Little Witch Academia

November 26, 2017

After passing the ‘baton’ in Space Patrol Luluco, Little Witch Academia the TV series has finally arrived. Though there were a couple of movies prior to it in 2013 and 2015 but I didn’t see them. In a time where zombies and superheroes are permeating the entertainment world, it is time to take a little diversion as we focus on witches. They feel so last century. Even in this series’ setting, magic that was once the greatest thing in the world is now on the decline but our main protagonist has this goal of becoming a fine witch after watching an amazing magic performance of a witch many years ago whom she regards as her idol and motivation. With no talent for magic at all, can she fulfil her dreams? Not with a lot of misadventures along the way. I guess that itself is magic? Cliché…

Episode 1
Atsuko “Akko” Kagari was and still is captivated by the magic show put on by Shiny Chariot when she was young. Thus it is her dream to become a witch like her and now all grown up, she embarks on her first step to achieve that dream by finding her way to Luna Nova. Such annoying eager beaver that wouldn’t shut up about it all that it is no wonder that Sucy Manbavaran ignores her and plays a few unsuspecting pranks just to get her off her back. Arriving at the leyline stop that connects to Luna Nova, Akko hears witches badmouthing non-witches recently being accepted into the school. Akko is left stranded since she has no broom to take her there. Lotte Yanson is running late. She has a broom. Time to hitch a ride. Into the dimensional highway they go but the turbulent is too strong. It is because Akko is holding salt that is causing it. Because she tries to retrieve her dropped Shiny Chariot card, they fall off prematurely into Arcturus Forest, pulling Sucy with them. Happy now that her card is okay? Lotte’s broom isn’t. They have to escape a giant man eating plant and a cockatrice. However Akko and Lotte fall into Sucy’s trap. She is going to use them as sacrifice for the cockatrice so she could take its mystical feather. The duo make a run for their lives. Sucy gets the feather but the cockatrice now targets her. Akko stumbles upon a magic staff, Shiny Rod and recognizes it belongs to Shiny Chariot. After picking it up, she lures the cockatrice into a fight with the man eating plant to buy time for their escape. Perhaps having 3 ladies sitting on broom makes it heavy and slow. The cockatrice breathes fire at them. Free fall. Luckily Professor Ursula Callistis is in the vicinity and chants a spell that activates Shiny Rod, teleporting them right in the middle of Luna Nova’s matriculation ceremony. Akko is so happy she made it. According to the strict rules, she would have been booted out but the headmaster allowed it under special circumstances. Akko is shown her room. Guess who are her roommates? Lotte and Sucy.

Episode 2
Happy Akko tries to activate Shiny Rod. Nothing happens. Sucy decides to enrol in Luna Nova to add to her poison collection. Professor Anne Finnelan is not amused that Ursula is taking Akko under her tutelage. Ursula feels the need to guide a student who is of non-magic lineage. Finnelan is worried since Ursula is a bit clumsy herself. Akko in class can’t really keep up. Yeah, she’s literally sleeping through it. Diana Cavendish as you can see is the star and honour student of Luna Nova. As a prodigy and from a lineage of famous witches, you can expect her prideful behaviour. Her first encounter with Akko, she warns her about Chariot who doesn’t hold a high regard in the magic world. It has been 10 years since she disappeared and nobody cares where she is now. Akko won’t accept that and tries to prove it with Shiny Rod by trying to make the statue move. Nothing happens. Diana easily uses her magic to wow everyone. Totally on a different level. Later Akko shows to her friends her Shiny Chariot card collection. It was the craze back then. She collected all except one premium card. Oh, she memorized each one of them by heart. The professors are concerned that the Jennifer Memorial Tree is weakened. Diana tries to use a ritual to provide nourishments to it but soon its roots start uprooting and what it seems like shiny parasites sticking out to it. She tries to eliminate them all but Akko stops her. These are not parasites but some sort of magic fairy butterflies that only emerge once every 120 years. She knows it because it is from her card collection. Akko uses Shiny Rod to hatch them and it worked. The glowing butterflies fly away, painting the sky a beautiful gold. The professors think Diana did a splendid job but as she tries to explain herself, the professors believe no one else but her could pull this off.

