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Little Witch Academia – 12

「what you will」

Reason #12 that magic is failing in Little Witch Academia: the extra edition of your magic newspaper is just a single leaflet of mostly only photos. It just goes to show why nobody wants to study magic anymore. Nothing happens in magic-land. Everything is, apparently, really boring.

No, it doesn’t matter how many exclamation marks you use, you aren’t fooling anyone.

It’s a good thing, then, that there’s someone working to revitalise magic, not only because magic is desperately in need of rebranding, but also because hey, that’s the plot! All of a sudden in LWA, we have a two-parter, which is a good way to round out its first cour. It’s not quite the level of serious development we had in the previous episode, sure, but it’s a similar vein. I noted this last episode, and I’m sure you’ve noticed this yourselves, too: one can always tell when LWA is trying to be serious. It’s when Sucy and Lotte disappear from the picture. It’s fairly obvious this episode, right? We could have had some interesting interactions between them and Akko!Diana, but I guess, despite the hijinks, Akko needed to do some self-reflection and have a one-on-one with her rival, so her friends were conveniently put to one side (just as Diana’s lackeys were). I know many of you enjoy the supporting cast—they’re fun!—but I also feel that the other two Stooges actually have very little involvement in Akko’s personal journey. Sucy’s mostly her tormenter, and Lotte is often just collateral damage. When it comes to pursuing her dreams and whatnot, I guess Akko has to do it herself.

And without her wing-men (wing-women?) around, Akko does take another step forward in her quest to seek out the star or whatever it is she’s supposed to be doing. Learning more about Diana is definitely the right way to go, even if purely by accident, because I’m sure she’s going to need her help before we’re through. One thing, though: often in these ‘walk-in-their-shoes’, The Prince and the Pauper sort of stories, both parties swap places. I was half expecting Diana to do an Akko impression as well. I think that will actually have been educational for her, because while she’s definitely right about Akko, and it’s about time Akko got some more perspective on Diana than just envy, Diana needs to try it from the other side, too. No doubt she worked hard to get where she is, privileged background or not, but her advantages are undoubted. She knows what she wants, and is empowered enough to work towards it. She knows what to research, and when she needs research materials, she gets it. Diana has both the will and the way, whereas Akko, first year witch, is mostly clueless and can do little but ram her head against obstacles until they give. So she can be expected to be a bit lost at times, especially since while on the one hand she’s the chosen one, but on the other hand the universe loves to troll her. Or maybe just Professor Woodward. She’s a tree, she gets bored.

For now, because Akko has no idea, I guess she can only see how the plot goes. On that note, about this Grand Triskelion thing. It’s sealed, right? Aren’t sealed thing always dangerous? Isn’t that the point of sealing things? To keep out of the reach of children? Are we sure we want to be unsealing it? Just asking.

March 27, 2017 at 6:54 am
14 comments »
  • March 27, 2017 at 7:56 amkageKun

    As we approach the end of the first cour, can I be the first to say that I really appreciate Akko’s growth? She’s slowly mastering transfiguration magic, and now she’s starting to empathize with Diana, and now she’s getting a better, balanced view of her idol.

    I dunno what’s going to happen next episode, but judging from OVA!Akko’s performance in The Enchanted Parade, we won’t be disappointed!

    • March 27, 2017 at 8:01 amkageKun

      She’ll never stop being the Universe’s chew toy however!

    • March 28, 2017 at 12:31 amPasserby

      It’s always been a two steps forward one step back sort of thing, but I’m glad to see character growth—and expect to see it, too, because if there’s none there’s basically no point to anything.

  • March 27, 2017 at 9:10 amVelvet Scarlantina

    I want to know Ursula’s back story.

    I wonder how Akko will react when she learns that Ursula is Chariot

  • March 27, 2017 at 10:44 amZannafar

    Between Sucy’s experiments and her own transformation training, I am sure Akko has stopped being human at this point. She even still had the leak when she transformed back, proving once and for all that Akko is an airhead.

    On a different note: http://randomc.net/image/Little%20Witch%20Academia/Little%20Witch%20Academia%20-%2012%20-%2019.jpg
    Nice Kiss reference.

  • March 27, 2017 at 4:25 pmstarss

    That’s one of the things that annoys me with this series: Lotte and Sucy, Akko’s “Ron and Hermonie” in this show, don’t factor into her journey at all really. They don’t get to help, in contrast to how they were in the OVA. I can’t expect this series to exemplify everything the OVA offered since it’s a different format, but so far I’m liking the OVAs a lot more.

    Still I’m so happy to see Akko gaining progress in her magic with amusing hiccups- you can’t expect to master a craft immediately! Maybe she’d be great at transformation magic, or talking to other animals. On another note, this episode contains a very valuable message I wholly believe in and even practice: finding out what you are good at as a PASSION, not only what you should learn. Akko spent so much time trying to be a carbon copy of Chariot when she should have been pursuing a talent and skill she herself loves the most, and that way she doesn’t have to see it as work. That’s what Ursula did when she was attending school (and was apparently ADORABLE! *v* ).

    The mind-body transplant magic trick produced by the mirror was a surprise to me. That felt more like a whole-episode plot instead of only lasting 6 minutes of it. It was great seeing Ursula doing basically an impression of “herself!” :D

    I’m glad that we’re seeing the second part of this two-parter next week.

