The Summer 2021 Preview Guide
The Honor Student at Magic High School
How would you rate episode 1 of
The Honor Student at Magic High School ?
What is this?
The Honor Student at Magic High School follows the events of the original The Irregular at Magic High School 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?!
How was the first episode?
We may be 39 episodes and a movie into the story of The Irregular at Magic High School, but this episode takes us back to the beginning. Actually, before the beginning as it turns out; set just days before Miyuki and Tatsuya's first day of magical high school, this episode follows the two as they spend the day together for Miyuki's birthday.
While the main series focuses on Tatsuya, this side-story finds him relegated to a supporting role. This is honestly a welcome change. Tatsuya seems to be able to do anything with little effort as the series goes on. And while his new ways of using magic are absolutely world-changing, it's important to remember that as far as traditional magic users go, Miyuki is among the strongest of them despite her young age (It's one of the main reasons her aunt is grooming her to take over the Yotsuba clan after all). So getting to see Miyuki in all her glory without her having to worry about what her brother would think is a welcome treat.
This episode also fits in little lore tidbits, explaining where Miyuki's hair accessory came from and why the student council was so interested in both her and Tatsuya from day one. We also see that the siblings' aunt was already aware of the terrorist group that would attack the magical high school just a few weeks into the school year. None of this is vital information or anything, but it does make the world of The Irregular at Magic High School feel a bit more fleshed out.
However, if there is one thing that I feel I have to mention to any prospective viewers, it's that there is an awful lot of fanservice of a 15-year-old girl in this one. Sure, part of it is plot-related—Miyuki very much has a crush on her brother and is unsure how to deal with those feelings—and it's likewise important to show that Miyuki finds herself the center of attention wherever she goes based on her looks alone. But all that doesn't mean that the camera doesn't take every opportunity to sexually objectify our 15-year-old heroine.
Other than that, this episode is little more than a bit of beautiful-looking animated fun—a side-story that didn't need to be told but is enjoyable to experience nonetheless.
If Miyuki's raging crush on Tatsuya was your least favorite part of The Irregular at Magic High School, The Honor at Magic High School may not be the show for you. This retelling of the original story from Miyuki's point of view relies, at least in its debut episode, heavily on Miyuki's not-quite-platonic love for her brother, only really showing us other facets of her personality in the very beginning and towards the end. While this certainly does allow for the show to feel different from the original, it also won't be comfortable viewing for everyone.
It is, however, highly recommended that you have some familiarity with The Irregular at Magic High School before jumping into this. The show clearly expects that – none of the characters or terminology are introduced or explained, the assumption being that you not only know who Miyuki and Tatsuya are, but also what a CAD is and how magic functions as technology rather than fairy dust. While none of this is technically a bar to entry, it also could make for a bumpier ride, if not here than almost certainly in the future, at least if what I've read of the manga transfers over to the anime. There is a definite appeal to watching this if the caveat I mentioned in the first paragraph isn't a deterrent, however; while Tatsuya operates outside the school's established system, Miyuki is working from the inside, essentially playing by the rules that he isn't allowed to follow if he's to keep up his façade. That means that Miyuki's story is going to give us more insight into the day-to-day operations of the school, thus rounding out our understanding of how the world works.
This episode, however, is primarily centered around Miyuki's fifteenth birthday, which is before the main series even starts. She and Tatsuya go on what she almost certainly thinks is a date, where she's delighted to be mistaken for lovers and commits the unforgivable retail sin of taking off her underwear to try on a bathing suit. It's fairly fluffy as these things go – lots of Miyuki sparkling against a background just a shade too close to her dress (she almost blends in a couple of times), daydreaming about holding her brother's hand and getting kisses. The action comes when a rogue magician, augmented by the government, decides to burn the mall Miyuki and Tatsuya are at, allowing for Miyuki to remind us that there's more to her than a soft voice and blushes. She's really quite badass in those scenes, and if her motivation is more the hair pin Tatsuya gave her then the little girl whose life is in danger…well, see paragraph one. You knew what you were getting into.
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