Episode 3
Ursula gives Akko her new broom. New students are being taught how to fly a broom. Only Akko somehow still cannot fly. Furthermore, the broom relay race is coming up and Akko wants to win it so she could have her picture next to Chariot (she was once a winner too) in the hall of fame. Akko accompanies Lotte to go pick up her repaired broom. They see a sealed broom, Shooting Star. It is legendary for being able to fly far and wide without the Sorcerer’s Stone but no witch has ever tamed it. Akko wants to borrow it but the shopkeeper will not allow it. Akko tries befriending, threatening and begging her broom but it still won’t fly. Sucy isn’t interested in participating in the race but when she learns the winner will also receive a prize from Professor Lukic, she quickly takes Akko for a Spartan training. Not even all the near-death stunts could still make her fly. Race day is here. When it begins, Lotte only lifts off like normal. The rest are stuck because Sucy put some glue on their brooms. Is this legal?! But it didn’t work on the mechanized broom of Constanze Amalie Von Braunschbank Albrectsberger. She quickly relays the ring to her partner, Jasminka Antonenko. However with Sucy placing snacks in her path, she soon strays. Lotte passes to Sucy who in turn passes to Akko as the anchor. Can her broom fly? Well, it turns into legs and hops. At this time the other contestants have freed their brooms and begin racing. Delinquent Amanda O’Neill stole Shooting Star and tries to ride it. Of course it escapes. It passes Akko as she grabs and holds on for the ride of her life. Oh, she went all around the world?! When she falls off, Diana saves her to repay her debt. Akko won’t lose and fires herself as a human cannonball to ride Shooting Star again. This time she chains herself to it. So it is Akko and Diana neck to neck to the finish line. Who will it be? Just inches before the finish line, the seal on Shooting Star breaks. It turns into some majestic broom bird as it flies away. In the end, Diana wins. Akko took second and as Ursula noted, it is quite an achievement for someone who still cannot fly and has nothing but passion.

Episode 4
Finnelan reprimands Akko for stealing a tart (or pie?) and since she dared talk back, she will make them unload the food truck tomorrow and take extra lessons under Ursula. However Lotte begs any punishment but this. Denied. Dream dashed. It seems Lotte is a fan of a long running novel series called Night Fall by Annabel Crème. Let’s say the story is similar to Twilight… Tomorrow the 365th volume will be released and Annabel who has never shown her face in public will do a face reveal. Akko gets this brilliant idea. After unloading the food, the trio sneak out in the food van. It is a lively affair in town with all the nerds and cosplayers. Lotte is one herself since she can identify every character from which volume no matter how insignificant! Lotte explains how she got into this series. It was her escape from bullying. In the hall, Annabel turns out to be a little girl? She looks disinterested and only looking at her handphone. There is a pop quiz in which the winner will get an item from her. Lotte aces the quiz and wins a fountain pen. To her shock, Annabel reveals this means she will be the next writer. As all Night Fall authors are different, Annabel is the 12th and now Lotte will be the 13th. If she doesn’t write, her favourite series ends today. Annabel then uses an item to teleport away. Lotte realizes she isn’t a witch and needs to go look for her and return the pen. Akko thought Lotte should be happy since she could write the stories she wants. Lotte disagrees. Unlike Akko who wants to be like Chariot, Lotte doesn’t harbour dreams to be like the person she admires. She wants to only support. They manage to find Annabel who says she won’t write again due to the flaming comments about her latest works. However Lotte argues about how good it was and fans were expecting this development. Then they discuss all the interesting chapters and weird trivia. It gives Annabel back her motivation and she will continue writing. The trio return to Luna Nova and surely Finnelan is expecting them. They are punished to clean the bath. Lotte reveals another reason why she doesn’t want to write: It would be spoilers if she wrote it herself and there would be nothing to look forward to then.

