「九校戦編II」 (Kyuukou Sen Hen II)
“Nine Schools Competition Part II”

More setup as the kids of First High leave for the Nine Schools Competition this time.

Proper Testing Procedures

Yup, I called it, Tatsuya is Taurus Silver–or at least the Mr. Silver part. The Taurus comes from his partner at FLT, Chief Ushiyama. I had to laugh during this scene (not in a bad way) when they took proper precautionary measures before trying out Tatsuya’s flight device, even though Tatsuya and Miyuki were flying around like it was no big deal the episode before. C’mon Tatsuya, be safe! Though maybe he did that beforehand.

I did appreciate how the device wasn’t perfect yet. Tatsuya made the break through, and that’s impressive, but it still sapped people’s mana (or whatever it’s called) away too quickly, so there’s still work to be done. It’s good to see at least a little lip service to how innovations actually happen, which is in fits and starts.

Stupid Old Families

So let me get this straight…they want Miyuki to become the next head of the family, and they’re going to do that by insulting her beloved onii-sama? Fuckin’ idiots. Stuck up aristocratic families are among my favorite things to see defied and/or destroyed, so I hope Tatsuya and Miyuki keep giving the Yotsuba’s the middle finger. I did appreciate delving further into their back story and confirming some of the things I already suspected, but I would have liked to hear less from the asshole butler and more from Miyuki & Tatsuya’s father. I feel like he was the more interesting character, and all we got was the old man shooting off at the mouth.

Crystal Eyes

The whole bit with Mizuki and her Crystal Eyes lacked urgency or danger to me. When she first saw something my interest was piqued, but after that it devolved into the semi-out-of-nowhere exposition that this anime is doing so badly. But the biggest problem came when Tatsuya saved Misuki from Mikihiko’s accidental attack. I didn’t even realize she was in trouble there! Not after she weathered something similar a minute earlier. Hard Magic works when the reader understands the story’s magic system well enough to react from a position of knowledge. It’s like when a gun is pointed at a character – it works because we all know guns are dangerous, but what about someone who has never seen a gun before? If they don’t know guns can kill, they might be curious or confused. They won’t react “correctly”, and the scene will fail. Since I didn’t even realize Mikihiko’s magic was dangerous, the scene fell flat.

Not all was bad though. The scene did give us a fun Mizuki x Mikihiko moment, along with Tatsuya saying that if it was consensual he was out, but if not they had a problem. Hah! That’s style, Tatsuya. Well played. Respect and style.

Bewitching Face

I keep hearing that Mayumi is more than a dependable sempai from LN readers, and here it seems like they’re finally trying to show us that. From her flirting and pouting to her sparkly gaze, Mayumi’s scenes were fun to see. I still feel like I’m only seeing a shallow representation of her character, though. I can feel the depth there, but it’s not coming through in the anime. I want to like her, I really do, and I don’t hate her or anything, but nothing is making me love her character yet. She really needs more attention. No, I don’t mean a blanket, Hanzo-kun. Though she may be a little cold, ufufu~

Looking Ahead – I Don’t Think Cars Wreck Like That

What is this I don’t even. The flying, flaming car is pretty clearly the result of foul play, but the way it hurled through the air and then scraped along the ground on fire was just silly. Maybe there’s some magic spell involved that made all that happen, but since they haven’t spent the time to explain the magic system to anime-only viewers, I have no idea. I really hope this arc picks up when the competition actually starts, because as is I’m not exactly on the edge of my seat waiting for next week.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – More setup & exposition. No scenes really stood out to be honest, except Mayumi in a sundress #mahouka 09

Random thoughts:

  • “They’re his friends.” HAH! Loved how Miyuki kept insisting that Honoka and Shizuki were just Tatsuya’s friends. Full brocon mode engage!
  • I don’t think Tatsuya having to wait outside for a little while is such a horrible fate, Miyuki. Try living where I live. You’d melt.
  • Honoka and Shizuku, using the onii-sama card to cheer Miyuki up. What great friends.
  • 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 (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: Private accountability, The root of procrastination, Ashamed, and The fear of doing nothing.

Full-length images: 01, 28, 29, 30, 31.




  1. “They’re his friends.” HAH! Loved how Miyuki kept insisting that Honoka and Shizuki were just Tatsuya’s friends. Full brocon mode engage!

    The way she repeated it three times in the exact same tone of voice whenever someone questioned it was just hilarious to me.

  2. So let me get this straight…they want Miyuki to become the next head of the family, and they’re going to do that by insulting her beloved onii-sama? Fuckin’ idiots.

    “Miyuki-sama, I am pleased to see you and I fully support you as the heir to the Yotsuba family. Let me show my loyalty and suck up to you by openly insulting the person you care for the most right in front of you and ignoring you when you ouright state your displeasure with me doing so.”

    Intelligence does not appear to be a trait that family screens for in the hiring process.

    1. lol that butler

      Tatsuya and Miyuki walks over

      Butler’s train of thought: ok, quick, I gotta display the most appropriate behavior that will befit a first class butler. The most obvious choice of course is to ignore the “body guard” that can totally kill me in a second; piss off Miyuki, who’s most probably going to be the next head of the family, gaining the ability to fire me or even have me killed, not to mention that she can most likely freeze me to death in this instant.
      lol, butler just doing his job.

      Seriously tho, even if Tatsuya is not recognized as a family or whatever their problem is, he is practically invincible in a fight, created the loop system, about to create the thought to be impossible to create flight spell and who knows what more will he come up with. Also, he has a sister that’s most probably going to be the boss of the butler. And here we have, a butler, who can… ehhh serve tea and what not. I really don’t see how he can be so cocky.

      Just venting my frustration. But overall, Tatsuya’s interaction with other characters this episode really made me laugh. Funny guy

      1. He’s no simple butler. Actually, in the anime they said he was the fourth most powerful figure in the Yotsuba family, which shares the top spot with the Saegusa family in the ranking of the Ten Master Clans. And that family has rules which even its head can’t simply bend.

      2. Minor translation error that leads to important misunderstandings. He’s the fourth-highest ranked butler in the Yotsuba household, not the fourth-highest ranked person.

      3. In the novels during that very conversation it’s mentioned that he’s also the financial manager for the Yotsuba Family. Why did they cut it out is beyond me. As well as why they removed almost everything said to/about Tatsuya’s and Miyuki’s father. As well as why they cut out very important details on Tatsuya’s condition and the reason why he’s that way. Regardless, I don’t even feel like caring anymore.

      4. Oh, but wait, this means that Stilts still has another 17 episodes to cover. I see potential for some high-quality suffering for us to watch. Might make up for the absence of Urobutcher’s shows.

      5. But if the “haters” (read: critics) don’t hold the line, the comments here will just be a huge echo chamber of high-fives and back-pats! Can’t let that happen now, can we?

      6. There are people who don’t plan to excuse themselves from watching any more SAO? Do they, perchance, also read Alicization novels? Wow, that’s what you call dedication, I guess.

