Light Novel: The Irregular at Magic High School

aka: Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei

Or Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei as it is known in Japanese.

"Magic" is a product of neither legends nor fairy tales. It has become a technology of reality for nearly a century. Various countries in the world are locked in a race in nurturing "Magicians".

Tatsuya Shiba is a reserve student without magic capability at First High School, a magic high school, along with his sister Miyuki, who happens to be the top student among the freshmen. What will happen to him, and how will he live his school life where he is one of the many reserves in the school looked down upon by the chosen magical students?

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei (The Irregularnote  at Magic High School) is a Japanese light novel series written by Satou Tsutomu with illustration by Ishida Kana. The novel began as a web novel serialization in "Let's Become a Novelist" on October 12, 2008. It then became the second web novel after Sword Art Online to be commercialized and published by Dengeki in July 2011.

The web novel consisted of only 6 web chapters written covering the First Year arc completed on March 21, 2011, and the author has already planned for a total of 15 web chapters to cover the entire three years of Magic High School. Included also is a series of side stories, Mahouka Koukou no Shounen Shoujo (loosely, The Boys and Girls at Magic High School).

It has been adapted into a manga by Hayashi Fumino with Kitaumi Tsuna as the artist. The light novel is published by ASCII Media Works in Dengeki Bunko while the manga is published by Square Enix in GFantasy.

A manga spin-off focusing on Miyuki, Mahouka Koukou no Yuutousei (The Honour at Magic High School), began serialize in Dengeki Daioh July issue on April 26, 2012 with Mori Yu as the artist.

An anime adaptation by Madhouse began airing in the Spring 2014 Anime season. Yen Press has announced they plan to localize the light novels in Fall 2015.

Provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Their only real limitation is that they can't recruit course 2 students. Played straight after the student council president election, when this limitation is removed as Mayumi's final act as president.
  • The Ace: Miyuki and Tatsuya to damn near everyone who isn't already an experienced, certified badass.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Mahouka koukou no Yuutousei (The Honour at Magic High School)
  • An Ice Person: Miyuki specializes in cooling magicnote . Her cooling magic, however, is a physical manifestation of her natural mind-affecting magic. Her most powerful magic, "Cocytus", freezes the consciousness of its target. Not the target's neurons, mind—their soul. It could be considered a Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Badass Family: In Japan exists the "Numbers": families who bear the character for a number in their name. They're ancient clans of magicians who specialize in various forms of magic, and were rewarded with a name and with recognition for their success. To wit, there's two strata of these "Numbers":
    • The first Twenty Eight Families, whose surname contains a number from one to ten. They are the greatest results of the human experiments carried out in the ten most advanced and important magic research institutes, which is from where their number comes from. Every so many years, ten of those families are chosen by committee to represent all families, and those ten are known for a period of time as the Ten Master Clans. It's normal for some numbers to be missing or for numbers to repeat; the current set of clans already in place at the start of the series is the first time all numbers have been represented in the Ten Master Clans.
      • Each of the Ten Master Clans is an example, but one of the two strongest is the Yotsuba clan. It has one of the strongest magicians in the world, Yotsuba Maya, and Miyuki. Tatsuya, being her brother and bodyguard, counts too. His case is a bit muddier though. note 
    • The other numbers are the Hundred Families—families who bear numbers greater than ten. Their skills and abilities are generally no match for accomplished members of the Twenty Eight Families, but their lineage and those trained by them are still superior to most magicians from outside the Numbers.
    • A final thing to note is that the number has absolutely no relevance to power level—clans with the first number, like Ichijou, are not the strongest clan (that would be the Yotsuba), just like clans with the character for one thousand are not stronger than one with the character for one hundred.
  • Balkanize Me: Like Expanded States of America, a consequence of World War 3. Happened mostly in Africa and South America (except for Brazil).
  • Beach Episode: During summer break. It didn't make it into the anime, likely due to time constraints, but generally, the only thing non-readers of the Light Novel missed out on, aside from the obvious Fanservice, is Honoka's Love Confession to Tatsuya and the subsequent rejection.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Big Brother Instinct-Little Sister Instinct: If you attack Tatsuya, Miyuki will turn you into ice. If you intend to harm Miyuki and actually pose a threat, Tatsuya will vaporize you. And God forbid you actually manage to harm her in any way; Tatsuya will rampage so hard that the entire world will reel from the aftershocks. Just ask the Great Asian Alliance—they got hit with the magical equivalent of a friggin Fantastic Nuke for their troubles. Twice.. For this, he earned the nickname "Mahesvara"note  from the G.A.A.
  • BFS: Some of the Chiba family's secret techniques require these for their best performance. note 
  • Big Brother Attraction/Worship: A near literal case in Miyuki, who has literally modeled her entire life around how she believes Tatsuya wants her to be.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Yotsuba, who are extremely wealthy, are the most powerful clan in Japan, have connections everywhere and are known for being prone to going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against anyone who crosses their family, which earned the entire family the nickname "The Untouchables".note 
  • Child Soldier: Tatsuya joined the 101st Battalion since he was 13.
    • Lina, too.
  • Cool Guns: "Silver Horn"note , "Trident"note  and "Third Eye"note  , gun-shaped Specialized CADs that Tatsuya uses.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Mibu's part in the first arc is based on her misunderstanding/mishearing of Mari when she refused a kendo sparring match. Mibu thought Mari deemed her unworthy because she isn't a magic user, what Mari actually meant is that she was unworthy of sparring with Mibu as she'd be totally outclassed without her magic. Then we learn Mibu's memories were altered in such a perfidiously unnoticable way that she believed Mari to have said it that way (which wasn't the case) to turn her into a pawn that will help the terrorists during the attack on First High School at the beginning of the story.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Tatsuya defeats Vice President Hattori in less than 5 seconds during their first battle. Made somewhat ironic by how the latter planned to use speed abilities to gain the upper hand, and stating that whoever attacks first is pretty much the winner.
    • Miyuki during the mirage bat event in her 1st 9-school competition, where she completely dominates her competitors (extra points for Miyuki being a junior competing in the senior event). Even after Tatsuya was asked to submit her CAD due to the complaint from other schools, after which the committee decided to leak the code to the other schools allowing them to copy the flying technique Miyuki used, she still completely floors them due to their inexperience with using said spell. What makes it golden is that she ALREADY was the number 1 player even before she decides to crush those players' pride into oblivion with the Flying spell.
    • Tatsuya basically single-handedly curb stomped the Great Asian Alliance army that invaded Okinawa three years before the start of the series after some of the soldiers allied with them shot Miyuki. He had the 101st with him, but he was so enraged that he practically decomposed everything before it could touch him or before his allies could shoot it, all while restoring any allies that fell in battle. He concluded the affairs by field-experimenting his new shiny magic theory - the "Material Burst" for the first time and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that, regardless of the Yotsubas' beliefs regarding his ability as a magician, he was stronger than all of them and the only reason he didn't even bother to correct them was because he only cared about Miyuki.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: "Regrowth". It allows its user to reverse any injury that has occurred within the past 24 hours, in exchange for experiencing all the previous pain that injury caused in a fraction of second.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Decomposition magic, which is Dispersal-type magic that breaks down matter to the molecular level. Magic that works on the information body and the physical plane to this degree is possible in theory, but is actually impossible for anyone to perform due to the extreme requirements in calculation ability it would demand from the magician—one would have to have been born with the specific ability to use Decomposition at the expense of practically everything else. It just so happens that this is the case for Tatsuya—it's his ability to use "Decomposition" and its counterpart magic "Regrowth" that renders him unable to properly wield magic like other magicians do; the magics are so stupidly complex and difficult to perform that it's only with the addition of an artificial magic calculation zone that he can barely wield "proper" magic.
