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Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei Tsuioku-hen (魔法科高校の劣等生 追憶編) is the manga adaption of the 'Reminiscence Arc' from the 8th light novel. The adaptation is by Yorikawa Yuki (依河和希). It was serialised for 17 chapters in Dengeki Daioh, running from February 2014 until July 2015.
This prologue is set three years before the Shiba siblings, Tatsuya and Miyuki, enrol in First High School. While on a family holiday in Okinawa the region is invaded by a mysterious naval task force. These events cause a significant change in their relationship when Miyuki uncovers the hidden truth about Tatsuya and faces her turbulent feelings for her brother. This arc of the series reveals the life-changing experiences Tatsuya undergoes during this time and why his practical magic scores are so poor.
The Summer it All Began
It’s 2092 and Miyuki and her family are arriving in Okinawa by plane for a summer holiday. Miyuki is really looking forwards to the trip with her mother Miya, but she is unhappy her brother is joining them. After leaving the plane she is greeted by her mother and the two head out leaving Tatsuya to handle the luggage. Miyuki reflects that despite their blood relation Tatsuya is not seen as family and is treated like a servant. Miyuki doesn’t hate him, but she cannot easily deal with him.
They arrive at the holiday villa and are greeted by Sakurai Honami. Honami helps Tatsuya and seeing them interact vexes Miyuki. Miyuki heads up to her room and after unpacking decides to go on a walk after talking to Honami. She is allowed but hold she must take her Guardian Tatsuya.
Miyuki enjoys her walk but is unhappy Tatsuya is present. She doesn’t see how he can protect her with weaker magic. Tatsuya suddenly hugs her, and Miyuki is surprised and uncomfortable. When asked he refused to let go. That’s when she sees the three off duty soldiers. The three surround and try to intimidate Tatsuya. Tatsuya affirms they don’t wish to settle things peacefully and warns them to back off. This angers the leader and he demands an apology but Tatsuya provokes him further. The man throws a punch, but Tatsuya blocks it. Miyuki is shocked as he did so with no magic. The man gets serious and attacks again but Tatsuya counters leaving the man on the floor. Tatsuya takes Miyuki’s hand and they head back.
At the villa Honami realises something happened. Miyuki takes a shower and thinks about what just happened and reflects on the situation that she could release Tatsuya at any time, but she can’t, leaving her feel perplexed.
Night of the Party
Miya tells Miyuki they have been invited to a party by the Kuroba family. Because Miya is unwell Miyuki must go in her place since the Kuroba are fellow Yotsuba. Miyuki is still thinking of the fight and Honami notices. She tells Miyuki she needs to hide her feelings and to do so deceive her own emotions.
The siblings arrive at the party and Uncle Kuroba greets Miyuki enthusiastically, Tatsuya however is told to act as a guard. Miyuki greets her cousins Ayako and Fumiya. Fumiya asks about Tatsuya and she points him out. She wonders if Fumiya looks up to him since he is cool and flusters herself. The twins rush to greet Tatsuya which annoys their father. Miyuki is shocked when she sees Tatsuya smile, something she’s never seen. Kuroba tells the twins to stop pestering Tatsuya thanks Tatsuya for his hard work. Ayako objects saying security is the responsibility of the Kuroba not a guest’s bodyguard. Miyuki reflects as succession candidates she and Fumiya must treat Tatsuya as a tool or risk their position. Tatsuya tells Fumiya not to trouble his father and requests permission to patrol outside. Kuroba agrees to the disappointment of the twins. Miyuki realises Tatsuya has been putting on a façade like see has been trying to. The music starts and Miyuki asks her uncle to dance in her mothers place as she must fulfil her role. After the dance she sees Tatsuya clapping and is pleased.
Miyuki wakes up and sees Tatsuya hard at work practising Martial Arts with such skill its like a dance. She’s disappointed when it’s over and gets embarrassed and hides. Later Miyuki dines with her mother and finds she has the day free until the evening. At Honami’s suggestion she decides to sunbathe at the beach with Tatsuya. She’s feeling self-conscious and is embarrassed by the lovey couple applying sun screen nearby. Tatsuya covers her with a towel and tells her to enjoy resting.
Miyuki reflects on the past and how she has never really interacted with Tatsuya. She realises her honest feeling for him are that she sees him not as a Brother or her Yotsuba Guardian but a boy a year older who happens to be living in the same house. She wakes from her two hour nap to find the beach is really rough but thinks people were playing volleyball.
