34 CommentsFirst Impressions, Irregular at Magic High School / By Scamp /

Irregular at Magic High School episode 1 – Casanova’s Bizarre Adventure

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei - 01 - Large 18When going into Irregular at Magic High School, I wasn’t expecting to get ironic enjoyment out of it. Sure I heard the main character was basically Mr Perfect. Sure I’d read a little bit of a manga to see this Casanova in action. But watching him act out in his full charming form with that calm, soothing yet authoritative voice was something else. I assumed this would be like Sword Art Online where the main character was perfect because the plot demanded it. He was ordinary yet inexplicably loved by everyone and had powers just because. He’s who you project yourself into. I can’t see how anyone can project themselves into Captain Charming here. You can only stand back and swoon.

It’s not that he utters one or two lines or anything. It’s not that girls drop their panties simply because he walks in the room. No, that would be how lazy shows do it. You know the ones where characters have fan clubs because the plot has decided they are the one people like despite there being no obvious reason why they should be. Señor Magnificent here delivers practically every single line of spoken dialogue with an emphasis on his dreaminess. When he speaks to glasses girl, he instantly focuses in on her glasses and then remarks that she must have great eyesight to spot something. This of course makes her kyaa because he complimented the thing she has a complex about and now she’s all his.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei - 01 - Large 19Expect he wouldn’t take advantage of her because he’s noble and righteous. Fuck yo’ Alpha Male bullshit, Flawless-sama is a modern man who respects women and is always there to put a reassuring arm on their shoulder. He’s always there to say that you don’t need to apologise because Jesus-nii chan will always forgive you. He’s also observant and can read tone. He’s the first to notice a fight is about to break out. He’s the person who stops people from getting hurt with a little handwave due to his absurdly over-powered magical abilities (except not like those Blooms, because Saviour of Mankind is not the type to sit amongst the bourgeoisies, he is a people person who mingles with the commoners and graces them with his goodwill). And when it looks like they’re all going to get in trouble, he’s the one to take the blame and diffuse the situation.

I suppose the correct term for this would be Gary Stu, but Gary Stu’s are generally loved by everyone without any necessarily good reason. People are friendly to Don Juan-kun certainly, but it’s his charms that make them blush like they just started thinking of him naked. What makes it a little bizarre is the show seems to play it straight. The comedic format would be  the manga Sakamoto desu ga where an absolutely perfect in every way male lead does funny stuff in school. This is that character transplanted into a Harry Potter setting with bonus World War Three flashbacks, and the result is curiously enthralling. Mahouka is not a good show. The visuals are bland and the dialogue when it’s not on Marvellous Man being Marvellous, is trite and poorly written. But it does have The Most Amazing Man in the Universe as the main character so at least it has that going for it.

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  1. Posted April 6, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Just saying, but you understood the exchange between Tatsuya and Mizuki (glasses girl) wrong. Then again, without copious amounts of internal monologue such as the LN has, it’s easy to do so.

    They did add a whole bunch of comedy to the adaptation, especially with Yakumo (his ninja teacher), but the LNs play almost everything super straight.

    • MCAL
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      I got the impression that Tatsuya was calling her abnormal myself. Am I close?

    • Cirith
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Can I post batoto links here? (And does it count as spoiler if the anime is past that chapter but hasn’t fully explained something which was explained there?)
      Well they can remove comments anyway so here: http://www.batoto.net/read/_/79510/mahouka-koukou-no-rettousei_ch2_by_mangaholic/10 http://www.batoto.net/read/_/79510/mahouka-koukou-no-rettousei_ch2_by_mangaholic/17 and the page after that
      It is clearer there that it is about her being able to see the spirit thingies not her normal eyesight (which according to page 18 is normal the glasses are designed to lower the amount of spirit thingies).

      • Posted April 13, 2014 at 1:21 am | Permalink

        I go by the original source material, being the LNs, not the manga.

        Also, it’s not entirely correct. It’s about being able to tell what is different with him, though she can see pushions and psions, that’s a byproduct of her sight, but not necessarily what he’s bothered about.

  2. Cirith
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I liked your review, quite funny. And hey he isn’t entirely without weakness, he lost against the ninja dude!
    But I think I might actually enjoy the show, I will give it three episodes. I like suave, collected and competent Main characters from time to time, as long as they avoid some of the bullshit that makes many Gary Stus annoying. After all James Bond is also a Gary Stu in many ways and none the less quite popular.

    But about visuals I found his anti ninja training was a decent fight, I have seen quite a few animes where I found the fights visually less interesting (sometimes because they consisted of flashy powers or moves that were so fast the viewer only sees the aftermath). It isn’t the best thing I have ever seen, but I think it could have decent fights.

    Though yeah the dialogue is nothing special and the non Marvellous Man characters have failed to leave an impression.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      The visuals in the fight didn’t really add anything to the story though. They were just there as if they wanted to show they could animate something. Which is more damning on the show itself that there wasn’t anything else exciting to animate that wasn’t bland talking heads.

      • Cirith
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Hmm true.

        Also I read a bit of the manga just now I fear it doesn’t seem to go in a particularly interesting direction.

