, I guess, but a lot of what I like about the series is being left out. Not up for “MKnR – the ‘Highlights’ version”. Agree with your post (including spoiler :D) with a small exception (see below).
The point I’m trying to make is that they’re only showing a narrow view of things. I get that they have to do 7-8 volumes in 24-ish eps. … But it’s a bittersweet feeling since all adaptations, no matter how faithful, are constrained by time. So things like this happen..
It can indeed be frustrating. Certainly so for me with MKnR. Nothing to be done for it other than post/clarify, but frankly that’s getting tiresome at this point. :/ I certainly agree that as a general concept, anime (along with live film and perhaps even TV series) adaptations have time constraints. However, in this instance, I find the “time constraint” excuse lacking. Specifically, I fail to understand why they “had to do 7-8 volumes”. “Had to”? Not IMO. Perfectly good stopping point at the end of volume 04. IF proper pacing allows, there is material from vol. 5 and even vol. 8 readily available to fill out the season.
FWIW, I get the “rationale” of why the anime might want to include vol 7 this season, but IMO whatever benefits may be derived from doing so are decisively outweighed by the negatives associated with such forced pacing. MKnR is a highly popular series, so if you do the adaptation properly, I see little reason why this would not get a second season. Leave vol. 6 & 7 for that.
Unfortunately, Bioshock is on my long backlog of games that I have yet to play, but have heard good things about. Regarding your question,
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They keep showing and telling Tatsuya’s lack of “real” magic ability in an effort to show how the magic community relies on magic as a source of status or importance. You’re not supposed to feel like Tatsuya is pretending to be weak when he’s actually OP. One of the main points of the novels is essentially to show that even with all his (assumes for now) powers, Tatsuya will never be more than a second-class citizen in the magic community (he pointed out how he couldn’t hope for anything more than a C license with the magic skills he has in the last episode). I think that (among others) is what fascinates me about the story.
@Stilts (separate post to keep length manageable)
— Tatsuya has definite weaknesses. His casting speed is crap, and he’s limited to five different commands in any given spell – think of the mixing of different commands in Magi, or in a computer program that executes several discrete actions – among other things.
Not sure how clear the anime’s explanation of Mizuki’s point about Tatsuya’s struggling to pass the test was. LN’s analogy was easier to understand IMO.
Significance of by passing the Activation Sequence = skipping CADs altogether and still use magic at the same speed. That’s a very useful for combat as magic. FYI, over half of all combat magic uses only one to five processes.
Conversely, “Generally speaking, magic used by civilians required many more processes than combat magic.” Thus, Tatsuya’s skills make him great as combat magician, and crappy as a civilian one. No surprise there, but WHY he has trouble as magician under the standard curriculum. Hope this proves of use to some non-LN readers.
— Side note: I still find the discrimination in this show a bit comical. As a theme it’s treated relatively well, but since I come from a country with many varied (and harder to eliminate) flavors of discrimination, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little.
The reason it feels that way is because the anime cut out a lot of world building – particularly in this case about the 10 Master Families (clans), the 18 underneath them, the 100 Families under those two, etc. As I mentioned before magicians play a VERY big role in the MKnR world – especially Japan. That’s why this pace doesn’t work. Like I keep posting, it’s a complex story with the required complex world-building (again, NOT just the magic system). Leaving out all these clues/hints/details – whatever the term, is bound to cause problems for anime only viewers. I don’t blame them.
It’s impossible to fully explain due to “spoiler handcuffs”, but being a magician MATTERS, and being a “top-class” (“A rank”) magician MATTERS A LOT. “A,B,C… Rank” is determined under the testing guidelines according to the international magic communities system (which 1st HS and the rest use). The importance of a magician’s ability and power go FAR beyond simple school peer groups. It affects their position at ALL levels of life – personal/peer, family, within the magic community AND on a national level.