Back at the holiday home Miyuki overhears Honami really scolding Tatsuya over refusing to heal a bruise he received at the beach since its not serious. Honami goes on to say it would have been better to wake Miyuki and not get into a huge brawl just because he didn’t want to disrupt her nap. Miyuki is shocked and realises the marks on the beach were actually from a fight and that Tatsuya has been secretly protecting her all this time behind the scenes.
That evening the family go sailing and are attacked by a submarine which opens fire without warning. Tatsuya decomposes the torpedoes without a CAD which shocks Miyuki. She is left bewildered as Tatsuya is treated poorly for his lack of magic, yet he used magic of the highest difficulty without a CAD.
At the holiday home Miyuki cannot stop wondering about Tatsuya when Captain Kazama Harunobu arrives to question them about the submarine incident. Honami can’t really answer his questions as she doesn’t know why they were attacked. When Tatsuya is asked, he theorises the submarine was going to try capturing them as foaming torpedoes were used. That way an accident could be staged to cover up their presence since communications were jammed. Tatsuya refuses to elaborate further and Shiba Miya ends the discussion. The siblings escort the Captain to his car where they encounter the man from the fight the other day. Lance Corporal Higaki apologises for the other day and Kazuma invites Tatsuya to visit the base.
It’s raining so Miya decides to go to a Ryuku dance but it’s woman only. She gives Tatsuya the day off and suggests he take the Captain up on his offer to tour the base. Miyuki requests to join him so she can try and learn more about Tatsuya under the pretence she needs to understand his abilities since he’s her Guardian. Miya agrees but orders him to address Miyuki by her name and forbids any action that may lead them to realise the family are Yotsuba.
On the way there is distance and silence between them as they can’t act as normal siblings. At the base they meet Sanada, a Military Weapons Developer, and the Captain who is pleased at Tatsuya’s interest.
Tatsuya observes the training, but Miyuki is very bored. Captain Kazuma asks if Tatsuya would like to participate in some sparing and noticing Miyuki’s boredom he agrees, to her embarrassment. Tatsuya takes out the first solider in an instant, shocking the spectators. The second soldier goes all out but Tatsuya holds his own. Kazuma and Sanada realise Tatsuya is a magician and has live combat experience. Tatsuya wins shocking the crowd further. Kazuma requests a third match to protect the squads honour. Corporal Hikagi requests a match to redeem himself for the other day.
The match begins and Hikagi uses magic to get an edge over Tatsuya, Miyuki objects but Tatsuya scolds her pointing out it isn’t against the rules. Hikagi charges and Tatsuya uses Program Demolition without a CAD and counters Hikagi, ending the match. Captain Kazuma observes the ancient magic ‘Tendon’ was also used to incapacitate Hikagi.
Sanada leads Tatsuya to his lab and shows him come CAD’s and Tatsuya requests to try them. Miyuki is surprised as this is the first time that he’s ever voiced his own desires and becomes scared when she thinks of how he must think of her since she’s the reason he’s not free.
On the way home Tatsuya notices something is bothering Miyuki and she thinks on the situation, that she does not know him but being with him is a little different than before. At the Ryuku dance Honami is worrying about the siblings. Miya assures her that Miyuki is safe as long as ‘that’ is with her. Honami states it’s not their safety but their relationship that worries her as they are too distance and she wishes the two were closer.
Miyuki receives some magical texts and finds an old family photo and notices Tatsuya is there in the background too. She struggles with the book and goes to ask Tatsuya but gets embarrassed and can’t knock. She’s about to retreat when Tatsuya opens the door. She enters his room for the first time and notices the Cad’s he got from Sanada. Miyuki is lost in thought when Tatsuya addresses her as Ojou-sama (Madam) to get her attention. Miyuki gets upset and asks him to address her by name. He agrees and smiles but it isn’t a real smile which upsets her more so she leaves.
In her room she reflects that the smiles he had for her and the Kuroba’s was all a facade and worries she’s the only one who wants to get closer. Tatsuya finds the book she left and the picture with a post-it with a self-reminder to Miyuki to be nicer to Tatsuya.