      7. Do you want to hear that we aren’t, or do you to hear the truth? 🙂 We’re even running out of fresh flaws to discuss, so you can’t blame us for looking for additional entertainment elsewhere 🙂

        I wonder if the show gets past thrashing China Great Asian Alliance and into the paLadINA arc. Then Stilts will have a hot blonde American to review.

      8. Stilts, if we are here to watch you suffer, then you’re successful as a writer! Bwahaha. Oh the contrast between pleasure, success and pain. Suffer for your success!

    2. We have another case of “people think they know what happened here, and conclude bad writing which actually isn’t, as they will find out later” here. For now, I’d only store away that Aoki’s reaction felt strangely hostile and sneering at the same time, and (totally uncharacteristical for him), Tatsuya took to the task to REALLY knock him down a few pegs – something that he generally never does, he tends to ignore stuff like this. Though careful viewers will be able to deduce why he did that.

      1. And once again, I’ll note that if the only reasonable way to take a scene is that it’s stupid and badly written, it is badly written, or at the very least badly adapted (if it was done better in the LN). If they don’t give good reason or foreshadowing, then it’s not a misunderstanding, it’s them not giving us enough information to understand it properly…just like they’re doing with the magic system and a lot of other things besides.

      2. Except that it IS not the only way this scene can be interpreted. Sorry Stilts, we’ll have to agree to disagree here. If it were so that any development needed to be “foreshadowed” or directly explained, the whole genre of whodunnits would immediately cease to exist. Now Mahouka isn’t a whodunnit – this was just an example – but what can we read out of the outburst?

        1) Miyuki was addressed as _Ojousama_ and primary heir candidate to the Yotsuba clan (who is visiting school incognito)

        2) Tatsuya as her brother is sneered on as a mere _bodyguard_, and not even a real magician. During his sneering rage, Aoki insists that he is merely following hierarchical protocol.

        3) We learn that Tatsuya’s mother, who is the sister of the current Yotsuba clan head, obviously experimented on Tatsuya. His father indicates understanding for Tatsuya to _hate_ her (!), even though Tatsuya insists on not feeling hatred.

        Adding all this up, it’s not really all THAT difficult to conclude that there might be a bit more at work than just Aoki being an ass without manners. Instead, it indicates that Tatsuya’s standing within the Yotsuba is very low, and that there are sifnificant rifts between him and the Yotsuba hierarchy (something which Miyuki is clearly frustrated with, but which she can’t change on her own volition). And in my book, this should be plenty enough reason to doubt the convenient “writer sucks” catch-all assumption. The _real_ reason for Aoki’s hostile outburst is not known at this point.

      3. That wasn’t the qualm. That was all clear, but the reason he went from dismissive and moderately dickish to full-blown asshole was what seemed silly.

        Mind you, I was talking about in general as opposed to in particular. I don’t think that part was especially good or bad writing, it was just a character that didn’t interest me save for the slightly comical way he was harping on Tatsuya.

      4. @Mentar

        Oh, no, we know why he did what he did. He’s still an asshole and probably didn’t think it through that he’s probably expendable. You don’t insult the beloved brother of the potential successor to the head of the clan if you value your existence. What if she does become the head? It makes sense to get back at everyone who wronged her brother considering she was so angry that she started crying. I’m not so sure a butler of his stature needed such a strong reaction toward Tatsuya, for his own sake.

        tl;dr – Butler is fucked yo

      5. @Mentar

        Let me confirm, you’re saying that the anime is trusting the viewers in spotting all the details and nuances, interpreting them in the intended way, and making conclusions that correlate with what’s stated in the source material? I’m a bit surprised, because the novels don’t trust the reader at all. Instead, they make sure that we know and understand all that we are supposed to know and understand at a given point, and for that sake they don’t shy away from detailing thoughts and emotions of all the parties on the scene, which is something that can’t be done naturally, without long and invasive narration.
        Now, assuming that anime takes a different route and is trusting the viewer, does it mean that the viewer trusts the anime enough to put in the effort necessary to arrive at the intended conclusions? It’s one thing if every episode manages to provide all the critical details, whether subtly or directly. In this case, you keep your eyes open, and if something seems odd, you start thinking and guessing. Unless you’re a novel reader, or the show does really well at pointing you in the right direction, your guess might still be completely wrong. Well, that’s not the problem here, because with how the show has treated the viewer so far, the only natural reaction upon seeing something that doesn’t immediately add up is not giving a damn about some possible hidden meaning. You reap what you sow, sorry.

      6. @Conrad: What I’m saying is that many viewers are all too ready to blame the source whenever something comes up that they don’t immediately understand. There have been lots of scenes already where some slight brainwork could have come to different (correct) conclusions. And if viewers are unwilling or unable to invest this brainwork and unwilling or unable to store away “inexplicable” situations for later review once more information is given., I doubt that this is the right show for them.

      7. @Mentar

        I agree in general, but it’s honestly hard for me to blame the viewers in this particular case. As a novels reader, I can pick up scenes like the sitting arrangements this episode and think “Cool, how many lines did it take in the source?”, but that’s because all I have to do is recall, not figure it out. In this adaptation, for every well executed scene where you can deduct the meaning, there are several scenes where important pieces are missing, and, what’s more, without any good reason. You use you brains once, twice, then learn that it’s just anime staff being incompetent, and what comes afterwards is frustration. That makes for some ungrateful audience, but who are the ones to blame for that?

  3. Miyuki is so bro-con! Love it. Also , is the flying magic base on their power level so to speak?

    The president was also pretty funny , Honoka and Miyuki was clearly crushing on Tatsuya.

    Also that girl look way better with glasses off! Agreed?

    1. Regarding the flying magic: it’s more or less a continuous spell (if you’ve ever played WC3, think DH’s immolation) that drains psions (MP, so to speak), and magicians have different capacities. Ushiyama implies that Miyuki and Tatsuya have abnormally high psion capacity (high max MP), so them being test subjects wouldn’t be representative of a normal magician.

      Going a bit more in depth,
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Being able to use flying magic for a longer time reflects another aspect of magicians, but isn’t necessarily indicative of overall power level.

  4. You and me both, Stilts! It was entertaining to watch when the old fart of a butler got told by Tatsuya, and I hope people like him in the Yotsuba clan keeps getting their just desserts. As for his father……I don’t really know what to feel about it. Who the hell just stands there while both their children are obviously not happy and one is getting insulted for a good reasons. Yes yes, people can throw in the “family tradition” dilemma, but I call BS on that. In their day and age, if aristocratic family traditions still exist where assholes like the butlers are still around, then those families need to be rid of (well, the traditions maybe, no need to eradicate people).

    As of now, I’ll be keeping a watch on his father, though it seems that many of Tatsuya’s family memebers are pretty much dicks to him.

    1. Frankly, it looks like the ladies are in charge in Tatsuya/Miyuki’s family. Dad is a figurehead, and the butler is arrogant enough to exploit it, knowing Dad won’t do/say anything.

    2. It’s funny ’cause, the more things change, the more things stay the same. In the case of Japan in the Mahoukaverse, society has regressed by [almost] reinstating aristocracy.

