「ご一緒してもいいですか？」 (Go Issho Shite mo Ii Desu ka?)
“May I Join You?”
Damn does it feel nice to be right. While Yuutousei won’t be setting records for new franchise coverts, seeing the series willing to eschew it’s more provocative elements is a very nice sight for sore eyes. Sure, early days yet, but right now I’m liking what I’m seeing.
One of the key things I and many others disliked about Rettousei was its heavy focus on its eponymous duo. Tatsuya and Miyuki are the key players in Mahouka and central to its slowly developing arcs, but their presence often felt suffocating or forced at times. Whenever they appeared they dominated the limelight – and any secondary cast member caught in the maelstrom paid the price. I really feared something similar would happen here with Miyuki, but so far at least that doesn’t look to be the case if Honoka’s screen time is anything to go by. Although she’s not my favourite sidekick of the bunch (deadpan Shizuku and the utterly adorable Mizuki tie for a win on that front), Honoka certainly deserved some time in the sun as everything from her Miyuki idolizing to her clumsy handling and steadfast determination got some decent fleshing out. Nothing overtly spectacular story-wise of course, but it does indicate we can expect more of the same for other minor characters going forward.
Part of my current satisfaction as well stems from the treatment of the main Mahouka story. While I suspected a similar degree of detail wouldn’t be present in Yuutousei, it’s nice seeing that confirmed as all the initial Rettousei event overhead – i.e. the Weed vs. Bloom dichotomy – were largely skimmed over in favour of building out the responses of anyone not named Shiba to them. This narrative strategy will inevitably preclude franchise newbies from carrying on with the series (I firmly suspect at this point a lot of the Rettousei material is going to insinuated rather than explained) but it does open up a lot of potential to feature many of Mahouka’s fairly diverse cast, particularly in later arcs where they barely had a moment to shine. If you like Mahouka and wanted to see more of a particular character you’re in the right place, especially if Miyuki can find a way to keep that brotherly love firmly in the comedy zone as shown here.
Although unknown just how well Yuutousei will stack up to its big brother (heh), if what we got this week keeps up I dare say this sidestory could prove to be a bit of a surprise.
ED: 「ダブル・スタンダード」 (Daburu Sutandaato) by フィロソフィーのダンス (Philosophy no Dance)