Hey……I haven’t did this in a long while since……November with Yuki Yuna and that is actually still the norm on Anime Discovery this year but hey, we’re close to 150 reviews on here so let’s make the best of this……
I have probably said this a thousand times when talking about Studio Trigger but as of now, to me, they are one of the anime studios today that I highly respect in regards to their content, style and way of story-telling and while they have only been a studio since August 2011 (5 years coming this year!!), they have already made an impact in anime…..but before Kill La Kill, before Ninja Slayer and before their newest series Kiznaiver coming in Spring 2016…..there is a little short (along with a hour-long movie sequel to this) that showed me why they are good at what they do….
Little Witch Academia is a part of the Anime Mirai project in 2013 that funds young animators to make their short film projects (one of those in that year was Death Billards, the prequel to the show Death Parade) and with the sequel being extended to a 50-minute episode thanks to their successful Kickstarter campaign.
LWA: Inspired by a magician named Shiny Chariot, the lively Akko Kagari enters the Little Witch Academia with the dream of one day becoming as cool as her idol.
LWA – TEP: Student witches Akko, Sucy and Lotte are tasked with organizing a parade commemorating the role of witches for the annual town festival. Sleeping giants, ambitious mayors, insolent boys, the girls’ own squabbling and copious amounts of magic combine to create a spectacular event.
With both shorts, I have to say that this is a good example on how to use the moe aesthetic in anime and does more than pandering to the lowest common denominator and even if it does that, it’s hardly noticeable in the final cut or it blends well into it. There is wonder and excitement about what goes on about being a witch, the history about witches in this Academy and there is also some downfalls to it, too, as The Enchanted Parade went further with that. It’s like if Harry Potter got an anime but focuses on the other side characters in Hogwarts and it’s actually quite good. For its short run-time (both in total are approximately 90 minutes), the two shorts got you to wanting more from it, leaving you on a good note.
For characters in the two shorts, I can easily say there isn’t a single character I outright hated in here and even with some you supposed to dislike, they actually are redeemable in the end. All the characters got their charm and likability that can really get you into the story from the ambitious and energetic lead girl Akko, the shy glasses girl Lotte and the very odd yet funny Sucy. Diana, the top student of LWA may be the type to look down at her peers and she does but like I said before, characters like this does have something for them to like about them in the end. Other good characters include these 3 new characters into TEP, Amanda O’Neill, Constanze Braunschbank Albrechtsberger & Jasminka Antonenko as they were part of the reason why the second short easily improves over the first, like any sequel (of whatever media) should do or try to do.
Whimsy is the word to describe the animation and the music. That’s the thing I like about Trigger and their animation style as it’s not too overly gaudy that I lose interest in it or too ugly that I need to take a double take of what I’m watching. It’s simple enough to know that it will progress later on into the show although since this is a short, it works well here. The silliness, the magic moments and the flying sequences are the best animated sequences of them all. Oh, the music does play well here with this adventurous jaunty sound and it works…..like MAGIC!!!
Oh, and let’s not forget that….there is a ENGLISH DUB and it’s on Netflix and yes, the dub is listenable so no worries on that. I will say this was done by a LA studio that’s not Bang Zoom or Studiopolis but one called Deluxe Digital Services, who I have a feeling we’re going to hear them more in Netflix Exclusive anime *wink wink* and I liked the performances throughout the shorts from newcomer to anime Rachelle Hager as Sucy, who nailed the sickly-like scientist voice of hers. Known but not as known VAs like Marianne Miller and Jennifer Alyx as Amanda and Constanze, respectively (along with other characters like Hanna) are also great as well, too. Stephanie Sheh as Lotte does bring a familiar voice in here, much like her as Mikuru in Haruhi Suzumiya and there is her other character Jasminka in here, too, and she does her best in both those roles. I will say the two best performances in here are Laura Post as Diana Cavendish and last but not least, the VA who is really making a name for herself in the past 2 years, Erica Mendez as Akko and at first, I admit that I didn’t know it was her at first but then again, I’m not good at detecting voices by ear unless I can really detect their voice well.
FINAL VERDICT: Little Witch Academia is a magical ride from beginning to end with an adventurous and exciting tone that leaves you wanting more from these shorts with likable characters, a good premise and an universe to explore throughout. Plus, this is also a good short to show to your kids or nieces or nephews who might get into anime at a young age. This was a snippet of what Trigger did back then and now with shows like this, Kill La Kill & Ninja Slayer from Animation on their roster, it cemented that this studio has a lot of creativity and passion in their hands.
Little Witch Academia gets the big grade of 8.5/10 and The Enchanted Parade is enchanted with a 9/10!!
Both FIRST CLASS titles!!!
Little Witch Academia & LWA: The Enchanted Parade have been licensed by Acttil. 1st one has been released on region-free Blu-ray and 2nd one was released via Kickstarter. Streaming options are on Crunchyroll and Netflix. Plans are being made to make a crossover with this and Inferno Cop.
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, bringing all the magical elements in one Academy.
LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA / LWA: THE ENCHANTED PARADE – animated by STUDIO TRIGGER / licensed by ACTTIL