      Sidenote: would it kill them to put on TV news reports to give us hints on the state of the world or is that no longer a thing? It’s probably the cheapest method to give viewers a look at current events.

      1. Governments, if they endure, always tend increasingly toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class — whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy (c) Politics as Repeat Phenomenon: Bene Gesserit Training Manual

      2. @Solace
        I like the first and the fourth novels the best, and, to be honest, you can stop at the fourth one if you are troubled by the incomplete nature of the series. The plotline that was left unfinished only starts in the fifth novel, moreover, Herbert’s wife, who contributed to his works both in terms of advice and editing, had passed away before the sixth novel was complete, and I could feel the change it brought. Dune has a lot of social commentary, so it’s an interesting read.

      3. What Conrad said is both correct and wise. You can read the first book (Dune) and stop, or you can go up to the fourth (God Emperor of Dune) and stop there, but once you get past that you might as well finish out. It’s probably not worth the time, though…the world gets increasingly shifty after the 4th, and the ones released posthumously just didn’t have the same quality or depth.

        I would suggest going up to God Emperor though, because that’s my favorite book in the series. It’s fascinating.

      4. Yeah, the main reason to go past the first novel is to get to God Emperor. I think the only two novels in the series that had explicit focus on a single character were the first and the fourth, and it payed off.

        The common problem of all the long series is that authors have to up the ante and add more and more players and plotlines without discarding the existing ones. The scale increases, the focus gets lost, and then the author collapses under the weight of the world that he created. That’s unless he gives up earlier by making the story repetitive, of course. Good thing Amber didn’t go past ten books, would have been even better if it had stopped at five, to be honest.

        In the Dune series, the first novel had the smallest cast playing it out on the smallest stage, but it was a very focused and detailed work. I applaud to how Herbert managed to regain the focus in the fourth novel, what he did there was both amazing and brave. The fifth novel, on the other hand, had less focus than any of the previous four, so, yeah…

        Oh, and a pile of novels written by that Star Wars fanfics author… I’d say it can give Sunrise a run for their money when it comes to trainwrecks. From the moment my hand grew tired from facepalming and ’til the end of the series, it was a constant laughter.

  5. *sigh*

    These random expedition dumps really have been wearing on my nerves. We are 9 episodes in and I feel like not much has changed. Miyuki is still a one note annoying protective sister. Tatsuya is still a perfect untouchable dude. And then of course we have people who either like or dislike him based on their experiences on him. It’s a very tiring cycle.

    Very early on I thought of this as a Log Horizon successor from last season because I do enjoy shows that take their time to expand their fantasy worlds. The problem though is as Stilts somewhat pointed out they have not taken the time to properly develop the characters. Log Horizon had a perfect blend of character development, world building, story advancement and overall fun.

    Here however I feel the only thing they are focusing WAY to much time on is explaining the over complicated magic system. The comedy scenes really just fall flat for me because I’m so exhausted from listening to all this blabber that I almost start tuning everything out. Why should I care about these people? So far I we haven’t really been given a reason.

    I do like how Tatsuya makes the girls flusters because of his remarks but other than that even the “fun” in this show is bland at best. Honestly this isn’t the worst adaption I’ve seen but this is definitely a show that I don’t think properly fits into the anime scene because those who aren’t familiar with the material are forced to take in all this information every single episode. I really do want to like this show but it’s losing the appeal it initially had on me.

  6. Both Hayama’s and their father’s behavior make sense, not so much in the anime. Well, as expected, the omitted details have already started snowballing, which shows even in small things, like reactions to Mayumi’s getup. With the anime skipping the matter of cultural changes, it wasn’t the same. Overall, everything feels..flat. Enzo said that he thought NGNL lacks soul, but it’s more like the real offender is this show.

    1. Have to agree that Mahouka is the main contender for failed expectations this season, largely due to the lack of something NGNL has in spades: character development. NGNL may have shallow character development based primarily around humour, but Mahouka has shown even less and the development it does show either does nothing to build on what we already know or seemingly comes out of left field (ex. Mayumi’s sudden flirting with Tatsuya).

      Starting to really question what drugs the screenwriters are on because it’s obvious the things they are cutting from the show are seriously hurting its ability to link successive plot points together and give understandable character actions (i.e. not meant to be cut).

      1. NGNL is a child of love. You can almost feel all the effort and attention the people involved in the production are giving to the show. That alone is enough to overshadow some of its week points.
        Mahouka, on the other hand… Do they even care?

      2. @Asmalti
        Looking at how fluid the animation of the Mahouka’s OP is, you can make a guess about its budget. While many fans were fired up to see the adaptation, Madhouse itself was more skeptical about the prospects of the show, it would seem. Doesn’t help their reputation, though.

      3. Once again, I’ll note that Madhouse is one of those studios that differ markedly based upon the team that’s producing a particular series, unlike KyoAni or Trigger which are more consistent across their works. (I would add SHAFT into that list, but they’ve been sucking lately.)

        I definitely agree that while NGNL has soul (and clear attention and love from its staff), I don’t get that feeling from Mahouka. I don’t think it’s transparently exploitative like, say, Nisekoi, but the labor of love that I feel like the LNs were isn’t coming through. It’s starting to just become a labor, and slogs are no fun.

      4. How do you think, did they give up on the show from the start? I don’t mind people trying and failing, but I’m not convinced they were putting in much effort from episode one. The only other reason that comes to mind is that the anime staff themselves don’t understand the magic system and are at a loss as to what’s going on in the novels.

        Considering that the upcoming competition is all about fine-tuning strategies and magic used by the participants, I can only wonder how it will look to anime-only viewers. The director might as well use his connections and invite Kimi to perform a dance or two if he wants to save the show.

      5. I still feel like this is a combination of 1) hard source material to adapt and 2) executive meddling forcing them to adapt at too quick of a pace. They treated this series (time-wise) more like the typical four-episodes-per-LN-volume adaptation – except for the first LN, where they resorted to the atrocious three-episodes-per method! – instead of erring on the Kyoukaisen side of things, which did one LN per cour. When trapped between a rock and a hard place, this may have been the best they could do…or close to it, at least.

      6. I agree that the pacing is one of the main issues, but that alone doesn’t explain their weird choices of omitting things that are both important and don’t require much screen time. Not to trigger major spoiler alerts, take that conversation with the butler. The very beginning of the conversation:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Now, putting what was addressed to their father aside, doesn’t Aoki’s response give a different impression compared to the anime? How many additional seconds would it take to keep it that way? And it’s hardly the one and only blunder of that kind.

      7. Small mistakes like that are probably just that, mistakes. As I’ve mentioned before, take it from me, it’s sometimes hard to remember all the little details when you’re the one writing the source material! What hope do others have? Some, certainly, but I’m not surprised if a few things are missed or omitted, especially if they don’t realize how important that are or have internalized the source material to such a point that they totally forget something needs to be included.

        I also think anime has a problem where it’s hard to edit it after it’s made and fix mistakes. Too many working parts (and too much money on the line) makes that difficult.

