Since the show centers around a large female cast with only a few recurring male characters it fits the criteria of an anime I would review on this blog. Let us take a look at Flying Witch.
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Magic, Supernatural
Number of episodes: 12 + several specials (Flying Witch Petit)
Plot Summary: Aomori, Japan. In a land blessed by nature’s bountiful beauty, bizarre things begin to take place. Makoto Kowata, 15 years old, is a professional witch. She left Yokohama with Chito, her black cat, to live in the house of her relatives in Aomori. This is where she begins to train as a witch. Even though Makoto’s powers are still limited to just flying through the sky, she and her second cousins Kei and Chinatsu surely make the most out of each and every day.
Flying Witch can be best described as the following, a “chillaxed” show similar to the likes of the Aria series, Hidamari Sketch (HS is a Girls Club and Iyashikei hybrid) and Yama no Susume to name a few examples of the “iyashikei” Slice of Life subgenre that has some “whoa” moments. More on those in a bit. Sometimes the witches also perform neat little magic tricks with often funny results. As an “Iyashikei” show Flying Witch is not about the cast going on cracker jack adventures or being super crazy like in a Girls Club show. It is meant to help people relax their minds as they calmly sit back and watch a lovable cast doing whatever they feel like doing in a non-hostile environment. Basically escapism for people who need something other than action-packed or violent fictional media to help them relax. It is something that I feel only anime/manga have managed to do well because I tried watching an English show where not much happens and had to rely on the conversations being interesting or amusing to hold my attention whereas in “Iyashikei” media the combination of serene/colorful backgrounds, calming music and fun characters give me plenty to be entertained by despite there not being a grand end goal. There are some exceptions like YnS that do have an end goal but nothing on a grand scale is what I am trying to say.
I mentioned there being “whoa” moments on this show. These are those little supernatural things that pop up out of nowhere to get a “whoa” reaction, a “I did not see that coming” rather than a “HOLY BLEEP WHAT THE BLEEP WAS THAT!?”. Most of the episodes have one or sometimes two “whoa” moments that all fulfill the supernatural quota.
Along with those moments there is more content besides the gang doing stuff and sometimes doing neat magic tricks. The city of Aomori also has some lore that is occasionally shared with viewers since this is a city where witches and other supernatural things are not uncommon to the citizens. Continuing on the supernatural the gang sometimes visit cooky places, for example a hidden coffee shop like place with an interesting waitress and then there is one of my favorite location visited in episode 11. That was awesome. Viewers also learn some neat tivia like the history of hotcakes in Japan and the difference between hotcakes and pancakes.
I already talked about the animation quality and sound both being but let us briefly go over them again. Some viewers called Flying Witch’s animation “KyoAni like”. That tells readers right there that the characters and location look great but that is a given since the show takes place in the countryside and most anime I have seen set in this location are great to look at. The soundtrack also does a great job helping me relax my muscles.
Let us briefly talk about the five main characters.
I have to mention something I found funny about Makoto. Despite the anime being named Flying Witch, Makoto herself rarely flies on her broom. At least whenever she does it is important so it is all good. I just found that funny. Other than that Makoto’s a nice protagonist.
Chinatsu is a girl I can only describe as one anime/manga’s best imouto EVAH! Is it my bias? Yes but what of it? She entertained me THAT much with her willingness to learn, actual childlike innocence in a child rather than an older girl, which is rare in anime/manga lolis. The fact she is not very bratty at all is also appreciated. Just a curious girl who wants to learn as much as possible.
Sexiest, funniest, most fun and best character. These traits all go to Akane. A free spirited veteran witch who has much to teach when she is the mood to do so. When she is not she is either being the live of the party or looking extra hot while taking her many naps since she travels and drinks a lot. She also maybe has a ship. Said ship has its supporters so maybe it is not that farfetched pairing them together..
I like Nao for one simple reason, whenever she is on screen I cannot help but feel sad for her. Not out of pity but amusement. It is like she lives a good life but exudes sadness whenever she is on screen and it is hilarious.
Lastly there is Kei, Chinatsu’s older brother and Makoto’s cousin. He is one cool dude but I have one little gripe: Every time girls mock him because he is great at cooking and gardening. I know it is not meant to be insulting and that Kei does not mind but c’mon. Oh well. What can you do. Other than that he has other amusing quirks.
Overall Flying Witch is a show whose purpose is to help people who do not need violent escapism wind down after a hard/stressful day. The “whoa” moments, neat magic tricks, likable characters and relaxing presentation add some more spice to an already tasty meal. Not for viewers who have very little patience or viewers who dislike Slice of Life shows.
PS: Kei and Chinatsu’s mom is hot.