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Irregular at Magic High School Vol. #02 Light Novel Review

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the-irregular-at-magic-high-school-volume-2-novel-coverAn Entertaining but Awkward Tale of Two Siblings Attending a Magic High School

Creative Staff
Story: Mitsuki Mihara
Art: MonRin
Translation: Jill Morita

What they say
Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba are brother and sister, but they share a bond that transcends mere blood relation. Despite the fact that they’re siblings who attend the same school, their lot in life couldn’t be more different. Miyuki’s a Bloom, one of the elite students of Magic High, while Tatsuya’s a Weed, with low expectations and even lower levels of respect. But having skillfully diffused a tense situation, Tatsuya finds himself recruited by the school’s disciplinary committee and soon discovers there’s more to Magic High than he realized…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Starting immediately after volume 1 ended, we join Tatsuya as he awkwardly navigates high school with his blood-related sister during the school during recruitment week. Of course, being the hidden badass that he is, Tatsuya has become known far and wide as the untouchable freshman who became a member of the Disciplinary Committee. Not only has he caught the eyes of many students, but he also caught Sayaka Mibu’s eye.

Sayaka, if you’ll recall, is the female member of the kendo club, known as the kendo belle because she’s very pretty. One day when Tatsuya and Miyuki are freaking everyone out with their faux-romantic relationship, she approaches Tatsuya and asks to speak with him. Ostensibly, this is to thank him for helping her in volume 1. However, we soon learn that Sayaka actually wants him to join a group that she belongs to. Their goal is to abolish the discrimination between Course 1 and Course 2 students.

Outside of the magic system, which I feel is impeccable and one of the excellent examples of magic fused with science, the segregation of Course 2 students is something that I must give Tsutomu Sato praise for. There’s always going to be people who are discriminated against—minorities, as it were. What made this more believable is how he tackles the issue. Course 2 students are not discriminated against by the governmental body—in other words, the school. It’s the students who do it. You see this a lot real life, and I think this presents a strong backbone to part of this story’s plot.

Other than the Weed/Bloom issue, there’s also the creepy incest. I’m not a huge fan of how the author likes to constantly point out how Tatsuya and Miyuki act more like a couple than brother and sister. Maybe I wouldn’t mind so much if it was only alluded to via Tatsuya and Miyuki’s actions or the characters’ dialogue, but Tstuomu Sato makes it a point to tell us how non-sibling their relationship seems every time they start acting like a “married couple” as Leo once put it.

Despite the incest, I did enjoy the series, and a part of me does admire how the two don’t seem to care what others think. I also have to give the author credit. It takes courage to write about a controversial topic like that. Yes, it did make me feel uncomfortable while reading it, but I feel like there’s a deeper meaning behind Tatsuya and Miyuki’s relationship. Perhaps something happened in their past that made them become like this. In spite of my own feelings, I won’t deny that I’m curious to know more so I can understand the circumstances behind their actions.

There were some issues with the translation—the editing, to be more precise. I located several grammatical errors throughout the series that broke the flow of my reading. While some people might be able to skim over them, they will be jarring for any grammar nazis out there. I also noticed that either the author or the translator had a habit of reusing specific phrases such as “no matter what way you sliced it” that just seemed weird when I was reading. Aside from that, however, I noticed no other particular issues with the translation and editing.

In Summary
Because this volume is the conclusion of the Enrollment Arc, we get the nice and conclusive ending that some of us were hoping for in volume 1. I do feel like the action toward the end could’ve been a little better. Part of me wishes they had spent less time speaking politics and idealism and more time detailing epic magic fights. Even so, I can’t really complain. This volume ended on a strong note, which is all someone could ask for.

Content Grade: C+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: C

Age Rating: 13 & UP
Released By: Yen On
Release Date: August 23, 2016
MSRP: $14.00