      8. It’s a small thing indeed, but look at how many people thought Aoki to be a complete idiot, and we’re talking about the guy managing all the finances of the Yotsuba clan. They also cut out Tatsuya’s thoughts in the end of the conversation, which are more important (and might be considered a spoiler for anime-only viewers):
        Show Spoiler ▼

        I can’t imagine them not realizing that it’s important for understanding how the main character operates. If one were to go through every episode aired so far, it shouldn’t be hard to find a lot of mistakes big and small that could have been evaded without significantly changing the pacing.

        Which is why I was wondering if they simply don’t care, or if they can’t get a hold of the essence of the source material. The latter would imply that the ones who don’t care are the executives: they assembled a wrong team and didn’t get the author on board despite the difficulty of the task at hand.

      9. Honestly, my feeling is that the script has been done by some rookie with no hands-on experience. There are many tricks and techniques to cleverly inject extra information and details into the normal flow of action to reward the attentive viewer, but they are missing _completely_ here.

        Example: In Hataraku Maou-sama, Emi and Suzuno are having a talk in a family restaurant (primary level). While doing so, Emi is opening a plastic milk can, spilling some milk, cleaning it up and finishing her coffee. Suzuno is repeating Emi’s every move finishing with a self-content “well done, me!” fist-pump. In addition to being drop-dead funny, it suggests that Suzuno is trying hard to mimick Emi without really understanding what she’s doing and why (secondary level). It also allows us to conclude that she is trying to do something not our of her own volition. This is efficient, saves time AND is much more interesting than tediously showing close-ups of unmoving faces repeating all too many banalities that people are aware of in the first place.

        It’s like someone handed a scriptwriter a “Priorities” list containing stuff like “Tatsuya rocks and cool folks admire him while jerks hate him” or “Miyuki reeeeeally wuvs her oniisama”, and he’s dutifully emphasizing this stuff instead of stepping to the meta-level and pondering “okay, this and this is obvious and doesn’t need extra emphasis, so what should the show spend its limited time on working out instead”.

        Yes, the source material is difficult and complex, but IMHO the decisions what to simplify/cut and what to show are exactly wrong. Instead of delving indepth into the magical system they should have simplified THAT (many viewers simply won’t care in the first place, and those who do can read LN/manga), and rather concentrated on the characters and their interpersonal relationships (which not only are much more funny, but also insightful, and given the characters much more depth because it can show their motives), which would also have allowed to explain a bit more of the world.

        The storytelling technique of the anime is among the most plain and basic I’ve seen in a loooong long time. I find it hard to believe that the scriptwriter is an experienced professional.

      10. @Mentar

        I wouldn’t blame everything on a scriptwriter alone. It’s subjective, of course, but the way accents are placed feels weird at times, and even VA’s performance is inconsistent: there are times when I honestly wonder if their intonations are off. This stuff is not scriptwriter’s responsibility.

        They definitely don’t make a good use of the screen’s real estate. I absolutely love how NGNL inserts those bubbles showing characters’ reactions when they don’t fit in the frame, and it’s just one of the many small tricks it uses. Mahouka makes me think of a person who bought a 32″ UHD monitor only to run it at 1366×768 resolution.
        To continue the tech analogy, novels are written word by word and are read word by word, a code for an SISD machine. Anime, on the other hand, has both video and audio, moreover, you can use background sounds and make a lot of things happen on-screen at the same time. Naturally, unless you really overdo it, humans can keep track of all of this, so, for best adaptation, you have to take that SISD code and parallelize it so it can be efficiently run on an MIMD machine. Now, that’s not trivial at all, even more so when it’s not a code, but a creative work. Still, if you do GPU compute and leave your code single-threaded, you might as well start to work on job applications in parallel. And there are times when Mahouka features narration over almost static video, which is the same as waving the white flag.

        A wild guess at what might be the reason. It’s well-known that studios outsource in-between animation, but they now appear to be short on key animators as well. Now, the more you cram into a single frame and the more dynamic your visuals are, the busier your animators are, and the more communication is required both to explain the task and to control the process. If you assemble a team of random staff members at the last moment, you can expect them to have severe communication issues. If your directors and scriptwriters don’t have a perfect feel for the source material, face the lack of animators, have to rush things to pass the work over to in-betweeners in time, and it takes time for everyone to understand each other… And imagine what it could be if they outsource the key animation as well. NGNL is doing great, but it might also be consuming a lot of human resources. Now, does Madhouse have enough of them for another high-profile show? And if not, why did they decide to do it at such a moment? Or do they think that it will go like “watch anime -> get confused -> buy novels -> read novels -> rewatch anime -> start eagerly waiting for S2 -> buy merchandise in hope it helps to greenlight S2”? That I doubt.

  7. By the way, I expected a bit of umbrage about the human experiments, but I guess if it’s Japan in the state of (cold) war, that comes as something natural even for Stilts 🙂

    1. Considering that was barely mentioned in the episode and it didn’t really carry much of an emotional punch (which I can kind of understand since all of the characters present already knew about it). The stuff about human experimenting didn’t really register with me at first, and even then the reaction it got from me was pretty much “huh, ok, that’s interesting. I guess?”.

      1. They removed the details on the negative consequences Tatsuya has suffered due to these experiments, and didn’t point out to who’s the person explicitly responsible for his condition. Now, this is bad for a number of reasons, but it allowed the anime to gloss over the issue. If they plan to spread all the controversial material in thin layer as to not come under fire for promoting views not supported by the public in general, the story will become even harder to follow.
        Come to think of it, they pulled the same trick with the flashback in the first episode – I don’t remember any cries about a middle schooler killing god knows how many people. It’s funny how you can write whatever you want in the novel, yet if it’s an anime, the level of censorship is on a whole different level.

    2. I haven’t read anything, but, based on the beginning of Ep#1, if Tatsuya has been experimented on to make the perfect soldier – calm, analytical, deductive, then you see why soldiers who have been in true action sometimes have difficulty adjusting to civilian life. In our real life, soldiers come back, and all have had problems handling the stress, while others are permanently changed by the experience. Stress gets to some as they prepare for battle, others freeze or made bad decisions when the time comes and others break down afterward, when the stress is removed. With luck, those decisions/outcomes and reactions aren’t fatal or detrimental, but over time, the person changes in response to that stimulus. I’m guessing that an attempt was made to find a way to eliminate that situation before it ever came about, and Tatsuya was the guinea pig. A confrontation, a fight, any type of conflict, and Tatsuya can handle it. It would be like a member of Seal Team 6 coming back to college and joining ROTC…give me a break, man, that person would be as OP as Tatsuya. He’s been there! The question becomes, did they remove the emotions, or just block them? Tatsuya said he ‘cannot’ react, so he directs the energy of that reaction into the solution of a problem or developing the content of a response (like his talk to the butler), rather than an emotional outburst.

      Sorry, ran a bit long there…

      1. Aoki’s called Tatsuya a “bogus” magician, and Tatsuya followed up with the statement that it was thanks to his mother’s and aunt’s efforts that he’s like that. You can conclude that the objective of the experiment was to give him magical abilities, i.e. to create an artificial magician. Looks like it wasn’t a complete success, otherwise he wouldn’t be called a fake, and, apparently, there were side effects as well. There’s a conflict between the immoral nature and practical benefits of such experiments, but that’s not a comfortable topic to discuss on a public TV.

