First Impressions: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei; Implied “Win”-cest, Girl with Glasses, and LiSA

Made by the wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL people over at Madhouse studios, Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (“The Irregular at Magic High School”) is a wonderful (I like using wonderful, a lot) new hyped anime that aired in the 2014 Spring season.  Adapted from a manga written by Tsutomu Satou, MKNR (I’ll abbreviate the title) was directed by Manabu Ono.  With Taku Iwasaki composing the soundtrack (same composer for Gurren Lagann and Noragami) and a planned 26-episode run, MKNR seems to have a lot going for it, especially since it combines the science-fiction and supernatural genres (a rather opposing pair).  But I guess what matters right now is what I think of it after its first episode, hence the title.  And, hopefully, I give you guys some decent insight on why you should/shouldn’t watch this anime.

Warning:  If you are, in any way, shape, or form, highly allergic or irritated by copious bosoms, magic fused with technology, implied incest (or “win”-cest), glasses, or weed, then leave this First Impression right now.

Okay, now that all the anti-megane elitists and oppai-haters are out of the room, shall we begin?  Allons-y!

While listening to J-Taku (a brilliant anime-related podcast that you all should check out), I heard them come upon this show and the hype that surrounds it.  After the, uhm, “unsuccessful” return of studio Madhouse last season (with Magical Warfare), this show didn’t seem worth the hype to me at first.  Sure, Madhouse is a brilliant production company (they made Death Note and Btooom!), but I was expecting them to create more shows of higher profile.  Well, I guess this is where MKNR comes along.

I watched it practically out of boredom and wasn’t expecting much out of it.  I mean, sure, it looks pretty, but I still didn’t place any expectations on the show, mainly because…well…it’s just the first episode.

After watching the first episode, however, all my hype is betting itself on this one show.

The setting was created fairly impressively considering the span of one episode, the characters look hella cool (2 words:  main male protagonist), the “magic fused with science” aspect is really interesting, the soundtrack is, well, AMAZING (with an OP theme sung by LiSA), and, above all, THERE’S A FREAKING GLASSES-GIRL IN THE SHOW VOICED BY SATOMI SATOU.  THIS SHOW HAS EVERYTHING!

 I don’t care what any of you say:  this girl is best girl

Oh yeah, am I forgetting something?  Oh, right, the plot.  Whoops.

Here’s a little bit about the plot:  For over a century, humankind has harnessed the power of magic utilized as technology.  Using some wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey device known as the CAD (Casting Assistant Device), practitioners of magic implement the use of REALLY COMPLICATED PHYSICS-PARTICULATE-MATTER STUFFS THAT NOT A LOT OF US COMMON HUMANS MAY UNDERSTAND (myself included).  Anywho, humans who can wield this technology participated mostly in wars, most commonly the 3rd World War, effectively preventing countries from using thermonuclear tactics, which I found pretty nonsensical considering how their alternative for nuclear nukes are one-man-army magic technicians that can pretty much blow stuff up as much as, if not more than, nuclear weapons.

I knew I saw that guy somewhere…

Anyways, in the year 2095, the Shiba siblings enrolled in the Private Magic University Affiliated High School, where a hierarchy is formed based on the the student’s test scores:  high achievers, known as “Blooms”, and poor scorers, called “Weeds”.  Yes, you heard that right:  “Weeds”.  The main protagonist is the older brother, Tatsuya, who is an under-achiever despite being pretty darn smart.  His sister, Miyuki, is the student representative of the freshmen class due to her topping the entrance exams.  Together, they aspire to…well…we’re not really shown what motivates these characters yet, but that just adds up to the mystery of the soon-to-be-explained main plot line.

Oh, and did I mention that there is implied incest in the show already?

Now, what I thought of this first episode:  it was preeeetty darn cool.  The overall premise of the show so far is really interesting.  Add that to lovely characters (I’m looking at you, Mizuki, you cute glasses-girl, you) and a soundtrack that is showing signs of awesomeness, and you’ve pretty much got the recipe for an enjoyable show.

