Maho Shojo Reviews

Little Witch Academia – Ep. 1 Review

First of all…allow me to apologize for dropping the ball of one of my favorite series Little Witch Academia.  I’ve been sick with a feverish cold for the last little bit and I haven’t been able to do much of anything.  Add to that an already busy semester and it’s a wonder that I remember to blog here.  But now that Little Witch Academic is airing, I TOTALLY have to.  I’ve been waiting for this series since it was announced, and so far, it doesn’t disappoint.

That being said, I have a little confession to make – the first episode made me cringe.  But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, that’s a testament to how good this story is and how much I feel for the heroine, Atsuko Kagari.  She’s the opposite of Harry Potter – she is a human girl who, after seeing amazing magician Shiny Chariot’s show as a child, is determined to become a witch.  Unlike most of the other witches, who are of European descent and come from magical families, Akko-chan is Japanese and, well, ordinary.  The beginning of episode one, where she is trying to find the “bus stop” to get to Luna Nova Academy, shows off just how ordinary she really is.

As cringy as those moments are (I felt for Akko here – a downtown girl in an uptown world), the hints are dropped – she is definitely not an ordinary girl and there’s a reason why she’s at Luna Nova.  And here is one of the reasons why I am already in love with the tv series – it now has the time to really flesh that out.  Also, Akko doesn’t seem as bitter or annoying as she could be in the original series.  She’s determined to be like her hero Shiny Chariot, even though the odds are against her.

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Before we move on, can we talk about how chill Sucy is?  When Akko first meets her, she is quick to relay her life story and her love of Shiny Chariot and Sucy gives no f***s at all.  In fact, it’s implied that she’s only there as a means to practice her potion magic (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here).  But her interaction with Akko is quite hilarious, if not a bit alarming.

Lotte is adorable, too.  She’s clearly the one who runs on the straight and arrow, telling Akko that they need to hurry up and get to the matriculation ceremony or else they will be expelled.  But of course, this being the show that it is, you just know that getting to the school on time will never happen so easily.  Thanks to Akko’s jar of Umeboshi, the three somehow end up the forbidden forest, the roach motel for witches (they can get in, but they can’t get out).

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Because there’s nothing like wandering into a dangerous forest with deadly creatures in order to bring the main characters together, Akko, Sucy, and Lotte fight to survive, while young witch professor Ursula senses their peril, stating that no ordinary witch could ever end up there.  However, Sucy being Sucy, takes this opportunity to get her hands on a rare Cocktrice feather, which is prized by collectors for its rare poisonous properties.

And who does she use in order to get this feather? Lotte and Akko, of course.

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Uh…that’s a big beak you’ve got there, Mister Burd…

I think you know how this ends…Sucy’s plan doesn’t go as expected and the girls are fighting their way out of the forest.  Akko manages to entrap the cockatrice (impressing Sucy) but Lotte hurts her knee and opines that they are sure to miss the ceremony.  Akko, of course, won’t give up.  Sucy arrives on her broom and the three ride away from the forest – until the cockatrice comes out of nowhere, ready to dish out some payback.

But somewhere out of the depths of the forest appears the Shiny Rod – and Akko just happens to find it.  With Ursula’s urging, she says the magic words, opening a leyline directly to the matriculation ceremony.  It’s a sight to behold, right down to the poor girls literally crashing the ceremony, “a-ta-ta-tas” and all.

For their dramatic efforts, a Professor who doesn’t look like Professor McGonagall AT ALL informs them their in for a strict course of instruction for the next three years (oh how convenient – Sucy, Lotte, and Akko are roommates).  Akko is undeterred – “Let’s be friends” she says as Professor Ursula stares into the night sky.

This was a great introduction to the series and I can’t wait to see what happens next.  I know that episode two has come out, but because I have this awful cold, I’ll need to recover first before viewing it.  But so far, I like what I see!  I’m so glad that this has become a proper TV series!

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