Random Curiosity

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – 08 »« Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – 06

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – 07

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

Tatsuya & co break through the front door and mete out some justice. The action is still good and the pacing is better, but some of the thematic implications are troubling.

Breaking Down The Front Door

Once again, where Mahouka shines is in animation of the fight scenes. Look at the screen shots if you must, or just go back and watch those parts of the episode and you’ll see what I mean. As far as comments, I can only say that I appreciate how the mid-battle exposition wasn’t too heavy, and when it was used it was the let-me-explain-why-you-lose-villain way, which is satisfying, especially when the villain turns into a total bitch and runs away. I did find the Blanche leader to be extremely two-dimensional, which isn’t always bad, and since he’s a small-time villain, doesn’t really count against the series. I didn’t find him very interesting though, so I suspect I’ll be forgetting about him shortly.

But seriously, those spells. Miyuki going all ice queen, Jyumonji quietly playing tank, and Kirihara going hard melee DPS were all fun to see, much less that shit Tatsuya does. Speaking of…

It’s A Vigilante’s World

Talking about morals in an action series can get tricky, especially in the grittier ones like Mahouka. While in some series the main characters’ violence is officially sanctioned (ala Black Bullet, Sidnoia no Kishi, etc), in others it’s not, and it can be a delicate line to walk. What happened to, ya know, the police and stuff? Is it alright for a bunch of high school kids to waltz into a building and start dolling out extra-judicial justice? Should that be alright? In series with a lighter tone this is easier to swallow, or ones with a more fantastic setting, but Mahouka is largely serious and in many ways more similar to the real world (even the magic isn’t enough to make it a complete fantasy), so these questions are troubling.

For my part, it felt wrong to see Miyuki freeze, and possibly kill so many people, or for Kirihara to cut off a man’s arm because he was pissed. That dude could have bled out if not for Jyumonji’s magic! It shows that these characters are willing to get their hands dirty, and that’s good – it tells us better what kind of world we’re dealing with here, even if it makes the high school setting even stranger to me (if we’re going for a bloody dark action-fantasy, why the funny-funny high school setting? It clashes). It doesn’t exactly make me want to root for the main characters more, though. They’ve moved from being the good guys to perhaps the least bad guys, and now they have a dangerous quality to them that makes me want to keep them at arm’s length. Interesting, yes, and it does reveal character both in the characters and the world, but I’m not sure it’s a pleasant turn. Though then again, sometimes it’s good to take in stories (and ideas) that aren’t comfortable, because that’s how we grow as people.

I Despise Mind Control

Understand that the following section is going to be subjective as hell. It’s not that Mahouka used mind control badly, though it could have been done better – it was used as a justification for character’s uncharacteristic actions and a way to make the villain seem even more villanous, rather than mining it for drama, which is the only interesting facet of mind control I can imagine. It’s just that I despise mind control. It takes agency away from the characters, and makes them less interesting for it. It turned Mibu-sempai and the kendo captain into victims, rather than active (and flawed, and human) participants in their own lives and mistakes. People as tools is far less interesting than people as people, and mind control is the very definition of turning people into tools. I’ll be happy if that magic never appears again, though I suspect I won’t get my wish. Mind control sucks.

Here’s another thing: I know some of you had to hold your tongues (thanks, by the way) when I so harshly criticized the “misunderstanding” last episode, but this anime has been so rough that I didn’t even consider there was a good reason for that. I just assumed the story had done something stupid, and I think I was right to assume so. That’s a bad sign if nothing else. It hasn’t earned the benefit of the doubt.

Shipping Mibu x Kirihara & Tatsuya’s Sense of Humor

My favorite part of this episode was, surprisingly, not the action. It was when Erika was teasing Mibu x Kirihara, and we got another glimpse into Tatsuya’s twisted sense of humor. First of all, Erika – I love her for her teasing! She’s so much fun, and so much less serious than most of the characters, so I find myself enjoying her (and Leo, and I assume Mayumi, once she actually shows some of her character) more than the others. Plus she was doing exactly what I wanted to do, poking fun at the budding couple and getting them to blush! I can see what some of you LN readers have said, that the interaction between the characters can be quite good, we just haven’t gotten much of it. Which is a shame because there are entire series (slice-of-life) that are all character interactions like these, so I feel like they could have done well by taking more time to show us those. A short-sighted decision, if you ask me.

As for Tatsuya’s sense of humor, we really saw it twice, but the funniest was when he was confirming Kirihara’s feelings for Mibu. It really was obvious, after Kirihara got so angry about the Blanche leader tricking Mibu, but the way Tatsuya calmly talked about Kirihara’s “gallant figure” and how he “knew he had not chance against him as a man” was so hilarious! It’s fun to see Tatsuya’s twisted way of playing with people, it just takes development to give us the time to realize what he’s doing. They’re there now, at least for me, so I hope they’ll give us more of that and less sprinting-through-the-plot.

Looking Ahead – So I Guess He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Next time is a new arc (finally), and apparently it will involve this Ichijou Masaki (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) kid who’s such a big deal. (I assume. He was in the OP facing off against Tatsuya, after all.) (Ohandalso, scary bishie alert.) Hopefully they’ll take their time and do a good four episodes (at least) per LN volume from here on out, and then maybe this next arc will go over more smoothly. I can only hope.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Lots of cool action, though the moral implications (I know, I know, I’m a giant nerd) are worrying. Also, scary bishie alert! #mahouka 07

Random thoughts:

  • A lesson for all the villains of the world: If a badass calmly walks into the room with you and a bunch of your heavily armed friends, they’re probably badasses. They’re either that or totally insane, but it’s not often you get lucky enough to get this guy.
  • Run after the bad guy or something Tatsuya, damn. At least pretend this is important.
  • If it’s not a spoiler, anyone care to explain how antinite could only be produced by ancient civilizations? Or more correctly, how ancient we’re talking. If it’s pre-WWIII, okay, but lost technology (trope!) is yet another trope I’m not fond of, so trying to decide how I feel about this one.
  • “It’s alright.” The fuck is alright, Tatsuya? Explain yourself dammit!
  • 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: Personifying your muse; This doesn’t belong; Your muse is a lie; and Write by outline.

Full-length images: 04, 22.

 

Preview

May 17, 2014 at 11:15 pm
177 comments »
  • May 17, 2014 at 11:21 pmUngas123

    • May 17, 2014 at 11:56 pmmillie10468

      And it doesn’t help that George looks like a twink. What’s up with Madhouse and the gay overtones it inserts in certain situations that absolutely don’t call for it?

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:13 amPancakes

      Regarding the preview, the next antagonist’s name is now Suzaku. Doesn’t matter what his real name is, it is now Suzaku. Period. :P

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:29 amlol

      the thing that boggles me during that scene is what the hell is he shooting at with all that blood
      (I’m assuming it’s blood) all over the place?

    • May 18, 2014 at 2:09 amKazakiri

      They honestly overdid it with that scene; some people think they did that to put emphasis on his nickname. Can’t have been the magics he used in the novels though. Aside from that, if he was shooting something, it wouldn’t have been people/livestock obviously. Balloons with ketchup maybe?

    • May 18, 2014 at 7:11 amechykr

      Suzaku is that you?

      Not to mention the pathetic terrorist leader earlier performing his Geass-wannabe trick, only for Tatsuya to quickly dispel his cheap imitation. LOL

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:34 pm9TTH

    A Few Things

    From LN:
    Antinite is a resoruce from high peak area or moutains. probably rare ore.

    Regarding Mind Control. It’s one of sub-field of Mental Interference magic.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:20 amPancakes

      Found it funny that the Blanche leader was supposedly funded by a Belarusian-Ukrainian Union when that part of Europe possesses no high altitude regions. Not really important, but it does make me curious how they would have a significant antinite supply then. Guess the Ukraine in this world chooses to hold onto its strategic weapons it acquires dubiously rather than give them up during trilateral conferences.

      • May 18, 2014 at 12:26 ammillie10468

        Their sponsor was also the Great Asian Alliance, remember? The Belarusian-Ukrainian Union might have funded it, but the antinite could have also originated from the high altitude areas of Asia.

      • May 18, 2014 at 12:36 amPancakes

        Great Asian Alliance as well? Damn must have forgotten that part then, only remembered the B-U Union. Either way thanks for the mental refresher, although the comment regarding strategic weapons still applies :P

      • May 18, 2014 at 1:09 amMentar

        The Ukraine harbors some of the most extensive mining operations in the whole world. Look up Donezk!

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:34 pmChaos Lucifer

    I totally agree with that it definitely felt weird. Ichijou Masaki (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) and that red eye guy seem to be really close to the point where they enter the shower???

    What with the red blood everywhere? What was he killing?

    • May 17, 2014 at 11:38 pmChaos Lucifer

      Could be great if someone was able to make out that scene and explain what that red blood is all about. There was no body on the floor, just a bloody red room that was empty?

      Yea definitely hope the story comes along better from now on.

    • May 17, 2014 at 11:43 pmUngas123

      Guess what? He’s called “Crimson Prince” for a reason. It MIGHT be blood.

      Description of Masaki’s magic:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 18, 2014 at 12:08 amChaos Lucifer

        Thanks for the explanation. I definitely understand it was blood.

        Now if there was blood, where are the bodies? lol. That’s what I was wondering. They can’t be throwing bags of blood at him now can they? Maybe they can? If answer is a spoiler please place it in spoiler. I don’t mind spoiler but best not anger others.

        Good guy –> probably throw bags of blood for him?
        Bad guy –> throw human body for him to attack and kill?

        After the bloodbath he smile happy?

      • May 18, 2014 at 12:18 amSK

        That Ichijou scene was entirely anime-original (possibly in the manga, but definitely not in the LN), so what that red stuff actually was is unknown.

      • May 18, 2014 at 2:14 amKazakiri

        Funny how if he used that magic the blood wouldn’t have splattered that way I think…

    • May 17, 2014 at 11:56 pmChaos Lucifer

      Yes, for better action scene. Story wise, still room for improvement. Mind Control thing definitely felt like it was thrown in there out of nowhere to try to justify the poor character development of Mibu. Felt like this arc was totally thrown together without organization. Just went through the novel for this arc. Was pretty much the same – Disorganized.

      The descent of the “Ice Queen”. All hail the Ice Queen :) She just froze everything what I expected!

      Jyumonji is just a walking invincible shield? Too anticlimactic. Was hoping for cooler action.

      Kirihara short sword fight did seem cool though. His anger is not well justify or felt too sudden. Esp. his quick adaption of fighting with Mibu and now loving Mibu.

      Still felt the bantering between friends the most enjoyable moment.

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:36 pmUngas123

    “It’s alright.” The fuck is alright, Tatsuya? Explain yourself dammit!

    When Tatsuya said “it was alright”, he meant that Miyuki didn’t overkilled those guys from Blanche by using her Niffleheim magic. As you can see those guys, when they were brought out by stretcher, have severe case of frostbite all over their bodies. If and if Miyuki almost killed those guys, Tatsuya can simply Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 17, 2014 at 11:46 pmTrineth

      More than that, if you notice about 10 minutes in after they handle the Blanche leader, Tatsuya uses magic to do “something.” I think he purposely canceled her magic early (or something) so that no one died from it.

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:02 amStilts

      Aye, I know what they were implying when they brought the dude out on the stretcher, but them nodding to each other and speaking cryptically instead of saying what they damn well meant annoyed me. I don’t like it when shows over-explain things, but that seemed too coy by far.

      Good point on Tatsuya doing something though. I do remember there was a bit like that, I just forgot about it shortly thereafter because no explanations were made.

