Rolling Review – Little Witch Academia (15)

 Episode Synopsis:

Upon learning that Croix was a contemporary of Shiny Chariot, Akko attempts to mine the new teacher for information, but it is instead the opposite which happens. Summoning Akko and the Shiny Rod to her new laboratory, Croix puts her student under and seeks to gain insight into the latter’s relationship with the staff. Worried that Croix has more immediately nefarious things in mind, Ursula/Chariot rushes to Akko’s aid. After she breaks through some of Croix’s security measures, the former classmates trade biting remarks with each other before Akko is returned unharmed. When Akko regains consciousness, Ursula explains to her the basics behind the Shiny Rod and the power sealed within the Arcturus woods.

Review:

One sec, folks – the first thing I’ve gotta do, as someone who watched his share of Sabrina the Teenage Witch when I was a lad in the late 90s, is appreciate this reference:

I will say that 2nd place in what appears to be a transfiguration tournament seems like a jab that’s just a little bit cruel, since Salem Saberhagen, who was indeed a witch (warlock?), spent the series in the form of a black cat because Witch Court was punishing him for attempted world domination. I’ll take it, though – what a nostalgia bomb.

Fun fact: another picture of Croix, with almost exactly the same face, did appear back in episode 3 in the Luna Nova Cup trophy case to the lower left of Chariot’s victory photo, but a lack of apparent organization and an apparent shortage of photos from intervening years (and a zoomed-in shot showing fewer columns than the wide shots) make it impossible to tell what year either of them were in during their respective victories.

Perhaps the most telling parts of this picture are the sidelong looks Croix’s teammates are giving her.

Furthermore, Akko (who knows almost everything about Chariot) supposes Croix (who graduated in 2007) to be her idol’s senior, but Diana guesses Ursula’s graduating year (judging by what book she picks out after talking with her) as 2005 (which raises the question of what Diana is going to do if she doesn’t find an entry in any year for Chariot’s current alter ego…).

Oddly, even though the book Diana is already reading contains an entry for Croix, the shelf still contains exactly one book for every year from 2000 through 2009 when she reaches for another.

Two more pieces of potentially conflicting information are Croix’s claim that Ursula gave up the name Chariot ten years ago, and a memory of Croix’s that appears to be Chariot finding the Shiny Rod in Arcturus. If we assume that Chariot herself graduated prior to putting on magic shows, it would then follow that she was Croix’s senior (since Croix graduated ten years ago), but Croix’s presence when she received the Shiny Rod suggests that she wasn’t (largely due to how young she looks in Croix’s memory).

Man, this is hurting my brain.  Let’s get to some more catnip.

I liked seeing who isn’t going gaga over Croix’s modern magic doo-dads, mostly because I’m predicting that they’ll come down opposite the schemer if/when the battle lines ever get drawn for real. As implied last episode, Finneran remains distrustful, and the flight instructor (whose name… may have been given to us? I think it’s Nelson) might have her back. On the student side, Diana is not impressed, and Amanda is clearly not having very good luck with her… router? I think the real question here, though, is how Constanze and her own techno-magic are going to play into this, especially since she as a character existed (in the Enchanted Parade OVA) prior to Croix (who I believe is new as of this series).

Constanze’s only appearance this episode.
As an aside: Foreshadowing? I guess they can’t look at posters in the ED anymore.

So the actual stor- wait, wait – one more thing. Every time a newspaper has been on screen since episode 3, there’s been a article about the Shooting Star being sighted in some new location. After about the second time that this happened, I’ve been pretty sure that it’s been leading up to a triumphant return, and now that someone has actually mentioned it out loud, I’m double sure. I’ll consider it reparations for that thing that flew away in the first episode of Petite Princess Yucie and never came back.

Where was I?

Lotte, what is HAPPENING in that book

So, uh, the actual point of this episode is to give us a better idea of Croix’s target and methods, to start the slow drip of revealing what happened between her and Chariot (with a little action thrown in to keep the pacing up), and to roll out the stakes with a majestic scene where Ursula tells and shows Akko the significance of the Shiny Rod.

…Nice.

Summary:

Little Witch Academia continues to be deftly written (with the possible exception of the age question) and tightly directed, with likeable characters, an intriguing story, solid action and delicious humor.

This is definitely a show to savor.


