Hey kids, want to see something about a school teaching magic, with inventive and creative visualizations on the uses of magic…..
…….and has a fight against a dragon (not a wyvern being called a dragon)
Then welcome to Little Witch Academia from Studio Trigger… the original half hour animation (I have to say that as they did an hour long sequel and now an anime series)
The animation stars Atsuko Kagari a young girl who was inspired to learn magic from seeing her idol Shiny Chariot, and her two friends Sucy Manbavaran ( my favourite) and Lotte Yanson as well as Diana Cavendish (think fusion of Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger, Potter fans) and Professor Ursula. We see Akko (Atsuko Kagari’s nickname) struggling with magic because of her non magical background while wanting to follow her dream of being like her idol.
The second half then involves the groups going down into a dungeon to hunt monsters and get treasure. Akko literally on fire to prove herself with her friends while Diana’s over confidence causes her to release an ancient dragon (that has the right number of limbs) which proceeds to run amok.
For an half hour animation you get to know the characters very well:
- Akko’s admiration to follow in her idol’s footsteps
- Lotte as the glasses-wearing sweet friend
- Sucy being a dark potion using witch who kills a minotaur effortlessly by pouring one of her potions down its throat causing it to dissolve horribly while she has a huge grin ( no really, the animation of its death in its cartoony style is disturbing and causes one of the witches to vomit)
- Diana who you first think is the uptight upper class one better-than-you stereotype, actually takes responsibility for her actions and helps the leads.
As mentioned the monsters and magic are all shown in very inventive designs (much more than the dull magical lasers you often see in Live Action movies with CGI ) and far more diverse. You have:
- potions that cause minotaurs to dissolve into a pool of acidic blood
- magical force fields
- summoning masses of swords
- magical fire works and arrows
- playful flame spirits bouncing round to illuminate the way.
Those that have seen the works of Studio Trigger will recognise the art style ( though don’t worry concerned parents this series has little to no fan service, the most you get is Shiny Chariot’s outfit and that’s not really that much).
I enjoyed the animation and love that after seeing it the first time, if you watch it a second time knowing what you learn about certain characters, you will notice things you missed. Some very nice blink-and-you-will-miss-it moments that will put a smile on your face on a second watch.
All in all its a fun half hour animation that any anime fan who has Netflix should give a shot.