In the year 2095, magic is just like science. “Magic technicians” are a highly valued national resource of Japan, trained at one of nine accredited magic schools, like the Tokyo high school attended by Miyuki and her brother Tatsuya. (Of course, though it’s the year 2095, nothing has changed and buildings, fashion, etc. look exactly like 2016.)
Teenage Tatsuya is a cool wizard who works as an agent for their family, the wealthy Yotsuba clan, tracking down and defeating rogue magicians. Miyuki, too, is talented and principled, but her biggest character trait by far is her love for her brother, a love so borderline inappropriate that she blushes when they hold hands (“R-right … after all … we’re not lovers or anything…”), when he pats her on the head and tells her what clothes to wear, or when he hand feeds her a spoonful of parfait at a restaurant where everyone assumes they’re a couple.
After about 66 pages of this stuff, and a fight with a rogue mage, Tatsuya leaves the picture for a while. The story then jumps to Miyuki’s first days in school, where she impresses everyone with her beauty and skill, meets a lot of female classmates who can all be identified by one word (tomboy, glasses, insecure, etc.), and is invited to join the student council.
The only remotely interesting thing about The Honor Student at Magic High School is that it’s told from the perspective of the sister rather than being just a boring Gary Stu super-guy tale. Disappointingly, the back cover text reveals that this manga is actually a spinoff of another series focused on Tatsuya, The Irregular at Magic High School. (Why didn’t Yen publish that one first? Or did I just answer my own question?)
Apart from the kinky brother fetish, all that’s here is clichés: magic technobabble (“Emission-type magic involves interfering with elementary and composite particles’ movements and interactions with one another”), cardboard characters talking about how great Miyuki and Tatsuya are, and conflict courtesy of cartoonish school snobs (“Your very existence is inferior to ours! You should really know your place!”) whose function is to show that despite her wealth, beauty, and privilege, Miyuki isn’t a snob, she’s nice, too! This is the kind of terrible X-Men/Harry Potter ripoff that could inspire a long, scornful blog post, but this is print, so it isn’t worth another word.
publisher: Yen Press
art: Yu Mori
original story: Tsutomu Sato
character design: Kana Ishida