    3. Honestly, I glossed over the whole human experimentation thing. It was implied from previous episodes (or comments I’ve had to censor, I dunno), so it didn’t come as a surprise.

      1. That’s actually interesting. Looks like they managed to dull the emotional response by diluting and spreading the controversial parts to the point that even people sensitive to the things like that don’t feel like commenting on them. Let’s see how they are going to deal with things down the line, then.

      2. @Conrad

        People never really commented on the fact that Tatsuya (and I bet other mages too) is a child soldier either. He’s about 15 now and looking at his finesse and almost apathy towards wonton violence during the Blanche arc, he’s probably dealt his fair share of death and destruction, but no one bats an eye. You hear stories about soldiers getting PTSD from killing ONE soldier ( http://sploid.gizmodo.com/veteran-tells-how-killing-a-young-nazi-soldier-haunted-1581815672/all ), but this guy is like the Terminator.

      3. @Conrad

        Like is the state of the world that bad they need child soldiers or does magic deteriorate after your teenage years? At least in the BETAverse (Muv-Luv), the [global] draft age was lowered to 16 and opened up to women for frontline combat roles because most adult combat capable men were dead by Oct 2001, the world population dropped to 1 billion, and pilots died faster than they can be replaced. I accepted it just fine there because they showed from the beginning how screwed humanity was if these unethical, but otherwise necessary, measures weren’t taken. It gets even worse in Unlimited: The Day After when they really do end up recruiting 10-12 year olds because things just got THAT dire in that timeline.

      4. @Solace: remember this is set after World War III, in which the world population was reduced to 3 billion. As magic is overwhelming effective in both military and civilian applications, magic-users will be made use of, no matter what age they are.

      5. @Solace
        Child soldiers (which I’m using here as below high-school age) are extremely rare, and usually only temporary until the immediate crisis has been averted. High-school magicians aren’t exactly soldiers, but the military would probably expect them to help out if something happened. As far as Tatsuya is concerned, there should be a related discussion in the next episode, but I feel like it’ll be cut.

      6. @Solace

        You see, they give a glimpse of Tatsuya killing people in the first episode, but it’s so brief and vague that it doesn’t trigger much discomfort. Still, it registers and eliminates the surprise factor. Then they show Tatsuya being cold and violent during the Blanche incident, but he doesn’t kill anyone, and everything’s overshadowed by the behavior of Kirihara, which is later explained by his love for Miba, and Miyuki’s worries about going too far. Now, if Tatsuya were to murder someone in cold blood, it would not be much of a surprise, we already know that he’s capable of that. Just throw in a convincing justification, and bingo.
        Thing is, the novels never cared to gloss over this matter that much, and the order of things and emphasis never was that convenient. Unless it’s a miraculous coincidence, I guess I know where a good deal of effort went with this adaptation.

        As for the state of the world, magicians are one of the important military assets. They don’t have many uses outside of serving the military, and most of the graduates of the Magic University eventually join the military. The members of the Ten Master Clans have even more responsibilities in exchange for their priviledges. Unless there appears another important role the magicians can play withing the society, they are going to remain dogs of the military.
        Of course, it’s not common for high-schoolers to engage in violence, magicians or not, but children in the families practicing magic are usually brought up with their future military career in mind. If the need arises, they will take to battle. All for the bright future, of course.

      7. @Wanderer

        remember this is set after World War III, in which the world population was reduced to 3 billion.

        Yes, and? The period after World War 2, the US (and many Western countries) had a baby boom. (“In the United States more babies were born during the seven years after 1948 than the previous 30.”) It’s been 31 years since the end of WW3 in the Mahoukaverse. That’s a lot of time to repopulate the world, but seeing how they haven’t given us a look at any sort of current events, who knows what the current population is right now in 2095, or even right before WW3. And since most of the heavy lifting during the war was done by mages (which are a insanely small fraction of the population), wouldn’t that mean there were DRASTICALLY MORE civilian deaths than soldier deaths? Did they purposefully hit civilians in like every single urban center in the world? Pretty sure this shit is banned in the Geneva conventions. I pointed out Muv-Luv because in the BETAverse, humanity was STILL fighting a war of attrition against the BETA and has been for 30 years. Their world lost entire continents to the BETA and is LOSING more people than are being born because of the ongoing war. There was a reason for 16 year olds to be drafted to fight for humanity because they were pressed for more soldiers when practically all combat capable men were already at the frontlines.

        If your excuse is that the world population is too low and that somehow means there’s a shortage of adult mages in the military when we haven’t been really shown what the proportions are like, then I think you should reevaluate your argument.

        As magic is overwhelming effective in both military and civilian applications, magic-users will be made use of, no matter what age they are.

        Civilian? We haven’t been shown civilian application of magic at all. All that we’ve seen was destructive magic.

        And are you saying that since these people are mages, it’s ok to say screw ethics? Child labor laws in the case of civilian jobs? Is training and ordering a child to kill another person actually considered acceptable or even normal here? Has this world gone ass-backwards? They’re not even in armed conflict. Even during our Cold War, the Vietnam War to be precise, you hear cases of Vietnamese children in combat roles or even acting as human shields, but it has always been condemned by the international community. This thing is a serious, serious issue even today.

        To compare, in MLA, the UN commander said this in his speech:

        …young ones.

        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.

        These people clearly felt guilty for sending teenagers out to die so they and the rest of the humanity have a chance at survival. Now remove the whole fighting for a greater good thing because Mahouka clearly doesn’t have that. Can you just imagine for a moment that suddenly all that you were taught in your childhood is how to hone your skills for dealing death no matter how justified it is? Can you imagine the emotional toll it takes on a child?

      8. @SK

        Well, Tatsuya seems like a special case then, right (surprise, surprise)? I dunno if the age of consent or whatever laws changed in Japan in the Mahoukaverse, but you might know that 20 is the age you’re considered an adult. For all intents and purposes, if you’re not an adult, you’re considered a child, therefore child soldier. It’s a legal term anyway, I’m not thinking particularly too hard about this, but am more interested in the moral/ethical ramifications. And I agree, high school mages are not military affiliated (actually, can we get a source on this just confirm yes or no?). We have similar systems in real life where you can enter the military (with parental consent) before being an adult but you’re not allowed to be deployed overseas or allowed into combat roles. No argument there.

      9. @Solace
        I’m aware that Japan’s current adult age is 20, but that age differs from place to place, so what might be considered a child soldier in one place might not in another. Just threw that in to try and make it clear. I tried to address high-schoolers separately considering we just saw some dealing with terrorists, which generally isn’t something civilians should get actively involved in. What I meant in my earlier post is that they aren’t going to send high-schoolers off to other nations to fight wars, but if something occurred in Japan that would require military intervention, high-school magicians in the area would be expected to join the fighting force rather than be treated as civilians. A possible comparison would be something like members of a militia?

