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The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc – Best in Show

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The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc Review – Quick Summary

In The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc, which is a single 1 hour and 11 minute special episode, a middle school-aged Miyuki Shiba sat in the first class section of the airliner with her mother Miya Shiba. They were headed for a beach front house to relax. Meanwhile, Miyuki’s servant Tatsuya Shiba, sat in third class. Wait, servant? Why does both Miyuki and her mother Miya treat Tatsuya as a servant? Why does Miyuki seem to actively dislike Tatsuya? And what happened to change Miyuki’s attitude so drastically?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quotes from The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc

Since this was about the size of a double-length episode, I’m going to pick two favorite comments and two favorite moments. I want to give you your money’s worth!

First Quote: Honami Sakurai Speaks Truth

The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc: Honami helps Miyuki

Honami tried to help Miyuki step up to her responsibilities. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’ve watched the other series about these characters. I even reviewed The Irregular At Magic High School: Visitor Arc. So I’ve gotten a feel for Miyuki and how she approaches the role her family expects her to play. It was cool to see some early signs of her reluctance to take on that role.

In this episode, Miyuki’s mother, Miya, had a fever, so she could not go to a social function hosted by her brother. That meant it fell to Miyuki to represent her family. Miyuki tried to put on a brave face by saying she knew she had to be a proxy for her mom. She even summoned a smile.
But Honami saw through it, saying (12:26), “That’s admirable of you, but that look of aversion ruins it.” She then explained to Miyuki how if Honami could see her reluctance, so could her rivals. This not only said something about Honami. It brought out the intense political expectations in this world.

Second Quote: Honami Said What I Was Thinking

The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc: Honami realized they were in danger

Honami figured out something was up. I like it when characters pick up on clues! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Honami accounted for both of my favorite quotes! This time, it was for being astute – more astute than characters usually are within a story. The military had offered to shelter Miya, Miyuki, Honami, and Tatsuya. But when they arrived at the base, an officer told them they’d have to wait in a reception area.

I wondered what what up with that. A shelter should be ready at all times, right? But even as I was trying to think about what might be going on when Honami noticed it, too.

Leaning close to Miya, Honami said (40:47), “There’s no point in having a shelter unless it can be used in an emergency.”

I like plotting and details that respect the viewer. It makes watching these show a lot more fun!

Best in Show Moment for The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc

The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc: : Tatsuya's power shocked Miyuki

Suddenly, Miyuki became aware that Tatsuya was not, in fact, weak. Not at all. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Miyuki and Tatsuya Carry Unseen Burdens

At 53:50, did we get to see the first time Miyuki called Tatsuya “Onee-sama?” If so, I feel kind of privileged! 

When I first started watching The Irregular at Magic High School, there were two things that confused me. First, I could not understand how a world full of magicians would think Tatsuya was weak. Given his demonstrated performance, it made no sense that the other students treated him as if he were inferior. This episode actually gave a good, clear explanation of it. To me, Miya’s explanation fit, especially because it was so irrational. Prejudice is, after all, inherently irrational.

The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc: The words "Miya" and "nuturing" should only be in the same sentence if separated by "is not"

You would think that after Tatsuya reconstructed her body, in other words, brought her back to life, she would have cut him some slack. But, no. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The other thing that threw me was how Miyuki felt so trapped. I’ve seen enough entertainment from Eastern cultures that the idea of duty to family taking precedence isn’t new. But for shows set in more modern times, or in future times like this one, I’m used to seeing that downplayed. 

My two favorite moments shed light on both of those.

Delivery One: Miyuki’s Burden

I got an insight into the world of Miyuki’s expectations when they first arrived at her uncle’s party. After the introductions, her uncle told her that Ayako Kuroba and Kuroba Fumiya would love to talk to her. Leaving Tatsuya, her servant, at the front door to keep an eye on things, she went to talk to the two younger members of the Kuroba family. 

Ayako and Kuroba were happy to see Miyuki, sure, but as soon as they spotted Tatsuya, they rushed over to talk to him. He even smiled when he talked to them!

But in abandoning Miyuki, the heir to her branch of the family, to talk to Tatsuya, a servant, the two youngers put their father in an embarrassing position. Their actions constituted a major social faux pas

The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc: Miyuki was under tremendous social pressure

Miyuki understood the social protocol implications. She seemed reluctant to embrace that understanding, though. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Tatsuya demonstrated his awareness of protocol and duty by asking his uncle if he could patrol outside, alone, thus freeing Ayako and Kuroba to stay with Miyuki. As importantly, Tatsuya gave his uncle an easy way out of the situation so everyone could save face. 

Since she was no stranger to social protocol, Miyuki knew instantly what he was doing. She thought (19:41), “My brother is faithfully trying to fulfill the duty he was tasked with. That’s why I, too, must faithfully try to act out the role that I was given, to the utmost.”

This is where Miyuki tries to shoulder the burden her family, in particular her mother, wanted to place on her. It’s interesting to see how her reaction to it changes during the next couple of series

Delivery Two: Tatsuya’s Unconventional Strength

It surprised me to realize that at the beginning of this episode, Miyuki didn’t know that her brother was actually powerful. It’s because her mother was a purist when it came to magic. Tatsuya’s method of assembling and disassembling matter wasn’t pure magic. Therefore, Tatsuya was defective.

Miyuki learned that her interpretation of Tatsuya’s power might be skewed when they visited the military base. Tatsuya and Miyuki were invited to watch a hand to hand combat training exercise. With the permission ot their captain, a corporeal with pure magic ability, Higaki Joseph, challenged Tatsuya to a match. The corporeal had some skills, but so did Tatsuya. 

The Irregular at Magic High School Reminiscence Arc: Higaki had some serious skills

Higaki had some serious skills. Guess who else had some serious skills? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

At one point, the corporeal used magic to launch himself at Tatsuya. Tatsuya stood his ground and fired a wave of magic that completely deflated Higaki. The middle school student then slammed the man to the ground.

Miyuki stood, hands covering her face, and gasped (34:25), “Gram Demolition?” 

Gram Demolition, which the series does not explain, is such an advanced spell that few magicians can use it. Even more, it requires so much raw power that even Mayumi Saegusa, a powerful magician from one of the Ten Master Clans who is acknowledged as being very powerful, could not manage the spell.

And Tatuya just tossed it out like it was nothihng.

I can’t help it. I love honest, well-earned over powered moments. Especially when those moments destroy prejudices.

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