Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Ep. 12: Let’s ask Tatsuya what he thinks!

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1205

So WordPress just reminded me that it’s Moe Sucks’ five-year anniversary today. I would celebrate the occasion, but I’m stuck watching and writing about Mahouka. Where have I gone wrong? WHERE?! It’s okay, though. I’ve found the perfect smiley for Tatsuya: tatsuya

— Leo presses a button and the top half of the sword starts to levitate into the air… that’s nice, I guess? Tatsuya then launches into another one of his dry-ass explanations. I’m not going to cover it.

— Leo then tests the sword out on a bunch of straw dummies, but notice how the camera is really up close and personal with said dummies. We don’t actually get to see the guy swing his extendo sword around, because Madhouse doesn’t even want to animate this shit anymore. The story is so bad, the studio has given up on it. Just put in the minimum effort, and sell whatever blu-rays you can to the hardcore fans.

— The best part here, however, is that we don’t even see Leo or his magical levitating sword again for the rest of the episode. Hasn’t this just been the most useful scene?

— Usually, I have the magic touch, so I can skip through the OP without seeing a second of it. This must be a bad day, however, ’cause I failed and I was reminded of this:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1201

So, y’know, when is this scene ever going to take place?

— After the OP, we get to see Mari compete again. Obviously, I don’t care about the show, so I don’t care about the characters either. But let’s just say I did like the show. Oh, I don’t know, maybe I hit my head at some point and I now think Mahouka is the best shit in the world. Even in that unlikely scenario, however, why would I care about Mari or how she does in this competition? What do I even know about her? Why should I even root for some random character? This is no different than asking me to watch a random sports team play and root for them. I don’t know Mari’s story. I don’t know what makes her tick. I don’t know why it’s important that she wins. Therefore, I don’t know why I’m watching her compete. This is just storytelling 101, and Mahouka fails at it 100%.

What’s even funnier is that Mahouka is supposedly focused on world-building. It’s the characters that are important, though. It’s the characters that bring life to your world. Otherwise, why even bother to world-build? Mahouka‘s characters are so underdeveloped and one-dimensional. Even Tatsuya has no depth to him. They’re just there to look cool. This show is such a sharp contrast to something like Ping Pong where you really get inside the characters’ heads. Here, it’s just a bunch of cool-looking people doing a bunch of cool-looking things. There’s no substance here whatsoever. This is a shallow anime for shallow fans. Sure, the story vomits an inane amount of details about the magic in Mahouka‘s universe, but this is nothing more than just extraneous details. Meanwhile, we have a bloated cast and none of them stand out in any way, shape, or form.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1206

— One of the girls end up crashing into Mari, so she ends up in the hospital. But nothing has changed. Seeing her now injured, I feel nothing. It turns out she’ll be out of commission for at least a week because she’s broken her ribs. This should be a tragedy, but to me, it’s just like… eh, whatever. I’m sure it sucks, but she’s not real. And yeah, you could say, “Uh duh, fictional characters aren’t real. Tell me something I don’t know.” But again, that’s the whole point of storytelling. You have to get me to care about the fictional character that you’ve just conjured up out of nowhere. You can’t just tell me that one of your fictional characters has broken her ribs and expect me to give a shit. Oh, she can’t compete anymore? So what? Who the fuck is Mari?

— Mayumi: “Thank goodness… There doesn’t seem to be any mental damage…” Weeeeeellllllll…

— Even though Mari has helped save another girl’s career as a magician, she is salty about the fact that she now has to pull out of the competition. Mayumi tries to reason with the girl the only way she knows best: “That was Tatsuya’s opinion as well.” Yes, praise the lord, because Tatsuya has weighed in! He approves of your actions. Therefore, you need not be sad, little haremette. Yes, you won’t win any prestigious awards this year, but the harem lead looks down upon you and… smiles.

— Whoa, whoa, whoa… not only does Tatsuya approve, he was the one who carried Mari to the infirmary. S-she’s been touched by the lord himself!

— Tatsuya even told the paramedics what to do. Even though it’s their fucking job to help injured people, but it’s Tatsuya, man! Tatsuya obviously knows more about medicine than some random medical professional! Oh, you studied for years in school? Pfft, I’m the fucking harem lead! Do you know who you’re talking to?

