roriconfan's avatar


  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Joined Dec 22, 2011
  • 35 / M


Mahouka (short version of the title) was the next in line to be considered the best LN ever made, claims made by the same type of fans who two years ago were saying the exact same things for Sword Art Online (SAO for short). And once again it is proven how the anime fandom refuses to accept light novels as the garbage they are, and on top of that keeps hyping them as masterpieces.


The first failure comes from the premise itself, which keeps telling you it’s about discrimination. For a society that runs on meritocracy, all mages are rare and gifted. There is little reason for the Weeds to feel bad, if they have powers that place them above every other mundane person. And even the most gifted of them, the Blooms, are acting like they are constantly threatened by the Weeds, as if their position can be snatched away if the errant boys try really hard and surpass them. If they really are superior, they shouldn’t feel threatened. And if hard work can indeed make Weeds surpass Blooms, then they shouldn’t have casts to begin with.


The same thing happens with the main character, who is considered to be weak and useless, thus disliked by everybody… only to contradict this statement a hundred times throughout the show by making him OVERPOWERED AS HELL! They try to make him seem like his magic potential is low and thus belongs in the lower caste, because magic evaluations are not done properly. We are supposed to feel sorry for the guy, and cheer for him as he tries his best to improve and gain everybody’s respect. And then we find out he has mastered so many types of martial arts and magical combinations that he can LITERALLY defeat anyone in half a second, while LITERALLY resurrecting and rebuilding anything he likes. He doesn’t even gradually learn most of these powers; he begins right away by having mastered everything. The sympathy we are supposed to show for the underdog is a troll.


This is explained as Tatsuya being essentially wish fulfillment for introverts. The audience is supposed to feel something like this: “We are special and awesome, but our society doesn’t appreciate us, and everybody is against us. So we will show them what we can do, and win all the time, and have all the girls call us awesome.” The problem with this concept, is that there is no build up to the conflicts. If the threats are so easy to overcome, then there is no tension, and no reason to praise the protagonist. He doesn’t achieve something, as much as simply doing it without trying. His opponents never stand a chance, and thus you feel they are the victims, and Tatsuya is the bully. And yet I have seen thousands of people praising such a terrible thing, because it is basically swapping the roles of the bully with that of the bullied, and passes like a twisted type of empowerment fantasy, where you are punishing the bullies with their own medicine.


Even if you try to see it that way, it is still very hard to like the whole thing, since it is boring to have an OP character that wins all the time. Other stories will try to make it seem like the MC can die, or at least not make it seem like it’s all too easy. But not here. Here it is all about Tatsuya doing everything effortlessly and everybody being amazed with him. So no matter what the plot is about, there is no emotional investment, since you know exactly what will happen, and you are simply waiting to see how it will happen.

Even though the notorious SAO shares the same bad writing, bad exposition, bad characterization, and bad EVERYTHING when it comes to light novels, it at least fools you for awhile to think there is danger in its setting. The characters there were average people trapped in a deadly environment, cut off from their house and family, having to fight monsters in order to survive. Mahouka doesn’t have that; it is just a school where pampered high school kids with super magical skills gather and act like jerks to each other, while teachers and parents pay for their rent and luxury. So the only thing you get in this show is a guy effortlessly brushing off a few school bullies, under the surveillance of the teachers. There is literally nothing to feel excited about.

School settings in general are sapping away all tension and ruin the atmosphere. They are supposed to be there to offer a haven and familiarity for teenagers but at the same time raise endless questions of the sort “Why does everything happen the way it does, and why the adults don't do anything to stop it?” And the answer is a simple “because adults are terrible people who create unjust societies, and only we, the hormone-crazy teenagers, can do the right thing by smacking the crap out of everything.”