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4 thoughts on “Rolling Review – Little Witch Academia (15)

  1. Episode 15 Analysis
    – First off, the relationship between Little Witch Academia and the World Tree has finally been proven correct. The first scene after the opening clearly foreshadows Yggdrasil’s role in the overall plot. Noticed on the Ipad that Amanda is bitterly tapping, it shows an array of symbols or map of sort and compared it to a certain map regarding worlds of Norse cosmology, it show to us the seven of the nine realms. It is unknown where the remaining two are but it might be related to the overall plot. If you look into the history of the worlds more, you could see that each realm has an overall theme that matches the characters.

    Constanze: Svartalfheim – The realm is home to Dwarves who are master craftsman and since Constanze builds machines as a hobby, she fits right in.

    Diana: Vanaheim- The realm is home to the oldest of Gods, the Vanir who are masters of sorcery and able to predict the future. Recalling Diana’s lineage and her ability to predict the future, diana’s role would be this one.

    Sucy: Jotunheim – While there isn’t a lot to talk about but one important thing to note is that Loki lived in Jotunheim. Seeing as Loki was a trickster, it would related to Sucy own tendencies to play pranks on Akko.

    Lotte: Alfheim – Alfheim is home to the Light Elves who are regarded as guardian angels and the ones that inspired art and music. This fits well with Lotte who has a passion for her Night Fall novels and the song she possessed in the Enchanted Parade.

    Akko and Andrew: Midgard – Midgard is obviously the world where Akko and Andrew live in. One important thing to learn that there is a path called the Rainbow Bridge which connect Midgard and Asgard. Although Akko would be a likely candidate, on the other hand Andrew’s time with the rookie witch allowed him to open his eyes and see the magical world beyond just the arts.

    – Moving on as Akko ascend the tower, we could see pictures of creatures that reflect Croix’s character.
    Manticore – One trait the could be seen is the chimeric nature of the Manticore reflecting Croix’s goal in combining magic and science into one power.

    Cobra – Cobra represents the deceitful nature which Croix used in tricking everyone to believe in the teachers’ incompetence and the heroic image she placed herself but since the Cobra has several species known for spitting, it represents how she much loathed the old traditions of magic or those who usurped her.

    Spider – Spider meant the patient and tactical nature. Croix had a long time to develop her technology and was been in touch with Luna Nova’s current woes she used to her advantage in discrediting the teachers and be the hero that Akko needed to advance. Her plan was quite ingenius if it weren’t so despicable. She provided the workers the means to demand more of the magical energy and outed several Witches as bad people in order to get them mad and stepped in to change the course. It worked and the Witches who i severely dislike are discredited of their competence. After getting her hands on Akko, she intentionally lured Chariot not only to test her abilities but also undermine her confidence that she failed to save her student from harm.

    Stag – Stag is a sign of power which matched her goal in seeking the Grand Triskellion.

    – Amongst the episode is the overall themes of tradition vs advancement and nature vs modern. Both sides have shown that while they do have points in defending their cases, it doesn’t change that they took it to downright lethal extremes. Eventhough Finnelan is suspicious on Croix but her reasons for them is wrong in many ways as that by solely obsessing on tradition, she and the other teachers lost face when they are unable to develop a compromise in the strike and their only defense was to defend tradition.

    – Lastly, the relationship between Akko and Ursula. What started off as a simple master and student blossomed into a beautiful bond of kindred spirits with the full celestial love between parent and child. Akko’s dream has and will always become Shiny Chariot and whatever the case, Akko viewed Shiny Chariot as her Godmother. The one who tell her to stand up even when things were at the bleakest. While she won’t know about Ursula’s real identity, it’s perfectly clear that the girl sees the teacher not a substitute but family. Ursula viewed Akko more than just her successor. While teaching her to activate the Seven Words was the sole goal but overtime the one thing she couldn’t expect was that she would have grown to love Akko like her own daughter. The entire Witch community viewed her as a pariah and this young girl, without any background of magic at all praised her with high regards and shown in many ways similar to her own. They bonded with their love for magic and the time spent together was ever most nostalgic for Ursula. With knowledge that Akko might be in danger, she went in like a force of nature tearing down Croix’s defences like paper. Had Ursula actually be Akko’s real mother, she would have left no evidence of a body of Croix to be found. In the end, the bond between young girls from generations was a sight to behold. Akko is more optimistic with knowledge that she’ll meet Chariot again and Ursula proud of Akko and the role as a champion among witches.

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