The Irregular at Magic High School
I decided this week to try my hand at writing a review of a current anime series. I have watched all the episodes available and am making my review from that. They are nine episodes so far, and it is pretty awesome. I am also experimenting with a different grading system, so bear with me. I am trying to make sure it is more encompassing.
The Irregular at Magic High School is based in a world where magic is the most powerful weapon and beat out conventional weapons during the time of World War III. Magic is industrialized and uses technology to further its uses and applications. Within this world, students are trained at public schools where they learn how to use magic using the various scientific subjects they affect. However, not everyone in this world is good at magic. Entrance exams allow schools to divide students into two courses, the first being for high level magic users, and the second course being for low achieving students. This causes so much dissension between students that the school culture has renamed them “Blooms” and “Weeds”. The plot follows Tastuya and Miyuki Shiba. Tatsuya is a “Course 2” student with a unique ability to read the strands of code that are the basis for magic in this world. He also practices taijutsu to help compensate for his “low” magic acceleration rate. He also turns out to be some kind of spy/agent/many other cool things. What else can he do? They also always refer to his super special ability that if anyone realized what he could do, they would be question his abilities. Miyuki is an extraordinarily talented magic user in the “Course 1” program. She is the freshman representative, top test results for her class, and a heavy infatuation of her brother. She also has a hell of a temper and tends to freeze things.
Story/Pace – 8 Points
The story has mystery, depth, and complexity. It battles issues of diversity, deceit, and deception. It doesn’t do it enough though for my taste. I like how events unfold and resolve, generally over a two to three episode arch. However, the resolution of the mini arc occurs in the middle of an episode, then they move on to the next mini arc. This style isn’t very fluid, but gets the job done. The pace is steady and combines good aspects of standard Japanese awkward teen moments and moments of intense story line.
Unique Qualities – 9 Points
The Irregular at Magic High School has an interesting concept combining scientific knowledge to the world of magic. It’s certainly not the first, but I like how they provide explanations as to why certain things are done certain ways. It makes it more understandable as to why what he/she is doing in the anime is so much more than just activating magic. I have seen other animes in this style, but none showcase the specifics as much as this one. It provides that something different from the magic-tech genre. (If this isn’t called that it should be.)
Aesthetics – 10 points
I love the look of this anime. It has clean animation, great camera angles, and pretty good animated powers. No one has really gone off and done a super-saiyan style move yet, but the attention to detail, both in story and art, make this a pretty damn cool. The animations showing power ups of magic are subtle, but convincing, creating a minimalistic appearance so when they get flashier, you notice it.
Total Average: 9/10 Level: “Over 9000”
The Irregular at Magic High School has good story and pace with a weird arc layout, but has an attention to detail unlike many other magic-tech animes I have seen. The art magnifies this attention to detail, is very clean, and is also my personal favorite style of animation. Go check it out, it is worth the watch.
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