Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 8 Impressions – Something Old, Something New

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 8
Review posts of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei are sponsored by Crow's World of Anime.

Rewriting Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei

I started thinking this week while watching Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei that rather than following the girls of first high, this spin-off would have been significantly stronger if it had left first high behind and followed the cast of third high. We could then entirely reframe this sports tournament and have the underdogs of third high trying to outclass the master engineer Tatsuya and his severely overpowered sister. Just saying, it would probably make for a much more compelling story.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 8

Not that this week’s episode is actually bad, because this was a perfectly watchable episode.

We even had some novelty in seeing a magical tennis match (was it Cloudball or something?) play out which hadn’t appeared in the original series of Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei.

Now was this very brief match with none of the main cast from first high appearing particularly compelling? Not really. But it was nice to see that Isshiki Airi really does have some decent moves and in a slight retelling of the story could be the protagonist. That said, she’s going up against Miyuki later so we know she’s going to lost, which is kind of sad.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei doesn’t have room for more overpowered characters at the centre.

While her bratty demeaner in her introduction at the banquet didn’t exactly win me over, Airi has demonstrated she has some fairly solid personality traits. She’s determined and hard working. She is also willing to re-evaluate a situation and strategize, so she isn’t just flinging raw power at a situation and hoping it will stick. She looks out for her friends and team-mates. And basically other than not being from the right high-school she ticks every box for protagonist material. Definitely a case of a character who has everything that they should need to win being robbed by the necessity of plot.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 8

Anyway, Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei continues to churn through the events and we finally see the first couple of matches of Pillar Break.

In this, Eimi finally gets a chance to shine and also gets some development as a character afterwards. She’s usually such a high flying and enthusiastic presence, it was actually kind of comforting to see her reaction to Miyuki’s first round as it really made her feel a little more human.

Still, you have to admit, that any character, red-haired or not, who uses the strategy of destroying their own pillar to mow down the opponents is kind of cool. That’s the kind of reckless and fun plan that no one ever really suspects and is kind of hard to defend against. Plus, it looked pretty amazing. I mean, in terms of strategies, this one is simple but so incredibly effective and just fun to watch. Okay, Eimi’s Yippee-Ki-Yay and go move may very well be the highlight of this series so far for me and for a character I barely remembered existing from the original she has pretty much become my favourite of the bunch here.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 8

But, we really should talk Miyuki.

You know, one of the frustrating things about Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei is that we aren’t learning more about the Shiba’s. We still have the mysterious aunt and family obligations but no new light has really been shed on how all that works. Instead, we just get more half-comments and incomplete conversations.

Yet, Miyuki really does want to look out for her brother (at least when she isn’t zapping him to the ground herself in a fit of jealousy). There’s a sweet moment at the start of this episode where Miyuki is genuinely trying to comfort him, even though he seems fairly stoic, because once again he’s pushed himself out of the lime-light because of all of their family baggage.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 8

Equally, Miyuki’s match, while we had seen this particular strategy the first time round, is still an exceptional display of magical power. One thing everyone watching that round of pillar break should be aware of is not to mess with Miyuki. And she wasn’t even up against a strong opponent. It promises some fairly interesting matches to come even if we do know the outcome and honestly, I think this episode has probably been the most fun to watch yet.

Images from: Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. Dir. Hideki Tachibana. Connect. 2021

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Karandi James

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 7 Impressions – The Rookie Tournament Kicks Off

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 7
Review posts of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei are sponsored by Crow's World of Anime.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei tries to humanise the competition.

One of the key problems with spin-offs in general came to light this week in episode 7 of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei as it made a gallant effort to humanise the girls from third high and yet it was very hard to buy into the story knowing already the outcome of the event.

No matter how tragic a backstory you present or how fierce that friendship with Airi is, the bottom line is we already knew that Shizuku was going to win that event and all this backstory did was make me feel kind of bad that Tatsuya is such a cheat level magic engineer. Which I somehow don’t think was the point. And if this hadn’t been a spin-off and there was some genuine will she/won’t she tension, perhaps I’d have really been drawn into the backstory though ultimately it all was a little heavy handed and cliche.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 7
You are amazing, but you are still going to lose.

On the other hand, we did move far away from Miyuki this episode after the questions she raised last week with her actions. This week she’s more or less only appearing in occasional scenes in the crowd and in support as this episode isn’t about her or her events.