Again, look to the little information the anime has provided (including the “chibi shorts”). Magicians had a large impact on WWWIII. That’s pretty damn influential for a relatively small group. And it is a small group. In Japan, approximately 1500 kids are eligible (have sufficient magic talent) to take the magic HS enrollment exam each year. As you know 1200 are accepted. Even 1500 is a very small percentage of overall population.
—Imagine if these kids had any experience with racial or gender discrimination – once you’ve dealt with the kinds of bigotry you can never get away from, dealing with a few snippy remarks due to crappy grades doesn’t seem like such an injustice.
That IS the level of discrimination. Again, do NOT view MKnR as “RL + magic”. There are similarities to RL, but there ARE some big differences as well (WWIII for one). Again, I can not understate the importance of a magician’s magic ability and power – on a personal/peer, family, magic community and national level – even international level.
Consider that Leo is “mixed-race” and yet no one cares about that. Instead, it’s his magic ability that defines him in the eyes of many. For magicians, gender or race doesn’t mean a thing compared to magic ability & power. Magic ability & power are what give a magician status and influence in the MKnR world, and those certainly have been used as a basis for discrimination. Consider, the medieval caste system. Your “worth” is based upon your families name alone. Those on top looked down upon those below, especially fallen noble families who became “trash” in the eyes of their former peers. Knights looked down upon the serfs as cattle or sheep.
NOTE: the situation in MKnR is NOT that simple by any means, but I think that it shows that status and power alone are a sufficient base from which discrimination can occur. Again, I would NOT assume the MKnR world is simply RL + magic. Finally, I could easily provide MUCH better examples and explanations. Frankly I’d like to do so if not for “spoiler handcuffs”.
The talk about one’s worth based on the magic system takes me back to Maburaho. Of course the big difference being that, in Maburaho’s world, it’s the number of times one can use magic that determines their worth in the world rather than power much less skill.
That’s pretty much it, but it’s impossible to explain without going into detail. Magician status is a big, big deal and pervasive through the MKnR world. The situation is explained throughout the LN in more and more detail, but the anime dropped/cut what clues/hints there were from the LN up to this point. FWIW, I tried to explain the situation as spoiler free as I could though IDK if it makes any difference. Seems like you got something out of it at least. Hope so. Frankly, I can empathize with Altherion’s comments last episode. :<
Yeah, I may not read LNs or manga material before/during watching the anime version, but I can at least usually tell when stuff feels “off” somehow (rushed, not explained enough, etc.) and it’s usually due to the anime version cutting/omitting/editing how things originally went in the source material.
The thing I find comical is that being a magician appears to automatically mark them as people of privilege. This isn’t about people who are stuck in a ghetto, barely able to scrape by in life because systemic discrimination (along racial, socio-economic, historical, etc lines) is holding them back; it’s about a bunch of privileged kids who are frustrated that they can’t ascend as high as they want to.
And fair enough, that’s a valid gripe to a degree, and they shouldn’t get so much crap from the uber-privileged, even if it does appear to be based on something that actually exists (verifiable magickal skill) as opposed to the imagined detriments of being a member of a certain race, gender, nationality, sexual identity, & etc.
Even the “Weeds” are going to a nice high school and probably have promising careers of sorts ahead of them, or at least careers at all. The recipients of much more common discrimination don’t even get that. That’s why it doesn’t hit as hard to me, not when I see more deleterious discrimination happen all the time.
Perhaps they are so hell bent on superiority simply because that is what they have only been exposed to and that is what they use to measure their worth.
If they’re brought up in a family focused on magic (perhaps that is only what they could do for a living) then it is foreseeable that the children would view magic as an important, if not decisive, factor in life.
I agree with Stilts that they are merely privileged kids who think they’re the best. But I’m afraid that on a macro-perspective, they are merely big fish in a small pond.
An omitted part from Miyuki and Tatsuya’s discussion on Blanche at the end of episode 4:
So while there is a certain status that comes with being a magician, doesn’t mean they are automatically as privileged as you would expect. Still not quite as bad as being forced to live in ghettos, but they also can’t take advantage of their skills outside of magic if it is irrelevant to magic.
