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  • Acceptable Targets: The Social Darwinist, militarists and foreign military or politicians, especially the Chinese and a few Americans. This does not always work well, since sometimes Tatsuya sounds directly like the first, however, the film copes with this better than novels or adaptation.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: In Japan, the light novels and the anime are one of the highest selling anime titles. In both Japan and America (so far the only places where the light novel and manga spinoff are released), the light novel and spinoff are well-received by critics. However, the anime adaptation is criticized among the western fanbase and other Asian countries (with the notable exception of China) due to having a main character being a bigger Marty Stu than Kirito, the Brother–Sister Incest subtext, propaganda of right-wing nationalism and portrayal of China and United States being villains. Aniplex USA has taken note of the fanbase's criticism, and decided not to give this title an English dub.
    • Ironically, this hasn't stopped Yen Press from localizing the light novels themselves, with the first volume already published in North America on April 2016. However time will tell if the novels will actually sell well outside of Japan.
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    • At the same time, though Miyuki is very popular in Japan (In particular, she regularly winning 7-8th places in the polls of Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!) and is considered the most popular heroine in the novel, Western audiences often characterized her as "annoying" or "stupid". She even pushed many people away from the series. This has resulted in the rapid growth of Mayumi's popularity among Western shippers, except the Brother–Sister Incest fans, for obvious reasons.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Tatsuya often becomes a victim of this because of the lack of any strong emotions other than "brotherly" love for Miyuki. On the other hand, when he is forced to decide to "accept" Miyuki's feelings and become the husband of his own sister, Tatsuya seems to has almost no problems with this, despite all his thoughts about it earlier.
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    • It seems that Miyuki's experiences about her incestuous feelings are purely episodic and formal, since, in most of the time, she is more interested in the fact that Tatsuya does not want to start Brother–Sister Incest relationships, and not that they are siblings. When they become engaged through Maya's subplot and formally become "cousins", Miyuki ceases to care for their kinship in general.
  • Ass Pull: Some fans criticize the idea that Miyuki only pretends to be infantile and pampered, since despite some serious scenes, she continues to behave infantile even when she does not make sense to pretend. The fact that it was also could be the answer to criticism of irritability and stupidity in her behavior in the first volumes does not help much.
  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Having an Invincible Hero as a protagonist, his sister having feelings for him, the literal superiority in any areas of both of them over all surrounding characters, despite the plot's attempts to disguise it and the political issues in the setting can make the series tough to sell to a mainstream audience, especially among Westerners. Moreover, many readers complained about the unbearable seriousness and bombast of many scenes and dialogues in the original novel, which was partially justified by the plot, but eventually alienated a lot of readers from the series. In the end, some of these problems were recognized even by the editor of the series in the afterword in the first volume.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Series has a number of examples of this trope
    • It's assumed that the author decided to give Miyuki a more mature personality in the new volumes and turning her Little Sister Heroine excessive behavior in deliberate deception towards Tatsuya, because the heroine suffered backlash for her too stereotypical imouto-nature and annoying actions.
    • This was also one of the reasons that the film sequel in a completely opposite style compared to the original TV series, although the author himself repeatedly mentioned that the work itself was created because of the author's love for intrigues and complicated dialogues. However, since the series has already received a lot of criticism because of its monotony and static, and a film with a similar style would be very difficult to sell as a summer blockbuster, Sato wrote to him a script executed in the style of an action movie with much less dialogue. Later, the volumes published after the film also began to radically change the style in the direction of more thriller and action.
  • Awesome Music:
    • Grilleto by GARNiDELiA
    • Rising Hope by LiSA
    • "Code Break", one of the soundtracks played during battle scenes.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Believe it or not, the Shiba siblings are subject to this most:
    • While she does have her perks, Miyuki ends up as this due to a portion of the readers/viewers feeling uneasy regarding how she acts towards her older brother despite Tatsuya not feeling the same way. Add to this the almost complete evidence that one way or another she will become a pair with her brother and a strong Deus ex Machina in the development of their further relationship, and you will get a character that almost balances on the Scrappy edge even for many fans of the series. At the same time, like other similar heroines, Miyuki is criticized because of the accusation that all the pairing with her is built on incest moe and without the potential incest or without her brother, she simply has no prospects as a character. At the same time, it plays in the opposite direction, as her incredibly cute image and virtually guaranteed "safe" incest, continues to attract many new fans to her.