      • May 18, 2014 at 12:15 amChaos Lucifer

        There was definitely the part where he was staring at the doorway toward where he came in from and left Miyuki (It is the part slightly after Kirihara dealt with the Blanche leader in case anyone want to go back and watch that scene and catch that cryptical sign). That’s probably another cryptical sign some might have missed out on and relate to what you guys are talking about.

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:49 pmpredatorvmt

    “If we’re going for a bloody dark action-fantasy, why the funny-funny high school setting? It clashes”

    I was laughing hard at this while i was thinking:
    “Why are you going to war but using innocent children? It clashes.”

    I personally don’t think it contradict itself or anything, IF you think the school as … you know, school…. for super soldiers. (We do call some training facilities as school in real life.)

    Your moral questioning thingy is what i like about Mahouka. It doesn’t lie to you about the world where: you defeats and spare your enemies, they will become your friends.

    For Kirihara, he still is an innocent boy as he supposes to be and restrains himself to not kill that dude outright. IF it is Tatsuya or Miyuki,…
    things would be more simple: enemies=> eliminate.

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:11 amStilts

      The high school thing is…well, I feel like a lot of anime try to shoehorn in a high school setting for reasons I don’t entirely understand. (Or rather, I understand the cultural reasons, but they’re silly to me and often deleterious to the story.) This feels like another one to me.

      • May 18, 2014 at 12:36 amzztop

        @Stilts: I hear the highschool setting is also meant to appeal to 18-34 yr old otaku, to exploit their nostalgia for high school settings.

      • May 18, 2014 at 5:31 amLucarion

        Think of it as a way of deceiving people, Stilts. ^_^ You think it’s going to be about a bunch of kids in a magic high school…Nothing too special. We’ve seen it before and the MC is ridiculously OP, how the hell is that interesting? What’s makes it so different? Mahouka felt like magitek Harry Potter…

        …until it suddenly turned into magitek Game of Thrones and started blowing people away.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 18, 2014 at 8:30 amReverseTales

        That’s exactly why it’s so much more addictive than something like Harry Potter. If you take away the magic and fantasy, HP just becomes another drama.

        On the other hand, Mahouka’s high school setting really grows on you, since the students can pretty much decide the fate of the world… not because they’re generic OP characters (though they are OP, especially Tatsuya), but because they have ties to very, very, scary groups who operate in the background.

        That one time the Yotsuba clan was legitimately pissed off…

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:49 pmzztop

    Do they call Masaki the Crimson Prince for his red uniform, or the suspiciously large bloodbath?

    • May 17, 2014 at 11:55 pmmillie10468

      It’s in relation to his magic powers. Be careful not too get too spoiled :)

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:53 pmmillie10468

    This is the problem with not knowing which details are the most important in adaptations. Had they spent a little bit of time explaining the 10 Master Clans, you wouldn’t be confused about the vigilante themes in this episode, I think.

    In a nutshell, the Magicians that are produced in Japan allow Japan to compete on an international level with other countries while preventing them from being annexed into another country, in this case, the Great Asian Alliance mentioned in this episode. The government makes use of the “weapons” and “tools” they have, the magicians. In exchange, the top magician clans are given lots of privilege and influence. However, they can’t hold political office and the jobs they’re allowed to take are limited. Since the magician population is very small, the national army is still largely nonmagician. However, in areas of magic, the 10MC undoubtedly have the jurisdiction to act over any national agencies. This is a magic high school in a post WW3 era where Japan is in the midst of a magician cold war. Kirihara and Miyuki might have gone too far but the group’s taking down of terrorists was justified (whether or not it was right is debatable) because they had Katsuto and Mayumi, direct descendants of two of the Master Clans, approve their actions.

    Since this terrorism took place in a magic school, Juumonji and Saegusa had the power to take any action they deemed appropriate. This is to show how heavy and pervasive the influence of the 10MC is because under normal (even in Mahoukaverse)circumstances, they would have definitely gotten into trouble. Just look at the 10MC as a get-out-of-jail free card in these situations that involve members and especially heirs of the clans.

    I’m not saying they were right to go in with guns ablazing. Mayumi did say something about leaving it to the authorities. For his own reasons, Tatsuya is the one who decided to go in. Juumonji also realized that other things would be settled if they handled it themselves (like the school’s accountability) and decided to cover Tatsuya both combat-wise and in the aftermath. Put simply, the government wasn’t made aware of pertinent information, such as where the terrorists were holed up. They only knew that after the situation had been handled. Yes, it might be the government’s fault for giving the 10MC so much power that having descendants of just 2 of them in a school would merit this whole incident swept under the rugs but the benefits they get from the magicians is way more than just allowing them to act in ways they deem appropriate. Plus, the government itself is not prepared to publicize anti-magician sentiments so the 10MC taking care of it for them would have been very welcome.

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:14 amStilts

      That makes sense, and yes, had they explained that I wouldn’t have had as many qualms. It’s still unsettling, but it’s unsettling in the way a twisted system is rather than a totally broken one…mostly.

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:14 ammillie10468

      @ Stilts

      There was quite a bit of important info dropped in this episode and I’m wondering if you saw them.
      Like how Tatsuya is acquainted with a Major Kazama, and how he’s Miyuki’s guardian which explains what he’s doing in high school when he could probably skip it.

      They also introduced Yotsuba Maya properly and I’m also wondering what you thought of her.

      Btw, thanks for another interesting review, as always :)

      • May 18, 2014 at 12:53 amStilts

        It was all foreshadowing for stuff I’m not well-equipped enough to guess further at, so I just filed it away for later. No real feelings now, save that the guardian thing was mildly interesting.

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:28 amSK

      Another thing not mentioned is that among the 10MC, the two most powerful/influential are the Yotsuba and Saegusa, with Juumonji in 3rd, so even within the 10MC they had the backing of 2 of the top 3 clans.

      • May 18, 2014 at 4:59 amSwarz

        Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 18, 2014 at 5:42 amMistic

      Thank you for the explanation. I knew it a bit better thanks to the manga, but this is gold.

      However, in my opinion it puts another nail on the coffin of the “goodness of meritocracy” that Mahouka has tried so hard to sell, since high schoolers related to the big clans can go vigilante with no fear of retribution.

      • May 21, 2014 at 4:12 amLucarion

        It’s not trying to sell anything. Plus, this world is an actual meritocracy(or at least close to it) rather than the false one we set up for ourselves in the real world.

        Take Mibu for example: she’s the daughter of a high-ranking military officer. But her connections got her squat, and she still got sorted into the Weed section. In the real world, Mibu might have been sorted into the Bloom section despite her magical incompetence.

        Plus, the system they have right now makes sense once you realize what we have here is a world at war. I won’t spoil anything, but for just let me off with saying the schools are under some tremendous pressure to produce magicians because everyone’s lives depended on it.

  • May 17, 2014 at 11:53 pmweird.d

    LOL at the Blanche leader attempting to pull a Lelouch and fail. I could almost imagine the Black Prince appearing on the scene to show him how it’s done (“Die.” “YES YOUR HIGHNESS!!” *boom – headshot*)
    BTW, the new guy looks a bit like Suzaku… minus the moronic idealism.

    • May 18, 2014 at 4:06 amGermanguy

      and a bit fan service for the girls… and gals…

  • May 18, 2014 at 12:06 amcclragnarok

    >> It’s A Vigilante’s World

    The world in Mahouka just went through a 20-year long world war III, and it’s still not that peaceful. It’s also a world in which around half of the Japanese magicians become soldiers (and the rest become policemen, magic engineers, etc). The mentality of the average magician is rather abnormal by our standards. In Japan, this is especially true for people in the powerful clans.

    The Ten Master Clans are basically allowed to (secretly) hunt down magic-related criminals without getting into trouble with the law. In this case, Juumonji and his family used their influence to cover up the incident.

    >> “It’s alright.” The fuck is alright, Tatsuya? Explain yourself dammit!

    This is a bit different from what’s in the LN, but it’s a change that makes a decent amount of sense. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make sense yet if you are not a LN reader. You’ll see what he did there when you get to episode 24 or so….

  • May 18, 2014 at 12:08 amPancakes

    Finally this arc is over, maybe now we can move on and see what the LN readers are finding good in Mahouka because so far it’s been a clusterf*ck. No need to tread over the criticism repeated in the earlier discussions as it all features heavily here again, but one humorous point is the “finale”. It seems out of place to me that a bunch of school kids can randomly pack up into a Hummer, drive off to a warehouse, dispense justice, and just return to normal afterwards–all within the span of a single episode mind you. No buildup, little explanation, and even fewer answers. I get the feeling Madhouse is doing what they can, but these last few episodes were bad compared to the earlier ones. The issue is only compounded by the fact it took seven episodes just to get to the fight with a villain who barely even registers as a character enough to be labelled flat.

    Going to keep an open mind going into the next arc, however; (numerous) flaws aside as long as Mahouka sticks with the school setting it isn’t bad. Not to mention I’m curious to see the reveals our LN readers have been trying to keep quiet about every week.

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:17 ampyckles

      Trust me it’s been a slog for the LN readers as well, this is easily the weakest arc of the series. The writing isn’t the best in addition to madhouse dropping a few balls. Hopefully you find the rest of the series more enjoyable.

  • May 18, 2014 at 12:27 amUngas123

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2020.jpg

    Remember what she said?

    @00:13:15

    Location: Yotsuba House

    Beautiful Lady: All he did was fulfill his role as her guardian, eh?

    Mr. Hayama (the old guy): Do you think it would be wise to leave things as they are?

    Beautiful Lady: I’m fine with it. As long as he’s Miyuki’s guardian, he can’t possibly betray the Yotsuba family, after all.

    What is Tatsuya and Miyuki’s connection to the old man, Hayama and the other person?
    According to the beautiful lady, Miyuki has definite connections to the Yotsuba Family while Tatsuya appears to be her guardian.

    What is a Guardian, then? What does Tatsuya exactly does?
    It implies an important role to the Yotsuba Family. Something like taking care of the person they’re guarding… Hmm…

    I know the answer to the questions btw…

    • May 18, 2014 at 12:56 amzztop

      So who is teacup lady?

      And what hold do the Yotsuba have over Tatsuya that he would be unable to betray them?
      The mystery thickens… :)

  • May 18, 2014 at 1:00 amgandalf8

    On Sayaka and Kinoe’s behaviour under mind control, its not like their actions were completely controlled by that Blache guy, but more like his magic influenced and manipulated both their complexes on their inferior magic power to twisted them into believing what they are doing is the right way towards their dreams of ‘equality’. So the mind control did not make them into lesser characters IMO.

    On Tatsuya and co’s rather excessive actions in subduing Blanche, you really need to understand what role magicians play in their society. Magic is mainly used in a military capacity with most magic techniques developed are for combat capabilities. Thus all the kids in magic schools are to a certain degree not your typical high school kids, more so heirs from the 10 Master Clans like Mayumi and Jyumonji who should be well versed in the dark side of the world of magic. On why Tatsuya and Miyuki seem oddly competent and ruthless, just keep that fact in mind for all non-LN readers as the series goes on for there is actually a very good reason for that.

    Also, glad you’re starting to warm up to Tatsuya a bit more now, Stilts. Despite his expressionless exterior and lack of emotion most times, he really does have a rather cutting and twisted sense of humour, which when he utters all those ‘jokes’ with his ultra deadpan face, I just really enjoy those scenes. For all those who still deride him as too one dimensional, I just want to stress that there is a very important reason why he’s the way he is, which hopefully the anime gets it right.

    Mayumi is also one of my favourite females in the cast with Erika, although the anime has left out some of the small moments from the LN that glimpsed the true charm of her character. The next arc though should remedy that as she gets a bigger role in the story. Also can’t wait for ‘that’ scene that finally exposes the connection btwn Mari and Erika.

