Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen | Anime Review

Ah, the long awaited ‘Anime Review’ for the anime Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen. It took me awhile to finish this anime, but here I am! Ready to share my thoughts and to give you an honest review of the anime.

It is now secret that Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (first season) is one of my favourite anime. I remember watching the first season back in 2014 with my cousins admiring probably one of the most OP main characters to ever exist in anime, Tatsuya Shiba. I was also one of the many people who wanted and hoped for a second season to the anime. Who would have thought that five or so years later that it would actually become a reality, this times under a new studio 8bit (previously the anime was under Madhouse). At first I welcomed the change in studios, with regards to works produced by the studio, Madhouse is obviously the bigger more successful anime studio. It was 8bit‘s opportunity to capitalize and take hold of an anime series that I think is still immensely popular. So at the time, I wasn’t concerned at all.

However, all that being said, Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen aired during the worst year ever, 2020. Which resulted in the release of the second season being pushed back because of the whole pandemic. Even despite that, I still remained positive. As someone who has adored and enjoyed the first season, I wanted the sequel to Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei to be a success. Like many people, I had extremely high expectations for this anime — this infact led to the downfall of this anime for me.

For me, having those extremely high expectations is what ultimately ruined my enjoyment of the anime because Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen failed to live up to them. The episodes didn’t feel free flowing and often times each episode felt ‘off balanced’. Here are a list of things I disliked with a reasoning behind each;

  • “Setup” Episodes
    • You’ll have one episode where literally nothing happens, then the following episode you’ll have everything happening all at once within a span of 23 minutes. Then the episode after that, it’ll just be our characters discussing with literally nothing happening again. I’ve mentioned this multiple times before, it felt as though every second episode was a ‘setup’ episode which would be the gateway to a jampacked episode. An episode where everything will happen all at once, where the dialogue between the characters go through the roof and whatever action scene starts and completes within three minutes.

  • Short Fight Scenes
    • Every action scene was short. With either Tatsuya or Miyuki ending it within the blink of an eye. The only fight scene that I think lasted longer than three minutes was between Miyuki and Lina, but that too ended swiftly with the click from Tatsuya’s CAD. These abrupt ends to fights is the total opposite of what we had in the first season, which is a huge downgrade.

  • Pacing
    • The pacing was too fast. The poor pacing of the anime (in my opinion), is a huge contributing factor to the many “setup” episodes we’ve had throughout the thirteen episodes. When you have to try to fit everything within thirteen, 23 minute episodes. You’re bound to miss a lot of things that would have provided context. You have to tell the whole story of the “Visitor Arc” within a short period of time. This led to conclusions being found quickly etc. Tatsuya and company were able to figure everything about this parasite out by episode three, like really?
    • Because of this fast pacing, everything felt segmented towards the end of the anime. Lina’s arc only really lasted till episode seven or eight, then we have the terrible hypertower thing at the end.

  • All over the place with the story.
    • We go from Lina heading to Japan to take care (eliminate) the individual who caused the “Scorched Halloween”. Which is Tatsuya, to then her objective switching to her eliminating these “Parasites”. While that is going on, we have Tatsuya and company wanting to seal the “Parasites” to learn from them, which of course clashes with Lina’s objective.
    • Then we have two (Juumonji and Saegusa) Clans from the “Ten Master Clans” also wanting to get in on this “Parasite” action/capture. Along with the Yotsuba clan wanting in, the involvement of the JSDF, USNA, Kudou, Seven Sages playing a role and whatever is left of Blanche and the No-Head Dragon Syndicate having some role to play.
    • Then for some reason, we disregard the parasites for a moment as Tatsuya gives Lina a talking to about how she’s not cut out to be part of the military because she’s not emotionally strong enough to deal with it.
    • Then we jump to the whole hypertower stuff, which is no longer related to any of the “parasite” information.

  • Inconsistent Character Design
    • This is probably the single most thing about this anime that really rubs me the wrong way. The inconsistencies throughout the anime whenever it came to Miyuki, Tatsuya, and others was just extremely frustration. It felt like each frame felt like a new drawing of Tatsuya or Miyuki’s face. Heck there were also times when Miyuki’s figure differed massively between each scene. That really bothered me.

There are probably many more things that I disliked about Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen. But I think these points covered the bulk of it. I get it, the story revolves around Miyuki and Tatsuya, they are the focal point. ‘Godsuya’ is great and all, but when it feels like his abilities are overshadowing the story that is supposed to tell then it becomes (in my opinion) not entertaining. Especially when Tatsuya or Miyuki ends every fight scene within 3 minutes. Not to mention Tatsuya’s ability to quickly solve any problem immediately killing any form elaboration on any topic, like the parasites because he already figured it out.

I really wanted to like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen, I really did. But ultimately, this was not the second season Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei deserved, it deserved better. I didn’t wait five/six years for a sequel only to be presented with something poorly executed like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Raihousha-hen. It’s a very big disappointment.