37 CommentsIrregular at Magic High School / By Scamp /

Mahouka – Irregular at Magic High School episode 6 – Tatsuya is Evil

[HorribleSubs] Mahouka - 06 [480p].mkv_snapshot_07.35_[2014.05.11_12.37.57]Something that bugged me a little with this episode was why were the terrorists using swords? I can understand why the kendo girl was using it. That was to make a narrative point. It would have been dumb to then have her throw aside her sword and pick up a gun. However the terrorists themselves, after using explosives to blow up nothing in particular, then proceeded to run around with katanas and batons. Rule of Cool might apply but  Mahouka is a real stickler for detail and goes into lengthy explanations for every piece of magic used. Actual magic doesn’t seem to be quite so useful in this world as it makes out. It’s not like Full Metal Alchemist where they’re in a industrial era nation where guns are as likely to blow up in your face as they are to shoot someone. This is the future. They can at least afford a pistol.

Unless gun regulation is really tight here, which would make sense in this world, but that makes the terrorists seem pretty weaksauce indeed and undermines their legitimacy as a credible threat. It’s a pretty minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, but based off this fight I’m not so convinced that magic what could win a World War 3 when long range ballistic missiles could probably do a lot more damage than a bloke with an impervious wrist.

[HorribleSubs] Mahouka - 06 [480p].mkv_snapshot_01.52_[2014.05.11_12.33.22]But the part of this episode that really had me taken aback, even if he had been heading this way lately, is how Tatsuya has basically transformed into prime supervillain material. Some of his lines wouldn’t have sounded out of place coming from Emperor Charles from Code Geass. He’s borderline sociopathic, selfish, self-absorbed and classist. He laughs at the concept of inequality like a cartoonishly evil villain would laugh at people fighting to save baby penguins (because like lol seriously what are penguins doing for us it’s their fault for being so dumb). To think I regarded him as the finest gentlemen the anime world has known.

In any and every other show, the kendo girl would be the hero. The strong-headed girl fighting to end inequality. She’s not sure how but gosh darn through guts and hard work she will make this world a better place. But she starts having her doubts when the villain steps into play, with his calm calculating almost-British demeanour. He twists her words, creates straw men of her ideals and whips the rug out from under her, making her feel useless. In other anime she would then collect herself, look at the photo of her mother/brother/hamster and remember what it was she was fighting for. She’d deliver an impassioned speech about the importance of equality and then deliver a flying kick that would send Tatsuya hurtling into a rubbish chute where a banana peel would end on his head.

[HorribleSubs] Mahouka - 06 [480p].mkv_snapshot_18.40_[2014.05.11_12.49.09]But instead Tatsuya wins. As I said earlier, stories don’t tend to work if the villain isn’t a credible threat, and we certainly have that with Tatsuya. He’s scarily powerful, got a secret weapon up his sleave, and is slowly gathering his allies to mount an assault on the plucky rebel heroes. He is the anti-spiral from Gurren Lagann. People are trying to destroy his system of keeping the people underground (it’s their own fault they are down there doncha know) and he will eradicate them to keep the world as it is.

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37 Comments

  1. Posted May 12, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    So in a nutshell, Tatsuya is basically Kazuma from Kaze no Stigma. Makes sense to me.

    • erohakase
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      I hate you. Why do you have to remind me that that series went dead due to the unfortunate passing of the author. Fuck..

      It’s so hilarious how much fail this adaption has been. I mean, sure the source material has issues in the first/second volume aswell but going into anime form just made it silly. It’s not at the level of Tokyo Ravens or god forbid Campione but still.

  2. Posted May 12, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    A very funny and interesting interpretation of Tatsuya’s role in the story xD. The only problem I see is that Tatsuya doesn’t seem to care for the system that much – he only wants it stable for the safety of his sister. So there is the risk that, at some point, somebody will destablize/act against the system, but do so in a way which does not inconvenience Tatsuya (enough). In that case, he probably couldn’t be bothered to play the role of the villain.

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      That’s… that’s even WORSE! At least a good villain sticks to his ideals. He’s just acting villainously to protect what he personally cares about though. He’s not even Lawful Evil, he’s Neutral Evil (the worst kind of Evil if you ask me).

