OP2: 「MIND CONDUCTOR」by YURiKA
「ニューエイジマジック」 (Nyū Eiji Majikku)
“New Age Magic”
If the first half was about Akko realizing what Shiny Chariot’s influence meant to her, and how to apply her limited knowledge in magic towards matching her idol, the second half looks like it will be about Akko’s love of magic being challenged by the encroaching presence of technology.
If you were wondering when the “plot” would kick in, this looks to be where the show’s direction goes from developing Akko and following her misadventures to getting deep into the lore the show has been building up to. We’ve seen shades of what LWA‘s universe is like as Fafnir and Andrew’s family has hinted at the degradation of magic in contemporary society in favor of technological wonders. Episode 14 shifts this concept to overdrive with the appearance of Croix (Takeuchi Junko), the newest professor at the academy, who relies on magical Roombas to help her work her magic. Croix spends the episode trying to convince the other professors to integrate the academy with new technology. It’s a recipe for disaster, but all of the professors that weren’t Finnelan or Ursula were on board with giving Croix that much access to their power. It’s no wonder why they were so easily swayed around by the dragon, but this time around they should’ve got it together by now. I’m this close to predicting that this will cause Finnelan to warm up to Akko and Ursula in tsundere fashion once it hits the fan with whatever Croix is planning.
This episode also fleshes out aspects of the academy’s energy source as the fairies who help power the academy’s magic go on strike. Part of this helps pave the way for Croix’s tech to worm its way into the academy, but it also builds an interesting dynamic to Akko and Diana’s rivalry. While Akko was convinced by the fairies’ plight and joined them and learned all about the burgeoning issues between the high, middle, and lower classes. It does reflect on Akko’s talent of empathy and relations that she’s built with other factions such as the fish when she accidentally flushed Professor Pisces. It is also one of the first times we see Diana with a crowd against her with Akko and the fairies rallying against the privilege that Diana has lived under. There were only a couple times the show explored the insecurity and resentment Diana has with being well-adored, but it makes me optimistic that they’ll do more to expand on Diana more now that we’ve seen her in a situation where she was as alienated as Akko felt around highly talented witches.
One concern I have is Akko’s instant adoration of Croix. Throughout the episode, Croix constantly uses technology as a means of swaying Akko, the students, and the professors towards integrating her technology into their witchcraft, but Akko’s taking the bait. It might just be my reaction as a viewer because it’s clearer to us that Croix is incredibly shady in how she wants to find a means to control the academy’s power source so easily with SSS. On top of that, the hints that Ursula and Croix have a complicated and bitter history are mounting the further we get into the second half. It all culminates as Ursula returns from her delivery run to find Akko being happy to talk to Croix in the alleyway. From the way things go, the series should work out with Akko still loving magic, but for the time being, it does provide a great amount of tension to see Akko starting to admire Croix’s technological power, the exact opposite of Ursula/Chariot’s more straightforward magical approach. There’s much to look forward to the next time with Ursula meeting Croix for the first time in years under these circumstances.
ED2: 「透明な翼」 (Toumei na Tsubasa) by 大原 ゆい子 (Ohara Yuiko)
WORKING WITCHES OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!
It’s kind of weird, considering how gung-ho ‘why couldn’t we be born in the Golden Age of Magic before all this stupid technology got in the way’ Akko has been.
Opening Intro Analysis
– The opening starts off with Akko, Lotte and Sucy holding hands leading to spiral formation to the Seven Words of Arcturus till finally a tree which I call Yggdrasil, the world tree. In mythology, Yggdrasil was this very powerful and ancient tree that held the nine realms of the Norse Mythology. As you probably read, think about this, nine worlds and the Nine Olde Witches. Probably the Nine Olde Witches and Little Witch Academia as a world has influence of the Norse and I developed a theory which I will reveal later.
– The transition from Shiny Chariot to Akko shows a lot. Chariot riding a broom through a blue colored sky till it descends to the earth with white backgrounds where Akko was. As you recall, Chariot was some sort of champion among Witches who could have saved the magic world but for some unknown reason, that didn’t happen leading to the mantle of Chariot, the Shiny Rod to be passed on to Akko. The blue skies represented the state of the world where there was some semblance of life but moving to today, we see the world is completely white showing how lifeless the world has become due to Chariot unable to fulfil her role.
