Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Honor Student At Magic High School, Volume One: Review

“Spin off of the best selling light novel” this could have been the kiss of death, for The Honor Student At Magic High School (here after referred to as Honor Student)l as adaptations of light novels tend to have a (often well deserved reputation). For being overwritten and larded with exposition-filled dialogue that violates the show don't tell rule of writing. Honor Student thankfully does not do that while a certain amount of internal monologue is used to establish character motivation it never feels like I could have been shown this instead of having a character's thoughts expressed in prose. Told from the perspective of the beautiful (background characters exposition on how lovely she is something that made me smilingly remember the first volume of Clamp's X with characters ex-positioning on how helpful and lovely Fuma and Kotori Monou are) Miyuki Shiba who adores her older brother the taciturn Tatsyua. Nothing much is explained and I suspect having read the original light novel series this is based on would have helped the learning curve is not too steep. While certain parts feel like padding such as Honoka Mitsui fretting over how to become Miyuki's friend for several pages it's endearing and gives the story a human element that is needed given the often times cold explanations of technological matters. Still the world it's self is an odd mixture of post-apocalyptic sci-fi in which magic is actually a scientifically reducible phenomena combined with slight social criticism of the arbitrariness of the educational system. It could end up being a muddled confused chimera of several different kinds of stories but thankfully none of the “seams” connecting the story feels noticeable. While characterization is flat Miyuki only wanting to be praised by and spend time with her brother this crosses over into some almost incest feelings on Miyuki's part and others even thinking of her and Tatsyua as a couple. It's never obnoxious although it might be a deal breaker for some. The balance of the series between school days comedy and a dark hidden political world can be off putting but the lighter elements balance out the dark almost Ghost in The Shell style distopia. Still not much is explained and while some kind of prior knowledge might be needed thankfully jargon is explained in the back so if one is left mystified by what a C.A.D. Is it's explained in the back. As a first volume the world is set personalities are established and a entertaining time is had. Still can't wait for the original novel series to maybe at least fill in some holes in the story.

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