Which then of course leaves me wondering whether Shizuku, whose event was front and centre this episode, actually got any additional development from this retelling of the story. And thinking it through the answer is a firmly no. Any additional information was given in the form of making her opponent a little more than just an obstacle, and we already established that didn’t really work, and Shizuku mostly just had the same series of scenes as we’ve already seen or at the very least the scenes in this episode didn’t add anything.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 7

Now, that doesn’t make it a bad episode per se. Seeing Shizuku dominate in her competition, supported through Tatsuya’s engineering and the strategies they planned is pretty impressive and entertaining. It isn’t necessarily new, but it was still fun to watch and be reminded that Shizuku, quiet as she may be, actually has a fierce competitive streak and is actually a pretty impressive magic user in her own right.

I also liked that this episode did finally get into some of the magic engineering aspects that I really quite liked in the original series as fundamentally what drew me to Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei was the unique world building around the combination of magic and science. So having the engineering feature in Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei for perhaps the first time in these seven episodes, was actually kind of delightful.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 7

Equally, I like that we’re seeing a lot more of third high’s strategizing this time around and discussions around the medal tally and which events are coming up next. It means we aren’t rehashing the conversations first high had as the tournament went along, and it does at least feel like third high are rivals rather than just a necessary obstacle in this version of events.

The episode ends with jumping to Honoka’s qualifying round and really nothing new is given here but it is great to see Honoka having so much fun while competing (given how nervous she was going into the event).

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 7

I am kind of looking forward to the next episode of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei because I want to see if this story can flesh out third high a bit more as the competition gets tighter and whether we’ll get more engineering discussions.

Images from: Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. Dir. Hideki Tachibana. Connect. 2021

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Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 6 Impressions – I Have A Few Questions For Miyuki Right Now

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 6 Review
Review posts of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei are sponsored by Crow's World of Anime.

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.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 6

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.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 6

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.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 6

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.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 6

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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Karandi James

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 5 Impressions – One Arc Down and Now To The Sports Tournament

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 5 Review
Review posts of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei are sponsored by Crow's World of Anime.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei is racing through this content.

In my episode 4 review of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei I wondered if we would get a fresh perspective on the terrorist plot and I guess the answer was kind of yes and no.

I mean, if you wanted a truncated version of events where the conspirators are rounded up in a series of stills with some narration to hold the plot loosely together inbetween one or two very small additional scenes that give Miyuki and her friends a few minor moments to shine, I guess this delivers.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 5

Still there honestly doesn’t seem like enough new material in this arc to really warrant a spin-off giving it a whole new perspective. Likewise, if you hadn’t seen the story previously, very little of what transpires here will make sense and you’d be forgiven for having no clue what the terrorists were after or how the various students fit into that final conflict given half of them have barely been introduced in this version of the story.

Now does that mean I wasn’t feeling a little bad for Honoka as she first saw the terrorists and froze up? No. One thing I will praise Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei for doing is giving Honoka and Shizuku their time to shine as they really were quite powerful but never really got the limelight outside of the sports tournament in the original story.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei  Episode 5 - Eimi to the rescue

Here we see Eimi come to their rescue and then Shizuku protect all three of the girls. Even Honoka pulls herself together later and plays a pivotal role in rounding up the student ringleader. The girls and their smiles as they high five their success was one of those really joyous moments in anime that make it well worth watching.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 5 - Miyuki freezing

On the other hand, despite Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei being seen through the eyes of Miyuki, other than learning she’s better than a dry-cleaning service I don’t think much has been added to her character over the last five episodes. Even her confrontation with the terrorists added little that we didn’t see in Tatsuya’s version though it did extend the sequence where she was freezing them.

Is this really Miyuki’s story?

About the only real addition is her remorse after and realising that Tatsuya definitely cleaned up after her at his own expense. Which kind of makes you realise why she’s so hesitant to act most of the time.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutsousei - Miyuki worrying - episode 5

Be that as it may, they rapidly wrapped up this confrontation with Blanche and the after credits sequences introduces us to the girls from third high as a lead in to the nine-schools tournament. I’m trying not to get my hopes up but this really is a chance for Miyuki and the others to shine as Tatsuya’s perspective focused on the engineering and programming of the CADs whereas the girls will focus in on the actual competition given they are all a part of it from the beginning.