– Akko and her friends standing behind Luna Nova represents that the fate of the school is in Akko’s hand but also the support of the founders themselves, the Nine Olde Witches referencing Episode 11 where Woodward entrusted Ursula to help Akko in unlocking the remaining words. Diana behind the white background references that she won’t have the support of the Nine Witches or that her goal in saving magic would result in more lifelessness or in this case, destruction. All the students that stood, lined up in the middle meant to be that their fates on whoever’s hands.
– Akko and Diana walking towards one another before walking away from one another shows the eventual clash between these two students mirroring the actions of Chariot and Croix until at the last moment, both Akko and Diana grabbed each other hands meaning Diana’s redemption of her character and siding with her rival and what might possibly be her true friend. As you have also noticed, the young versions of Chariot and Croix were shown but this time wearing white clothing which foreshadows what could possibly be their deaths or ascension to a higher plane of existence.
– Next was the ‘ready for battle’ sequence. All of Akko’s friends, her teammates, Amanda and her team, Diana and Akko herself but before I talked about Akko, I want to talk about the ley lines. If you look closer, the ley lines had what looked to be branches or roots which connects to Yggdrasil. Why is that? Well, the answer is that what we are looking at are the roots of the world tree itself. The Ley lines are the Roots of the World Tree, Yggdrasil. So, all that meant is that all the Witches and the Faeries are taking in this magical energy from one of the most ancient forces in the universe. Also, could this mean the world where Akko is having her adventures is located at one of the nine realms. However, this presents a case on what’s happening to Yggdrasil.
– We understand that magic came from somewhere, probably Yggdrasil but at some point, the magic is getting less which foretells a frightening conclusion, the world tree is dying. If that happens, all the worlds including Earth would be destroyed without Yggdrasil holding them together. That might be the purpose of Chariot. By reviving the Seven Words of Arcturus, they can revive Yggdrasil who will in turn support the worlds once more.
– Moving on to Akko. Her transformation reflects on herself. The Elephant with the giant ears, Dumbo and since Dumbo made the impossible possible reflects on that Akko could perform miracles which amazed even Diana. Akko’s transformation to a Dolphin or a Shark tells how fluid or creative Akko can be, a reference to a new generation of artist which new minds. Akko’s transformation into a phoenix references how even in defeat, Akko could still rise up and continue her goal in becoming a Witch like Shiny Chariot. Her transformation into the mouse references how even with all the power in her hands, she’s tied to the small beginnings that allowed her to become what she is today.
– Professor Woodward along with Ursula and Croix foreshadows the eventual relationship that is about to be discovered and Andrew’s presence is a reminder that even as a Witch, Akko started off as a human who has strong bonds with those around and ending with synchronization of brooms and wands informing us about a celebration that is about to come.
You my friend deserve a standing ovation for the exposition above. I couldn’t believe that there’s so much meaning behind the OP.
It works that you have a deep understanding on things. My accomplishments would be:
– The potential Yggdrasil plot. I hadn’t made the connection until I had a closer observation of the ley lines. They do look like veins of something and seeing is that we had the Shiny Rod growing out of the ground, the Arcturus Forest and Woodward’s affinity to nature, the connection was made clear that Luna Nova is taking place in one of the nine realms. Unsure which realms but I leave it to your interpretation.
– Akko’s transformations was another accomplishment as I made a symbolism behind it during Episode 12 and 13. It wouldn’t be long before she made the transformation her greatest skills.
With the diverse background of RC readers, I’d say the comment section is where you can learn new things as well.
goddamn man!!! *slow clap*
It’s not really strange at all. To Akko, it is just a new type of magic, which she has not seen before. Why should she not be captivated by it? We as cynical viewers see though Croix, but she is an authority figure in a school. Akko has no reason to start doubting her on sight.
True, I do mention that it’s because I’m speaking as a viewer who is shown all of Croix’s scheme-faces and “Soon…soon..” moments that I thought it’d be strange for Akko to be enamored, but it is a new type of magic so it’d make sense for her to be curious.
It’s the temptation of an easy and quick fix. Akko, starting with no magical background, has to work extra hard while still being the weakest witch-in-training. With her spirit and drive to help, the technology is an easy way to do all the venerable things Akko wants to do with magic, and the temptation to forgo the hard training for the power and magic now has got to be very tempting indeed.
Akko understand now that being what she say in Shiny Chariot means more than just being a carbon copy of Shiny Chariot, so now that Akko has leaped that hurdle, the 2nd cour will likely focus on her temptation to get it all now without having to do the hard work, especially since it’ll not only help get her the power she thinks she needs to reach Shiny Chariot levels, but to also show up Diana and Finnelan.
