BAD REVIEW: Little Witch Academia (Short Film)

Little Witch Academia is probably the greatest show ever. Its an ultra-positive storyline with positive characters, kinetic animation, creative storylines, and an overall beautiful setting. I love everything about this show its history, themes, characters, animation, music. There is nothing I don’t like So I hope to get over my fanboying and be able to explain why this show connects with me on such an emotional level and how it’s a personal inspiration to me as well as doing an in-depth analysis as to why this show works as well as it does.

First is its history

How Little Witch Academia’s history came to play into the themes of the series and its also part of its appeal.

Little Witch Academia comes for the studio Trigger which was established by Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masahiko Ôtsuka who made their fame by working on Neon Genisis Evangelion, Gurren Laggan, and Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt.

Little Witch Academia was a product of the Young Animator training project which was funded by the Japanize Agency of Cultural Affairs to support projects by new animators in the industry. The series was directed by Yoh Yoshinari, a key animator who worked on a lot of classic Gainax Shows like FLCL and Gurren Lagaan. The first special was about Akko a young witch becoming inspired by the magic of Shiney Chariot and decides to learn at Luna Nova. The short was a huge success and gained a following large enough that trigger announced a sequel Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade. The project was originally going to be 30 minutes, but after a successful Kickstarter project, the short was extended to an hour-long film. After the film was a huge hit trigger produced a 25 episode series for little witch academia. But Why am I talking about all this

I want to show through this brief history of the series of how Little Witch Academia grew from this small project to a full-fledged series based on the reception of the fans. I want to go through this series is to explain why little witch academia holds such an appeal that it could propel itself from government-funded projected to a full-fledged series. At the end of the series of reviews, I hope that you can understand why I love this series so much.

First is the original special.

We open on a crowd of people in front of a stage. Stars fly in from the sky to reveal a staff and figure of a witch forms on stage.


The scene is accompanied by a sweeping orchestral soundtrack which lifts the spirits. At the end of the show, a fireworks display is reflected in a young girl’s eyes with the witch telling the audience that belief in oneself is the true magic.


The girl has been forever changed by this experience and thus sets the stage for her journey to come.

We then cut some years later to Luna nova academy with the same girl is asleep in a magical history class.


This is Akko Kagari and accompanying her is Sucy Manbavaran an expert on potions magic and someone who shares an uncanny resemblance to a cartoon horse.

And there is Lotte Yanson, a meek quite girl who acts as a mediator between Akko and Sucy.


We are then finally introduced to Diana Cavendish who is shown to be the ace of Luna Nova Academy. We are then transient to a flying lesson where Akko has more than a bit of trouble. Through this, we learn that Akko has a minimal talent for magic as she struggles with the basics of flying and was previously shown not to have an aptitude for book learning. After Akko’s crashes her broom, she learns that Shiney Chariot, the witch who inspired Akko, is seen as an embarrassment by most of the magic community. Despite this, Akko still wants to be like Chariot and intends to prove the magic community wrong. And thus nine minutes in the story has established the setting and characters with Akko as the underdog in this world of magic.

Before I move on to the next part of the short, I want to talk about the animation. First, all of the backgrounds look like highly detailed paintings. All the colors are bright, and the animation is kinetic, which help communicate the feeling of positivity and high energy. The character designs are also fantastic where the characters can present even the subtlest range of emotion. But that is enough gushing back to the show.

After we are oriented to the world of little witch the story then transitions to the students going on an expedition in the dungeon of Lunar Nova. During the expedition, Diana, a victim to her own overconfidence opens an iron maiden believing she could manage anything that came out of it. She can’t as the iron maiden reveals a dragon that flies out. Meanwhile, Akko and her gang find a garbage room where Akko locates Shiny Chariot’s magic wand. The fact Shiney Chariot wand was found in a trash heap tells us a lot about the fate of Chariot. After a run in with the dragon, Akko returns and presents the rod to her teacher who remarks that the rod got its spark back, which means at some point chariot lost her magic. Akko’s teacher instructs her to charge the wand at the sorcerer’s stone to stop the dragon, and this is where the action really picks up.


At Akko’s lowest point, she remembers the words of Shiny Chariot and can use Chariot’s magic to defeat the dragon. It is in this moment that Akko discovers that she can wield the same magic that inspired her at the beginning of the film, which is symbolized by the fireworks that are once again reflected in her eyes. By the end of the film, she discovers that she is capable of living up to chariots skill she has begun on the path to reach the same level of the magic of her idol.

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Akko is inspired by a great master of the craft and desires to pursue the same work as Chariot and in the end, finds the same spirit of inspiration that filled Chariot. This reflected the way that any person can become inspired by a great work of art and the strives to replicate that work in their own lives. This could also be applied to someone professional work, where an individual can be inspired by a mentor to strive to reach new levels in their career. For me, the fact that little witch academia was made by a bunch of newcomers to the anime industry inspires me to work hard in my own goals because the show taught me that anyone of any background can do something great, you just have to find that magic within yourself.

Of course, this isn’t the last thing I’ll say on Little Witch, after all, there is an hour-long film to talk about.


2 thoughts on “BAD REVIEW: Little Witch Academia (Short Film)

  1. Pingback: BAD Sunshine Blogger Award | Bad Reviews

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