    The next arc is probably my favorite arc yet, when Tatsuya finally gets to show the world what he’s really made off (well, not really ‘all’ of him) and completely destroy all the Bloom’s petty pride. Just hope Madhouse doesn’t screw this up.

    • May 18, 2014 at 9:47 amReverseTales

      hahaha

      Show Spoiler ▼

      But seriously, why is George a midget? And did the anime decide to turn the Crimson Prince (a respected warrior feared on the battlefield by his enemies) into a murderer? What happened!?

      • May 18, 2014 at 4:44 pmSK

        IIRC, The LN describes George as well-built but not tall, though I didn’t picture him being that short. Ichijou and Tatsuya are supposed to be tall and roughly the same height, so compared to them I suppose he could look like a midget.

    • May 18, 2014 at 3:35 pmStilts

      @gandalf8

      We’ll have to disagree on that mind control bit. When a character cannot even be said to be in control of their own actions, their agency is gone, and they’re turned into tools. Is there much difference between directly controlling someone’s mind or manipulating all the information around them until they make the decisions you desire? Functionally no, but at least the latter involves decisions. The former cheapens those decisions to me, and I will always despise it as a mechanic.

      And others explained the magician’s role in their society above, but since the anime never told us about that, it’s another strike against it I’m afraid.

    • May 18, 2014 at 8:53 pmdaikama

      @gandalf8: So the mind control did not make them into lesser characters IMO.

      I agree. Mind control as a plot device can be tricky as a plot device. You can’t use it wholesale and it’s easy to abuse. In this case, never had an issue with it. I see Mibu as a victim. So what matters to me is how she acts POST mind control.

      Mayumi is also one of my favourite females in the cast with Erika…

      Same here :D. I seriously hope a lot of Mayumi’s banter next arc is left intact.

      ————————————-

      @Stilts:

      Yeah, this might be an “agree to disagree” topic in this case. I get your point about turning characters into tools (in this case a side & minor character specifically), but that’s the story here. They are turned into tools, viewed as tools, and used as tools towards a failed objective. Does not make it right, but certainly realistic IMO given that we are in world with magic – specifically mind control magic.

      To be honest, given the MKnR setting, I find it highly realistic that mind control magic would be used and abused to some extent. This isn’t Dog Days where every one wants to be friends. I can think of numerous examples in RL where mind control abuse would easily, if not decidedly, occur: Politics, finance/business, military (including espionage for all three), crime (why bother with a “pyramid scheme”?), relationships – you name it.

      Amoral/unscrupulous? Sure, but when has that prevented some from committing such acts throughout history? For me, that type of realism has net positive value in such settings as long as the plot device is reasonably kept in check (KEY and YMMV with “reasonably”). I do think that mind control (magic or otherwise) can be easily abused with as a plot device. For bettor or worse, it is pretty common – MKnR is not the only anime this season where that plot device is used. Toaru Index has a level 5 esper that performs mind control on a daily basis.

      As for “cheapening” decisions, definitely in some cases. For example: mind control -> jump on the hand grenade vs. volunteering to do so. Mind control relationships are another example IMO. Still, depends upon the situation. For example, if A, under mind control (or by illusion) mistakenly kills best buddy/family member/etc. B and the story is about A seeking revenge and redemption, it’s not a big deal since what matters is how A acts post mind control/illusion. JMO of course.

      Not sure if it matters to you, but the anime didn’t convey the situation well. It wasn’t “robot” mind control as others have noted. You might recall that last episode, Mibu even starts to question her actions in the library (“WTF am I doing?”). A lot of what Mibu said and thought (e.g. her misunderstanding with Mari, et. al.) were genuine to her.

      TBH, I’m not sure why Mibu as victim makes her character worse. Plenty of victims in RL throughout history. Again, something that shouldn’t be used recklessly and/or wholesale, but TBH, I found myself liking Mibu more for it. JMO and, I suspect an “agree to disagree” situation.

      …since the anime never told us about that, it’s another strike against it I’m afraid.

      Agree. Lack of exposition is starting to affect things (BTW, I agree with you that Tatsuya’s “It’s alright” was far too covert). Question now is, if and to what extent, that continues as the first arc has ended.

      • May 19, 2014 at 9:54 amStilts

        Yes, the mind control aspect could have been done worse – it was used to manipulate details in order to trick people into doing what the caster wanted rather than straight out taking control of their limbs and moving them like a robot, which would have been horrible. And yet I still find myself wishing they had done the hard work of convincing them naturally rather than rooting around in their mind.

        The problem to me is that if someone manipulates the information around you and uses a silver tongue to convince you, you’re still guilty of being tricked. It feels like there is still a way out there, and the fact that the character didn’t find (or perhaps even search for) it is indicative of something about that. With mind control, there’s nothing of that sort. It’s completely out of their control, not their fault. That’s what cheapens the characters to me.

        But yeah, agree to disagree I suppose.

        P.S. I’m sure mind control would be used IRL if it was available, but that doesn’t make it interesting. Fighter jets are far less interesting than the old dogfighting planes, but that didn’t stop us from replacing those suckers and missiling each other to death from afar.

    • May 18, 2014 at 9:59 pmgandalf8

      Sorry for repeating about the magicians. Took way too long to compose my comment and when I finally pressed submit there were all these new comments.

      I’m still sticking to my guns on the mind control aspect though. In my opinion the mind control mechanics were implemented very well here, although I do have to admit that the anime didn’t quite manage to portray it as good as in the LN. All of Sayaka’s convictions, feelings and reasonings were still genuinely hers, the mind control just influenced them slightly to fulfill the Blanche leaders evil schemes. Same with Kinoe.

      On the anime leaving out a lot of things to the detriment of the story, I whole heartedly agree with you there. When the announcement first came out for the anime, I was one of the LN fans who were both overjoyed at seeing it animated yet felt a sense of dread wondering if they could do the story justice. Based on these first 7 episodes I’d say that my worse fears came true, with the anime trying to cram too much story into too few EPs. Yet again another case of a LN-based anime whose main objective is just to help sell the novels instead off an alternative medium to experience the whole story. That’s why whenever I see a non-LN fans frustrations or confusion in these comments, I just feel really sad inside.

  • May 18, 2014 at 1:04 amMentar

    Hi Stilts!

    Some additions/explanations to your comments:

    1) In this world setting, there are ten Master Clans (the “Numbers”), who have major influence over how the country is run. Their names: “Ichijou”, “Futatsugi”, “Mitsuya”, “Yotsuba”, “Itsuwa”, “Mutsudzuka”, “Saegusa”, “Yatsushiro”, “Kudou”, and “Juumonji”. You may recognize some names, especially one who was shown for the first time. You might want to revisit the scene where new characters were introduced, it is highly important.

    Juumonji pulled the strings to cover-up the assault, since he didn’t want the regular police used.

    2) Get used to having “bad writing” turning out to be the logical result of something else you weren’t aware of beforehand. I can only suggest to keep an open mind. It will happen again.

    3) You are _supposed_ to feel “uh oh” when Miyuki shockfrosted the rest. The novel makes it clear that all terrorists survive without permanent damage, and that Miyuki was still depressed about herself for a long time, but YES, it’s the point: She is NOT all sugar and spice and everything nice. Which is a good thing in my opinion. Tatsuya’s “It’s alright” is him comforting her and indirectly reassuring her that she didn’t kill anyone.

    4) I do SO agree with you that the Erika teasing was the highlight of the episode. It is exactly this lighthearted banter (usually delivered by Mayumi) that gets regularly cut, to the detriment of the show. Which is why I’d generally recommend to read up at least on the manga to fill in the blanks. Lots of gold is buried there.

    • May 18, 2014 at 10:25 amerohakase

      It’s sad how people find that point 4 is the most interesting part of the episode when they’ve been consistently cutting EVERY other scene like this. It really does feel like they’re trying to push this as an action series where as the novels feel way more like a Drama or whatever you want to call it. If they wanted to have done this arc(and the series in general because I doubt things are going to get less cutty from here on) properly they shouldn’t have cut out so much of the good stuff while adding Kirihara shit(not that I hate the guy but he has like a smaller focus than Tatsuya’s boots).

      I somewhat feel like re-reading the novels and see just how badly they fucked up now that I can look back. Regarding the 9SC arc I worry quite a bit since they somehow managed to have Enrollment take 7 episodes while cutting out everything good and Nine Schools is around 50% thicker in text. I suppose it does have it’s fair share of action scenes that would help but please dear god don’t butcher the interactions even more.

      To think the difference between this and NGNL adaption is this huge with the same studio behind it. Although to be fair NGNL is a bit more anime friendly but I wouldn’t really complain if the only thing they cut out were the thoughts in Mahouka.

    • May 18, 2014 at 1:49 pmcclragnarok

      >> Tatsuya’s “It’s alright” is him comforting her and indirectly reassuring her that she didn’t kill anyone.

      In the LN, Miyuki didn’t kill anyone because she got lucky. She still felt bad about it since she could have killed some of them.

      I think the anime changed this. To explain this would involve some spoilers:

      Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 19, 2014 at 10:00 amStilts

      2) Get used to having “bad writing” turning out to be the logical result of something else you weren’t aware of beforehand. I can only suggest to keep an open mind. It will happen again.

      No quotation marks are required. If we’re not aware of it beforehand and aren’t given a reason to think it exists – and that was the case here, because at least in the anime we were given no indication that mind control magic exists – then it’s still bad writing. It’s an asspull (trope!), and that’s bad writing.

      If mind control magic was mentioned before those scenes in the LN though, then it’s just bad translation. Something was fucked up though, that’s for sure.

      • May 19, 2014 at 12:04 pmSK

        The LN mentions during club recruitment week that Azusa has a unique mental interference magic that can put a group of people into a trance-like state, useful for calming down a mob if things got out of hand. So the unfortunate result of cutting dialogue is loss of foreshadowing and apparent ass-pull. I’ve noticed other bits of foreshadowing that have changed slightly or been removed as well, though some of those deal with things that come up in arcs that won’t be covered.

      • May 19, 2014 at 6:22 pmMentar

        Stilts: I see your point and agree with it to a degree. However, it is not necessarily bad writing when viewers are picking up on something which “doesn’t seem to fit”, which is then going to be explained subsequently. This is when the oblivious/impatient reader is quick to blame “bad writing” instead of shelving the thought, registering it as ‘weird’ and withholding judgment for the time being. Now this isn’t really aimed at you, but there are several highly critical blogs who throw allegations of “bad writing” around like candy on a parade, only to run into a logical explanation soon thereafter. Which of course doesn’t cause them to be a bit more careful in the future, nooooo… they simply ignore it and continue with even more vitriol ;)

  • May 18, 2014 at 1:35 amZero

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 18, 2014 at 1:49 amGinobi47

      As a fan that has no knowledge of the the LN, I ask that you expound your statement.

      • May 18, 2014 at 2:16 amKazakiri

        It’s a play on words and numbers..

      • May 18, 2014 at 7:41 amkratos

        the number Four can be pronounced Yon as well as Shi. The latter is just rarely used because it also means death.

    • May 18, 2014 at 4:30 amUngas123

      The problem with your statement is that:
      Yotsuba is written as Four and Leaf while Shiba is written as Chief and Leaf.

      The only same thing they have is the kanji for Ba which is both Leaf if you noticed.

      • May 18, 2014 at 8:10 amkarice

        Actually, the “ba” in Shiba means “waves”. And it doesn’t matter at all that the characters are different. If the characters were the same, then everyone would know that they are Yotsuba, which is obviously something that the family is trying to hide for whatever reason…

    • May 18, 2014 at 7:35 amKazakiri

      Spoiler for the link between Shiba and Yotsuba

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 18, 2014 at 1:40 amCrook

    Tatsuya ends one scene by ‘shooting at the camera’ when there’s nobody left around. What did he do there? Cancel Miyuki’s magic like somebody said in the comments? Or am I spoiling myself asking for the answer?

