Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Astounding, Detailed Rationale of Modern Magic and Badass Male Protagonist

|This post is written by Gilimandra|

Title: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Author: Hayashi Fumino, Satou Tsutomu

Character Design: Kana Ishida

Artist: Kitaumi Tsuna

Category: Manga

Year Published: 2011.

Serialized in: G Fantasy (Square Enix).

Licensed in English: No

Genre: Fantasy Romance School Life Sci-fi Shounen Supernatural

Scanlation Latest Release: Chapter 9

Status in Country of Origin: 3 volumes (on-going).

Age Rating: 15+.

Rating: 8.6 / 10.

“That kid is a [weed], right?”

“He sure is enthusiastic for a reserve.”

“Even though he’s just a spare.”

said a group of girls passing by an expressionless Shiba Tatsuya. Although the exchanges between the girls seem to be cheerful as they giggle every now and then, It’s quite clear that the [Bloom] are mocking him for being early even though the opening ceremony for freshmen is still two hours away, and of course, for him being a [Weed]. Hearing that, Tatsuya smiles bitterly, “A [Weed] huh.”

“I can’t accept this!” says the younger sister of the Shiba family, Shiba Miyuki near the entrance gate of the school. “Onii-sama, why are you a reserve!? Didn’t you top the entrance exam!!” Her angry voice is so loud the other students are thinking that the siblings, fellow freshmen, are fighting. The supposedly big brother, Shiba Tatsuya, tries to calm her by saying that it couldn’t be helped, as all that matters in this school is practical ability in magic rather than paper tests.

Tatsuya was referring to the system, where entrants who scored high in the entrance examination’s practical ability test are able to enroll as a [Bloom], elites which eight petaled flower emblem presents on the left chest confirms their superiority. In contrast to such prestige, the students who scored less in the exam are classified as [Weed]. Since the nature of the school, “Affiliate of National University of Magic: First High School” itself is already highly competitive, the discrimination against the [Weed] and the mutual hatred between the two groups are getting sharper as the days go by.

¦Shiba Miyuki, the best of the best freshmen.¦

After delivering her reply address due to the fact that she’s the top entrant and also the representative of the freshmen, Miyuki is hugely popular among both camps. His little sister’s classmates, who’re all in total awe of her and surround her wherever she goes, think that it’s better for her not to interact with the ‘lower class’. Such careless remarks are heard by Tatsuya’s new [Weed] friends as he and Miyuki try to separate from them and go home together. Unable to accept such insult, the [Weed] directly confronts the high and mighty [Bloom].

¦A heated clash between [Bloom] and [Weed] on the first day? Pretty much normal.¦

The bickering quickly escalates into a fight, where both sides are very close to hurt each other using magic before they were stopped and harshly scolded by Mayumi Saegusa, the Student Council President, who’s making her round at school while accompanied by Mari Watanabe, the Moral Committee Chairman. Both sides are really terrified because Mari is quite furious, and is about to hand judgment upon them when Tatsuya steps in and smoothes things out with his eloquent speech.

¦Shiba Tatsuya, showing a hidden talent as a pro con-artist.¦

Tatsuya’s way with words and his skill to read the activation sequence before a magic activates its power, a feat deemed impossible to pull off, have made him earned the undivided attention from the two top students in school, Mayumi and Mari. It’s this unwanted attention (as Tatsuya wants to keep a low profile) that drags him out to the spotlights for many times and becomes the element of surprise in the school.

¦The two most powerful people in the school, trying to drag Tatsuya out into the open.¦

A thoroughly, very well made theory about modern magic in “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei” has successfully appealed to the readers’ rational part of the minds, as we’d feel all the concepts are as convincing as Physics and Politics could ever be, thus naturally lead us to take in the story it presents more easily. However, in many occasions the authors go about explaining the concept of magic and other relevant topics way too lengthy it’s exhausting to read, which consequently undermines the plot development in that particular chapter.

¦Brace yourself, readers, a comprehensive lecture is coming your way.¦

On the other hand, the idea of a story that focuses itself on the gap between the ‘nobles’ and the ‘peasants’ always manages to rile up emotions and make readers able to sympathize with the characters. “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei” too, executes the idea masterfully.

Moving on to the main protagonist, if you ever dreamt of creating a character whose intelligent and calculative nature equal Yagami Raito of “Death Note”, Lelouch Vi Britannia from “Code Geass” series, who has a disciplined, militaristic attitude resembling Sagara Sousuke of “Fullmetal Panic!” series mixed with Hei’s (Darker than Black) coldness, and finally, is equipped with top physical prowess and overwhelming magical power close to the likes of Layfon Alseif of “Chrome Shelled Regios” and Ryner Lute from “The Legend of Legendary Heroes”, Shiba Tatsuya might be the very successful picture of such idea.

His strongest point is that Tatsuya’s simply a total badass, he surprises everybody at every turn and heavily shakes the existence of gap between the [Bloom] and the [Weed]. Having such character is a real charmer for those who’re tired with weak, pure, and dull shounen leads.

¦Nothing is impossible for the almost invicible Shiba Tatsuya.¦

Tatsuya’s relationship with Miyuki, his biological younger sister who immediately loses her temper when somebody insults her beloved brother, and inclines to build a romantic relationship with him, is also rather interesting. Miyuki’s obsession with her brother and  her frequent display of jealousy are cute. Many other central characters are also able to hold their grounds well to keep us engrossed. But, if there’s one little flaw in the characters planning, it’d be the relationship between them, which so far is still as straight as an arrow with no twist whatsoever; it’s still painfully static. Hayashi Fumino and Satou Tsutomu has to work hard in splashing the calm water to create a suspenseful and exciting dynamics.

¦Being the top entrant does come with a price; as Miyuki’s head starts to go haywire when it comes to her beloved brother.¦

With solid theories to inject a sense of reality, kick-ass main protagonist and conspiracies all over the general plot development, “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei” clearly stands out from the rest of the works from the same genre and definitely worth your time.


About Gilimandra

The self-claimed irresistible, energetic life form has been enchanted by the wonder of Japanese culture (read: anime & manga) since he was able to stand on his own feet. Now he is looking forward to infect you with his love for Japan. Resistance is futile!

3 thoughts on “Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Astounding, Detailed Rationale of Modern Magic and Badass Male Protagonist

    • No, the term badass here refers more to how Tatsuya always kicks every single enemy that appears before him, no matter how strong they are. On the other hand, personality-wise, Tatsuya’s rather rigid and is a far cry from Gintoki’s TOTAL BADASS aura that shows up both in his attitude and strength. +_-

  1. I think, lately Light Novel writers are trying to outdo each other in who has the most badass character. You have SAO which has a normal character that is super badass in games to defy the logic of the game itself, you have High School DxD with a Kamen Rider character that is powered to the level of Gods by boobs and dragons, but Mahouka tops everything because Tatsuya’s magic undeniably the strongest magic if magic were physics… Unless someone invents time magic and God Mode magic.

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