Miyuki is still struggling to deal with Tatsuya and the two head out for a walk where they bump into Corporal Hikagi and his squad mate Kinjou. Tatsuya is on guard but Hikagi explains he was just upset the other day and venting and it won’t happen again. As an apology he shows Miyuki some sightseeing spots. She agrees to avoid being alone with Tatsuya.
Miyuki is having a great time but Hikagi notices she’s not getting on well with Tatsuya. They head out for shaved ice and on the way she sees people avoiding the two soldiers. While eating she asks if the ostracization makes him lonely. He explains the situation and apologises for getting to deep. When he stops when he realises his ice melted. Miyuki refreezes it, Hikagi’s impressed but Kinjou doesn’t seem to like magic.
After being walked home Miyuki asks why Hikagi joined the JSDF. He says because the town is his home, its people family so he’ll protect them. He asks Miyuki about her and Tatsuya not getting along. She’s embarrassed but Hikagi points out Tatsuya may be cold and hard to read but he’s been protecting her all this time, and brothers like that are rare.
At the base it’s revealed Kinjou is part of a conspiracy and a landing force has been prepared.
The news reports that the JSDF patrol boats have been sunk by submarines and the Kerema Islands are under attack. A war has begun.
Honami springs into action to make preparations to withdraw. Tatsuya receives a call from the base offering shelter and advised he’ll ask his mother. Yotsuba Maya calls her sister despite their cold relationship and advises she made arrangements for the four to shelter at the base. Realising the call Tatsuya got was related they agree to go.
On route in a JSDF vehicle the driver, Hikagi, gives Honami a situation report and advises them to head straight to the shelter in case guerrillas attack. Outside the shelter the Shiba’s and another family wait. Miyuki is confident in her magic but is nervous of live combat, Tatsuya notices and comforts her with a smile. They hear gunfire in the distance. Because the room is shielded Tatsuya is sent to investigate.
Soldiers led by Kinjou arrive and advise they will evacuate everyone. Miya says she won’t leave Tatsuya and says they should evacuate the others. Honami is confused but Miya states the men cannot be trusted. The soldiers insist everyone comes with them.
Hikagi arrives and a shootout starts between the two groups of soldiers. Honami buts up a barrier but the traitors use Cast Jamming. Miya is badly affected due to her poor health. The shootout continues as Hikagi and Kinjou argue over the gunfire. The jamming weakens, and Miyuki takes the opportunity to blast the soldier responsible with Cocytus. Guilt of murdering someone causes her to hesitate and the remaining soldiers open fire. Honami tries to shield Miyuki with her body but all three get gunned down. Tatsuya immediately realises Miyuki’s hurt. As she bleeds out Miyuki’s thoughts are filled with her Tatsuya and her guilt.
Miyuki is bleeding out and her life is flashing before her eyes. She thinks back to a conversation with Honami about Tatsuya and being told she needs to discover what she means to Tatsuya herself and that one day she’ll understand everything. The last thing she sees is Tatsuya’s panicked face as the world fades to black.
Tatsuya uses magic to bring her back from the brink and she wakes in his arms. Seeing Tatsuya she addresses him as 'Onii-sama' for the first time. After confirming she is alive Tatsuya embraces Miyuki in relief.
Tatsuya helps Miyuki to her feet and then heals Miya and Honami. Miya doesn’t wake due to her poor health. Captain Kazuma apologises and on request gives Tatsuya a full situation report on the battle so far. Most of the guerrillas have been suppressed but the enemy controls the waters and is landing troops. Tatsuya asks for his family to be protected and Kazuma agrees to send the other three to the bases Command and Control Centre.
Tatsuya then asks for armour and an infantry kit to take revenge. Kazuma forbids the killing of non-combatants and anyone who surrenders. Tatsuya advises he doesn’t intend to give them the chance to surrender and agrees to join the battle line with the soldiers.
When what Tatsuya is going to do sinks in Miyuki rushes to stop him and pleads for him not to go. Tatsuya tells her he’s doing this for his own feelings, because to him the only thing that can feel precious is Miyuki alone.
Tatsuya tells Miyuki she should know the truth and no longer be ignorant of the situation at home. He tells Miyuki to ask mother the details and promised to return so he can continue to protect her.