  • May 18, 2014 at 1:45 amzztop

    What was the mystery behind the big chested school counselor?
    I don’t think they ever explained how she knew the terrorist placement during the school invasion.

    • May 18, 2014 at 1:59 amSK

      That’s not supposed to be explained yet, but if you’re curious: (not a huge spoiler)
      Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 18, 2014 at 4:12 pmPtolemaios00

      Here’s a hint: she already reveals she knows Tatsuya is a disciple of Kokonoe-monk-ninja-master

      Connect the dots yourself.

  • May 18, 2014 at 2:15 amAiko

    Stilts, regarding your concern about the high school setting and how it feels misplaced admist the violence. From my understanding, and I might be wrong as it was only touched upon at the beginning, but the school/academy they attend is preparing them for the military? In this case, I’m willing to overlook their willingness to conduct violence willingly given their prospective vocation.

    • May 18, 2014 at 2:17 amAiko

      Reading my last sentence back amused me. Willing, willingness and willingly, all in one sentence. Wow, Aiko… :p

    • May 18, 2014 at 2:41 amKazakiri

      There are 2 options for graduates of a magic high school

      1. National Magic University – each of the Magic high schools(There are 9) are associated with it. It provide access to some of it’s classified data, to high schools they’re associated with, hence the attack on 1st high. National Magic University trains young Magicians who want to become a Magician or a Magic Artificer. Although usually requires a Magic High school diploma to attend, those who have their names in the Index or have given a significant contribution to the magical community can be granted access to the University without the need for high school.

      2. University of National Defense – is the University dedicated towards military career. A lot of future military magicians are entering it.

      Index will be explained in the next arc(No, not that index)

      • May 18, 2014 at 9:31 amAiko

        Thanks for the explanation, makes a lot more sense. I do recall Tatsuya mentioning his desire to access classified data and that his aspired vocation would be an engineer of sorts. I made the assumption that he’d still serve the military, just not on the front lines.

  • May 18, 2014 at 3:50 amVincent

    I too feel that the high school setting feels a little mismatched. Perhaps a darker general setting (ala Psycho Pass) would suit my taste better. But like many other commenters have pointed out, this is more like a military training academy than the present day high school that we associate with so I can go with that logic for now.

  • May 18, 2014 at 4:04 amGermanguy

    When Miyuki was casting her Ice wide area spell, she was intension to kill.
    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2010.jpg

    Thats explain her reaction after it was done. And when it was all over, outside, when she was talking to his brother. looks like his Brother jammed a bit her casting somehow, so that she dont killed them…

    That would explain her “arrigato, oni-sama”. She dont killed anyone

    Looks liek both are ex-war veterans that only “draw their sword to kill!”. But looks like Oni-sama saved her form kill others

    • May 18, 2014 at 4:08 amGermanguy

      and, after they finished the “leader”, he used his “Ping” spell, and found someone interesting. Why would he raise his gun into the shadows? Perhaps will will see this gap, in a flashback someday

    • May 18, 2014 at 11:15 amMentar

      Naaah. Remember what she said? “Pray. Pray that you retain your pitiful lives!”

      If it was her intention to kill, she wouldn’t say that. Unless she was a total sadist, but those don’t have a conscience. She wanted to punish and scare.

      • May 18, 2014 at 4:47 pmDrock

        I think it was more of a “pray that you keep your lives”, because she didn’t really have such fine control over her power. That’s why she was distressed. She thought she had killed them.

      • May 18, 2014 at 5:36 pmKazakiri

        @Drock she does have that fine control, they’d be dead if she didn’t as Nifleheim has multiple applications/effects. It’s just incoming Major spoiler

        Show Spoiler ▼

        She was just worried because, well you know how she is when she loses her temper… But you probably already knew that.

        @Mentar was/is right

        “Pray. Pray that you will retain your pitiful lives.”

        is how it is written in the translation

    • May 18, 2014 at 4:24 pmPtolemaios00

      Hnnnnnnnngh….spoilers. There’s actually soooo much innuendo/foreshadowing packed in that one scene that I didn’t even notice it in the LN until it was now animated.

      SUPER SPOILERS below:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 20, 2014 at 10:19 amRava

        That last spoiler’s incorrect.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Show Spoiler ▼

        theory then that scenario falls apart completely.

  • May 18, 2014 at 4:17 amMakise Kuristina

    • May 18, 2014 at 4:22 amKazakiri

      A bit different since, lelouch is at most average when it comes to physical ability…

      • May 18, 2014 at 4:34 amUngas123

        He also sometimes uses his emotions to cloud his judgement. Example: The marriage of the Loli Chinese Princess and her Lolicon Royal Guard.

        On the other hand, Tatsuya will never use his emotions to cloud his judgement.

      • May 18, 2014 at 5:35 amMgMaster

        ^Which is why he’s starting to bore me…

      • May 18, 2014 at 6:07 amCybersteel

        You forget, fabulous hand gestures.

      • May 18, 2014 at 9:06 amLitho

        Only fabulous is you’re Italian. To everyone else, it’s just queer.

      • May 18, 2014 at 10:16 amPeTdo

        no you are wrong , lelouch isn’t average physically , he sucks but doesn’t matter he rock doing it while susaku is a dumb shit

      • May 18, 2014 at 4:26 pmZen

        Tatsuya lacks Lelouch’s flamboyant poise and hypnotic charisma…

  • May 18, 2014 at 5:08 amWanderer

    This show is reaching the point where the omitted narration, internal dialogues, and any other sources of explanations from the novels that aren’t in the anime are starting to have a significant impact that is noticible even to anime-only viewers. Why could these kids mete out justice like they owned the country? How did Tatsuya dismantle the enemy weapons? How did he completely shrug off the antinite Cast-Jamming and use magic anyway? Did he do something to save the men that Miyuki nearly killed? And probably several other things that have slipped my mind since I watched the episode.

    This series looks pretty, but there is the inescapable feeling that we are missing 90% of the information that we are supposed to have by this point.

  • May 18, 2014 at 5:13 amleatherhead333

    Hypnosis? Bleh………..don’t know how i feel about that. It explains Mibu’s misunderstanding sure but it also makes me wonder why the guy would choose her of all people. She didn’t have any real connection to Tatsuya until recently. Surely there could have been someone closer for him to try his little trick on. And it’s really unclear exactly when he used it on her. We are never shown her meeting him at any point so it’s a rather jarring revelation. It’s just WAY to convoluted. He would have to somehow foresee that Tatsuya would find out where he was located and would have the drive to go after him himself to lure him there. Which would also mean he would have to predict that the terrorist attack on the school would fail as well. In a way him being able to look into the future would make more sense than him being able to hypnotize people lol :<

    Unless it was all just a big coincidence (which would be silly imo) I think there is way to much missing here. I agree with Stills about how using mind control cheapens the characterizations of people we thought were making their own decisions.

    Also if magicians are capable of this wouldn't that be a reason for there to be discrimination of them as far as political positioning goes? I'd certainly be suspicious of people who are able to control minds. Since Tatsuya is the only one who can break this kind of spell easily it makes me wonder just how many people could be under the control of magicians able to use this skill. Hope this is elaborated on later. I know this doesn't effect higher level magicians but it's likely not everyone with power is a magician.

    • May 18, 2014 at 5:47 amMistic

      Good questions. Can someone who has read the light novels explain if mind control is explored further in this arc or in following arcs? If it is, then it would be an interesting plot point and foreshadowing. If it is not, it’s just an excuse to have those who protest against the preceived injustices in the system be just good people who were brainwashed by the evil, evil enemy, cheapening both their character and the manipulators’.

      • May 18, 2014 at 8:55 amdropcmnt

        AFAIK, mind control in Mahouka does not work like manipulation by take over, but rather manipulation by misleading. And in general, all magic that related to mind manipulation is strictly forbidden with a very serious punishment.

        There will be more mind manipulation (and mind control included) in the future arc.

        Oh, and bear in mind, that every magician have ability to resist magic. Even if it is not Tatsuya, that level of mind control shown by the Blance leader would not work against some one with better magic, like say, majority of course 1 student. And if you don’t mind spoiler, Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 18, 2014 at 9:11 amSilentCid

        The case of the Tsukasa Hajime the Blanche leader evil eye ability. It brainwashes the person and they obey the person who cast the spell.

      • May 18, 2014 at 9:12 amTendo1001

        Yes, they do go into a bit more detail about “mind control magic” later on in the series. The kind the blanche leader used is actually not that great compared to other types.

      • May 18, 2014 at 9:23 amReverseTales

        It’s been a long time, but I’ll try my best.

        1. The mind control used by Blanche’s branch leader was just a petty light show. It does have some hypnotic qualities, but neither the spell nor the caster were a big deal in this case.

        2. As for why Mibu and other Course-2′s were targeted, it’s because they had recent experiences which made them susceptible to subtle hypnosis (which is all that spell was capable of). After that, it depended on the caster’s silver tongue (and additional doses of hypnosis) to turn them into his pawns.

        3. My memories are especially unreliable on this part, but I think that Blanche Branch Leader just modified his original plans (of stealing data) to get Tatsuya to join after he found out about pseudo-cast-jamming.

        4. Again, I feel their characters weren’t cheapened because the hypnosis changed an early perspective from which they based their own decisions on. Kinda like, Wimp Lo who was trained [in martial arts] wrong as a joke (who got this contextually inappropriate reference?).

        5. As for the government, this sort of spell is considered dangerous, but it also depends on the caster’s persuasive skill (its effect is very subtle compared to mind control in other anime).

        6. Besides, legit mind control magic as in “Go kill yourself”, “Yessir”, belongs to Outer-Systemic Magic. There’s the common spells used (Systemic Magic – Speed, Weight, etc.), the special ones Tatsuya uses (Non-Systemic) and old-style Ancient Magic (my personal term for this is “deprecated”). Outer-Systemic magic users are rare (not sure if this is correct) and are heavily regulated by the government.

        7. As for discrimination from officials, well… the lucky ones are widely regarded as haters. The others have been dealt with in some way or other. (this is purely my opinion based on how… certain groups work in the backgound)

        8. The whole magic system, political system and magic-political system is why I love Mahouka. The tragic (but funny to imagine) thing is, if they’d tried to explain it in the anime, it’d involve Tatsuya yapping in the middle of an intense fight for an entire episode.

        9. Why did I list my topics like this? No reason, it just felt easier this way.

        10. Corrections welcomed. Just refer to what I got wrong with the topic list number thing.

      • May 18, 2014 at 1:13 pmSK

        #3 isn’t exactly wrong, but the Blanche leader more or less said that even though all of the time, effort, and money he put into his plan was wasted, if he could get Tatsuya(‘s pseudo-cast jamming) to join, that would be enough reward even without the stolen data. He still failed his main objective, but Tatsuya would have been enough of a secondary reward to warrant the plan a success.

      • May 18, 2014 at 4:25 pmZen

        Tatsuya lacks Lelouch’s flamboyant poise and hypnotic charisma…

      • May 18, 2014 at 5:54 pmdaikama

        @ReverseTales: Good job overall IMO. Some comments –

        #1 The capabilities of the Blanche leaders hypnosis isn’t that quite weak. It’s more than just a “petty light show”. Tatsuya makes it that. From the LN: “…removing a small portion of the Activation Sequence is sufficient. Without the hypnotism component, Evil Eye is nothing more than a simple light show.” Also, there is the part right before the Blanche leader realizes his spell failed: “This wasn’t acting any more, he had already become accustomed to giving out orders. Truly, he had already forced many people to obey him.” So IMO, it’s can be pretty effective though definitely not the most powerful type of mind control magic let alone all powerful.