    • Meanwhile, her "Onii-sama" is feeling the flak due to his Marty Stu status. Made worse with the anime adaptation which only focuses on such attribute (see the rest of the entries on this page for details.). It is him, not his sister who prevented most of audience from watching the adaptation, because most people just couldn't seriously understand his unhuman thinking speed and his ways of defeating his enemies, not mention that he is unemotional, mainly because of that most of the audience just couldn't understand him as person. Because of all this, Tatsuya practically does not develop as a character throughout the series, because his abilities do not require any progress, and his lack of emotions makes it impossible for any personal development. Thus, even after the 16th volume, his behavior and interactions with Miyuki practically do not change.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The scene of the first appearance of the stepmother of the protagonists is one. Despite the fact that in other scenes Miyuki never flirted so explicitly with her own brother, neither Tatsuya nor their stepmother pay attention to this and they quickly forget about it. It's even stranger since, before and after this scene, the characters managed to see Incest Subtext in much more innocent interactions between the siblings.
  • Broken Base:
    • The theme of the underdog in the series. On one hand some don't mind it since it's fun to watch the pompous students get beat up by what they considered "weaker" students, based on a very poor test result. On another hand many hate it for how cliched and boring it is, especially since Tatsuya never loses. Not helping is the fact that Tatsuya is far from being an underdog to begin with but the narrative goes out of its way to claim he is.
    • Brother–Sister Incest can also be considered as a polarizing theme, even for the fandom. The audience either evaluates it as a kind of chip of the series and its unusual element that makes the standard action-series unique, or as poorly written One True Love and Pandering to the Base in the direction of the perverted tastes of otaku. And this is not to mention the very weak development of their relationship, despite the rather strong evidence of their mutual feelings.
    • And the third main reason for the criticism of the series, especially for Western audiences, is the open traditionalist bias of the series, sometimes reaching the tacit approval of eugenics and the proclamation of nationalist rewards. And although the positive eugenics of the magical community or the semi-mafia morality and extreme concern about genetic heritage of Yotsuba can still be caused by the reproduction of standard tropes for stories about the injustice of the upper classes and the creation of a gloomy post-war setting, some viewers still see this as the author's veiled political fantasies, especially on the example of the idea that talent is completely dependent on genes, or too neutral images of a vivisection.
  • Cliché Storm: When it comes to the characteristics of the main characters, Mahouka becomes a very vivid example of this, making this title at the same time a very popular and easy target for Snark Bait.
  • Crack Pairing: Any attempt to create new incest couples in the series, like Kuroba or Saegusa twincest, or even Tatsuya x Maya. Moreover, some fans like to joke about Miyuki x Minoru for the sake of trying to create a perfect genetically modified magician of incredible power.
  • Die for Our Ship: Masaki and Mayumi get a lot of hatred from the Miyuki fans and supporters of incest due to the fact that they are the main obstacle to the implementation of Tatsuya x Miyuki. Especially Masaki, due to his increasingly growing role in the plot and rivalry with Tatsuya. On the other hand, opponents of incest love to attack Miyuki, considering her extremely annoying and spoiled, and therefore the worst choice for Tatsuya.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: Well, let's just say that it's not a good idea to have both "talent is not the most important thing in life" and the message that very talented characters were just mistakenly equated with "real" losers. And after that, we have a Brother–Sister Incest portrayed as One True Love with a literal message that "your sister is for you the perfect Love Interest, which your parents have created for you", or "devotion in love means a willingness to be a servant to your beloved". This obviously was not implied by the author, but the series still suffers from this.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Mayumi seems to be the most liked Mahouka female character among the western fanbase.