— Just look at Mari’s reaction:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1202

Nuh-uh, guys, this isn’t a harem! It just has a lot of elements you would find in a harem anime!

— Now the conspiracy begins. A mysterious third party had used magic to hinder the girl, thereby causing her to lose control. Thankfully, Tatsuya’s not here. He would’ve launched into a lecture on what angle the magic had been cast at, and whether or not his balls had felt a wind chill at the time.

— Mayumi goes, “Tatsuya agrees with me on that, too.” So you know it’s valid! Tee-hee, I’m just a haremette! Don’t ask me! Ask Tatsuya! She then says, “…he’s going to… analyze the fluctuations of the water’s surface.” Yeah, he would do that, wouldn’t he? tatsuya

— New scene! And it begins with Tatsuya saying, “I considered it from all angles.” Bahaha, of course… But anyway, I spoke too soon when I had previously said, “Thankfully, Tatsuya’s not here. He would’ve launched into a lecture…” ‘Cause I sure as hell am getting that lecture now!

— Oh my, Tatsuya comes to the conclusion that something other than a human was lurking in the water. The magical interference came from… inside!

— Something about spirits and ley lines. I get enough fucking ley lines from Nobunaga the Fool, so I’m not going to bother with it here. In fact, mysteries are fun when something crazy happens. Like a murder. Or a grand heist. Here, someone conspired to knock two competitors out of a race. I don’t really care.

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1207

— To compound matters, Mayumi states that First High would have to win both of the remaining events to win the entire competition. Aren’t you glad to see animated bar graphs, though? Too bad I have even less reason to care about the school since it supposedly turns a blind eye to blatant discrimination.

— In the same scene, Mayumi goes, “…[we have] the added perk of having to watch out for interference by an unknown entity.” Do you really? Do you? If our characters are so sure that Mari’s race had been tampered with, why not bring their evidence to the officials? Don’t you think the tournament organizers would want to ensure fairness in an athletic competition? Don’t you think they would void the results of the event? Let’s not do anything reasonable, though! Let’s just have Tatsuya play master sleuth instead! tatsuya

— Since Mari is out for the count, the Gary Stu’s almost equally Mary Sue-ish sister will have to take her spot. Yay, let’s now root for the girl with the bro complex! How convenient is it that Miyuki now gets to save First High’s competitive aspirations! And at the same time, Tatsuya truly saves the day behind the scenes! At some point, the story’s creator’s going to have these two characters cure both AIDS and cancer in one fell swoop.

— Miyuki doesn’t know why she’s being picked. Naturally, one of Mari’s reasons refers to what Tatsuya thinks: “Your little sister has what it takes to win the Official Event, right?” He’s not even talking to her! It’s totally up to Miyuki whether she accepts the role or not! Nevertheless, let’s ask Tatsuya what he really thinks! Nothing happens without Tatsuya giving a fart about it!

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1208

— Tatsuya says, “It’s possible.” tatsuya As expected, that’s enough for Miyuki to beam with optimism. Hai, oniichan! I worship the ground you walk on! Too bad I’m not real… but you can always buy more of these crappy novels to keep the dream alive.

— Afterwards, more crappy competitions. Our lord and savior promises to watch Honoka’s match, which makes the girl super happy. Naw, it’s not a harem anime, guys. And apparently, Shizuku’s family wants to hire Tatsuya for some reason, but since this is the first time I’ve heard about this, I’m just going to ignore it.

— Honoka is nervous about her upcoming match. But wait! Let’s see what the harem lead thinks! Miyuki thus says, “I know you’ll be just fine, Honoka.” Wait for it… wait for it… “Didn’t my brother tell you the same thing?” There it is! We’ve gotten the harem lead’s approval once again! Alright, you are now allowed to live your life, Honoka.

— “So he’s steadily increasing his fan-base, huh?” Have you heard the good word about Tatsuya, our Gary Stu?

