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Little Witch Academia – 22

「シャリオとクロワ」 (Shario to Kurowa)
“Chariot and Croix”

Akko now knows that Ursula Callistis is her childhood idol, Shiny Chariot. She also knows why she was better off not knowing this.

There’s so much to unpack with this episode, but it’d be good to start right off the bat with why Ursula has been so guarded about her secret. The show centers around Akko’s perspective, so the excitement that we feel from an episode or the frustration tends to mirror Akko’s highly-expressive emotional state. She’s as kept in the dark about Ursula’s intentions and identity as we are, but as passengers on Akko’s journey, it was frustrating to see Ursula so hesitant on giving Akko information about herself and the adventure she’s putting her on. The show positioned Ursula’s troubled mentorship as a redemption story, but we were lead to think it must’ve just been a battle between traditional magic vs. parlor tricks that Chariot lost, and not the fact that Chariot harnessed her audience’s magic to help create her magic show.

It’s easy to see why Ursula would be so guarded about telling Akko the truth behind her act now that her identity and deepest secrets have been exposed all at once. Her shame explains a lot about her mindset throughout the series; why she is protective of Akko to the point of putting herself on the line for her, why she’s determined to have her overshadow Chariot, why she’s been trying to train Akko not to continue looking up to Chariot as the reason for her success, why most of her colleagues make their disgust for Chariot outright, and why she’s so willing to play the fool when it comes to her students and colleagues lecturing/outsmarting her. She must have felt that having Chariot’s name dragged through the mud was the cross she had to bear for the deceptive nature of her shows, and possibly contributing to the decline of magic by draining more humans of their magical potential. Because of her and Croix’s past affiliation, it would be too soon to say what mindset Chariot was in to harness her audience’s magic, if she was cutting corners to gain enough magic to find the last Word, if it was a means to an end for a good cause, or if she was duped into concocting this plan to use her magic shows as a front to withdraw the audience’s magical potential. Nonetheless, what I thought was Ursula being frustratingly secretive about being an uncool celebrity turned out to be her trying to bury the shameful route she went to achieve her dreams to no avail.

At the same time, those who said that learning that Ursula is Chariot would only hurt Akko were absolutely correct. It was upsetting to find out that the fairy that was dancing around Akko as a kid during Chariot’s show was actually her magic being drawn away from her. It’s even worse thinking about the whole series in hindsight, knowing that the reason why she’s been routinely mocked for not being able to follow lessons or fly is because the idol who inspired her to follow her dreams robbed her of the ability to achieve them. The montage the episode slips in after the revelation of all the times Ursula had stood up for Akko and cheered for her was also very depressing.

It’s hard to say what impact it would’ve caused if Ursula told Akko about her identity around the beginning of the series; if she would’ve given up on everything or took the uphill climb with stride. I also can’t imagine how this will pan out once Diana finds out. Her magical ability returned eventually, but she also went to Chariot’s magic show, secretly keeps one of her cards, and lost her magical ability around the same time she watched Chariot. Diana also cuts to the heart of the matter much more easily than the emotion-driven Akko, so seeing whether Diana would verbally admonish her, come away feeling hopeful since she regained her ability to practice magic after Chariot’s show, or gets as emotional as Akko does is up in the air.

Let’s talk about the concept of emotions as magic. This episode formally introduced two types of magic derived from emotion; Noir Fuel Spirit and Dream Fuel Spirit. Croix’s most accomplished work has been her utilization of Noir Fuel Spirit, the ability to gather and use human emotions as energy to intensify and manipulate public behavior. Dream Fuel Spirit is the magic that Chariot used for her show, gathering the dreams of her audiences to accrue more magic. Emotions have been one of the strongest components of Little Witch Academia with Akko’s determination and emotional state being what unlocks both the Words and her growing magical capabilities, but only recently has it been defined as a part of magic itself. The fact that there is an element to magic that can run on a witch’s emotional state opens up many possibilities as to how powerful Akko can get by channeling her energy through her emotions. Diana’s magical aptitude went from being completely drained after Chariot’s show to being developed enough to become one of the most revered prodigies in the series. Ursula has been showing signs of her magic’s deterioration through recent episodes that are alluded to by Croix’s surprise and concern about how Ursula is still capable of pulling off complex magic. Even after the pollen’s effect has become apparent with Ursula thinking twice about grabbing her broom, she can still use her magic to retain her disguise in normal settings, fly on a broken door, and fight off Croix’s magitech.