        #2 Agree – derogatory comments towards course 2 students by course 1 students created an opportunity to recruit and then exploit disgruntled course 2 students via Blanche Leader’s “Evil Eye” type magic.

        FYI for non-LN readers: I thought it was mentioned in the anime, but this whole Blanche recruitment process has been going on for some time (months). The Kendo club was the base for recruitment (LN states that it started there) because Kendo Club captain, Tsukasa, is the Blanche leader’s step brother. The whole thing with Tatsuya was something unexpected. Tatsuya shows up during club recruitment week, Tsukasa saw that he had some sort of “Cast Jamming ability”, told big bro, and the Blanche leader added Tatsuya’s recruitment to the list of objectives.

        #3 – Agree with SK below. The original and primary target was the classified magic data. Tatsuya was at first “icing on the cake” and later “consolation prize”.

        #4 – Agree. IMO, what truly matters is what she does AFTER being “cured”.

        #8 – “The whole magic system, political system and magic-political system is why I love Mahouka.
        Yep. Agree 120%. Also agree that it would take another episode or so to flush things out which is why I originally anticipated at least 8 if not 9 episodes for the Enrollment arc (and no anime only moments). As for exposition during fights, some of that can be done outside of fights. Besides, Horizon had a lot of exposition/chatting during fights. So while less than ideal, it can be done – certainly better than what MKnR anime has delivered so far.

  • May 18, 2014 at 6:05 amJayDrink

    Finally, I’ve been waiting for Suzaku to appear ever since I first saw him in the intro.

    • May 18, 2014 at 10:17 amPeTdo

      morale of mahouka “kill susaku before he do stupid thing”

  • May 18, 2014 at 6:06 amMgMaster

    “My favorite part of this episode was,surprisingly, not the action. It was when Erika was teasing Mibu x Kirihara, and we got another glimpse into Tatsuya’s twisted sense of humor.”

    I wouldn’t say it’s surprising at all Stilts :) The animation during the action scenes is good but the action scenes themselves are kind of boring,at least IMO. Especially if compared to another show this season,namely Hitsugi No Chaika‘s,who’s action scenes which have been,IMO,great since the 1st episode.

    - Here you have the 2 main characters steamrolling their opponents with the flick of a hand.
    - There you have the 3 main characters working together & using several tricks(although that fits their rogue personalities I guess and wouldn’t fit Tatsuya & Miyuki’s) in order to defeat their foes,and they still struggle quite a bit.

    Btw,is there a chance that you’ll do a review of Hitsugi No Chaika when the 1st season’s over? I’m assuming you’re watching it since you’re a fantasy fan & all or that you’ll pick it up eventually.

    • May 19, 2014 at 10:10 amStilts

      Ahaha, well it was surprising consider the action was why I picked this series up, and I praised it last episode! But good points, it was a bit steamroll-y (which can be fun, but mostly in the Mondaiji/Kuuhaku way).

      I-I actually haven’t started Hitsugi No Chaika yet >_< I will though! I’ve just been super busy. Been dropping worse shows like mad so I can maybe keep up with my anime for once, lol

      It’s possible though! I’ll see how I feel after I start it, and when the season comes to a close.

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:37 pmJirachier

      I honestly don’t understand why people are complaining about the protagonist and his friends being able to easily overwhelm their opponents and calling this wish fulfillment.
      If you compare the number of protagonists who are strong, strongest and weak at the start of a series it’s so obvious that over 90% of the series out there regardless of the media start off weak, yet when we get an extremely powerful protagonist for once there is this much discontent.

      Is it fun watching a protagonist easily crush his enemies ?
      I am surprised that this is even a question, of course it is, when almost every other series out there has a protagonist who will struggle over and over again in practically every single fight(and in some cases it is in EVERY fight without a single exception), it’s refreshing to see this kind of moments enjoy them. And in other series when the protagonist finally becomes so strong that a group of enemies don’t stand a chance against him the author will just not show him fight people of that skill level at ALL, he’ll move on to stronger opponents and that has always bothered me. I do not see the point in having a very powerful protagonist if we never get a chance to see him overwhelm someone.

      This bit is about Tatsuya defeating the terrorists, I’m just gonna put it between spoilers tags even if it’s not really spoiling anything, just to be safe.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Also about creating an anti-magicians groups to keep them in check, I don’t understand the need. This isn’t a world where if you’re born with magical abilities that automatically makes you a psycho like in Witch Hunter or similar series, your mentality is just like any other human being. If a specific magician does go out of control then other magicians will put a stop to it. Not to mention the fact that it’s impossible to create an anti-magicians group because there is nothing that can stand up to powerful magic except a stronger magic, there is no mysterious magical tools that automatically grants supreme power to non magicians or anything of the sort.

      • May 19, 2014 at 2:20 pmSolace

        @ Jirachier

        It’s not so much wish fulfillment; the proper term here is power fantasy. Most media in fact can be categorized under power fantasy but it all depends on execution. I can only speak for myself in this case, but I feel it’s pretty sloppy writing when the main character is handed their powers on a silver platter and ending their development there. The call to adventure, using Campbell’s words from Monomyth, can totally incorporate this, when the protagonist is entrusted with power to go on their journey. The idea here is that the hero/ine and their powers can develop as they go on about their adventure.

        Yes, it is fun watching the main cast utterly floor someone at first. It can easily devolve into trite entertainment if they keep repeating the same sort of result because you already know that no one afterwards can stand up to them in a fight unless there is some more nuanced writing focusing on their personalities and not so much their powers or fights to make it interesting. Internal conflict, if I may, or even problems larger than the main cast’s sphere of influence. You have so many different themes to play with. Taking some examples of such writing in the form of quotes from other media and real life…

        “With great power comes great responsibility”

        “If you want to make enemies, try to change something”

        “I never asked for this”

        “Absolute power corrupts absolutely”

        “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.”

        “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”

        “A good man fights for himself and his; a great man fights for everyone else.”

        “Human beings are free except when humanity needs them. Maybe humanity needs you. To do something. Maybe humanity needs me—to find out what you’re good for. We might both do despicable things, Ender, but if humankind survives, then we were good tools.”

        “Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two conflicting ideas simultaneously.”

        “We can’t always fight nature, John. We can’t fight change. We can’t fight gravity. We can’t fight nothin’. My whole life, John, all I ever did was fight. But I can’t give up neither. I can’t fight my own nature. That’s the paradox, John. You see?”

        “I’m fighting… in order to regain something. It may sound greedy, but there are a lot of things I destroyed, or cared about but lost… and I’m fighting to get back as many of them as I can.”

        “Do not forgive us for being unable to teach you anything but fighting. Do not forgive our inability to avoid sending you onto the battlefield…I pray that your act of bravery will form the cornerstone of a world where we no longer send such young men and women into battle.”

        Etc., etc.

        Not to mention the fact that it’s impossible to create an anti-magicians group because there is nothing that can stand up to powerful magic except a stronger magic, there is no mysterious magical tools that automatically grants supreme power to non magicians or anything of the sort.

        Was just throwing ideas around. Magic must defeat magic and all that as that is probably the only way at the moment. In the future they’re gonna want that killswitch, someway, somehow, or watch Muggles slowly die off. Some are gonna fight that sorta change to the death.

        As for keeping mages in check, I’m just predicting as mages become more and more ubiquitous, society will have to contend with anti-mage/magic sentiments. The government won’t be able to ignore it. It’s not farfetched to say that a civil war can break out, amongst other things. This is all dependent on whether or not the other mages in power are influenced by this turn of events. Think young Magneto.

      • May 19, 2014 at 3:05 pmJirachier

        @Solace

        I like series in which the protagonist starts off as a weak character and builds up his power as the story progresses, but does every single series needs to follow the same exact pattern ?
        Tatsuya is already extremely powerful, if he were to struggle from the absolute beginning what is he supposed to do next, it’s not like he’s going to receive a power up, at least it doesn’t appear to like it. Don’t forget this is the first arc.

        Even if he doesn’t face any real struggle the story will still be interesting simply because, when someone is extremely powerful or excels in an area, a lot of interesting things will happen around him and just watching him deal with these situations is fun, I would agree that these terrorists didn’t even prove to be a threat to him and he will hopefully face more powerful opponents but it doesn’t have to reach the level where he barely wins after a long struggle for the series to be good.

        As for the anti-magicians forces, you’re looking at magicians as this alien race that inhabits the same planet but are still a separate entity which they really aren’t. Regulars humans can produce magicians, the day when the entire human race will be able to wield magic will come, it’s inevitable so trying to control them with a kill-switch isn’t a viable option.
        Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 19, 2014 at 3:10 pmPancakes

        Wish fulfillment is the most ubiquitous trope, yet also the most abstract and difficult to define. In reality almost all entertainment is wish fulfillment as it provides us something which we feel on some level is “missing”; it’s why we find these things entertaining. Where wish fulfillment becomes an issue is when there’s nothing else beyond it. For example winning while playing a game is fun of course, but it will eventually get boring to win all the time and never experience a challenge. The same rule applies here. The protagonists can beat everyone with the flick of a wrist, but eventually it will grow tiring if there is nothing else to it. How do they beat their opponents, where do their powers come from, is there anyone they cannot beat, do we get to see them lose? It’s these secondary details that turn a simple story into something better as it grounds the characters in reality and allows us to both believe their actions and also envision our selves in the role–the key to a good story and the proper use of wish fulfillment.

        In Mahouka the wish fulfillment argument comes up because these secondary details have either been ignored in the adaptation or pushed off for explanation later. It’s hard to see Tatsuya as anything other than Kirito reincarnated current because there has been no character development for him. Likewise Miyuki is flat, doing nothing but singing her onii-sama’s praises and giving us no hint as to what else lies behind that visage beyond anger for any other girl Tatsuya talks to. It doesn’t indicate a lot of thought went into how Mahouka would progress or represent itself to those ignorant of the series; the expectation appears to be that the viewer would turn to the source material (i.e. buy it) to solve the riddles that are poor character development and massive, almost pretentious info dumps.

        It’s why Shounens remain as popular as ever because even though their characters are often overpowered and win constantly, their authors never forget to develop the details that fill in the blanks behind them and make them out to be human. Unless Mahouka’s adaptation can also do this it will never be rid of what is increasingly becoming fair and deserved criticism.

      • May 19, 2014 at 3:31 pmSolace

        @Jirachier

        Not all stories have to be bildungsroman, which is why I said that for a power fantasy to actually have depth is to incorporate some nuanced writing. Maybe one or multiple strong themes to tie everything together. The devil is in the details is my point.

  • May 18, 2014 at 6:52 amHochmeister

    Erika summed it up pretty nicely, that was one of the most anticlimactic battles ever. Yeah the animation was nice, but it’s just not fun when the heroes blow through the villains with practically no effort. It feels like it’s still trying to build their powers, which seven episodes in is a little too late. Other than Erika’s hilarious trolling and the hints about the Shiba’s past (which I don’t care about because I don’t care about them), the rest of the episode was mostly everyone praising Tatsuya and some of the most awkward romance I’ve seen since… Hey, what are you doing in Japan George Lucas!?

    Oh, hey there Suzaku’s evil twin! Hopefully you’ll be a competent and challenging villain for a change. I’ll give this show one more episode to improve, at this rate all the pretty animation and alcohol in the world aren’t enough to get me through this.

