「ルーナノヴァと白い龍」 (Rūnanova to Shiroi Ryū)
“Luna Nova and the White Dragon”
I thought Little Witch Academia was trying to set up some sort of overarching plot this episode, what with the school being in danger because of its crippling debt. Raise money! Save the school! Sounds solid. It’s even been set up already; the only reason Luna Nova is taking in students Muggle-born like the laterally gifted Akko is because they couldn’t drum up enough enrolment to keep the school going. And then Akko’s pure passion can inspire others to come! She’ll finally be useful! Everything solved!
Shows what I know. Instead, the plot line is resolved in a single episode via Diana-ex-machina and the crippling debt vanishes completely. Rather than the financial troubles of the school, the highlight of the episode was dragonslaying. And, you know what? I’m completely fine with that. Because who isn’t? It’s bloody awesome. Fighting against mecha-dragons is an unexpected angle, and also ridiculous, but (most of) the cast get their chance to shine and really get the action on. In particular, somehow Constanze has become my favourite character in just a single episode. I just love a background character who is just hilariously badass for no good reason. Akko should be able to do the magitech too, though, right? Constanze seems to be able to fly with minimum magic, and that’s what Akko has, minimum magic. You have a future, girl! Any sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from science!
No fight against the real dragon, though, which I suppose is a shame because you’d think a ‘Fafnir’ would have made one heck of a final boss, but at the same time that may have been too serious business for LWA. Instead, he’s a bit of a sad old thing, and I’m almost sorry for it. Sure, he’s the closest thing LWA has come to a major antagonist thus far, but he morphs from wronged businessman to wretched fraudster awfully quickly. It reminds me somewhat of Merchant of Venice. Doesn’t Shylock get something of a raw deal? Sure, he’s awfully malicious about everything, but everyone does gloss over the fact that technically he is owed money. And while Fafnir has even less of a claim, it does mean that many years ago he lent Luna Nova money out of nothing but the goodness of his heart (because, y’know, no interest). And now he looks like little more than a (very well-off) scoundrel. But eh, Jews, dragons. Everybody’s fine with them being villains.
Where does LWA go from here, now that Luna Nova’s financial troubles have been resolved? Sure, they’re still poor, but at least not insolvent. Is that going to continue being a plot point? I suppose in the meantime we’ll still be following Akko, and her chasing her dream of inspiring more to love magic. Is that really going to be that hard, though? Magic’s already plenty awesome, right? I mean, even when limited to the proximity of a shiny rock, magic can be used to fly, and do maths, and reverse time. Reverse time! Surely, there are kids out there who would like to learn how to do that. Failing that, I’m sure some witch should have figured out how to make money off of it by now.