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As always, Little Witch Academia never fails to bring in the fun and the encouragement! Plus, the plot keeps moving forward, especially now that Akko knows she has a mission to fulfill for the sake of the witching world! She just has to learn a new thing or two along the way.
Japanese Original Episode Title: ポホヨラの試練
For me, one of the best things about being a student and having friends is that you can visit each other’s homes and have sleepovers! You can get to know more about them through their families and their culture at home. However, Akko, Sucy, and Lotte’s adventure at Lotte’s house was quite different from how it usually goes because of the sudden breakout of the rare Greenman’s Disease! It did put a nice magical twist to the normal girl bonding, though, and was the avenue to unlocking the Fourth Word!
The mission: I’m glad Akko’s finally taking one responsibility seriously and is determined to fulfill it. I’m also glad that she already confided about this with Lotte and Sucy as they can be of help to her as well. Though, whether she told them about this because of pure excitement or to ask for their help we can’t be sure; I feel it’s the former! It’s a relief, too, that being aware of what she has to do didn’t pose a challenge towards reviving the Fourth Word. Being conscious of something usually makes it harder to act natural, right? It’s just a good thing that in this case, it helped her out. She just needs to be patient.
Visiting Lotte’s house: Finally, a change of scenery! Lotte’s village seemed like such a peaceful and charming place, just like her! Her parents were also quite a cute couple who seemed to really love their daughter. The fact that Lotte has been telling them about her friends was super nice to hear as well, even though it was just mentioned in passing. Too bad the trio’s day off to enjoy their time at a friend’s house was ruined by a really rare disease, huh?
Finding the cure: I was kind of expecting Lotte to be the focus, solving everything with Akko’s help, given that the disease affected her family and neighbor. But I forgot that Akko needed to revive a word with something she lacks. And what an arduous journey it was trying to get every single piece of ingredient! When Lotte said she had all of them, I thought they just needed to get them inside a cabinet in her house. Turns out it was more of a scavenger hunt that a miracle! She even got to counsel a depressed yeti! It was a wild and demanding task that required great patience and endurance. Professor Ursula was right, then, when she said she might find the next word in their adventure! Though, I guess it’s more like Akko can learn to be patient every single day.
Hapansilakka: It’s what Surströmming is called in Finnish. Surströmming is fermented or soured Baltic Sea herring, nd has been part of traditional northern Swedish cuisine for centuries. It’s best known for its terrible smell so it’s normally eaten outside, but apparently a lot of people like the taste, despite the putrid odor it gives off.
Yeti: It’s also known as the Abominable Snowman. It is one of the most popular mythological creatures in the world, commonly seen or mentioned in different kinds of media. It’s a part of the history and mythology of the Himalayan region of Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet. It’s been long since regarded as a legend, because of lack of conclusive evidence.
Laplander: Also called Sami, they are the indigenous people living in the Arctic area of Lapland, which is also known as Sápmi. Lotte’s friend, Nicholas (which, curiously, is also the name of Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas, hence the Santa Claus outfit Akko imagined him in), was wearing the traditional Sami clothes, and also owned a reindeer; reindeer herding is one of the common occupations of Laplanders.
Pohjola: I suddenly wondered why the title is like that, given that I don’t remember any mention of Pohjola in the whole episode (correct me if I’m wrong though!). So I did a bit of research and apparently, it’s a location in Finnish mythology which can be thought of as a dark and terribly cold land in the far north symbolizing the source of evil. In contrast, Pohjola is just what the Nordic countries are called in modern Finnish.
I didn’t enjoy this episode’s narrative compared to the previous ones as I felt like the continuity was kind of disconnected and the events felt forced. Not to say that it wasn’t a good episode, especially given the lessons and the events, just that I wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as I could since I’m quite particular with pacing and storytelling. Remembering Little Witch Academia‘s record thus far though, I’m guessing this is a rare occurrence, so I hope the next ones will be much better until the end.
Only three words are left! I wonder what aspects are required to breathe life into those! And just what is Professor Croix up to by researching on the magical energies of different emotions? Things are getting more and more curious, don’t you think?
So, how did you like this week’s episode? Did you have the same qualms as I did, or was it perfect for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! Don’t forget to read our other Spring 2017 reviews too!
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© 2017 TRIGGER / Yoh Yoshinari / ”Little Witch Academia” Committee