Something of a turning point this episode, for both our protagonist, Alias Akko, and her school, Luna Nova. This is the first time, I would say, where Akko has put effort into honestly being a witch, and the first time that Luna Nova has honestly put effort into being an educational institution. It’s a good time for it, since we’re halfway through the first cour, and Akko was also due for a lot of character development. Before now, she really had little in the way of redeeming qualities to sell (and was silently upstaged by cooler witches). Sure, she has her ideals, which was great, but little direction on how to achieve them, resorting mostly to pure stubbornness, and it is hard to make a virtue of stubbornness. After some real introspection last episode it’s heartening to see that she got something out of the whole ordeal and is dedicated to turning over a new leaf. I hope it lasts.
Being the only muggle at Luna Nova, fresh to the magical world and with no prior experience in the area, one could only expect that Akko would have to put in at least twice as much work to keep up. The fact that she only does so now, right before her exams is… the story of every student ever, I suppose. Some fault, though, must lie in her teachers as well, and I think Little Witch Academia mostly critiques the institution. We see the teachers do very little in the way of teaching, and even when they do, do they really know how to teach someone like Akko i.e. a muggle? They’ve only just started this muggle-acceptance programme, and it seems that Akko is the only one. Why just her? On what basis was she accepted? I don’t think we’ll ever know, and perhaps the Luna Nova staff don’t really know either, because they have no idea what to do with her. Even if they have no plan, though, they could at least try harder to care. Take this recent fish incident, which almost gets Akko expelled. At no point do the teachers weigh the merits of her actions, and only her personal mentor manages to grow enough backbone to stand up for her. All they cared about was that it was embarrassing, and only relented when it turned out that it was not. Come on, why would you care so much about some stupid tabloid, anyway? Any headline with an interrobang is not worth paying attention to.
To be fair to Luna Nova, Akko is something of the boy who cried wolf two; she’s spent six episodes being mostly up to no good, and caps it off with almost murdering a teacher. Her tutors suffer much, and the benefit of the doubt understandably comes hard for them. Still, it does seem that they don’t focus enough on nurturing all those unique little talents their charges have. All this moaning about people criticising magic as being too ‘traditional’, when so much one can do with it with just a bit of imagination. I mean, Akko can make metal explode; with a bit of refinement I’m sure that would be really useful for somebody. The message, which Ursula drills home, is about growth. Contrast Akko to Diana. Diana already knows everything, or at least more than the teachers most of the time. She doesn’t really need much academic guidance. Akko, on the other hand, started with nothing, but can now, I don’t know, talk to fish after just a bit of immersion. One needs to grow, the other does not. And one should be a greater accomplishment to teach than the other.
I think we also may be seeing WHY magic is being thought of as so old in this episode, look at the other students results, they got marks taken off for doing non standard things, A tranforming robot, B. This may also be looked at why shiny disapeared and wasnt looked well on, the witch comunity dosnt seem to want to grow and adapt to the modern world much, shiny was trying to encourage that and the old stick in the muds who want everything to be the same didnt like it. Perhaps thats why shiny is trying to help akko, if she is expeled… well we already know numbers were plumiting what will it say that they now have a presedent of expeling people new to the feild, unable or unwilling to teach someone at stage 1.
Indeed, I can’t believe the robot got marked down as being impractical. It’s a robot. Come on.
Well, maybe all the robot COULD do was transform.
I loved the faces this week! Really great moments from Diana, Akko, and Ursula. Fun fact: this was storyboarded by one of Imaishi’s disciples, which is why the second half looks almost like a Kill La Kill style. Also something to look forward to next week, because Imaishi himself is storyboarding episode 8! 😀
I almost cheered when Akko’s development from last week wasn’t glanced over! She seriously want to work hard, and maybe now watching this show won’t feel like a lost cause!! Unfortunately, we know this is a two-cour show and hard work doesn’t come easily, so we’re given 11 minutes of Akko doing her usual messing up again out of recklessness. In fact, everything I just said could apply to Ursula as well! Now we’re explained that the reason she hasn’t been counseling Akko well is because she herself isn’t a very good teacher, which makes me wonder why she’s even around.
However, the second half was hilarious and justified all the problems I had with the first. 😀 Akko of course does the transformation spell wrong and thus becomes a fish-man hybrid! Turns out the fish she saved with the last of her magic were endangered, and Ursula proved herself by finally expressing Akko’s positive points! Glad to see them both finally bonding as friends.
Luna Nova is full of recalcitrant old-way teachers that for all purposes, forgot that they have one student that doesn’t come from a magic family, and don’t know even the basics of magic. No wonder why magic is seen as something so obscure, then. If LN was adamant on taking a non-magic user into their campus, why is Finnegan so centered on boot out Akko of the picture? Not only the school lose credibility, but also the money Akko has already given to these “witches” (in the wrong sense of the word, mind you). Thanksfully, Finnegan’s face when Akko was commended was priceless, and with Ursula finally stepping as the mentor she needs to be, even better
That akko in fish form…….lol!!
I hope they have some flashback episodes to show how Akko got accepted to the school as a non magic person.