        Tatsuya is a special case, but there are others. As far as being adult age before joining the military, (Spoiler for later novels)
        Show Spoiler ▼

        HS age magicians in Japan are not officially affiliated with the military. However, since most magicians will end up working with the military in some capacity, many already have some sort of connection, whether they are family members (Mibu’s father), family friends, recruiters, etc.

        Also want to point out that most of the population decline was not caused by WW3, but by widespread famine due to a global cooldown affecting the availability of farmland. (Don’t ask me why the world cooled, it’s never explained, and questioning this leads nowhere beyond me saying IDK, that’s just how it is.)

  8. I was surprised it took Miyuki that long to start trying to freeze Asshole Butler out of anger. (And can we just make that his Official Name now?)

    There’s not much MKNR can do about the long explanations, though. It’s hard-wired into the story from the get-go. Log Horizon could kind of gloss things over a bit, so could Horizon even, but a lot of the plots of MKNR hinge on those really subtle nitpicky bits of setting, which is a sign of bad writing, IMO.

    Good writing: story hinges on human elements, characters, emotions, basic human drives: greed, fear, love, hate, etc.
    Bad writing: story hinges on random part of made-up physics author mentions on page 107.

    1. Reading Mahouka often feels like reading tech reports, which is a familiar thing for some and a hurdle for others. Fans of sci-fi tend to fall in the former category, so it doesn’t turn into a big problem for most readers. Anime studios, on the other hand, employ people who generally have nothing to do with natural sciences/engineering, so it’s possible that the problems of this adaptations are partially due to the anime staff not getting the novels.

      1. THIS so much! I really like Mahouka’s world, characters, and etc. However the huge tech report explanation info dumps on magic really wear you out at times. I need to take a break just reading it, or I end up glossing over it. I can’t imagine how much trouble it would be to actually translate that stuff. Mahouka’s author should take some notes from Brandon Sanderson or someone when it comes to developing magic systems.

        I did like the episode though, but I could see a lot of moments where anime watchers could be left wondering.

      2. Well, there are people who don’t like Herbert’s novels because his writing style feels too dry and hard to read for them, and we’re talking about the author of novels that received all the prestigious prizes in the field. So even if a novel is good both in form and content, it’s still not necessarily enough for people to like it.

        Mahouka is a strong work in terms of content, or rather the amount of content, but a weak one in terms of form. Moreover, its content is unrefined: all the technical aspects could be optimized and simplified without hurting the story. I don’t know if its author has the ability to do that, but one thing he sure didn’t have is time. When it was a web novel, readers were asking for new content, once it was picked for serialization, it was already good enough to sell, so he probably didn’t have a real chance to polish it, he had to push out new volumes leaving the things as they were.

      3. Mahouka to me seems like a case of an author who focused too much on world building to the detriment of story. Obviously a lot of thought went into Mahouka’s magic system and the related areas such as politics (both international and domestic) and function in daily life, but there is only so much you can explain these things before the story turns into a report. Personally I’m a big sci-fi reader and even these types of books are dry for me in comparison to things like Hew Strachan’s brobdingnagian World War I work (or any account-type book); there needs to be more than just details explained by characters.

        Ideally the author should have a story before building a world around it, that way the world building complements the main focus instead of overshadowing it. In Mahouka’s case, however, it seems like the author developed the world first and then sought a story to fit in it that could show off all the world building. This would explain the heavy focus on explanation, especially the magic system.

      4. I know, at first, he wanted to make an RPG and wrote the detailed description of the game engine, then couldn’t find anyone to write the code, so he decided to write the novels instead.

      5. I pretty much agree with the rest of ya; Mahouka reeks (to me) of a story that wasn’t edited sufficiently, so it spends a lot of time on intricate details of the world at the expense of its characters or conflicts. Not that that’s a catastrophic flaw! Some people like that kind of thing, and the world would be boring if all our stories were “optimized”. They could have seriously cut down (or streamlined) the world without killing that aspect though.

        I can’t hate the source material for that, though. I’d prefer to see authors doing things the way they want it and finding a niche rather than sanding down all the corners. Hopefully Satou-sensei will improve and later volumes (or his next series) will be better for it.

    2. Good writing: story hinges on human elements, characters, emotions, basic human drives: greed, fear, love, hate, etc.
      Bad writing: story hinges on random part of made-up physics author mentions on page 107.

      Not that I think Mahouka is good or anything close to it, but to play a little bit of devil’s advocate, these in-universe concepts when done well can give the reader/viewer a better understanding of how the world works. When that happens (and again, done well) gives the author some tools to play with when solving conflicts, because the reader/viewer understands how the concept works when it is finally employed as a solution. (*See Brandon Sanderson’s First Law of [Well-written] Magic) It’s really dependent on how prominent the author makes it to be. If it’s something like magic in Mahouka, I’ve found the Magi Babble to be almost inconsequential in the end because it’s similar to how if you’re watching a baseball game and the guy next to you is explaining how it works in exclusively physics terms. The concepts itself are fascinating, but functionally, it seems disjointed (the author even pointed out that magic itself is illogical and violates our physical laws) and the author hasn’t really shown it’s meaningful beyond the page it was written on. It might as well be “it’s fukken magic, ain’t gotta explain shit” when the explanations are done this bad.

    3. I feel you man. I’ve been saying this since episode one (and getting a fair bit of thumbs down in the process) but mahouka has some serious writing problems.

      For the magic bit, while I do find complex and detail magic systems, I find it annoying that they’ll use up nearly half the episode just to explain it. The author doesnt know how to recognize stuff we necessarily need to know from the stuff that’s better off in a wikia page. Info dumping the audience with filler magic lessons is a painful indication of bad writing.

      However, the greatest gripe I have with the series is the Mary Sue levels of Tatsuya Shiba. A highschool student can make a homemade CAD used for flight while an entire lab filled sophisticated equipment cant even pull it of…. how is that NOT Mary Sue?!

      Since I’m a fan of modern magic themed animes, I’ll watch Mahouka till the very end, but I expect to cringe every once in a while.

    4. Can I ask where you feel that’s the case?

      I feel that in quite a few places, large parts of the explanations could have been cut out without unduly impacting the story.

  9. I suspect the Yotsubas mistreat Tatsuya due to his magical shortcomings, if the discrimination of the previous arc is anything to go by. Add their obviously elitist views as one of Japan’s top magical families and there you go.

    1. I didn’t read the LN, but given that we’ve already been shown a culture of the elite looking down on the lesser skilled (bloom vs weed) in a school environment, is it so difficult to accept that on a family level, 10 master clan level no less, that such discrimination can be much much worse?

      And that even a butler can allow himself the privilege of talking down a bloodline member (who failed the family’s criteria for respect) reinforces the fucked up minority society within Japan (minority because the magicians are so few yet so strict amongst themselves).

      I am very curious to know why the father would not feel even a little more about the butler giving lip, but then again, fucked up hierarchy, so I’m not too surprised either.

    1. You did note how he said he was created, along with the flashes of him lying on some sort of labortory table? I would say that yes, something was indeed done to him.