Episode 5
Akko and Amanda got into a quarrel that cause and accident in class. Luckily Diana’s magic reverts it all. Then she lectures and puts them in their place. Of course, both girls and even their group get punished doing laundry. They see a group of dragons stealing the Sorcerer’s Stone. They go tell the teachers but it seems they know about it and fears the dragon’s wrath. Lotte deduces the dragons of Rastaban Ruins might have come out of their 100 year slumber to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone. With Diana further chiding their typical behaviour, this gives the perfect excuse for Akko and Amanda to skip out on their punishment and retrieve it. Reaching the ruins, they are attacked by the dragons. Their friends got captured and the duo tumble down a hole. Seeing her friends captured, Akko really wants to have a go at this old giant dragon, Fafnir! She gets caught and fears being eaten. But Fafnir dismisses about that barbaric act and that humans don’t taste good at all. Akko is insulted and argues she tastes good?! Anyway, Fafnir explains her friends got captured by his security system. He wonders if they brought the money owed. They are unsure of what he is talking about till they see the headmistress, Miranda Holbrook and a few teachers at the door. They are as shock to see their students here. Fafnir thinks the girls are a ploy to stall the payment. Holbrook offers some antiques but Fafnir gets mad. He wants cold hard cash.

Akko demands an explanation so Fafnir says Luna Nova owes him a great debt. He received not a single penny for a year and he was ignored when he reminded them. He threatened to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone to get their attention. This isn’t enough to cover a fraction of the debt. There is nothing wrong for a dragon to like money as it doesn’t discriminate. See his online stock broking making money! He is going to repossess Luna Nova and sell it before its value drops. He doesn’t care about Akko’s dreams whatsoever. He is just being realistic. That’s how the world works. Suddenly Diana comes in to show an old contract which states that no interests should have been paid. It was purposely written in an old dragon language as none of the teachers could read it. Diana is fluent in it. Fafnir rubbishes it and nulls the contract. If so, this makes the overpayments of interests void as they have paid more than the base amount. So care to pay back the excess amount? In light of this, Fafnir just returns the Sorcerer’s Stone and drops everything. Fafnir believes magic is no longer the future. Dragons and witches are no longer needed. Akko remains confident it will be. He likes that steadfast look in her eyes although he still remains sceptical that living off dreams alone cannot earn a living. Akko and co get more laundry punishment. Akko and Amanda continue to argue the other as the dumbest.

Episode 6
As Akko has not mastered the basics of metamorphosis, she is forced to stay in her room till she masters it. So no party for her to welcome Earl of Hanbridge who will be visiting Luna Nova tonight. Oh, he has a handsome son, Andrew. During the party, Paul Hanbridge wants his son to tour the place so Holbrook has Diana do the honours. His friend, Frank is trying to hit on Diana but she ignores him. Plus, Diana and Andrew know each other since young and don’t really like each other. Especially their opposing views on magic as Andrew views them as obsolete and useless. Andrew gets separated when he spots Akko sneaking out (must be tired of turning herself into a rabbit girl) so he goes to check her out. He finds her amusing but still badmouths about magic. Akko denies that so he wants proof. She tries to show her metamorphosis. Now he has donkey ears! And tail! He takes it that she can’t fix it. Looks like her only hope is the Fountain of Polaris where she’ll have the power of the stars grant her magic. Too bad she couldn’t read the Latin (not French) warning and breaks in, awakening Arcas the polar bear from its slumber. Run! They end up falling over a cliff but Ursula’s magic floats them down (she went to look for Akko after realizing she’s not in her room). Before the fountain, she enters the magic arc and sees past visions of Chariot studying and using her magic. Despite having good intentions, it has some troublesome consequences. So did Chariot inherit the magic into Shiny Rod and become a phoenix?! Suddenly everything reverts to normal. The fountain is gone. Ursula explains the fountain bestows great power to witches with hidden radiance but disappears when an immature witch is unworthy to wield its powers. Akko is sad as she knows she got her hopes up to be acknowledged a witch but instead it is something you work hard for. Ursula dispels the magic on Andrew and he promises to keep this a secret. When he leaves with his father who has confirmed that witches have no purpose in this era and thus wasted his day, he is only doing this to put enemies in his debt.