Then, there’s Akko herself, who had her magic drained by Chariot, but has started picking up on transformation spells. With emotion as a source of magical power, it leads me to believe that emotion can also be a catalyst towards restoring magical power. The possibility of Akko becoming as adept as Diana once she starts using her own emotional drive as a source of magic instead of the inspiration that Chariot gave her seems more likely now. If there’s a silver lining to idolizing Chariot, it’s that it became half of the emotional drive that Akko needs to restore her magic. The second half that Akko needs, however, is to channel her emotional drive towards her own personal growth despite losing her magic at an early age. Chariot’s show was a setback for her magical development, but it was also the inspiration that lead her to try to practice magic to begin with. The only thing she needs is to apply her expertise with emotional understanding and compassion towards her magic.

It was a shrewd tactic on Trigger’s end to keep the audience in the dark for this long, namely with all the hair-tearing I’ve been doing about Ursula not opening up to her earlier. I now understand that the hold-out on divulging the nature of Chariot’s magic shows had quite the explosive payoff in this episode. The soccer riot subplot feels like it exists only to reveal the emotional component of magic, and it feels out-of-place for the series to tackle political strife and the struggling diplomacy of rival countries. Nevertheless, my hat goes out to Little Witch Academia for making Chariot’s reveal this shocking. I’m very excited to see if what I’ve mentioned is brought to the forefront, or if I’ll continue to be amazed with what the show brings up next. Until next time, I’ll see you next week!

June 5, 2017 at 11:54 am
32 comments »
  • June 5, 2017 at 12:19 pmparallel

    I feel like I stand in the majority while I say: yikes. I was expecting a twist after the preview went live earlier last week but I had no anticipation that we’d be given a curveball like this. There’s been a piece of key art from TRIGGER with Akko leaving Luna Nova with her bag and tears in her eyes floating around for a few weeks so inevitably I think that’s where this is going to lead. Akko wears her heart on her sleeve and that heart was just so motivated by her love for Chariot that I can’t even begin to fathom what kind of affect this is going to have on a personality we’ve almost always seen as optimistic throughout the series.

    But at the same time I think the series has been focusing on Akko building these bonds with other characters just for this moment. It might not happen immediately, but I feel like the other students of Luna Nova will inevitably come to her aid. The fact that Akko lost her magic just makes the accomplishments she’s made (though meager in the eyes of her peers) just that more impressive. Andrew will be an important factor in Akko’s recovery I’m sure, but in particular I want to focus on one scene in the OP.

    The scene where Akko and Diana walk towards one another and then hold hands when they walk past. I think the meaning of this scene is that they are ultimately going to be the anchors for one another that return them to Luna Nova in the middle of their own crisis. We’ve already seen that Akko brought Diana back and I’m sure Diana will do the same for Akko. Their backgrounds are just too intertwined with this new information and, in the opening, Akko is seen walking away from Luna Nova. It flashes to Chariot and Croix who don’t extend their hands to one another and they ultimately part, but then Akko and Diana take one another’s hands, keeping them rooted in front of Luna Nova.

    Or maybe I’m looking too much into it.

    • June 5, 2017 at 3:44 pmChoya

      That actually makes sense in light of the fortune-telling Diana did early on about Akko leaving the academy. Knowing how much Akko owed her love of magic to Chariot, having this revelation on her would be rough enough for her to try to leave. Diana’s the most likely candidate to help bring her back to both give her the same motivation that Akko gave her when she left, and tell her about how it was possible for her to regain her full magical capabilities. Most likely, they want to build a parallel between Akko & Diana becoming closer friends and Croix & Chariot growing far apart.

    • June 6, 2017 at 12:26 ama2222222222

      I was always expecting there to be a twist something very bad had to happen to make Chariot want to dump her own name and break up her friendship and journey with Croix. Given what they have shown they were likely partners in the show if you look at episode 1 the dragon finale is made with Croix’s technomagic. Croix names her emotion absorption with fuel and both the dream/anger magic are using her naming scheme. She would only know so much if she was directly involved since they were best friends on the word unlocking path too they likely did it together. The key bit is Croix has a seething jealousy of Chariot being the chosen one and left out important details to Chariot just like she loves leaving out details now.

