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Little Witch Academia TV
And I guess we have another winner here coming from Anime Mirai. For those not in the know, Little Witch Academia was originally made as an animated short for an annual Japanese animator's project called Anime Mirai for aspiring young animators to create their own unique works. The short's popularity with fans eventually led to a Kickstarter-funded film project to be brought about in 2015 and later led to this TV anime that aired, the second one made from an Anime Mirai short since the 2015 premiere of Death Parade. Focused on a young girl named Akko aspiring to be a witch in spite of lacking any aptitude in magic, our main heroine enrolls into the Luna Nova Magical Academy to receive witch training, getting caught up in some of the antics of her classmates, and trying to seek out magical words connected to a mysterious magic wand called the Shiny Rod that belonged to Akko's idol, the stage magician Shiny Chariot.|
This TV anime expands a great deal on exploring the world of Little Witch Academia with the large amount of time that the format provides it. Besides Akko, a good number of the witches at Luna Nova get a good deal of focus and development into their characters that help flesh them out. There's enough time for the TV format as such where some new characters are even brought into the series with witches and non-magic folk that include new witch instructor Croix and young aristocrat Andrew Hanbridge. The series even takes the time to explore how magic works within the world of the series, with a major story element in the series being magic becoming increasingly scarce for use by witches and any spiritual familiars that draw upon it to sustain themselves, thus affecting the status of Luna Nova Academy.
On the subject of Akko and the mentioned magic crisis, these two mentioned situations are consistently entwined with one another throughout much of Little Witch Academia. With Akko gaining possession of the Shiny Rod, she comes to discover that she has to unlock specific words to it in order to tap more into its powers. Without spoiling too much, the discovery of the words to the Shiny Rod are connected to Akko's character development throughout the series where she tries to defy the magical traditions of Luna Nova to show she can gain the power to become a witch through hard work, perseverance, faith in one self, and trusting in others. These story elements take on more prominence in the show's second half when more about the Shiny Rod's purpose and origins are revealed, and what connection it has to Akko's idol, Shiny Chariot (who is revealed quite early on to be much closer to Akko than she would expect).
Setting aside these serious elements, what perhaps makes Little Little Academia one of the year's best titles for me is how unique it sticks out. It avoids going into many of the typical storytelling cliches that many modern anime would lazily get into and offers a Western-inspired look at a world of magic that is rarely focused on within many anime titles. In addition, it strikes a nice balance of comedy and drama to focus on the developments of the witches at Luna Nova and its main plot of Akko's quest to learn more about the Shiny Rod, while also being very accessible to Western audiences with its family-friendly content and optimistic themes.
Overall, Little Witch Academia made for one of the best viewing experiences for an anime for the year thus far thanks to its unique premise on Western-influenced magic and the developments concerning Akko and the Shiny Rod. Being very accessible to wide audiences with its premise and having a nice balance of comedy, adventure, and drama, the series is a definite recommendation I would make as a fan and one that could also be used as a possible "gateway drug" to draw in new or casual fans to the world of anime.
Last updated Saturday, July 15 2017. Created Saturday, July 15 2017.
Little Witch Academia TV
(Two episodes watched):|
Well, I have never understood the fascination with magic that the world is experiencing right now (a feeling of pessimism about reality, perhaps?), but this seems like a fairly fun show with interesting characters. I was struck by how seldom a character who isn't an out-and-out villain has such a listless look on her face as Akko's friend Sucy does--is it that difficult to make an anime character distinctive? Akko is spunky and seems like an underdog that I can sympathize with. The animated magic is fun, but again magic alone won't be enough to entertain me, there will need to be an interesting story here as well. It's too soon to say for sure, but so far I am guardedly optimistic.
The theme of episode two seems to be 'you people think you are such awesome witches but Akko is in fact much better than you, by virtue of her honesty and unselfishness'. I hope every episode won't just be a restatement of this 'up yours' message. The teacher who has taken an interest in Akko while most view her with disdain, and the fact that a star pupil seems to have been startled by her skills, are reasons to be optimistic that an interesting plot will come together.
Last updated Tuesday, February 07 2017. Created Sunday, January 15 2017.