What I want to happen:

  1.  Explain the premise more.  This will lead to a greater understanding of the overall plot.
  2. Create dynamic character development, because, as it stands, the characters are all cardboard cut-outs.
  3. Expand the setting.  The setting is one of the things that I think the show will excel at if done right.
  4. Don’t make it a harem.  Please.  Just…don’t.
  5. Do not tease any romantic undertones.  If there’s one thing I hate more than an unneeded harem, it’s romantic undertones that go nowhere.
  6. Maybe make it a little less complicated?
  7. Give the characters something to motivate them.
  9. If you guys can, don’t change the opening theme.  It is good as it is.  Unless it is a supercell-LiSA-ClariS mash-up.
  10. Lastly, please make the ending theme at least decent.

In essence, this anime has good potential.  There is still lots of work to be done, but if Madhouse can do it right, then I can sleep well at night, knowing that things are going well.  Whether this anime deserves its hype or not has yet to be seen, but  I will definitely witness it for myself.  And you definitely should too.

As per usual, leave a comment down below pertaining to your thoughts on this topic, on the show itself, or if you would like me to review or make a first impression about anything.  And, speaking of liking, give the review a thumbs-up if you enjoyed it.

With that, I leave you, and until next time, ladies, gentlemen, and others, this has been Kenji Cruz, and I’ll see you guys in the future.


  1. I’m actually working on a post about the manga 😀

    Be aware their might be some slight spoilers below!!

    The problem this series is going to have is that the source material is both brilliant and bad. It’s very slow to reveal things about the cast, then drops a bombshell and never follows it up.

    The carboard cut out sentiment is sadly true throughout the manga, you can’t help but know whats going to happen and how it’s going to develop, which is rather sad. On the up side you don’t have to worry about it turning into a harem, unless they go totally off manga. Rather our lead has no interest in any of the women, but they all pine for him lol

    As for it getting less complicated, not a chance in hell, expect it to get worse 😀 Certain bombshells are droped and because they’re never really followed up on or explained properly you’re left trying to figure it out for yourself.

    The problem stems really from the fact that the series is only 4 volumes long, and the story is really fast paced to.

    Yet despite all that i have to admit i do like this series, i loved the manga and the anime is interesting. Which is really surprising me, since the past few seasons there hasn’t been anything worth watching, and now we’re back to where i need to watch almost everything 😀


    Finally got some time to watch the episode and OMG this is garbage, they changed so many things it’s stupid. The VA’s are one of the biggest, they just don’t match the chartacters they’re portraying. The art style, for the most part is okay, but there’s loads of little things that are just wrong, from the pres hair colour down to the over use of boobs. I don’t generally have a problem with ecchi content or boobs in anime, but they’ve totaly warped what it was in the manga. I’ll probably give it a few more episodes, but honestly this is one i most likely wont be following. Sadly it’s the 2nd new series that’s ruined a good manga 🙁

  2. I think it’s wrong to base the quality of the anime on the manga being adapted. The manga is worse than the LN and I think its the LN being adapted so it should be better… I think…

    Anyway, to your predictions
    1. Depending on whether the studio uses the infodump in the novels in a useful way, you’ll be begging for less exposition as the anime goes on. Ep 1 was okay on the infodump but still left too much out. If you haven’t heard, there are three 3- min episodes called Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Yoku Wakaru Mahouka which should help with the problem.

    2. I can’t say the MC develops more than this since he’s already as developed as he can possibly be. However, they might go into the past to explain why he and his sister are the way they are, so that should help a bit.

    3. Your prayers will definitely be answered. The setting is one of the things I love most about the LN. It does start out in the High School but pretty soon you’ll see how big the scope is.

    4. It’s not a harem. I can’t tell you why it won’t be a harem (cos spoiler) but characters you think would be in the MC’s harem are paired off with others. As far as I know, only 1 person has ever confessed to the MC. Since it’s not primarily a romance series, it’s a bit hard to see who definitely likes the MC or who is just flirting with him. MC has no time for stuff like that.

    5. See 4. Once you understand what’s going on, you’ll see why romance is quite hard to see in this series.

    6. No can do. It gets more complicated, with different fingers in different pies and different alliances and relationships. If the anime is done right, you’ll appreciate all the intricacies.

    7. Oh, they definitely have motivations. All wrapped up in the different relationships.

    8. We-ll, I can’t say there are things you’ll never see coming. MC makes it hard to not predict what comes next. But you’ll see why his talents are really not enough to survive in the world they live in. It’s power and politics. Nothing can be solved with brute strength alone.

    9. I hope so too.

    10. It is.