    • Lina is next to Mayumi as the one of the most liked Mahouka.
    • Erika is well-liked even by people who can't stand the series.
    • Shizuku also has some fans.
    • Mibu Sayaka, mostly due to her role in the first arc.
  • Escapist Character: Tatsuya was intended to be one. Whether he works as one is another matter of debate.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The main idea of the series is the worldview of Tatsuya. In particular, according to his philosophy, if a person does not have a clear talent in the chosen field, then he must compensate this weakness with achievements in other areas, as he himself did in his time, self-educating in many other areas except for the modern magic that he has trouble using. On the other hand, people who do not make an effort to improve themselves, but only complain about their own plight, are perceived by the author and Tatsuya as only having themselves to blame for their problems.
    • In addition, the series teaches that people should not be used as tools to achieve any goals, but at the same time that people who risk their lives and health should receive a full reward and privileges for this.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The exaggeration of Tatsuya (see rest of entries) has apparently riled (surprisingly) reddit fans from the Gundam series, with some calling them on the same by invoking Kira Yamato (and weirdly, by extension, Tusk) as a much better character. Moreso fans of Gundam Build Fighters and its sequel Try since the Char Clone on both aforementioned shows share the same first name.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Tatsuya x Miyuki and Tatsuya x Mayumi, these two couples stomped all other choices in many Mahouka couples polls. To the point that the voting is just a war fought between Miyuki and Mayumi fans.
    • To some people, especially Americans, Erika and Leo have a more interesting dynamic than Tatsuya x Miyuki, even though the former are technically not a couple.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: Because of the wide spread of distorted information that Tatsuya and Miyuki are allegedly not connected with blood, some fans can be extremely irritated at the sight of such statements.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Despite China being shown in an incredibly negative light in the novel and basically not at all the intended viewers, the series has a decent fanbase in China because of the So Bad, It's Good appeal of just how ridiculous Tatsuya can be (China in general has a better tolerance of Marty Stu works) and people having a better tolerance for the base-breaking Incest Subtext. In addition, it has slight overlaps with Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales as any issues with the stereotype-laden depiction of China being mostly ignored with a laugh, with the complete destruction of the Great Asian Alliance army being almost a Signature Scene.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: The geopolitical world of Mahouka following World War III. They just plain don't make sense, such as:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Given the almost common main cast and very similar character designs of this anime with Oreimo, many fans of the latter saw the adaptation of Mahouka as an attempt to pair Kousaka with Ayase in a fantasy setting. And if it's not completely fun, now Ayase herself "became the sister" of the protagonist, and therefore her anti-incestuous remarks from Oreimo look pretty funny.
    • Tatsuya as a character Yuichi Nakamura looks like a Stealth Parody for all of his typical roles, although this was clearly not intentional. In particular, he is cartoon Troubled, but Cute, absurdly Memetic Badass, speaks in a monotonous voice and at the same time is implied as an incestuous Love Interest for his younger sister... Oh, boy, for the complete set is not enough only the appearance of his child, which will be even more ridiculous in the context of the latter.
    • Misora from Sakurada Reset looks like the daughter of Tatsuya and Mayumi, since she shares the same voice actress as Mayumi, but shows behavior and a manner of communication like Tatsuya. And that's not to mention Raphiel from Gabriel DropOut, which looks like a moe Slice of Life version of Mayumi because of a similar appearance as feminine troll-oujo with the voice of Kana Hanazawa.
    • Takuma Terashima (Leo) and Satomi Sato (Mizuki) are engaged, which is ironically combined with the fact that their characters are implied in the future as members of two parallel Beta Couple.
    • And in the end, as already mentioned above, it was thanks to this adaptation that "Onii-sama" (As Onee-sama at one time became a symbol of Les Yay because of Maria-sama ga Miteru) finally began to be perceived in the western anime community as an incestuous appeal that in any context classifies the heroine as having Big Brother Worship.