    • Posted May 13, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      He presents himself as Lawful Evil, when they take them into custody,and then he disregards the laws when they go after the enemy and shelter Mibu, heh.

      I think Chaotic Evil is the worst, because all too often it’s just a cackling villain that’s unrelatable and just badly written :-/

  3. CQ
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, because terrorism is the best way to fight against inequality… :D

    But I think this episode made it obvious that these terrorists didn’t fight for equality, never cared about what’s happening in the school and all that crap was just a diversion to steal classified research stuff. Mibu and the other students were just used by Blanche after the latter bribed them with false promises.

    • Posted May 13, 2014 at 12:28 am | Permalink

      That’s where the magical thing called “Subtext” comes in, where if you care for equality you are either delusional or a terrorist, and once you “awaken” from the nightmare and the mind-controlling equality-loving terrorists, you realize you’ve been discriminating against yourself ;)

    • Scamp
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      Luke Skywalker was a terrorist

  4. Mr. Anon
    Posted May 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    I love asshole main characters. I love how his sister fucking creeps me out with her constant stroking of Tatsuya’s cock. The fighting was a bit disappointing yeah, when they have RPGs they should have other weapons that are better than short swords.

    By the way your earlier rant about Tatsuya being opposed to equality, because he doesn’t like the terrorists, is way off the mark. He just saw through their extremely thin facade of pretending to fight for equality (said as much in that episode, elaborated on in this one), and doesn’t like anything getting in the way of his cute little high school life. (Said as much in both episodes as well.)

    Tatsuya isn’t an asshole because he’s realistic about terrorism in the guise of emancipation. He’s an asshole because he’s dishonest, selfish, manipulative, and has no compassion for anyone but people close to him.

    He’s pretty much just like your beloved Lelouch.

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      The issue being though, Lelouch fought for an ideal. It may have been twisted and absolutely morally grey but he had an ideal that ultimately was of justice. Tatsuya just wants to keep the status quo as it is. He’s more Emperor Charles (at least, what Emperor Charles claimed to be) than Lelouch because he’s a social Darwinist, fundamentally. When you say that “he’s realistic about terrorism in the guise of emancipation” you’re not saying much – in this setting, those who fight for emancipation are seen as terrorists because they’re strawmen. But in a different setting they would look like desperate freedom fighters. That’s what they’re pointing out here. Also, having someone commit terrorist acts for a cause doesn’t make that cause automatically wrong. If someone kidnaps a bunch of children to ask for more justice for his oppressed people, he’s committing something bad towards those innocent children, but that doesn’t mean that his people deserves being oppressed because of the crimes of one of its representatives. And this is what this (and similar stories) don’t address.

      • Zirthiel
        Posted May 13, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        If we were to compare Tatsuya to anyone in the Code Geass to me he has the most similarities (currently at least) to Schneizel el Britannia.

      • erohakase
        Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        This is pretty fitting. Schneizel seems about right. I’m assuming if they don’t fuck shit up even further anime viewers(if they can stand watching anymore after this) will see some reason for his actions but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • Mr. Anon
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      You are right in principle, but the show clearly intends for the terrorists to be people with ulterior motives who only exploit the freedom fighting/equality movement for their own gains, which so far have included trying to gain magical military secrets.

      In another show the terrorist faction could have been the good guys for reasons you state, but I have no reason to believe that this show is written on a level that deep. Everything so far points to them just being clear cut villains as far as their role in the narrative.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

        That’s my problem too. Perhaps Tatsuya really is intended as the villain, but the show doesn’t present him as such. Lelouch was clearly intended to be morally grey from the start. Suzaku was introduced very early on as a more moral antagonist to Lelouch to underline this. From everything I’ve seen they’re making Tatsuya out as the hero and making the terrorists seem weak and simple-minded, despite the fact they seem to be fighting for a good cause.

  5. ANON
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Good thing they established from the outset that he’s the main character and the hero eh?

    Imagine if this is very ambiguous and we don’t really know who the hero and the villain really was, the debates about whether the viewers should support blanche for trying to fight inequality or tatsuya for fighting to keep the status quo would be interesting to say the least.