The first arc is about terrorists who want equality attacking the school. Because equality is evil all of a sudden. After the super awesome protagonist wipes them all out without even bothering to smirk, the police arrives, arrests everybody, and he returns to his normal school life like nothing much has happened. We can’t have him being rewarded, that would end the story. So what is the second arc about? A school contest! We literally moved from a terrorist attack to teenagers playing sports where they of course need to be explaining every little thing they make. That is plain insufferable. So what happens there? They do games for honor and bullshit, and again the awesome protagonist wipes them all out without even bothering to smirk. Third arc, evil China invades good Japan for liberty or some bullshit. The awesome protagonist wipes them all out without even bothering to smirk. Do you see a pattern here?


It is also impossible to get to like him. He has no emotions whatsoever, and the only time he has fun, is when he wants to make incest jokes about his sister. What kind of a madman would like that sort of a character? And apparently the anime community is full of madmen because there are thousands who love this unbeatable incestuous robot.


But wait, there is more to it. This show is supposed to appeal to pretentious overthinkers as well, since there is a lot of technobabble about the magic system used in the show. They have a lot of terminology that is supposed to be making sense of what never makes sense, because it’s magic. And even if you find cool all the pseudo scientific stuff they say regarding that, there are still two major problems.


First, explanations take up a ridiculous amount of time and bore you to death. For a setting that is all about mages and battles, there is very little actual fighting going on in it. Every battle is essentially a few seconds long, followed by half an hour of people standing still and infodumping stuff about what happened. Where is the fun in that? I understand that it works much better in text form, since time stands still when you read something. This doesn't work in the adaptation because we can tell how much time it takes to say something.


And second, even if you manage to stay awake through the explanations, you will just have Tatsuya breaking the rules and doing stuff nobody else can. Why do you think he is unbeatable? Because he uses strategy? No, it’s because he cheats the very system they waste hours explaining. There is nothing strategic or smart about whatever he is doing.


These issues expand like a plague and damage other aspects of the show. Since half of what you see is people explaining stuff, only to be broken ten minutes later by Tatsuya, and the other half is Tatsuya casually wiping out anybody who stands in his way, there is no time left for fleshing out any of the other characters, and there sure is nothing they can do that Tatsuya can’t do himself, faster and better. The only moments a character other than Tatsuya is able to speak or fight, are the only moments Tatsuya is bored, or not around.


The only other character that gets some spotlight other than Tatsuya, is his sister, and only because she is constantly next to him, making incest jokes that are not meant to be taken seriously, but we all end up imagining hentai out of them regardless. She is TOTALLY obsessed with him, repeating the word “onii-sama” at least a dozen times per episode. She doesn’t want any other girl near to him, and attacks other boys who antagonize him. She is also constantly presented as the perfect girl every male would want as his girlfriend. Meaning, she becomes waifu bait, and exists to fuel the empowerment fantasies even further.


Holy shit light novel authors, you are making people who are not into that crap to cringe, you know? I understand that you want your protagonists to be a perfect self insert all girls want to bang. But their sisters as well? And no, throwing in some drama about the magic families treating badly their children doesn’t fix the problem; because down to it we are here to see Tatsuya kicking ass, and his sister stalking him before she eventually seduces him and they have lots of deformed demigod babies.


The saddest part is that the budget is actually very high. Madhouse is the king of anime studios, and yet not even that could save the show from being bad. If you want to watch it just for the pretty colors and the teen empowerment, it is satisfactory on a very superficial level. But if you watch it for any sort of depth or good characterization, you will be greatly disappointed. There is nothing particularly good in Mahouka, and only manages to further prove how pre-airing hype only exists to mutate the reputation of what could have been a forgettable mediocre title, into an abomination we will always be using as an example of what a bad anime is all about.


Hello Mahouka, how are you? Here, sit next to your best friend, SAO. Feeling comfortable enough? Yes? Ok… GUYS GAG THEM! GRAB THEIR FEET! WATCH OUT, HE IS TRYING TO GET AWAY! WHERE IS THE ROPE? BRING THE TAR!

3/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
3/10 characters
3.5/10 overall

You must be logged in to leave comments. Login or sign up today!

