The Spring 2014 Anime Season is upon us, and I have decided to investigate one of Aniplex of America’s new acquisitions, The Irregular at Magic High School. After reading a synopsis online, this anime sounded interesting. Since it took place at a magical high school I hoped to have something in the same vein as Little Witch Academia, but I was sorely mistaken. To be bluntly honest, this anime bored me within the first five minutes. The fact that I was even able to watch the entire episode is surprising to me.
The setting for the story was actually intriguing. It takes place in 2095, after a deadly World War 3 that lasted twenty years. The world population dropped to approximately three billion, maps have been redrawn, and man-made magic is the preferred form of weaponry. To that end, students are tested for the ability to use magic and sent to schools to train to be proficient at it.
So why is this anime such a bore? First off, the characters are completely and utterly devoid of any personality, save for an obvious and equally uninteresting and creepy vibe from Miyuki Shiba, the younger sister of Tatsuya, the main protagonist. I’m hoping it doesn’t become your typical incest infatuation, but only time will tell. She is quiet, shy, and seems to have one goal in life – to be there for her brother. Tatsuya is stoic and supposedly has some great secret he is keeping from his newfound friends at school, which we get to glimpse at the end of the episode – he can read others’ magical output during spell casting. There are a few supporting characters, but there honestly isn’t a lot to say about them just yet. Tatsuya’s red-haired classmate, Erika, is outgoing and prone to getting into arguments, and she seems to be mirrored in male form in Leo, while glasses-wearing Mizuki is another quiet and shy character.
Most of the first episode was spent illustrating the split between the ‘Blossoms’ and the ‘Weeds’, two social classes at the school. The “Blossoms” are the students with most magical ability, and the “Weeds” are the ones with lower levels. My hope is that the anime is not focused solely on the social class climate of the two groups, and that something else begins to build up plotwise.
In the end, the characters really ruined my initial impression of this anime, but the overarching story behind this school drama is what will keep me interested at least for a few episodes to see how things play out. One can hope this anime will turn into something more than simply gorgeous animation and dull characters dealing with typical high school drama.