  10. I can’t help but notice how much Shizuku looks like Misaki Suzuhara from Angelic Layer…only with gray hair/eyes rather than brown hair/blue eyes and, of course, more deadpan sounding.

    Another thing with Tatsuya being Silver…same initials, lol. T.S. Tatsuya Shiba/Taurus Silver.

    1. Come on, if you’re gonna say something like this, make sure it works in the language of origin. That’s pretty flimsy reasoning since that only holds true using romaji (TS vs. TS), not kana (Tsu[つ] and Sa[さ] vs. Ta[た] and  Shi[し]).

  11. Thaaaaaaat’s right Mikihiko, start clinging onto Mizuki. Get far away from Eri as you can =03. I don’t care if its for my own fantasies, but when I see unimportant scene transitions like Eri(center focus, with Leo and Mizuki) waving to Tatsuya from the audience, it makes me think that there is some subtle shipping going on. Clearly my favorite girl. Shizuku and Mari are good seconds.

    The end was kind of a bit over the top, but I guess its supposed to showcase something, perhaps it’ll be used to have Tatsuya to save the day with some quick thinking so that the other candidates can respect him or something.

  12. Surprisingly a better episode than before, the pacing was actually bearable for once and there were no overbearing info-dumps to contend with. The only issues were Mizuki’s eyes and the whole spirit magic stuff (seemed awfully superfluous and out of place in terms of what else happened this episode) along with Mayumi’s sudden infatuation with Tatsuya (seriously did not see this coming and really seems contrived, at least from an anime-only perspective).

    If anything this episode just reinforces the main problem of this adaptation: too much info too fast with little else to build on top of it.

    1. Tatsuya’s relationship with Mayumi was like a teasing but caring older sister who constantly teases her reluctant and hesitant little brother. Nonetheless, the little brother still carries out the job well done despite his reluctance and hesitation when ordered to.

      This episode Mayumi was planning to “pick” Tatsuya and make him seat next to her so she can tease him for the duration of their ride. But since her plan failed, as stated by Suzune, her next obvious target was the pure-hearted Hattori which in return Hattori lashes out his built-up stress from teasing to the course 2 students.

      Well, in short, Mayumi is not yet “intersted” with Tatsuya. It’s just part of her flirty (not-animated) personality.

      1. yup. this was basically the first Mayumi scene in the whole anime so far. since they even took out her first meeting with Tatsuya (well, the meeting happened, just took out all the interaction). no Student Council Room interactions either. same is true for Shizuku/Honoka. first name basis yet 0 interaction in the anime (lunchroom scenes all cut so you don’t even know they hang out)

      2. Well, you may remember the complaints of LN fans like me who were annoyed that all really relevant character building moments were stripped from Mayumi and Miyuki. The result was that Mayumi changed from “flirty capricious minx” to “reliable slow oneesama” (WTF??). In the LN, Tatsuya caught her eye when he aced the theoretical part of the entrance exam, and she has been pestering and flirting the tar out of him. However, completely unlike what she is used to, her advances _failed_, he just seemed immune to her – which only raised her interest higher. So she escalates.

        I suggest that for the upcoming parts, you should adjust your inner impression of Mayumi:

        – Fast, impulsive, playful and highly intelligent
        – Loves to mess with people around her (see Hattori this ep, but especially Tatsuya)
        – Very capable when the chips come down

      3. Don’t worry 🙂 … the reply was positive for a long while, before it got 3 downvotes in rapid succession. Most likely some elitist haters whose inner child I have wounded before, and who now see this as an opportunity for ‘revenge’. I’ve got a notorious reputation in the cesspool echo chamber, as I’ve been told.

        I’ll live.

      4. The ones downvoting were probably the anti-Mayumi faction. Or may be jealous Miyuki.

        And why would anyone really care about this entire upvoting/downvoting thing, particularly when no one among those who supposedly dislike your comment/opinion is capable of leaving a single reply with a counterargument?

  13. Mayumi: So what do you think of this dress?

    Tatsuya: You look good in it.

    Mayumi: Oh come on, don’t be shy, what do you really think?

    Tatsuya: You must be having a lot of stress lately, Prez.


  14. (Separate posting just in case multiple html links triggering the spam filter by accident)


    Mikihiko x Mizuki FTW. All aboard folks. Other non-wincest ships so far are Leo x Erika and Kirihara x Sayaka.

    Not sure about Hanzo x Mayumi, it seems more like Rin trolling poor Hanzo here. LOL


  15. This episode seems to go exactly like Stilts’ (and many others’) opinion on the show in general: the banter between characters is great, while the “important plot content” doesn’t really get as interesting as it probably should.

    Highlights of the episode were
    – Mikihiko being awkward with Mizuki and Tatsuya trolling them for it. That pretty much saved the scene, because the technical explanations of spirit magic felt even worse than the usual magic explanations (probably because magic has been physics-based until not, and suddenly spirits)
    – That leap from tea to Tatsuya. Definitely beyond Honoka’s control, LOL.
    – Honoka and Shizuku handling Miyuki’s brocon mind badly or well, respectively. Although when did they get on first-name basis? (I know the answer from comments above)
    – Introducing new characters because the dalogue they brought in was pretty fun. The introduced characters weren’t given enough time to really grow on me though… (Mostly talking about the team Tatsuya’s coaching. Are they important later on?)

    I don’t think Tatsuya having to wait outside for a little while is such a horrible fate, Miyuki. Try living where I live. You’d melt.

    Well, he did apparently have to wait for Mayumi alone for over an hour, so it’s understandable. From Miyuki’s mouth at least.

    1. Honoka and Shizuku are usually hanging around with Tatsuya’s group(it wan’t shown much), besides that they’re quite close to Miyuki, and have been hanging out since their introduction.

  16. Maybe there’s some magic spell involved that made all that happen, but since they haven’t spent the time to explain the magic system to anime-only viewers, I have no idea.

    Good guess…and it’s actually shown really quickly that it is.

    I only noticed on my second watch through, but as the bus itself was braking and skidding, there seems to have been magic cast on its wheels):

    So I then went and looked closely at the scene where the car wheel gave way, and this is what we got just before that:

    (hoping the html works…)

    Stilts edit: Took out broken html. See next comment.

    1. It was a very quick shot that most people would’ve missed. I gotta ask though, isn’t magic preceded by a transmutation circle? I don’t see one for the jihad jeep, so I’m not sure I buy that a wizard did it. It seems like just a minor lighting change that I totally missed.

      1. Of course, I only noticed it because I actually paused the video.

        I would guess it depends on how big the area that magic is being applied to is. E.g. The wheels vs. a tiny part of a wheel.

        That said, yes, it could just be a spark going off due to some kind of mechanical fault, ultimately causing a bigger problem. It’s just less likely given the driver being zoned out and the timing if the whole thing.

      2. the only reason for the magic circle is to let anime viewers know it’s occurring. there’s not reason for a tech-based Magic to be drawing such a circle. not that the circles look any different that I can tell between different people or spells.

