Written by Bananaowns
Images courtesy of Studio Trigger
This will be a relatively shorter review because this is not a series. While Little Witch Academia is receiving an order for a full series, right now it solely consists of two short films. For the sake of review, I will cover each of these films in a separate piece. I am Bananaowns and this is an Otaku Youth anime review.
Story and Characters
The story takes place at the Luna Nova Magical Academy, a school for young witches. A young girl named Akko enrolls at the academy because she was inspired at a young age by a witch named Shiny Chariot. However, Akko has a lot of trouble at school. She is not the best student and is looked down upon for admiring Shiny Chariot. One day, things go awry during a training exercise and Akko is forced to save the school.
Little Witch Academia does not waste any time in getting to the meat of the plot. It’s a short film so the audience should not expect a huge story arc with tons of character growth. It’s just a simple story about Akko proving herself to her classmates. That’s not to say that the cast of characters is bland. For the short amount of screen time, the film expertly introduces a cast of quirky characters. It’s a rather short animation, but it has a lot of heart. It’s an underdog story that can be appreciated by everyone.
Animation and Sound Design
Little Witch Academia is a storybook come to life. The short film has a very bright aesthetic about it that almost feels like it comes directly from a fairy tale. All the characters move with a certain vigor and uniqueness about them. The character designs are also phenomenal. Despite wearing the same outfit, the characters are unique enough to easily tell them apart. At times, it feels like I’m watching a Disney film that is inherently Japanese. My favorite sequence is the Shiny Chariot scene near the beginning of the film. The scene is choreographed so well that I could see why Akko has an intense admiration for the character. The final action scene alone shows an incredible attention to the action. Despite being a passion project, this film manages to achieve a level of visual fidelity that matches the best anime. I do not have a lot to say about the sound design. The music is not a large part of the film, but the main theme was surprisingly great. It really reflects the underdog nature of the story. As for the voice acting, the cast does an excellent job at bringing the characters to life. Akko comes across as idealistic and brash. Sucy comes across as the perfect mad scientist archetype. Overall, the animation and sound design make this a series that is worth watching.
Little Witch Academia is a charming story. Akko is not the best student, but her enthusiasm is contagious. Despite the short length, the anime tells a heartwarming story. The animation possesses a storybook style and the action is expertly animated. As for the sound design, the main theme is great and voice acting is of a similar quality. I give Little Witch Academia my Watch rating. The short length does not make this something that I would say is a must watch. For those that are interested though, it is a solid watch that will not disappoint. I’ll be back next week for another review and thanks for checking this one out.