Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei seems restricted by the original series.
Last week I asked whether Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei could stand on its own feet rather than simply being a spin-off accompaniment to a series I’d love to see a further sequel of outside of the Visitor Arc but instead I got a spin-off. And unfortunately episode 4 seems to indicate that this series really can’t despite some of its good points.
Episode 4 is a disjointed viewing affair going from watching Miyuki try on various outfits and poses to get her brother’s attention to a deep discussion around the discrimination at the school and the potential terrorist organisation behind it all before we cut back to the girls playing detective who naturally end up in danger.
About the only real point of difference Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei offers here is that instead of Tatsuya being the one who conveniently shows up to save the day Miyuki gets a brief moment to shine as she saves her friends.
But ultimately this is such a side quest to a story we’ve already seen play out (as in the audience already knew about the relationship between the student and the terrorist) so the danger faced by Eimi, Honoka and Shizuku is pretty irrelevant because they reveal nothing new to us and more than that, we already knew they weren’t going to be killed in an alley during this arc because we’ve seen them alive and kicking in future events.
So with Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei’s potential dramatic tension from potential danger cut off at the knees we’re left with a mediocre action sequence where the three girls get a very brief moment of cool before their magic is jammed and then Miyuki just kind of wipes out the threat without blinking an eye.
All of this before we finish the episode with a cut down version of the student forum that we’ve also seen before and then the terrorists begin their attack before the closing credits.
Will the terrorist attack prove a rehash or will we get a genuine new perspective on events?
Taken on its own, so far Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei has been pretty ordinary and it really is relying on people who are fans of these characters and wanted to see more of them. In that sense, we are getting more screen time for support characters from The Irregular at Magic High.
What I have to wonder is whether there is an actual alternative perspective to be offered on the events coming? Is there information Miyuki has that Tatsuya was never privy to that might change how the audience views any of these encounters? Because that would make this series well and truly worth watching.
Without it, while this is a nice diversion and fans of the original will enjoy being back at magic high, there’s little to make this a must watch and it certainly isn’t catering to a new audience with so much missing from it in terms of world building. Episode 4 really highlights this as it kind of just skips through a lot of bits and pieces to get us from the daily school life antics to terrorist attack by the end of the episode.
The one thing I am genuinely appreciating so far is Miyuki’s growing friendship with Shizuku and Honoka as while they were friends in the original series, it was friendship that made little sense. Here we see Miyuki making a genuine effort to connect with the two girls as they try to keep their actions a secret from her and we also see Miyuki’s anger when they are in danger.
While that probably isn’t enough to justify an alternate take on a story, I won’t say I’m not enjoying it. All of these are characters who deserved a little more screen time and their relationships should have been fleshed out more in the first place.
I guess we’ll see what episode 5 with the terrorist attack actually brings us in terms of perspective. I’m kind of hoping Miyuki’s experience is significantly different enough to make this feel fresh.
Images from: Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. Dir. Hideki Tachibana. Connect. 2021
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