On a side note, how does the government (i presume) determine whether they are magicians or not? Surely they have to have a qualification – which I presume is the diploma mentioned.
I believe it is the diploma, though it might also be the magic license Tatsuya mentioned in a previous episode. There is a lot of government regulation over magic and magicians, which makes sense considering the potential threat they pose to society at large.
Interesting. Them being magicians actually limiting what they can do (as opposed to a certain (low) level of magical skill preventing them from doing jobs that require a lot of it) makes me feel more for Tatsuya being forced to be a magician, if nothing else. I hadn’t considered that they wouldn’t have the option to just do something else. That really does suck.
@Stilts Yeah. A lot of LN readers thought in similar ways from non-readers when only the first two arcs were released. A number of people understood some of the stuff in there as meaning that mages aren’t as privileged as people thought they were, some just saw it as an excuse and outright dismissed it because of a lack of examples. Come the later volumes however, and there’s a general consensus: being a mage in the Mahouka universe, SUCKS. The world is still very much run by muggles and since the muggles control most of the resources and work the rest of societal sectors–mages have to comply if they want to live reasonably well. The only reason the average income for mages is higher than compared to muggles is because a few select individuals with extremely rare skills receive an absurd amount of money and so pull the average up–the more common mages makes about the same as a normal salaryman. Also, part of the reason Tatsuya has a beef with Blanche kinda reflects his family background…
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@Stilts Sorry. First two volumes I mean. Next arc clears a few things up.
@Stilts: The thing I find comical is that being a magician appears to automatically mark them as people of privilege.
Your use of the word “comical” leads me to conclude your issue is one of in-setting credibility, or perhaps even the setting itself. Do you consider the medieval caste system, where one is granted significant privilege, status and power based upon being born into a particular family, “comical” despite occurring in RL (not to mention similar type social/political systems elsewhere throughout history)? Why is a small percentage of the population who have extraordinary power/abilities being given to various degrees privilege, status and influence (which, just like RL, may not be upfront and center in terms of the general public) “comical” under a fictional story’s setting? To be clear, my question is in terms of in-setting credibly/plausibility, NOT whether such a system is “fair”, “logical”, “moral/ethical” or “likeable”.
I guess my above post wasn’t clear, because “automatic” for all magicians is inaccurate. To various degrees that is true for certain families, but on an individual level, even that is not necessarily guaranteed. While status/privilege/influence does not ramp (progress) exponentially or geometrically with magic power/ability, it is far from linear. Those at the very top get the proverbial lion’s share. Also, you should not assume that it’s all upside either for magicians. There IS a downside for some who fail to meet expectations placed upon them (to various degrees and for various reasons). On a conceptual level that is true for RL as well (again to various degrees).
As I noted above, being in the 10 Master Clans is based upon the family’s overall magic strength/ability. If the next generation proves to be sub-par, the family could easily “fall from grace” and be replaced by one of the 18 “replacement” families. Fall far enough and they might then be relegated to the 100 family level, or in extreme cases, no “family ranking” at all. And yes, being in the “10 Master Families” is a huge freaking deal. Same goes for the other families to a lesser degree. Best to leave it at that.
— it’s about a bunch of privileged kids who are frustrated that they can’t ascend as high as they want to.
See above about why such “ascendance” does matter. Plus, you don’t need an extreme macro socioeconomic situation for a group of people to feel unfairly treated, slighted and/or pissed off – whether that impression/underlying reason is justified or not. Perception is reality as the saying goes. Mobs can be incited to irrational violence via BS, misleading and factually incorrect arguments. Yeah, the wonky RPGs, assault rifles, etc. are overkill for the situation as presented. Hopefully next episode will clarify things. Hopefully. >_>
Yes, the “course 2 student “Alliance” arguments ARE BS which is why Mayumi’s speech is largely “No, you’re wrong. Here are the facts”. Actually, that’s kind of the point. The LN even says as much: “Even if one side’s slogan was meant to whip the crowd into a frenzy, onstage their words were nothing more than unsubstantiated theories. When faced with Mayumi’s counter charge that their argument was nothing more than empty words and unverified data, this groundless slogan quickly floundered.”
