The Week in Anime — Spring 2014 #4 (Mahouka is Dumb Part 2)

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Mahouka — Tatsuya and his fellow weeds are getting screwed over. But he likes it.

Maybe I should just blog this show. There certainly isn’t a lack of things to say about it. The short version: separate but equal is right, calling people “ni**ers” is okay because black people do it too, and people who want equality support terrorism.

  • So, the students who aren’t elite magicians have nothing to complain about since the school rules technically forbid discrimination even if these rules are ignored by everyone in the school. In fact, they don’t have anything specific to complain about! Just some vague idea that they aren’t equal somehow. Even if nobody is equal. Silly liberals. What the author doesn’t seem to realize is that all this reflects is a lack of imagination on his own part. These kids have plenty of things to complain about. Like the fact that school rules explicitly forbid them from serving on the student council? Maybe that would be an obvious starting point?
  • Look, all their arguments are silly! They claim they aren’t equal, but the legball club gets the same amount of funding as this one magic club! They’re separate, but equal! Oh my god I can’t believe it’s 2014 and someone is arguing for this.
  • Ok, let’s just assume these ingrates have a point. But look, they’re breaking the law! They went into the broadcasting room without permission by stealing the key! THEY MUST BE PUNISHED. But we’re kind and generous, so we won’t get the law involved in this. We’ll just tackle them to the ground and handcuff them as they peacefully leave the room after we agreed to let them go. THEY BROKE THE LAW. Just like Rosa Parks and MLK and Gandhi. We have a system in place to deal with these things, and they aren’t using it. Oh yeah and in case you happened to forget, they only want equality anyway because they’re being duped by Chinese terrorists.
  • Note how Tatsuya and the president, in their private conversation, don’t even pretend they’ll listen to the students’ demands. (Well, to be fair, the students don’t have any demands, because the author isn’t creative enough to come up with any. Probably because he would be unable to come up with reasons to refute them.) They don’t even refer to the students as human beings in their private conversation. Only as “opponents” who must be defeated.
  • The president is afraid of turning this into an “emotional debate.” Because sometimes the plebes will feel like they’re entitled to things like representation, equal standing and human dignity. But if it’s a logical debate, it’s impossible for her to lose! Because she’s right, and so is the system of discrimination they have in the school! Because there is no discrimination, it’s against the rules! Even if no one actually follows these rules! But the weeds have no reason to complain!
  • Look guys. Some weeds also call themselves weeds! It’s not just the blooms’ fault that discrimination exists. Everybody does it. It’s just like how black people call themselves ni**ers. We need to work together to solve these problems. Especially the Weeds. This is “not something that should be resolved by creating new discriminatory practices” (direct quote). This is… dun dun dun… REVERSE DISCRIMINATION!!!!
  • I’ve been trying to break down these barriers! Everyone’s a student! We shouldn’t fight among ourselves! *Everyone applauds.* Therefore, once my presidency ends, I will propose legislation to allow Weeds to serve on student council. Wow, the student council president is so generous. Even if discrimination doesn’t exist, and these silly protesters don’t have any specific demands, she has generously moved towards ending discrimination by enacting a specific demand to end discrimination. Nothing to see here folks, move along. It’s not discrimination, it’s distinction!
  • Oh yeah, except that the open discussion is just a cover for a terrorist attack. This is why we shouldn’t let those people get involved with politics. It’s not discrimination, just stating a fact.

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Nanana — Wow, did not see that coming. The main character is actually pretty interesting and not a worthless sponge as I thought! He’s a misandrist, unable to love, and his dad is the leader of the phantom thieves. What a pleasant surprise! I continue to enjoy the relationship between him and the detective too. She’s actually happy that he’s involved in the phantom thieves so that she can have a rival! And she sees right through everything he does haha. Smart girls are the best.

Mekkaku City Actors — Apparently I have been living under a rock, and these episodes are based on songs. Thanks to Guy for directing me to the song this week’s episode is based on, which is actually quite good. I highly recommend giving it a watch. But now I’m left wondering: what is the point of this show? That song and the accompanying video are infinitely better than this week’s episode. In fact, from having seen the episode first, I think it has actually only served to lower my opinion of the song. The only reason I can imagine to create this episode is just so that Shinbo can jerk his SHAFT some more.