It really is a chance for Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei to find its own feet and to really bring these characters to life outside of the story we’ve already been told. It would also be great if some of the girls from third high got a chance to be more than just the nameless competitors given we really only learned anything about the males last time after Tatsuya entered the competition.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei - Tatsuya - Episode 5

Still, it will be hard for them to really surprise us given we did see or hear the outcomes of most the events last time around. My fingers are crossed as I’d really like to see these girls working together, making friends and rivals, and just really dominating the plot in a way they haven’t quite managed so far this season.

Images from: Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. Dir. Hideki Tachibana. Connect. 2021

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Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 4 Impressions – A Sudden Terrorist Plot

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 4 Review
Review posts of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei are sponsored by Crow's World of Anime.

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.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 4 - Miyuki

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.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 4 - Eimi, Shizuku and Honoka

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.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 4 - Student Council

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.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 4 - Honoka and Shizuku run away

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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Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 3 Impressions – Beware the Stalker Girls Are Playing Detective

Mahouka Koukou Episode 3 Review
Review posts of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei are sponsored by Crow's World of Anime.

Miyuki has perfected the art of the cold glare.

Anyone who has watched a single episode of The Irregular at Magic High School or the first episode of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei is aware that Miyuki has a serious brother complex going on. However, in case we’d all forgotten, the first few minutes of episode 3 have another class mate making loud and disparaging remarks against ‘weeds’ and in particular the course 2 student who has just been entered into the disciplinary committee.

I mean it isn’t just bad manners to bad-mouth someone publicly; in this instance it is outright stupidity given his sister is in the classroom.

Anyway, Miyuki most certainly makes her displeasure known.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei - Miyuki's cold glare

Though I can’t help but think that Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei would be better as a spin-off if it embraced the chance to make the non-friend characters actual humans instead of caricatures. Tatsuya has limited social interactions outside of necessary ones so the various random classmates being one-dimensional from his perspective makes sense. In this version of the story, it makes a lot less sense.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei - bully put in place

So far Honor Student seems less willing to dive into the technical side of how magic is working but also hasn’t improved the support cast to really make a more slice-of-life school-days kind of anime feel like it is standing on particularly solid ground.

That and I now have to wonder how Miyuki isn’t in front of the discipline committee every other day given freezing a whole classroom and multiple class-mates has to count as a magical attack and was hardly a justified act of self-defence.

Can Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei stand on its own feet?

At three episodes in I’m finding that Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei is doing an excellent job of fleshing out Miyuki’s friends as characters. Honoka and Shizuku are both delightful as they spend this episode investigating the source of the attacks on Tatsuya and try to keep Miyuki from knowing anything is wrong (even though she already knows and Tatsuya also knows they are following him).

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei - Honoka and Shizuku

But I have to wonder how I would take these first three episodes if this was my introduction to Magic High School?

Has there been enough world building, explanation or even coherent plot to really get me invested in Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei if I removed my prior connection with the story?

And honestly, I’d probably come to the conclusion there hasn’t been, at least not yet.

We’re skipping through events from the original story and they only really connect because we’ve seen them before from a different perspective. I can’t help but think this would be a terribly choppy rendition for anyone new to the franchise.

Also, I had to wonder who Eimi is? (No spoilers if you’ve read the source.) I can’t remember her from Irregular at all so I’m left wondering if she’s an original character for Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. In which case, how does that fit the two stories together. Just Eimi just never actually interact with Tatsuya? Or are we going to learn she’s actually a plant for some side mission the girls will go on before being written out?

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei - Eimi

She’s a pleasant enough addition to the team and she added enough energy this week riding into the fray to pull Honoka and Shizuku out of the clutch of the club recruiters. Also I somehow doubt that Honoka and Shizuku would have quite enough initiative on their own to form a ‘detective’ group and choose to follow around Tatsuya so that whole plot line can only exist because of Eimi really.

Still, I can’t help but wonder where this character came from and how long she’s sticking around for.

However, much as Miyuki kicked off the episode with a perfect cold glare, her reaction toward the end of the episode where Tatsuya actually asked her about her friends (who he realised had been following him) earned Miyuki the title of best reaction for the episode.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei

As much as Miyuki’s brother obsession is quite excessive, the interactions between Tatsuya and Miyuki remain a highlight of this anime and with magic seemingly taking a back-seat in this spin-off and the tensions between characters being highlighted, the relationship between Tatsuya and Miyuki is an important rock for the series to build around.