Also would you consider Diana (Akko’s mortal enemy) as the villian of the series?
Given the number of fanart of AkkoxDiana, I hope not as enemies, buf friends.
Diana isn’t an enemy at all. She doesn’t intend Akko any harm. Diana’s only interest is doing the best she can, becoming the best witch she can be. If Akko would stop trying to see her as a rival, Diana could actually be a great help for her.
No, Akko’s enemies are either the hidebound administration of the school who refuse to change any of their methods and are probably responsible for the decline of magic, or Hannah and Barbara (the two psychophants who follow Diana around): because those two are deliberately hostile towards Akko and clearly do mean her harm.
I think Diana was more adversarial in the movies, and that colors a lot of perception of her.
Ok I think I failed at making a magic spell. NO MATTER!
This is by far the best episode in LWA and it’ll be interesting to see how LWA will trump over this episode. If one were to compare this scene with other contemporary anime, I would say it’s equivalent to Roßmann’s episode. In Ursula, we see Roßmann. Though not as active as Roßmann, still has faith and the desire to see Hikari/Akko to succeed.
Just like Hikari, Akko has what the teachers in my school terms it as the “growth mindset” where in it, you tell yourself to soldier on regardless of anything. Of course the lynch pin to this is the teachers as well and yes, the age of the LWA academic staff is simply putting it, metaphorically reflective of their beliefs and practices. Although this is contrary to real life at times but lets keep it simple for discussion sake.
Looking at Akko-Diana duo, they are the metaphors for the high and low ability students that exists in schools. You have Diana who’s the cream of the crop while Alko is the bottom of the barrel. The question is than how should the teacher bring Akko to the next level and at the same tome develop Diana? Do we leave the former to flounder in the mire of the mud and pour all resources in the latter? Do we cut our losses and develop he latter? Real world problems where the answers lie in the grey area.
The other matter that this episode of LWA raises is summative assessment v. formative assessment. From what we’ve seen thus far, the staff of Luna Nova heavily relies on summarive assessment and makes judgement or ranks the students accordingly. Though while this is important, it’s imperative to take Ursula’s defence into consideration. She is right when she said that Akko was to be assessed formatively to how she was at the start of the academic year as it shows how Akko has grown. Though no doubt, summative assessment at the end of the academic year as it provides a snap shot of the students’ competence at the end of the academic year before being promoted.
Wow… That’s really long. Seemed like my teacher mode took over to comment. On the lighter side of things…
Yes Passerby, metals CAN explode. Group 1 and 2 metals. It gets more reactive as you go down the group.
“Would you like jam with that sensei?” said Akko sheepishly
And the weekly dose of Diana and Ursula! Damn it these 2 need more screen time!
I’m getting Hitagi Senjougahara vibes from her.
Sensei… You have beautiful eyes… And you’re adorably cute as well!
The fish transformation reminds of Disney’s “Sword in the Stone”
At the end of this episode where the principal tried to expel Akko, I’ve actually thought that this is the point where Trigger throws everybody for a loop and Akko really gets expelled. And in the following three or four episodes she joins an underground witch group where young “muggle” people teach themselves magic in an autodidactic fashion because the magic academies throughout the world haven’t accepted them due to their ancestry. So Akko trains with them and it turns out that they have a much better understanding of the underlying rules of magic since the official educational institutions still follow their old-fashioned rules so they adamantly reject the advancement of magic which puts them at a great disadvantage. At this self-teaching group Akko meets the current leader of this secret association who is Leone, the muggleborn half-sister of Ursula and the original creator of Shiny Rod of which she gave the prototype to her sister after she managed to develop the mass-manufacturing process for making it. (She was able to come up with the concept of an effective magical energy storage device thanks to the other members of her organization, especially the fathers of Sucy and Constanze who are respectively a biochemist and an engineer.) Leone’s group also have the older brother of Diana, Evander who is the first male who was able to manifest magical powers probably by reason of his pure-blooded ancestry and the effect of growing up alongside ‘the most talented witch of the century’, but who was disinherited on the grounds of the old rumour claiming that the only male magicians were all possessed by malicious faeries.
So Leone’s group takes in the heartbroken Akko and they show her a world of magic even more amazing and breathtaking than Chariot’s shows. They also confide the the aim of their organization to her which is none other but to revolutionise the world through magic and the first step is the reformation of the educational system to give the students a more balanced curriculum which equally consists of science and magic. Thus widening the perspective of the young witches who will be more open-minded to new ideas and simultaneously creating a better image of witchcraft which is instrumental in shifting society’s view of magic from the current disdain to a more receptive attitude. The group’s financial support relies on the network of ancient dragons who became the masters of stock exchange after Leone had found their alpha in an uninhabited gold mine and had taught him the intricacies of today’s economy. The dragons agreed to back up Leone’s plan of changing the world in exchange of the promise that they will be the majority shareholders of the future magical tech companies.
