Rolling Review – Little Witch Academia (01)

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Episode Synopsis:

Atsuko Kagari (Akko) is an enthusiastic young girl on a mission to become a witch. As a child, after seeing the famous magician Shiny Chariot perform, Akko decided it was her destiny to enroll in the presigious magic school, Luna Nova, and become a witch. Here we go!

Review:

I’m just going to start with a personal note. I freaking LOVE Little Witch Academia and Little Witch Academia: Enchanted Parade. Be aware that I’m likely going to ignore some of the flaws of this show and just love it like a little kid loves a favorite teddy bear. Please enjoy my bias this season as we review this show.

Little Witch Academia TV makes no assumptions that you’ve seen the original OVA or its sequel. The beginning of it kicks off the same way the first OVA did, with the Shiny Chariot show that inspired Akko to become a witch. It’s here that we get a sense of something very rare…something I’m not used to in anime anymore…

FUN

Shiny Chariot’s show is full of sparkles and lights and happiness. I basically looked the same as Akko as I watched it.

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Flash forward several years and Akko is in a small town trying to find a bus station to the presigious Luna Nova. While this recap may annoy some fans, I found it really welcoming that Trigger took the time to make this a show for the old and new fan. To help the process along (and not make everything a recap), we get to see Akko meet Suzy and Lotte for the very first time. Suzy is a bit of jerk and Lotte is the quiet yet strong one, with a heart of gold.

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Atsuko Kagari (Akko)
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Sucy Manbavaran (Lady Poisons-a-lot)
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Lotte (Megane Girl)

On their way to the Matriculation Ceremony Lotte, Suzy and Akko are thrown into Arcturus Forest, which is full of danger. The girls encounter a deadly rooster chimera and a mandrake, and Akko uses the tried and true power of belief to make some magic happen!

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Well that sounds only mild to moderately awful….

That’s about all I’m going to say regarding Episode 1. What follows is a wild and ostentatious adventure, the likes of which only Trigger could come up with.

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In this weeks episode, Trigger watches Jurassic World…
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YEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!  I’m like…totally 5 all over again…

What’s special about Little Witch Academia is the three letter word I mentioned above. FUN. This show wants to draw you in, make you smile, laugh, and just have a great time. It’s not trying to be pretentious, deep, or fine art.  It’s not filled with moe blob girls who sip tea all day and are there to appeal to your inner creeper.  You never get the impression that the show is desperate to sell you merchandise or is being made to appease anyone.  All of this is just so darn refreshing.  If you haven’t watch this show yet you may right it off as “Japan does Harry Potter”, but I would encourage you to look again. While it’s hard not to see the similarities, it’s also worth noting that ANYTHING with magic at a school will be called an imitation Harry Potter from now until eternity.  So take that for what it is.

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Diana (the blonde one) is best girl

Little Witch Academia looks and sounds great. The show’s characters are extremely simple but this simplicity allows for a wide range of wild facial expressions.  The backgrounds have details that are stunning. The environment art sports hard lines with pastel, wind-swept like coloring that has breathtaking results and Trigger has spared no expense on the TV version thus far. While there’s no opener for now, the sound in the show fits perfectly for every occasion and you feel like a little kid watching a Saturday morning cartoon.

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An Easter Egg for fans of the OVA

All in all I loved Episode 1 and am looking forward to the rest of the show. If I have one complaint so far it’s the Suzy is really really mean. In Arcturus Forest she basically leaves Akko (who she finds annoying) and Lotte (who she’s never even met!) for dead so she can get her hands on a rare poisonous feather (dropped by rooster monster). While the show is childish enough that you know the girls aren’t going to die, it’s still a really cruel gesture.

Here’s to more magic adventures!!!

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