However, the ‘case’ wasn’t solved this week so I guess Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei is future proofing against the three episode drop by making episode 3 a to be continued. Lots of anime seem to be taking this approach recently and I wonder how it is disrupting narratives trying to put cliff-hangers so early in the piece.

Images from: Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. Dir. Hideki Tachibana. Connect. 2021

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Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 2 Impressions – The Awkward Honoka Gets Centre Stage

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 2 Review
Review posts of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei are sponsored by Crow's World of Anime.

A Surprising Perspective This Week in Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei

I will admit, I was taken a little bit by surprise this week as Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei moved away from a direct focus on the Shiba siblings (though they still feature in almost every event) to tell the story of the entrance exam, opening speech and first few days of school through Honoka’s eyes.

Honoka talking to Shizuku during the opening ceremony - Image from Mouhouka Koukou no Yuutousei

Now Honoka is a nice enough character but one who other than being a little bit shy and awkward really didn’t stand out in The Irregular at Magic High School. She was friends with Miyuki and Shizuku, participated in the various school events and was in the first course, but honestly I couldn’t tell you much else about her because to be honest she was just kind of there. If you’d even asked me what sort of magic she was good at I couldn’t have told you.

So it was pleasantly surprising to get to know a little bit more about her in this episode. And yes, she is shy and awkward, tripping over her own feet when she tries to greet Miyuki in the classroom, but she’s also earnest and thoughtful and seems like a pretty nice person even if she’s not a particularly effective one.

Miyuki helps Honoka up - Image from Mouhouka Koukou no Yuutousei

Though it would have been nice to learn how her friendship with Shizuku came about because those two still seem like complete opposites so I wonder if they happened to go to middle-school together or something?

While the change in perspective was nice it does leave me wondering whether or not Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei is actually planning on giving us more of Miyuki’s perspective given the MAL synopsis tells us we’re meant to be seeing events through her eyes and two episodes in and we’ve already moved away from that. Not that I will mind if the following episodes are as engaging as this one.

Honoka originally sees Miyuki at the entrance examination and is highly impressed by her. We learn later that Honoka also saw Tatusya’s test and was impressed for a different reason. As a result of this, Honoka goes out of her way to befriend Miyuki and already has a great deal of respect for Tatsuya. Which means, she is understandably distressed by the obvious discrimination on display in the school and the hurtful comments of some of her classmates which are clearly upsetting Miyuki.

I enjoyed that witnessing the events unfolding lead to Honoka openly questioning the exam process and how magic is measured in Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei which in turn allowed Honoka and Shizuku to question their previously unconscious prejudice and the significant move of asking Tatsuya and his group of second course students if they could join them for lunch which is a radical first step toward this whole gang becoming the firm friends we see in later arcs of the original story.

Lunch time dilemma - Image from Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei

Though, for those who are watching The Honour Student At Magic High School for the brother obsessed Miyuki, you will still get a few good moments where her imagination runs wild and fantasies of her brother rescuing her from a bully (that she could easily have squished herself) as well as a dream sequence about Tatsuya almost being kissed by the Student Council President do occur (not sure how that fits with Honoka’s perspective but it wouldn’t be Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei without it).

This is a fantasy - Image from Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei

If I was to identify a true weak point of this episode it is probably the blatant nature of the discrimination and the bullies who lack any kind of actual personality or nuance other than to be vaguely antagonistic in a childish and relatively pathetic manner. They serve enough of a purpose of highlighting the divide between the first and second course but don’t actually ever get presented as real characters.

I feel this is perhaps a missed opportunity. The Irregular of Magic High School really couldn’t humanise those who looked down on Tatsuya because he wasn’t in their classes or seen as their equal. But, given the story this time is told from the perspective of Miyuki and now Honoka who actually can approach these characters on equal footing it kind of seems like a chance to stop seeing them as mindless antagonists and to flesh them out.

He's the brother of the girl you are trying to impress - Image from Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei

Whether the story cares to do so is another story.

All of this has left me wondering what to expect from episode three of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei and ultimately I just don’t know. Will we go back to Miyuki’s focus or will Shizuku or one of the other characters get to share their perspective? Will the focus be on joining the student council or will another event take centre stage? I guess we’ll find out next week.

