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Headscratchers / The Irregular at Magic High School

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    The Settings 
  • To start with, let's take a look at the world map of the series. What is wrong with it? Well...
    • One: In this setting, China is strong enough to conquer South Korea, which is 9th most militarily powerful nation on Earth (Japan is 10th, in comparison), and backed up by United States. Not only that, it also conquered part of Russia, the 2nd most powerful nation on Earth. Now...let me get this straight. Here, China is strong enough to take on both America and Russia. And exactly...just exactly how on Earth did Japan managed to stay independent? China has a bad bone to pick with Japan (which actually applies to entirety of Asian countries), and it tried to conquer Japan multiple times. Japan had magic? If it was only Japan that had magic, it might make (only slightly) more sense, but it wasn't stated anywhere. Did Japan just endured through the Yamato Spirit or something?
      • Magical talent. China and Japan have very long-running magical traditions and histories; against Korea, China found victory through previous strength (and probably the US drawing out) and Russia has little magical history to speak of so the minor border grab isn't much f a stretch. However, it's implied that Japan is one of the world leaders, if not the world leader, in magical development, so their ability to stay independent of the Chinese could be explained as them suddenly becoming the magical equivalent to Israel's nuclear option.
      • That magical talent didn't just dropped from outer space, it was a scientific discovery. If it went to the point of US had to draw out from Korea, one of its key ally, that means America is no longer the superpower it once was, meaning that it sure have no capacity to maintain the United North America. Magic is a science that can be weaponized, and US being behind in anything involving war technology, to the point that it loses its status as a superpower? It's not going to happen.
    • Why and how exactly is Mongolia staying as an independent nation?
      • I don't think Mongolia is inhabited at all. Its borders remain, maybe, but as a nation maybe not. Similar to Northwest Africa (where Morocco and Liberia, and anything around them would be), East Africa (Somalia, part of Ethiopia, and around them), Central Asian, Turkey, and South American sans Brazil. Most likely that they're depopulated given that they've become so harsh due to global cooling (except Nepal, due to becoming nature-born Chuck Norrises).
      • Another possible approach of this would be "as buffer states among hotly contesting major powers, like Thailand." Mongolia would be buffer between Great Union of Asia and Federal Republic of Soviet; Central Asia would buffer India-Persia Federation against Soviet Federation; Turkey would buffer League of Arabian Nations VS Soviets
    • Also, the League of Arabian Nations? The Federation of India and Persia? Is the author so unknowledgeable on international politics that he never heard about decades long, violent religious conflicts, all those tensions, especially between India and Pakistan?
      • LAN would be either confederate among Arabs or one super-strong Caliphate (like ISIS today on steroids). FIP would probably be Pakistan and A-stan being ganged up by Iran (Persia) and India at the same time when China annexed Koreas
    • Why on Earth would EU be split in two? Is it because much of Eastern European nations used to be communist countries? If THAT's the reason, why not just have them assimilated with the Federal Republic of Russia?
      • Suppose FRS really wants to assimilate one half of EU, it would be too close for comfort for either West EU or USNA.
    • United North American Continent? Why on Earth would US want Mexico? Seriously, what does it have to gain?
      • Resources. Mexico has (had?) significant oil reserves, as well as precious metals and timber.
      • Historical Affinity. While not always on the best of terms, the US has a (relatively) long history of relations with Mexico; and there is much cultural exchange between the two nations. They are neighbors, after all.
      • Regional Solidarity. It is to be expected that in an era where nations around the world are forming closer alliances and even subsuming into each other, the U.S. and Mexico would follow suit. There are already such ideas being floated around in real life, with the U.S., Mexico, and Canada forming a North American Union on the model of the European Union.
      • None of these are sufficient to explain or even justify such an union. It's still an utterly stretching idea that would never be agreed to by any of the proposed member countries, especially if you're Mexico or Canada, who would have to hand over too much sovereignty, especially monetary, for an NAU. The recent rise in protectionist and anti-immigrant sentiment in the United States has constrained such possibility with Mexico still further. And the European Union is actually not a real-world precedent for what a North American Union could be. The EU is primarily an economic union. All the member nations in the EU are still sovereign nations, holding their own independent elections and issuing their own passports.
  • Why are there insufficient teachers for the Course 2 students in First to Third High? Consider that each year, the total graduation pool (assuming a 20% dropout rate due to 9SC and other bad things) from all 9 schools is 960 students. Assuming, again, a dropout rate of yet another 20% from National Magic University, the number of graduates from University is 768. Over 10 years, that's 7,680 fully-fledged magicians. Assuming that First to Third High all segregate Course 1 students into 4 classes, with each class studying 6 subjects over the day with a different instructor per subject per class per year, that's a total of 216 instructors (crazy, given that there are only 900 students being given personal instruction over the 3 high schools). That's a mere 2.8% of the total magician output for 10 years. You're telling me that they couldn't add another 216 instructors into the system? Or, if you halved the number of instructors for Course 2, 108? And given that teachers can easily teach for 30-odd years, that's less than 1% of the output in that time. Given the dire need of magicians that Japan has, you would have thought that a forward-looking government would encourage more graduates to go into teaching...
    • Limited budget, maybe ?
  • In Miyuki's spinoff, she notices that the architecture of Course 1 classrooms are different to those of Course 2's. How is that possible? The uniform thing is what gave rise to the different Courses, but it seems unlikely that the school would've been built after the student outfits were made.

