Makoto Kowata is a 15 year-old witch-in-training who moves out of her parents' home in Yokohama to live with relatives in rural Aomori. She has a lot to learn about magic and living in the countryside, and she's enthusiastic to begin these new adventures. Balancing her days with both the otherworldly and the mundane, Makoto practices casting magic spells one day and growing her own vegetables the next. With her feline familiar Chito, her nomadic sister Akane, and her cousins, Kei and Chinatsu, Makoto makes the most out of each day- whether she's making enchanted snacks, accidentally summoning a giant flock of crows or exploring ancient ruins on the back of a flying whale!
It's Been Six Years
A Visitor for the Witch
Lessons in Farming and Magic
A Fortune Teller Veiled in Cherry Blossoms
How to Use Your Familiar
Trick and Treat
The Regular Customers
The Day After Tomorrow is Today
Bad With Cooking and Bad With Bees
A Whale in the Sky
A Witch's Robe and Different Ways to Spend the Day
EDIT: Nothing changes through the end of this anime. It's serene and wonderful. DISCLOSURE: Reviewed at Episode 6. Flying Witch embodies and embraces the slice of life genre. It's pacing and atmosphere can only be described as sedate and soothing. It's tone is light hearted, self-deprecating, and utterly enjoyable. STORY (9 of 10): In each episode, Makoto meets a new person who, through some action or plot device, allows her to reinforce or expand her witch skills. The show has a through story but can be viewed episodically (thus far) without any detriment. ANIMATION (4 of 10): I've been watching J.C.Staff since Toradora!, and the studio has a tendency to reuse model animations. I don't think this will bother a newer viewer, but seasoned viewers beware that you'll be seeing a lot of the same stock animation you've seen before. SOUND (8 of 10): This is one of the few animes in which I watch the opening every episode. It really sets the tone, and frankly, it makes me super happy. Otherwise, the in epidoe sound and VA acting is well done. CHARACTERS (9 of 10): Even as early as episode 6, there has been some serious character development. Side characters have well defined voice and depth. OVERALL (8 of 10): I honestly just ENJOY watching this anime. There's nothing spectular that happens in an episode, but everything comes together for a great show.
Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed. In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it. So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be. ART: Art is fine. I've said it before and I'll say it many more times: It is near impossible to screw this up these days. CGI is used a lot but not too noticable. SOUND: Again no complaints from me. I can no longer remember any of the music used but this is how I prefer it. Voice acting were decent even if they get to do the same thing over and over. CHARACTERS: Main character is Makoto. She is a very naief girl who is prone to getting lost a lot. Chinatsu is Makoto's niece, and her aunts youngest child. She becomes good friends with Makoto and becomes fascinated by the supernatural. Kei is Chinatsus' older brother and he is in Makoto's class. Very leverheaded and nothing seems to faze him. Akane is the older sister of Makoto and a highly talented witch. She is also very flighty and a bit irrisponsible at times. STORY: As a witch in training it is time for 15 year old Makoto to head out into the world. Her parents arrange for her to stay with her aunt who lives in Hirosaki. There she goes on a number of adventures. RANT: Well, in my previous review I mentioned that Rinne was kind of boring. This anime is making me take that back, this is true boredom. Nothing of note happens, and I do mean nothing. How do you make an anime about a with in training moving away this dull and boring? This is exactly the same plot as Kiki's Delivery service! To be fair, that is a GHIBLI product and of amazing quality that comes highly recommended. This.....not so much. It is of course completely unfair to compare this to Kiki's Delivery Service but there are many similarities. Kiki told it's story in 102 minutes and managed to cram a lot in its run time. This anime has 12 episodes of 20 minutes and tells exactly nothing. You get glimpses of the magic world and that is about it. At some point I started thinking of it like this: Imagine Harry Potter's world where you spend the entire run time with Hermoine. As she is living with her family during the summer. Away from Hogswarts and almost anything magic related. The only time you see something of the magic community is when someone or something drops by for a few minutes. I must also comment on the art. While overall decent quality it is what goes on behind it that drew my attention. Nothing of note happens in the background. In fact nothing happens at all because there is nothing there. When you look at the first few minutes of the anime you'll see immediately what I mean. Makoto walks through the station and there is either nobody there of people are frozen in one position. The only thing moving and drawn is Makoto and when she gets in a bus even that ends. You see a CGI bus drive through a CGI world. While done well it does show how small the budget was for this anime. I really can't recommend this anime due to the lack of contect. The first episode is also the best one so watch that but skip the rest. If you want to see an anime about a witch in training then go watch Kiki's Delivery Service.
