Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Ep. 10: A bunch of people lounging around

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1014

Practically nothing happens in this week’s episode, guys. But if you really must read what I have to say about nothing, then go on right ahead.

— As I’m watching these students attempt to deal with their current predicament, I can’t help but notice that there isn’t a single adult amongst them. Sure, we’ve been told that faculty members are on short supply, but considering how the school has already been targeted by motherfucking terrorists, it’s hilarious that two buses full of students are completely unchaperoned. Hell, these buses are filled with the school’s best and brightest students on their way to a prestigious competition, and yet it’s completely unprotected! For all the ballyhoo about Mahouka‘s supposedly superior world-building, it seems pretty terrible from my vantage point. The only faculty member we’ve even seen is the ridiculously endowed Ono Haruka, and she may as well be a student ’cause she doesn’t seem like much of an adult to me. Maybe the story’s creator just has some sort of complex about adults.

— I’m sure I mentioned this last week, but I love how the freeway is also practically devoid of vehicles as well. Just look at this screenshot:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1001

No adults, no cars, no anything but super awesome high schoolers with magical powers! World-building at its finest, folks. No, I’m not saying that a lack of cars in a single scene makes or breaks the anime. But it is nevertheless immersion-breaking. It makes the world seem fake and artificial.

— In any case, the kids are now safe. They don’t even seem the slightest bit nonplussed, though. No one is even worked up. It’s like, “Ho-hum, just another day.” Rather, Mayumi is already handing out the praise. You’re awesome, Jumanji! And you’re awesome, Miyuki! We’re all just a bunch of strong, independent high schoolers and we don’t need no adult! Yeah, let’s pat ourselves on the back some more. Oh, and let’s not forget to talk about magic sequences: “…I was only able to choose that magic sequence because Ms. Ichihara used a Deceleration Spell to stop the bus.” Dude, a car almost crashed into the bus and killed you guys. How are you guys not even remotely shaken by this near-death experience? I know Tatsuya is an emotionless robot, but I didn’t know the rest of you guys were this soulless as well. These characters don’t feel human, man.

— Oh, but don’t forget to praise Tatsuya either! Those silly first years were about to throw their spells willy-nilly, but a special someone had cancelled all their magic sequences. Mari wonders who it might’ve been, but c’mon. C’mooooooooon. You know you want it.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1002

C’mon baby, praise the robot. Love the robot. Feed the robot your love.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1003

Aw yeah, baby, gimme more! But seriously, there is never a single scene in which Tatsuya isn’t somehow the true hero. It’s so pathetic.

— Takeaki (I think) says, “All this Bloom/Weed nonsense… What is it based on but the results of those entrance exams?” Well shit, I could’ve told you guys that, and I’m not even a Gary Stu.

— Tatsuya explains that magic had been involved in the accident. Not only that, the driver had given up his own life in an attempt to hurt the students. Miyuki feels that this is cowardly, and Tatsuya replies, “Well, criminals and terrorists are cowards to begin with.” I thought he might say something like the terrorists are cowards for attacking innocent civilians and all that, but no. According to Tatsuya, terrorists are apparently cowards for another reason entirely: “It’s rare that the one giving the orders ever risks his own life.” Well, if the leaders are that important to the cause, it’d be stupid to just put themselves at risk, wouldn’t it? C’mon, Gary Stu, use your brain.

— Miyuki apparently thinks Mizuki’s outfit is too revealing here:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1004

How inappropriate! You might be completely clothed but, uh, your arms are bare! And your breasts are too big under that top! Are you trying to seduce my brother, four-eyes?! No, seriously, Miyuki is actually worked up about this: “It’s very becoming, and you look lovely, but I don’t think it’s appropriate.” Ahhhhhhhh~! You know it’s all because of the girl’s breasts. So great, we now have body-shaming in this anime as well!

— Erika says she doesn’t like it when people are biased towards her just because she’s a Chiba. At the same time, she uses her family name to acquire advantages such as being able to stay at this military hotel… a hotel that most people… would not have be able to normally stay at… i.e. people are biased towards her because she’s a Chiba….

nevermind

Sigh.

