For a second there, I thought we’d be getting a ghost story this week! It is common for anime series to feature at least one horror episode, but I guess Little Witch Academiareally isn’t your usual series! Just from the comedic tones presenting heartfelt themes, it already proves that! What more when combined with our characters’ exciting adventures!
Japanese Original Episode Title: ブライトンベリーアンデッド紀行
Usually, when boarding school students finally get the chance to go outside of the school grounds after a long time, they decide to visit their families, go shopping, or even play at the amusement park! But no, Sucy decided to take Akko and Lotte to the cemetery just to get mushrooms! And here I thought we’d be done with mushrooms for a while after last week’s fiasco. However, disasters just really follow our trio around, particularly Akko, as she accidentally brought a skeleton back to life with the combination of her restoration magic and Sucy’s mushroom! It’s a good thing the magic wears off after sundown, but they still had to keep the skeleton from causing rampage in town, especially since they were specifically forbidden from using magic outside the school! They also couldn’t keep Mr. Dead Soldier in one spot, because he was so intent on searching for someone he knew! Hoo boy!
Reviving the dead: I screamed when Akko and Lotte accidentally knocked over the gravestones, and I screamed again when the dead soldier suddenly grabbed Akko’s foot! Nothing good comes out of hanging out in the cemetery for sure. Well, at least we found out that Akko’s magic worked, since she was able to bring someone back to life? Though maybe it could’ve also been the restoration dust, or the mushroom.
Running around town: This made up most of the episode, and it was quite fun! It was also touching to see how the skeleton guy saved Akko from being hit by the car, though he was too busy with his own business. But, seeing all their shenanigans in the town made me wonder if the common folk were still aware of magic and witches surrounding them. They were quick to believe the girls’ excuses concerning the commotion, even though a walking, talking bag of bones was hardly easy to shrug off! It’s also odd that, despite the soldier grabbing people by the collar and beating them up, no one complained about it. Ah well. Just another day in the life of a villager living near a magic school I suppose.
Reuniting father and daughter: Surprise, surprise! The coward Mr. Undead was actually looking for was actually him! And he was actually Professor Miranda Holbrooke’s dad! Well, the moment their family painting was shown, it was already a huge giveaway. The father’s hat and the mom’s green hair made it easy to guess. In any case, it was certainly nice to see the limelight on someone other than the students, don’t you think? And even if they did tell the story of one of the professors, I’d never have thought they’d first focus on the headmistress, since she was usually just in the sidelines. Her reunion with her papa wasn’t the most dramatic too, but it was still heartwarming. The soldier really regretted leaving his daughter all alone, but she never resented him for it. And in the end, he was even reunited with his wife after all those years.
Themes & Trivia
Regrets: I’m pretty sure a lot of us have many of these. We usually cringe when we recall certain memories and desperately try to shoo them away from our minds. But as we get older, these regrets just pile up on top of one another. The sad thing is, as much as we’d like to stop having these feelings and getting into situations that cause us to have them, these are a part of life. We’re only human and we make mistakes; regrets make us better people since they force us to avoid repeating them. And, if we’re aware enough, these also move us to live each day as it were our last, just so we can avoid being angry at ourselves, like the undead soldier was with himself.
Time: Aside from the fact that the dead guy’s regrets were decades old, time also played an integral part in the coming and going of magic. It’s already been mentioned a lot in the previous episodes that magic used to be so common and famous, and only now has it been made clear that it really had a golden age. It helped humanity so much before machines came in. Alas, time waits for no one, and magic was eventually left behind because of the progress in science and technology.
Amulet: These are commonly known to ward off evil and protect their owner from harm. They’re not to be confused with talismans, which bring luck, and pendants, the charms on necklaces, though both of these also protect people from danger. You usually see amulets in anime in the form of omamori. Here in Little Witch Academia, though, a witch’s amulet is a treasure of theirs that would allow them to get home safely. Maybe this will come in handy in a future episode?
As always, this show never fails to send a lovely message; 80% of the whole episode may turn out silly, but 20% of it will still hit you like a ton of bricks. However, I’m sad to say that, for the first time ever, this episode’s writing was flawed in my opinion. Sure, most of the story was running around all over town, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that everything felt rushed and forced. For example, the magic shop just so conveniently happened to have that painting lying around in the open when the characters needed to see it, while the letter was still at the back too. I was also not convinced that the policemen so easily let the issue go after Lotte made excuses. The reunion between Professor Holbrooke and her dad felt lacking as well. I know it didn’t need to be dramatic like usual reunion scenes, but it didn’t hit home as much as I would’ve expected it either. The handful of mediocre drawings and animations I saw didn’t help this episode become better too. Oh dear. I sure hope the staff aren’t losing their touch.
Families are forever!
Well, even if I had a bunch of complaints, it doesn’t change the fact that this week’s episode was still enjoyable. Here’s to hoping the next one will be tons better though! What about you guys? Let me know in the comments box below what you think about the whole thing, good and bad and all!