325th G-View: Little Witch Academia TV

So here we are with a show that started off as “The little show that could”. From a pilot to a special, then Kickstarter and finally a PS4 game. Suffice to say people were really looking forward to a full length TV anime of this one. Question is whether it paid off. Let us find out as we take a look at the 2017 Little Witch Academia anime.

Little Witch Academia TV Cover.jpg

Genres: Action, Fantasy, Comedy, Magic

Themes: School, Witches

Number of Episodes: 1 pilot (Little Witch Academia), 1 Special (Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade), 25 episode TV show.

G-Rating: 8/10

Plot Summary: In a time when magic is on the decline amid society, Atsuko Kagari, Akko for short, is a cheerful girl who enters Luna Nova Academy in order to accomplish her dream of becoming a witch like her idol, Shiny Chariot. Shiny is a famous witch who disappeared from public view many years ago. On her way to school, Atsuko meets the kind Lotte Yanson and the mischievous Sucy Manbavaran and the three become friends as they share a bedroom in campus. At the academy, Atsuko soon discovers she is in serious disadvantage compared to the other girls since she doesn’t come from a magical family and is required to learn the magical curriculum from scratch. Having found an item that once belonged to Chariot, Atsuko must discover how to activate and properly use the mysterious Shiny Rod as she hopes it might lead to finding out what has truly happened to her vanished idol.

Shiny Chariot.jpg

Shiny Chariot. Not often “seen” but plays a very important role.

I brought up the pilot and special because despite not being necessary to watch they are both enjoyable and help give newcomers an idea of what to expect as the TV show has similar setup to the pilot and borrows some elements from Enchanted Parade but ultimately does its own thing.

While watching LWA’s first half I had a similar feeling to when I saw the first half of Kill La Kill. What I mean is KLK’s first half to me felt like a love letter to  Late 80’s to 90’s action cartoons whereas LWA’s first half felt like classic sitcoms or cartoons featuring a troublemaking young protagonist who often gets him/herself and his/her friends into shenanigans thanks to his/her crazy ideas ending with everyone either punished, on rare occasions doing good deeds, or simply getting away with their troublemaking. Akko, Lotte and Sucy’s shenanigans are a combination of the 2nd and 3rd examples: They get into trouble while helping each other and people nearby but often get punished for their troublemaking. I enjoyed the first half quite a bit as the shenanigans our heroine gets herself and others into were most delightful with a small dud or two like the skeleton pirate episode. Not one of my favorites. What is also really cool about each episode in both 1st and 2nd half is that each one has a moral/life lesson of some kind from the simple but often forgotten “patience is a virtue” to the slightly complex look at overall fandoms (comics, books, games, shows etc. That particular episode’s message applies to all fandoms) and even the economy.

The show overall is (as of 2017) the closest thing people are going to get to a Harry Potter anime, except not as dark in later chapters which I think is for the best as this show was never meant to go in a super dark direction in the 2nd half. The most prominent theme, besides the importance of magic in the show’s world is a debate between old-school and new-school. What I mean is that, like in real life, there are some customs/traditions that have not aged well and the question pops up on whether some of them are still worth following in the modern age. On the other side is the question of whether the old ways that can still work are worth forgetting in favor of strictly following the new ways of modern science and technology. As mentioned above the economy is also brought up a few times alongside the tried and true interpersonal and intrapersonal struggles. The show even adds politics to the mix…more on that later. Of course of this is dominated by the most important aspect, cute girls performing awesome feats of magic that are sugar for the eyes. As for the second half of the show I think it is equally as good and the main plot ended up being interesting with really one major twist as the other reveals are not meant to be twists at all. Like the first half it too has episodes with simple to complex morals. The “big bad” (heavy quotations) of the show is another one of those “modern villains” shall we say. I will not spoil anything else about the antagonist.

Akko firing a magic arrow.jpg

The feats of magic look great thanks to Studio Trigger’s trademark “over the top 80’s-90’s” style animation…that is how I can best describe it. The spells are all shiny and awe-inspiring. Again sugar for the eyes. The soundtrack is an orchestral score for all three media and it fits very well. The OPs and EDs are all nice to listen to as well.

akko-did-something-bad

I love this face, specifically because of Akko’s gasp.