— There’s going to be a banquet tonight, but outsiders are not allowed to attend. Nevertheless, Erika sneaks in as a server. It’s really just a lame excuse for us to see the girl in a meido outfit. It’s not even very clever. Nevertheless, Miyuki has no problems with Erika’s current outfit:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1005

Everything’s all covered, man! That’s just the way we like it!

— Miyuki: “After all, [Tatsuya’s] never captivated by superficial things, such as what a girl’s wearing.” Yeah, he only cares about what’s on the inside, i.e. a girl’s DNA. Plus, the more chromosomes, the better!

— Tatsuya: “You two are always together, too, aren’t you?”
Shizuku: “Because we’re friends. There’s no reason for us not to be together.”
Tatsuya: “Guess there isn’t.”

Great dialogue. Riveting. Charming.

— Tatsuya has to give Miyuki the orders to fraternize with the rest of her team. He even gets praised for it: “What a mature way of handling it.” He is his sister’s keeper, after all. If he hadn’t said anything, she would’ve been glued to him all night. What a lovely relationship these two siblings share. Not the slightest bit creepy or unhealthy whatsoever.

— Nothing has happened since the incident on the highway. I’m just sitting here, watching these hoity-toity students hang out at a banquet and talk about mundane shit. Ugh… world-building at its finest, right?

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1015

— When Erika is left alone with Tatsuya, she tries to spill her guts to him. Apparently, she didn’t even come here because she wanted to. Rather, her parents forced her hand. Nevertheless, our Gary Stu goes, “I’m not going to pry. Because even if I did, there’d be nothing that I could do.” Who said he had to do anything about it? Sometimes, people just want to vent. Sometimes, people just want to share their feelings. Then again, I wouldn’t expect a robot to understand something as basic as day-to-day human interactions. Even sociopaths, however, can appear genuine on the surface even if they can’t empathize with the people around them. Tatsuya is just that clueless.

— Erika: “You’re cold, aren’t you?” C’mon, every body of mass in the universe has blackbody radiation, so it’s not as if he’s completely devoid of warmth! Naw, you’re right: he’s completely frigid. Plus, we can use this as yet another opportunity to heap praises upon the Gary Stu: “But I’m thankful that you’re so cold…” Really? Please, do tell. Try to justify this to me. Go ahead. I’m all ears: “Since you’re not too caring, I can mouth off all I want.” Brilliant logic! The best therapist in the world is actually a rock. You’re just wasting your money with those quacks. Erika continues, “Since you don’t offer any sympathy, I don’t have to feel pathetic… Thanks!” Ah, that Stockholm Syndrome is a helluva drug.

— Meanwhile…

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1006

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh~!

— But although Miyuki has her eyes on her oniichan, Masaki, the weirdo from Third High School that we met a couple of episodes ago, has his eyes on her. His friend has this to say: “Well, that’s unusual. For you to show interest in a girl, Masaki!”

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1007

Oh ho ho, what are you trying to imply there!… meh, nothing is happening. I’m just trying to make this seem entertaining, but this episode of this shitty anime is even shittier than you ever thought possible. Shit.

— Some chairman shows up to address the students. The chairman has, uh, no whites in his eyes:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1008

Okay then… Oh yeah, he even tries to pull some sleight-of-hand on the students, but our Gary Stu totally sees through it. Totally. You can’t fool this robot. The chairman realizes it too as he gives Tatsuya an acknowledging nod. I see you, boy:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1009

I see what a beast you are!

— The chairman then goes, “If I were a terrorist, and unleashed either poison or bombs upon you, only five of you would have been able to do anything to stop me.” So first, they don’t chaperone the kids’ buses, thereby putting them at risk. Then finally, when the kids get to their destination and try to relax at a nice, little banquet, the chairmen goes on and on about he totally would’ve “pwn’d” them all in the ass because they’re not as awesome as our Gary Stu: “Yet you were deceived by this weak magic, and therefore failed to perceive my presence.” How dare you relax! How dare you? You might be at a party, but you should always be on your toes! I could kill you right now, fools!

— Chairman: “You should never be remiss in your efforts to improve your magic skills.” It’s a fucking party! This would be like me hiding beneath my son’s bed and surprising him with a shotgun when he finally falls asleep. Heh, way to fall for such a weak trick, boy! Fuck your naptime! You could’ve died!