I think you’re jumping to conclusions. Akko’s just happy to learn about a new type of magic. The issue of being tempted by a shorcut to her dream hasn’t even been mentioned at all in this episode. What the episode did mention is that she’s starting to figure out how the Shiny Rod works, that she can’t use it for shallow reasons, that it will only respond to her when it’s something important. The fact that she understands this shows how much she has grown. The Akko who would look for shortcuts is a thing of the past.
Which is why I believed that was the purpose of the trials Akko is facing. Based on what I gathered, the Shiny Rod or Woodward is testing her on the Seven Virtues. As you are aware, the Seven Virtues comprised of:
Akko had learned the second one, so your claims are justified.
You make a good point about the temptation that magitech has since she spent a good portion of the series trying to find easier ways out of traditional magic as learning it proved to be a bigger pain for her. Now that she’s got somewhat of a good grasp of it, tech still looks like it’d be an option that would make Akko question if she would’ve been a more successful witch with technological augmentations.
I find your lack of faith in magitech to be rather disturbing. I am disappointed.
We’ve seen how magic and technology be ised as one. Tanya Dugrechaff and Ursula Hartmann is disappointed in you.
Crap… RC really needs an edit button.
It’s important to keep in mind that Croix uses magitech (combination of magic and technology). Akko was oppossed to pure technology replacing magic completely. However Croix managed to make her magitech look like the perfect combination of magic and technology, so Akko is easily charmed by this new modern form of magic the traditionalist Luna Nova didn’t teach her about.
That’s a good point, especially taking into consideration that it is a new type of magic that she just now discovered thanks to the academy loosening its restrictions on anything outside of traditional magic. If Shiny Chariot made her open her eyes to the old way of doing magic, then Croix is possibly opening her eyes to a new way.
Akko’s gonna reconsider going with the academy’s new progress when she realizes she can’t even press a button on a machine!
Some Ursula foreshadowing occurred back at the very beginning of episode 1:
Show Spoiler ▼
Perhaps there is far more to “Shiny Chariot” than we thought…
From what Insee, the recurring theme that has been running somce episode 1 is relevance of magic in today’s world. Right as the start, we already see the conflict between the old and the new. The old being represented by the academic staff while the new being represented by Akko. If you guys recall, there were many, MANY instances where Akko questioned the ways of the old and asking if it could be done better or differently e.g. the teaching and learning of magic.
Case in point, just look at the Minister’s visit and Samhain festival itself. Don’t you guys find the itenary boring, outdated and irrelevant? Enter Prof. Croix. With her, she brings technology and new ways of teaching and learning. From what I see, the devices that Croix brings aren’t shady. They bring new possibilities to Luna Nova. What luna nova needs now is an IT and Cyber Wellness department and masterplan to help chart its new direction. Though what I forsee in the forseeable future is that the staff will be using technology just for the sake of using it and not to compliment the student’s teaching and learning.
The other aspect that I am very interested in is how Akko-Diana relationship goes. From what I see, Diana is like ke carbon, a very stable character while Akko is like hydrogen, highly reactive and combustible. I don’t consider Sucy and Lotte to be carbon as they still bend and follow Akko’s will.
But come on guys, I’m sure younguys aren’t here for the themes hidden in LWA. You guys are here for
Honestly, the entire episode centers around the problems of Luna Nova and why they aren’t getting popular.
The theme is definitely that, and I think it can be applied to the real world in multiple ways. One is simply magic as a metaphor for the arts and the humanities – they certainly suffer for similar problems, like a stuffy tradition that often makes easier the task of calling them irrelevant and outdated, while their role really is to create passion, love and sense of wonder, not to solve practical issues.
The other option is more specific: considering how much love of animation, and references to old school Disney are peppered around in this show, magic is old school, hand drawn 2D, and technology is modern, cheaper 3D.
In both cases I think it’s very likely the outcome will be one of synthesis. I don’t expect Croix to be full-blown evil either, probably she’ll come around eventually, or at least her motives will turn out to be not so bad, unlike her methods.
As much as i love Diana, seeing her get roasted by Akko was just great.
Love the new plot line.
I loved the mageteck so much I thought Croix was cool until it became clear she was manipulating things. After all their is no reason that basic technology be used in the witch school and when ever a magic and technology combination can work it should be explored. The brooms witches ride were state of the Art when they started using them. No reason that mechanical devices and electric devices should be used by the fairies when possible so that more magic energy is available for them. And mageteck easily fits with Akko scenes of wonder if it done in a fantastic way.
