The Irregular at Magic High School: Reminiscence Arc

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Synopsis

The Irregular at Magic High School: Reminiscence Arc begins with siblings Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba shine bright in their own right as they start their second year at First High School, the premier institute for magicians. Seeing as the pair are inseparable, it seems unimaginable that their loving bond did not exist just four years ago. Back then, the middle schooler Miyuki was uncomfortable around her older brother.

She and her family thought of Tatsuya as nothing more than a lowly servant to perform guardian duties for Miyuki; a mere tool lacking emotions and his own will. However, their relationship was fated to change forever once their innocuous family trip to Okinawa transformed into a life-threatening incident.

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Review

Story

This light novel Volume (8) was one of my favorite in the series story-wise. This anime was not, the arc in the anime was good, but the first season was better. A big part of this was the shift from Madhouse to 8Bit which brought a new director, the same one who jumbled up the visitor arc. Without going into spoiler territory, the light novel was much more interesting because the storytelling was not linear.

It jumped between right where the Visitor arc left off and a few years prior on the island, as well as Maya’s childhood. It gave a whole backstory for the Yotsuba clan and why guardians exist which better explains the nature of Tatsuya and Miyuki’s relationship, As well as Maya and Miya, the chapter where Maya’s childhood and the Yotsuba’s history is expanded upon is called “Untouchable — The Nightmare of 2062.” It also had this very tense moment between Tatsuyas and Maya which was very exciting.

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The director did do a good job this time making the story flow well, but I just can’t see anything good coming with the continuation of these content cuts. I actually enjoyed the anime original content at the end of the visitor arc, but I would have much preferred the cut content.

Why can’t we have both? I feel like we’re straying too far off course from the light novel. The next season was announced, but I am assuming it is still with 8bit, so I hope they somehow include “The Nightmare of 2062” in the next season and correct some changes in the visitor arc to get back on track.

Art

It is important to distinguish art from animation. The animation was pretty good, with no major flaws or anything, but nothing special. I didn’t notice any obvious bad CG or anything. What is special is the art. The character designs are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen, and the style is elegantly refined.

After watching “The Irregular at Magic High School” it is especially nice to see Miyuki return to her former glory, the art style in that anime was attempting to follow the manga but it looked terrible. In this special, all the main characters looked fantastic.

Pretty much any random screenshot of Miyuki, especially when she is in the foreground, is screenshot-worthy. It was also a treat to see more of Ayako dressed up. This also might be one of if not the first times we are seeing Miya’s character design, and it looks phenomenal.

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Sound

The music is obviously composed by Iwasaki Taku, and it is amazing as ever. His techy music has always been perfect for Mahouka. Magic battles would not be the same without him. The only real complaint is that most of the special has very little large-scale magic until the last quarter. His high-tech music doesn’t quite fit with the hand-to-hand combat quite as well.

I noticed this most in the fight where Tatsuya is defending Miyuki near the water. Also, the voice acting is a bit strange. I think someone needs to remind Nakamura that Tatsuya is barely a middle schooler. He sounds at least 40. Hayami is doing a bit better sounding young, but it is all a bit forced. Maybe it’s good that the music sometimes drowns out the speaking because the music is the best part.

Characters

Everyone I talk to who has only watched the anime seems to think of Tatsuya as a bland MC/Self-insert which is not really true but understandable to a certain degree. I am hoping as the story goes along viewers will start to understand how likable and commendable he is. This special won’t change everyone’s mind right away, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

Miyuki has always fawned over Tatsuya in the anime, so it is honestly refreshing to see her before she realized the power of godsuya. The only critique I have is that she changed her mind way too fast. Like for her whole life, she didn’t like him but after like 30 minutes she starts to have a crush on him and won’t leave his side? I wish her character developed a bit more slowly.

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Enjoyment

I found it really fun and a bit sad in the end. The fights are good and honestly seeing Ayako just once doubled my enjoyment. She is just such a fun character. I really wish they wouldn’t have cut “The Nightmare of 2062,” that and Tatsuya’s tea time with Maya were both cut which definitely drops my enjoyment.

Overall

The thing that really made me enjoy this anime was at 17:23 when Mitsugu glared at Tatsuya. Around light novel volume 16 you will learn why Mitsugu is scared of/holds animosity towards Tatsuya. This little detail of his eyes shows how much attention to detail was put into this.

Foreshadowing like this makes the anime so much more enjoyable for those who read ahead and gives me hope that they are planning to adapt all the novels. Overall I think this special should have been released way before the movie and visitor arc, but I’m glad it’s here now.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Story
Art
Voice
Music
Characters

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Synopsis The Irregular at Magic High School: Reminiscence Arc begins with siblings Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba shine bright in their own right as they start their second year at First High School, the premier institute for magicians. Seeing as the pair are inseparable, it seems...The Irregular at Magic High School: Reminiscence Arc
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