Episode 7
Akko continues to flop in all exams. I mean, she can’t even understand classes (yeah, some teachers are animals and talking in animal language) so how do you expect her to pass? Then she gets into a fight with Diana’s underlings because they mock her stupidity too much (since Diana’s 100% prediction predicted Akko will get expelled). Akko is taken to Holbrook as Finnelan warns that if she fails her next exam, she will be expelled. So in the next lesson with Professor Pisces, as expected Akko cannot understand a single word of fish language! So she thought of lapping up to Pisces but pouring some expensive and popular mineral water into her fishbowl. Instantly turn belly up! Trying to save her makes it worse because she accidentally flushes the fish down the drain! So with Sucy and Lotte, they transform into a fish (WTF did Akko transform into?) to go down the sewers to rescue Pisces before the exam begins. Oh, they leave it to Ursula to distract and fool the class over Pisces’ disappearance. Will the fish bait work? Akko has time to help a sad fish look for his family. Even using her limited magic to break them open from the cage trap. It seems Pisces was among the trapped. Akko thinks she has gotten back in time but Finnelan is waiting and Ursula busted. Back to Holbrook’s room again. However Akko can understand when Pisces praises her and gives her an A in magic philosophy. But Finnelan still wants her expelled since the newspaper reports a weird mermaid was spotted. This somewhat tarnishes Luna Nova’s reputation. For once, Ursula blows her top as she stands up for Akko, telling her off all the hardships and failures she went through. Even so, she continues to grow. She approves of Akko. A call from the environment agency comes in. They want to know if this mermaid is from Luna Nova. They want to commend her for saving an endangered fish from poaching. I guess Akko is saved from expulsion. However since she tried to cheat on the exam, she will still be punished. Finnelan watches over Akko and co (even Ursula) as they clean up the place.

Episode 8
Sucy has created some super energy drink that will unleash her abilities. She drinks it but it seems she is ‘asleep’ the next day. Her friends think she wants to skip class so bad. But when they return, she is still asleep but mushrooms are grown everywhere. Fearing they will be expelled this time, they can’t alert the teachers and try hard to wake her up. Lotte thinks it is some witch disease that causes her to go into slumber so the only way is for Akko (who volunteered) to enter Sucy and wake her up. Inside her mind, she meets Sucy’s consciousness in the form of angel and devil. Both are evil. Just their methods differ. They force Akko to sign a contract if she wants their help. The original Sucy is in the mushroom tower and they would have got there faster if Akko knew how to fly a broom. So by foot, Sucy meets all kind of personalities of Sucy that she never knew. Yeah, she even went to court to stop the death sentencing of innocent Sucys but is sentenced to be executed herself. Of course Akko frees herself and the other Sucys before continuing her journey. Then she takes a detour to watch a movie. It’s retro black and white cartoon with Akko being viewed as a total idiot while Sucy plays her pranks on her. So funny that even Akko is laughing! Of course there are some heart-warming moments like the first time they met. When the movie ‘predicts’ the mushroom will overrun Luna Nova and cause chaos, some Sucys start laughing. Akko chides them this is not funny but then turn into Titan Sucy and start devouring everything! It is believed that if this continues, this Sucy will wake up and be the new personality. So let’s go quickly wake her up. After knocking on several doors, Akko finally finds the original Sucy sleeping. She must traverse through vines and fight off a dragon. How do you wake a sleeping princess? Yeah, Akko is going to kiss her! Fortunately Sucy will not have that disgusting thing and wakes up, causing Akko to miss and slam her head instead. Akko wakes back up in reality (which seems to have reverted back to normal). As Sucy is still asleep, Akko frantically tries to wake her up. Maybe kiss again? Same thing. Sucy wakes up. Akko misses. Bangs head. Everything back to normal. Sucy will now have Akko do all those as promised in the contract. Wasn’t that just a dream?

