The Honor Student at Magic High School
by Richard Eisenbeis,
How would you rate episode 11 of
The Honor Student at Magic High School ?
“In which high school freshmen beat the tar out of trained magical soldiers.”
I have to admit, ever since I saw the title (“Brother, good luck”) in last week's preview, I've somewhat been dreading this episode. This is the point in The Irregular at Magic High School where everything becomes hyper-focused on Tatsuya and the most Miyuki does is sit in the audience and cheer her brother on. Luckily, like with The's Girl Detective Club back during the first arc of the show, The Honor Student at Magic High School uses Miyuki and friends' lack of screen time in the original as carte blanche to do whatever they want.
Basically, while Tatsuya is occupied with his Monolith Code matches, it falls to the First High Girls to foil the No-Head Dragons' latest plan to make First High lose. As the number of “accidents” aimed at First High has been more than a bit hard to ignore, the No-Head Dragons dispatch a team to subtly mess with the Monolith Code battlefields and super-charge the already ultra-powerful Masaki Ichijou. What's interesting is that, while it's the First High girls who are looking for signs of possible sabotage, it's the Third High girls—namely Toko—who end up finding it.
As has been well established over the previous episodes, Airi, Shori, and Toko truly believe they are the best and are eager to prove it in fair competition. The idea of winning due to third-party influence disgusts them and is quite literally an affront to their honor. From the start, they have no issue sharing what they have found with the First High girls. And once they understand the true scope of the situation, they eagerly help undo what the No-Head Dragons have done—even going so far as to engage the dangerous crime syndicate in combat.
More than any other episode so far, this one perfectly fits the title of the anime—especially in the original Japanese. When we see the official English title, “The Honor Student at Magic High School,” we think of Miyuki. However, in Japanese, while that is one interpretation of the title, it is not the only one. Broadly speaking, in Japanese, there is no differentiation between a singular noun and a plural noun. It is up to the listener to figure out which it is through context. Thus, while this series is “The Honor Student at Magic High School” it is also “The Honor Students at Magic High Schools.” It is not just Miyuki's story, but the story of a group of honor students—both those in First High and those in Third High as well.
This episode sees the main, supporting, and rival characters working together and using their innate talents to do the right thing. The “irregulars”—i.e., Tatsuya, Leon, and Mikihiko—are relegated to the background as the honor students step up and show their stuff. It almost feels like this episode should have been the climax to the series with how well it fits thematically. However, that would have robbed us of the Miyuki versus Airi face-off we've been building to this whole arc, and we wouldn't want that.
• This episode covers the events of episode 14-16 of The Irregular at Magic High School.
• In Japanese, “The Irregular at Magic High School” could likewise be read as “The Irregulars at Magic High School.”
• Someone in the graphics department made a mistake this episode with the information displayed on the monitors. They show that Third High's first match is against First High and the second against Sixth High when the opposite is true.
• This episode once again shows just how scarily powerful Toko is. She's like Mikihiko, Mizuki, and a “normal” modern mage all rolled into one.
• I wonder if Fujibayashi ever let Tatsuya know what his sister had been up to while he was doing Monolith Code.
• I can't wait to see how Airi reacts to Miyuki's first flight next episode.
The Honor Student at Magic High School is currently streaming on Funimation.
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