The first hyped-up anime of 2017….as January was around the corner, many folks were excited about this anime. A return to Trigger’s Kickstarter ONA but now moving forward as a full fledged animated series and I mean with 2-cour, 25 episodes, the whole enchilada and people were excited as hell……but then they remembered Netflix got it and we all know Netflix works. We were going to have to wait 6 months until we see the show. Yeah, I know a lot of people that seemed bothered by that and I do get why most are upset about that (although at least with Netflix, you’ll eventually watch it without going through a double paywall and dubbed in different languages but hey, that’s that).
Now, Little Witch Academia….one of Trigger’s earliest creations has finally got a TV series. How will this fare?
In a time when magic is on the decline amid society, Atsuko Kagari is a cheerful girl who enters Luna Nova Academy in order to accomplish her dream of becoming a witch like her idol, Shiny Chariot. Shiny Chariot is a famous witch who disappeared from public view many years ago. On her way to school, Kagari meets the kind Lotte Yanson and the mischevious Sucy Manbavaran and the three become friends as they share a bedroom in campus. At the academy, Atsuko soon discovers she is in serious disadvantage compared to the other girls since she doesn`t come from a magical family and is required to learn the magical curriculum from scratch. Having found an item that once belonged to Chariot, Atsuko must discover how to activate and properly use the mysterious Shiny Rod as she hopes it might lead to finding out what has truly happened to her vanished idol.
OK, I know the 6 month wait was a bitch but after watching this show…….that 6 months were worth the wait. Oh, and spoiler, this is definitely going to be on my top 5 at the end of the year. I mean, if you read my review of the ONA and the movie, the show still retains that delightful whimsical charm of the ONAs. I will say I don’t think it requires you to watch the ONA or movie (but you should anyway because it’s awesome and only 90 minutes of your time) as the beginning of the show does start like it has a beginning, not just continuing from what happened last time. The first half of the series do carry that episodic vibe of what task or event is going on at the time but we do learn some things about one character in particular that’s too spoilerific to say along with getting to know more about the characters, world building around the series and I will say the 2nd half does kick in with a plot and a more serious tone. I never liked one half more than the other as the show kept me engaged throughout the run. Yeah, some episodes I just glance back but I’m still liking what I’m watching here.
Again, the characters are extremely likable in their own ways. Akko is still our energetic and tenacious lead that is head-strong on becoming a witch just like her idol Shiny Chariot. Sure, sometimes she can a bit annoying but it’s more funny-annoying than bothersome. In other words, she’ll make you smile more than want to choke. Sucy is the clearly sadistic-ass girl that likes to use people (mostly Akko) for her experiments and oozes with sarcastic humor and there’s Lotte, the friendly and diligent book-worm student.
Diana is quite the interesting character because at first, you think she’s the hot shit at the school because she comes from a prodigious family and you think she might be the snobbish bitch but that’s far from the truth as we got further to her as a character and how she’s Akko’s foil as Akko is looked upon as a damn fool and Diana as she knows what she’s doing. Yes, Akko and Diana does have rivalry in here but sooner both do gradually show respect for one another.
Ursula Callistis, one of the professors in the Academy, does have more of a showcase at the 2nd half of the series but the buildup about her on the 1st half was compelling. Again, spoilerific details that I can’t share. Oh, and also Amanda O’Neill….definitely cool supporting character while she can look like an idiot but still awesome nevertheless.
WHIMSY! Thy name is Trigger and the animation is thine! Or that. Look, it’s visually appealing with the cartoony look that fits the show to a tee and everything is matched up from the character designs to their personalities. Also, compared to their other series, this is the tamest show I have watched Trigger make since you don’t get unnecessary fan service of any girls, no gratuitous violence or stuff you might’ve gotten from any of their other shows. In fact, LWA (both the ONAs and TV series) is that Trigger show that you can show your kids and be for families.
For opening songs “Shiny Ray” by YURiKA (eps 2-13) & “MIND CONDUCTOR” by YURiKA (eps 14-24)…..well, both of them fit the motif of the show with the enchanting sound and as for the ending songs,”Hoshi wo Todoreba (星を辿れば)” by Yuiko Ohara (大原ゆい子) (eps 2-13, 25) & “Toumei na Tsubasa (透明な翼)” by Yuiko Ohara (eps 14-24), I have to say that I prefer the 1st ending theme more mainly because I liked the sound of it better than the 2nd ending theme. Score matches up the show’s tone as well and yeah, that’s all I got to say. Last but not least is the English dub and they did get back everyone from the ONAs with Erica Mendez, Rachelle Hager and Stephanie Sheh returning as Akko, Sucy and Lotte, respectively and yes, they delivered solid performances as well as a returning Laura Post as Diana and Marianne Miller as Amanda O’ Neill.
FINAL VERDICT: Spoiler, I absolutely love this show and this is definitely not only my top favorite show of the year (that and two of my favorite new anime this year happens to have the word “Academia” in them), but we got another top tier Trigger show, next to Kill La Kill only I can show this to my nieces and nephews and also the first time in a while that an anime with fantasy elements set in a high school didn’t turn out to be crappy with genuine likable characters and a story that keeps evolving.
So it’s definitely an instant recommendation as I’m under its spell and it’s a guaranteed….
HALL OF FAME!
So, yeah, I think you know where this is streaming on at this point. But, yes, it is only on Netflix and so far, no home video plans have been announced or anyone licensing the series as of yet.
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and everything is MAGICAL!!
LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA – animated by TRIGGER / streaming on NETFLIX