Given your and other posters comments, IMO this is simply adaptation failure due to a combination of cut material and inexplicably amping up/exacerbating the course 2 students emotional distress during the speech. The LN states that half the school was congregated in the auditorium. Not all, half, and there were a good number of course 1 students there = not all course 2 students are emotional wrecks over the situation. Neither Leo nor Erika (cut out by anime) were upset by the school’s curriculum for course 2 students. Hell, Erika thought it made sense.
Frankly, my reaction when the anime showed course 2 students holding their heads, crying, etc. was “WTF!?” In the LN, the entire audience reaction during the full debate was as follows: hissing, small chatter, and applause. That’s it. No crying, no holding heads in despair, no gnashing of teeth per anime.
Yeah, TL:DR but since I can’t use MUCH more concise, specific and effective reasons and examples from the LN, all I’m left with is cumbersome analogies and very general explanations. TBH, it’s getting tiresome trying to fill in so many gaps in the “adaptation”.
At the risk of repeating myself, trying to view the MKnR world as simply RL + magic doesn’t work. MKnR is a very complex world/story with a LOT of depth – IMO as much, if not more so, than either Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon or Log Horizon. What you are seeing here is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. In its rush to cover x number of arcs/volumes, important details and hints of “something more is going on here” are being carelessly cast aside. A lot of players, a lot of factions and a lot going on. In that respect, I do think it is similar to the Game of Thrones novels. Whether you chose to believe me or not is up to you.
Not gunna lie, you failed to get across in a lot more words what SK & Lucarion accomplished in a few. My point was that this smacked of a group of nobles bitching about being mistreated by another group of nobles, and I found that comical. But if mages are actually restrained in their life choices, they’re not quite as privileged as they thought, and the discrimination is more effective as a theme.
And I’m not acting like these are RL + magic. I recognize that the setting is markedly different. I largely don’t know what’s different because they’re not telling me though, so I’m going based off what they do say + what I can intuit. If my posts have any value as an anime-only viewer, I’m just going to keep doing that.
It’s not that I don’t trust you – I believe you and all the other commenters saying there’s more here utterly – but until the anime shows me the things you’re talking about, I can’t say anything else. I don’t know what else to say.
@Stilts: Thanks for the reply. I better understand your rationale and why I did indeed fail to get my point across. Still, almost certain I already posted (previous EP review) what SK stated about magician salary and career options limited by their ranking. Regardless, completely understand and agree that the anime isn’t providing all the details to non-anime viewers. Posted as much before and the reason why I attempted to clarify the situation. Sorry about the TL:DR comments. Point taken.
Nice to know SK’s, Lucarion’s, and other LN reader comments are helping anime only viewers. Perhaps best left to them. TBH, getting burned out with attempting to fill in the anime’s gaps (more so if my comments are not beneficial as intended). As previously noted, I can empathize with Altherion’s comments last episode. I do not know if the anime is “intended for LN-readers”, but IMO it is not doing LN readers any favors in this regard. :<
Never stated or meant to imply that your comments don’t have any value. O.o Do not know why you would say that. If anything, that would appear applicable to my comments. As for the rest, evidently I was mistaken in that your comment applied to the original (LN) story rather than the anime despite my assurances to the contrary. My mistake, and thank you for clearing up that issue.
Lastly, I do appreciate your honestly. Much more effective communication that way. Agree completely that concise, well stated points are always better, and I’m clearly having difficulty with that for various reasons. Not quite the wordsmith when it comes to these things. :/ Something to work on.
