「ありとあらゆるありふれた灰の魔女の物語」 (Aritoarayuru Arifureta Hai no Majo no Monogatari)
“The Everyday Tale of Every Ashen Witch”
Personas and True Nature
Elaina enters the rift between conscious and unconscious, meeting her many selves, hailing from the boundless expanse of unrealised timelines. The current life that she leads is but one of countless possibilities. Most notably for me, the plant zombie – which suggests Elaina became a plant zombie herself in one of the timelines. And was the green jelly version of her a reference to Steins Gate banana jelly when time travel goes wrong? Nevertheless, the petty squabbling between the Elainas was amusing. Kaede Hondo put on quite a performance to voice all 16-17 iterations of Elaina. And I totally expected Protagonist Elaina to be a sociopathic bwitch and order around her various selves. However, her Violent Self comes to crash the party – intent on killing all the iterations of Elaina. And violence ensues.
Being the same people with the same skill level, they are unable to defeat each other and end up drawing – splayed out in exhaustion on the roof. Through dialogue, they are able to come to an understanding. And it was pleasant to see Elaina find closure within her own heart. That she acknowledges there was frustration and the desire to give up on getting her hair back, and fully giving in to her violent inclinations. She comes to peace with herself, and forges ahead to a new tomorrow – continuing on her journey as a Wandering Witch.
Majo no Tabitabi was a fun series. Nothing more, nothing less. Not going to lie, I kind of regret blogging this. Because at least with a really terrible series, there are many talking points where I can tear into it. Or with shows like Danmachi III or Taiso Samurai, there’s so much good stuff to talk about every single week. On the other hand, Majo no Tabitabi was really pedestrian after the really intriguing earlier episodes which covered complex ground and moral dilemmas – which suckered me into covering the rest of the show, which never returned to that same level ever again.
Case in point, the episode where she travelled back in time to save the girl from becoming a serial killer was poorly executed from my perspective. At least in comparison with the field of parasitic flowers, her lack of action to help the slave girl, or when Mirarose’s spiralled into insanity within her kingdom of ashes. These episodes were so much better, and gave me a much higher expectation in terms of what to expect from this series. Even though it never really dipped into awful territory, I was still left disappointed when Majo no Tabitabi barely revisited many interesting concepts or ideas. And ultimately, I never really came to care for Elaina as a character. Or appreciate her development and progression as a person. She started off as a narcissistic, sociopathic witch. And remains a narcissistic, sociopathic witch even till the very end. The personas finale was a crutch to say ‘Look how many weird and wonderful traits Elaina has! What a character this makes her!’. But I really didn’t feel it. Characterisation is about showing, not telling. And for me, characterisation is my most important judgement metric whenever I delve into these kind of things – a quality which Majo no Tabitabi unfortunately lacks in.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading these posts and see you all next time round, probably Best of Anime 2020. Take care!