Rolling Review – Little Witch Academia (18)

 

 

LWA Ep 18 -_00031.jpg
Get off me, you simpleton!

Episode Synopsis:

The Wild Hunt, an event where highly trained ghost hunters compete (?) to hunt ghosts that appear on a set schedule, is coming to town.  Constanze, the mute techno-mage in training (different kind of techno-magic than Croix, though), is preparing a mighty mechanical steed to participate.  Enter Akko, who accidentally breaks one of Constanze’s helper robots, and takes it upon herself to make it up to Constanze by working with her to build her ship.  Problem is, Constanze doesn’t want any help.  So begins Akko’s quest to prove that sometimes, it takes teamwork to get a difficult job done.  Oh, there’s also a massive magical mecha showdown towards the end.

Episode Review:

This is another fine episode by Studio Trigger from a quality standpoint, with some standout scenes, but I can’t help but feel like the message is a bit off.  Constanze makes it clear from the outset that she doesn’t want any help from Akko.

LWA Ep 18 -_00018.jpg
Well, see, there’s your problem.  Akko definitely doesn’t have a clue how to read English.

Akko takes the lack of friendship as a challenge, and sets about aggressively trying to make Constanze her friend.

LWA Ep 18 -_00013.jpg

This is despite numerous conversations with both her own friends and Constanze’s that confirm Constanze’s preference.

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Now, I figured we were setting up Akko to learn another valuable lesson about how people are different, gain (or at least try out) a new virtue that will help her unlock one of the Words, etc.  Instead, the lesson is that Constanze is in the wrong by not accepting Akko’s help…

LWA Ep 18 -_00016.jpg
Pictured above: “Help”

…and that sometimes it takes people with different skills to accomplish an objective.

LWA Ep 18 -_00029.jpg
Upon seeing the impossible majesty of a plant in the shape of a cow, Constanze had no choice but to become Akko’s friend.

Now, admittedly, that’s a fine lesson too, but there’s gotta be a better way for Constanze to learn it than having unwanted assistance shoved down her throat until she accepts it.  Someday, Akko is going to meet someone that she truly can’t help with her patented mixture of optimism and bull-headedness, and that’s going to be a rough day.  On a side note, why doesn’t Akko show this level of commitment to making friends with Diana?

Moving on, the second half of the episode is an incredibly fun action sequence in which Constanze and Akko take off in their new ghost-hunting magitek ship for some Wild Hunt action.

LWA Ep 18 -_00043.jpg
This stylish number emerges from a secret under-lake launch site, because if you’re doing a mecha episode, sometimes you gotta go with the classics

The fight is Trigger at their best, with dramatic action shots all over the place, and gets much more hectic once Croix shows up to make the ghosts stronger and more aggressive with her techno-magical cube things.

LWA Ep 18 -_00049.jpg
That looks like trouble

Fortunately, Constanze and Akko have a trick up their sleeve.

LWA Ep 18 -_00053.jpg
Yes.
LWA Ep 18 -_00054.jpg
Yes!

 

LWA Ep 18 -_00056.jpg
YES.

Is it kind of strange to suddenly have a mecha show in the middle of your magical witch school show?  Sure.  I still enjoyed every minute.  From the transformation sequence to the English attack names to the giant explosions, it was a perfect classic mecha nostalgia moment.

LWA Ep 18 -_00060.jpg

LWA Ep 18 -_00066.jpg

In terms of plot development, there isn’t too much, though we do get a bit more of Croix’s master plan, which is currently in the research phase.  She apparently has some way to obtain energy from human emotions, and today’s experiment was to gauge the output from panic.

LWA Ep 18 -_00067.jpg

Based on previous episodes, it seems like she’s really going for the negative emotions, but she may also be causing unintended benefits for Akko’s plan to get people to like magic again:

LWA Ep 18 -_00070.jpg
These folks are 100% convinced about magic’s radness factor after watching a magical mecha take down a sinister bird demon with an exploding drill arm

Another episode behind us, and I’m left with only one question: Does Akko even attend classes anymore?

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