— We then see Shizuku compete in the speed-shooting competition, but there’s absolutely no substance here either. Honoka says, “Shizuku is tagging all solid substances inside the zone with Vibrating Wave Magic to destroy her targets.” Very interesting.

— No, really, just look at this shit:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1203

Christ… And yet, the anime can’t be bothered to develop any of its characters. That’s fucking hilarious. Get to know Shizuku? Why bother! I’d rather sit here and watch random ass circles appear around a cube instead!

— On the bright side, I get to fast-forward through these dry-ass sequences, so my Mahouka viewing experience has been cut considerably shorter. Thank goodness for that.

— The best part is, even though this is an event to glorify these athletes, the girls are just sitting there droning on and on about what a genius Tatsuya is: “In effect, the player only needs to pull the trigger to destroy her targets… The proper name of this magic spell is Active Air Mine. I hear it’s a Shiba original.” Hear that, guys? A Shiba original! Mayumi then says, “I can’t believe that he came up with a sequence like this.” Did Shizuku get a perfect score? Or did Tatsuya get the perfect score? Think about it. Is First High going to win the whole thing? Or is Tatsu–… okay, you guys get the picture. Eveeeeerything is about Tatsuya. Everything. Having him on the engineering team is just another golden opportunity to praise him even more.

— Tatsuya is now running around like a headless chicken to make sure everyone’s comfortable with their CADs. Shizuku weighs in with her opinion:

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei 1204

Oh, if she only knew how right she was.

— She also adds, “Since you’ve done everything to pave the way to victory for me…” Classic stuff. And that’s how the episode ends. Not on a high point. Not on a cliffhanger. We simply end on the statement that Tatsuya is doing everything, and all these girls have to do is be a warm body.

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23 thoughts on “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Ep. 12: Let’s ask Tatsuya what he thinks!

  1. Marcomax

    So I just caught up with this series after dropping it for a bit. Something I’d completely forgotten was how much this show drains the magic out of, well magic. Take a second and ask yourself, what do you think of when you thing of magic? Miracles, illusions, Rituals, otherworldly forces, wonder, terror, interacting and controlling forces outside human understanding. Mahouka’s interpretation of magic drains it of it’s excitement replacing it with technobabble that give technobabble a bad name. That is Mahouka’s true crime.

    The worst part is that there is some of that true ritualistic magic in this show. Watching Mikihiro commune with water spirits and perform spirit magic is the most fun magic has seemed in this entire series. But soon I may have to watch Tatsuya eventually drain his magic of all it’s unique qualities. Sigh.

    On a side note, this competition reminds me of my old high school track meets except somehow more boring. I guess we’ll have to wait two weeks for the next terrorist attack. Next we being the cliffhanger for said attack.

    Reply
    1. kaoknight

      yeah, I also find that one of the worst parts about this show is all of the magic-techno babble jargon dialogue that goes on for minutes.

      I can’t believe this show 2-cour long, some adaptions only get 12 episodes to rush and poorly adapt their material but this awful novel series actual got 26 episode coming.

      Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      Well, turning magic into a science could be interesting in itself. Mahouka just didn’t do it correctly. This is even worse than reading a Wikipedia entry. When you read science articles on Wikipedia, they can be fascinating because the world is fascinating. Mahouka hasn’t crafted an interesting world, however, so all the technobabble in the world won’t make up for that.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Nice emoticon.

    I have to say I didn’t think they could make this even more boring than it was, madhouse proved me wrong.

    I still can’t believe I read 10 volumes of this, never found something to really hook me, although I did find a few things that kept me going (I was surprised too) this could have been great if it didn’t have so many things working against it (still can’t believe there are people who praise this as perfect).

    Now I can’t wait to see your thoughts on the rest if this arc and next arc, let’s just say once the next arc begins you will have the tome of your life ranting.

    Reply
  3. Gary Stu

    “What’s even funnier is that Mahouka is supposedly focused on world-building. It’s the characters that are important, though. It’s the characters that bring life to your world. Otherwise, why even bother to world-build? Mahouka‘s characters are so underdeveloped and one-dimensional. Even Tatsuya has no depth to him. They’re just there to look cool. This show is such a sharp contrast to something like Ping Pong where you really get inside the characters’ heads. Here, it’s just a bunch of cool-looking people doing a bunch of cool-looking things. There’s no substance here whatsoever. This is a shallow anime for shallow fans. Sure, the story vomits an inane amount of details about the magic in Mahouka‘s universe, but this is nothing more than just extraneous details. Meanwhile, we have a bloated cast and none of them stand out in any way, shape, or form.”