  • May 18, 2014 at 7:08 amRukia

    I liked the joke Tatsuya told at the end of the episode.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 18, 2014 at 7:14 amAnonymous

    Wonder when will it be till we have someone mix footage of Miyuki going wild with her ice magic with the song Let It Go being played in the background? :)

    http://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

    http://youtu.be/moSFlvxnbgk

    • May 18, 2014 at 7:45 amKazakiri

      Seriously… I’ve been waiting for that for quite a while now… ahahaha
      Although the Japanese version of the song, almost seems to fit Tatsuya better…

      • May 18, 2014 at 11:19 pmRava

        I’m sure once the Nine Schools Competition is done, we’ll have enough footage of Miyuki letting loose for that to happen. :)

      • May 20, 2014 at 4:59 amrnvalencia

        Tatsuya and Miyuki can sing “Let it Go” duet e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fimNoz2a0_I

  • May 18, 2014 at 7:22 amechykr

    Now that’s the most pathetic terrorist group I’ve ever seen. Didn’t even put up a fight against a bunch of students. (Even Erika was complaining how she hardly had anyone escaping she could mop up outside. )

    If they’re already this potent against a bunch of terrorists, these kids shouldn’t be called students but weapons of the state, and the Magic Academies merely factories.

    • May 18, 2014 at 8:21 amdropcmnt

      If they’re already this potent against a bunch of terrorists, these kids shouldn’t be called students but weapons of the state, and the Magic Academies merely factories.

      Well, be happy, because Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 18, 2014 at 8:27 amSolace

    That shot of Tatsuya and Miyuki’s feet walking in sync right after Sayaka said she couldn’t keep up with Tatsuya? I love that kinda subtle shit in my media. It’s simple, but certainly effective and is prolly the one good instance the show employed “show, don’t tell” and for that I commend whoever put that shot in. Have to give credit where credit is due. That being said the scene could’ve just ended with that synced pacing shot with the siblings looking toward each other and smiling instead of having Miyuki open her mouth to say that she’ll follow him to the ends of the earth. It would’ve been more powerful, IMO. Sometimes less is more.

    As for everything else in the episode… http://i.imgur.com/ALbQl.gif

    I just dunno what else to say, other than there was that whole awkward scene where Sayaka essentially says she settling for Kirihara because she can’t keep up with Tatsuya’s pace, but she can with kenjutsu-kun. I’m sure it can be worded better but if I was Kirihara I couldn’t help but be a bit peeved. Like gee, thanks for saying I’m #2 or 3 while continuing to worship that dude over there.

    All this episode showed to me is that mages are a serious threat against humanity if they ever decide to lash out and the world ought to have countermeasures in place to either remove all magic or to remove all mages. A killswitch, so to speak. I know that I am treading on the grounds of advocating genocide, but I don’t see how they can deal with a group/army of rogue mages without their equivalent of Anti-Skill (assuming Anti-Skill was competent and effective). You’d have the Shinsekai Yoriverse if just one mage, someone like Tatsuya for instance, deems humanity unworthy, causing a cascade of events.

    • May 18, 2014 at 9:29 amKazakiri

      Just because they’re Mages? That power of theirs is simply a bigger gun. It’s practically the same in our world, countries have missiles, tanks, drones, and nukes. If a country declares war on humanity it would lead to the same thing.

      Although a country is made up of more than one person, it’s not impossible as the major decisions of a country are usually not up to the general populace, nor the rank and file soldiers.

      • May 18, 2014 at 10:15 amSolace

        “Just because they’re Mages?”

        Just because they’re mages capable of annihilating Muggles if they’re feeling emotional one day. It also seems they’re given free rein on domestic matters. I’ve spoken about this before in a previous episode’s comments, but this can’t be a happy world in the end. The idea of a mage is similar to the concept of posthumanism/transhumanism. Muggles might very well be on the path to extinction in the Mahoukaverse as magic becomes more and more ubiquitous, therefore more and more uncontrollable. Unless there’s some biological or genetic trigger to prevent people from possibly [accidentally] killing each other these powers could very much doom humanity as we know it. But it’s not ALL doom and gloom, as they can step up for themselves because they have the leverage to do so, but that’s assuming it’s for the right reasons and not “getting back” at anyone.

        We also haven’t really seen what kinda good mages can do for the world. All they do is kill and destroy but what can they create?

        “That power of theirs is simply a bigger gun”

        That’s not the impression I get. Not to mention they’re born with this “bigger gun.” Maybe if the power of a bigger gun is stuffed into a smaller gun that is much more mobile, versatile and deadlier than most conventional weapons save for nukes and heavy artillery, then maybe you’re right. This “bigger gun” is also protected from regular guns (this is such a lazy way to make them impervious to bullets). My problem is that these powers aren’t exactly… regulated, so all this system depends on is goodwill. Proliferation of arms (which have to be manufactured and sourced) can be regulated. Mages powers, not so much.

        “It’s practically the same in our world, countries–”

        I’m gonna cut you off there.

        When you say countries, you mean their governments, right? Governments are a collective with different departments/branches. It’s kinda hard for there be a hivemind when you have multiple/opposing parties. Power in the government and military is spread across their personnel, weapons, and assets. Mages are almost an entire package. Not to mention the government would have to contend with [mutually] assured destruction if they were to declare war against the world, much less another nation.

        The key difference here is that what you have here are individuals, or rather, a group of individuals that can level an entire nation’s army if they so pleased. With emotion in the equation when speaking of an individual, things can get very unpredictable unless disciplined (maybe with noblesse oblige, or military training). These powers aren’t exactly regulated or restricted. It’s not like they can do anything beyond telling them to not destroy the world and hoping they keep their word, when there isn’t a metaphorical bomb collar to make sure they don’t step outta line. I guess antinite is a valid stopgap countermeasure if the need for it arises, but if Tatsuya is a good indication of what mages can be, then they’re gonna need a “bigger gun.” With all that being said, if I was someone in charge, I’d want them all within arm’s reach.

        War has changed, bro.

      • May 18, 2014 at 11:45 amKazakiri

        Multiple opposing parties is not always the case, and even then it’s the same not every individual magician will have the same opinion/agenda, because they’re individuals.

        What’s keeping magicians in check is the existence of other magicians on the same level. Similar to power balance between countries.

        Guns work, high powered rifles work to be exact. Also it takes a very high level of magic to be able to defend against those, and even then not many are capable of creating a barrier that can.

        The problem you have here is that you’re assuming that most mages are capable feats similar to Tatsuya and co. Basically it’s a big Mistake to use Tatsuya and his group as a measuring stick. instead use Kirihara and Mibu

    • May 18, 2014 at 10:35 amMgMaster

      @Solace “All this episode showed to me is that mages are a serious threat against humanity if they ever decide to lash out and the world ought to have countermeasures in place to either remove all magic or to remove all mages. A killswitch, so to speak. I know that I am treading on the grounds of advocating genocide, but I don’t see how they can deal with a group/army of rogue mages without their equivalent of Anti-Skill (assuming Anti-Skill was competent and effective). You’d have the Shinsekai Yoriverse if just one mage, someone like Tatsuya for instance, deems humanity unworthy, causing a cascade of events.

      You have a point but I think you took it to the extreme in some parts such as removing all mages or a kill switch – it should never have to go that far. I totally agree with a countermeasure equivalent to Anti-Skill though(and yea,a competent one…) or if any1 here has played Dragon Age,the equivalent of templars. At any rate,an organization specialized to deal with mages should there be the case,not to imprison them or anything but just to exist in case shit ever hits the fan. Naturally,you’d probably need to have elite magic users in such an organization,probably soldiers or ex-soldiers are capable of acting should there be the case and not wimp out.

      • May 18, 2014 at 10:38 amSolace

        I very much agree that that is probably the most extreme measure one can take if they’re that scared. I even felt bad writing that.

      • May 18, 2014 at 10:43 amSolace

        And ah, yes, Dragon Age: Origins. Fantastic game and yes, the templars were quite effective in that they had access to magic to hunt down rogue/blood mages. Also supervised the Circle of Magi with the Chantry.

      • May 18, 2014 at 4:20 pmdaikama

        DAO was a very good game IMO. DA II… not so much (damn you BioWare for removing my DW DPS Warrior!). However, as DA II showed, the Templar system leaves much to be desired. Even in DAO, there is the whole “Broken Circle” problem where Templar oversight proved ineffective, and the Templar offered solution = “kill all the mages”.

        The subjugation of mages by Templars and the resulting conflict between the two is a central theme of the DA series. In fact, DA III is titled “Dragon Age III – Inquisition”. From Wiki: “Simultaneously, the Circle of Magi has gone rogue, in part due to the events of Dragon Age II, and the Templar Order seceded from the Chantry to wage their own civil war on the mages.” Personally, I don’t find the “Templar solution” a good one to the problem given the treatment of innocent mages by the some Templars which unsurprisingly leads to civil war.

        As for “anti-skill” (a specialized police force), that’s a better solution IMO. I agree that some sort of emergency response type organization is necessary – whether the military and/or police. However, it should be noted that in Toaru Index, anti-skill is worthless against level 5 espers (or saints or some level 4 espers or magicians). Integration is the ideal solution IMO – something like Judgment from Toaru Index. In fact, as I recall, a main duty of Necessarius is to police magic cabals. Magicians working to prevent rogue magicians from running amok.

      • May 18, 2014 at 6:15 pmMgMaster

        Neither the mages nor templars in DA2 were any better,IMO. Although if there’s one thing DA2 did well,it was to show the worst in both sides. Kirkwall was one fucked up town,lol. I liked how Ferelden’s Circle worked though. Both mages & templars were far more reasonable there and unlike the trigger-happy over9000zealous Knight-Commander Meredith in DA2,the one in Ferelden’s Circle,Gregoir,was decent man who only said he’ll purge the Circle if the Warden deemed it beyond redemption which I found to be quite fair. After all,if the templars were to blame for being ineffective then that that’s even more true for the mages letting a single one of their own to wreck so much havoc. Ferelden’s Circle was far from perfect,but it was a decent system nonetheless.

        Of course,there’s no need for such a system for the time being in Mahouka as the Magic High Schools probably have things under control(or so it seems,don’t spoil me if I’m wrong pls – resist the urge!). It’s good that you mentioned Necessarius since I totally forgot about them. Those guys were the pros,way above Anti-Skill and probably Judgement as well. So that actually makes 3 organizations the world of Index:

        - A lesser one that basically acts as police to deal with lesser threats;
        - One to deal with high esper threats;
        - One to deal with mages;

        We only have mages here though,so I suppose it’d be either Judgement or Necessarius. But I’d definitely say Necessarius though as they only seemed to deal with the most dangerous threats. I believe Judgement also dealt with small fries(I clearly remember Kuroko doing it) and the police and/or other students could probably handle that in Mahouka.

      • May 20, 2014 at 9:21 pmdaikama

        @MgMaster: Although if there’s one thing DA2 did well, it was to show the worst in both sides. Kirkwall was one fucked up town,lol.

        LOL – yeah, that it was. Meredith was crazy-evil (bit of mind control/influence there as I recall), but TBH, Anders annoyed me to NO end. Gah! Used him ONLY when necessary for quests. Merrill was OK, but at least she was tolerable (JMO). One thing I liked about DA2 was the “town dungeon” type of situation + reasonable (IMO) length quests. DAO is a lot of fun, but damn is “A Paragon of Her Kind” a long quest. Soooo sick of the Deep Roads after that. Anyway, I agree that Gregoir’s pretty cool (I always end up saving the Circle. Plus it makes another quest easier as well :D). Frankly, I’d add that the Templars were not just ineffective, but their brutish treatment of Circle mages (albeit kind by Kirkwall standards) contributed to the problem. Part of my above point.

        No worries about spoilers. Too long/complex any to full explain the situation. Kind of tired of doing that TBH. There are some general controls/buffers of various effectiveness in place. Just not readily apparent at this point – especially with the anime cutting out a lot of the background stuff. FYI – IIRC, anti-mage rifles will take down the majority of mages without too much trouble. Tatsuya is an aberration to say the least when it comes to this stuff.

