We’ve got another adventurous episode in Little Witch Academia this week! Although the last one had the girls go outside school, here Akko explored a forbidden place inside Luna Nova, and with a much esteemed guest tagging alongside her! And, as always, there’s a lesson to be learned at the end of the adventure, something that most of us can quite relate to!
Japanese Original Episode Title: ポラリスの泉
Looks like our poor Akko still can’t quite get a hold of the magic within her! While it’s good to know that she really can use magic, apparently she is not good enough to control it yet. It’s a wonder how she manages to survive her studies, but from the punishment Professor Badcock gave her for failing to use basic metamorphosis magic, I guess it’s safe to say she often gets into trouble. However, because of her constant blunder, she managed to drag one of the party’s guests of honor, Andrew Hanbridge, with her, letting him see the world of magic in a way he has probably never experienced it before. I’m willing to bet their exploits somehow changed his perspective on witches and magic, but we’ll just have to see if it truly did.
Akko’s Persistence: For five episodes, we saw just how tenacious Akko can be when it comes to pursuing her dreams and influencing those around her. Having her spirits down is a totally new and emotional side of her. Just the fact that she wanted to rely on the Fountain of Polaris to tell her she’s magical was already a sign of her self-confidence lowering. It’s no surprise though. Anyone who’s always been trying their hardest, only to constantly fail, would really be disheartened. But it’s a good thing this girl never gives up! Surely enough she’ll be a wonderful witch like her idol, Chariot!
Andrew Hanbridge: We finally saw the only male character featured in the opening song! And through him and his father, we’re given more hints that the magical world is losing its luster. However, I feel like their distaste for witches hides something more: Andrew has disliked magic ever since he and Diana were young, and his father considered the Luna Nova residents as his enemies. Is there any deeper meaning to these facts?
To the Fountain of Polaris: Getting chased by a bear, unintentionally pulling a guy’s pants down, almost falling to your death, and finding the Fountain of Polaris for nothing, it certainly was quite the night for Akko! It’s a good thing Andrew didn’t rat her out to the teachers or his father. But, at least she learned a valuable lesson, and got to know something about her idol. Speaking of which, Akko and Andrew were saved from falling by a mysterious witch who had red hair like Chariot’s! And it turned blue! She also seemed to know Arcas from long ago. How curious… Another odd thing was that Professor Ursula was already there after Akko and Andrew saw the fountain.
Chariot’s Backstory – It’s interesting to think of how Chariot was like as a student, especially since she sought power from the Fountain of Polaris. Did she perhaps feel the same way Akko did at one point? It certainly looked like she kept blundering in using magic lots of times, but eventually, she managed to gain control of it through hard work! Then she received even more magical power from the fountain, concentrated on the Shiny Rod. And the rest is history! By the way, did you guys notice that the stars of the Big Dipper Arc has seven stars, which is also the number of gems the Shiny Rod has? Coincidence?
Themes & Trivia
Hard work: A lot of people connect success with talent, just like how the professors and students of Luna Nova keep praising Diana for being an excellently talented witch. Meanwhile, Akko, who was born a commoner, has to work her butt off just to be able to get the basics. Seems life is quite unfair even in the world of Little Witch Academia, since here in the real world, a lot of people are facing similar problems. And, like I said before, nothing is worse than trying your hardest, only to fail or never being acknowledged. But I believe, as long as we keep at it and never give up, we’ll eventually get to where we dream we’d be! Mix hard work and passion with the proper learning techniques, and sure enough, we’ll eventually reach the stars! As Colin Powell said, ‘A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.’
Big Dipper and Polaris: The Big Dipper is part of the constellation of Ursa Major (or Big Bear). It has a counterpart in another constellation called Ursa Minor (Little Bear), called the Little Dipper, where the star Polaris is located at the end of its handle. Polaris is the brightest star in Ursa Minor, and it’s located near the North Celestial Pole, that’s why it’s usually called the North Star or Pole Star. Since it’s very bright and doesn’t seem to move, it’s usually used to navigate.
Arcas: The name of the bear that chased Akko and Andrew isn’t just a random, thought-out name. It’s derived from the Greek mythological figure named Arcas, who was the son of Zeus and Callisto. He was separated from his mother because Callisto was transformed into a bear by Hera, Zeus’ wife, due to jealousy and anger, while Arcas was spared because he was hidden by Zeus somewhere in Greece. One day, the two reunited, albeit tragically. Callisto, so happy to finally see her son, rushed to hug him. But since she still had the appearance of a bear, Arcas killed her unknowingly. Zeus saw this and pitied them, so he put them both in the heavens as the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. All this tragedy just because Zeus couldn’t stop touching other women.
I’m just super-duper glad to see an anime where you can relate to a lot of things! This episode especially spoke to me because, as an artist, improving quickly in drawing is incredibly hard! I’m sure many others feel the same way with different things. And since a topic like this can get especially emotional, it’s important for the characters to convey it well, both in animation and voice-over. I’m just glad to say that Little Witch Academia did just that, not only with Akko’s crying scene, but in the whole episode! This show just never ceases to amaze me!
Work your way towards the stars!
I’m totally hyped to know what’s next for our band of witches, and what lesson we’ll get to take home afterwards! For now, I’m curious to know if you guys learned something else aside from what I cited! And what did you think about the events? Please share it below! Also, don’t forget to check out our other anime reviews for Winter 2017!