  • Everyone Can See It: The Incest Subtext between Tatsuya and Miyuki is so damn obvious it might as well be text. However, Miyuki only makes jokes about it for the most part and Tatsuya literally cannot feel anything but brotherly love towards Miyuki.
  • Evolving Credits: In episode 19, after Erika ties part of her hair back, the ending reflects this new hairstyle when she's shown in the credits.
  • Expanded States of America: One of the consequences of World War III that happened between 2045 and 2064.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The magical equivalent of these are the Strategic-Class Magicians. They are People Of Mass Destruction who have the ability to cast a specific magic with extremely destructive capabilities—enough to serve as deterrents against war and/or invasion towards other nations. Examples include Angelina Sirius' "Heavy Metal Burst" note , Itsuwa Mio's "Abyss" note  and Tasuya's "Material Burst" note 
  • Fantastic Racism: The course 1 students in general view the course 2 students with a lot of contempt, and feel they're leagues above the latter group. While 1's are generally considered pretty powerful, Tatsuya is considered a 2, yet manages to defeat the Vice President in the blink of an eye during a mock battle.
  • Fantastic Slurs: The course 2 reserve students are referred to as "Weeds" by some course 1 students. As it turns out, the only real difference was a mistake in their uniforms when the school doubled in size and they didn't change them.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Vice President Hattori feels his mock battle with Tatsuya is going to be this, with him defeating the lowly course 2 student and putting that guy in his place. Then he gets knocked out by the latter in less than a second after the battle starts...
  • For Science!: Yotsuba as well other Master Clans. And Tatsuya. Seriously, beside Miyuki, all this guy ever thinks about is how to make new applications of magic and invent new magics while he's at it. Just read 9-school competition arc for more details. Which is hilariously lampshaded when Erica notes he'd be a great Mad Scientist.
    • Guinea Pig Family: Every single Master Clans is a former national research labatory about magic and genetic... For an example, Tatsuya's mother and aunt experimented on him to see if they could make him into an "artificial magician". It had the unintended side effect of removing his "strong" emotions, except for "sibling love". It worked... but not very well.
    • Mad Scientist: His friends and acquaintances do view Tatsuya as one from time to time. I wonder why? Probably not because when he was 13, he first field-experimented his new magic theory - Material Burst and as the result, thousands of armed troops vaporized, right?
      • Creating new weapons "for fun" and designing new magic sequences out of boredom probably helped.
  • Four Is Death: The Fourth Institute of Magician Development was the Institute least concerned with human life and magician's rights. By extension, the Yotsuba family, who ran the institute and have the number four in their name.
  • Functional Magic
  • Hair Decorations: Miyuki has them in the shape of snowflakes. Given to her by her brother.
  • Hate at First Sight:
    • How Course 1 students typically view Course 2 students. They even label them as "weeds", while considering themselves "blooms". In the anime a lot of Course 1 students openly display scorn and contempt when they see Course 2 students around, and can't figure out why Miyuki, a "bloom", wants to hang out with those lowly "weeds" such as Tatsuya.
    • Erika and Leo instantly dislike each other when they're first introduced. They nearly get into a fight until the bell rings and others ask them to back down.
  • Hidden Depths: Everyone. If you have a name, you have your own goals and agenda.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Miyuki bluntly asking Erika if the latter has a brother complex in the fourth novel.
    Erika: I don't want to hear that from you! You hardcore bro-con girl!
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: At the beginning of the novel, Tatsuya was shown as a Badass who could read the Activation Sequence of magic (thus allowing him to counter them) and use multiple CADs to fight. These abilities are amazing in-universe, yes, but nowhere near as powerful as what he's concealing.
  • Incest Subtext: The Shiba siblings. Which Tatsuya plays for all it's worth. As of the latest novels, might not be "subtext" much any more, as far as Miyuki is concerned.
    • It's important to note that despite his trolling, Tatsuya is literally incapable of seeing Miyuki in this light. Which causes her no undue amount of stress.
  • Instant Runes: A signature of Modern Magic.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: There are quite a few named characters just attending First High School. And then there are the students at the other magic schools...
  • Loophole Abuse: Miyuki insists that Tatsuya be brought onboard on the student council as well when she's offered a spot. However, she's told that there's a rule that Course 2 students aren't able to join the student council unless the entire student body votes for that. Which considering how Course 1 students view 2's with a lot of contempt, isn't likely to happen. However, Mari states that there's no rule that a Course 2 couldn't be appointed to the disciplinary group, and asks that he join. Even Mayumi thought that was a nice loophole they should exploit.
  • Lost in Translation: Each of "Numbers" badass families' name starts with a kanji of a number. "Shi" is both the reading of "Director" kanji in Shiba, and an alternative reading of Japanese kanji for "Four" in "Yotsuba". Knowing that much provides a solid mnemonic to Shiba siblings' situation — they're, like, removed, but not very far, from the Yotsuba family. It's too far-fetched all right for villains investigating the siblings at one point in story to consider.
  • Magical Accessory: The CAD (Casting Assistant Device).note 
  • Love Confession: Honoka to Tatsuya. Tatsuya turned her down sincerely because he can't return her love with the lack of nearly all "strong" emotions (strong emotions only, not all emotions). May also qualify as All Love Is Unrequited as she says she'll like him until she finds someone better.
