Back in 2010 the Young Animator Training Project (now known as Anime Mirai Tamago) started and a lot of anime of different degrees of quality were featured there. Some of them were average (Ryo, Arve Rezzle) while some others were good (Wasurenagumo, Chronus). Among those good shows were two of them that not only were great but also became so popular that they got a sequel made. Little Witch Academia was one of them (the other was Death Billiards) but, does this show deserve the popularity it has? Keep reading to find the answer.
Little Witch Academia is about a young girl who was a big fan of Shiny Chariot, a witch that used her powers to entertain people, and decided to enroll in a magic school to follow her steps. There she learns that learning magic is not precisely fun and, on top of that, Shiny Chariot is looked down by the rest of the witches because magic is serious business.
At first glance this looks like what would somebody expect from a Pixar movie, even the characters are based on the typical stereotypes you usually find in their movies. Aside of some minor characters there's the main heroine, her friends, the alpha b*tch and her girl posse. Luckily the execution was good so this ended up being more of a minor complain than an actual issue. Of course you can't do much in 30 minutes so there were some stuff that was left undeveloped.
Of course things were done better in the animation and sound department. It was very fluid and the characters were well designed and, like the scenery and the backgrounds, everything was done with vibrant colours. Regarding the sounds, the background music not only is good but also fits the tone of the series really well and the sound effects were well done. Also the voice acting was top-notch.
So, what's my final veredict? This show is definitely worth the praise. While it has some flaws and it's not perfect it's quite enjoyable for both kids and adults. If you're wondering whether to watch it or not, go ahead and do it. It's worth it.
[Little spoiler alert]
Maybe I'll start with the fact that this anime is definietly not an anime that has risen to the top.
It has a fairly plain and very little creative storyline. It tells only about the school of the witches and we have seen a lot of such anime, such as Quiz magic academy, Sugar sugar rune, Madoka Magica etc. There are many such anime, but they are true often watched by otaku begginers. However I think that from this category of "witches or magic school" this anime is one of the worst. The line of the series is also not surprisingly outstanding. There aren't many twists and turns which makes the anime a bit boring after watching it. You can even guess who Shiny Chariot is very quickly, which does not keep us in suspense to watch it until the end.
The characters have their own characteristic and distinctive personalities. I like the fact that the main character, Atsuko Kagari, is a very simple character which shows that not only imaginary anime characters are the protagonist.
However, I think this are not very privy to the secrets of anime, manga and the whole world of otaku. I would reccomend it to people who are not too concerned with the topic but would like to start with something. To be honest, I liked it very much when I watched the series and I was delighted with the characters and the story but- it was one of my first anime right after Sailor Moon and Glitter force so as you can guess I didn't have much to compare to it.
Remember that this is just my opinion so if you don't think the same I'm good with that but please don't write rude things or hate me :>
OK, it's family friendly fun. The premise has been beaten to death in all forms of art. And yet, Little Witch Academia is so earnest and fun that it is absolutely fantastic. From the clever and distinct character designs (like a cartoon of Hogwarts), the brilliant backgrounds, the uplifiting cinematic music, multiple character arcs, and a bunch of jokes ranging from slapstick to situational via nerd and literary references, this is some top notch stuff.
Have no doubt, Little Witch Academia is cheesy, and invades Pixar territory with the plot style. It sets itself up to compete with the entire world of animation, and not only that, in the particularly fierce and high budget section of child friendly movies. You know what? Call me impressed.
The story is perhaps the weakest point of Little Witch Academia. It isn't anything special. The plot is very basic, naively sticking to the most general formula out there. It borrows plenty from Harry Potter; a muggle born witch not knowing the culture and sucking at flying on brooms, a trio led by super-snob as the school rivals, two best friends so they can match up, history of magic being a snoozefest, the "evil" good guy using potions... I could keep going on for ages. It also borrows from various other works. I'd actually really hate it if it wasn't so damn enjoyable.
The animation is top notch with a unique style that is on the border of anime and the cartoon network from a style point. The movement is glorious in its flow, not sticking to realism but rather revelling in the format to emote with body language so much more than adding more details to the character design. The care for the facial expressions is magnificent, giving us a range of personality in every interaction. As I mentioned, the backgrounds are downright glorious. And through it all, there is a vision of how it should be done, and they stick with it from start to end.
The sound is perhaps the weakest point, since I am comparing it to the best of Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks and not only anime. While the voice acting is superb, the soundtrack is a bit on the obvious side. It is overall a great fit for such a short piece, giving us tension when needed, and is uplifting and grand as well. Overall, it is a strong showing.
From a character perspective, the fact that they managed two complete character arcs while this being a world-creation/plot driven piece is one amazing accomplishment. Little Witch Academia manages to have a few memorable characters, and even manage to make them have some depth. There are the stereotypical characters, but luckily, the focus is more on their interactions when they're flat and depth is added when they're important to the plot.
I cannot recommend Little Witch Academia to just anyone. I will recommend it to everyone. This is half an hour your life will be better for spending.
Little Witch Academia centers around a young girl who is in training to be a witch. It's from studio Trigger, an assortment of ex-Gainax members who would go on to create Kill La Kill.
The anime is a 25-minute web OVA, which was a project for young animators to stretch their wings. It centers around a young witch in training with something to prove as she goes through a school life full of fantastical magic.
The story, in my humble opinion, isn't the greatest story ever cooked up. However, due to the fact that it is a mere 25 minutes, some elements tend to suffer. The premise is strong, but the execution is weak. This is not the animation studio's fault by any means, but their miniscule time constraint.
SPOILER WARNING BEGIN
There is one plot hole that really gapes to me, maybe it doesn't bother other people quite as much, but I noticed it. The witches are sent into a dungeon to collect treasure and defeat monsters, and in the process a dragon is freed from his seal. But when the dragon reaches the surface to wreak havoc, the teacher reacts as if it was highly unexpected that the dragon be released. If you send children to plunder treasure, wouldn't it be obvious that one of them find and accidentally release a dragon? Sheesh.
Another problem is the moral. The protagonist is shown not to be very good at magic, not even being able to fly a broom, and her personality is a little on the irritating side, but in the end she is rewarded for... Believing? She obtains the staff and power of a powerful witch, but she didn't do much to earn it, when her actions are considered.
SPOILER WARNING END
The animation in this show made me think quite a bit of Kill La Kill. The style is very similar in the ways characters move, expressions, and colors. For a beginning studio, the animation is near flawless, with very fluid characters and wonderful magic animations. Not much to say other than wonderful, particularly from a new studio.
THE MUSIC, DEAR GOD. The music was perfect. What can I even say? How the music was so fucking astounding was beyond me, fully orchestrated tracks made me feel like I was in a Ghibli film, or in Harry Potter. Hot diggity fuck, the music was good. Moving on.
The characters weren't really anything new or special. All of them were essentially archetypes that were predictibally filled. Again, this is due to the fact that it's only 25 minutes, and you can't really flesh out characters in that time, can you?
The main character is "hothead with something to prove"
Her friends are "quiet eccentric" and "geek"
The antagonist girl is "queen bee of the school" and her two "queen bee echoes"
Not much to say, really.
All in all, the experience was wonderful. Despite my gripes about story and character, this is because it was ONLY 25 MINUTES. Everything that counts is there, and it still definitely is a worthwwhile experience.
Find it on YouTube or Crunchyroll
While the story may not be all that unique, it is told in a well paced and charming way. It is fairly simple but quite entertaining, and it's overall a satisfying experience.
Put simply, the animation is awesome. Not only is the animation very smooth, but it also has a certain special charm about it.
The background music is really cinematic and well done.
Dispite the fact that this anime is only 25 mins. long, you do get attached to the characters. This is probably the characters are quite charming. You also can't help but root for the main character to do well and prove herself.
This is a cute little show that will probably appeal to most people of all ages. It may not have the deepest or most complicated story, but it has plenty of charm and is very entertaining. It also helps that it has excellent production values.