Miyuki returns to her mother and reports Tatsuya is joining the battle. Miya is annoyed by Miyuki addressing Tatsuya as Onii-sama and refers to his as a defective product. They head to the Air Defence Command and Control Centre. There Miyuki, confused by her mother’s attitude, confronts Miya about what Tatsuya said. Miya reprimands Miyuki for calling Tatsuya Onii-sama and says that magic is all Tatsuya can do and agrees to tell Miyuki the truth.
Miya’s explanation starts 7 years earlier with ‘The Artificial Magician Plan.’ She states Tatsuya cannot use magic as his abilities only allowed him to rebuild and destroy, not alter information bodies. The experiment aimed to give him the ability to use magic at the cost of his ‘urges’ bar one. But the Artificial Magic Calculation Region was inferior, and he could only be used as a Guardian. Miya admits she did the process herself and Miyuki realised her mother’s coldness to Tatsuya was because she herself lost emotions as a side effect.
Miyuki watches the battle and Miya explains the one urge left were the emotions calling him to love and protect Miyuki. That’s all he has left. Miya chose Miyuki as the one he could care for since they will be together longer than she will be with Tatsuya. Miyuki focuses on the battle on screen and Tatsuya’s true form.
Over on the battlefield the enemy has landed, and Tatsuya is on point for the defending troops. Bullets cannot reach him. Enemy soldiers are reduced to ash where ever he aims. Allies gunned down are healed in an instant and re-join the battle.
Miyuki watches the battle unfold on the screen and decides if it’s not magic then Tatsuya’s power is a miracle. Miyuki sees Tatsuya become a demon for her sake and ponders how she can ever repay him.
A week later the Shiba’s are leaving Okinawa and the news is discussing a mysterious light which shallowed an unknown cruiser. Miyuki reflects she know Tatsuya intercepted the attacking fleet and Honami joined him and never returned. Tatsuya scattering her ashes to the sea. Miyuki decides she lost the life she gained from her mother and dedicates her new life to the one who gave it to her, Tatsuya.
Miyuki’s death to me is the equivalent of losing everything. With this sentiment Tatsuya deploys with the Onna Airborne Troops to stop the enemy advance. Kazuma reminds Tatsuya not to kill the surrendered or non-combatants. Tatsuya’s mind is focused on the fact Miyuki nearly died and it was almost to late to save her. With that rage he annihilates everything before him.
Sanada and Kazuma watch from the rear and are in awe at how Tatsuya can rampage without hesitation and wonder how he got to this point. The enemy, realising they are overwhelmed get the order to retreat. The ship and all aboard are disintegrated in an instant. The survivors surrender but Tatsuya spotting one still holding his gun takes aim and is stopped from killing him.
An alert from command advises them that fleet of 6 ships will be in artillery range within 20 minutes. The order to evacuate is given. Tatsuya asks if they have the fleets location. Honami, realising Tatsuya’s intent requests to join Tatsuya at the front. Miya agrees realising Tatsuya’s intent. Back on the battle field Tatsuya tells Kazuma he can destroy the fleet.
The Two of Them, Together
Tatsuya alters the molecular composition of his bullets and loads them into a Sniper rifle styled CAD whilst discussing the situation with Kazuma. He goes beyond the limits of the CAD’s settings and test fires a shot to confirm his maximum range. The bullet reaches 20km which means they will be in range of the ships when they fire. Kazuma suggests a withdrawal but Tatsuya says he has to protect Miyuki.
All three hold position and after the fleet test fires both sides come into range. Tatsuya fires all his bullets but the enemy fire back with an intense barrage. Honami arrives and deploys shields to protect everyone, despite warnings she’ll overload herself, allowing Tatsuya to focus on his magic. He tracks the bullets in his mind and converts the nearest to the enemy into pure energy, casting Material Burst.
Kazuma and Sanada are shocked but Honami collapses. Away from the beach Tatsuya gives Honami a sad look which makes her happy he can feel that much for her. She says it’s not his fault since she’s augmented. Tatsuya tried to heal her, but she stops him. Honami tells Tatsuya to let her die because she’ll die as a person and not a tool. She passes on smiling.
Two years later Miyuki and Tatsuya visit the memorial in Okinawa. Miyuki in her prayer, tells Honami about how Miya was hospitalised soon after the battle and passed away last year. But how she and Tatsuya are living quietly alone together and are going to enrol at First High. After praying the two begin to leave and Miyuki promised to follow Tatsuya to the ends of the world.