— But in any case, Tatsuya is somewhat impressed. You can never tell by his facial expression…

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1010

…but the chairman did acknowledge him, so that’s a good start!

— Later that night, Miyuki and two of her friends talk about the upcoming sporting events. Yay…

— Wait, wait…! Something’s about to happen! Girls show up and invite our trio to… to…?

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1013

Go to the hot springs.

— Honoka is about to be molested by a fellow classmate. She appeals to her friend Shizuku for help. Shizuku refuses to help, however, because — and I quote — “you’ve got a big bust, Honoka.” Yep. First, Miyuki thinks Mizuki is dressing too appropriately, and now this.

— When Miyuki finally joins the rest of the girls, they are transfixed by her beauty. Seriously: “Oh, uh, sorry about that. I was mesmerized for a moment.” Anime girls are always one drop of a hat away from indulging their lesbian tendencies:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1011

Yep.

— The girls then talk about how hot Masaki is. Not only that, he was totally checking Miyuki out, you guys! But Miyuki isn’t impressed. One of the girl thus asks, “So are you more into guys that are like your brother?” Like her brother? Please, you can just remove the word “like” completely.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1012

— *coughbullshitcough* Phew, must be that summer flu going around. Anyway, Miyuki’s not like that, you guys. She’d never kill her brother just because he had paid too much interest in another girl.

— Elsewhere, Mikihiro is chasing after some thieves, but Tatsuya takes them out anyway. All the glory belongs to the Gary Stu, bitch.

— Aaaaand we’re done with this week’s episode. I deserve a treat or something. Then again, I’m not going to proofread this post, but I’m going to publish it anyway.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Ep. 10: A bunch of people lounging around

  1. Anonymage

    Hey, I’ve read all of the light novels (including what parts of volume 13 are currently translated (I swear I’m not a masochist)) and I figured I’d share what I’ve come to believe. Spoilers ahead for those who actually care.

    Essentially, I believe that Mahouka is an unintentionally brilliant parody and deconstruction of the Gary-stu character archetype and self-insert wish fulfillment stories. The author set out to write the ultimate in self-insert wish fulfillment stories, but ended up creating something akin to Mewtwo, a monster gone horribly right.

    The first thing that I’d like to comment on is Tatsuya. It’s been commented on several times that Tatsuya is an unemotional robot with no personality. The lack of personality is common is self-insert fiction as it allows the reader to project him or herself onto the protagonist. However, do to his obsession with detail and needless explanations, the author felt the need to justify this with some bullshit (i.e. Tatsuya’s emotions were magically removed by his family in order to make him a better magician). The author’s complete devotion to following through on his explanation results in Tatsuya behaving like a total autist to the point of hilarity (I findTatsuya’s internal monologue in the light novels very funny). Furthermore, there’s Tatsuya’s extreme combat prowess. Him being extremely good in actual combat, but unsuited for the testing system/having to hide his abilities because they can’t be revealed to the masses reeks so much of teenage power fantasy that it could be considered unintentional parody in and of itself. However, there’s more. Despite Tatsuya being completely invincible in combat, he actually has very little power over his own life. He’s constantly being controlled and exploited by those who have more political and social influence than himself. Thus, his struggle occurs in the form of trying to build his own political and social influence in order to win his freedom and make a better future for himself and his imouto. As more followers/worshippers join the cult of onii-sama over the course of the series, it becomes clear that they don’t actually like him as a person, but admire his power and want to be a part of it. Nobody actually likes him, they’re just attracted to his power. Furthermore, his uncle refers to him as ‘the crystallization of the Yotsuba’s sin and his aunt Maya (the head of the Yotsuba clan and the one responsible for having him experimented upon) calls him a monster that needs to be kept under control by the brainwashing of both himself and Miyuki. In this vein, Tatsuya himself is a Mewtwo, an attempt to create the ultimate Gary-Stu gone horribly right. That is some next level meta shit right there.

