WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Irregular at Magic High School, “Reminiscence Arc,” now streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.

The Irregular at Magic High School is no stranger to controversy, being one of the most talked-about anime series in recent history. However, one of the biggest and longest-running discussions about Tsutomu Satō’s story and its anime adaptation focuses on the highly-problematic relationship between Tatsuya Shiba and Miyuki Shiba.

The main controversy about Tatsuya Shiba and Miyuki Shiba’s relationship is that, while the pair are siblings and blood-related, the series keeps hinting at a romantic future for them. Miyuki’s actions towards her sibling are highly unusual. She constantly dotes on him and gets upset when other girls interact with him. As the show has progressed, this odd relationship has gotten more overt. Miyuki often blushes when Tatsuya innocently touches her, and she has attempted to kiss him more than once. Even the one kiss they have shared, while only performed for magical reasons, was portrayed as more than just a simple magical ritual done out of necessity.

Related: The Irregular at Magic High School Shows Miyuki Didn’t Always Love Tatsuya

People around the Shiba siblings are often confused or disgusted by the pair’s actions, hammering this strangeness home. On top of this, during the last arc, Miyuki made her conflicted feelings about her brother clear, admitting that she had romantic feelings towards Tatsuya, despite being unable to have him. Showing that this isn’t a regular thing in-universe, nor are viewers misreading the symbolism.

However, even if fans are willing to ignore that the pair are related, the pair’s relationship is problematic on another level. However, this level often gets overlooked due to the more overt issues with the pairing. But, this second level has only become more apparent during the show’s Reminiscence arc, which focused on the Shiba siblings’ history. The biggest problem is that Miyuki is overly controlling and possessive towards Tatsuya. Whenever another woman interacts with Tatsuya in any way, Miyuki gets visibly upset and often interjects herself into the situation. Even worse, the interactions that get Miyuki worked up are usually totally innocent day-to-day interactions without a hint of impropriety, making her anger totally unnecessary, verging on the paranoid.

This is a major red flag for a relationship as, while it is normal for someone to be protective of their partner, getting upset when they simply interact with another person is taking it way too far. Especially as this prevents the other person from developing meaningful friendships and professional relationships of their own, something that they need for their own growth and wellbeing. It is also clear that Miyuki’s actions make Tatsuya uncomfortable, as he often goes out of his way to comfort Miyuki after interacting with another woman. Or, with some women, like Honoka, he will purposely reduce his outward interest in her so that Miyuki doesn’t get worked up. Giving fans a clear idea of how Miyuki’s controlling nature is stunting Tatsuya’s social life.

Related: The Irregular at Magic High School: Everything to Remember Before Season 3

This whole situation is made worse by Tatsuya’s condition. Miya Yotsuba, the siblings’ mother, explained to Miyuki that the family worked to alter Tatsuya’s magic. However, this process removed Tatsuya’s emotions, preventing him from feeling many things. Tatsuya’s only remaining emotion was his devotion to his sister and his duty towards her. However, even this emotion was amplified by the process. This means that Tatsuya can’t navigate emotional situations easily, making him vulnerable to manipulation. Because of this, he can’t fully grasp or navigate the unusual emotional situation he and his sister are in. On top of this, he is blinded by his duty to protect Miyuki from harm, something that further clouds his decision-making.

This means there is a very uneven power dynamic between Tatsuya and Miyuki. Tatsuya’s unwavering devotion to his duty will likely make him act against his own best interests to protect Miyuki. This makes Miyuki’s possessiveness worse, as Tatsuya can’t enforce personal boundaries allowing Miyuki to overstep boundaries without pushback. In fact, it could be argued that Tatsuya can’t properly consent to a relationship due to his altered mental state and the uneven power dynamic between the pair. Making this relationship even more unhealthy for both parties.

The Irregular at Magic High School touches on a lot of fascinating topics. The relationship between Tatsuya and Miyuki is intriguing because of how unusual and uncomfortable it is. In fact, the more it’s examined, the more problematic and uncomfortable it becomes. Only time will tell where this relationship goes. However, hopefully, the anime addresses the issues at the core of Tatsuya and Miyuki’s conflicted emotions and fully explores why their unusual relationship has come to be.

KEEP READING: The Irregular At Magic High School: Honami Is The Emotional Core Of Reminiscence



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