As mentioned the show’s humor is so late 80’s to 90’s for me. Whether it is effective or not is subjective. I am not good determining what people find funny. I enjoyed most of the comedy.

Andrew

Andrew. A controversial character inclusion around here.

Before we get to the ladies let us go over the “elephant in the room” known as Andrew. I do not speak for the mainstream audience but as far as the Nation goes he is an enemy. However, my issue with the lad is not his addition to the cast. It is his overall role and subplot. The aforementioned political element in the show. While I do see how the politics fit into the master plan of the show’s “big bad” (Heavy quotation marks) it along with Andrew’s presence can be argued as being semi-pointless. Again I get why the political subplot is there but that does not change the fact it is the least interesting aspect of the show. After all, who watches a show about magicians for political intrigue? Some will point to Izetta: The Last Witch having a similar issue with its politics but that one is an exception because of its “fictional World War inspired setting” but that was already discussed. As for Andrew himself. I will admit that I do not hate the character but I do not like him either. I mainly felt indifferent towards him. However, I will say his intrapersonal struggles and conversations with Akko were interesting. Having said that, I asked myself, was it really necessary for Akko to have those conversations with a guy? Another reason for this is one particular episode that takes place at the academy Andrew attends. This one mainly serves as a character developing episode for Akko and one of her gal pals. I will not spoil which one. What I am saying is that episode could have just as easily taken place in another judgmental all-girls school. I told myself that Andrew could have been replaced by another rich girl…but then I thought about Diana and concluded that having two rich girls with similar personalities would not work well. Basically some would say Andrew and his subplot could have been omitted and it would not have affected the show’s quality very much. I agree but at the same time still enjoyed the topics Akko and Andrew discussed. Still feel indifferent about guy. In short it feels like Big Band and Beowulf in the Skullgirls roster. Yes those two made the roster because of fan demand but to me it still feels off. I mean, the game is called SkullGIRLS yet there are two guys in it…I blame macho egos.

Akko, Sucy and Lotte.jpg

Main trio: Sucy, Akko and Lotte.

Anyway let us get back to the cool stuff and talk about the ladies. First off we have the main trio of Akko, Sucy and Lotte. Akko is a classic shounen protagonist: Loudmouthed, brash, short-tempered, pushy, not very bright…but also determined, kind, courageous, inspirational and for the most part having a “never give up, never surrender” outlook on life. She is as obnoxious as a typical male shounen lead but still very much likable. Think of her as Harry Potter with the temper and magic skills of early Ron Weasley and the luck of Neville Longbottom. Lotte is the more relaxed member of the trio who has her wacky moments but is mainly the voice of reason in the group. Sucy is…very special. At first glance she is a cynical prankster with a heart of gold but believe me, she is not that simple, which is what makes her so special. Unorthodox basically. She is more Dean Ambrose than Dean Ambrose, a lunatic fringe. Her character developing episode is a personal favorite. In short Sucy is…Sucy.

Amanda, Constanze and Jasminka.png

Important side-trio from right to left: Amanda, Jasminka and Constanze.

The second trio who do not get as much screen time as Team Akko but are of equal importance consists of Amanda, the rebellious badass tomboy with a heart of gold and the potential to steal the hearts of men and women everywhere. Constanze, a mute tech genius (The show also implements magitechnology as some readers figured out from the “old vs new” element I brought up) who is not very social except with her roommates. and then there is Jasminka. She is pudgy, adorable and is always eating chips of some kind. She does not have a character developing episode and serves as more of a mascot role…BUT I would argue her constantly optimistic attitude and the few moments she gets to show her likes and support of her friends make her equally as important as her friends…that or maybe it is my Jasminka bias talking. Either way she absolutely belongs on the show.

diana-and-her-lackeys

Diana and her stooges whose names I care not to remember.

The last trio consists of Diana and her two stooges who I simply refer to as “Female Crabbe and Goyle”. Diana can be best described as a MUCH nicer Draco Malfoy who gives off a pompous and arrogant know-it-all aura and is uber talented but as it is hinted early on…it is not by choice. Apart from viewers who already like her from the pilot and special I would say to other viewers to give Diana time and she will grow on you. As for “Crabbe” and “Goyle”…they are Diana’s stooges and that is all. I am serious.

Diana confessed...sort of

DiAkko(?)

