Final Impressions: The Irregular at Magic High School

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The Irregular at Magic High School has definitely been a divisive anime.  Throughout Twitter, blogs, and other social media outlets, it has had its share of praise and hate.  While I have given it quite a bit of thumbs up, I’ve also noted some very glaring issues that ultimately brought it down.

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Update #2352: Tatsuya is still amazing..

There’s no denying that the show has some great presentation in certain areas. Clean environments give a very semi futuristic setting that never feels lazy in design and always brings one into the world. The magical effects are stunning and the combat animations are top-notch. While none of the episode lived up to the first episode’s splendor, they each had their moments.

I also really enjoyed the character designs, each having their own unique look and charm. Even down to the costume designs that have a very unique, and once again, futuristic style.

The setting is also intriguing and had me wanting to learn more from the beginning. A world with a sort of arms race to designing the most powerful mages is a fascinating one. Especially when the magic involves a science that the characters are constantly having to learn about and discover new things. Though they never seem to touch on it. Which is unfortunate.

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I’m as bored as you are Erika.

Which brings us into the reason of why this show is now dropped. Even with a few design elements involved that had my interest, the show just never delivers. Instead it keeps its focus on some very trivial and all too boring aspects. It wants you to love Tatsuya, it wants you to laugh at Miyuki’s jealousy, and it wants you to hate the discrimination.

Granted the discrimination element ended up taking most of my interest throughout the 10 episodes that I watched. However it wasn’t enough to really keep the entire show at float. It’s a good feeling to dislike the mistreatment of people different from you, but for a show that’s focused on magic and arms races, in the end it’s a relatively side motivation for the character.

I liked Tatsuya, from the beginning, though he quickly overstayed his welcome. Over time I realized that the show was designed around wanting you to like him. Each and every moment was fabricated to make him the perfect person. No flaws, no dynamics. He’s a final episode protagonist from the beginning so he never grows, learns, or changes. Which in the end makes him boring and repetitive.

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Erika, the only likable character. I’ll miss her.

Couple him with the second of our main characters, Miyuki. I’ve never cared for Miyuki, she was always just a stain on every scene. Her obsession with Tatsuya was her only driving force and made her very shallow. Every appearance she makes was to either solidify Tatsuya’s actions as amazing or to become jealous and freeze a surface in anger. There’s just nothing to care about here.

In the end, The Irregular at Magic High is a great concept that is clouded by a terrible execution. The characters are unlikable if not too perfect. None of the characters, save some side ones, ever change and have any dynamic value to them. Then there’s the interesting world design that is never touched on.

It is a writing choice that ultimately left me tired of this show and dropping it. Each episode felt like a further waste of my time, and with a 26 episode projection, it’s best to step away now rather than later.

 

THUMBS DOWN!

DROPPED!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Dropped

Bads:

  • No dynamic to MC
  • Shallow characters
  • Design flaws

Goods:

  • Good presentation

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.