The Irregular at Magic High School Movie: The Girl Who Summons the Stars

Alt title: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Movie: Hoshi wo Yobu Shoujo

Movie (1 ep x 90 min)
3.92 out of 5 from 4,761 votes
Rank #1,341
The Irregular at Magic High School Movie: The Girl Who Summons the Stars

Many months have passed and the spring season is almost upon them. The “irregular” elder brother Tatsuya and his smart younger sister Miyuki realize that their first year at Magic High School is about to come to a close. The siblings and their friends decide to spend spring break at a private villa on Ogasawara Island. Tatsuya and the others make the most of their brief vacation until a young girl named Kokoa appears before them. The mysterious young girl who escaped from a naval base tells Tatsuya her one wish...

Source: Aniplex

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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei is one of the more popular Light Novel series to have come out within the past decade or so, spawning an anime adaptation by Studio Madhouse in 2014. That anime was also a gigantic piece of shit.Thankfully, this movie isn't so bad.That isn't to say this was a good or even passable film, however. It still suffers from flat characterization, holes and leaps in logic, pacing issues, and a major switch from one major object being a threat to another, with the first object being ignored entirely after the halfway mark, among other problems. It feels like a short filler arc of the show, though thankfully issues carried from the show are largely subdued.Visually, the movie is passable. For one, they fixed the lighting issue to a decent extent, now I don't have to squint to avoid my eyes being set on fire from the needlessly bright lighting effects. The artstyle is as bad as ever though, and the CGI is both horrible and prevalent. The fights and overall magic were pretty bad as well. At the very least, we got to see characters in a variety of fashionable uniforms outside of their school attire, which was thankfully absent throughout the film. Studio 8bit, while doing a mediocre job by anime film standards, still has a far more visually appealing product that the original, which is the long and short of it all.Taku Iwasaki returns as the composer of the music for the film and it was far superior to his work on the show. There were two moments where the music did not fit the scenes, including a happy piano track halfway and an awful dubstep song during the big magic fight sequence near the start of the third act. The rest of the tracks sounded perfectly fine, with one vocal track near the beginning being probably the best in the movie, if not for GARNiDELiA doing another stellar performance with the ED song “SPEED STAR”. This is already a far cry from the amount of terrible tracks and times where the music does not fit the scenes in the original TV series. These audiovisual improvements did fix major gripes I had with the original to the point where it almost felt unfair as part of any enjoyment this film provided was fixing mistakes that should've never happened to begin with.Unfortunately, that's where any relative positives end, as the film is still a mess. There is this important character named Angelina, who has important relations with much of the relevant cast from the show. However, she wasn't in the TV anime and the film doesn't even establish their connection and instead assumes we already know, despite the fact that a large fraction of the audience of this film are only familiar with the anime, potentially leaving the viewer incredibly lost. Two groups of characters effectively on the same side fight to the death because they're too stupid to explain what is going on, and one of them named Siegfried has some sort of bad blood with Leonheart, that again, is not established in this film, leading to the exact same problems as with Angelina. There is a character who only exist to be an obnoxious sadistic psychopath knife-wielder for the sake of such a character trait, and he disposed of by an enemy who should be an ally hit because both sides are stupid they don’t communicate that they have the exact same goal and should be working in tandem to stop the big threat of this movie. As for the characters we’re already familiar with, they are still immensely flat and dry, and some characters don't really have a reason to be in the film due to sheer irrelevance, such as Mikihiko. This isn't entirely the film’s fault, as the 2014 anime showcased them as worthless garbage anyway, and oddly enough, the women largely feel the same in this film, not even feeling like individual character tropes like in the show proper. Thankfully, the worst aspects of the main sibling pair are subdued due to the limited runtime, however, they are still as generic and dull as ever, if not nearly as infuriating.There is this asteroid that is threatened to be in a collision course with the Earth, and this is established as the main threat due to scientists. However, that gets dropped halfway through the film with no resolution and instead it gets replaced by this satellite the researches were trying to move for some unexplained reason. Unfortunately, given that not many people have seen this film and this review is written without spoilers, I cannot go into further detail, nor can I explain any of the other problems with this film that require spoilers. However, there are a few that can be listed here, such as the sheer lack of subplots, the fact that it took Mayumi so long to realize that her plane was taken by her friends and that there was an important passenger with them (it took a day), the lack of consistency regarding magic being used with or without codes (since it has been established you need to use magic codes to use any form of magic), and that the scientists have no motivations for their actions beyond a one-off line of dialogue about the Navy accepting them. We aren't even made aware of their plans. Lastly, it turns it that some of the character graduated, but Tatsuya is the same age and no one has reportedly aged. This could also explain why Erika is somewhat of a different character than before, but then we’d have missed important character development; not like the series could even attempt such a thing.Ultimately, while this film was a considerable improvement from the 2014 Madhouse anime, it is still a lackluster film without much of an engaging narrative and a sheer lack of decent characterization, as well as an inheritance of some of the series’ major problems, even if it does attempt to at least subdue issues involving the production, the main duo, and the lack of cohesion with the music and the scenes back then. The third arc is where most of these issues come to a head, turning a movie that would have otherwise been classified as “so ok it's average” into a bewildering mess that just happens to be an improvement. Even fans of the anime could get confused as to what’s going on regarding certain characters, which is a large issue. You could say this review is damning with faint praise, but that’s the best thing this lackluster film deserves. Regardless, with all that said, I bid you adieu.

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