Quite a lot of female, and even male, anime fans have all grown up watching mahou shoujo shows. Their popularity is undeniable and many more emerged throughout the years. Some deal with classic stories of friendship, others talk about love, while a few have broken the mold (despair, anyone?). Little Witch Academia is the newest addition to these magical girl anime, and it brought a lot of us back to our childhoods. The cute witches entertained us with their interesting world and unique themes!
Atsuko Kagari has always wanted to become a witch ever since she first saw Shiny Chariot’s show when she was younger. A few years later, Akko finally got the opportunity to enroll into the prestigious magic school, Luna Nova, where Chariot also studied. However, she realizes that being a witch isn’t as easy as she thought, especially when you’re not that talented. Akko is not the type to give up, however, especially when she’s got friends to back her up, and a dream to keep her moving forward! And maybe, just maybe, she’ll come close to her idol, especially since on her way to the school she finds Chariot’s staff, the Shiny Rod!
Little Witch Academia never failed to make me feel good every week. It helped me forget my stresses and worries for the day and left me with a smile on my face. The show made me feel like a kid again! From its world down to its story, it took me to places of wonder and excitement, as if I was also a part of it! It was just an amazing experience.
The story and the way it was written are only two of the best things about this show. At first, you’d wonder if the show even has a main plot, since the first cour focused mostly on episodic stories. But tiny bits and pieces of info were given here and there until eventually, the second cour brought these pieces together. Everything that happened in the first cour contributed to the storyline. The adventures the characters went through led up to the biggest moments, and finally, to the finale. That’s why this show left me with a great sense of satisfaction.
Also, I felt really proud of the characters. Starting with the protagonist, I felt a lot of viewers got pissed off with Akko’s personality. I can’t blame them, because she made me feel second-hand embarrassment with all her hijinks! However, a flawed protagonist means more opportunities for her to grow and develop. The show not only showcased her adventures, but dealt with her weaknesses and her character. I felt super proud of her at the end, compared to the annoyance I felt previously. Then we have her friends and the people surrounding her, who all have their own quirks and strengths. Even the last person you’d think that would support Akko (Diana) had her own growth and was part of the resolution! Needless to say, there wasn’t one person in this whole show that stayed stagnant; every single one made me feel attached to them and incredibly pleased with how they grew.
Art & Music
We’re talking about Studio Trigger here, so of course you’ll expect nothing less but stylish art, quality animation, and intense action scenes! The stylized, cartoony art style matched so well with the fluidity of the motions, which made them mesmerizing to watch! The characters were always so full of emotion, whether in dramatic situations or exciting ones! The high quality of the animation enhanced the voice acting, specifically that of the very expressive protagonist! Another amazing aspect of this show is that when it’s time for dynamic action scenes, then you’re really in for a ride! You will always be in awe at how everything is done! It’s already hard enough to animate ordinary scenes, but this show made every action scene look so easy to create! Don’t even get me started on the level of detail they put in!
However, while I have nothing but praise for the art and animation as a whole, there were some episodes that felt lackluster in this area. Since the decline in the quality was evident only in three episodes, I guess that they didn’t have enough time to draw all the scenes properly, which is often an obstacle faced by animation studios.
Matching the feel of the art is the background music! They added more to my feeling of being there with the characters, because they add so well to the ambiance of each episode. Even the opening and ending songs were beautifully performed, and gave us a glimpse of the tone of each cour. Last, the voice acting of the seiyuu had no problems and matched the characters well. I’m always drawn in the way they acted their roles and how they further intensify each scene!
Themes & Trivia
The power of believing: Just from Chariot’s tagline, ‘A believing heart is your magic,’ we can already see just how important believing is in this series, more so since we’re talking about magic! This is especially true with the super optimistic Akko, who never lets any kind of failure or negativity get in the way of pursuing her dream, despite not having latent magical powers at first. On the opposite side of the spectrum, magic slowly dwindled around the world over time because the people believed in magic less and less, opting for the technological advance instead.
Breaking the mold: Luna Nova has always kept many age old traditions that, honestly speaking, are too outdated and no longer helpful in today’s time. Most of them don’t even know why they still do some of their customs! They continue clinging to their past culture even though modern technology would be able to aid their magic far better. They even chastise some of their students for not complying with the status quo, even though they are actually performing really well.
The importance of friendship: What would a magical girl anime be if it doesn’t talk about friendship, right? Akko’s adventure would have been quite lonely without her two best friends, Lotte and Sucy, supporting, guiding, and teaching her. And throughout the show, they gain even more new friends to help them out along the road, in totally important ways!
If you ever feel like reliving your childhood in a modern sense, then this charming anime is the show for you! Being able to learn about the world of Little Witch Academia, see the characters grow and mature over time, and witness the deeper plot unfold was a truly fantastic experience! I can say with certainty that, just as Shiny Chariot’s show left a mark on Akko, this show will also forever be in my heart!
Beautiful story with an amazing cast of characters
Wonderful world building and plot building
Awesome animation, especially the action scenes
Lovely and satisfying ending
A few episodes had mediocre animation
Akko can be annoying at times
Near the end, where did Lotte and Sucy’s best friend roles go?
If you like witches and Harry Potter, I am recommending this show. I hope that this has become another classic in your mahou shoujo hall of fame, just as it did for me! Let me know in the comment below or in our new forum! I’d love to hear your thoughts and fangirl with you!
That’s it for the Spring 2017 season then! We’ve got some great reviews in store for you in the next one, so check out our list of Summer 2017 lineup!