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Little Witch Academia – 25 (END)

「言の葉の樹」 (Koto no Ha no Ki”)
“Tree of Leaves”

Trigger’s back at it again! Little Witch Academia ended on such a high note that it’s hard not to come away from it with a good mood. In contrast with the last episode’s dour side after Noir Fuel Spirit’s rapid acceleration manifested into a nuclear missile heading towards Britain’s soccer rivals, the final episode is consistently optimistic. A couple minutes after finding out that the missile has no way of being dismantled, here comes Akko with the steel chair of hope! And as a light-hearted series, it’s all the more fitting that the show end on such a high note with “The New Nine Witches” gathering together to dismantle the bomb.

What really pulled me in was how they used the last episode to show us how far Akko has come from here. Seeing her friends help boost her up closer to the missile, solidifies all of the bonds she’s made up to that point, though a Jasminka episode would’ve been nice. I think what impressed me was how awesome Akko’s fight was as the combat equivalent of Chariot’s show. Akko being able to pull on a showcase of everything she’s done up to that point with a flurry of transformation magic and fast-paced dodging on Diana’s part was very exciting to watch. They even scared me for a second because it looked like what the 2nd ED was foreshadowing about Akko disappearing into a phoenix was going to happen. But then she showed right back up to save Diana from a freefall! Forgive me, it’s just that this kind of colorful, fast-paced action and whimsy is what I was expecting from the TV equivalent of the Little Witch Academia films, and it came full-force for the finale.

At the end of the day, the finale really was a culmination of almost everything that the show had introduced up to that point. Along with Akko and Diana being strong enough to join forces to use the full potential of the Shiny Rod to solve the crisis, Andrew was able to gain the confidence he needed to stall any intervention on Britain’s part against the witches as he gladly cheers Akko on, most of the minor characters from the season joined in giving the witches positive energy, Lotte and Barbara are now reading Nightfall together and Yggdrasil awakened a new era of magic. I’m also glad that Croix could redeem herself by devoting the rest of her studies to finding a cure for the pollen. So many shows are dead-set on punishing antagonistic characters, but here, she is given a lot more leeway to make up for being reckless. On top of all of this, the epilogue ends right when Akko is finally able to fly her broom! It’s such a feel-good ending that it leaves me wanting to see more of Akko’s hijinks soon.

Epilogue:

Final Impressions

Looking back at all the episodes, and seeing some of the familiar faces from them in the finale, I can safely say that I really enjoyed the show. I do have some complaints; mainly that there was so much I wanted to know about the universe and characters that I felt they rushed some of the story. Personally, I would’ve liked one two-cour season about Akko getting to know her friends along with some world-building and lore about Luna Nova, and another two-cour season to focus on Akko gathering the Words as we delve into Chariot’s relationship and past with Croix. I appreciated the characters so much that having more time to be able to get familiar with some of them and their quirks, histories, and motivations would’ve been great. We barely know about Jasminka, and what Croix and Chariot were like before they fell apart. They didn’t have as much to do with Sucy after her dream world episode even with the concept art of her mom floating around the internet. However, the complaints I have about the show are because I got invested in the characters, and wanted to see more of them as they grew.

My case and point for this is how well the parallel between Akko and Chariot were. With everything they had in common, they were two worlds apart as far as their handling of stress. To see the relationship between Akko and Ursula grow further and become complicated as the season went forward was intriguing. It is touching to see Akko and Ursula follow the same trajectory, but on different paths; one as a young girl learning to find herself beyond emulating her childhood hero, and another as an older woman teaching a newer generation with hopes both to see both them and her regain their strength. To me, it felt rewarding to see the characters gradually become better versions of themselves with Akko slowly becoming more adept at magic and believing in her own strength, more rigid characters like Andrew and Diana softening up and wanting to support Akko in her journey, and her new friends having more faith in Akko regardless of how many times they’ve seen her fail. As a whole, I have no trouble saying that the Little Witch Academia TV series is another Trigger anime that I enjoyed watching from beginning to end.