JV's Anime Of The Season: Spring 2016 Positive *By far the best thing about FW and the reason why I loved this anime was the relaxing and calm atmosphere of this anime. This was the perfect anime to end my Saturday evening with. After watching Gakusen Toshi Asterisk which was action based and Mayoiga which was mystery based, FW was a welcome change and a very good counterweight for the more intense anime’s that I watched on the same day. For a video review, check out my Youtube channel. Link on my profile page. *A big contributor to this overall relaxing atmosphere of FW was the artwork. Not necessarily the animation itself but the background artwork. I loved the artwork, I already loved it when I saw the trailer for FW before the actual start. And also the design of the characters played perfectly into the atmosphere. There’s nothing very flashy in this anime. I had the same thoughts that I had when I watched Hai to Gensou no Grimgar. Also in that anime the animation and artwork was very calm and serene and also there it created this very calm atmosphere. There it was to elevate the sad storyline and here in FW it was to elevate the overall meaning of the anime. And they did that very, very well. *Now not only the character design was very well done but also the characters themselves. We had a wide variety of characters in this anime and each and every one of them was likable. From our main protagonists Makoto and Chinatsu to minor characters like Akane and Nana. Each of them had very fun and quirky personalities. For a lot of FW watchers the favorite character was Chinatsu and she was indeed a very likable character. Her enthusiastic personality, her curiosity, her spontaneity all contributed in making her a very fun child character. But my favorite character in this anime was Chito, Makoto’s cat. I don’t really know why but I loved Chito. Maybe it’s because I have 2 cats myself and I recognized a lot of them in Chito. But something else that this anime did very well with Chito was that they had to create his entire personality without speech. Chito can miauw but he can’t speak and therefor it’s way more difficult to create his personality. But JC did that very well through his movements, through his facial expression and through the way he reacted to certain scenes. Therefor the episode where Chito stands in the spotlights was my favorite episode. *Next positive point was the opening song of this anime. “Shararan” was not the best opening song of the season but it was definitely the most catchy one. Every week when that song began to play, you just couldn’t help but to feel happy and to me it always was the beginning of another great episode. *And my last positive point was the usage of Japanese mythology in this anime. Now I’m not completely sure if this is correct since I tried to research some Japanese mythology but I couldn’t find a direct link to some of the characters in FW like The Harbinger of Spring or that flying whale in the later episodes. Now if FW did inspire their mythological characters on real Japanese mythological characters than that’s another impressive thing from this anime. And if they didn’t and created these characters themselves, than that’s equally impressive. Negative *Now if you’re searching for an anime that will mesmerize you with a great and intriguing storyline, than you shouldn’t watch FW. Because literally nothing happens in this anime. This is an anime for the true slice-of-life lovers like me who don’t need exciting and action packed events to really enjoy an anime. There is no overall storyline in FW but since this was a completely episodical anime that was no problem for me. I got my enjoyment out of the slice of life factor. But if you’re not a slice-of-life fan and want your anime to have an overall storyline than FW will be extremely boring to you. *Now I didn’t have a problem with the absence of an overall storyline but it was a bit of a shame that there was no development in the multiple small storylines. In the anime we get quite a lot of small storylines like Makoto training her witch skills, Chinatsu who wants to become a witch, the story of Inukai and none of them really develops in this anime. There’s also no conclusion for any of them. FW is not an anime that starts at point A and ends at point B. It almost feels like we just jumped into the character’s daily lives, watched them for a while and then left again without waiting for certain events to conclude. Conclusion So as a conclusion, as I said at the beginning of the review. If you took relaxation and poured it into an anime you would get FW. I really enjoyed this anime and I’m going to rate Flying Witch at 4 stars with the extra stamp of JV’s Anime of the Season for Spring 2016.This is an anime that I’m missing now although this season it’s replaced by another one being Amaama to Inazuma because that one is so kawai.
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