    • June 6, 2017 at 6:07 amSv

      Reading what everyone said above makes me wonder if the 7th word means something like Friendship is Magic (no kidding) since if Diana and Akko worked together they would unlock the word. It didn’t work for Chariot and Croix for reasons already explained.

    • June 6, 2017 at 8:47 pmhaseo0408

      This what I call a huge revelation, I feel so bad for Akko becuase as you said her entire dream was being like Shiny Chariot but I think is more than that, Akko´s entire personality was molded after Chariot and to extent Diana´s as well. That makes this betreyal more disgusting, not only her idol was the same scum as Croix, taking advantage of people for her own ends, but she also stole a world of possibilities from all those people that admired her.

  • June 5, 2017 at 1:00 pmDmonHiro

    Welp…. did not see that one coming. Damn… that was harsh. Not cool, Ursula…

    • June 6, 2017 at 12:28 ama2222222222

      Croix and Chariot where in it together is why Chariot can’t deny she did it because she technically did. But I’m sure there is more to the story than Croix is willing to share. It is her emotion harvesting magic after all and they were best friends until something very bad happened between the two. Chariot got depressed and became a teacher to likely try and make amends for their actions while Croix is off trying a second attempt except this one uses anger and is starting a real war.

  • June 5, 2017 at 1:14 pmChris hall

    Not Ursula fault she wanted to tell her in ep 13 or so but Crouix came by and stopped her from telling Akko

  • June 5, 2017 at 2:17 pmShahir

    http://randomc.net/image/Little%20Witch%20Academia/Little%20Witch%20Academia%20-%2022%20-%20Large%2010.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/Little%20Witch%20Academia/Little%20Witch%20Academia%20-%2022%20-%20Large%2011.jpg
    When will those two date already?

    http://randomc.net/image/Little%20Witch%20Academia/Little%20Witch%20Academia%20-%2022%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
    I am totally giving my hats off to Trigger. This was such a fantastic episode and I really did not see this twist coming. What I also appreciate is how they keep the viewers patients throughout all this while adding some small details that would eventually developed into something bigger along the way

    This has been such an awesome series to watch and I hope this series would evolve into something more grand. Maybe a season 2 with the cast members aged up

    • June 5, 2017 at 3:31 pmChoya

      Akko and Andrew were very cute in this episode. I’m liking how in the process of Andrew warming up to Akko, he’s presenting her with the idea of her needing to have faith in her own power.

      But what you said has me thinking about how the twist really caught me off-guard. It makes sense now that it happened since they’ve been dropping hints, but I didn’t think to come to the conclusion that Chariot’s show was a part of the problem. Even when Croix was telling Akko that Ursula must be hiding something, I thought that was just subterfuge on Croix’s part, and not her holding back the urge to say something whenever Akko mentions how Chariot made her who she is today.

      I do hope that there’s a season 2, but that it would focus on Lotte and Sucy. They had great chemistry with Akko in the movies and earlier episodes, but she didn’t get to bond as much with her roommates once Akko had to chase down the Words and find Chariot. I’m pumped up that LWA has become as big as it has for Trigger to make alot of creative material for it.

      • June 5, 2017 at 11:40 pmMockman

        I liked even more that after Akko ran off, Andrew considered his advice against his own situation. I expect some interesting actions from him soon. Akko is inspiring to an avowed anti-witch advocate.

      • June 6, 2017 at 8:53 pmhaseo0408

        I rewatch several episodes in past two days trying to find hints or clues for this shoking development but I came empty handed, we only knew Ursula was hiding a huge secret about Chariot and her retirement and that Croix knew something but nothing of this magnitude! I don´t blame Akko for being heartbroken! I´m as well, No matter what Ursula does what she did dispicable, she stole somthing that can never be return.

  • June 5, 2017 at 2:34 pmqwert

    And within the next episode or two we’ll find out that effect of Chariot’s magic stealing performances were never permanent and Akko’s crappy magical ability is just her crappy magical ability.

    We know from Diana’s recent episodes that as a child she was both a huge Chariot fan and she mysteriously lost her ability to perform magic. So obviously Diana went to one of Chariot’s shows and had her magic stolen yet through hard work and dedication she still became the most talented witch to attend Luna Nova in years.

    • June 5, 2017 at 2:54 pmZaiden

      My thoughts go that Diana’s dream changed while she was training herself, from whatever it was before, into wanting to take over the Cavendish household.