Nyahaha, no worries, no worries. Oh, and a side note: if I seem to be implying something out of nowhere (like the value in my posts coming from being an anime only viewer), it’s usually apropos of nothing, not something I drew from something you said. I tangent off into new crap I just happened to want to say a lot. Just a heads up for future commentin’, so we understand each other better ; )
It is kind of funny that they appear to be making this for LN readers only, and it’s ending up pissing everyone off. Just goes back to a point I (and many others) have made many, many times – adapt the story properly or you’ll end up pissing EVERYONE off. Unless you have the balls to go completely off the rails and tell an entirely new story (the original FMA, Arpeggio), stick to the script and give it enough time to breathe, bitches!
The thing about having magical abilities is that society expects magicians to do something with that ability. Thus even if a magician has interests other than magic, their families and peers will push them into the field of magics.
@Lucarion I feel that people might be confused about Mayumi soon… Either that or they completely change her personality for the anime…
The sad thing is that Mayumi is a complete victim of the anime scriptwriter. Truthfully, she is a playful capricious flirty minx. Seeing her and Mari tag-team, messing with Tatsuya and Hattori, are my personal highlights of the first arc. All of these scenes were cut.
Instead, the anime displayed a soft-spoken gentle oneesama that has NOTHING to do with her real disposition. Crazy. She and Miyuki (who has been degenerated to Jellymoto with her cuts) are my two favorite characters in the entire show, and then that. I’m decidedly unhappy.
Exactly… I really liked the ‘Doom’ as opposed to ‘Destiny’… and next arcs “Blindspot!”
I wouldn’t say her soft-spoken gentle side isn’t her ‘real’ disposition. It may be a bit of a face she puts on, but it’s genuine and is part of her personality too.
I agree that similar to ‘Her Highness the Queen’ she may be trained or rather used to acting like a prim and proper lady due to her social standing, she is quite a bit more easily disturbed is supposed to have a few interesting reactions to say the least. Though there was none of that in this episode, for this particular part of Vol.2 I’d say it’s accurate…
The main reason why they make Tatsuya look like he has a weakness is because he is a Gary Stu. I havent read the LN or the manga yet but even I can see from a mile away that Tatsuya is a magical juggernaut, but for some unknown reason, he decides to do a Batosai The Slasher and hides his full might behind a facade of incompetence.
Bellow, is a small quote from volume 2 of the LN, that the anime completely fail to explain. I don’t think this is a spoiler because the LN already touch it from chapter 0, but just in case…
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Connect it with one of Tatsuya’s line in this episode, and then make a conclusion if Tatsuya is really good as Magician or not.
His “magic” is useless for some of the stuff he really wants to do. Regular magic has a lot more applications.
Also, it’s hard to be a Stu when…
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It’s also kinda hard to be Stu when…
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While I agree that Tatsuya has many characteristics that scream Gary Stu, it’s premature to state he is a Gary Stu. There is simply too much we do not know concerning both plot and character development to make calls like that at the moment. Even the infamous Kirito could not be labelled a Gary Stu until the after the midpoint of SAO.
Ideally we should hold off making such calls until the things many LN readers have been hinting at start getting revealed.
I’m not sure if a guy with a sinister personality can be called a Gary Stu.
He is only kind to his sister and indifferent at his best and is sinister at his normal to others. The only exception are his close friends.
Evidence 1: Anime, Ep1, Mizuki discovering his aura,
Evidence 2: Manga, Introductory Book (Enrollment Arc), Chapter 9, Right after Shun confronted Tatsuya outside Public Morals Committee room.
Evidence 3: Anime, Ep5, When Tatsuya “offered” Mibu her “safety”. (The novel and manga version is more cruel.)
Evidence 4: Show Spoiler ▼
Evidence 5: Show Spoiler ▼
@Ginobi47 he is incompetent… He is incompetent… particularly his ‘Interference Strength’ when using magics other than his forte… Speaking of ‘Magical Juggernauts’ there are quite a few close by. They just haven’t revealed themselves yet…
The minimal scenes of Miyuki waxing poetic about onii-sama is the highlight of the episode for me. The flow is a bit smoother than previous episodes but unfortunately the intended emotional scene i.e. the forum, turned out to be a bit comical and unbelievable (but this I blame entire on the production team since it seems that Mayumi’s speech is a bit longer and have more meat in the LN).
