「ブルームーン」 (Burū Mūn)
It’s good to see that Little Witch Academia is keeping up with the development this episode, because considering it’s track record there was a very good chance it would simply lose interest and—oh look, a butterfly!
Character development can only come from a capacity for self-reflection, and I’m glad to see that Akko continues to show that she is capable of that. Of course, the confident, shoot-first-questions-later Akko is more fun but the secret ingredient in giving any character depth is doubt. Doubt is what prompts exploration, and doubt makes Akko interesting. And this episode takes Akko’s partners in crime out of the picture entirely to focus squarely on exploring Akko’s doubts, so you know they’re serious about it.
And it’s not just ‘mere’ character development here, too! Almost half way through its run, LWA‘s plot finally rears its head again, and no mention of the plot can go without the involvement of Shiny Chariot. In particular, I suppose it’s time to stop playing coy about the Ursula/Chariot connection. Even if you haven’t watched the OVAs, I’m sure you’ve had an inkling of it for some time now. They’re both around the same age. They both attended Luna Nova. They could even be… classmates! Classmates!
…Yes, they’re the same person. Glad we got that out of the way.
But is Ursula secretly Shiny Chariot, or is Shiny Chariot secretly Ursula? Does Bruce Wayne dress up as Batman, or does Batman dress up as Bruce Wayne? Akko insists that she’s aspired, since childhood, to ‘be Shiny Chariot‘, but if (if) Chariot is but an act that Ursula puts on, what does that mean for Akko’s dream?
Asking the moon for advice, though, is definitely the wrong way to go about it, though. Here’s where we can read some symbolism into LWA, if only because the cards motif makes it obvious. Know about Tarot? It’s Tarot, right? In the allegory of the Tarot, the Moon, XVIII, represents not just mystery but also deception, leading our hero (the Fool—who might play that role in LWA?) astray. And indeed, the apparition of the blue moon tests Akko more than counsels her. It is opposed, naturally, by Shiny Chariot, the sign of the Star, the guiding light that inspires Akko.
…Or maybe Shiny Chariot’s sign is the, er, Chariot. I dunno, Tarot is very much ‘make it up as you go’.
For now, LWA insinuates a bunch of plot, and Akko is set on a mission, even if she may not quite know of it yet. I know some has expressed doubts about whether LWA actually wants an overarching plot, but it still seems, at its heart, nominally a magical girl show. And that means Akko has to go forth and collect the seven
Dragon Balls words/staff lights/whatever. It’s a useful magical girl tradition, turning fluffy hopes and dreams into a more tangible fetch-quest. There’s a progress metre! I think we’re set for the rest of the series.