Quick Look: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Edit: The review is out.

A friend of mine gave me a month trial to Crunchyroll. I’ve never had a particularly high opinion of Crunchyroll, given their turncoat past, but what’s done is done, and unless Netflix is going to pick up live simulcasts, we’re stuck with a one-party solution. No, I don’t count Funimation. But, the upside is I can stream it on my PS3 and Nexus 7, without powering my desktop PC. If you live in my state, and you’re facing the electric company price increase next year, it unfortunately matters until I get a lower-power NAS solution together.

Anyway, besides keeping up a little better on this season’s shows, I am also backtracking a bit into previous seasons, and one particular show caught my eye from last season, Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. I’d hear some Twitter chatter about this show before, but didn’t hop on it then. Should I have? The answer is probably muddled.

Best girl. Has glasses. Not even a debatable subject for me.
Best girl. Has glasses. Not even a debatable subject for me.

I’m eighteen episodes in, about to start the final arc. My impressions so far? Mixed. Tatsuya and Miyuki try to come off as a bro-con/sis-con pair, but given their setting and surrounding, tend to come off more like Miles O’Brien and Julian Bashir of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The show presents itself as a future-place school setting with magic that is less traditional magic and more CALCULATIONS INTENSIFY. Not unlike Gundam 00, the world is divided over things and fought each other before for other things. What this show ends up paralleling more is Infinite Stratos, only without so much skewering towards a single gender. The DS9 parallel plays in their characters, Tatsuya being the calculating engineer who can do anything, but has a dubious military past, and Miyuki being the close, best-friend (amplified to bro-con) who is smart and talented, and probably genetically engineered. Much of the show slides into technobabble, constantly explaining everything, and introducing more female characters for Tatsubro to “fix their CADs” for them.

But honestly, it’s not half-bad, and that is probably because I like Trek for technobabble. The Next Generation was heavy-handed with that sort of thing, but it always broke it up with Worf shouting at things. DS9 and VOY were more action-oriented shows, and that is where Mahouka sort of falls in, where it reminds us of the universe we’re watching, but won’t let us just walk away without showing Seven of Nine’s goods.

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