Little Witch Academia – 10
“A-Buzz About Bees”
I’m sure everybody’s had enough of quibbling about the proper use of noble titles last time the Earl of Hanbridge and his progeny were around, so let’s skip all that this week and dive into the substance of the episode, in which love is in the air! I’ll admit it now, the shoujo eyes cracked me up. So often something like like a love potion (or whatever this thing is pop up in these magical settings that I’m glad Little Witch Academia decided to not play the premise very seriously.
I was actually afraid that LWA would use the love-bug to somehow force some kind of romantic development onto Akko out of the blue and, well, it sort of does, but at least it was all ridiculous enough to pass it off as whimsy. Imagine the alternative though. There’s still all these naysayers going on about how magic is outdated and useless, but if Akko had put more thought into it she could have silenced them all in one fell swoop at the party. Imagine how easy it would have been to bring down the House of Hanbridge with just one night of scandal. No more opposition! The witches will rule again! But instead, all that came out of it were the teasing of a few ships. It seems the main flaw of these witches is a lack of ambition.
It’s good development for Akko all the same, because at least she has hopes and dreams and sights set higher. It came from a direction I didn’t anticipate, mostly because it seemed like Akko was too much of a tomboy to be snatched up by some Prince Charming. I had thought that Diana would have been a better candidate for the romance development, despite having little chemistry with her childhood friend outside of smug snark. At least they already had a relationship going, and romance is a standard part of defrosting the ice queen. Instead, Diana is relegated mostly to a gag role. In this Cinderella story she’s been lumped with the other evil stepsisters, even though I suspect that she comes from mostly the same place as Akko with her dedication to magic, despite the manufactured stigma.
Development is still good, though, and this was the kind of episode that I knew LWA could do well, letting the hijinks give Akko a chance to shine and pushing her forward as a character. It’s sort of inevitable, though, that when the nobles are involved LWA packs a bit more meat. The Earl of Hanbridge has been framed as basically the antagonist. And this week, he cements his role as also being a jackass, a sexist, and an idiot, so I guess he’s set for villainy. What kind of overachieving father pushes his son away from piano? Rachmaninoff must be rolling in his grave.
(*We’ve been writing the next season preview here on RandomC, and it’s quite possible I won’t be taking Little Witch Academia to the next season. Nothing to do with the show itself, and it’s not really the kind of show that needs weekly coverage anyway. And there will be a finale post for it regardless, I’m sure. Still, no concrete plans for now, just a head’s up.)