The Irregular at Magic High School is a Japanese series that started up in 2008 and has continued to the present time. Like a lot of series aimed at a young male audience that started up in those times, it runs on the basic premise that its male protagonist is apparently a bad student at a magical high school but is actually really awesome, thus enabling him to win the affections of a wide range of attractive female characters who not so coincidentally match the interests of the consumers that the writer is hoping to pull in. The Irregular at Magic High School is one of the most successful examples of such series in spite of its serious shortcomings. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about The Irregular at Magic High School:
1. Set in an Alternate Earth
The setting of the series is an alternate Earth. First, it has a notable departure from our world in that magic exists, which has resulted in what one might call magi-tech in modern times. Second, the setting has four notable powers, which are the United States of North America, the New Soviet Union, the Great Asian Alliance, and Japan.
2. Magic Is Genetic
Magic is genetic in the setting. As a result, some people can use magic whereas other people can’t, which has resulted in very rigid social stratification. The series’s stance on the resulting issues is one of the reasons that a lot of people find The Irregular at Magic High School’s themes to be rather unpleasant.
3. The Protagonist Is Tatsuya Shiba
The protagonist is a high school student named Tatsuya Shiba, who is going to the same school mentioned in the title as his sister Miyuki Shiba. He is sorted into a class for inferior students while his sister is sorted into a class for superior students, which is based on magical capabilities. As a result, it is clear that the narrative is going for an underdog feel for Tatsuya.
4. Bad At Making Its Protagonist Seem Like an Underdog
Of course, the problem is that the series is really, really bad at making Tatsuya an underdog in spite of its continuing insistence that he is indeed so. For example, one of the earliest events in the series is Tatsuya crushing one of the strongest students at the high school in a single second, which rather undermines the idea that he is some kind of underdog.
5. Tatsuya Is a Superhuman Fighter
Granted, Tatsuya crushes his opponent through physical power. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that he is a trained combatant with superhuman capabilities. This isn’t particularly uncommon in such series, but The Irregular at Magic High School doesn’t stop there.
6. Tatsuya Is a Superhuman Engineer
For instance, Tatsuya is a superhuman engineer as well. In short, he is a revolutionary magi-tech engineer under the pseudonym Taurus Silver before the start of the series in spite of the fact that he is a high school student.
7. Tatsuya Possesses One of a Kind Magic
On top of this, Tatsuya possesses magic. In fact, he possesses one of a kind magic that enables him to decompose, reconstruct, and detonate matter, which is powerful enough for him to wipe out entire fleets. Combined, it is really, really difficult to argue that Tatsuya is any kind of underdog.
8. The Series Is Ham-Fisted In Its Efforts to Make Tatsuya Look Cool
Speaking of which, the series is rather ham-fisted in its efforts to make Tatsuya look cool, which sometimes bears undermines its own intended purpose. For example, the stoic hero who bears up well under the weight of personal tragedies is a popular archetype in a wide range of cultures across a wide range of time. However, The Irregular at Magic High School undermines its effort to show Tatsuya as being thus because he has had the ability to feel strong emotions with the single exception of familial love for his sister excised from him, meaning that he can’t really be anything but stoic.
9. It Has an Incestuous Pairing
The Irregular at Magic High School has an incestuous pairing. This is perhaps unsurprising consider the lengths to which the work will go to make the protagonist and his sister sound as perfect as possible with mixed results.
10. The Author’s Politics Are Pretty Blatant
Finally, the author’s politics came through loud and clear. For example, both China and United States are treated in a very harsh manner in the series, which is wholly unsurprising because the more extreme segments of Japanese right-wingers have very low opinions of both countries.