  • Ho Yay: Leo may have Belligerent Sexual Tension with Erika, but he also enjoys glomping Tatsuya and Mikihiko.
    • Foe Yay: Masaki Ichijo's obsession with Tatsuya, to the point of Tunnel Vision during the Magic Games. Masaki also has Ho Yay with his "assistant" Kichijoji.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Not surprisingly, if the main feature of the series is practically platonic incest on the verge of romance. To the point that the covers of novels portray Tatsuya and Miyuki as a couple or at least very close to the forbidden line. At the same time, while the series itself seems not yet very confident in the desire for this, the fans already perceive it as Fanon.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Tatsuya is very badass but the fandom can greatly exaggerate when it comes to boasting his abilities. This is also done by detractors, in a derogatory tone.
    • It applies to Miyuki as well, but to a lesser extent than Tatsuya.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Found mainly in the Chinese community
    Miyuki: My brother is super awesome! He is unbeatable!
    Others: Yeah liar.
    Tatsuya: Since my sister's honor is on the line, I will have to destroy you (curb-stomping his opponent)
    Opponent: You are awesome! Explanation 
    • Even open haters of this series will jokingly call Tatsuya a god and a messiah, not to mention jokes about the massive Incest Subtext in the work. In the context of the latter, in this, only Yosuga no Sora or Oreimo can compete with Mahouka.
    • This show is mostly referred to as "Anti-Chinese Heroes" in the Chinese community, which is a reference to "Anti-Japanese Heroes", a ridiculously over the top Chinese drama where martial artists fight Japanese soldiers with Kung-Fu, made infamous by a scene where a martial artist tears a Japanese soldier in half with their bare hands.
    • It even caught on to the international community to the point that anything mundane needs a Techno Babble explanation.
    • "New" armor Tatsuya in the film is very similar to the suit of Darth Vader. Now add to this a comic search for allusions to the Star Wars.
    • Also, "Yamato Spirit!", used as a derogatory mark, directed at Japan for being basically a Mary Sue nation that cannot lose or do wrong, against all logic and common sense.
    • "Onii-sama in space!" Or "Incest, now IN SPACE!" as a mocking reaction of fandom on the synopsis to the arc "Isolation", where Tatsuya is planned as an astronaut for terraforming the planets.
    • Some fans also named Tatsuya as "the second coming of Chuck Norris" or even "Japanese Chuck Norris Jr."
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • Rooting for the Empire variation. A very strong example when it comes to Miyuki, especially when fandom sided with Maya, after she organized an engagement between Miyuki and Tatsuya. In particular, despite the fact that Tatsuya does not see his sister as a woman and was forced to agree to become her fiance because Maya used Miyuki's love to manipulate his feelings, most Miyuki fans took it extremely positively. Moreover, some of her fans even agree that Tatsuya will not be able to love her or get personal freedom after all if he becomes Miyuki's husband. Thus, there is a situation where most of the fans actually take the side of the villain and oppose the hero gaining freedom, if this will help their coveted pairing, even if this obviously contradicts the development of the plot and the author's intention.
    • Although the series as a whole criticizes the arrogance and division of people on the basis of their abilities, some fans of the series tend to like to extol Tatsuya over the other characters and perceive any disagreement of other characters with him as "losers who dared to go against God himself". The irony is that at a time when only the Vocal Minority takes it seriously, while most fans joke about it, many haters, especially those who did not watch the series, perceive it as the official positioning of the character in the work, and not a joke or a serious reaction from fans.
  • Moe: Miyuki, Mayumi, Honoka, Azusa, Mizuki... really it might be easier to list the characters that don't qualify. Even male characters can be considered in this vein, especially Tatsuya because of his Cool Big Bro and Troubled, but Cute nature.
  • Narm: So much that at some point it may be regarded as a special element of the series.
    • The Shiba siblings often become victims of this due to the way they're lionised by the text, attracting most of the snark bait to the series. One example is at the end of the first arc, where a girl waives her feelings towards Tatsuya, explicitly because he is "too good for her".
