A fresh take on “I just can’t.”
I has this horrible confession to make: I really enjoyed the first episode of Irregular at Magic High. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that it is my favorite show thus far… although this perhaps might be more due to what I’ve watched (Selector Infected WIXOSS, La corda d’oro – Blue Sky, Akuma no Riddle, Kamigami no Asobi) than with any inherent merit on Can’t Poop’s part. But, its true, I did like it.
Normally, Can’t Poop is the sort of show I sneer at as being light novel garbage when the pre-season chatter is fluttering around. But going into this season, I… kind of wanted some light novel garbage in my life. This looked like it’d fit the bill, and I was mildly heartened by the fact that a lot of the promo art indicated that there was more gender balance to the cast than usual – maybe it would avoid being harem-ish trash! Also, the imouto’s coat was pretty-looking.
As it turned out, I was a bit surprised by how serious-feeling the thing turned out to be – I was expecting some more lighthearted-type LN high school antics crap, but, hey, turns out we’ve got a school marred by serious class issues possibly against a backdrop of political strife in a post-war world. I could be a bit fuzzy on that latter bit, though, as the infodump toward the start of the episode was so boring I almost passed out.
Of course, this just means that this is a LN story of the stripe wherein everything is Quite Serious and Weighty instead of loltits (or, often, lol lolitits). It stars a pair of siblings, the probably-not-as-“defective”-as-he’s-presented Tatsuya, and Miyuki, the perfect and devoted imouto. Tatsuya has been classed as a ‘Weed’ at their magic high school, whereas Miyuki has been designated as ‘Bloom’, which means she’s fantastic and he sucks… at utilization of magic! Of course he’s badass otherwise, really – martial arts master, brilliant at analyzing magic, you get the general idea. Miyuki tells us she owes him her life. Miyuki is a bit fixated.
Incest involving onii-chan and imouto has gotten to be fairly overdone in anime, and even I, enjoyer of incest in my anime, have become rather bored with it. (Also, come on, Chiho Saito gave us ACTUAL father-daughter fucking in the mid-90’s in a shoujo manga, siblings gazing wistfully after each other ain’t SHIT as far as pushing the envelope goes!) But there’s an implication of dysfunctional family dynamics here, and one can see how Miyuki could’ve developed an unhealthy sort of interest in her elder brother. It also helps that that its demonstrated that the two genuinely care about each other’s well-being and are decently attuned to each other – so many of the sundry sibcest shows farting around feature siblings who might as well be from different planets as far as their sensitivity to one another goes, to say nothing of the tendency toward shrieking verbal abuse they heave to and fro.
On the other hand, Miyuki looks like every other damn high school girl in anime we’ve had in the past five years. The character designs really freaking bug me here – they’re so aggressively generic it makes me want to punch the original artist. There are way, way too many instances of “Oh, wait, that one looks just like [character from other show].”, and it even extends to minor characters from the supporting cast. Lordy, at least give them different colored hair than is usually given to characters with that build and hairstyle! Is that so much to ask?!
I feel like I’ve wasted way too much ink on this show, even with having enjoyed it. I do want to say I enjoyed the interaction between Erika and Leon, what with Erika consistently riling the other up and being terribly amused with it. In general, the supporting cast isn’t bad, at least on the non-discriminatory and asshole-ish side of the aisle, even if they are very broadly drawn and fairly archetypical at this point (big-breasted and glass-clad Mizuki helps her case by actively getting involved in the confrontation toward the end of the episode).
I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, EVEN I AM APPARENTLY POTENTIALLY CAPABLE OF BEING ENSNARED BY NOT PARTICULARLY ORIGINAL LIGHT NOVEL STUFF. I know my taste has gotten worse over time, but this is beyond the pale, is it not? On the plus side, it looks pretty solid, and the brief CG elements don’t look horrible and clunky. If I’m going to be a dirty LN trash enjoyer, at least the LN trash I’m enjoying can look good. But, man, I hope that fucking ninja never shows up again.