    I’ll have to agree with Mr. Anon above me though, you should totally support tatsuya and not question his motives for attacking the terrorists, after all the story was set up so that the terrorists just want to steal some high tech gov’t secrets through the guise of fighting inequality, and only our protagonist saw through their facade.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      See my earlier comment. If he’s supposed to be a villain, they’re not doing a good job of presenting him as such. It comes off as the author is a dick with questionable morals rather than Tatsuya.

  6. Nadgers
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    He might be ANTI-SPIRAL, but at least he is not ANTI-MONITOR.

    *laugh track*

  7. Rihan
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 1:30 am | Permalink

    The anime might have given you the misconception that Tatsuya is trying to justify prejudice or discrimination, but thats not actually the case. This quote is from the LN after Sayaka speaks to Tatsuya

    ***Could be a spoiler***

    “His heart did not resonate with those words. That was because to Tatsuya, “these things” were simply acceptable aspects of reality.

    So Tatsuya merely understood the literal “meaning” behind her words as well as the “phenomenon” she was screaming about. Here was a young lady in despair. That was the only thing he took away.”

    • Posted May 15, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      See… this is why I have such trouble reading LN’s. That translation is terrible. I’m barely sure what ideas it’s supposed to convey, let alone approach any kind of sensible or readable structure in English. Even a little bit of QC from someone with a reasonable understanding of writing would save so many LN’s from this sort of nonsense.

      The closest I can come is… Tatsuya is totally okay with people that aren’t him being unfairly and unjustly discriminated against? I guess?

  8. Andmeuths
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Look, both Miyuki and Tatsuya are hypocritical Elitist hailing from the elites of society. If anything, Mayumi is an outlier, that defies the class prejudices she was raised in. Tatsuya and Miyuki have those class prejudices in spades.

  9. Lazy
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    I get that you’re trying to create some kind of narrative with these reviews but it might be judicious to stop while it’s still funny (if it isn’t too late already).

    • Scamp
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Any narrative I was trying to build was completely changed after episode 4. That was so left-field that any preconceptions I had were thrown out of the window

  10. Ken
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    So is Tatsuya basically young Darth Vader fighting against the resistance?

    He seems to be amassing his own personal SWAT team now to go after the terrorists. What a waist of manpower, they should just give him a fully armed unmanned drone and a license to kill. That’s how we deal with terrorists here in the good old USA. Actually, that wouldn’t be as fun to watch as cute girls having sword fights. I guess thats why we don’t see any adult authority figures in this anime.

    Also, why haven’t they called out the all girl tank club yet? PANZER VOR!

    • Scamp
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Yup. And the Suzaku-lookalike in the OP is Luke Skywalker

  11. Aethelwulf
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    If Tatsuya actually did become the villain, he could use his harem as an army of minions. He wouldn’t even blink, either, if one of them got killed.

    And the scene I couldn’t believe was the one in the medical ward/nurse’s office near the end. You know, the one that was “Heeeey, Kendo Girl, you just actively assisted a known, violent terrorist organization (who apparently stoop to attacking children with explosives) to break into our school and steal classified information, and then you also assaulted your fellow students with the intent to cause bodily harm but it’s all okaaaay because of a little misunderstanding your freshman year. We’re all buddies now *tears of relief and eternal friendship*.”

    WAT.

    • Mr. Anon
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Yeah that scene was fucking dumb. ‘Oh hey our entire conflict which literally endangered the lives of everyone in the school was all based on one single minor misunderstanding about you being rude to me but instead you were doing the exact opposite. Haha oh silly old me’

      WTF.

      They really just invalidated her entire character by having her have such a petty motivation (oh noes my senpai insulted me and I spent a year brooding over this) which then is further invalidated by having it be, not just a misunderstanding, but MISHEARD even. Jesus that is fucking stupid writing.

    • Ken
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      But cute little Kendo Girl was sorry and cried on the Elitist Prick’s coat-tails. We have to forgive her. Besides isn’t senseless life and death High School battles without consequences normal in anime? Elitist Prick at Magic High School is no different then Freezing, except their uniforms don’t shred to pieces so easily.