Also, funny how Tatsuya gained personality and was able to express emotions when Miyuki is absent. We need more scenes like Tatsuya convo with Mizuki and please TPTB let Miyuki have convo with other people on topics other than her great onii-sama.
Chitanda, is that you? (Especially when you consider who Mizuki’s and Tatsuya’s VAs are. )
Manami: Where did you get Mibu’s number?
Tatsuya: Oh, I asked her for it.
Miyuki: O__O! OMGWTF!! Onii-sama, how could you?! ლ(ಠ益ಠლ
Watching jealous Miyuki go yandere is no doubt one of the redeeming features of this quite dificult to understand series. XD
Glad that you’re thinking the same as I did. Also, I had to do this, it’s irresistible.
I’ve dropped, no offence to those who like the series but overall I’ve found it incredibly dull.
Yet _again_? How many times do you have to point out that you’re dropping before you’re satisfied? There’s the door, have a nice day. Sheesh.
newhope, the one who needs to grow up is you. Not only are you insecure enough to want to let the whole world know you’re dropping this show, you’re so butthurt by Mentar’s rebuke and all the downvotes to actually come back and give a parting shot. Don’t make us laugh, please.
There’s the door, bye.
Ya I am going to drop as well I think or maybe next episode after seeing how this terrorists thing plays out.
Overall biggest disappointment I’ve had in along while anime wise.
Wow, that certainly turned dark quite fast. Terrorism?
Its a nice way to diffuse the situation by encouraging unity at the student council in terms of Course 1 and 2 students being allowed to join. (Though really, the overpowered Student Council trope rears its head yet again. XD)
I like the way how these simple divisions have been used as a way to expound on the negative aspects of discrimination. Its not only the institution that oppresses, but the internalization process of accepting the percieved disabilities.
Anyways seeing things animated certainly makes things a lot easier to digest
From Miyuki’s invitation by the Student Council after she nominates her brother, don’t remember if the last sentence was included in the anime:
Not mentioned in the episode, but changing the rule actually requires a 2/3 majority vote by the student body, so Mayumi and the student council can’t just unilaterally change it. If Mayumi tried to bring this up out of nowhere, she would likely face resistance from Course 1 students, but she takes advantage of the forum to bring up her plan, riding the wave of support and the momentum of her speech for equality.
The student council (or more accurately, the president, since she can choose and remove the other members at will) certainly has a lot of power, but I wouldn’t say that this is a good example of that.
It is funny you make the point about the school uniforms and the distinction between “Blooms” and “Weeds”, since it is actually explained (to some extent) why the system in First High exists and it is quite funny and also goes to real a little on how the people around Tatsuya and Miyuki see them, so i hope it is covered.
Mayumi’s speech was nice, but it wasn’t Meido Ane level.
Sidebar: It’s kinda unfortunate that Meido Ane has set the standards for anime speeches so high.
To be fair, most characters don’t go from serf to ushering in the enlightenment in one of the most evocative speeches I’ve ever heard in fiction. It’s not unfortunate because that bar is damn HIGH, and deservedly so.
What’s unfortunate is that most of the rest of that adaptation kinda sucked >_<
Yeah. What the hell did they do to my beautiful Dragon Princess? TwT That was totally unfair.
This Show got me, i am following it. Alone the red line of this Anime sounds interesting for me, and the Anime is doing all things right. Thread it with care, no rush
A Coin has two sides
sorry oot, but I want Tatsuya’s phone, that detachable bluetooth / nfc headset is so cool….
those terrorist seems to be a serious case … but……
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>I still find the discrimination in this show a bit comical. As a theme it’s treated relatively well, but since I come from a country with many varied (and harder to eliminate) flavors of discrimination, I can’t help but roll my eyes a little. Imagine if these kids had any experience with racial or gender discrimination
Do you not know how allegory works?
its human nature , no matter how advance are we or how much technological advancement we got , discrimination still exist . If its not racial or gender then it will be something else… , thats human for you after all.
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