Being able to blog the second half of Little Witch Academia with everyone here is somewhat of a personal accomplishment. I was deeply invested in the show during its first half, and it motivated me to write about anime on the same level I’ve been writing about film and media. Specifically, I wanted to write about Episode 7 of this show, the episode where Ursula stands up for Akko, and startles Professor Finnelan by insisting that trying to stunt her growth by expelling her is arrogance. It was very moving for me to see Akko try her hardest in the uphill battle to get some kind of proficiency from her lessons, and to see Ursula fight this hard for Akko. It were moments like the end of that episode that made me want to write further about anime even though I gave up a while ago because my writing was much cruder. I guess in a way, I saw parts of myself in the characters, and ultimately, the show accomplished it’s goal by summoning up that sense of emotion in a viewer such as myself. As the episodes kept coming, it was still entertaining, but the character relationships were well executed to the point that it compelled me to write even more about them. And here we are today, finished with the TV series. It was a long road we traveled on, but the journey and the destination were worth it all, and I’m looking forward to whatever Trigger makes of Little Witch Academia next. I also look forward to getting the game only to not be able to play it until I get a PS4 in time for KH3.

June 26, 2017 at 5:18 pm
28 comments »
  • June 26, 2017 at 5:26 pmJohnGwynbleidd

    I’ve never realized how much I liked redheads in anime till Ursula/Chariot…

    • June 27, 2017 at 2:01 pmChoya

      I didn’t realize how important it was for me to see red-haired Ursula until the last 5 minutes of the show. It’s too glorious…

  • June 26, 2017 at 5:49 pmExukvera

    And the series ended with a bang, and a smiley. True to its spirit.

  • June 26, 2017 at 7:15 pmstarss

    Tears. I was so worried TRIGGER would give us a Gainax ending. But this is one of the most satisfying finales they ever gave us! Thank you You Yoshinari and the rest of the crew for giving us a deserving TV series version of the OVAs that the fans drove into popularity! The show wasn’t perfect at all, but I would watch it again!

    • June 27, 2017 at 7:48 amBROOKLYN otaku

      TRULY….hope, dreams and friendship… and she got to FLY yall!!!

      Thank you Trigger..and thank you Choya for putting in that WORK!

      • June 27, 2017 at 1:56 pmChoya

        It was a very amazing finale to a wonderful show. Have to thank Passerby too for covering the first half and handing the show down to me. It was a privilege to follow and cover the second half, and see what Trigger had in store for the show.

  • June 26, 2017 at 8:36 pmdaikama

    I’ll be honest. I liked the OVAs, but the TV anime lost me somewhere around middle of the 2nd cour (though the process started late 1st cour). If others liked LWA TV, and seems some certainly do, great. Seriously, always nice to find an enjoyable watch. For me, towards the end it started to feel a little like work to watch. I simply wasn’t invested. Not saying the show was outright bad, it wasn’t, but for me disappointing.

    Frankly, I’m not sure what to do here. I have a number of issues and could easily write 1500 words on it, but that’s really long and I suspect not a great deal of interest in that. So I’ll go with the much shorter version and say that I had issues in part with the pacing/execution, some of the plot lines, and characters (particularly how the TV anime handled the two leads vs. OVA). :/

    Again, the show wasn’t bad, and I did like some episodes. I also thought that the visual quality was consistently good – at times quite good. Some nice, actual animation here vs. typical stills with speed lines and such. I also thought the voice acting was fine, if not exceptional. I don’t recall any issues with that.

    Choya makes a fair point about perhaps splitting up the story differently. May very well work better depending upon how it’s handled. Also agree that the ending was fitting for the show – incl. Akko starting to fly (finally). It does seem that Croix got off too easy though. Is she going to suffer any punishment? Wasn’t clear to me.

    But yeah… issues. One thing that a friend of mine mentioned to me which I would like to add. One of the things both of us loved about the 1st OVA was the opening. OVA did a fantastic job of capturing childlike wonderment. One really gets a nostalgic feeling for what it was like to be that at age. It’s a very heartwarming moment for me, and totally hooked me on the OVA right from the start. Now? “Oh, that’s when Akko gets her magic sucked out”. -_- Not joking, at the end of Ep. 25 when the little girl catches the magic butterfly in her glove, my first thought was “Welp, that kid just got her magic sucked out”. I KNOW it’s not the same spell, but the imagery is quite close. The “dream fuel” plot worked perfectly well for the TV anime’s story, but IMO there are arguably better alternatives for Chariot’s “fall from grace.”

    Would I watch a second season? Probably, but I’d have much lower expectations and couldn’t say for sure whether I’d stick with it the entire way. The TV anime may be “canon” now, but I still definitely prefer the original OVA (probably the second OVA as well).

  • June 26, 2017 at 9:27 pmPO

    nakamaaa powaaaaaaa!