Images from: Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. Dir. Hideki Tachibana. Connect. 2021

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Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 1 Impressions – The Brother Complex is Strong With This One

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei Episode 1
Review posts of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei are sponsored by Crow's World of Anime.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei wastes no time…

Spin-offs have proven to be somewhat tricky things and Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei is going in with a disadvantage given it has picked the character I kind of found the least interesting in The Irregular At Magic High School as its focal point.

Don’t get me wrong, Miyuki has her moments and is wickedly powerful. Honestly she should have a spot on my list of cool users of ice-magic except that she isn’t cool when she isn’t using her power. Her overwhelming brother complex kind of strips her of any agency she might have had and leaves her more as the super-powered fan-club rather than protagonist material leaving Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei with some heavy lifting to do if they are going to really reframe her as the main character.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuukousei Episode 1 - Tatsuya and Miyuki
It’s a little much.

It was much like when Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon did a spin-off focusing on Ais. Sure, she works well in Dungeon where the focus is on Bell but on her own she hasn’t got enough presence to really keep me interested in her story and once I realised I was only watching Sword Oratoria for the glimpses we got of Bell I gave the whole thing up as a bit of a lost cause.

That said, I absolutely loved the world building and magical lore in Irregular and so I was definitely up for another dive into the world of Magic High School. Plus, Miyuki does have a cute but really impractical school uniform, and lets be honest it is a story about magical powered teens and theirs vast conspiracies and large chunks of unknown information about these two siblings so getting some more insight from a different perspective can’t be a bad thing. Right?

Tatsuya feeding Mayuki in Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei
Okay, that’s excessive.

That said, having gotten my personal gripes out of the way, this first episode of Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei was actually pretty fun to watch.

Basically we are kicking off just before the two head off to magic high school and Miyuki has requested that Tatsuya spend the day with her for her birthday. Cue awkward side glances, hand-holding, a somewhat forced sequence where Miyuki tries on a bikini just so he can do his usual dead-pan reaction, before they eat in a café and get given a special ‘couples’ parfait.

Fortunately, the opening sequence of the episode promised fire and mayhem so viewers who are finding Miyuki’s brother obsession a little full on know that sooner or later Mahouka Kouou no Yuutousei is going to move onto more dramatic fare.

Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei - sharing a parfait
Not that sparkles and parfaits aren’t nice.

In seriousness this episode show-cases what it needs to. It establishes the brother and sister relationship for those who haven’t watched the original series and introduces the basics of how magic works with the CADs without getting into too much technical detail in episode one. It also establishes that these two have a lot of strings attached to them and their life by their aunt. It further establishes the dangers in the world by launching an attack on the shopping mall.

That’s actually a lot of work for one episode and Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei makes it look pretty effortless. Granted, this first episode probably won’t win over a lot of new viewers who are unfamiliar with the franchise on its own, but if the subsequent episodes are as interesting this spin-off may very well draw in a new audience or even re-engage fans who liked the world but weren’t sold on Tatsuya as the main character (though given I love Tatsuya I’m not falling in that camp).

Mahouka Koukou no yuutousei

Anyway, Miyuki actually does get to save the day here though the story is left with needing to find ways to sideline the overpowered Tatsuya in order to give Miyuki a chance to shine. A problem that may persist as the story continues or not if they go in a different direction.

All and all though, I’m pretty happy with this first episode and I’m looking forward to more of Miyuki’s adventures and I kind of hope they offer enough of a different perspective on their first year at magic high school to ultimately make Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei able to stand on its own.

Images from: Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei. Dir. Hideki Tachibana. Connect. 2021

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Karandi James

The Complete Collection of How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Anime Review Posts


2018 saw How Not To Summon a Demon Lord or Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu come to life in anime form during the Summer Anime Season. It received a fairly positive reception though the ecchi and fan-service elements did put some viewers off while the comedy wasn’t to everybody’s taste.

Come 2021, and the Spring Anime Season has delivered How Not to Summon a Demon Lord Ω, a follow-up that by rights should have been a pretty fun romp and yet didn’t quite manage that.

Anyway, having done episodic coverage of both seasons among other posts and commentary, I am putting links to all How Not To Summon a Demon Lord content from my blog in one place.

Season 1 and 2 Series Reviews

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 7

You know that feeling when you start an anime and you don’t really have a lot of expectations for it? How Not to Summon a Demon Lord season one more or less was that anime for me.