    • March 28, 2017 at 12:36 amPasserby

      It does seem that LWA hasn’t fully reconciled the gag comedy portion of the show (where most of the cast reside full time) and the actual narrative. I think once they get more comfortable with the plot they’ll write Ron and Hermione back into it.

      • March 28, 2017 at 6:11 pmdaikama

        This ^. I’ve expanded upon that notion in my comment below so I’ll leave it at that.

  • March 27, 2017 at 7:08 pmKarmafan

    I’m guessing Diana has plans to somehow get her hands on Akko’s staff. It probably won’t be a collaboration between Akko/Diana but Diana somehow becoming the series villian in some fashion.

    • March 28, 2017 at 12:41 amPasserby

      One of the red silhouettes last week could be Diana in a haircut, but if LWA keeps with magical girl tradition, the rival will join forces with the heroine eventually. Eventually.

  • March 28, 2017 at 12:46 amChris hall

    halfway through the anime

  • March 28, 2017 at 6:34 pmdaikama

    Certainly in some aspects I think the show is improving. Finally it seems Akko’s magic is (kind of) staring to improve after 4 (5?) episodes ago of her learning the lesson of hard work. Still irritates me that she can’t fly a broom even a little bit (unlike OVA), but perhaps just me on that detail. Again, do NOT want instant power-up and hyper-competency, but more and more it feels like Akko’s lack of progression is simply due to the fact the show can’t give up that “gravy train” for comedy’s sake. Visually it’s a fun gag in appropriate doses, but at this point I’m less and less amused. JMO, but it’s getting a bit stale. Sadly, “stale” is something that comes to mind with LWA TV more than I’d like. Show’s like KonaSuba manage to keep repetitive theme jokes feel fresh and still funny so I’m not entirely sure why this isn’t working as well as it could.

    Anyway, certainly the plot seems to be kicking into gear (finally). On the flip side of that, personally the show feels less “fun” (as ambiguous as that term may be) the last couple episodes. Keying off of a comment Passerby made above, it is striking that the show still hasn’t found a balance of fun and plot advancement – something the first OVA managed IMO. So far it seems like its either one or the other. Frankly, one could argue that character development isn’t up to par either. Again, I’m a bit puzzled as to why. That’s not to say that this episode is devoid of humor (comedy being subjective), but not the same overall “vibe” as with the OVA or perhaps some earlier episodes in this cour. I think one reason for that is simply “Oh crap, it’s Ep. 10 and we haven’t done anything with the plot yet! Better get on it.”

    So IMO part of the problem is that they neglected plot advancement too long. Went with a series of episodic wacky hijinks (culminating in Ep. 08 which IMO is arguably the worst episode so far). Silly fun comedy is certainly a part of LWA, but it’s a matter of balance. IMO the first OVA had that. So far, the TV adaptation has not. To use an analogy, it’s like an engine that the staff just can’t get tuned right. Runs too lean, runs too rich, timing is off – just can’t get it 100%. To be clear, TV LWA has not been bad and I’ve certainly enjoyed moments, but it hasn’t lived up expectations set by the OVA’s either IMO. Show has its work cut out for it in the second half.

    “On that note, about this Grand Triskelion thing. It’s sealed, right? Aren’t sealed thing always dangerous? Isn’t that the point of sealing things? To keep out of the reach of children? Are we sure we want to be unsealing it? Just asking.”

    That’s a question I have as well. Certainly would not be a surprise if unsealing the McGuffin turns out to be a bad idea. By no means the first time such a thing happens in fiction. There is a line (presumably from Diana’s diary) that “This world was once abundant with the power of GOOD [emphasis added] magic” which has since dwindled.

    So, from that it would seem that unsealing the T-whatnot would not carry much risk, but I don’t know here. At least in the 1st OVA, it was Diana’s hubris that was her undoing and she unsealed something she should not have. So there is a possible parallel here, but there are also material differences, a significant one being the involvement of Chariot. You’d think (hope at least) Chariot knows what she’s doing if she’s going to help Akko unseal the 7 magic words.

    • March 29, 2017 at 1:10 amPasserby

      The fact that Diana makes a point of ‘good’ magic implies that there’s also evil magic, which is bad news already.

      • March 29, 2017 at 5:55 pmdaikama

        @Passerby: “The fact that Diana makes a point of ‘good’ magic implies that there’s also evil magic, which is bad news already.”

        Well, yeah. Was that ever in doubt? Not being snarky here – I never thought there wasn’t “good”, “evil” and “neutral” magic in this world. Can’t think of a specific example off the top of my head, but in the fog of memory I recall something from Sucy or the witch looking potion teacher – someone mentioning some form of dark/evil magic.

        True, “good” would indicate “evil” magic, but I don’t think that (i.e. evil magic exists) is the reason for including that particular adjective (vs. just saying “magic” alone). If I had to guess, this seems to be setting up for the same formula as the OVA (and IIRC Ep. 02) where Diana isn’t perfect for a change and her mistaken assumption leads to a climactic problem (probably some monster) requiring her, Akko and the rest to team up & save the day.

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