  3. The Big Guy
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t read the light novels in a long time now, but I always thought of him more as first season Dexter, in the sense that he doesn’t quite understand emotions and wears a very convincing mask, than a casanova. It makes him a much more interesting character than good old Gary Stu, and most certainly not Mr. Perfect. However, I probably remember that wrong…

    • shytende
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      He is quite manipulative and now full well which button to push to obtain what he likes, for what I can guess from this first episode, at least.

  4. mwp
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m content with any amount of charming perfection ☆sparkling☆ male lead, as long as I can get my weekly dose of Iwasaki Taku.

  5. Aethelwulf
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Don Juan-kun was suave enough that I didn’t even mind the incestuous bits very much. The sister and the brother actually felt like they had enough genuine affection between them that it didn’t feel like the usual convenient girl parts irrationally throwing themselves at convenient boy parts.

    And because I can’t pick at the main character yet, I’m going to launch into a mean-spirited rant about the female characters’ uniforms instead – namely, the lack of darting. Like, seriously, there are *no* darts on the front of their pretty dresses. What were the character designers thinking!!! You can’t fit a two-dimensional surface (thin white fabric) tightly but not constrictingly over a curved surface (like boobs) without darts! Yes, I know, magic and future and future-y materials, but there are going to be disappointed cosplayers out there so NERD RAGE.

    • muroph
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      there are form fitting fabrics like that even today. they DO tend to become a bit see-through when streched, tho, so we usually add an extra layer of fabric on the more “critical” parts. well designed molds (not sure if this is the right term) can help minimize the stretching.

      PS: my father owns a clothing factory, and i’ve worked there for a few years before going to college.

      • Aethelwulf
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        I stand corrected.

  6. ANON
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I like how those “weeds” are turning out to be more competent/talented than those who are considered elite, didn’t they just establish that there was a practical test to know the level of talent the students had? so they “cheated” by not showing how talented they really are? for what?

    I was more annoyed and focused with the “onii-sama~” worship his sister had going on, and so I didn’t see that everyone else were acting the same way.

    • Posted April 6, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      I like how those “weeds” are turning out to be more competent/talented than those who are considered elite, didn’t they just establish that there was a practical test to know the level of talent the students had?

      Then you're exactly who this show is for, considering in honestly the only real reason for the split is just to show how cool Tatsuya and all his friends are ;)

    • Cirith
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Hmm when were they shown as more competent? The MC is probably hiding abilities, but the gun casting wasn’t beaten with magic, she just knocked it out of his hand physically.

      • Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        They will show them, that’s what the whole series is about. They hadn’t yet.

        And you’re making the same mistake as some of those First Course students, thinking magic is everything, and neglecting the physical aspect.

      • Cirith
        Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Quite honestly outside of fighting magic sounds much more useful. Though admittedly since it is an anime that will be the way we see it used most of the time.

  7. muroph
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    i would try not to judge the franchise based on episode 1 of the anime. having read the first few novels not long ago, i thought many scenes, interections and characters in the anime felt a bit off, either in tone or characterization. the glasses scene, for example. and the fact that the first interaction between MC-kun and BEST GIRL was butchered, changed and rushed is kinda disappointing.

    BTW, i wouldn’t use the manga as reference either, since it ALSO feels a bit off (albeit less than the anime) and skips some scenes, including the one that made me start liking BEST GIRL.

  8. Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I still don’t understand why they call it magic when they state very clearly at the start of the episode that it’s actually technology.

    This episode was like Yugioh GX if that guy who was the perfect duelist was the main character, only without card games, aliens, and men with dinosaur DNA.

  9. Posted April 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    So what was the deal with the maternity gowns? Why do all of the girls except the redheaded one dress up like they’re pregn–Oh wait, main character is such a sex god or something. Yeah.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      He can make them pregnant with a compliment

  10. Mr. Anon
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    I love the world map at the start. Gems as “The Great Union of Asian” and “East EU” being to the west of “West EU”. Also “United States of North American Continent” as if “America” in USA doesn’t already refer to the continent.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      That fucking cracked me up when I realised it. How do I east and west

    • R1CK_D0M
      Posted April 17, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      You forgot the part where everything is a “republic” or an “alliance” or a “collective” but then there’s just AFRICA Because no one gives a fuck about Africa.

  11. Hanasra
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t believe someone in this world could write self-insert wanking this hard.

    • Posted April 7, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      It did start out as a web novel, so maybe it’s like someone’s fanfic gone out of control.

      • Hanasra
        Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        What pleasure could be gain from watching this? Even wanking too much could make you dizzy.

  12. BP
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    It took 11 minutes for another male character to come into play other than Flawless-sama, and even then this insignificant council guy uttered a single word followed by a menacing grunt. The only other male character with any remote intrigue or acknowledgement (as at the very least a supporting character) was a perverted ninjutsu-master.

    Typical harem where I severely doubt ironic enjoyment will be enough to carry me through another episode.

    • shytende
      Posted April 7, 2014 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      Well, there is Leonhard too. Him and Red Girl will most certainly ends up together.

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