      I think Akko just needs to find her own dream independent of wanting to be like Chariot, and maybe her original magic might come back. Not that I think her magic would match Diana’s, but maybe she might be able to do some interesting things with the Shiny Rod.

      • June 6, 2017 at 12:32 ama2222222222

        Diana’s dream changed to wanting to complete what Chariot/Croix could not. She literally says this as well as many other characters. She actively sought out the shiny rod and even when she found out Akko was already chosen by it she truly didn’t mind. Croix’s problem is she never really accepted Chariot to be the chosen one which is why the Shiny rod rejected her but others can hold it. The trial is clearly meant to be completed with a primary pair and without it the trial resets.

    • June 5, 2017 at 11:37 pmMockman

      Diana went to the same show that Akko did. I forget which episode it was but in one of the flashbacks you can see them standing about ten feet apart.

      • June 6, 2017 at 12:34 amBotv2

        It was in the first episode. Diana was the third character shown within the first few minutes.

  • June 5, 2017 at 3:19 pmGKoh

    Possible scenarios

    10 years ago, Chariot unlocked almost all but the last Word of Arcturus. However, the last one was too difficult to unlock. Later, Shiny Chariot was persuaded by Croix to do a show on Japan as the land was teeming with individuals with wondrous potential. The purpose: Use their powers to unlock the Grand Triskellion. Croix discovered a spell that could convert their hopes and dreams into magic. She complied but when she did, Croix took and attempts to transfer all the created magic into her in order to reclaim her lost powers. Chariot realized her mistake and reversed the spell. Croix lost but the battle was bittersweet as Chariot learned from the defeated Croix that the when the spell was cast, the affects were permanent. When she did the spell, she destroyed all of her audience’s ability to do magic.

    However, the magic wasn’t destroyed. Energy can’t be destroyed nor created, they merely transferred. All the power all went to Chariot but all of that were hidden away due to the guilt she has created. one day, Akko will reclaim her powers.

  • June 5, 2017 at 6:03 pmstarss

    ….well SH**, Ursula!!

  • June 5, 2017 at 10:51 pmRedRocket

    I knew Ursula messed up bad to go into hiding and fail at the words but I did not imagine this. I thought Crox’s energy boxes at Chariot shows meant the problem with the shows was Crox not Chariot.

    • June 6, 2017 at 12:34 ama2222222222

      Croix very likely invented the emotion stealing magic and neglected to tell Chariot how it exactly worked and probably said it was only going to take the magic generated from the show. Croix is trying it again even though their first attempt failed and it is going to cause more disaster.

  • June 6, 2017 at 12:40 ama2222222222

    I think it has been hinted very strongly that something very bad happened between the two to have Chariot drop her name and why Croix/Chariot mostly hate each other now. The first half of the full truth is revealed that their shows together were stealing children’s magical energy. The second half is the details of the total friendship failure that resulted.

    The traditional magic vs. new magic is just a side aspect of the old vs. new. Technically both Croix/Chariot were of the new magic type which may be why they failed as they didn’t have the old included which is what Diana brings to the Diana/Akko pair of old and new working together.

  • June 6, 2017 at 9:31 amExukvera

    The soccer riot plot appears to be silly, but seeing Croix displaying footage from the other side to rally up the hooligans makes me wonder if she was the sole responsible for this to escalate to such levels and even if she rigged the match itself with her magic to start the feud in the first place.

    • June 6, 2017 at 3:34 pma2222222222

      She clearly says she is manipulating the crowds to amplify their anger and then goes and hacks the displays to incite even more anger. Coupled with the talk of war she is going down a path she may not be able to control. I think the strike episode was her small scale test of how to control and use anger magic but I’m sure something very bad will happen if you try and get two countries worth of people angry enough to start a modern war. In the visions shown far earlier we still haven’t seen total destruction or what looks like a nuclear explosion mushroom cloud. Hopefully they can avert that future as it wouldn’t end well.

  • June 6, 2017 at 3:21 pmGrahav

    This series was about to lose me. Then this episode happened.

    Selling spectacle and high dreams to people may kill the person’s ability to dream. Akko was always chasing the dream that Chariot sold while Andrew said that one should be capable to do it by oneself.

    Meanwhile Croix takes away emotion by means of weed apps. Create chaos. Feeling angry? Play the dope.

