Anime Review: Little Witch Academia (TV)

little witch academia anime

Year: 2017
Length: 25 Episodes
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, School
Studio: Trigger

Determined to become a witch that enchants peoples hearts and makes them happy with her magic, Atsuko Kagari, enters Luna Nova, the magic academy her big idol Shiny Chariot once attended as well. Impatient to learn more about her idol and how to use magic like Chariot did, she first has to learn the very basics that unfortunately don’t seem to come too easy for her…


I know people will disagree with me, but Little Witch Academia sure feels like the anime version of Harry Potter with a much lighter atmosphere and a full female cast instead. Now, given the fact that I loved Harry Potter, enjoy more easy-going shows, and just grave for this type of all-female casts, I couldn’t help but fall head over heals in love with this anime.

Starting with the characters, I have to admit that I found Atsuko, or Akko, quite annoying in the beginning. She is always all over the place, screaming and yelling, running around, and never sitting still. She’s clearly eager to learn about her idol, how she learned to work magic like that, and especially where she disappeared to, but she’s too impatient to think things through, and thus always ends up causing a mess. As I got more into the show, however, I learned to love exactly that about her. All the different faces she always makes, all the things she gets wrong on her way, and all the trouble she causes. In the end, she just wants what’s best for everyone and doesn’t stop even if it seriously gets her in trouble every single time.

Lotte and Sucy also slowly worked their way up to become outstandingly nice and deep characters, even if they were mostly totally overshadowed by Akko. The two characters I loved most, however, were Diana and Ursula. Starting with Diana, I think I’m simply a sucker for these types of “starting out as rivals, but then becoming best friends (and possibly more)”-kind of relationships. She always seemed cold and aloof, but really, she was simply so fixated on her goal that she just couldn’t be distracted by other things. When she finally warmed up to Akko, though, I totally understand why everyone started shipping the two of them, but more about that later. The big star for me, however, was probably more the clumsy and oh so plain teach Ursula. Well, it was very obvious from the beginning what her true identity was, but other than that, I loved what outfit she chose to hide it. Big glasses, that ridiculously nice ponytail to the side, plus that weirdly irresistible voice of hers…. HGHNNNN. I just can’t get enough!

Chariot-Ursula_smiling

Red hair Ursula = best Ursula

Other than the fact that it was a little too obvious for me that she was Chariot, I really enjoyed how the show built up the pressure, making us hope that she would finally reveal the big secret to probably her biggest fan, Akko. I found the little twist about her magic show that stole Akko’s magic so damn interesting and well implemented that I almost forgot about the fact that the first half of the show was pretty much all just fillers.

The real storyline only became apparent in the later episodes, while in the first half, we mostly got to know the characters in what felt to me like filler episodes. At first, I was a little worried that the whole show would simply end up being this “one episode for an adventure of each character” kind of show. But I was truly pleased to find out that the few factors that gave me hope for a true plot in the first episode, actually came into play and set the stage for something truly amazing.

Even the early episodes set the focus on the problem that the magic fuel that gave the witches their power was slowly running low, meaning that magic would soon die out completely. So when the plot was finally revealed, it just felt natural that they would try to change it all. Witches would soon perish, and all people without magical powers already seemed to see magic as a thing from the past, something that’s just not in fashion anymore. It was a damn great setting, but in my eyes, I think they didn’t make it very clear why exactly magic was in fact still useful to the world. We saw some magic shops every here and there where they sell old artifacts or magical devices, but nothing seemed to be practical or anything other people might need in their lives. The only way we saw magic being used was solely to entertain people. I think they could have developed that aspect a little more.

63lEaAc

And nope, I won’t talk about Andrew….

Furthermore, thanks to adding our antagonist that admittedly had similar goals but other, let’s just say very unconventional ways of going about it, I think the world should have been even more against or even afraid of what magic can actually do. Instead, in the last episode, they were all just rooting for the witches to destroy the deadly missile that no one even seemed to understand was a problem caused by magic itself.

Anyway, despite the fact that I think they could have found a better way of having people find their love for magic again, everything else was simply perfect. I love how they connected Akko’s inability to fly to her idol, who was sneakily disguised as her teacher. I loved how they added technology into this world of magic and actually made it seem like something that just made sense to use. And I freaking love how, from a yuri fangirl’s perspective, there was so much going on that you could basically ship everyone and still be able so find some kind of justification for it.

Well, my favorites are surely Akko x Diana, and, of course, Croix x Urusula. I just really wish we had more doujinshi of them…

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Story: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Animation: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Yuri: 5/10
Total Enjoyment: 9/10


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17 thoughts on “Anime Review: Little Witch Academia (TV)

  1. This is a nice little anime series, unexpectedly hilarious for me (the scene where Akko accidentally flushes the Fish teach down the sink and just stands there with her empty hands out in shock made me laugh out loud), I think it’s because they weren’t afraid to really mess with Ako, it can seeml ike a disrespectful way to treat your characters but she is a master of slapstck comedy from falling flat on her face in episode 1 to obliviously walking around allday with a sprout growing out of her head, but she’s so adorable and determined it just makes you root for her more.