Episode 9
In order to make an amulet charm that will guide them home safely, each student must hand over their most prized possession. This means Akko has to reluctantly give up her Shiny Chariot card. While picking mushrooms with Sucy, Akko’s blunder causes her to spill some potion on a grave that resurrects a dead talkative pirate. Although the effects will wear out by sundown, they have to stop him from causing trouble in town. Plus, you know the punishment if the school finds out you used magic outside especially reviving the dead, right? Akko and Lotte are having a hard time keeping up with him (and out of trouble) since he is running all over the place and has no clue what he is supposed to look for. Eventually the bits of clues come back and he is supposed to find a man responsible in bringing misfortune to a girl named Miranda. Her mom died after she was born and he vowed to turn her into a fine witch. However he broke his promised and left her alone. After all that running, he realizes he himself is that guy. He used to bring her to play at the bell tower and made her a magic staff out of the bell’s tongue. Akko recognizes it as Holbrook’s staff since it has the same design. She uses the potion to bring the bell (and the entire bell) back to Luna Nova. Father and daughter reunite. Holbrook isn’t shocked to see him. She even lets him visit her mom’s grave and then tells him she never resented him. She worked hard and became a headmistress. He kept his promise. Time is up so pirate dude thanks the girls before he disappears. Of course now it is for the trio’s punishment. As they are still in the middle of training, they are to clean the broken brooms and reflect on what they have done. Just a slap on the wrist, right? Well, they never expected to clean thousands of broken brooms!

Episode 10
Sucy ordered some venomous bee but wrongly received a love bee instead. You know what happens when you get stung, right? Akko wants to try it on someone when Diana and her underlings pass by in fancy gowns. Looks like they have been invited to Andrew’s mansion to celebrate his honours received from his school. Because they tease her how she’ll never get to come, this makes her mad and so it is. She’ll be coming. But does she have to drag Sucy and Lotte along too? So first they pick out some dress (in which according to the contract can last for only 2 hours), they sneak into the mansion after Akko uses her magic to turn a squirrel giant and run rampage at the gates. Andrew and Diana look like a perfect couple. Akko looks ‘jealous’ so she keeps eating her cake. When Andrew spots her and wants her to leave because he didn’t invite her, they get into an argument. Sucy then takes this chance to unleash the love bee (remember, it was Akko’s idea to test it on someone). The bee stings Andrew. He sees Akko as a beautiful woman (who the heck is this chick?!) and falls for her. He even kisses her hand! Akko is most disgusted by this. The bee also stings Frank and the other guys. They all fall for Lotte. Sucy gives Akko a swatter to swat the bee and the effects will be negated. But now the bee stings Diana. She sees Akko. Lesbianism! Hanbridge talks to Andrew about allowing witches here. He reminds him how obsolete things are not needed (like his piano play too) as they are statesmen. They need to consolidate their power and Andrew will be the future leader. He warns him to remove the witch.

After he leaves, Akko overheard all that and comes to tease Andrew for being a spineless puppet. Andrew respects his father as the leader of the state as well as the head of the family. He has a duty to succeed him. Akko counters that she might not be a noble or rich, but she has dreams of becoming a witch. Akko returns chasing the bee back in the ball. What a nuisance. Before Hanbridge can kick her out, Andrew returns as he plays the piano to the bumblebee theme so the crowd can watch fittingly how Akko cartoonishly tries to swat it. In the process, more people get stung. Straight love! Homo love! Beastiality love too? Heck, Diana gets stung again and now that she sees herself in the mirror, she truly loves herself! Finally manages to swat the bee. On Hanbridge’s forehead! Everything returns to normal. Andrew is back to his prideful ways. Time runs out and Akko’s dress disappears back to Luna Nova’s uniform. Lotte might be a little heart-broken that the guys are now not interested in her. Except for Frank he seems to want to hang out with her. Too bad she rejects him since it would be rude to date him before she developed any feelings. While Andrew doesn’t show it, Frank can tell Akko caught his attention since ultimately he didn’t kick her out. Back at the dorm, Sucy and Lotte tease Akko about one day Andrew and her will be together. Though she continues to deny it all.