Eladin Jan 1, 2016

...yeah...pretty much lol. I mean, I don't think you're spot on about all light novels and whatnot...but yeah. I watched all of it and at first kinda liked the premise and whatnot and though they'd present the main character as somebody whom wasn't overly gifted but he could use his brain to overcome his lack of natural abilities...except it was all bull and he was in fact like you said, OP...and there really wasn't very good explanation of it...not that there was much of any to begin with...because magic. 

Still, the more they showed how he was essentially a living god, the less I cared about him because it was clearly going to become a "miraculously saves every day, because he can" anime...and sure enough...yup. There was never really any actual danger. 

animeguy111 Oct 8, 2015


I don't think that's completely true. Pain as a side affect is a pretty lame deterent if not handled correctly. Most deus ex machina in anime means that the OP character trucks along with pain. It's not a limitation as long as the anime doesn't make it one. That's like naruto 1 o 1 however he at least levels up in a way that means he suffers a few defeats.

symmetricales Apr 1, 2015

@HarioSagara: "I have to wonder what you're basing your standards of OP on because from my perspective, Tatsuya was one of the most OP if not the most OP main character I've ever seen. Quick look at his repetoire of abilities- Highly skilled in hand to hand combat, able to dismantle opponents weapons with a thought, able to catch bullets from assault rifles, top class engineer, able to reset his body and anyone else's bodies if they're ever critically injured, and finally the ability to fire bullets that disintigrate anything instantly. He takes OP to new levels of OPness, lol."

His OPness came with a price though. Anytime he reset his body or anyone else's body he had to experience the pain they went through in a manner that was nearly 3x the speed they felt it. In actuality, you would think that wouldn't be so bad, but then you have to taken into consideration it was his mind processing the pain and not his body, so the ideal that going through pain quickly is easier than dealing with the pain slowly (i.e. like ripping off a band-aid rather than slowly removing it) doesn't apply here because the pain is not only physical, but mental as well. For the one thing that he was great at, he couldn't be good at anything else. His body couldn't handle being able to use other forms of magic which is why he resorted to using engineering as he means. He isn't as much of a decent fighter as people are thinking, most of his abilities comes from reading body language incredibly quickly and acting accordingly or making weapons/equipment that could make things easier for him.

I think a lot of people miss the fact that he is only actually really good at one thing in particular, even the characters have openly stated it, but it's how he goes about the one that he's good at that makes him seem OP. I have yet to see anyone claim that his sister is OP when she has the ability to freeze someone to death. Not only that, but her abilities are higher ranking than his are in terms of magic. Not to also mention that while she gets her equipment created and maintained by him, for the most part, most of the other characters can really handle it as best as she could. 

Long story short, his "OP" is a double edged sword for him and thus, actually, negates the idea of him being OP.

HarioSagara Feb 7, 2015

   @TheAngelofDeath I see where you're coming from with your comment but I have to disagree on a couple of points. You said, "From what I gather you didn't see this show to the very end and stopped before most of his powers were even revealed and even at that point I didn't think he was too OP which to me tells me your standards for OP are extremely low" I have to wonder what you're basing your standards of OP on because from my perspective, Tatsuya was one of the most OP if not the most OP main character I've ever seen. Quick look at his repetoire of abilities- Highly skilled in hand to hand combat, able to dismantle opponents weapons with a thought, able to catch bullets from assault rifles, top class engineer, able to reset his body and anyone else's bodies if they're ever critically injured, and finally the ability to fire bullets that disintigrate anything instantly. He takes OP to new levels of OPness, lol.

  One of the main reasons Roricon compares this to SAO is the overpowerdness of the main characters, but even Kirito falls drastically short compared to Tatsuya's overpowerdness. Other than that though it's true that these shows don't have much else in common with each other. 

  As far as Death Note is concerned, Light and L are both highly intelligent indiviiduals but the reason that show is so awesome is that they are constantly challenging each other's intelligence and skills throughout the show. As opposed to Tatsuya's rival, the "prince" Ichijou who it takes him all of one episode to defeat.