    The Backstory 
  • How did global cooling happen anyway? The Other Wiki says it was popular as a theory back in the 1970s before being dismissed, so why did the author use it? Did he make an honest mistake, did he try to invoke Refuge in Audacity, or did he simply not care?
  • How exactly did magicians prevent thermonuclear war?
    • It's explained in Volume 8 that magicians formed the International Magic Federation, an international organization with the stated purpose to halt the use of nuclear weapons in the war. Magicians were permitted to intervene in border disputes, and, regardless of their nationalities or allegiances, would cease fighting each other when they observed signs of the use of nuclear weapons and cooperate to stop their deployment, whether it was their country using them or their ennemies'.
    • What? That doesn't make any sense. That essentially means that IMF is a group whoses stated purpose is armed intervention, ala Celestial Beings. Magicians are heavily involved with military and government, considering that they are, as unconventional as they may be, bunch of scientists, it is most likely that they are funded by government and military. In order for IMF's intervention to be powerful, the magicians would have to be enough political influence on their governments, but considering the magic wasn't discovered until 2000s, I seriously doubt that they would have established that much political influence on such a short notice of time. Also, I seriously doubt that any sensible and self-interested government would even let any kind of organization to grow that large.
    • We actually have an organization that does something very similar. It's called the UN. Whenever Human Rights are violated, the UN steps in to... take care of it. The Magicians are obligated to do the same thing, except with Nuclear Weapons. Whenever a nation uses one, its own magicians, as well as everyone else's step in to make them stop, by whatever means necessary. The IMF is the body that keeps track of and manages who would be required to do that should the time arise. Nobody wants to be nuked, just like nobody wants to have their Human Rights violated, and just like we have a system set up for the latter, there is one in place for the former. Also, keep in mind that magicians are individually dangerous to a ludicrous degree, so they can make good on any threats they care to cary out. It's not unreasonable for a young average battle trained mage to take on a tank and its support units, alone, and win. An average mage(I'm thinking around lower First Course to higher Second Course graduate). When you get a group of hundreds or thousands of them, its the next best thing to a walking natural disaster, and that's not even counting that there are dozens of them who are one-person armies, or in the extreme cases walking talking super-nukes in their own right.
    • The simple answer for the existence of the IMF is the sheer personal power of magicians forming their core group. If a plurality of strategic class magicians, reusable and highly accurate nukes in their own right declare its formation and founding, there is not a whole lot a government can do about it especially if there is an idealistic or opportunistic government already prepared to give them shelter. Many magicians probably soon joined for the patronage, protection, idealism or sheer pragmatism. In a world shorn of nukes, magicians are the ultimate strategic weapons after all. Any country unwilling to play ball might see the IMF withdraw its members, many of whom may be vital to their military. Think of them as a rather militant trade union with a few members who can glass cities. Furthermore the stated goal, that of preventing the use of nukes, probably met with some degree of public support since decades of Cold War literature painted such nightmarish pictures of the nuclear holocaust.
    • There are several things above posts are ignoring.
      • One: UN wasn't even capable of properly intervening the Invasion of Afghanistan and the Crimean Invasion. This is in no way saying that it's useless, but it's not nearly strong enough to be a deterring force of large scaled military conflicts.
      • Two: As of this posting, there are already well over 10,000 nuclear warheads in the world, and that's just including documented ones from US and Russia. If World War III broke out, well, whatever circumstances forced the nations, they are already willing to risk global annihilation to begin with.
      • Three: Considering the sheer importance and strength of strategic class magicians are, any semi-functional governments would have some form of preventive measures against the magicians from acting against the government's will and keep them under watch. Not that it would be a full-proof methods, as various incidents during WWII and the Cold War can attest, but it's not something that can be just ignored.
      • Four: It's highly unlikely that IMF can work as a unified force of might that stands against as the world for various reasons, including that there's bound to be powerful magicians who would stay on their country's side, either for ideal or pragmatic reasons, and that considering how much of inner conflicts there were among the Allied Forces during World War II, it seems highly unlikely that they can all work in union.
      • Five: Lastly, let's ignore all the above points. The WWII apparently lasted for three decades - which is simply logistically and economically impossible but let's ignore that too - If they had the power to even defy the world governments, what took them so long to intervene? Also, how come they didn't do anything about things like China becoming larger and aggressive? If nothing else, Japanese magicians are clearly shown to be vastly stronger than the magicians from the Great Asian Alliance.
      • Simple: Their stated goal was to stop radioactivity from ruining the world. Everything else is not their problem. As long as you don't contaminate the planet, you are a-okay to war. This is pretty much one of the reason they probably managed it; there are more people who don't want to die than people who do; shooting nukes would mean everyone would die. Thus the public consensus probably would be quite supportive of the noble goal of the organization.
    The Plot 
  • Using self-defense against terrorists attacking their school is justified, but how were the First High School students able to go on a vigilante attack on Blanche's base, outside their jurisdiction, even viciously injuring one of their opponents, and not even be reprimanded for it by the government or the military? If that happened in Real Life the kids could be facing criminal charges and possibly lawsuits.
    • The top ten family have the authority to take charge and act as a pseudo police/army in emergency situation. Jumonji in later volume took charge of the defense of the city. And Tatsuya not only have a rank in the military but from the Yotsuba family as well. Any criminal charges resulting from their action would be quickly suppressed by their head family. (They are that powerful.)
  • If Maya wants everything dead including herself, why didn't she kill Miyuki earlier? She obviously has the resources to make it happen, and Miya isn't around to stop her anymore (if indeed she ever could).
    • Because she likes to play with people and in the 16th volume she tells Tatsuya that if he succeeds, he can, on the contrary, save the world. Plus, further volumes hint at the fact that she has some goals with Aoba. So, although she wants to destroy the world, but she does not try to achieve this in any ways as a cartoon villain


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