Let us now go over what I imagine many wanted me to discuss, Akko X Diana. Personally I did not notice “it” at all in neither the pilot or special and for the longest in the first half of the TV show I did not see “it” either. However, as the second half went on more and more little hints began popping up. I would say be patient and it may pay off. I certainly thought it did. While I think KLK did it better (for Studio Trigger from what I have been told) with RyuMako, I conclude that after watching the show DiAkko is close enough to be a thing. Oh and there may a second couple.

Overall Little Witch Academia TV was a lot of fun despite having some episodes and segments that did not knock it out of the park. The same can be said for the Harry Potter movies so it all comes together nicely. The validity of the political subplot and Andrew’s inclusion may be debatable but they kind of serve their purpose. At the very least I can say it is much more accessible than Kill La Kill was and will not irk certain people as much since there is little to no fanservice in LWA and hardly any sensitive content or subject matter. Most of the characters are likable while others fill their roles. The animation, magic and action scenes are all sugar for the eyes and the soundtrack is delightful. DiAkko is close enough to be a thing. Viewers just need to be patient. Not perfect but like most things in life it does not to be in order to be enjoyable. While I would like to say I highly recommend this show to any animeniac, fact of the matter is that is wishful thinking. Have to take into consideration how some people feel about Studio Trigger’s shows, reputation and the like. Also there are people out there who are not into magic shows. Basically whoever finds this show interesting based on my review can check it out.

 

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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24 Responses to 325th G-View: Little Witch Academia TV

  1. philipbaxton says:

    For me this was the best show of the season with the best yuri pairing of the season as well. This was the only show that I was fully invested in ( I couldn’t get into Hinako Note and found it really boring and cheesy). Diana and Akko’s relationship felt real and you can see them growing closer as time went on. I also loved Croix and Chariot’s relationship. I’m glad the show didn’t let us down by having Akko end up with Andrew.

    Liked by 3 people

    • OG-Man says:

      HN being boring depends on the person but cheesy? It kinda has to be since it’s a cute comedy and all.

      Yup. DiAkko and ChaRoix are Super Mega OTP.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. kracen says:

    I did enjoy Little Witch, I did stop watching it after I heard Andrew was going to be in it, but I just opted to skip past every scene he is in instead.
    Considering how utterly pointless his character is missing these scenes only makes the show more enjoyable.
    Andrew is a perfect example as to why I dislike male characters in anime even as side characters… They add practically nothing for the show except giving the female characters someone to fawn over… It has no real purpose, the show works exactly the same without him being there, but it was for whatever reason seen necessary to give a potential romantic interest for them… Makes it worse when it doesn’t even go anywhere.
    My problem with male characters doesn’t stem from any form of misandry… Its because they’re written so badly or so pointlessly almost every single time. Either they’re there purely to be the handsome man for the girls to like or he is a completely blank and useless character for the viewer to self insert themselves in to pretend they’ve got a harem.

    On to actually important characters though;
    Sucy is best girl.
    Diana seems into Akko, even non Yuri fans saw it and mentioned it to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      I won’t go that far for all male side-characters but I do agree some of them feel tacked on or pointless. Best example is “What’s His Name” from Euphonium.

      Sucy is wonderful.

      DiAkko are Super Mega OTP.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LiteraryOtakuGamerGirlT says:

    I really enjoyed this series, and can see what they hype was about over the OVAs and movie. I’ll have to go watch those at some point now. I agree that although some episodes seemed disjointed from the main story, at the same time, there were none that I didn’t enjoy mostly because the characters made each episode fun. I really liked how almost each character got their own episode to shine (shame Jasminka was a bit shafted though), but even those who had less shine than others still had a significant presence. My favorite character by far was Amanda, especially after her episode that I swear made me swoon a bit lol. I really liked Akko as well. The whole cast was wonderful though. This really is like an alternate world Harry Potter and I loved it.