Long comment is loooong, so here’s part two:
The organization’s first plan also involved dragons in an attack where in a synchronized stock manipulation attempt the dragons tried to make the world’s already financially stranded magical academies bankrupt. This attack was countered by the secret Supreme Supervisory Committe of Magic, an organization founded by muggles three centuries ago when the first politicians realized that magic possessed an immense amount of power and that if the rather secretive witches got the idea of using this powerful tool for anything other than their own amusement then they could probably conquer the whole world in two months. So it’s the Committe’s task to oversee that the witches don’t get any funny ideas and for that purpose the boarding schools are given just barely enough money to maintain their facilities and make ends meet plus the Committe always appoints the most conservative and incompetent witches to the teaching positions (like a fish for philosophy) to guarantee that any ideas related to progress or advancement are quickly shut off to keep the witches in the dark. Since the dragons’ attack needed an immediate response from the Committe they couldn’t hide all of their trails so now Leone’s group has a clue that they have another enemy besides human stupidity and idiocy. The group’s second plan is the kidnapping of Lord Andrew whose father is known to be an influential nobleman and to demand educational reforms as a ransom. Little do they know that the Earl of Hanbridge is also the member of the secret Committe which now becomes aware of the first revolutionist witch organization in history. The Committe issues an order for the immediate exterminationof all the people involved with Leone’s secret group and since the risk is too great, also the total annihilation of the magical academy with the closest ties to the rebels, Luna Nova.
Now, Akko finds herself amidst the emerging war of two shadowy organizations grappling for world domination with little time to save her friends while she’s still a novice in the magical field (and her scientific knowledge is not much better). Join her in magical adventures across the globe, witness the moments when her courage is put to the test for real while she battles alongside her companions and friends, get excited about this brand new story of suspense, war, and of course love (with just a little bit of slice-of-life, since we have already had seven episodes of it)!
Wow, initially I just wanted to write three lines of fanfiction with a little bit more plot twists and suspense since Trigger really leans towards the slice-of-life aspect in this series. However, I had so much fun thinking up new scenarios which could be consistent with the already explained LWA lore that I just couldn’t help myself so here it is. Maybe I should even continue this beginning chapter as I’d really like to see more fleshed-out characters, more battles, more dungeon raids, more dragons, basically more anything which is not SoL.
As for the real ep itself, it was kind of enjoyable, though that Deus ex machina at the end was totally forced: Akko at least should have gotten a more severe puishment for trying to blackmail a teacher and then proceeding to nearly kill her. By the way, is Pisces Sensei a witch who have transormed herself into a fish and cannot transform back (or don’t want to), or she’s a legit fish who teaches philosophy, since if it’s the latter and she has the same cognitive abilities as those other fish in the Lake who Akko rescued then those philosophy classes are sure interesting. Imagine Kant’s, or Plato’s philosophy told with the most basic sentence structure plus every sentence is repeated. (Though I’m kind of sure that the witches don’t learn Kant’s philosophy becuse of the secret machinations of the Committe.)
Seems like you might want to put this (with even a bit of expansion) over here:
I think this episode is the first time we see Ursula’s eyes as a teacher.
We saw her eyes both last week, and in Lotte’s episode.
My take is that Diana, who already knows everything, and Akko,
who knows (almost) nothing both need lots of growth, just in
different ways. Diana illustrates that skill isn’t everything (and has
certainly won a few days with her skill), and Akko shows that heart
isn’t everything (though her heart was won a few days as well).
They’re diametrically different in their approach to magic.
…but without getting too serious, I love watching it ’cause I’m
never quite sure how it’s all going to end up (although the punishment
crew seems to get bigger each episode), but I know the ride will
be worth it.
TBH, almost ALL schools care only about reputation and summarized grades, that it’s kinda scaring me at this point. Also, it makes me smile to know how she learns fish language just by being a fish.
This episode is a very good satire on the modern education system of Japan (or any country that also discriminates against slow learners and creative thinkers).
The Official/Public School can only teach the normal stuff. For genius the normal school is to boring, to slow. So sadly the ones must go to an special/private school.
Thats around the World, not Japan only
or… in LWA, Diana is Sasuke, and Akko is Naruto. Without the fighting of course
Diana perhaps was educate since kindergarten to know all things things. Perhaps shut in in a room with an private tutor, for the sake of the family honor, just like an golden princess in a Gage (and still are, this School grounds is also some kind of cage. because of the Magis Stone). Akko did not have thins background, she starts from zero. Only her love for her Shiny Witch idol, keeps her going and of course her friends. Alone in this School ground, and you will not receive the sun you need to grow into an flower. Perhaps Diana is envy of Akko unbreakable willpower, perhaps Diana’s will was broken for the sake of the family
Well, at last Diana do not take false praise. She is not an Asshole character.
There’s a reason a good portion of who we now consider “geniuses” dropped out of school.
Akko’s mermaid form reminds rather strongly of Q-taro (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obake_no_Q-tar%C5%8D). I am surprised no one mentioned it thus far. Am I just seeing things that are not there?
In any case, I am a bit skeptical about Akko, particularly the part where she tried to bribe Professor Pisces. Then again, I guess a change in how someone thinks cannot come so quickly–she cannot just abandon her old ways with a single vision. It is good to see her actually attempting to learn, as this was much needed character development. I wish she were more successful than shown here–not good grades, but not quite the abject failure in this episode either.