        P.S. Our discussion makes me want to play DAO… again (maybe even DAII LOL). Looking forward to DA III, though it seems Bioware stuck with the DA II class system = grunt warrior tank or 2-handed weapon only. *sigh* VERY disappointing. DAO was so much better in terms of character design freedom. That’s something Path of Exile is quite good at.

    • May 19, 2014 at 10:16 amStilts

      I’m going to skip the genocide talk, because that’s some troubling shit.

      As for Kirihara, Mibu wasn’t saying she was settling for him because she couldn’t catch up to Tatsuya, she was saying that she felt like Tatsuya would blaze ahead whereas Kirihara would pay attention to her and walk her pace. She meant it as a metaphor and all that, but even taking it at face value of walking speed, who is she liable to like more, the guy who visits her every day in the hospital and slows up to walk her speed, or the dude who just charges ahead at his own pace and leaves her behind?

      Kirihara did the work, pays attention, and cares, and it looks like there’s some chemistry between them too. She just admired Tatsuya, is all.

    • May 21, 2014 at 11:02 ampredatorvmt

      Well, Humanity once was a threat to Hominini.

      Magician is the next step of evolution and humanity should go extinct like Hominini.

      Will you choose to remain suck or will you choose to become awesome?

  • May 18, 2014 at 8:39 amMentar

    “Remove all mages”? A “kill switch”?? Whoa momma… this kind of talk puts the social-critical discussion earlier about “discrimination” in a completely new context ^_^;

    • May 18, 2014 at 9:02 amGermanguy

      i wonder if “Face” in Fairy Tail, was here the inspiration

      • May 18, 2014 at 9:34 amCrook

        The source material is far older than that arc of Fairy Tail. Regardless, I don’t think the writer would find a lot of inspiration there to begin with. They’re like polar opposites.

  • May 18, 2014 at 9:06 amSilentCid

    @Stilts

    The antinite coming from ancient civilizations the book mentions it comes from only places like the ruins of the Aztecs and other civilizations dated that far back in different places of the world.

    • May 19, 2014 at 10:18 amStilts

      Whelp, that’s stupid then. Yay.

      • May 22, 2014 at 4:03 pmSinsI

        It is actually Ancient Civilizations that were living at high elevation – Tibet, Aztecs, etc.

      • May 23, 2014 at 9:13 pmdropcmnt

        I don’t think antinite is product of ancient civilization. AFAIK, it is a metal that can only be produced in certain locations. Just because said location is the same as location used by acient civilization, doesn’t make antinite as a product of said civilization.

        You could say, ancient civilization choose a place to dwell because there are antinite availabe, like how some civilization choose place because there are water available.

        Bellow is original quote from the book:

        Antinite was a military resource limited by its production location.
        These areas were certain parts of the ancient Aztec Empire, somewhere in the Mayan ruins, central Tibet, the highest peaks of Scotland, and a portion of the high plains of Iran.
        In other words, only areas with ancient civilizations that dwelt in the mountains could produce Antinite.
        It was just like manufactured goods that could only be produced at high elevation.

  • May 18, 2014 at 10:04 amKrool

    Just watched the episode, after Tatsuya finished the blanche leader i think he (kind of major spoiler):

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 18, 2014 at 10:42 amAsdesk

    Kirito realised his Gary Stu’s position have been threatened by Tatsuya decided to invade the world of Mahouka in a form of Ichijou Masaki.

    • May 18, 2014 at 2:14 pmNetto

      In the guise of Spinzaku the blood bender.

      Anyways ok episode but the BGM choices are still a lot less earwormy and a bit too light a bit. XD

      And wow Kirihara gets with Kendo girl huh.

      ROTFL MASAKI’S VA IS KIRITO’S Pfft. That did not match my perception of him.
      Madhouse just used him for both NGNL and Mahouka xP

  • May 18, 2014 at 11:07 amDreyakis

    Thematic principles, or the lack thereof, can be said to be the dividing line between series that tells a story with a plan in mind or not. Regardless of whether he or she plays in the anime, manga, light novel, or fanfiction realms, the presence of a core, unifying theme in the story helps to establish a baseline from which the story can refer to again and again. This is the central idea that permeates every aspect of the world being created, helping to facilitate ease of comprehension for readers once they grasp this theme.

    Thus far, the themes presented between the anime and the light novel are closely intertwined, but still separate enough to paint a different picture of the setting. Harking back to the first few moments of Episode 1, recall that the opening sequence told of the rise of Magicians into the world. Essentially, the injection of a new “race” of Magicians into the previous homogeneous human society. (The new “mutants”, if you will.) Taken in that context, some of the underlying topics that were hinted at in the anime but not fully espoused can be seen in a different light.

    Nonetheless, the anime currently presents the theme of “high school students in a magic high school” reacting to the events around them. This leads to the slightly jarring viewpoint of what are the adults/law enforcement/authority figures doing during these times of crises. This begs the question from the viewer as to what gives these high school students the moral and legal authority to do what they are doing. Now, compare and contrast the above with the theme “fledgling Magicians interacting with threats from within and without”. Does this excuse their vigilantism? No, it does not. Does this better explain the actions taken by Tatsuya and company in these troubled times? That I think it does.

    Returning to the original assertion regarding themes in a story or the lack thereof, a legitimate question can be asked in that do all stories possess a central theme? (Whether each story needs a central theme may be a philosophical debate for another day.) My response, unfortunately, would be a resounding “no”. Consider the pulp fiction nature of manga and light novels in the modern era, where long runners serialize far longer than their expected shelf life. I expect to weather considerable flak for this, but consider To Aru no Index, One Piece, Detective Conan, etc. In summation, the current trend to is to write for profit and flair, not to tell a story with core themes that can be revisited time and again.

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:41 amaeria

      I expect to weather considerable flak for this, but consider To Aru no Index, One Piece, Detective Conan, etc. In summation, the current trend to is to write for profit and flair, not to tell a story with core themes that can be revisited time and again.

      Probably need to add Naruto, Bleach, Toriko and basically almost all shounen-type manga currently in the market to that list.

    • May 19, 2014 at 11:24 amStilts

      @Dreyakis

      I’m fine with pulp. Good pulp is fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re right that more are going for a pulp feeling rather than tight themes that can weather the test of time. It’s not bad, both are valid and it’s up to the author to choose one over the other, though if a medium lacks both then there may be a problem. All pulp and no literature isn’t a good situation to be in, any more so than the opposite is true as well.

    • May 23, 2014 at 6:17 pmpredatorvmt

      All hail Dreyakis!!!

  • May 18, 2014 at 11:46 amDivini

    I DEFINITELY agree with your point on this series needing more slice-of-life banter. It’s scenes like the Erika+Tatsuya trolling at the end that really fleshes out character’s personalities and makes you care for them more. That scene in this episode was done really well, the anime skipped over a lot of those scenes that could’ve fleshed out the very numerous amount of characters. (Mayumi comes to mind)

    The crazy part is that I can’t even blame the producers… enrollment took 7/25 episodes, and it STILL feels like the anime is sprinting-through-the-plot. Just shows you how in-depth the source material was.

  • May 18, 2014 at 2:44 pmConrad

    Stilts, I can’t recall a single major character in the LN’s who doesn’t put the ends before the means, or is naive, or considers human rights non-negotiable, or minds circumventing the laws, etc. There’s no looking at the human society through rose-tinted glasses, rather, it might be the opposite. I’d say the LN’s have a distinct right-wing feel to them as well. That’s just how it is, so it will be no surprise if you find something contradicting your ideals every single episode.

  • May 18, 2014 at 3:19 pmdaikama

    New episode, same thing IMO (some pretty good action scenes with the rest lacking) with one disturbing addition. By far, the worst for me was a very noticeable character change by the anime which hints at watering down the grim/dark aspects of the series. Those aspects are a central part of the story – well the LN’s version anyway. Start mucking with that and you make the story worse IMO. Can’t get into specifics, but I get a sense of creeping deviation – first large material cuts, then increasing anime added stuff, now character changes. :< LN Readers Only Spoiler: Show Spoiler ▼

    – *sigh* Anime Miyuki… I found anime’s version of the post battle scene inconsistent and frankly annoying. It’s POST battle and things are well in hand. So WhyTF is Miyuki suddenly anxious and worried about her “onii-sama” now? Didn’t she tell him earlier to go off on his own while she “takes care of the small fry?” Didn’t he shrug off the Blanche leader’s trump card and disassemble assault rifles? Hell, Leo and Erika are completely calm, and they have no clue about “onii-sama’s” abilities. Worst is the continuing trend of we MUST go back ASAP to weak-minded, can’t say a full sentence, “onii-sama” mewing anime Miyuki. Bleh.

    So omedetou (congrats) MKnR anime! In only 7 episodes you managed to turn a character in which I had a positive impression throughout the LN (not a favorite, but I liked her well enough) into one who now officially annoys me and I dislike. “Good job”. I honestly wonder how many viewers have dropped the show due to anime Miyuki. At this point, can’t really blame them. It’s inconceivable why this approach is taken. The LN has plenty of Miyuki brocon without this apparent compulsion to exacerbate that. Here’s an idea, go the other way. Tone it down a little and KEEP the important background info. Crazy idea – right? >_>

    – Yet another jarring, out of place anime only “naked scene” featuring Masaki and George. W…T…F…!? I cannot begin to fathom what the director is thinking by adding this stuff. Rather than “serious” and I found the training exercise “blood” just silly and over-the-top. IMO Masaki’s actually a pretty good character, and George is OK, but gah! The way those two are introduced is just off-putting – at best. Again, WHY is this done? Misaki and George have a perfectly fine introduction in the upcoming arc.

    Maybe the anime could, you know, use that time to explain WTF are “10 Master Families” in detail, the influence they have, and why that’s the case (not to mention other things) since it keeps mentioning said 10 Master Families without any real explanation. FYI, such an explanation occurs immediately after the Blanch HQ assault in LN. Instead, the anime gives us “onii-sama” mewing Miyuki. Yep, “good job” indeed. >_>

    – Glad to see some explanation of “Consciousness Interference Type (Non-Systemic Magic), Evil Eye”. FYI – that mind control magic was developed in Russia prior to the formation of the New Soviet Federation. Too bad that was a one-off since other details, world building, etc. remain gathering dust on the cutting room floor. I’m amazed at what has been overlooked by anime only viewers after reading review and comments for this episode. That tells me the anime is either not doing a good job of presenting the full original story (it’s not IMO), or does indeed plan to give a stripped down, simplified, “shounenized” action/battle focused adaptation. EP 07 reinforces my suspicion it’s the latter. “MKnR Light – all the battles, 1/3 less the story.” :<

    At least the “side” characters got a few more minutes. I’m not surprised by comments from Stilts and others about enjoying the SOL moments/comedy (Erika’s great IMO), and how it adds character depth. That’s a glimpse of what I mentioned before was missing from the truncated adaptation.

    • May 18, 2014 at 7:57 pmsuzuno

      Hayama wasn’t out of character since…Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 18, 2014 at 9:04 pmdaikama

        @suzuno: Dammit! You are 100% correct. I did get the two confused. *sigh* Really thought I checked everything before posting. :<

        Thank you for correcting that mistake – TBH, it's a big relief!

      • May 19, 2014 at 12:09 amUngas123

        Hayama acknowledges Show Spoiler ▼

        On the other hand, Aoki, the one whom Tatsuya and Miyuki Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 18, 2014 at 3:38 pmJounouchi

    I realized by watching this episode that there is a juxtaposition of light-hearted magic school life and a more gritty scientific/military academy premise going on. The MC seems like he wants to enjoy a calm life after a brief stint as a child soldier but the dichotomies continue.

    My only gripe is the whole “cast jamming without antinite- keep it a secret but tell everyone and perform it all the time” thing. I like that the MC is not a total good guy. He has seen death and destruction and appreciates what it means to live and sees a lot of school life problems as small and even entertaining. Looking forward to the next arc.

