Art: Yu Mori
Original Story: Tsutomu Sato
Character Design: Kana Ushida
Translation: Andrew Prowse
What They Say:
A century has passed since magic–real, true magic: the stuff of legends–has returned to the world. It is spring–the season of new beginnings–and a new class of students is about to begin their studies at the National Magic Academy’s First High School, nickname: Magic High.
A manga spin-off of the immensely popular light novel series The Irregular at Magic High School, The Honor Student at Magic High School follows the events of the original series as seen through the eyes of Shiba Miyuki, Tatsuya’s sister. The life of an honor student comes with a lot of expectations…and unexpected hidden feelings?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Tatsuya promised his sister Miyuki that she could ask for anything as a present since her acceptance into the prestigious National Magic Academy’s First High School also fell on her birthday; she didn’t want anything, but when pressured, all she wanted was to spend the day together. However, that plan did not go as she wanted with the unwanted solicitation of inquisitive stares and curious admiration of the young couple. As their happy afternoon passed, the bliss was soon broken with the annoyance of a call from the head of the family; they needed her brother’s help in apprehending a modified magician who had made threats against the Magic Association. Unfortunately, he was in the same building that they had agreed to meet and Miyuki easily pacified his idol threats.
After the chaos of the previous day, the honour student began her first day of school, but was soon disappointed by the indelicate comments by her fellow Class 1 students – or Blooms; before classes began, all applicants wishing to attend the Academy must submit to aptitude and practical exams to measure their talent for magic. Those who have natural abilities are labelled as Class 1 and receive all of the privileges accorded to that level. However, pupils who have minimal skills or do not score adequately on the tests are called Class 2 or Weeds. As such, the higher talent candidates have always had an animosity towards those they considered their lessers, thus the derogatory title. But when Miyuki hears that deplorable name, she immediately cringes, for her beloved brother Tatsuya is a Weed. How can she exist in a school where people callously chant that insult about her own sibling? If they only knew the truth about him … but the system is there for a reason and it cannot be changed – or can it?
If you watched simulcast or read the manga or light novels of The Irregular at Magic High School, then you will know the premise of The Honor Student at Magic High School. The series follows the same storyline of as the original, but this time we are treated to the loving bias of Miyuki. Whether you found her overly affectionate relationship with brother unnatural or comically enchanting, this viewpoint will challenge you to look at the material from her slanted favouritism towards the less fortunate. From the start of the issue, you can see the unchallenged affection she has for Tatsuya and how that colours her outlook towards anything which might paint him in an unfavourable light, such as his label as a Weed. Thus, from this tendency, she treats everyone as equals, making her demeanour beneficial for everyone and her inner beauty equal to or greater than that of her outer countenance.
But perhaps the best part of this book is that it allows us to see how events and attitudes developed within the previous series of Irregular. Those of us who did not have the privilege of reading the source material before the simulcast know that some information was glanced over and gaps are left for us to investigate, most notably, the mysteries behind the Shiba family. Some of prejudice is explained in this issue and now some of the hostility which the siblings displayed in the anime make more sense to the uninitiated. Hopefully, future stories will reveal more behind the back stories and thus, allow us to unravel this universe even more.
The Honor Student at Magic High School is an enjoyable read if you found this series predecessor’s a great introduction into the Irregular universe. While the events of the story are familiar, the perspective of this manga makes it a great reinterpretation to characters and events which we already cherish. So if you can ignore Yen Press’ predilection for over-translating the special effects within the book, this narrative will expand a beloved tale into the unconventional magic of that world.
Content Grade: A+
Art Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: November 17th, 2015