Between the derivative sounding premise and the ecchi tag I was more or less expecting it to maybe be watchable and perhaps a little entertaining but I didn’t have any higher expectations. Fortunately, Diablo, Shera and Rem turned out to be more charming than anticipated and really provided the ecchi moments aren’t too much for your individual tastes it ends up being quite a fun ride.

Be sure to check out my full series review of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord.

Irina has her own thoughts on the anime and might provide you with a different perspective.

However, season one’s charm managed to convince me that season two of how Not To Summon a Demon Lord would actually be quite the ride. Unfortunately, it ended up being a little bit of a misfire. Here’s my full review of Omega.

Though you could always check out this review from Dewbond discussing their thoughts on season two of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord.


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All Articles Discussing How Not To Summon a Demon Lord

Image from: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord season 1 - Shera

While How Not To Summon a Demon Lord didn’t get my pick for best anime of the Summer during the 2018 season, it did get a few nods because honestly it was just a lot of fun to watch.

After committing to two fan-service laden isekai stories in one season I decided to discuss fan-service in anime and used How Not To Summon a Demon Lord as a starting point for the discussion. I’d love to hear your views on fan service so be sure to check out the article and leave a comment.

Celebrating the best moments of season one of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord, here’s a top 5 list for moments that just stood out from the pack.

Irina celebrates ecchi anime sharing her favourite top 5 anime that earned this tag. Given I’ve link it here I’m sure you can guess at least one of the anime on the list.

While How Not To Summon a Demon Lord might be pretty derivative in its premise is that necessarily a bad thing? This posts discusses the positives of using tried and true tropes in stories.

Celebrating the lead up to the holiday season, Diablo made the list of characters I wanted to celebrate. For all kinds of reasons. I’d love to know what you thought of the demon from another world, Diablo.

So many anime can’t stick their landing. Here’s a discussion about the importance of final episodes and how stories come to a close with How Not To Summon a Demon Lord being one of the anime on the floor.

But if you want to look at things that make no sense in season two of Demon-Lord be sure to check out this list over on Sae with a K’s blog.


All How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode Reviews

Image from: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Omega

What follows are links to every individual episode review of season one and two of how Not To Summon a Demon Lord. Some of the season two posts are found on Irina’s blog.


Images from: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord. Dir. Y Murano. Ajia-Do. 2018 and How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Season 2. Dir. S. Kuwahara. Tezuka Productions and Okuruto Noboru. 2021.

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Karandi James

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω Series Review – Not Quite A Cataclysmic Failure.

Series Review Template 2

People have been telling stories forever. We love tales of adventure and danger and heroes who overcome obstacles. We just do. The isekai genre really just kind of taps into that love in a nice simple way by taking ordinary person A and throwing them into adventurous world, usually giving them some kind of power up, and then sitting back and watching them pretty much dismantle anything in their path.

It isn’t complicated, most of the time, and as long as there’s a little bit of deft in the way the story is stitched together fans of the genre will largely be satisfied. Let’s be honest, we aren’t expecting Shakespeare.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Season One kind of got this. We summoned a guy from the normal world into a fantasy world that kind of resembled a game he just happened to be awesome at playing and then gave him all the stats of his character in said game. Naturally, he’s overpowered to the max and walks through a whole range of scenarios.

They also hit us with a lot of over the top comedy and fan service which mostly worked and at the very least didn’t actually prevent a fun little adventure story playing out.

Then we get season two.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω – How the mighty have fallen…

Though that may be an exaggeration given the first season was largely just kind of entertaining and hardly a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.

Diablo standing in front of Horn, Rem, Lumachima and Shera.
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
Sequels don’t always live up to their predecessors but some don’t even seem to try.

I’ll be honest and point out How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω doesn’t actually look as bad as that screen grab above. My internet was having some issues that day and I had to drop the video quality just to finish the episode. Still, season two took a definite hit in the visuals. The fun and cute characters spent a lot of this season looking either wooden or just like a stock image of themselves.

This wasn’t helped by Rem and Shera, the two female characters from season one, largely doing little besides standing behind Diablo or off to the side and reacting to stuff. It felt like a serious down grade for them as characters and even when they got thrown into fan-service mode it no longer felt like it served a narrative purpose so much as the writers realised they hadn’t had a bath scene in two episodes and so it was definitely time to get Shera out of her clothes again.


