Light Novel Adaptations, Are They Worth It?
Light novels mostly have and operates on the same modus operandi. Take for example, A Certain Magical Index. The setting is in a totally unrelatable world, being set in a world where supernatural powers exist. Although magic and the supernatural are recurring subjects even in manga or anime, light novels make no attempt to join the dots or to relate the real world with the light novel. Most of them do not even touch on real life themes, and even if they do, they don’t put it in a relatable fashion. In other words, light novels are completely pure works of fiction, with no relatable information or knowledge inserted into the plot or setting. With that being said, I would like to review one of the Light Novel adaptations that was quite popular, that is Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei aka The Irregular at Magic High School.
The Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei series is set in a world where magic exists and has been utilized as a technology for nearly a century. Rather than casting spells with chants or other traditional forms of spellcasting, mages use a Casting Assistant Device, better known as a CAD. Mages infuse the CAD with psions, a non-physical particle and known as a psychic phenomenon, then the CAD provides an activation sequence, which is used to construct a ritual in order to invoke the magic. The magic rituals target the Idea, the platform on which Eidos are recorded. Eidos refers to a form of information that is attached to a phenomenon. Modern magic uses false signals to manipulate the Eidos of a target, which in turn modifies the phenomenon and causes physical changes in the real world.
In 2095, Tatsuya Shiba and his sister, Miyuki Shiba are new students enrolling at the Private Magic University Affiliated High School (First High School). Students are ranked according to their test scores. Students with the best grades are enrolled in the Course 1 curriculum, while those with poorer scores are enrolled in Course 2. These streams are known colloquially (and against school policy) as “Bloom” and “Weed“. Miyuki topped the entrance exams and is selected to be the first years’ representative, while Tatsuya is placed in Course 2 due to his low practical test scores, despite scoring highest in the written/theoretical portion of the exams. And so, the discrimination of the Weeds by the Blooms ensues. Of course, that is before Tatsuya Shiba arrives at the scenes…
Ah…now we come to the juicy parts. Shiba Tatsuya is no ordinary sucker nor is he an underdog in any way, even if he is in the inferior Course 2. Nope, you don’t wanna piss him off cause he will kick your sorry ass without lifting a finger.
* Mild spoilers from here on*
1. He wield guns like a boss. Seriously, he can snipe you off a rooftop…with a handgun.
2. He doesn’t need them guns too anyway. He can kick your ass…by snapping his fingers.
3. If you think he’s dead…Think again.
4. And even if he’s didn’t even bother kicking your ass, don’t worry. His harem will do it for him… Here’s a slideshow of his harem girls!
There’s more! He’s so powerful and strong that his SISTER fell in love with him. Nope, I’m not joking. Yup, his awesome and top-of-the-class sister. Fell. In. Love. In. Him.
In fact, she’s so in love with him that she uses the honorific “-sama” to address him while irritating the shit out of the rest of us normal people with no appetite for incestuous relationships.
Of course, it’s all fun and games for Tatsuya-sama who is so overwhelming and powerful that he might as well be a god. For the rest of us, it’s like a walk in the park whether you like it or not. Seriously, Tatsuya-sama is surely the most reliable person on Earth. Broke a leg? He’s there. A bad night? He’s there. No substitute for the National Sports Competition? He’s there. Feeling a little wet? No offense, but he’s there.
In other words, he’s a prince. Too bad he only has feelings for his sister. Too bad, girls…
So, is this anime good? It depends actually. On you.
If you like light novels or other anime adaptations of other light novels’ series like Sword Art Online or A Certain Scientific Railgun, you might like this. If you hate those, there’s a good chance that you may hate this too. In every other aspect, this anime is only so-so. The character development is fine, the plot is fine and the setting is not exactly very refreshing. Even the harem is only averagely interesting.
If there’s one thing I’d like to say about Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei and other LN anime adaptations, it’s that they are too superficial. Too shallow and rarely go beyond the surface of the plot. They rarely explore worldly themes nor go beyond the main character, which is sometimes a shame. For example, Durarara!! How many of you DRRR!! fans out there are disappointed that the author didn’t explore the side characters’ back story? I am.
I’m not saying to avoid LN adaptations altogether but I just wanna point out that most LN are like that. At least if you hate this sort of stuff, now you know why.
And if you’re wondering, just how strong Tatsuya-sama is, well, let me tell you: YOU DO NOT WANT TO FIND YOURSELF IN THE BELOW SITUATION.
So, until my next post. Sayonara! (And yes, it’ll be a lie if I say that Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei is not all about Shiba Tatsuya.)
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Have a great weekend!