  • June 26, 2017 at 9:48 pmLoliHat

    Personally, I would’ve liked one two-cour season about Akko getting to know her friends along with some world-building and lore about Luna Nova, and another two-cour season to focus on Akko gathering the Words as we delve into Chariot’s relationship and past with Croix. I appreciated the characters so much that having more time to be able to get familiar with some of them and their quirks, histories, and motivations would’ve been great. We barely know about Jasminka, and what Croix and Chariot were like before they fell apart. They didn’t have as much to do with Sucy after her dream world episode even with the concept art of her mom floating around the internet.

    Two words for you: “Prequels” and “Spinoffs”.

    This series has provided more than enough material to explore the Little Witch Academia universe in depth and with feeling.

    That being said, I’d rather they stop there than force anything… however, I’m sure we’d all love to see what else they have to show us!

    • June 27, 2017 at 2:06 pmChoya

      True, there’s enough material to go off of to create more material for it, and the potential for media to pop up from LWA is already starting to pop up with the upcoming game and such. It would be one of the few Trigger anime that I could see not being one-off.

  • June 26, 2017 at 11:11 pmBambi

    It kinda ended in glorious mahou shoujo-esque fashion, and Akko was suddenly the coolest she’s ever been to make up for the last 24 episodes (understandably now we know why she’s been such a dunce). The crowd’s sudden “cheering” was hilariously shoddy acting though hahaha.

    Overall it was cute and it was enjoyable reading your reviews too! :)

    • June 27, 2017 at 2:05 pmChoya

      Thank you, it was fun to cover LWA. It was very sudden how the crowd automatically cheered for the witches, but it added to the warm feeling of everyone gaining hope (I’ve been meaning to point this out, but one of the British women in the crowd scenes looks exactly like Vicki from Little Britain. You can see her in one of the early screencaps of Episode 22).

  • June 27, 2017 at 12:52 amOnion Warrior

    Im glad i manage to stick with LWA until the end of the series. Its been a wonderful 25 episodes of journey filled with magic and comedy. I cant say its the best presentation of magic, but it sure does has a great presentation of characters. The animations did flop around my precious Diana’s arc but oh welp! The anime industry is never kind. Gotta love the whole finale where its a Dragonball stunts: here! Have my power! Yggdrasil! Ley line! Take my aura chakra!

    I LOVE AND LOVE AND LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF DIANA’S MOMENTS. Thank you TRIGGER. Thank you. I didnt expect it was Diana whos going to be the last one to stay by Akko’s side during the final battle. I thought its gonna be Akko’s team of Lotte and Sucy again. I know its a wise choice to let Diana handle the ride since shes the faster rider among them all. But i didnt expect its Diana <3 so proud of them! I am so satisfied! Amazing animation work! The power of friendship won! I was literally cheering in silent when all of them gave Akko a big push flying her way to stop the evil rocket. The power of nakama! Believing is magic they said! I was totally grinnng all by myself in the dark, the whole commontions were fun and thrilling. Chariot is forever red hair now! And Croix, ahh Croix. Chariot and Croix combo has never been so dazzling to me eyes; and Lotte and Sucy too! WHY ARE THEY SO ADORABLE! And that broom! I thought Akko turn into a phoenix, but hey! It was that broom again!

    Ahh…all in all, i am full. And soon, i will be empty. Ohh god, no more Doki Doki no Waku Waku for me T,T so gonna missed this series soon! I cant believe LWA will be the first show to bid me farewall. It has been a magical ride, cheesy and quirky each week. I will not forget how excited i was waiting every Monday for the new release. Now it has officially ended, my heart no more Doki Doki with Akko XD and Akko, Atsuko Kagari: i honestly never liked her since episode 1 bc of her carefree irresponsible stubborn foolish and proud character. It was very hard for me to love you. Everytime she excelled, i was like, WHY. And yes, whole my life i was at Diana's camp. I empathized with her. She worked the hardest, but why wasnt she got chosen? Akko who most of the time won because of flukes, getting hubris and foolish every episode. But thank god for TRIGGER. Diana vs Akko's rivalry finally earned their fair share of justice. The power of yuri—i mean, friendship. But oh goddddd im sooo sad man! For real??? LWA is finally done?! No OVA?! Danggg!

    9/10. I have my complaints with the unresolved plot holes but meh, aint gonna bother with the logics. As long as i am entertained, its all forgiven. Sighh. My Diana </3 its been a beautiful journey, please give back my dream XD thank you studio TRIGGER, thank you internet, thank you team LWA, thank you Diana Akko, thank you Lotte Sucy, thank you Amanda and the gang, thank you Chariot and Croix; and last but not least, thank you LWA fans for making LWA possible. It was in 2013, and here we are in 2017, the journey has finally comes to an end.

