Little Witch Academia – 13
「サムハインの魔法」 (Samuhain no Mahō)
I guess you could call this an action finale. Our protagonists are called upon to fight a giant ghost with nothing but quirky Disney transformations and sparkles, which made for a good show all around. Of course, it does seem like that all of Akko balloon-animal, since she needed to know about the magical weakpoint before she can lay the princess to rest, but let’s not detract from Akko’s triumphs. And this was her triumphant moment. After an entire cour basically bumbling about, being kicked around by her peers and the universe, Akko finally gets to show off how far she’s come magically, impress people who matter, and do something truly worthwhile. It’s a grand way to end this first half of LWA on a high note.
More important, perhaps, than Akko’s feel-good moment is her affect on the minor cast. For many of them, this is a turning point. For example, the ever perfect Diana finally feels doubt. And doubt means: character development! I suspect that she’s had this clear goal all her life, to restore magic, and was sure of her singular direction, but has lost sight of why she’s doing it. Along comes Akko, someone whom Diana had disrespected as being all-talk, and shows her up at this fancy magic festival. I think it’s good for Diana to have this ‘what am I fighting for?’ moment, if only because perfection is rather boring. She and Akko will surely continue to be good foils for each other, with one having the will, and the other the heart.
Of course, when it comes to the secondary cast, we must talk about Lotte and Sucy this episode. Just last week we were musing about their role in the plot, and this week it seems like LWA obliquely addresses the problem. The plain fact is, Lotte and Sucy do not have any investment in Akko’s ambitions. Sure, they’d stick together because they’re supposedly friends, but they weren’t inspired by Shiny Chariot, don’t really think much about revitalising magic, and don’t have this philosophy about using magic to make people happy. What are their ambitions? Not much. Take, for example, Sucy’s character episode. What did we learn about her in it? Basically nothing except ‘she likes mushrooms’ if you hadn’t gotten the hint already. And Lotte, of course, enjoys books but makes a point of studying magic just to take over her parent’s magic shop. Since the two don’t have much ambition, they don’t have much motivation, and without much motivation they don’t do much by their own volition. That’s the one of the tricky problems with a story without a major villain (yet) like LWA. Usually, the good guys can be counted on to rally together to defeat the bad guy, but when there’s no bad guy in sight, they just mill around. And such is the way of Lotte and Sucy; they have very natural reason to get involved in the plot, and have to instead be dragged into it, like they were this episode. I see this episode as a turning point for the two, where they start becoming proactive participants in Akko’s mission. I’m hoping that, in the future, they will muster the power of friendship not just because they are Akko’s designated sidekicks, but because they, too, believe in her dream.
So, lots of potential, juicy developments to look forward to in the future! However, this will be the last episode of Little Witch Academia I will be covering. That’s not to say coverage is going to cease here on Random Curiosity, it’s just that there’s going to be a new writer manning the post. They actually wrote their application on LWA, so I think their fan-passion. Hopefully you’ll enjoy their take on this show. And of course, I hope you’ve enjoyed mine as well, or if you haven’t, that you’ve found it fun to hate it. I’ll see you all in the rest of the Spring 2017 anime season.