©2016 佐島 勤/KADOKAWA アスキー・メディアワークス刊/劇場版魔法科高校製作委員会

The Irregular at Magic High School is set in a world much like our own—except that magic exists and has been developed alongside technology into a combination of the two. It follows a sister and brother who are accepted into Japan’s premier magical high school: Miyuki, a magical genius destined to become one of the greatest mages of her generation, and Tatsuya, a young man who appears inept at magic by most testing standards, but is as much of a genius as his sister in other areas of magic. Together, the pair deal with everything from prejudice amongst the various classes of mages to terrorist attacks, organized crime, and international invasions—all while trying to enjoy their school life with friends.

The Irregular at Magic High School the Movie: The Girl Who Summons the Stars (Gekijōban Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei: Hoshi o Yobu Shōjo) (which had its first press screening this week) is a side story following the continuing adventures of Miyuki and Tatsuya that takes place around five months after the end of the TV series—i.e., during spring break at the end of our heroes first year at school and just after the seniors have graduated.

Thanks to the events of the series, the world has already become a radically different place.

Image source: アニプレックス on YouTube

The characters of The Irregular at Magic High School now live in a “post-Material Burst” world. A single person with the right magical technology and skill can now do as much damage as a nuclear weapon—and using satellite imagery, can do it anywhere in the world instantaneously. Mages are now literally walking super weapons.

Of course, Tatsuya’s Material Burst is not the only magical WMD out there. The Americans have their own, the “Heavy Metal Burst,” and so the race for the next big WMD has kicked into overdrive—even going into the unethical “mad science” territory.

Image source: アニプレックス on YouTube

Vacationing at a tropical resort island, Tatsuya, Miyuki, and their friends come across an escapee from a research facility. She, along with eight other girls, are prisoners that serve as the key “component” to a new superweapon. But even as the gang hatch a plan to get the other girls out of the research facility, American forces are already preparing their own WMD-armed mage strike force to destroy the superweapon along with everything—and everyone—related to it.

The Girl Who Summons the Stars is a rather straightforward action movie with little in the way of twists and turns. Rather, the plot serves as an impetus to get the band back together for one more big adventure and show how amazing they all are despite most of them, like Tatsuya, scoring low on the practical magic tests.

©2016 佐島 勤/KADOKAWA アスキー・メディアワークス刊/劇場版魔法科高校製作委員会

While there is technically a villain in the form of the lead scientist behind the new superweapon project, he is really a footnote. The true conflict is the impending clash between our heroes trying to rescue the girls and the American strike force sent to make sure that this new superweapon is wiped off the map forever.

Of course, if you’ve only watched the The Irregular at Magic High School anime, you will likely be confused about the more personal side of the conflict: Not only do Tatsuya and Miyuki know the American strike commander, Angelina, but they are also good friends with her.

Technically, The Girl Who Summons the Stars takes place after book 11 of The Irregular at Magic High School. The TV anime only covers events up through the seventh novel. Thus, there are two full arcs between the end of the TV show and the movie that have yet to be animated. One of these—a three book arc—is the story that introduces Angelina.

Similarly, there are also several flashbacks in the film to the other yet-to-be-animated arc that show the backstories of Tatsuya, Miyuki, and their bodyguard. To readers of the novels, it’s awesome to see these important scenes from the novels in animated form—ever so briefly. However, to anime-only watchers, these scenes are spoilers, pure and simple.

Image source: アニプレックス on YouTube

The Irregular at Magic High School the Movie: The Girl Who Summons the Stars is a film made for fans of the franchise—especially those of the novels. It brings the gang back together for a short, one-off adventure that allows nearly every character a moment to shine. It also does a great job of showing how the world has changed thanks to Tatsuya’s Material Burst and gives anime-only fans a glimpse at one of the franchise’s coolest characters. If you haven’t read the books but loved the anime—and you don’t mind a few spoilers—The Girl Who Summons the Stars is certainly worth the watch.

The Irregular at Magic High School the Movie: The Girl Who Summons the Stars (Gekijōban Mahōka Kōkō no Rettōsei: Hoshi o Yobu Shōjo) will be released in Japan on June 17, 2017. It will premiere in the US at Anime Expo 2017 (July 1-4, 2017) and will be screened in select theaters on July 28, 2017. 

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