    • Miyuki says "Onii-sama!" so often that by the end of the first arc it's difficult to perceive it other than as Narm Charm. Moreover, after flanderization of Miyuki in anime, this phrase tends to kill any romantic moments with the Shiba siblings in future volumes. It also adds incest subtext when these words are used in other works.
    • The way Tatsuya and Miyuki turn towards each other in the opening just looks silly. They look like hand puppets.
    • Arc "Isolation" has it already in synopsis, when we are informed that Tatsuya will most likely have to fly into space for terraforming Venus. This does not work as intended.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Not for its quality, but for its themes.
  • Periphery Demographic: Despite the fact that this series appeals to boys and young men as much as possible, Mahouka also has a huge number of girls among the fans who are attracted to Tatsuya and Masaki because of the large proportion of Female Gaze in the series. The film only emphasizes this, giving both Shiba siblings an equal share of the fanservice, including an official poster emphasizing the elastic ass of Tatsuya.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The political and action parts of the series get a lot of snark because of the apparent invincibility of the Shiba siblings, yet the romantic line remain the most interesting part of the story due to Brother–Sister Incest-speculation and greater depth in comparison with other themes. Ultimately, most fans are more concerned with question "Did Onii-sama commit incest or not", than anything else. This is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the possibility to experience the romantic feelings of the main character is closely linked with a number of other conflicts of the plot.
  • The Scrappy: Miyuki gets hate for her constant shrill cries of "Onii-sama!" as well as lack of defined personality traits beyond an obvious brother complex. Though, it is worth noting that this is intentional on Miyuki's part.
    • Out of all of Tatsuya's potential Love Interests (legal, that is), Honoka gets arguably the most amount of hate due to basically being Mizuki (who is not well liked either) except with even less screen time, impact on the plot, and characterization beyond liking Tatsuya.
    • Pretty much all female characters in this series have some who dislike them; Erika and Mayumi are the only ones that don't regularly get bashed.
    • The events after the 16th volume also add Maya and Masaki as targets for the hatred of a part of the fans, together with the intensification of the confrontation between ships, due to the fact that the first acts as a huge Deus ex Machina in the forced development of the central pairing, and the second, on the contrary, becomes one of the main obstacles before that. Which of the two characters you hate and whom you support depends on your opinion of Brother–Sister Incest.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Mayumi fans and Miyuki fans don't get along well, as Mahouka discussions usually lead to shipping wars. Add Erika, Honoka and Lina into the mix and you've got a disaster.
  • Ship Mates: Many options consist in conjugating someone from Shiba siblings with other people to avoid incest. For example, although few people in the fandom really like Masaki, many fans of Tatsuya x Mayumi or Tatsuya x Lina support Masaki x Miyuki, in order to avoid incest, separating her from her brother and opening the way for other girls. On the other hand, Katsuto is a good substitute for Mayumi, So as to deprive Tatsuya of any real option except for a couple with Miyuki. brother-sister relationship with Tatsuya and Miyuki has been met with this by many Western fans,
  • Signature Scene: For better or worse, Tatsuya destroying an entire Chinese fleet.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The reason why this series is so popular in Chinese ACG community. Most people got into the first episode by the controversy and hype this series generated. They stayed for the second episode due to the sporking comments.
  • Snark Bait: It seems that even many of Mahouka's fans watch it to laugh at how unconquerable Tatsuya is and how frankly incestuous the romance is in this series.
  • Squick: A very strong Incest Subtext between protagonists became this for many Western fans, especially in view of his unnaturalness and general attitude to Miyuki as to The Scrappy. The novel's version makes it even worse, giving Miyuki's monologues the strange atmosphere of Villainous Incest and portraying the forced incestuous relationship as very dramatic and romantic.
  • Stoic Woobie: Tatsuya, when you learn his past, for being considered a fake magician that was experimented on by his own mother, robbing him of strong emotions, and then made to be a Child Soldier. At the same time, although Tatsuya, in his own words, understands the feelings of weak magicians, he believes that a person must fill his minuses with pluses in other areas, rather than complain about the lack of talent.