    As for the ships, I kind of liked the dynamic Akko and Amanda had and shipped them first, but then from Diana’s episodes on, I was full steam ahead with the DiAkko ship. By the final episode, I felt pretty sure that they were as close to canon as they were going to get and I’m satisfied with that, though I agree, KLK did the subtlety better. The one ship I don’t think can be disputed at all is ChaRoix. They had their ups and downs when Croix was being evil, but overall, I saw the genuine love between them, even when envy and differing ideals distanced them. Besides, I don’t think you can say one was “good” and the other “bad” as we know from that “twist” that Chariot is not as good as you might have thought and the fact that Croix never seemed to want Chariot to get hurt and even helped at times, shows she’s not as bad as she first seems. I love that they came together in the end to mentor the others and reconciled with each other as well. Also, I found Croix to be the most attractive character for me believe it or not and I swooned over her quite a few times, especially with her tomboy look in the segment about her and Chariot’s past. (I’m hopeless lol)

    Finally, to wrap up the extra points. Hannah and Barbara were just as you said, Diana’s minions, but even they were not that bad to me. As for Andrew, I’m sharing your sentiments. I didn’t hate him at all, but I didn’t love him either and really was indifferent. I thought he was a great friend for Akko at many points of the series and maybe provided assistance at times, but I never saw him as a love interest. I’ve never even seen much evidence that shows Akko likes him like that at all. She seemed more interested in Diana over him imo, but either way, it doesn’t matter because at least at this point, they are nothing more than friends. I didn’t mind his presence in the show at all though, and IF in a second season they were to start pushing he and Akko together, I can’t say I’d be extremely upset, but they have to give them real development to rival that of DiAkko for me to believe or accept it. Until that day comes though, I’m not giving up my DiAkko ship.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      Yup. It was an overall wonderful viewing experience and the closest we currently have to a Harry Potter-esque anime.

      Not at all. Croix looked mighty fetching, especially with that cape. Croix in the past was more cool than sexy but I get what you mean. She was cute as a student though. Chariot also looked hot herself as a sexy badass Jedi. As you said Croix may have done some really bad things but ultimately she wasn’t evil. She let her pride get the better of her and she miscalculated. Chariot also isn’t devoid of having made mistakes. Both learned their lessons the hard way and have plenty of time to (eventually) “catch up” if you know what I mean.

      We both have the same opinion on Andrew and his role in the show. Honestly I’d just keep them as homies and nothing more.DiAkko reigns supreme!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Irisu Erina says:

    Have a little interview that you and probably other readers will enjoy too:

    Source: https://twitter.com/nacatfan/status/879389656516771841

    Liked by 4 people

  5. kitsu260 says:

    Well, since the first ova I was betting for anime serie, this desire get stronger with Parade and when finally when we get was pretty okay but as much I wish. The disvantage of the serie was the worlds of Shiny Rod plot, the serie were better when Akko didn’t need to research for this world and you even can see how her trio presence down a lot.
    For the relationship, I see Ursula/Chariot as more potential, practically Akko was thinking on Chariot all this time and all her relationship were base in her desire to found Chariot, that why the Diakko relationship become secondary because Akko more important person was always Chariot.

    Like

    • OG-Man says:

      What I got from this tweet was the show wasn’t what you hoped it would be and something about Chariot stealing the spotlight.

      Like

  6. Hippogryph says:

    Thoughts on Andoryuu:

    He provided a non- wizarding world character who wasn’t there for just comic relief. (Harry Potter’s muggles were generally dunces to be laughed at.) And he provided a means to illustrate magic’s decline and diminishing reputation in the world. When Andrew’s opinions turn around, we see that they prefigure the very important change of heart in the larger world—which generates the renewed Ygdrassil and the climax of the show.

    Some yuri-philes might not like that Akko enjoyed flirting with him, but it wasn’t too, too much. In the end, Akko says “I love you” to her mentor, and forms her strongest student bonds with Diana and her room-mates. There was plenty of room for all of that.

    Having seen the end, I’m pleased with the series as a whole. I might have liked a bit more plottiness here and there, but I loved most of the stand-alone episodes, too. Even if there was some unevenness I will miss LWA aand its characters a great deal.

    And BTW, thank you for this blog!

    Liked by 2 people

    • kracen says:

      For the record, Chariots story line completely covered the magical decline story… Making him there to just say it again… Kinda pointless if you ask me.

      Like

    • OG-Man says:

      That is one way to validate his usefulness on the show.

      Not really. There was hardly any noticeable flirting. A blush or two here and there but that’s it.

      Twas a good show indeed.

      You’re welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. B-M says:

    One thing you didn’t bring up is the background homosexuality (tie-pull in the last episode, the bee-episode etc), which makes me think the shipping of DianAkko is all the more… real? Especially the finale.

