Little Witch Academia – 04
「ナイトフォール」 (Naitofōru )
It seems awfully like a bait, but should I bite? Should I talk about it? Should I talk about Twilight?
Sure, let’s do it.
For those of you who missed it, Stephanie Myer’s Twilight series was one of the more divisive novels of our time. Unless the similarly unexpectedly wildly popular Harry Potter, which is almost universally loved and to speak ill of it tantamount to heresy, Twilight created two rather vocal and diametrically opposed camps. There’s the diehard fans that will ceaselessly evangelise their love of the books, and there’s the counterculture warriors who decided Twilight was the worst thing ever and made their opinion known whenever possible. And the internet made both sides sound a lot louder than they actually were.
Obviously, the night fall series from this week is an expy of Myer’s novels (though mercy on our souls if there ever comes a time when there’s a Twilight instalment for every day of the year). I’m not sure exactly how I feel about this. On one hand, this episode could be interpreted as a strawman defence of Twilight, and I’m more aligned with the side that considers Twilight to be banal drivel. On the other hand, I mostly agree with the overall message of the episode, about the importance of love and passion, haters be damned.
I like to think that I have fairly balanced perspective here (though everybody thinks that about themselves). I’ve actually read the first book of Twilight, because when something’s this popular it’s behoves one to find out what the fuss is all about, and also because one can get awfully bored at an airport. After long and careful consideration I concluded that it was truly terrible, sure, but I could also sort of see why it could gave appeal with its demographic. How healthy or deserved that appeal is must be a debate left for another time. Bottom line is, there is some merit there, and that should be enough for us to let it go on its way.
Sure, you can argue that it’s the dullest kind of escapism. You can argue that it preys on vulnerable egos. You can even, like me, almost resent it because you can list a dozen better authors who ‘deserve’ the success more. But we should not hold any of that against the fans. Love is the most subjective thing. Who knows, maybe it helped them through a tough time, as stories do. Maybe it’s the vehicle for them to connect to others. Maybe they’ve just invested huge amounts of time into it. Whatever. Nerds will be nerds. I think we should encourage people to channel their passion into something positive, and we can worry about the exact direction later.
The same thing goes for the creators, I suppose. If they invest a lot of love and effort and detail into their work, and that gets through to their fans, more power to them. Sure, the night fall described here sounds, frankly, like a bit of a trainwreck, but if it’s a well considered trainwreck we can still appreciate the spectacle. Perhaps it’s all a metaphor for Little Witch Academia, as well. If one stares at LWA a bit too hard they might come to realise that the script is actually kinda flaky. But it’s obviously made by a bunch of folks who love their anime, and the love, effort, and detail show. Perhaps, one day, LWA may become as ridiculous as vampires in space. But with enough love, vampires in space isn’t stupid. It’s awesome.