Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei continues it’s headlong charge through content.
In my episode 5 review of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei I mentioned that pacing is somewhat of an issue as this spin-off series continue to skip over the Tatsuya focused events (such as the politics behind the terrorists) in favour of what Miyuki and her friends are doing. While the switch in focus makes sense given that is the whole point of the spin-off, what it has sacrificed is any kind of independent coherence and any real sense of reasoned pacing.
So episode 6 starts with the girls seeing their test scores and being overjoyed that their scores will mean they will be chosen for the rookie team that goes to the Nine Schools Competition. We then have a bizarre scene where Mayumi has Miyuki standing in front of her in the student council office and gives here a really truncated explanation of what the Nine Schools Competition is.
While I get the audience of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei might need a brush up on what the competition entails, this is just odd because we have two characters talking about it when both should already know. It would make more sense for their to be an assembly announcing the selections with a brief overview of why the competition was important to first high or something, rather than this scene that really felt like a shoved in explainer because someone realised that anyone who started with this spin-off would be utterly lost.
They probably would be anyway because honestly this series has really not worried about world building in any meaningful capacity.
After the opening we see Tatsuya meeting the first year girls that he will be the engineer for during the competition and then we move to the evening where Miyuki, in a fit of jealousy using magic to do some serious damage to Tatsuya forcing him to restore himself.
Miyuki, that is not considered roughhousing.
I’m left a little bewildered by the choice to include this in a story that is meant to give us more information about Miyuki. While we always knew she had a brother complex, causing him grave harm in an instant of petty jealousy wasn’t something I thought she would do given she’s always been so fiercely protective of him.
Instead, Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei’s decision to frame Miyuki this way has just left me wondering if Miyuki has more than just a bit of a complex but is actually needing some real psychological help. It makes it incredibly difficult to sympathise with her character and really I mostly want to tell Tatsuya to get away from her. He’s unlikely to given on restoring himself he immediately goes back to being her sweet older brother but this scene was seriously worrisome.
And all of that before we get to the competition (skipping over the terrorist incident on the bus that is mentioned but not shown) and we race through most of the events for the third years so that we can end the episode with the rookies about to start.
For all of that racing through content though, Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei isn’t above a hot-tub scene with the first year female students that as always contains a serious amount of breast groping. Again, its an interesting choice to not bother to show or animate a serious bus accident but to spend time on such a standard anime trope and while I’m not against fan-service, here it felt really forced and unnecessary and with so much of the story just getting skipped over it felt fairly intrusive.
We also introduced the rival first year students from third high and so far Airi Isshiki, clearly going up against Miyuki, hasn’t particularly impressed given she dismissed Miyuki after hearing her name and concluding she wasn’t from one of the great families. I’m kind of hoping the following episodes give these rival characters a bit more development because otherwise this is going to be a fairly flat retelling of a competition we’ve already seen.
It has probably become clear that I’m a little underwhelmed by Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei so far and I’m a little confused about who their target audience might be. Mostly, I’m kind of hoping that now we’re at the half-way mark maybe things will start coming together.
Images from: Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. Dir. Hideki Tachibana. Connect. 2021
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