    I adored the series. Super fun! Surprised I got some yuri AND yaoi too!

    You really got to the root of the problem of Andrew. He does indeed feel like he was made solely for straight shippers – the rest of his purpose was a bit meh, barring the potential for conversation with Akko he had.

    Liked by 2 people

    • OG-Man says:

      I didn’t talk about those moments because I wanted peeps to see for themselves.

      Yup. Really fun.

      Pretty much. Once again there’s valid argument in Andrew having been switched with a female character (Andrea for example) and there would have been little difference in the character’s role. The one defense I can think of is the all-boys academy episode might not have worked if it was all-girls…MIGHT NOT. Who knows? Anyway in the end it’s but a blemish. No big deal.

      Like

  8. LoliHat says:

    Little Witch Academia also stands out for having a healthy dose of more Western-style animation sensibilities. Heck, Hannah and Barbara are a rather obvious homage, as was the minor character Avery.

    Not sure about comparisons with Harry Potter, as the two seem very different. Admittedly I couldn’t really get into Harry Potter and couldn’t get past the first movie and part of the first book (especially the seeming privileged elitism of the magical characters vis a vis the dummy muggles), but that I love Little Witch Academia goes to show how different the two are: Even the biggest magicless dunce (Akko) could not only embrace and become one with the magic, but could also open others to its specialness.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I am going to be as honest as I can with LWA. I was a big fan for LWA since the first OVA. So much so I drew various fanarts and hoped that LWA would get a TV anime someday. I got my wish but then >Trigger just had to make it different from the OVAs. When they put a couple of useless dudes who barely had anything to do with the plot, that was when my hopes and dreams for this anime and LWA as a whole crumbled. What is more insulting is that when you remove them, nothing else happened. Those two were made to be baits for straight shippers. Trigger even got the nerve to shoehorn them when most of the fans were not very pleased with their selfish intents. If they wanted romance then did they not put it in the OVAs in the first place?

    According to some post-anime interview, Trigger pretty much regretted about putting all the hetero stuff and even Akko’s seiyuu Megumi Han was not having it, flat out said she wants Akko to be with Diana or Ursula. Now that the anime is over and despite the interview, I can never like Little Witch Academia. I do not even see the anime as LWA, just an anime that ignored fans’ expectation and failed miserably. I was very invested in the anime and I just wanted to see witch girls doing witch things. Trigger seriously screwed it up when they set up irrelevant stuff like those het scenes. That is why I did not draw one fanart for it and I was not enjoying the anime at all. Every time I watched those worthless disgusting het scenes, I felt like all of my dedication for LWA when up in smoke and flames.

    I am very sorry but that is how frustrated I am with the anime. Little Witch Academia would have been my most favorite anime instead of Love Live. LWA anime is the Hibike! Euphonium of the year, for very different reasons. Thank you so much Trigger for being such scumbags and tainting the reputation of one of my most favorite series of my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    • comorbid88 says:

      John…seriously? It almost sounds as if you took this series as a personal attack. Not to be rude but, not every character has to have a grand purpose in a show created for entertainment. Think about it. No. Seriously. If anything, the creators said they added him in as a best-pal type of character and, in doing so, provided the viewer a glimpse of the conflicting views on magic within the society. You see, that’s what shows are for. Entertainment. To provoke different types of thoughts. I hardly think his addition was the personal affront to your person you make it out to be.

      I’m not writing this to be rude, but to try to do damage control for people on the fence. I would definitely say John’s view is an outlier.

      Like

  10. DiAkko forever! My ship! My ship has practically made it to canon harbor! (ish). Those last parts of the “final boss fight” as it were, were in particular pretty amazing for that ship, what with Diana being the last one there for Akko in the midst of it all and the combo attacks and such. In my opinion, ended well.

    I pretty share your opinion of Andrew, I guess. Indifference, mainly, and relief that he got less attention in the final parts (and no romantic scenes).

    For me, Constanze is best girl. Her weird mecha-magic episode was such strange brilliance in this strange, brilliant show.

    Like

  11. Pingback: OG’s Top 15 Favorite Anime of 2017 | The Yuri Nation

  12. yuriramen says:

    i watched the show im really curious as to who that second couple is…

    Like

  13. Pingback: 417th G-View: BNA (Brand New Animal) | The Yuri Empire

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