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Irregular at Magic High School Vol. #08 Light Novel Review

5 min read

Reminiscence Arc!

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

What they say
Looking at Miyuki and Tatsuya now, it might be hard to imagine them as anything other than loving siblings. But it wasn’t always this way…

Three years ago, Miyuki was always uncomfortable around her older brother. The rest of their family treated him no better than a lowly servent, even though he was the perfect Guardian, watching over Miyuki while she lived a normal middle school life. But what really bothered her was that he never showed any emotions of thoughts of his own.

However, when danger comes calling during a fateful trip to Okinawa, their relationship as brother and sister will change forever.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Tatsuya and Miyuki’s lives as brother and sister certainly did change forever in this volume, just as the book description said. Whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen.

There’s always been a lot of issues surrounding the controversial relationship between these two. While Japan seems to be completely moe about illicit brother/sister relationships (see anime like My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute, No Game No Life, and Eromanga-Sensei), there’s still a strict taboo on the matter, which I guess is why people get so swept up in it. I think humans just love things that are considered off-limits. In either event, Tatsuya and Miyuki have always acted more like a couple than siblings since the beginning of this series. This particular volume merely illustrations the how, what, why, and when of how their relationship came to be.

Chapter 1 of the Reminiscence Arc starts off in the present day and then flashes back to the past. In a somewhat jumpy but interesting fashion, this volume continuously jumps from the present to the past as Miyuki and Tatsuya visit their Aunt—a woman named Maya Yotsuba—during the present time. She’s the head of the Yotsuba Clan, which is one of the Ten Master Clans, and the Yotsuba is considered one of the two most influential and strongest houses within the Ten Master Clans. We don’t know much about her at the beginning, other than how she is nicknamed the Queen of the Night and Demon King of the Far East. She is supposedly one of the strongest Magicians of the Modern Era.

This volume consists of 18 chapters and one side story at the end that details an event that happened in the distant past. Given how light novel chapters usually tend to be long, with light novels consisting of only 4-5 chapters at most (some authors break this habit like Reki Kawahara in Accel World), this makes for an unusual difference in design and storytelling aesthetic.

We learn through the flashback chapters detailing the events of a family trip to Okinawa that Miyuki did not always like her brother. Told in a first-person POV from Miyuki’s point of view, we learn how she dislikes how her brother never expresses his emotions, how he always does what he is told like a robot, and how everyone treats him like a servant even though they are blood-related. Her personal conflict seems a bit contradictory, but I think the teenage mind is a contradictory place. This sheds a lot of light on how her feelings lead to her current brother complex in the present time.

During this trip we not only learn about how Miyuki’s brother complex came about, we also learn how the Shiba siblings became acquainted with members of the JSDF. This volume is also the one where Miyuki learns that the reason her brother can’t express emotions is because of the experiments that had been done to him. Essentially, because the magic he could use was so strong (his two types of magic are Decomposition and Regrowth), he couldn’t use any other type of magic, so an experiment was performed to implant an Artificial Magic Processor inside of him that allowed him to use all types of magic. Unfortunately, he’s not very fast at magic casting, which is why he’s considered a failure.

A lot of interesting things happen in this volume, such as Miyuki going to the beach, Miyuki watching Tatsuya beat up full-grown adults at the military base stationed out of Okinawa, and Miyuki attending a gathering that her uncle and cousins threw. This volume actually felt very slice of life. However, there is a more sinister plot happening beneath the surface—namely, the Great Asian Alliance is getting ready to attack Japan.

In volume 7, the Great Asian Alliance attacked Japan and was repelled. The soldiers who were repelled called Tatsuya something, which is apparently a reference to what happened during this volume. The two volumes essentially run parallel with each other. One reveals all of Tatsuya’s abilities and powers as he performs a repeat of a past incident, while the other reveals what that past incident is and how it affected the lives of Tatsuya and Miyuki.

In Summary
This volume was interesting and explains a lot about the Shiba siblings, including why Tatsuya only loves Miyuki and why Miyuki believes that she belongs to Tatsuya, apparently, since he gave Miyuki her life back, she feels it is his to do with as he pleases. I’m still not sure how this translates into the very obvious incest factor, but I’m sure the author will come up with some justification for that in later volumes. At present, this particular volume provides some decent insight that further explains the backstory between this very strange brother and sister pairing.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 13 & UP
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: June 26th, 2018
MSRP: $14.00Reminiscence Arc!

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