OP: 「Howling」by ASCA
「来訪者編Ⅰ」 (Raihou-sha-hen Ⅰ)
“Visitor Arc I”
Alright cease the cheering, lay down the fireworks, because everyone’s most anticipated season pick is here at last. Or, well, at least if you’re a Mahouka fan since I seriously doubt few are going to be swayed by round two of magical walking on water and city-sized kabooms. Never know though, there’s a first time for everything—provided you’ve seen the first season of course because there’s no way you’re going into this one blind.
As a quick refresher (if previews weren’t enough), Mahouka is pretty much what happens when a passion for world building and exposition meets less-than-stellar storytelling and a serious penchant for overpowered main characters. This world may be all about magic being used a scientifically researched and professionally applied medium alongside some societal musing on the efficacy of various means of testing student abilities, but in truth it’s all about Tatsuya (Nakamura Yuuichi), because Tatsuya is Magic Jesus and nothing gets past perfection. Right off the bat we can see this in action, as besides the usual Onii-sama Miyuki-isms you know you’ve been missing (don’t deny, even I get some fun out of them on occasion) we also have the gang in on the love and the promise that far more of it will be coming down the pipeline. Bigger indicator, however, is the new antagonist of the moment in Angelica (Hikasa Yoko), as not has Tatsuya just so happened to correctly identify her with nary a bit of effort, but the girl has gone out of her way to confirm his suspicions and already get sucked into his magical Casanova ways, because reasons. I’ll give her some credit though; when you’re going full stereotypical American overseas, it can be hard keeping everything else straight too.
Besides the usual expectations there are some signs of mellowing and (dare say) straightforwardness for this season going forward. Infodumps for example, probably the main headache of the first season, are not present in this episode, and while I don’t anticipate their absence to remain for long, minimizing or rationalizing their presence would really play to this series’ strengths in characters and setting (just take that quick bout between Miyuki and Angelica and the short exposition on skill selection, that’s exactly how such information should be conveyed in this format). Likewise is this arc’s story. Although the usual confusion can be expected for those not overly familiar with Mahouka’s source material, this arc is fairly self-contained and should ideally play out better than the material before. Don’t expect Tatsuya to suddenly become grounded and believable mind you—that would be asking for too much where Magic Jesus is concerned—but receiving a fairly decent power fantasy is a good prediction when all the major twists and turns are already in the open.
We’ll know more in the next couple of episodes about where this season is heading of course, but without a doubt if you enjoyed Mahouka’s first kick at the anime can you’re definitely going to like what’s on tap this season too.