    • June 6, 2017 at 3:45 pma2222222222

      I’m going to bet there is more to the Chariot story than we have been told by Croix. Akko/Chariot were both highly gullible people and are essentially paralleled characters just Akko has a better friend as Diana isn’t actually malicious. (The show makes the Akko/Diana vs. Chariot/Croix pairing with the latter’s interactions likely resulting in a better outcome this time around instead of having total friendship failure)

      If you look carefully the show always leaves a ton of hints. Croix specialises in emotion stealing magic and was best friends with Chariot even is clearly using her magic to generate the finale of the shows in the first episode. While both Croix/Chariot are no longer friends Chariot left her name behind and went on a redemption quest teacher story and doesn’t seem to like her past self at all. Croix on the other hand is still at the whole emotion stealing stuff and has stepped it upto anger based energy capture on a multi-national scale which is going to have far worse results than just stealing kids magical energy as actual war is on the horizon now.

  • June 7, 2017 at 4:37 pmTarage

    Since the series already set up that both A. Diana was at the show and B. She lost her powers and then got them back, I’m going to guess that she’s going to somehow be a solution to Akko’s inability to broom.

    That being said, fuck that noise. I’d rather Akko become awesome through hard work than Diana sticking her bitchtits into it again.

  • June 8, 2017 at 4:04 pmQuestionaire

    Given that all the students are divided into Covens, which are respectively 3 girls each, I wonder whether Chariot and Croix were in one themselves. The only reason why I ask that, is whether we have to worry about a third challenger entering the ring as it were?

    • June 9, 2017 at 11:14 ama2222222222

      Croix and Chariot where each in their own coven’s. You can see this in the end of the race episode 3 with both Chariot and Croix clearly shown when Ursula is looking at the photos.

  • June 9, 2017 at 12:43 amdaikama

    Still catching up on show (falling behind more accurately >_>) so late to comment. My thoughts FWIW…

    First, DISCLAIMER: It’s possible given off/on binge watching that I missed something, so to the extent I got something wrong or adjust the following accordingly. If I am mistaken (and anyone reads this), please feel free to correct. Also, please forgive any typos.

    I’ll be blunt. While there are some tiny threads of foreshadowing, right now (again, possible things get sufficiently explained later) this feels like manufactured drama ass-pull. Sorry, but that’s my opinion. Show needs/wanted some way for Akko to lose faith, give “tension” for the climax, etc. Unless this goes fairly dark and Croix wins (highly doubtful), then no real surprise in the end. Akko + Shiny Rod (“SR”) saves the day – no doubt with the help of her friends and Diana (throwback to having her give Akko a broom ride as someone already mentioned?). Oh, and Andrew does…. something. IDK. Gives his dad a lecture or something – incl. taking his own path in life vs. what dad wants. Romance with Akko optional.

    While this development does fit some prior events, it still feels more backfilling than organic. Big problem is that this opens up a LOT of questions – questions that NEED to be answered, and answered WELL for this late plot line to come across well. Here are some questions I now have:

    (1) WHAT are the “rules” here? It seems you needed to be at that one Chariot show for the spell to take effect. OK, fine. But if it “removes” magic, HOW did Diana get hers back? Current Diana has been NOTHING but “best in class, generational talent” type of mage. The LAST problem Diana has is with magic, and remember, there was a point where Diana could not use magic at all. So what gives yo?

    Even with Akko, IIRC, a fairly recent RC episode review mentioned how it seems Akko’s magic was progressing – at least with transformation magic. She’s got the witch->mouse->witch thing down for sure, and that’s without SR. So again, what gives? The spell just removed the “can fly a broom” magic from Akko? Really? That’s how it looks right now. OK, yeah, Akko’s progression has been slow, but was her magic removed or not? If not entirely, then how much? HOW do you reconcile Diana losing ALL her magic, and then apparently making a complete recovery? If Diana can recover, why not Akko? Actually, again it seems like Akko IS getting better at magic, so no reason to think she can’t fly a broom at some point. What ARE the bloody rules here?

    (2) Was it just Diana and Akko affected? AFAIK, those are the only two who were. Again, I assume from the TL that it was only that one show (how plot convenient that it was the one Akko AND Diana saw at the same time). So for reasons (see #3), Chariot decided to do the “dream fuel” spell for that one show only and hoped it would be enough? Again, rules please? Is it only witches’ dreams? Chariot just hoped there were enough witches at the show? Do “muggles’” dreams count? No adverse effect on them, if their “dreams” do count? What constitutes a “dream” for fuel anyway? If a bored parent is “dreaming” of winning the lottery during the show, does that count?