    Believing is magic, and may we believe in magic where there'll be a LWA movie project from TRIGGER soon in the future

    • June 27, 2017 at 2:13 pmChoya

      There is a sense of emptiness now that there isn’t a time next week to see how all the witches are doing. All of the character were very endearing, and Diana was wonderful as she started becoming fonder of Akko. I’d be curious to rewatch it to see how early they hint at the emotional troubles Diana faces.

      • June 28, 2017 at 1:56 amonion warrior

        So true. Im now heading towards LWA fanfictions now to fill in the fantasy gaps i have about these girls. Thats just show how i missed them so much right now.

        I hope TRIGGER will present us with one SOL ova like how they did for Kill la Kill. Maybe a picnic episode perhaps? or a beach one idk???

  • June 27, 2017 at 5:00 amsv

    I have watched anime for nearly 20 years, and I really liked this one. It brings me back to a being a kid again.

    • June 27, 2017 at 12:43 pmSyaoran Li

      I felt the same way indeed… one of the reasons of why I still love anime.

      • June 28, 2017 at 5:19 amSv

        Yup, its rare to find an anime that’s uplifting, heartwarming, fun to watch and tells a cohesive story all at the same time.

    • June 29, 2017 at 10:27 amArsene Lupin

      Great characters, great humor, great animation; zero pandering to otaku. Small wonder that it’s my favorite anime in a *very* long time.

  • June 27, 2017 at 5:09 amShahir

    I really love this series and I absolutely enjoyed this. I agree that there needs to be more world building and a season 2 could do that, but still it’s been a joy to watch this series through

    I really want more and I hope Trigger would consider it, but I will thank the studio for bring this series to light. Absolute fun and I’m going to watch this series again

  • June 27, 2017 at 12:20 pmqwert

    Constanze spoke. 10/10. Anime of the year.

  • June 27, 2017 at 12:47 pmArchiepiscopus

    Boring and monotone. The series proves that LWA works great in small doses, but not much than that. A big chunk of the episodes felt like useless filler and absolutely nothing about the world was ever interesting. The magic world is boring and confined to Luna Nova, while the human world is so dreadfully uninteresting that soccer hooligans, of all things, were a big plot point. The LWA is based on magic but almost nothing about it feels magical.

    Sucy and Lotte did absolutely nothing memorable, outside of that one Twilight episode. Sucy is a fan favorite and to be treated this way is almost insulting. Akko is annoying most of the way, and has this false sense of development, which makes Diana feel like the real MC. Besides her, none of the characters develop in any decent way. Croix being all cooperative and nice once she was defeated felt very forced and unwarranted. In fact this was a running mistake with all the series’ “villains”, like Andrew’s father, Diana’s aunt and that one guy in the boys’ school. What was the point of Andrew again? He could very well not exist and little would change with Akko and Diana.

    Wasted potential: the show.

    • June 29, 2017 at 4:11 pmdaikama

      Archiepiscopus: You mention a lot of the issues I have with the show – including that Diana as the “real MC”. I seriously wonder if the LWA TV staff wanted Diana as the MC, but felt they couldn’t rewrite the story so drastically to do that given that the OVA is already out there. As it stands, it feels like by the end Diana replaces Lotte & Sucy as Akko’s primary support. :/ ‘

      Also agree about Andrew. I’m fine with his character, but too often him and his dad, etc. felt like an unnecessary addition for this season. To me, LWA TV seems a little overly convoluted, and Andrew & Co. were better left as something for a second season.

  • June 27, 2017 at 4:36 pmTarage

    Yey status: Protected.

  • June 28, 2017 at 12:21 amdewgong

    I don’t know why but the OVAs were entertaining than the TV series.

    • June 29, 2017 at 1:43 pmPO

      That’s because the OVAs were better written than the series.

    • June 30, 2017 at 11:57 pmSeorori

      I would say because OVAs are short and easier to write than a series, not to mention the 24 episode anime like this.
      It’s also more challenging for to write content for an anime with no prior content from manga or light novels.

      • July 2, 2017 at 4:18 pmPO

        I don’t think shorter things are necessarily easier to write than longer things, although I do agree that 24 eps is a bit too long for something like this.

        I got more solid character development from the OVAs than the series, which is bizarre as the series had more time to flesh them out. The characters were also more charming and likeable in the OVAs. I actually LOST interest in Akko as I got to know her more in the series. Which I thought was highly unfortunate.

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