Inspired by a witch named Shiny Chariot, Akko Kagari decides to enroll at Luna Nova Magical Academy to become a witch herself, but due to coming from a non-magical background she struggles to succeed. But one fateful day, this all changes when she stumbles upon an ancient magical relic left by Shiny Chariot: the Shiny Rod. The series follows Akko and her academy friends Lotte and Sucy as they embark on all kinds of magic-filled adventures.
Little Witch Academia is a show I never planned to watch this season. The original short movie never really appealed to me, and the entire premise and basic idea behind the whole series just felt like an Anime reimagining of Harry Potter with an added wacky sense of style and humour.
But given how popular this show seems to be this season and due to the overwhelming positive reception from a large portion of the community, I decided to check it out despite my initial disinterest. I had to torrent it to watch it though because Netflix were given it for some reason.
I’d like to start by saying I’m not the biggest fan of Trigger as a studio. I don’t think they’re “saving Anime” because Anime hardly needs saving and, with the exception of Kiznaiver, I’ve never really been all that into the shows they’ve produced in the past.
But am I fan of Little Witch Academia so far? Well, I’m currently on the fence for now and I think it’s going to take a few episodes for me to decide how I ultimately feel about this one.
Like all Trigger shows, Little Witch Academia’s biggest and most notable strength is its unique visual style and outstanding presentation. The art style is colourful and looks great and the animation itself is energetic, inventive and just plain wacky. To boil it down to simpler terms: the show looks lovely. Every scene, be it a whimsical scene filled with a ton of crazy things going on or just an instance of characters engaging in everyday conversation, is constantly moving and gives off a sense of energy and effort unlike that of your average Anime production.
This entire episode was constantly animated, and it was a real treat on the eyes. From a visual standpoint, Little Witch Academia is pretty outstanding. The show has this incredibly whimsical feeling throughout it. Everything feels magical, almost like a Disney movie and it makes for a really charming viewing experience. This quality production is further elevated by the incredible soundtrack, which is pretty darn great as well.
Unfortunately, in terms of narrative and characters, Little Witch Academia has left me with very little to be impressed with. At this stage it just seems almost too much like Harry Potter in literally almost every sense that I’m finding it a little hard to enjoy. I’ve seen this before, a dozen times in a dozen other things that did this exact same story to emulate the success of J.K Rowling and her winning formula, and I just don’t enjoy it any more. And that’d be fine in itself if the characters were actually interesting and unique, but they aren’t. So far, I’m not seeing anything special nor anything that stands out beyond a few archetypical character traits. Akko is the energetic and charismatic one of the bunch, Lotte is the shy one with the glasses and so on.
Of course, it’s very early days, and the story could literally go anywhere. This is a Trigger show after all and, for better or worse, they always try to do the unexpected. But as things currently stand, I’m not all that invested in the narrative or its characters. The show just looks great. I mean, I’ll give it credit where it’s due: it looks really great, but that’s all I’m really getting from it at the moment.
I’ll definitely be sticking around to see how things pan out story wise, at least for a few more episodes, in hopes that the narrative starts to take some more interesting routes.
This show isn’t bad, not by a long stretch. It’s pretty good. But is it the Anime of the season for me? Not at all. That’d be ēlDLIVE.
Let’s hope Trigger can win me over with this one in the end. Don’t let me down Little Witch Academia.
What are your first impressions of Little Witch Academia?