  17. I don’t remember exactly, but at the opening ceremony Tatsuya’s classmates (Erika&others that were clapping for him later on) were actually sitting near the front half, even though the course 1 students usually sit in front whereas the course 2 students sit at the back (there is no such rule, but ppl just do it. This unspoken rule thing was actually mentioned during the school opening ceremony around the 1st ep, I think?). Not really important, but I suppose this was why they bothered showing that Tatsuya was surprised(?) to see Erika.
    And I think Miyuki was especially happy for Tatsuya during the ceremony since his uniform for the ceremony had the flower design of the Blooms on it. Well, I could be wrong, and I guess these little stuffs aren’t important enough to be put in.

    1. Is that so? I wondered about that, but since they didn’t give any indication of why it happened, I tuned it out. Again.

      This seems to be an enduring problem for this anime. One of the many, really.

  18. They handled the section with Mizuki’s glasses being taken off a bit oddly – they could have found a better way to show that effectively “another world” was being brought into perspective.

    Surprised no one’s really commenting on how Aoki was calling Tatsuya a mere bodyguard.

    1. Well it is hard to accept for me, that their magic can control the spirit world. As if they breakthrough a tiny invisible layer. I can accept, with their high tech, tehy can do things that called macig. But spirits? What next, control of the undeads? Other dimensions?

      Now now, they are transspacing the line of joking for me…

      But it is only my gusto…

      1. The thing is what they are doing is actually magic. Magic, real magic, was discovered to be a true thing in the Mahouka world, and it was analyzed, and science figured out how to use it scientifically. That’s what the CADs and all the fancy terminology they throw around is for. But there is still “ancient magic” like Tatsuya’s ninjutsu and the spirit summoning we saw in this episode: traditional magic from before science turned magic into an analyzed thing. Those forms of magic are clearly not reliant on the technology to work, because they are ancient: people used them as actual magic, before anyone invented technology to make use of magic.

        So it’s important to remember that despite the high-tech setting, this is still a fantasy world. When they say they’re using magic, they are really using magic, and things like spirits and such do exist.

  19. Tangential to what I said earlier, Tatsuya is seen by some, evidently, like a guard dog, less than human, which is how some people treat others who they can’t touch, accomplishments they can’t accept or people they see as ungrateful. Tatsuya is going his own way, despite the will of the family head (and it ain’t Daddy-kins…). Butler-boy’s allegiance is the the family and the family head, and anybody who strays from the straight and narrow is contemptible, including a guinea pig who doesn’t know his place. The butler probably feels Tatsuya’s accomplishments are due to what the family ‘gave’ him, and Tatsuya won’t even show proper respect and thanks for the gifts he’s been given, hence the cold shoulder.

  20. Cut his hair and give him a scare, and he is his material arts senseihttps://randomc.net/image/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei/Mahouka%20Koukou%20no%20Rettousei%20-%2009%20-%2006.jpg

  21. It’s really weird how Taurus got no proper eyes, it looks like he closed his eyes, drew two black dots on eyelids and now walks around like that, like you do as a prank. Just weird.

  22. Is it just me or is Tatsuya more of a wish fulfillment character more than anything else? He is, right? It’s not just me, is it?

    I certainly hope so, otherwise I’m at near a complete loss to understand him otherwise. I honestly don’t know why anyone would make a MC like him. How are we expected to feel for someone who’s lost pretty much all of his emotions and looks like -___- 95% of the time?

    Now, yes, obviously he has a messed up past and was royally screwed over by his aristocratic snobfest of a family, and while I would take the utmost joy in seeing them getting what’s coming to them; on its own, that does not magically make Tatsuya interesting nor memorable.

    …Well, I’ve stuck it out with Mahouka this far, so I’ll see it through to the end regardless. Here’s hoping our MC can manage to pick it up a bit, and soon.

    Ryan Ashfyre
    1. In terms of this adaptation it’s safe to say he is wish fulfillment. Tatsuya has all the defining traits of a “perfect” male: he is young, yet appears older than he actually his; he is very intelligent and capable of feats not accomplished by others his senior; he is physically powerful and capable of beating others who arguably would have received greater amounts of training; he is stoic and indifferent, radiating an aura of mystery; his weaknesses never hinder his overall ability and success; and he has a tragic back story that makes him “unique” and “special” compared to the other characters.

      These features are further enhanced by his lack of any real enemy (we know he is disliked, but this never lasts more than 30 seconds before the enemies suddenly become indifferent to him or his friend) and the interest almost every girl he comes across is showing in him (building off of his stoicism and indifference, what some PUA circles would term “amused mastery”). In effect Tatsuya is the very image of the male Harlequin romance candidate, a typically flat character who possesses no defects or faults and instead becomes defined by the subjective view of the reader–no matter how contradicting or infeasible. The main objective of said character is simply to choose the female MC (which the reader imagines herself in the position of), completing the circle of wish fulfillment. In Tatsuya’s case though, instead of choosing the female MC it’s to provide a role that the viewer can imagine himself in.

      The main reason these faults are so glaring to us is because a lot of Tatsuya’s development beyond his background appears to have been cut from the anime. Whether that was a deliberate choice or considered a necessary evil to “preserve” the information-dense nature of the LNs is unclear, but it has significantly deviated Tatsuya’s character away from what many LN readers here considered him to be. He would still be wish fulfillment even if the development was included, but it wouldn’t seem so unrealistic and try-hard then, it would have made Tatsuya–dare I say it–more human.

      TL;DR? You’re not the only one who thinks so, strictly in terms of the anime Tatsuya can be considered pure wish fulfillment.

  23. An interesting find on the emotion front –

    “Blunted affect” is the scientific term describing a lack of emotional reactivity (affect display) on the part of an individual. It is manifest as a failure to express feelings either verbally or non-verbally, especially when talking about issues that would normally be expected to engage the emotions. Expressive gestures are rare and there is little animation in facial expression or vocal inflection. Conversely, there may be poor modulation of feelings as well, with reduced expression punctuated by periods of very strong expression, including laughing uncontrollably, crying inconsolably, and outbursts of anger.

    Blunted affect can be symptomatic of schizophrenia, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, or brain damage. It is also a common symptom of Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Syndrome. “The difference between flat and blunted affect is in degree. A person with flat affect has no or nearly no emotional expression. He or she may not react at all to circumstances that usually evoke strong emotions in others. A person with blunted affect, on the other hand, has a significantly reduced intensity in emotional expression”. Individuals with blunted or flat affect show different regional brain activity when compared with healthy individuals.

    Sounds like Tatsuya to me… The question becomes: Was he experimented on because he had this condition, and it couldn’t be cured, or was he ‘given’ this condition to be a more ‘effective’ family member?

  24. Mayumi doesn’t just have a bewitching face. She has that irresistible flirty HanaKana voice as well. Poor Hanzo, I feel for you bro. She is quite the attention grabber.

  25. I also hate the stupid old families. Almost everything has to be about putting Tatsuya down it seems. I keep enjoying the series and as long as I am I’ll keep watching. Its also the few series actually fervently following anyway where with others too way behind which is probably telling.

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