   The part of Roricon's review I disagree with the most is where he says there is a lack of action. If you watch the show through to the end you see that there actually is quite a few action scenes in this anime. While some of these action scenes look cool enough with explosions and cool magical effects, there's still a severe lack of excitement in the scenes due to the fact that Tatsuya is basically invincible and able to obliterate everyone.

TheAngelofDeath Dec 28, 2014

Forgive me for I shall have to be rude, but this review was painful to read... Extremely painful to read. but alas I bore through it and read your review. Everyone is entitled to their opinion you and me so here's mine. Rather than a review this can be classified as a rant. For starters though I will agree with you the main character is overpowered but this doesn't always ruin a show. From what I gather you didn't see this show to the very end and stopped before most of his powers were even revealed and even at that point I didn't think he was too OP which to me tells me your standards for OP are extremely low, and or your so unbelieveably biased towards this anime in general thats you've unknowningly blinded yourself to whats really going on. He is really revealed to be OP much later on in the Anime much further than you ventured. But anyways moving on.

Much of your review was you comparing this Anime to SAO (Sword Art Online) which in some cases was relevant but in most cases not even close. To me it just sounds like your forcing the two together to create a simliar feeling of hatred towards both Animes. Not in a comedic way either which I believe would be pretty obvious if you were, either that or you have a not so good sense of humor. Either way because of this "Extreme Bias" (because everyone is biased to a certain degree and this can't be helped but some are way off the minimum mark) I find that most of the evidence and opinion about this anime you bring to the table tremendously looses its meaning which takes away and eventually destroys your review altogether. If you want to warn someone of a bad Anime do it as best you can. This isn't about yourself its about others reviews are meant to help others in deciding which Animes to watch. In a review you look for both bad AND good things in an anime as best you can. 99% was dedicated to the bad which unfortunely changes this from a "review" to a super subjective rant of hatred. why "hatred"? for one thing. "Insults" You should never have to rely on insults to convey a message to a group of people that something is bad. Doing so could mean a couple of things. That your not creative with words, that said thing enrages you to the point were such words are the best way to convey your feelings towards a subject, or you suffer severely from a "band waggon effect" that comes from your daily life that normally consists of said words used daily or said thoughts you think of daily creating that "you" on the inside but not the out.

As far as I can tell about you saying it "doesn't have enough action" I think that is also something you simply assumed that this anime was going to be. Look at some of the greatest animes out there (by normal rating standards) Death Note little to NO ACTION on each episode but A LOT OF TALKING, yet it still got to the top of the charts of the most exciting animes. So why? Its because of plot and story, this is no different. So why have you not reviewed Death Note in the same way? Because its not related to that other Anime you hate so much SAO. Because it has no relation you don't hate it, which COMPLETELY changes the way you will watch it and enjoy it compared to this one. If SAO never existed could you swear to me this review would be the same? Sadly no it wouldn't be.

As I said before everyone is entitled to their own opinion on things and I hate to be rude with this next statement but rudeness is not something your too worried about based off whats written in this review so I shall treat you the same way which you wish to be treated. Even though this probably won't happen and you will ignore it. I please urge you to remove this review, if not please rewrite and revise it as best you can. If not for me but for others who may or may not be poisoned by your extreme bias towards all SAO related animes. You scare new people away from good Animes like this without good cause. Lucky though most of them are smart and will come to realize that that "one" review that they saw was completely inaccurate and will come to watch it anyway. I say this because I myself have experienced this one too many times. I'm now at the point were I only read reviews that are 7 and higher just to avoid utter biasism and pure hatred before I look at the lower ones first.

Just saying this beforehand if you respond to my comment please do it as respectfully and logically as you can. If I read any unnecessary insults or bad slurs of any kind on my page I will delete it without hesitation fair warning sorry to judge based off what I'm reading here but thats the kind of person your making yourself out to be.