    Then there’s our resident Mary-Sue, Miyuki. Essentially, she’s the author’s waifu and the personification of his fantasies about having a gorgeous and extremely talented imouto who worships him. In the novels she’s pretty much described as being the most beautiful girl in the world to the point that it’s impossible to even glare at her. She’s painted as the perfect Yamato Nadeshiko. Everybody adores her. However, upon closer analysis, it becomes apparent that this love is shallow. She’s worshipped for he superior physical beauty, overwhelming magic power (completely inherited), and poise/social graces (stated several times to be a complete mask). People only like her for her superficial qualities. In fact, she’s a snow queen, a glass princess. She’s pretty to look at, but empty and vapid on the inside. When you strip away her religious devotion to onii-sama, there’s nothing left, she’s a husk of a person. Not only that, but her repressed onii-sama lust is slowly eating away at her psyche and eroding her sanity. She may appear to be a perfect, flawless lady, but in reality she’s far from it.

    Tatsuya and Miyuki are the logical extensions of their character archetypes. This is to say that they are not humans, but gods given flesh. These unintentional deconstructions should not be likeable (I do, but I’m a weirdo), but can be appreciated for what they are.

    I’m probably overanalyzing this shit, but it makes me enjoy it, so I can’t complain. NO GODS OR KINGS, ONLY ONII-SAMA.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      If it’s an unintentional parody, wouldn’t that just make it a bad story? And I agree: Tatsuya and Miyuki are logical extensions of their archetypes. That’s why I’m mocking it in these posts.

      Reply
      1. Anonymage

        I don’t know about bad story. It’s like the author set out to make shit, but ended up creating gold. It’s different from being so bad it’s good. It creates the illusion of being self-aware.

        The best comparison that I can give is that it’s like ‘Spring Time for Hitler’ from The Producers.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          I understand what you’re trying to say. At the same time, however, I’m asserting that the anime is just bad. That doesn’t mean we can’t derive any enjoyment of it, but the only reason the anime can even seem like a parody is because these two main characters are the epitome of their badness. You even said it yourself: “Tatsuya and Miyuki are the logical extensions of their character archetypes.” If you take their Gary-Stu/Mary-Sue archetypes — and it is commonly accepted that a Mary Sue character is a poorly written character — to their logical extremes, i.e. make them as bad as possible, you end up making an example out of the archetypes. You end up parodying the archetypes albeit unintentionally. Nevertheless, it is still an example of badness. And whereas most parodies or satires feature a certain level of camp, Mahouka doesn’t feel very campy. It feels very earnest, actually, especially in its right-wing slant. And that makes it harder for me to see the show as parody — even if you say it’s unintentional — and not just a really bad story. But that’s how I see the anime adaptation. I have not read the light novels and I have no intention to. Perhaps the light novels come across differently.

        2. andmeuths

          Monologue adds alot of more…. well, it would be offensive and a little hasty to say depth, but it reveals much more about how the character really thinks and why he or she acts the way he or she does, than just actions alone. That itself, is enough to produce a different perception from the Light Novels.

          Mahouka is a shitty adaptation, with shitty directing, pitiful characterization, and very bad adaptation choices (when it comes to what to omit, and what to expand). BD sale projections for the show are actually falling with every episode, and that’s quite a feat for a show with such a popular source material backing it…..

          Actually, something occurred to me : Shiro and Tatsuya are two different routes and even variants of the “Wish Fulfillment” idea.

  2. tf5f89

    It was the ending of this episode that killed me. You’ve got a guy thinking to himself “Tatsuya was able to fight back, so can I!” Then before he can actually do anything by himself, who randomly shows up to save him? Our hero.

    Reply
  3. il-Palazzo

    After two boobshamings from Tatsuya and Miyuki once each, Leo’s comment on how high school girls panties selling is a thing in the past (implying that it doesn’t exist now), and this week’s non-nude onsen scene, I’m starting to think that the author is deliberately making the future more “clean” than what we are now. Like humanity (or at least just Japan) had moved past its Hentai phase. Some kind of optimistic future worldview from him, I would guess.

    Reply
    1. SP

      Another wish fulfilment there by the author. As long as human beings exists, you can’t put porn down without screwing human brain.

      Reply
    2. durr

      I would say he is more backwards than anything. His worldview is almost puritanical… which is wonderfully reflected in how he treats his female characters.

      Reply
  4. Gary Stu

    Hahahahahaha the only reason I watch Mahouka is to read your reviews!
    Keep up the good work! :)

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s