  • May 18, 2014 at 4:57 pmfrubam

    Erika, best girl =03. Too bad she’s getting shipped with Leo. Could definitely see her and Tatsuya playing off each other.

  • May 18, 2014 at 6:52 pmduzz

    She would have too since miyuki is his baby sister.

    At Solace, for some reason your comments remind me of the xmen movie coming out. Days of the future past.

    At first cthe kill switch only target mages, then everyone else.

    Mahoka, days of the future past. Tatsyua must dream again.

  • May 18, 2014 at 7:12 pmDorian

    This is an adaptation that’s actually being carried by the stuff that is carried over from the LNs and that’s never a good thing. I read the first two novels that these 7 episodes covered and they are much better paced and likeable then what is being given to anime only viewers. There is so much that I had read in just those novels that fully needed to be delivered to the anime viewers to convey a lot of things that if omitted not only lessen the experience, but also as seen with this episode, make for a very jarring watch.

    Stilts, if I’m not mistaken, isn’t this series done by the director for Horizon? I forget. If so, I’m kind of stunned at how different these two shows were handled.

    • May 19, 2014 at 1:53 pmStilts

      Aye, director Ono Manabu helmed both seasons of Kyoukaisen as well, which is one reason I’m kind of disappointed. Black Bullet is doing a better job of cutting a lot of things while still retaining the essence of the story (though Kyoukaisen had to do that due to the sheer impossibility of cramming anything in, while Black Bullet has apparently just decided to because reasons).

      There are a lot of other factors that go into how well these things work, like the studio, the publisher, the rest of the staff, and any decisions that were made over Ono-san’s head. To me it still feels like they were forced to go too quickly by someone who wanted to sell BDs with action scenes, especially with the three episode volume one. Ono-san’s name is still on this, though :(

  • May 18, 2014 at 8:14 pmLucarion

    I can’t wait to go nuts when…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 19, 2014 at 12:01 amUngas123

      Very high chance that it’ll be the very last arc of this show.

  • May 18, 2014 at 9:24 pmCyouni

    It was noted that Miyuki felt that the use of Niflheim was more than a little overkill afterwards.
    Which it was, given that she was lucky there was no permanent damage due to instant-freezing.

    Also, that shot of Tatsuya shooting at the camera was specifically noted due to magic not quite caring about walls.

  • May 18, 2014 at 11:04 pmofi123

    Can someone who had read the LN answer this:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 18, 2014 at 11:27 pmRava

      That was an added part that wasn’t in the LN or Manga. So theorize away on it.

    • May 18, 2014 at 11:40 pmcclragnarok

      I’ve already posted about this above, but anyway:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 19, 2014 at 12:00 amUngas123

        @@cclragnarok
        Those bruises from those stretcher guys might be from frostbite.

      • May 19, 2014 at 12:49 amRava

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 20, 2014 at 12:29 amcclragnarok

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 19, 2014 at 9:03 amPearthefruit

    This anime is extremely subtle actually. I don’t know whether this should be said, even though it doesn’t spoil anything, but I’ll put a spoiler tag anyways.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 20, 2014 at 1:57 amRimel

    for people who complain why doesn’t the MC struggle with the villain? Well, the core subject of this arc was not the terrorist and even less their leader, but the conflict of the course student 1&2. If I have to explain the existence of the terrorist in the story then, I should say that they are there for the heroes to take guns and kick butt because the conflict that was there was an intellectual type conflict and so the terrorist materialized that conflict and made it more tangible: “where is the bad guys?” ” ah ok it must be those terrorists”

    If an arc has a villain as the central figure then, that villain must be foreshadowed at the very beginning and be mentioned several times if not then, that villain is only third rate and is only there for plot convenience, take for example “Crimson Prince” he was mentioned early even before the actual start of the second arc that can tell the importance he will take in the future and I can guess that the MC will very well struggle against him.

    • May 20, 2014 at 9:34 amSolace

      @Rimel

      I was under the impression the show undermined the whole discrimination conflict and showed it was something instigated by terrorists. The resolution for the so-called discrimination was Mayumi making promises to open the student council to Course 2 students while nothing else changes. The system stays the same. Segregation, separate but “equal.” Looking at it some more the show even states that whatever discrimination Course 2 students felt wasn’t real! Just all in their mind. You can’t really call it a core theme when it gets botched like this.

      • May 20, 2014 at 9:37 amSolace

        Oh and no, the antagonists don’t have to be foreshadowed at the beginning. Dunno where you got the idea that it has to be that way. You ca slowly introduce them and flesh them out as the story goes on.

      • May 20, 2014 at 10:50 amRimel

        @Solace

        the discussion about: if the conflicts was in their head or is unimportant because the conflict took its due time whatever result it came with at the end.

        The segregation is like what you described: “it still there and didn’t change much if not at all!”, but that’s understandable because that’s the KEY point of all the story that can only be solved when the story hits the end.

        Should I remind you “Irregular at Magic Highschool” why “Irregular”? and, why “High School”? The segregation will be a recurrent subject in all of the story until the very end, that’s my assumption at the moment. It’s not like that the MC was promoted to course one student so again we will see him suffer from the magic based ability system and why not seeing him ridiculing then crushing that system with his “Irregularity”.

        the again why exposing the problem if not to solve it at the end: first it’s a legitimate question. A problem (segregation) can have more than one solution, the author only showed one version of the solution which was not … the best. The moral of the story was not to show that the problem never existed it because at different instance the MC and the rest of the cast (the good one at least) explained the harsh reality and envisioned solution (Mayumi), but then, is it the end? No, definitely not, the other version of the solution, the Irregular one is on the front door … wait and see (or I hope so).

      • May 21, 2014 at 4:35 amLucarion

        Personally, I think the real reason they began with the discrimination topic is because…

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • May 23, 2014 at 11:25 amSolace

        @Lucarion

        I’ve seen this theory being peddled around the blogosphere and I’m gonna react the same way I did to those replies, “so what?”

        What does the whole religious parallelism thing do? Does it make it the work better? Does it give you a fresh perspective on things? Do you appreciate it more? Those questions all vary depending on if you already like the work. Look at Mass Effect, Halo with all its religious references. Gamers don’t love them for their religious references, they love ‘em because they’re fantastic games with wonderfully crafted universes in their own right. The work has to stand on its own two feet before you can start making comparisons. Chances are if people don’t like those works then pulling “but it’s a retelling of a timeless tale!” doesn’t make it any better when the base writing leaves a lot to be desired.

    • May 23, 2014 at 7:32 pmLucarion

      OK fine, Solace. Have it your way. Since apparently you can’t even be bothered to do your own research. Here’s why it’s important and why it changes things:

      A few references doesn’t change anything. Looking back at things Campione has a lot more references to mythology than Mahouka does. But you don’t see me caring much about that now, don’t I? Because it didn’t affect the plot, it didn’t give the series more depth, it didn’t shed light on the characters. Mahouka is different. The parallels weren’t just references, it was the whole point. I don’t care about the references as much as I care about the story. And knowing something about the myths gives you all the perspective you need to understand why the story was done the way it is. The characters are the way they are because they were meant to mirror figures in the myths. The myths are the outline the story was founded on.

      Which means that everything in this story, down to the very things people moan and complain about were put there intentionally. If it was intentional , the author knew what he was going to get into before he even penned the story down. And precisely, because he was aware of the material he had to work with, Satou-sensei made good use of it . What we have here isn’t amateurish writing–but clever writing. To use ideas that would otherwise be recipe for disaster and make something interesting from them? That deserves praise. Tatsuya isn’t OP because he’s meant to be a wish-fulfillment character, he’s OP to make a point and basically act an illustrated commentary on the twisted nature of power; Miyuki isn’t crazy devoted to her brother just for imouto fanservice–it’s integral to her entire purpose as a character and may affect the overarching plot. People keep criticizing Tatsuya’s character without even seeing the whole picture, but once you do see it then everything starts to make sense and it’ll make even more sense when you know something about the character HE WAS FUCKING BASED ON! It puts EVERYTHING in the proper perspective! That’s why I keep hammering about it! And if you know Show Spoiler ▼

      you’ll know why making a story about him is a BIG deal, and why using his mythology as basis for this kind of a story is a stroke of brilliance. Because he’s the perfect figure to center a story like Mahouka on. A story about the ushering of a new world and the destruction of everything that was wrong with the old one, the introduction of new ideas and new paradigms in thinking, as well as the revelation of the true state of things beyond what we see before us–all of these are grand concepts. And all of these are things Mahouka touches upon. Now, whether or not you think it was done well depends on you. But for me, at least as far the LNs are concerned, it’s been nothing less than stellar.

      One more thing: the story is not even trying to push an agenda. It’s not trying to make some bold economic statement. It’s just trying to entertain people, and yet people keep reading into things that simply do not exist. Most of people’s complaints about the supposed “themes” are answered in due time, and the comparisons to Atlas Shrugged are offensive because we know they are completely wrong–this is not what this story is about.Mahouka isn’t Atlas Shrugged the LN–it’s magitek Game of Thrones. It’s not objectivism–it’s textbook realism. If Mahouka is to be criticized, it should be for glorifying Machiavellian virtues. NOT objectivist ones.

      • May 23, 2014 at 10:33 pmSolace

        @Lucarion

        I dunno why you went into a tirade about agendas, Atlas Shrugged, etc. toward the end, since I didn’t mention any of that in my reply.

        Just because Satou thought it would be cool to write a story based on _______ doesn’t automatically make the story “brilliant” or “clever.” Many stories can be seen as retellings of stories of old, but those works are subtle about it and don’t require the reader to have prior exposure to the inspiration for an understanding. Do you think new readers/viewers need this sort of religious context to appreciate the story? Not to appreciate it MORE, but to just appreciate it. If an outside source has to be consulted for a full understanding of the story, or especially in this case, justification of the decisions the author has made with regards to his reiteration of the religious tale, then they failed in properly characterizing, plotting, etc. Like I said, the base story has to be able to stand on its own two feet before other external (but otherwise, interesting) comparisons can be made.

        And, please, check your tone. Also curb your praise of the work. Just because you keep saying it’s brilliant or stellar doesn’t make it so. We’re here to discuss why or why not, not to throw accolades or insults. It helps the discussion to be a little less… condescending, seeing how your argument boils down to “but you just don’t understand!” No, I understand, I’ve even see the wordpress blog about it, and frankly doesn’t change my opinion of the work that it’s badly executed. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, granted was made well after the original web novel was first uploaded (the original Deus Ex was out well before), tackled very similar themes and has similar premises, but why did I absolutely adore HR, while loathing Mahouka? One is a thematically strong work about posthumanism/transhumanism. The other is about magic babble.

        Well, I’ll let you do the research. Ah, what the hell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kq5KWLqUewc

        I’d even bring BioShock into this, but seeing how you make an absolutely compelling and persuasive case that Mahouka doesn’t contain objectivism, I’ll refrain from doing so.

  • May 21, 2014 at 7:57 pmShushi

    The two main characters could be replaced with cardboard cut outs and nothing would change about this show.

  • May 23, 2014 at 10:11 amahelo

    I don’t think it’s nerdy to point out the moral implications of this show if you’re supposed to review an anime like this where it’s in the forefront of the show.

  • July 7, 2014 at 12:22 pmGoogle

    Observers maintain the item displays a new coherent approach, one thing thus low in your culture, that
    it’s not necessarily realised by simply all. These pre-computed numbers, hold
    on in a very giant information bank for millions or URLs on the net.
    And then on March 20, the world’s largest paid private
    blog network – BMR – announced that its vast network had been almost entirely de-indexed
    by Google, causing
    chaos in the internet marketing industries.