The Irregular at Magic High School was one of the most anticipated and hyped anime of the spring 2014 season gone past. As a stand alone anime this show falls short as nothing was conveyed about the main character's thoughts throughout the episodes! But, if you have read the light novels the show is a great representation of what the story is on the outside.
The story of the anime, or rather, the base idea is very simple. Set in 2095, magic is now a form of technology and science. After the 3rd world war, magic wielders were high in demand in the world to defend their individual countries from further chaos. This anime follows two siblings, Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba, who are enrolled in Fist High School. Based on enrolment test scores, the brother becomes a Weed, a presumed low-achieving magician, while his little sister becomes a Bloom, a presumed high-achiever in magic. However, there's more to these two siblings than we know at first glance and school life at First High School will no longer be the same!
Now, this is the one category which is criticized by a lot of critics out there! The anime focuses on two siblings Tatsuya and Miyuki Shibha, two characters that are for some reason, hated by a lot of people out there. So, Do the Shiba siblings make or break the series? For some, there is that chance. So I'll explain the pair to the best of my abilities, alongside the other characters of the series. Tatsuya Shiba, is enrolled into the First High School as a weed, This should mean that he is weak in magic? But, No! This guy is seriously overpowered. The problem some people have over Tatsuya is that he is claimed to be just another “Gary Stu”. He only seems to get more and more OP as the series progresses, making him pretty much the “perfect” protagonist. Personally, I don't think he's completely perfect as it comes at the cost that he rarely develops emotionally. Tatsuya's mysterious nature definitely creates some suspense in the anime as we know Tatsuya is great, but just HOW good is he? What skills will be pulled off next? Tatsuya really makes viewers wonder just who the hell he really is! Tatsuya is an enigmatic character, but whether this is an enjoyable trait is definitely up to the viewer. Miyuki Shiba, is the other main character, who is perhaps as controversial as his older brother. Miyuki is your beautiful, smart and kind female character that many look up to. However, her personality and ideals in general, like Tatsuya, are very simple. Some may argue that it's even bland. I'm pretty sure all the complaints that Madhouse got over her cries of "Onii-Sama" ended up having her get less screen time later in the series! The supporting cast is pretty cool, but they are the supporting cast for a reason. After all, the show centers around Tatsuya and Miyuki the most. Some characters appear in episodes to glue some parts of the story together, but they don't get quite enough spotlight to have them fully develop! Overall, the huge cast of characters is nice, but unfortunate sacrifices had to be made in order to prevent these 3 arcs from stretching over.
Animation and Sound
It's no surprise that the animation and artwork was fantastic as the production studio of the anime is Madhouse, which created No Game No Life in the same season. The animation of the show goes towards the white gradient, and so, has a very almost shiny color to everything in the series, which looks rather nice. The show also uses some 3-D animation side by side with the normal animation of the show, which actually melds quite nicely without any sort of awkward images. Overall, It was fantastic and I really have to congratulate Madhouse for making those magic circles because those things were fantastically designed, and they looked gorgeous.
For the sound, Madhouse pretty much recruited the best of the best voices to them! There wasn't any character who sounded awkward or out of place, as most match their individual character's personality very well. I mean, it's like a dream team of all-star voice actors, including Yuichi Nakamura (Tatsuya), Saori Hayami (Miyuki), and Kana Hanazawa (Mayumi). LiSA's “Rising Hope” is arguably one of, if not, The best opening songs of Spring Anime 2014, the ending themes were decent too, but sometimes, the ending scene of an episode did not transit well into the song, especially when suspense was attempted to be made.
This series is flawed, yes. The pacing of the story is my biggest concern, with a somewhat lack of character development being another. But I did have the motivation to continue and look forward for the next episode. I personally found the series to be quite enlightening, and the idea of taking a "magical" theme and making it into a sci-fi/technological show also seemed like a very interesting idea. Also, I was quite intrigued by the plot and saw a lot of potential in this show!
Overall, On a completely realistic overview of The Irregular at Magic High School, character and story must be weighed more than the art and sound of an anime series. The former may be the weaker points of the series, but it definitely isn't as bad as some people say it is, nor you should write if off just because of the flaws I've listed above and Yes, I actually recommend it to you. While there were many unfavorable things about the show, in the grand scheme of things, the show was still watchable and had some interesting points to it. The show was by no means a fantastic show, but it wasn't bad in any way. If you're a fan of sci-fi shows, this show would probably be a good fit for you!
3 STAR ANIME.