Read other site that SSS=S3 engines are what are used in Evangelion to make the Units able to work forever without a external power source.
Loved the comrade Akko moments. As a US Army Reserve officer during the early 80’s part of the cold war I was ready to fight the communists. But like a good officer you study possible enemies and learn how they think. Combined with a Collage pastor who was into the Christian Communist Hybrid Liberation Theology I learned the attractions of the idea and the mental limitations of many opposed. And here we see how you go left, you oppress and treat a group like dirt and eventually they look for a better way.
Now I oppose the oppression and total control the Communist movement got into and recognize Capitalism is the best way to produce wealth. But Unions are just like Akko learned key to negotiating a fair share of the profits. The best economy the US ever had in 1950’s and 1960’s had a very powerful labor movement with a third of people in them. But union abuses and anti union propaganda have mostly destroyed the movement. And Unions are a needed part of Capitalism where workers negotiate their fair value, after all without the power of government stoping the workers from occupying their work site owners would have to negotiate or engage in armed conflict. As a radical moderate I say a balance of all things is needed both right and left are half right and wrong.
A DIANA EPISODE PLEASE. JUST ONE. I’M BEGGING YOU.
@Choya: Thanks for continuing LWA.
No question plot is kicking into gear along with what seems to be a new subplot surrounding Ursula’s and Croix’s history. The “magictech” theme and old/traditional ways clashing with the modern world is really nothing new. As others have noted, it’s something that’s been set up from the very start of the TV anime with allowing Akko to join the school due to declining enrollment. The magictech goes back to the 2nd OVA with Constanze creating magically driven technology items, which IIRC, were subject to scorn by the teaching staff.
It’s a good theme/plot though IMO. Frankly, it makes me think of the Harry Potter series in that the magic world seems awfully outdated in some ways, strapped to tradition. For example, owl (or magic letter) delivery vs. e-mail. E-mail isn’t magical, but sure is efficient. Also no owl mess. ;). I digress. No question the evolution of magic is an important, and realistic theme. There’s room for both really IMO. Some traditional stuff (e.g. potions, transformation, etc.) are still fine, but certainly the marriage of tech & magic can create some impressive stuff. Not only that, there is the issue of magic dying out/lack of interest (though credibility of that has been debated in previous episode discussion).
Honestly, I found the “SSS” presentation kind of interesting. I was under the impression that the Stone had some sort of storage capacity, rather then pure refinement and broadcast. There are already small storage devices – the “wand batteries” which we’ve seen before, so I’m not sure why Finnelan is so opposed to the SSS idea. Same principle, just on a larger scale. Seriously, to me this an efficiency issue (at least when it comes to magic supply). The current system is wasteful.
I’m speaking in general terms though. Clearly this is all a setup by Croix, presumably for some nefarious purpose. As the review suggests, wouldn’t be a surprise at all if she uses SSS to suck out all the magic power from the Stone.
I do wonder how this ties into the larger theme which is the restoration of magic. I’d be surprised if the resolution is “SSS”/magitech alone. There are a couple different themes here. One is the restoration of magic (and I assume that includes magic supply since that didn’t seem to be an issue in the “Golden Age” of magic (or something like that)). That still leaves the integration of witches & magic into the modern world. “Old-school” vs. “New”.
Anyway, some interesting stuff, and I enjoyed the episode.
how i see what will happen next:
2 episodes for each remaining “words” (there are 4 remaining so 8 eps)
3 episodes dedicated to climax and ED
i am also sticking to my 6th word “double spell” activation requirement theory since big dipper’s 6th star is actually 2 so it might have 3 episodes dedicated to it
diana would be allied with croix since i think there is something that tells me that croix is envious of chariot’s achievements and i believe the same will happen to diana as akko gets better and gain more of the spotlight, my prediction of diana stealing the shiny rod still possible.
Anime is life real world sucks
Welcome to blogging this great show! 🙂
I love that second screengrab you captured of Akko and Diana. “KISS, GOD DAMMIT!!!!” It’s telling that this ep shows Diana showing remorse outwardly for the first time when she saw Akko joining the side of the fairy protestors, because she thought she had misunderstood Akko for a loser. Character development!
Same Eye color, nearly same Face lines.. She must be his Sister or an Aunt (i do not know her Age). But she is perhaps plotting to destroy the root of this School to Crush? Brother or ex-lover to hurt daddy?
It’s immediately implied that she’s connected to Ursula / Chariot, though.