      • Mr. Anon
        Posted May 13, 2014 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, it’s not a first for anime. But this seems like a show that at least wants to be a somewhat decent narrative (unlike Freezing which I’m pretty sure doesn’t care one bit).

        So it’s more like Brynhildr in the Darkness. Not quite THAT stupid, but well, both shows seem to believe they’re being emotionally compelling.

    • Zirthiel
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      Wait for the next week episode. There is a method to the madness. =P (or read the novels to spoil yourself silly ^_^ like I have marathoned through 12 light novels during a period of a couple of days)

  12. matrixEXO
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 3:46 am | Permalink

    Let’s put it this way. Inequality is something that the US already has, with their political situation. If you want to fight for Equality, that means fighting so that every single person in the US can have the right to amend the Constitution at will.

    While I won’t laugh at people wanting equality, I laugh at the idea of equality itself. So, does that make me an evil person? Logical thinking proves otherwise though.

    BTW, I think the way Mibu and the rest are thinking the wrong way, due to being coerced to thinking so. It’s not equality they are seeking but fair treatment. Class 2 aren’t being treated fairly due to the superiority complex that Class 1 has and they want to correct it but were being coerced to thinking that it is inequality that’s occuring.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 14, 2014 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Errr…I’m not sure how you got the idea that equality means amending the constitution at will. You know politics works by everybody deciding who can amend the constitution on their behalf?

      • Posted May 14, 2014 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        “Logical thinking proves otherwise though.”

        I can already smell the fedora and body spray from here.

    • matrixEXO
      Posted May 17, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      But then you have to think of which “side” of the people are benefiting from the changes of the Constitution. And obviously, that side must include the politician’s best interests because otherwise he would be badly affected by it. Thus, there isn’t any such thing as equality since one side will ALWAYS. lose.

  13. Ken
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Elitist Prick at Magic High School don’t care about equality. Elitist Prick at Magic High School want’s to kick ass and bang sister.

    I can’t wait for the next episode of Elitist Prick at Magic High School.

  14. Giovanni
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    Umm, hi? Novel reading fanboy here. ^_^ Just adding my thoughts into the discussion:

    1) You’re kinda right about Tatsuya not being a “heroic” character. He was partially based on Satan, after all.

    2) About Blanche’s reasons, just tune in. It’s not the fight against inequality that Tatsuya thinks is bullshit, but the premises they’re working on (the real situation is all in reverse) as well as the fact that they don’t really have any plans for what to do next should they achieve their goals. (As for Mibu, she was just the cog he happened to know, she wasn’t really that big of a figure in the movement–she was just part of it. Plus, next episode she gets another way to justify her actions.)

    2) While you are right about him being borderline (actually screw borderline) self-absorbed and very selfish–he’s not really classist. There are a number of other factors (somewhat spoilery and long-winded) why that is not the case– he also just doesn’t care.

    He actually looks at everyone equally–he doesn’t care about class, he doesn’t care about your origins, he judges people solely on whether or not they are “useful”, “safe” or “a threat”. All Tatsuya cares about are his interests. He’d definitely make a good villain in another universe, especially since he’s also a perfect Machiavellian Prince (he’s like a walking checklist of the traits Machiavelli would bend over for). However; this doesn’t stop him from being a benevolent force upon the world. Something is driving him into being one despite him not really caring about other people, and his reasons being less noble and more “personal”, the results nevertheless speak for themselves; whatever his reasons may be, the world is definitely a better place because of him; the only problem is that reason is quite vulnerable–if he loses it, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch for Tatsuya to go mad dog and wreak havoc upon the world, or at least let it burn if someone else does it for him. You sympathize with his antagonists because he deserves everything good and bad that happens to him. He is also unable to understand the concept of “good will” despite others (like Miyuki) trying to make him understand that people can be nice just for the heck of it. He’s genuinely gentle and peaceful, don’t get me wrong, but he’s also terrible and vindictive.

    Anyway, he’s a complicated guy.

  15. R1CK_D0M
    Posted May 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    “sleave” lol

    • Zirthiel
      Posted May 17, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      And I assume that you never made a typo? Is it really that funny? -.-

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