Now I review How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Omega episodically and discussed each episode with Irina. It was a lot of fun revisiting this anime with her because we both liked season one but we liked different aspects of it. I don’t think either of us knew what season 2 would be like but I do know that by the time we got to our episode ten review we were both pretty happy the season was drawing to a close and didn’t try to push for a thirteen episode run.

Even Klem has had enough of being sidelined in season two.
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
Violent death always helps teach lessons.

For me, season two of How Not To Summon a Demon Lord was a lesson in how not to write a sequel. It makes the mistake of trying to keep the original characters together and includes short appearances from almost every character in season one even if they serve no purpose in the new story. Rem and Shera could have stayed behind on this adventure and Diablo could have gone off on his new quest and we probably would have ended up with a less bloated plot and less screen time eaten by interactions that served no purpose.

As a consequence of refusing to let go of a single character and freeing up space, the new characters all feel shallow or feel like they could have been interesting if we’d been given a little more to go on. The first episode of season 2 introduces Diablo to the damsel in distress of season 2, the head priest of the church Lumachima.

She’s a young and idealistic girl who the church is trying to kill and so she first wants to travel to some city to enlist the aid of some other higher up in the church before returning, but that largely becomes a side quest that results in little other than costume changes for a few characters and eats up more screen time from this already faltering follow-up season before we just go and confront the church.

It really feels like How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω could have skipped a few steps here and Diablo could have solved this whole issue in about an episode if left to his own devices.

Demons and harems?
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
Don’t worry who these characters are. They aren’t around very long and have zero impact on the narrative.

You would think in ten episodes there wouldn’t be time for all these random little asides that go nowhere. And I clearly wasn’t the only viewer feeling like a lot of these things just made no sense. They could have gone somewhere but they just didn’t.

Some characters are introduced and killed off quickly.

Other characters introduced who look like they’ll be an interesting addition who then just stand in the background or are left behind as an unresolved plot thread.

There’s a disease being spread and a search for a cure but it doesn’t end up having any real impact on the plot.

These’s also a secret dungeon with a treasure trove.

We introduce another demon lord who makes a big opening and then is unceremoniously discarded.

All of these things kind of come and go from How Not to Summon a Demon Lord before we get to actually move the plot forward and confront the church.

On the one hand, it does kind of feel like a video game. I could go and challenge the boss or I could run over to this map location I haven’t yet explored and grind for a few more hours. Which is fine when you are gaming because you can decide when you’ve had enough fluffing about and get back onto the main quest. Also, you usually are levelling up and gaining something from the experience of all that fluffing about. Here that’s not so much the case.

Actually it definitely isn’t the case.

Sure they pick up two new characters, Horn and Rose, but neither really make the ending of how Not To Summon a Demon Lord any better. Horn’s ‘contribution’ in the second last episode really felt like a forced side plot just to extend the run-time and largely added nothing but some really poor humour and fan-service.

I know I’m not the best judge of either given I don’t really find comedy or fan-service appealing when picking a story, but here it just felt so forced and ultimately I can’t quite figure out who it was supposed to appeal to. Even Irina couldn’t help me out as she also seemed to find it a little on the baffling side.

Worst power-up ever.
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
So cute. So unnecessary.

The finale did at least provide resolution to the plot with Lumachima. That would have been the worst. Having sat through the series that at best was average and then being left without an actual ending. I think at that point my series review would have just been a rant.

Though ultimately, there’s little that can be declared a clear positive for this sequel. It is watchable. Diablo is still Diablo and there’s the occasional moment of hilarity as his inner geek clashes with his exterior personality as the tough and detached demon-lord.

Along the way there are sprinkled moments that capture some of the fun and energy in season one but it is all too little and too buried in a paint by numbers, unfocused story that feels overburdened with unnecessary trappings and unclear on what it wants to uncomplish.

I'd almost believe Diablo was demonic.
Image from how Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω
I am the anime reviewer from Australia.

I didn’t hate How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Ω by any stretch. I just ended up feeling indifferent to it. Which is actually kind of worse because it means this one is fairly forgettable. If a third season came out, I’d consider starting it at least but it wouldn’t be high on my priority list. I’d be keen to see if it could re-energise this franchise or whether all the best moments were delivered in season one.

That said, I’d love to know your thoughts on How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Omega so be sure to leave me a comment below.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Season 2. Dir. S. Kuwahara. Tezuka Productions and Okuruto Noboru. 2021.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James