I dunno. Something about this episode just didn’t work for me. Diana showed up, but didn’t really do anything. Croix showed up, but didn’t really do anything. And there wasn’t much comedy, either. The gag with Akko joining the strike was brilliant, and should have been the focus of the episode.
But it wasn’t. Instead this episode is just set-up for future episodes, and not really all that interesting in its own right. I suppose that’s forgivable on the heels one of the the best episodes of the series, but it’s still disappointing. I think this really should have been expanded into a two-parter, with this episode focusing on Akko and the strike (and on the mechanics and community of the faeries), and the next episode focusing on Akko and Croix and solving the strike problem. This episode basically does a lot of things poorly instead of a few things well, and not really an approach I’m fond of.
“Croix showed up, but didn’t really do anything.”
“And there wasn’t much comedy, either.”
@Arsene Lupin: If you didn’t like the episode, you didn’t like it – personal opinion/taste & fair enough. That being said, can’t agree with some of what you wrote. True, Diana didn’t do much, but that’s no different that some other episodes. That’s not to say that Diana can’t or shouldn’t have more screen time, but for this episode, she didn’t have a big role to play. Even Lotte & Sucy can disappear at times. I expect Diana to show up more in the future.
Croix actually did a lot. Her and “SSS”/magitech were one of the, if not the, main focal points this episode and surely will factor going forward. Right now, looks like she’s the main antagonist for the TV anime.
As for the joke about Akko joining the strike, comedy is subjective. It was a fun joke, but personally I think it played out right/long enough. A lot more of that for me wouldn’t be an improvement.
You do raise a fair point IMO about lack of details to some degree. We didn’t get much detail/world-building in term of how
house elvesfairies and such integrate into the witch world. Performing services was clear to me, but heating water? That I didn’t expect. So yes, some world-building left on the table. The magitech, however, given how I expect that to factor into the plot, I would expect more details forthcoming.
I’m not sure this would be better stretched into two episodes. Maybe one episodes was a little short, but to me stretching this to two episodes would be too long/drawn out.
I just want to note, that i see what you did there 🙂
the Flame that make this all possible..
Nice Easter egg
I’ve looked into the pictures and will provide my insight onto the matter.
The first picture shows what could probably be Croix introducing herself to her new students including Akko.
Diana is reading a book on past students. Its unknown if Finnelan told her to look into Croix’s background or Diana also suspected that something felt off with Croix. Alternatively, it could be her finding more about Chariot referring back when she eavesdropped on Akko and actually agreed with her that by finding clues regarding the connection between Chariot, the Shiny Rod and the Arcturus Forest, it will solve one of the bigger mysteries on what is happening in the magical world.
It would seem Amanda isn’t fond of the class due to how complex the class is. Another added foreshadowing is the picture on the ipad. If you hadn’t noticed, the picture resembles the World Tree. I’ve made a previous theory regarding the Witches and Faeries drawing their power from the World Tree, Yggdrasil. Of course, there are different variations of the tale but i’ll explain it to you on what the circles represent from top to bottom. The first three represent Musspellheim, Liossalheim, Vanaheim. The middle represents Midgard, our home Earth. The bottom portion represents Jotonheim, Svartalheim and Niflheim. However the only two realms that are missing are Asgard and Hel. Although it might be telling us what Croix is planning.
Akko looks extremely ecstatic possibly learnign that Croix knew Chariot which might be leading up to the main plot where Croix has her hands on Akko and is subjecting her to a probe of sort to look into her memories.
Another of Chariot’s past has been revealed and it shows Chariot receiving the Shiny Rod and confirms that the Rod came from the Arcturus Forest.
Croix’s expression shows how cold hearted she is probably when probing Akko.
Akko’s past is shown and it’s actually adorable in seeing Little Akko playing with a broom showing the level of love she has for Shiny Chariot.
Ursula turning back into Chariot. You don’t mess with Chariot’s student. Croix went all out war on Chariot but she won’t stop until Akko is safe.
Diana might have found out about the truth behind the connection although judging by her face, it would seem that its a shocking one. Although a theory but it might be that every user of the Shiny Rod will have to sacrifice themselves in order to reactivate the Grand Triskellion and with that knowledge, Diana would want to have the Shiny Rod even more as she didn’t want anyone especially Akko to hold that responsibility leaving her to be manipulated by Croix in the near future.
The picture showed what might be the episode nearing its end but i predict that Ursula will withheld the truth about her identity for now. After what happened, Akko’s faith in either Croix, Chariot or both might have been shattered but Ursula will always be there to comfort Akko during her darkest hours.