    (3) What IS Chariot’s reason for this, and it better be a good one because it seems so VERY out of character for her. Granted, this definitely makes Chariot much more “grey” of a character, but still… Perhaps it might be as Choya suggests – magic fuel for the 7th Word, but that doesn’t fit with the line: “The seventh star will shine in response to the feelings in your heart.” Or did Ursula forget to add “feelings in your heart…. As long as you have a crap load of magic fuel at the same time”? WHEN has magic “fuel” ever been a problem with the 7 magic words? Hell, Akko’s bumbled her way to 6 of them already – you know Akko who’s supposed to have her magic drained… to some extent. As for Chariot, she couldn’t use the Stone for fuel?

    JMO, but right now, SO many questions raised, and while hopefully a number of them will get answered and answered sufficiently, just seems like a last minute ass-pull development so that we can have Akko doubt – perhaps leave the school (like that’s the end of Akko. “And she was never seen again” >_>), YMMV tension, and fill out 3 episodes of air time.

    Long post, but one more thing. First, assuming that (A) only Diana and Akko were affected, and (B) Diana is back to 100%, it seems to me that this is setting up a bit too obvious in terms of Ursula redemption (among other things). Thanks to plot pollen, Ursula appears to have lost/is losing most (perhaps ultimately all?) of her magic. So I can see at the end that Ursula somehow gives Akko the rest of her (Ursula’s) magic, restoring Akko to full, can now fly a broom, strength. Debt paid, and redemption via sacrifice. Now whether Ursula’s good deed then somehow results in her getting magic back for a more feel good ending is another matter.

    TL:DR = As things stand, perhaps a minority opinion, but I’m not a fan of this plot development. Show’s got a LOT of work to make this feel organic rather than one last bit of manufactured melodrama and going “dark” for the sake of that. Hope it pulls it off, but I have my doubts.

    • June 9, 2017 at 11:28 ama2222222222

      I think your missing the little details.

      1) Leyline energy levels across the world make practising magic outside the range of a stone/router/battery almost impossible.

      2) Diana’s family was privileged and she was raised as a which from childhood with access to a stone at their estate. Akko was never in range of a stone for most of her life. This allowed Diana to first discover her loss of magical ability and train it back at a far earlier stage. This would explain why she is not affected by it anymore. Akko couldn’t effectively practice magic until she entered a magic school and even then she is improving rapidly. The show made it pretty clear hard work and training are the way to go and there are two examples just at different points in time due to point 1.

      3) We don’t know the exact reason but remember that Croix/Chariot were best friends and working together to unlock the words but Croix very likely never let the fact she was passed over from being the chosen one and something terrible happened between the two. I’m betting it is betrayal that made Chariot so disillusioned that her principles and shows where essentially a scam she stopped being friends with Croix and left her name behind. Working at the school as a no name teacher is a good way to catch any student who might have been affected by her due to point 1.

      4) The show also said no shortcuts so I’m pretty sure they won’t just magically give Akko everything back. Ursula is repaying the debt by helping her train it back and it is redemption through hard work and time. Redemption through sacrifice is a shortcut and thematically opposed to a happy show overall.

      It felt organic to me given all the hints really are in place well before this happened. Why else would Chariot leave her name behind and have a total personality shift and react negatively to her own statements as Chariot. The previous belief that she just got tired of it or was shunned by the magical community wasn’t quite enough to do that to a person. The explanation of what happened is coming in the next episode it seems so I don’t think you will have to wait very long to know what actually happened between Croix/Chariot.

    • June 9, 2017 at 5:41 pmdaikama

      @a2222222222: Understand your points, but can’t say I agree with them. I wanted to give detailed explanations so this turned out much longer than I’d like. :/ Sorry about that.

      (1) Impossible? We have seen the wand “batteries” used in the TV anime. While limited, they do work for some period of time. As I recall, Shiny Rod (SR) has been shown (in the OVA at least) to have considerable magic storing ability far beyond normal wands. Perhaps I’m simply unaware, but I don’t recall comments of “how did Chariot put on magic shows” as a big issue for the OVA or TV anime because she had SR.

      Is it 100% clear that Chariot used the “dream fuel” spell to power her magic for EVERY show? My impression is that it was just for that one show with Diana & Akko. Furthermore, there are issues raised with that theory. One is Chariot’s thought process. So it was “I want to spread the joy of magic to all by stealing the dreams and magic of young witches to do so.” Really? The goal and methodology IMO are at opposing ends, not to mention that Chariot has not been shown to be that illogical or callous. IF the reason is to fuel the magic show, that’s a weak, unsatisfactory and frankly out of character reason IMO. Bleh.

      (2) First, WHAT are the rules here? Is the “dream fuel” magic drain permanent or not? THAT is a critical issue! There is a MASSIVE different between taking away some/most of Akko’s magic ability permanently vs. “Sorry, but on a positive note this is just a temporary loss.”. If the latter is the case, then WHY doesn’t Ursula say that? The answer of course is some last minute drama.

      Before all this, the differences in background perfectly, naturally, explain the difference in ability between Diana & Akko. Akko couldn’t do magic well because as far as we (or at least I) know (the show’s done a bad job handling Akko’s background), Akko is 1st generation, “muggle-born” witch with some degree of innate talent. She’s NOT Diana who comes from a long line of great witches, has witch-mom to teach along with copious magic textbooks at home, etc. She’s the opposite of Akko in many ways – a good foil in the OVA. Akko can’t fly a broom when she enters school because (A) she doesn’t even own a freaking broom, and (B) no one was at home to teach her. This makes perfect, natural sense. Don’t need a “because magic sucking dream fuel took away your broom powers” tacked on as a reason.

      “Akko couldn’t effectively practice magic until she entered a magic school and even then she is improving rapidly.”

      Improving rapidly? Not from what I’ve seen. More like the other way around. Akko’s lack of progress in magic, especially after Ep. 05 or so when she started to work hard has been a theme (and a frustrating one at times). If she’s “rapidly” improving, that just undermines the whole magic stealing for fuel plot line. Yeah, some additional work, albeit at a “rapid” pace, but ultimately nothing lost. Furthermore, that’s some very selective magic stealing. Remember, riding a broom is BASIC stuff. So basic, that the students are assumed to be able to do so upon entering school. Akko has made some progress in general, but why nothing when it comes to broom flying? Anime is being inconsistent IMO.

      (3) We disagree here as well. In the OVA, Chariot was shown to be a scorned pariah in the witch community. I find it perfectly reasonable and natural that she got burned out because of that along with not seeing her work as Chariot having any material effect over time. Chariot -> Ursula gives her a chance to start over ‘cause she ain’t getting that job as Chariot. The OVA works perfectly fine, but at the start, the anime throws in another reason – Chariot got rejected by SR. Not needed, but one more reason to give up and move on. Obviously, there’s past drama with Croix & Chariot. Croix is pissed because SR chose Chariot, but per above, plenty of reason IMO outside that for Chariot -> Ursula.

      As for catching those affected by the “dream fuel” spell, that’s not a good plan IMO, and again I ask how many times was that done? It matters. Anyway, doing so is by no means a guarantee she catches all affected. Is this the only magic school in the entire LWA world? Maybe some never even went to witch school because they got their magic drained, but unlike Akko, were not as obsessed with magic so just gave up because “then didn’t have any talent for it”.

      (4) Well, there is a theme of hard work, but NO shortcuts? Akko being the “chosen one” is a shortcut itself. Ep. 01 -> BAM! SR & chosen one. As I recall, Akko learns fish language because she used some transformation spell. Bam! Perfectly fluent now. No long hours of study required. That’s a short cut. The first couple magic words were unlocked quickly & easily. Wasn’t one due to hint from a Chariot trading card? Short cut to me.

      So there have been short cuts for Akko. Furthermore I don’t think some form of debt repayment via sacrifice should be hand-waived away as simply a “shortcut”. If a character jumps on a hand grenade to save his/her comrades, would you diminish that sacrifice as a shortcut?

      “Ursula is repaying the debt by helping her train it back and it is redemption through hard work and time.”

      So “redemption” by essentially doing her job? O.o Ursula is a teacher after all, and giving outside class help to struggling students is something good teachers do. Also, Ursula is helping Akko to finish the job Ursula herself failed to do before (i.e. unlock 7 magic words). JMO, but if Ursula’s redemption is simply this, it’s pretty weak.

      We’ll see how it plays out. Hopefully the TV anime fills in some things, but I still have my doubts. We may still end up disagreeing on all of this, but that’s fine. Opinions vary on shows.

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