    Pretty much sums up Mahouka

    Reply
  4. mrfatso

    I guess somewhere along the way, our definition of world building differ? After all, when we watch a show, we take in their world and just enjoy ourselves in them. So… is this the last episode or are there 12 more episodes?

    Reply
  5. durr

    [quote]At some point, the story’s creator’s going to have these two characters cure both AIDS and cancer in one fell swoop.[/quote]

    Actually, i think someone on MAL asked the fanboys jokingly if that was possible. After the question was asked they seemed to bicker how long he could halt the progress of any disease since he apparently IS able to do just that….

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      It’s terribly hard to take the fanboys…err fans seriously when they are completely blind to the absurdity of all of this.
      Knowing something is pretty shit but enjoying it nonetheless I can respect. But wanking off mindlessly to Jesus Stu and branding it’s critics as stupid as this bunch like to do… ahaha.

      hey, at least we were spared any more body shaming this time. Or maybe we didn’t, I don’t even know. I have this running when I wash the dishes now, facing away from the screen half the time, so who knows.

      Reply
  6. Thenais

    Are you a masochist to review an anime that you obviously hate ?
    if you are already rebutted by such low level of manliness,
    Wait, oh wait for the next arc.
    Reading your ranting will then be priceless.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Oh trust me he can do that and much more, wait until next arc and watch Tatsuyas true self, can’t wait to see how the hardcore fans try to defend the series after that.

      Reply
    2. SP

      I don’t think Mahouka is “annoying & unwatchable” type bad. I think it’s “untentionally funny due to being bad” type bad. I can’t ever take this thing seriously, & these Mahouka blogs are rather entertaining & fun. After all who ever said you have to take anime seriously to enjoy it? As long as we don’t mock someone personally, we can enjoy any entertainment show anyway we want.

      Reply
        1. SP

          The word “fan” comes from “fanatic” after all. What can we do if someone is so emotionally attached towards entertainment media that they begin to take things too seriously than they should other than just not attacking that guy with personal insult?

        2. E Minor Post author

          It doesn’t even matter what it means. What we do has always — ever since the beginning of time, in fact — said something about us. If I choose to eat bacon everyday, that says something about me. Probably not positively either. So naturally, if someone genuinely likes Mahouka, that says something about them too. People can’t have their cake and eat it too. if they want to like Mahouka, that’s their prerogative, but don’t get mad because the rest of us will naturally draw our conclusions from it. That’s just human nature, man. We craft narratives as a practice.

    3. E Minor Post author

      Yes, let’s only write about things we like! Let’s never say a negative word about anything! Sunshine and rainbows for all!

      Reply
  7. A Day Without Me

    “At some point, the story’s creator’s going to have these two characters cure both AIDS and cancer in one fell swoop.”

    Whoa, whoa, bro, what? People with those diseases are obviously icky subhuman undesirables, why on earth would they want to cure them? If those people had been worthy in the first place, they wouldn’t be sick now!

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Damn, no wonder otakus dislike the sun. Wouldn’t want to get skin cancer and become an undesirable!

      Reply
  8. SP

    Why are magicians so terrible at creating sports? Remember Quidditch? A game where one position (conveniently, the main character’s) single-handedly provides 150/0 points while the other scoring positions average 60-70.

    In this competition, 1st High have a near hundred point lead, but they would “have to win” the last 2 events (conveniently, the main characters’) for them to win the entire competition.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      ‘Cause sports are lame on paper. Durr, I put a ball through the hoop! Don’t me wrong though. I love sports. But if you’re completely alien to the concept, you’d be like, “So what?” As a result, when writers try to come up with their own sport, they always try to make it sound cool on paper. They’re not thinking of it being a competitive game. They think of it as another way to stand out.

      Reply

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