After such a tumultuous bombshell last week, Little Witch Academia follows it up by clarifying what went wrong with Chariot’s shows. It was easy to predict that it wasn’t entirely her fault that her show used Dream Fuel Spirit to absorb the audience’s magic, but it was painful to find out that Chariot was kept in the dark about what exactly Croix was telling her to do. Chariot’s intention was always to go about her shows earnestly, but Croix played into her trust to use her as a stepping stone for her research. I figured they would make Croix somewhat more sympathetic with a few of the times she was concerned for Ursula, but destroying her friend’s reputation and career because of a hidden grudge is infuriating. I’m surprised Chariot was just merely upset when Croix told her that any self-respecting magician would never show up to her performance, so anyone in her audience with magical capabilities deserves to have their power harvested. The short bursts of moments where Croix shows compassion are quickly undercut with her seething jealousy.
Although Chariot isn’t to blame for Croix purposefully withholding details on what Dream Fuel Spirit entailed, the episode doesn’t let Chariot off the hook that easily. Chariot’s handling of both her career and Akko focus in on her biggest character flaws; self-esteem and accountability. Chariot shares many similar traits with Akko such as impatience, impulsiveness, and a love of magic, but in the face of adversity, Chariot keeps withdrawing from conflict instead of facing it head-on. As her magic shows become unpopular, she was vulnerable to manipulation once Croix provided her with an easy solution without having to read the fine print. As soon as Akko felt betrayed by Chariot, she just left her be after running away because she thought there’d be nothing she could do to make things right for her. Despite feeling personally responsible for Akko’s ineptitude, she didn’t trust in her ability to instill any lessons in Akko nor did she have faith in Akko to regain her magic until she discovered her niche in transformation.
Even after being chosen by the Shiny Rod, Chariot faced any sign of conflict with disappointment and anxiety in being chosen as its master as she didn’t see herself as worthy for the rod’s responsibilities. The fact that the culmination of her struggles were for Shiny Rod to reject her after she shot the moon with a magic arrow solidified her self-doubt’s victory in driving her away from her goals. What’s interesting about this is that Chariot’s downfall is deeply rooted in her thought process that left her prone to making several costly mistakes. It delves into the complexity of how self-doubt manifested to lose faith in her own abilities and undo the effort that she spent years trying to work towards. In a show where younger characters like Akko and Andrew are slowly learning to have trust in herself, Chariot too is going through this same process as an adult. The irony of Chariot’s rarest card holding the message of letting your heart be the guide to your magic is ever so present, and could ultimately teach Chariot to be more confident in herself alongside Akko.
What I like the most about this episode is how it examines Akko and Diana as being similar to Chariot and Croix in demeanor, yet different in execution. While you have a similar dynamic with an impulsive girl chosen to be the Shiny Rod’s master over the more scholarly girl, Diana has become more in-touch with her emotions as time went on, and is finally able to open up to her about her admiration of Chariot and insecurities over Akko. The common ground shared with each other also gives Diana a chance to express her admiration for Akko’s passion leading her closer to Chariot, and provides her with the means of inspiring Akko to regain her yay. The contrast between the two friendships creates a chance for Diana and Akko to not only surpass Croix and Chariot’s relationship in longevity, but also be able to accomplish what their rift was unable to achieve with Grand Triskelion’s revival.