In a world where magic and technology have merged, siblings Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba represent an exalted bloodline of magicians. When the two enter an academy which specializes in honing students’ magical abilities, they are sorted into separate classes: Miyuki is in Class A, respectfully dubbed the Blooms, who are noted as the top of their class and whose uniforms bear flower insignias; Tatsuya is placed in Class B, hatefully called the Weeds, who are considered to be lesser for their lack of magical discipline and whose uniforms have no flowers. But when Tatsuya reveals himself to be more than the sum of the average Weed, the siblings begin to challenge the differences between the classes, even as it earns the ire of their tyrannical aunt.
Did you find that beginning this review with the words “in a world” seemed cliché or a bit ho-hum? Sadly, it wasn’t without intention, as The Honor Student at Magic High School is both of those things. A spin-off of The Irregular at Magic High School, which tells the story from Tatsuya’s point of view, Honor Student focuses on perfect Miyuki, who just cannot stop expressing how infatuated she is with her brother. In fact, every time the story threatens to become remotely interesting—for instance, when Tatsuya’s abilities are challenged by the student council, only to reveal themselves to overpower a haughty senpai—the story devolves into Miyuki attempting to secure her brother’s attention by showing up in a bra and panties while worrying if his affections are aimed at other female classmates.
While sibling love matches are nothing new in manga, there is nothing about Miyuki—save her protective nature towards Tatsuya—that is interesting enough to carry the story. Perhaps Tatsuya’s side is more compelling, but this storyline smacks of a mundane harem tale. This is a shame, because the background of the world of magic has some potential, and the authors have included a glossary of terms to explain the magical technicalities. On the bright side, the characters are super cute, though they still aren’t visually spectacular enough to elaborate. Unless your older teens are hooked on Irregular, you could easily skip this alternate narration.
The Honor Student at Magic High School, vols. 1-2
by Tsutomu Satou
Art by Yu Mori
Vol. 1 ISBN: 9780316351416
Vol. 2 ISBN: 9780316390347
Yen Press, 2015
Publisher Age Rating: 13+