  • Magitek: And Tatsuya is a world-renowned pioneer under the alias of Taurus Silver.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Miyuki' means 'deep snow', and she specializes in magics that involve creating ice and freezing things. Although it is only her derived power.
  • Meganekko: Mizuki Shibata, which is a rare occurrence in the world, wears them to block herself from seeing Pushions.
  • Mundane Utility: Using magic to make ice for iced coffee, then casting a pocket of cold air on the cup to prevent the scent from escaping.
    • Using "Mist Dispersion" to get rid of sweat on a hot day, or to remove dirt from clothing.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Gyobu Shoujo Hanzou Hattori, the vice-president of the student council.
  • The Nicknamer: Student council president Mayumi Saegusa.
  • Ninja: Tatsuya receives training from one, the BEST one at that.And he is on par with his teacher in martial arts.
    • Though his teacher will still hand him his ass in magical martial arts, being one of only two people thus far being able to do so (the other being Yannagi, who flips tanks like playing cards).
  • Numerical Theme Naming: Magicians with numbers in their family name are of superior magic bloodline, they are known as "Numbers."
  • Person of Mass Destruction: The Strategic-Class magicians. They have all a magic equivalent to the power of a nuke. They are more than 50 but those publicly known are called the Thirteen Apostles.
  • Post Modern Magick: The magical system of the setting, called Modern Magic, is pretty much this, also heavily based on Platonicism with the use of words like Eidos (Idea) and Psions. However, modern magic isn't the only Functional Magic as Ancient Magic still exists, and is actually more powerful than modern magic, but takes longer to cast.
  • Power Incontinence: When Miyuki gets emotional, sometimes the surroundings get frozen over. Explained further in the LN: Miyuki is using 50% of her power to suppress Tatsuya's magic. The moment she releases the seal, she gains full control on her magic.
  • Power Trio: First High's student government has this dynamic. Diplomatic Student Council President Mayumi serves as Beauty, Mari the aggressive strategist who heads the Disciplinary Committee is the Brains and the intimidating Club Group Leader Katsuto is the Brawn.
  • Putting Onthe Reich: One of the students in the Pillars Break competition wears a stormtrooper outfit.
  • Quick Draw: What the Morisaki family is famous for.
  • Rapid-Fire Typing: Tatsuya's preferred method of manual input.
  • Red Baron: "Mahesvara". Also served as The Dreadednote note 
  • Scientifically Understandable Sorcery : Modern freezing spells work by slowing down molecules, and heat spells work the opposite.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Erika uses connections she has in the military to get herself and some of the other characters into the hotel where Tatsuya and the other First High students are staying for the competition. She also says she has a way of getting into the party that night as well despite not being invited as a competitor in the events. Then it turns out she and the others are working as the wait and kitchen staff.
  • Secret Test: The patriarch of the ten families does this to the students competing in the upcoming events. Tatsuya notices that something might be off before he first appears when a young lady appears on the stage. Then when the man finally shows up, he says that he cast a wide-area, low level spell in the room, and says that only five of the students seem to have noticed it. And if he were a terrorist with ill intentions, only those five would have been able to do anything, while the rest would either get killed, or at least incapacitated. He then points out that magic is just a means, and shouldn't be used solely as an ends.
  • Space-Filling Empire: A consequence of World War III is that the Mahouka Earth is covered with those. The USA are now the United States of '''North''' America, there is a ''New'' Soviet Union, modern day China devolved into a Great Asian Alliance after conquering most of Asia, India and Iran have united Central Asia, there's a League of Arabian Nations... Europe is a strange mix of this trope and Balkanize Me: while the European Union is now an united federated entity, it splits into an eastern and western halves along the Franco-German border. The only countries mentionned to have stayed more or less the same are Turkey, Australia (which is in isolationism), Brazil, and Japan.
  • The Stoic: Tatsuya Shiba. Shizuku as well, but for her it seems (so far) to just be a part of her personality.
  • Superpower Lottery: While most magicians have varying cast speeds or Mana pool sizes, there are also "Born-Specialized Magicians", who are born with unique abilities.
    • Tatsuya was born with the ability to create unique destruction and healing magics that limits his capacity to use other magical abilities
    • Ono Haruka was born with a unique affinity to stealth magic.
  • Student Council President: Mayumi Saegusa is the student president at Miyuki and Tatsuya's high school.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: How magic is treated in this world.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Magic talent is inherited. All the magicians who belong to Ten Master Clans have a very good genetic makeup.
  • Teen Genius: Tatsuya and Kichijouji.
  • The Baroness: Tatsuya's aunt, a sexy and deadly one at that.
  • The Gadfly: Tatsuya has his moments of trolling people. Mayumi shares this trait, which leads to hilarious exchanges where they try to out-troll one another.
  • The Un Favourite: The Shiba/Yotsuba family in regards to Miyuki and Tatsuya
  • Third-Person Person: Whenever Miyuki talks with Tatsuya or is alone with him.
  • Thirty Gambit Pile Up: The entire Visitor arc. Let's just say everyone wants a piece of the Parasites.
  • Training from Hell: Tatsuya had his strong emotions (only strong emotions, not all emotions) erased from his mind and was subject to experiments run on his body. During the Beach Episode it's told he is covered with scars, except for his head. The narrator lampshades this in volume 10, even calling what he's been through "training from hell".
  • Troll: Miyuki sometimes does this while Tatsuya and Mayumi do this constantly. Particularly entertaining when they spar verbally.
  • Underestimating Badassery
  • Wizarding School: There are 9 in Japan.
  • World War III: One of the main events of the 21st century, lasting almost twenty years (2045-2064). One of the greatest consequences of it was the ascension of Magicians as a force, working to prevent any use of nuclear weapons.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: See Miyuki Shiba in the page image for the visual side.
    • And she acts like this because Tatsuya admires refined people.

Alternative Title(s):

Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei