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Little Witch Academia – 23

「Yesterday」 (Yesterday)
“Yesterday”

After such a tumultuous bombshell last week, Little Witch Academia follows it up by clarifying what went wrong with Chariot’s shows. It was easy to predict that it wasn’t entirely her fault that her show used Dream Fuel Spirit to absorb the audience’s magic, but it was painful to find out that Chariot was kept in the dark about what exactly Croix was telling her to do. Chariot’s intention was always to go about her shows earnestly, but Croix played into her trust to use her as a stepping stone for her research. I figured they would make Croix somewhat more sympathetic with a few of the times she was concerned for Ursula, but destroying her friend’s reputation and career because of a hidden grudge is infuriating. I’m surprised Chariot was just merely upset when Croix told her that any self-respecting magician would never show up to her performance, so anyone in her audience with magical capabilities deserves to have their power harvested. The short bursts of moments where Croix shows compassion are quickly undercut with her seething jealousy.

Although Chariot isn’t to blame for Croix purposefully withholding details on what Dream Fuel Spirit entailed, the episode doesn’t let Chariot off the hook that easily. Chariot’s handling of both her career and Akko focus in on her biggest character flaws; self-esteem and accountability. Chariot shares many similar traits with Akko such as impatience, impulsiveness, and a love of magic, but in the face of adversity, Chariot keeps withdrawing from conflict instead of facing it head-on. As her magic shows become unpopular, she was vulnerable to manipulation once Croix provided her with an easy solution without having to read the fine print. As soon as Akko felt betrayed by Chariot, she just left her be after running away because she thought there’d be nothing she could do to make things right for her. Despite feeling personally responsible for Akko’s ineptitude, she didn’t trust in her ability to instill any lessons in Akko nor did she have faith in Akko to regain her magic until she discovered her niche in transformation.

Even after being chosen by the Shiny Rod, Chariot faced any sign of conflict with disappointment and anxiety in being chosen as its master as she didn’t see herself as worthy for the rod’s responsibilities. The fact that the culmination of her struggles were for Shiny Rod to reject her after she shot the moon with a magic arrow solidified her self-doubt’s victory in driving her away from her goals. What’s interesting about this is that Chariot’s downfall is deeply rooted in her thought process that left her prone to making several costly mistakes. It delves into the complexity of how self-doubt manifested to lose faith in her own abilities and undo the effort that she spent years trying to work towards. In a show where younger characters like Akko and Andrew are slowly learning to have trust in herself, Chariot too is going through this same process as an adult. The irony of Chariot’s rarest card holding the message of letting your heart be the guide to your magic is ever so present, and could ultimately teach Chariot to be more confident in herself alongside Akko.

What I like the most about this episode is how it examines Akko and Diana as being similar to Chariot and Croix in demeanor, yet different in execution. While you have a similar dynamic with an impulsive girl chosen to be the Shiny Rod’s master over the more scholarly girl, Diana has become more in-touch with her emotions as time went on, and is finally able to open up to her about her admiration of Chariot and insecurities over Akko. The common ground shared with each other also gives Diana a chance to express her admiration for Akko’s passion leading her closer to Chariot, and provides her with the means of inspiring Akko to regain her yay. The contrast between the two friendships creates a chance for Diana and Akko to not only surpass Croix and Chariot’s relationship in longevity, but also be able to accomplish what their rift was unable to achieve with Grand Triskelion’s revival.

June 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm
16 comments »
  • June 12, 2017 at 3:49 pmFuwa Fuwa

    As much as I like how much it goes through the details of Chariot’s life from going on her own path, fearing disappointment and fearing the claimed responsibility of fulfilling the Words, and her outburst of when it comes to a head, I’m almost wanting to wish it focused more on her throughout the last half of this season rather just these last few episodes. But what we get is nice enough and has some weight to it to follow up last episode that I’m content enough.

    • June 13, 2017 at 6:42 amChoya

      True, even though the show’s aiming to be told from Akko’s point-of-view, it would’ve been nice to have seen bits of this episode’s flashback throughout the earlier episodes.

      Like peppering in some of Croix’s scenes when she was introduced, or alluding to the instances where Chariot lost her audience during moments where Ursula is in deep thought. It wasn’t a secret to the audience that Chariot is Ursula, so it would’ve been easy for us to see more from her perspective without feeling like they gave away a big twist.

  • June 12, 2017 at 4:47 pmstarss

    Diana, Akko, Croix, and Chariot are all the same. They all wanted to keep magic alive, to be relevant again, and be loved by everyone in the world. The 4 characters all embody the different avenues a life of that pursuit can take, and fortunately, Akko and Diana are still young enough to face countless opportunities to make that happen. This was. A PERFECT episode. It put all the missing pieces together! As I predicted, Chariot was distracted by the spectacle of magic instead of trying to search for the seventh Word, Croix is the one behind Chariot all the horrible turn of events, Chariot was a victim of Croix’s powers, ans she only attacked the moon by mistake. Akko’s spirits returns once again, thanks to the support of her friends, and now all that’s left is dealing with Croix in a sure-to-be epic showdown. This whole episode almost made me cry.

    It seems the search for the Grand Triskelion will be a no-go, as that is not a priority for Akko anymore. Which is a shame, but I believe a deep story needs some kind of sacrifice to make the characters really earn something.

    Also, Chariot?? You got some splainin to do. Akko needs to be fully caught up with your past.

    • June 12, 2017 at 7:35 pmLoliHat

      It seems the search for the Grand Triskelion will be a no-go, as that is not a priority for Akko anymore. Which is a shame, but I believe a deep story needs some kind of sacrifice to make the characters really earn something.

      Alternatively, it will be dealing with Croix and their own emotions/passions/doubts that will turn out to trigger the 7th word…

    • June 12, 2017 at 11:28 pma2222222222

      Pretty sure Akko will unlock the last word by the end of the finale.

    • June 13, 2017 at 6:50 amChoya

      I get the feeling that Akko will unlock the final Word during a confrontation with Croix. Possibly by using her power in a dire situation to shield people from being attacked by magitech.

      I also buy the idea that helping Chariot & Croix face their doubts and insecurities might also trigger the last Word. Even better if Chariot and Akko say the final Word together as a one-two punch, reigniting Akko’s magical ability and Chariot’s drive.

      Another theory is that Grand Triskelion’s awakening might be a bait & switch towards something even more antagonistic than Croix, but I’m not sure if LWA has the time to pull off a twist that extreme this late.

      • June 14, 2017 at 1:19 pmBear

        I wonder if the Grand Triskelion has a hidden meaning. Triskelion = three. Chariot, Diana and Akko? That would be one hell of an ending if they had all three say the final word together. All three of them aspire to the “believing heart”. The other thing is the rest of the words on the card Diana gave Akko:

        “Cluster of stars form the septenary(7) ocean
        Secret of Pleiades holds the miracle of light”

        I’ve got to believe that means something in the story. Ursula reached magic astronomy and there have been other references such as the Fountains of Polaris.

        I specifically don’t mention Croix because she has shown herself to be actually evil. She used Chariot for her research by lying to her. Had no problem destroying people’s ability to do magic that she looked down on. She’s mislead Akko so she’d lose her ability to do magic and then tried to kill Akko. I don’t see any redeeming qualities at this point.

  • June 12, 2017 at 5:43 pmWanderer

    Just as a FYI, your “her admiration of Chariot” link is probably pointing to the wrong image, as that’s another link to the damaged moon.

    • June 13, 2017 at 6:45 amChoya

      Thanks for that, just fixed the link. It was supposed to be kid Diana with her Chariot card, but the numbers got mixed up. It can’t be helped

  • June 12, 2017 at 7:02 pmGKoh

    Although divisive her decision was, I believe Ursula hated herself for what she has done. Ursula robbed Akko of her magic, turned her into a pariah, lied to her, manipulated her, dragged the girl into all this drama and nearly got her killed. Ursula felt like she has done enough damage to the only one who truly cared for her.

    As for Akko, she was kinda the anchor of this show. While she lost her magic, her true magic was to bring others to a better light. I mean Diana would have continued to be an empty shell if it weren’t for Akko. In fact, what Diana saw wasn’t a rival but a kindred spirit who was loyal to the sacred art and loyal to her friends. It’s Akko who was the culmination of everything so many in the past strived for: A better tomorrow.

  • June 12, 2017 at 7:32 pmJeffers

    Odd… Even if we’re in the last batch of of this anime’s episodes, I still sense a someone’s death flag. And that’s quite a quick recovery from harsh truth by akko… You gotta thank diana for that.

    • June 12, 2017 at 11:26 pma2222222222

      Any death flags are mostly suppressed by the fact that if anyone dies then Akko’s recovery will never complete. Akko wouldn’t wish anyone to die and having either Croix/Chariot/Both die would make her depressed.

  • June 13, 2017 at 4:35 amalpha

    The forecast of the first opening seems to be getting nearer…

  • June 14, 2017 at 2:00 amWorldwidedepp

    I only write this up here, without no comment:

    i am happy to be of help. i can see some parts of myself in this Storyline. I am glad to be of help. It’s a Win-Win Situation. You get some help or Ideas, and i get my Anime or OAV’s

    But lately i begin to become to old for this Anime world, it is about time to read the young hearts, for the sake of the manga and Anime future

    I am not Miyazaki, but i see myself as an Child of their Studio. Domo Arigato, Studio Ghibli

    As i wrote, its Offtopic, and no comment

  • June 14, 2017 at 8:29 amArthur

    Well, looks like Chariot was all alone and only had one friend, who soon turned on her, because she was choosen by a staff she didn’t even aim for. She seemed pretty happy just entertaining kids and doing little magic tricks. But all fell apart when she had to go big.
    So I guess the Staff only chooses people that could theoretically unlock the Grand Triskelion but don’t actually want to? xD

  • June 16, 2017 at 4:54 pmTarage

    FUCK DA MOON!

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