Looking Up For Spring

Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba, siblings and first-year students.

I’m going to have to start blogging again, I think. I haven’t really sampled much yet, but this season’s already looking a lot better than the last.

I’m really hyped about The Irregular at Magic High School. The title stinks and the animation’s a little ‘meh’ but it’s adapted from a really good, fairly deep light novel series. Some folks might be put off by the level of bro-con in the primary female lead, but at least there’s an in-story reason for her fixation… and his oddity. The story starts, not with a flash forward, but a flash back…

Good morning, sir! Shall I and my ten friends have a go with you?

Magic was discovered at the opening of the 21st century. it was fused with technology not long thereafter, in the form of “CADs” Casting Assistance Devices — which handles the complicated casting protocols that we would term “rituals” and allow the caster to just supply the energy. Ancient magic practitioners exist who don’t use CADs, but can create more powerful effects (albeit much slower). But while all this was being discovered, in the 2030’s the icecaps started melting and droughts/famine etc. began. In 2045, World War III started. It lasted 20 years, but never went nuclear, because the world’s magicians wouldn’t let it. Now, thirty years after the end of the last global war, all powers are racing to research magic and produce magic users; two of the greatest powers are the US and Japan. China is playing catch-up, and is very, very aggressive.

Classmates: Leo and Erika hit it off. The brown-haired girl with her back to us is Honoka, a meganekko with superior spirit vision -- which alarms Tatsuya.

Japan has a series of magical high schools with limited enrollment; there just aren’t enough teachers, so the top half of the students get the best the school has to offer, while the rest get second best. That’s still pretty good, but it doesn’t include full time instruction; most of their lessons are computerized and self-study. Because First High School’s symbol is a flower, the top half of the students call themselves “Blooms” and the second half…. well, the Blooms call them “Weeds.” You can guess the rest.

Miyuki, no hanging out with the Weeds.

Into this charged atmosphere enters a pair of students, brother and sister, born 11 months apart. Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba. Miyuki scored the second highest on the entrance exam, and Tatsuya scored the highest. But it’s Miyuki who’s the freshman Rep and it doesn’t sit well with her. Tatsuya, it seems, has a weakness in his practical application, and so he score so low on that half, it knocked him into the second group. And his top-notch martial arts counts not at all.

Leo takes exception... Tatsuya takes off to defuse the situation. (Well, since it started because Miyuki wanted to sit with him, by breaking the group up, he also diffused it...)

The first episode makes us acquainted with the lead characters and the situation in the school. Several major characters are introduced, and a couple more get cameos. It also makes it obvious that there’s secrets — several of them, behind the Shiba siblings, and the fact that they live alone, without their parents. Tatsuya makes several mental references to “Numbers” upon hearing the names of classmates and the school president, whom he encounters several times. I’m not going to give away what that is all about just yet. Nor explain exactly what happened in the encounter at the school gate. I just don’t want to spoil the fun…. The light novel series this is drawn from is one of those rare types where everything fits together and makes sense; even if it was all made up along the way, it hangs together so well, it’s impossible to tell the difference. I’m really looking forward to it.

The reckoning was only delayed...but someone else has other ideas.

The last major character to be introduced in the episode, Mari. The girl on the right is Saegusa, the president.

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3 Responses to Looking Up For Spring

  1. topmaker says:

    I started reading the manga because of your post. I read it straight through the translated chapters, stopping at 22. The next part is the nine schools battle. I may have to jump to the LN, because it seems to have been awhile since new chapters were translated.

    I noticed the anime left out the part of Miyuki’s speach about making the school an experience for all, which got a reaction out of Tatsuya. I don’t know if that was intentional or not, but it seemed important enough when I read it.

    This looks good so far and is one I will definitely follow. Thanks for posting about it.

  2. PatBuckman says:

    The manga switched to a different title for the nine schools battle.

    In the novel, it was global cooling not warming that started the world war. That, cooler temperatures leading to heavier garmets, is the whole justification for 2095 fashion tending to a more conservative cut than, say, 2010, 2000.

    I’m very excited to see you cover this. I would’ve said so in a more timely fashion, but I’ve been busy.

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