  • Tear Jerker: Miyuki and Shizuku face off in the Pillar’s Break competition; both women already wanting to test each other's skills. Unfortunately, as far as Shizuku has come, she is nowhere near Miyuki’s level, and Miyuki wipes the floor with her. Shizuku sits alone on her bed, until Honoka goes to comfort her. As Honoka comforts her, Shizuku admits how bad it feels to lose even after doing her best. By the sound of her voice, she was even going to cry. Kudos to Yuiko Tatsumi for that scene.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The Shiba siblings suffer very badly because of this. Tatsuya's lack of emotions kills any of his experiences about surrounding events, and his Incest Subtext relationship with Miyuki does not allow the romantic subplot to develop more deeply. Because of this, a reviewer of Anime News Network came to the conclusion that Miyuki would be a much more interesting and positive protagonist of the series, since her experience and emotional response to events make her more human and allow the reader to empathize with her, unlike her brother. However, even though Miyuki is the female lead, she still gets barely any attention other than how she relates to her brother and the plot, in that even though she's a good person to see the story because she's around for all of the plot, she hides who she is and pretends to only have a few personality traits. It gets to the point where she's almost as flat as her brother, who is LITERALLY incapable of having strong emotions other than brotherly love.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Although the story has a lot of interesting prerequisites and situations for Shiba siblings, often it all ends in nothing, after they show how cool and powerful Tatsuya and his sister are. The series initially discusses the discrimination against weak wizards in a magic school, but this practically disappears after it's shown that the main character is stronger than all and should not be compared with weak students. In the future, the engagement line between the siblings also falls into this, since despite Tatsuya's inner desire not to lose to his aunt's manipulative plans, he immediately agrees to be the fiance of his sister "for her happiness" after Miyuki's confession. Thus most subplots simply can not be used to their full potential, as the author loses interest to them after they once again emphasize the coolness of the protagonist and his great love for his sister.
    • The underdog theme that the story attempts to paint Tatsuya and the other students of his group as is also an example. The first arc of the series places emphasis on how students with raw magic or special magic are considered superior to other students and, as mentioned above, deals with discrimination. However the story fumbles this in no time flat by having Tatsuya easily defeat one of the strongest students in the school in literally a second. This could have been salvaged immediately, however, since Tatsuya did so by using his physical strength and speed, something he was shown being skilled at in the first chapter/episode, with characters like Erika and Leo supporting this idea. This could have been used by the story to emphasize that physical skills are just important as magical ones, and that the "weaker" students simply did not have abilities that fit within the schools rigid system. Instead all of the characters labelled as weaker students are actually more skilled then the students who were put into the advance courses and shown to have extremely powerful magical talents, leading many to question what the point of the set-up and drama were.
  • Unfortunate Implications: As highlighted by an ANN poster, the series is relatively controversial because China and America are portrayed in a very negative light (considering the fact that Japan has a very bad history with their Asian neighbors). It's also very racist as well as the series portrays immigrants (particularly the Chinese) in a very negative light. Ironically, this series is quite popular in China despite the anime not being streamed there.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The main reason why many people don't like the Shiba siblings and the general background of this series. Especially the political cynicism of Tatsuya and the excessively jealous behavior of Miyuki. And that's not to mention how the author and the surrounding characters praise the pair, reaching such a level that in the 16th volume they call Tatsuya as the superman and the strongest magician on earth. Thus, some viewers simply perceive Mahouka as a story about how invincible genetically ideal people constantly praise each other, which makes the problems of Shiba siblings for them completely insignificant and unsympathetic. And that's not to mention the fact that because of the rather gray morality in the work, many actions of Tatsuya and his sister look immoral or just hypocritical.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Although the TV adaptation and the latest volumes had a mixed reception due to numerous social and political disputes, or Ship Sinking, the film was unambiguously praised due to the correction of many series errors, the addition of pleasant fanservice and the choice of a softer Stock Aesop for the message.


Example of: