First Impressions: Little Witch Academia

Summary:

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.

Rating: 3/5

Impressions:

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.

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Why…?

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.

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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.

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What are your first impressions of Little Witch Academia?

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10 thoughts on “First Impressions: Little Witch Academia

  1. Agree. What the show excels at is the visuals and so far to get invested it’s inevitable to just keep hope in Trigger that they’ll manage to write a decent story that’s yet nowhere to be found.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s almost as you said, the plot is too cliche and mostly felt like a mix of Harry Potter and My hero Academia.
    But as for the animation, that’s the greatest part, I literally experienced goosebumps around the last few minutes of the episode, the music and the visuals gave it a refreshing look ✌

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m still super mad that Netflix has this because they don’t simulcast. I had initially planned to review it week to week but now I’ll have to wait until Netflix adds it. Boo. The one good thing about that is there is a good chance they’ll have a dub, and if my reviews are any indication I enjoy a good dub.

    From what I saw of the movies though, I can see why you feel like it’s hardly any different from Harry Potter. The characters don’t distinguish themselves strongly (something I hope to see improve with a TV series) and a lot of the early stuff is just learning magic and messing up spells and whatnot.

    That said, the movies did some interesting things that I hope the series draws inspiration from to do some fun stuff. Criticizing Trigger has almost become trendy, but they do tend to be very creative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Netflix is literally killing the joy of simulcasting. It’s a really dumb idea that generates a lot less hype. Just look at what happened to Ajin because of it.

      I agree that Trigger are very creative though, and I loved Kiznaiver, so hopefully this show will grow on me over time.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I watched the 30 min episode movie on Netflix. It was cute but I felt like the MCs emotions were overexaggetated. Granted kiznaiver was the same but the show was about emotions and feelings so it made sense .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kiznaiver is the only Trigger show I’ve considered to be anything above average, since I resonated with it very well emotionally due to how it reflected my own childhood growing up.

      I’m hoping this show changes its tune later on, but I’m quite doubtful.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been hanging my nose over the original short anime on Netflix for a while, but lacking the impetus to get into the series, so I was hoping this show would be that impetus. Hopefully, it improves once it comes out of basic character and story indroduction.

    I’m personally a big fan of Trigger’s stuff, Kill la Kill was a joy to watch after getting back into anime and re-familiarising myself with all the tropes it calls out and makes fun of. And Kiznaiver just grew on me, there’s no other way I can put it. Nico is so much like me a few years ago, when I was trying so hard to be quirky, it hurts 😄 So how she functioned in the group was my in, but that series did rely on you deeply relating to how one or more of the characters felt, I thought. They covered a lot of ground, but not enough to invite everyone, and then that contributed to it feeling crammed into 12 episodes. Such a shame that it didn’t meet its full potential.

    Like

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