    As for the Yuri, LWA Yuri is for me, the most wholesome Yuri I’ve seen of a pre-existing series and no one exemplifies this aspect better than Ticcy, if you haven’t seen Ticcy’s comic where Akko tricks Diana into saying ‘I love you’ you should hunt it down, it’s short but very sweet!

    And knowing going into this that the Yuri was purely fan stuff, the episode with the Cupid Bee was like a surprise haymaker knockout to the face, ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice review as always, and I’m glad you talked abouth LWA in this site. I honestly loved this anime, like, way too much for my own good, which honestly is surprising as I don’t like Harry Potter at all.

    The thing I probably enjoyed the most may be the character design, I really like when an anime has a cast of characters that have their own unique look. It’s sad that most anime characters look really similar nowadays, it’s like the idea of how anime should look like has become so specific that anime characters are beginning to look the same (we’re talking about anime, be more creative for fuck’s sake!)

    By the way, I’d like to mention that Yō Yoshinari (LWA’s Director and concept artist) has made Dianakko drawings, including a NSFW one ~~

    Liked by 1 person

    • A lot of anime characters doesn’t looked the same nowadays, don’t know what you’re talking about, unless you’re looking back into those visual novel adaptation glory days around 2007-2011, then I could understand your point because a lot of visual novel really does looked the same and it carries over to the anime version. Luckily, it seems the trend dies down and now we got a lot of light novel adaptation instead that is commonly trashy and filled with harem bullshit but one thing for sure, a lot of them doesn’t looked the same, only shared similar overpowered protagonist trope or an isekai adventure. Of course, if you go around looking for random gifs on google image to ascertain your point, that’d make it easy enough for you to end up with your observation there, but I could probably assured you that they’re just snippets from older anime from the visual novel era instead of the current age. Beside, saying the word “most” when it’s improbable for a normal human to actually kept up with every (most) anime shows there is since 3 to 4 years ago, for them to arrive at a point where they could honestly believe that their claims is very substantial, could hugely be seen as a massive exaggeration, if anything. For instance, Megalo Box sure as hell doesn’t looked like Citrus, and Citrus doesn’t have the same aesthetics like Yuru Camp, while Yuru Camp couldn’t appear to be any more similar to Sora yori mo tooi basho. This topic also makes me remembered a certain Gintama episode where the main cast kept complaining that coming up with an original character design is very hard work. But do believe in what you do believe in.

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      • I understand what you say, but that isn’t exactly what I meant. What I really meant in my comment is that right now there aren’t many animes that have such a great character design. If you search an image of Sucy on google, not only does she physically look different to the other characters of LWA, but you can also more or less intuit what her personality is. Personality can be expressed simply in how the character has been drawn, LWA succeeds in doing so, while many other animes fail at doing so.

        I’d like to mention that I agree that my original comment may look as “a massive exaggeration”, I didn’t express what I had in mind correctly, as I do think there are animes which have a fantastic artistic direction. The new Devilman anime is a clear example. Masaaki Yuasa did a fantastic job in terms of conveying certain emotions through the abstract artstyle Devilman Crybaby has.

        So yeah, what I basically meant is that many animes look a like, not “most”. I was just comparing how well thought LWA’s artstyle is in comparison to animes that are currently being released like SAO Alternative, High School DxD or Tokyo Ghoul:re (I haven’t watched SAO Alt. or High School DxD, but I bet they are as abysmal as Tokyo Ghoul:re’s anime).

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    • Where, exactly, did you hear that? If I can see there’s proof that “word of god” supports Diana x Akko I’d be ecstatic.

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    • Ah, I also heard this but I couldn’t remember where I read this topic in question. Also, apparently, Trigger was very upset with their mistake regarding Andrew and acknowledge that it was a massively shitty move on their part to do that, not to mentions the backlash they received from the voice actors that supported Diane x Akko and some vocal fanbase. If there’s ever gonna be more sequel to LWA, i’m sure as hell wanted to see they remove all those unnecessary boys that got stuck into the cast additions and goes full yuri mode or something, because I’m pretty sure they realized that’s what the fans want, not your common and everyday hetero dumpster fire. They could also carry this theme into SSS Gridman as well, another upcoming mecha anime by Trigger, but seeing that it’s an all rounder that contained both boys and girls, I wouldn’t surprised if they’re making another Darling.

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  3. This is just the kind of wackiness you’d expect from Trigger! Even though you pretty much know what’s going to happen, and who’s who, you can’t help but being sucked up into the wonder of it all. πŸ˜€

    And yeah, this show is a shippers delight! For example, most of the characters managed to gain some closeness with Akko, and looking on DS there are five pairing tags for Akko alone.
    Personally while I do like Diakko a lot, my favorite pairing is actually Sucy x Akko πŸ˜›

    The only one I can’t get behind is Croix. For some reason I just can’t forgive her for what she did to Ursula and Akko. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great show and a worthy successor to the OVAs. One of my favs of 2017. Favorite characters were Jasminka, Amanda and Sucy. Favorite scenes are Jedi Ursula and Akko’s reaction when she dropped Miss Pisces down the drain.

    Took me some time to board the DiAkko bandwagon but once I felt it there was no turning back.

    CroiRiot/CharOix was wonderful the moment they blessed us with their yuri vibes.

    Like

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