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JoJo’s — This continues to be so ridiculous. I love it. It’s a lot harder to take the Stands seriously though than the powers in the previous arcs. Especially the bird one looks dumb.

Hitsugi no Chaika — Oh, the siblings aren’t blood related after all. Great.

12 thoughts on “The Week in Anime — Spring 2014 #4 (Mahouka is Dumb Part 2)

  1. Hahahah, half the fun I have with Mahouka now is watching it get torn apart by folk more perceptive and much less accepting of the tropes involved.

    So much ridiculousness is accepted as OK, there’s really no end to the discussion breaking it down. Oh the intended show is amusing too I suppose 🙂

    1. Yeah, it’s quite easy to tear apart. What’s funny is all the people tearing it apart manage to find different things to make fun of most of the time too.

  2. I think the most baffling thing about that episode of Mahouka was the “new discriminatory practices” thing. I don’t understand why she thought that would happen when not even the Course 2 students knew what they wanted to do. Somehow she knew they wanted new discriminatory practices even though they made no clear demands.

    When I think about the fourth episode of Mekaku I wonder if they were trying to do something with the colors of traffic lights, like having it be green when he’s trying to save her and then it turns red when he finally stops it? I’m not sure exactly what point that’s supposed to make, if it’s meant to make one at all, other than that it gave me Kare Kano flashbacks. But if all they were going to do that was interesting from that standpoint was mess around with the background colors then I wish they had made the girl less irritating and made the guy’s story actually relevant to whatever was going on.

    1. A series of red lights is very thematically heavy. It’s the world telling him to stop, to turn back, that there is nothing for him there.

      1. That’s a good point, and may justify the girl being so irritating of you want to draw a parallel between his unrequited crush on her and his refusal to stop trying to save her. I hesitate somewhat to draw such a parallel though. The way she smiled and said something to him whenever she died and the way the actual song ends with her pursuing him in the same way makes me think that maybe there wasn’t necessarily nothing for him in his pursuit of her.

        Even so I wish she was less annoying, even if I’m wrong to wish for that. She already had a crush on someone else, which would have been enough for me. But if that was their reason for making her that way I guess it makes sense.

        1. With the way she’s written, I’d be surprised if the audience was supposed to like her. Maybe her smiling and saying something to him before she dies will be explained later, or maybe the writers just thought it was a natural thing to do before she dies. I’d certainly want to say something if I was a few seconds away from death.

          I actually appreciate that we’re not supposed to like her because the whole “trapped in a time loop to save loved one” has been used in anime before. Changing things so that the loved one isn’t likeable makes it feel fresh.

          1. Trapped in a time loop has been used in anime before, but so has the main character being in love with an unlikeable girl.

            I don’t think it was necessarily a bad choice. I think it was maybe not entirely needed, and it was her smiling and the song ending with her going after him in the same way more than the fact that she tried to say something that makes me think what I do.

            I always have trouble with characters that the audience isn’t “supposed” to like. Sometimes I get it and I think it adds to the show. Other times it just makes the show profoundly unpleasant to watch. If it’s something that can be pulled off without making the audience want to stop watching the show, then I feel like that would probably be better than whatever happened here. I probably shouldn’t make that claim though, since I have no idea exactly what it is that makes the difference between a character the audience dislikes in a good way and one who just drives them away.

          2. I think the best example of a character you aren’t supposed to like is Suzaku from Code Geass. Man I hated that guy. But because of that I loved the show.

    2. Yeah, really none of his argument made any sense, but that part stood out in particular. I don’t know what he was talking about.

  3. I’m still waiting for these poor overworked magician kids to show us just how much harder they work than those silly non-magicals who just don’t get why they’re higher up in society. All they really seem to do is nerd out about their spells for a couple minutes each episode before moving on to the truly high drama of their extracurricular activities. I mean, so far the terrorists have done more actual work than Tatsuya and his fan club.

    I hope the disciplinary committee president and her armband storm troopers stage a coup and overthrow the weak-kneed president before she can enact her silly reforms. Then she can crack down on all these ungrateful hippies and their Chinese terrorist puppet masters.

    1. Hey, terrorism is hard work!

      But yeah a revolution would be awesome! Apparently only a couple more episodes will be in school so I have no idea what to expect coming up.

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