Mark Keppel High School

Movie review: ‘The Irregular of the Summer Season: The Girl who Summons the Stars’ is a worthwhile watch for fans

“The Irregular at Magic High School: The Girl Who Summons the Stars” is a movie-original spin-off of a popular Japanese light novel series called “The Irregular at Magic High School” written by Tsutomu Satou.

In a world where magic is an established scientific field rather than myth, the main character, Tatsuya Shiba, is falsely evaluated as a third-rate magician while his sister, Miyuki Shiba, stands at the pinnacle of magical power and prowess. However, in cooperation with his sister and friends such as Erika Chiba and Saijou Leonhart, they manage to foil plots on a global scale.

Likewise, the movie is largely about Tatsuya and his friends who work together to save the day. In the film, Erika encounters a girl named Kokoa Watatsumi, who was forced to undergo strenuous experimentation, whom she and her friends sympathize with. After learning that there are more victims of inhumane experimentation, they decide to rescue them led by Tatsuya.

Utilizing a relatively dynamic cast and a decent plot line, “The Girl Who Summons the Stars” manages to deliver for a long-awaited film adaptation of one of the most popular light novel series. The movie’s two-hour-and-a-half-minute runtime forced it to disregard some characterization, but retain enough of it so that characters are memorable to the end and portray a minimum of relevance to the film.

The plot advances relatively quickly in order to fit Satou’s plotline into the movie. Because the film is portrayed from a multitude of perspectives, it jumps back and forth from multiple scenes very quickly, which will occasionally leave viewers slightly confused as to what is happening in the film. However, the film does not punish viewers for missing minor details, resulting in a coherent, though fast plotline.

As an animated film, Studio 8-bit in addition to staff from Studio MAUSU delivers on quality animation, whether it be scenery or heart-pounding action scenes. Characters may seem slightly static sometimes, but is made up for through explosive action scenes that enrapture viewers on the edges of their seats. Other than exciting action scenes, there are certain scenes dedicated to fanservice, though they are cleverly censored.

The staff and voice acting retained some from the 2014 anime series, “The Irregular at Magic High School” that ran for 24 episodes. The script was written by the author of the light novel series, Tsutomu Satou, and was directed by Risako Yoshida who has participated in directing episodes of multiple famous anime series, such as “Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?.”

The lack of background information in the movie in favor for the plot line creates a small disconnect between viewers. For example, Tatsuya’s connections with the military are introduced arbitrarily, as well as his interpersonal relationship with other characters such as Angelina Kudou Shields, a USNA soldier.

This movie is clearly catered towards existing fans of the Mahouka universe, rather than introducing newcomers to the Mahouka universe. Despite a difference in appeal between longtime fans and new arrivals, “The Girl who Summons the Stars” is a worthwhile watch; who knows, you might become a longtime fan too.