Episode 11
Akko continues to fail in her magic despite tutoring from Ursula. She starts thinking if she would become like Chariot. As she ponders where she disappeared to, Lotte suggests asking Ursula since they might know each other. Might. This gives Akko confidence and she heads straight there. At this time of the night? That’s Akko for you. Well, Ursula is giving vague answers about Chariot. She tells Akko about a word that means the dream that cannot be grasped but if you work hard towards it, it can be yours. She also asks her to take care of Shiny Rod. Diana sees Holbrook for a book not found in the library. She gives her a magic key to the secret archives and since tonight is the blue moon, it might show her something magical. Similarly, Akko remembers her card collection about the blue moon that talks about some apparition. Diana enters the archive and reads up on Grand Triskelion, a great hidden power that changed the world. It was sealed by the Nine Olde Witches within Arcturus. Only a staff with 7 stars, Claiomh Solais may break its seal by reciting the 7 words. Akko stumbles into some secret passage. After running around and getting lost, she stumbles into Chariot! However Chariot tells her to realize her dream will never come true. Akko realizes this is an imposter since Chariot will never say something like that. Chariot then turns into an apparition. Akko wants to ask about her future. She is shown a future whereby Akko is a great witch. However to grasp this future she must erase her past. They are needless for this future. But Akko will not forgo her past despite all the failures, mistakes and bumbling. Those tears and frustration are all part of her. It is her life and belongs to nobody else. Akko vows to work hard to become an amazing witch. She says a magic word to exorcise everything? After she passes out, Ursula arrives to pick her up. She recognizes the apparition as Professor Woodward. She in turn calls Ursula as Chariot. It seems Woodward was testing Akko like how she did for Ursula. Woodward notes Claiomh Solais has been revived. Akko has already said 2 words to revive it (the first in the forest and recently the second). She wants Ursula to aid her in reviving the remaining words. Ursula promises to tell Akko the truth one day.

Episode 12
Akko improves in her transforming magic. Though, she looks more cartoonish. The Samhain Festival is around the corner where invited witches all around the world gather. As this is Luna Nova’s chance to display their mettle, each team is required to display their magic in which the most exceptional one will be chosen and be granted the title of Moonlit Witch. Each time is also assigned duties. Akko’s team is arguing who should draw the lot. I guess 2 against 1. It’s you Akko. She gets the worse duty of becoming a sacrifice! At the end of Samhain, this sad demon Vajarois wakes up and devours the sacrifice and goes back to sleep till the next festival. Don’t worry. Nobody dies. Sacrifices just pass through its digestive system and safely excreted. Everyone is laughing at how fitting a role Akko’s team plays. Akko is red faced and annoyed. More jealous than before especially for Diana as she got the best duty of summoning and becoming the festival’s committee. So while she pouts, she stumbles upon a magic mirror that Diana was helping other students out. The mirror reflects Akko’s jealous heart and turns her into Diana. At first it will be hard to run away from others looking for her assistance but soon Akko finds it hilarious to use her fame and prank them! Real sh*t hits the fan when she is tasked to do some magic but can’t. The real Diana shows up and undoes everything. Akko gets an earful about being irresponsible to her duty and sulk when things don’t go her way. But Akko argues back when Diana says she is just playing Chariot without knowing anything. She vows to become the best and get that Moonlit Witch. Just wait and see. So… All just talk for now? Yeah, more sulking for Akko as Ursula comes to lift her spirits as usual. Shiny Rod lights up and points the way to the Fountain of Polaris. Akko steps in again and sees Chariot happily practising magic. She feels Chariot was doing it not to become Moonlit Witch. With the staff glowing further, Akko now knows what to do.

Episode 13
Akko plans to entertain Vajarois with her magic but her pals aren’t too keen on keeping on with her pace. However watching her practice hard for 3 weeks and with no improvements at all, after reading her Trick or Treat Plan, they decide to help her. The festival gets underway with the Luna Nova teams putting on performances. With some getting into freak accidents, it is no wonder those judges are feeling bored and beginning to realize why magic is on the decline. That is of course until Diana’s team put up a stunning magic display. Now it is time for the sacrifice. Vajarois is brought out. Lotte and Sucy seemingly flee to leave Akko to her own device. Akko looks like she got devoured but she turned into a mice in the nick of time. She transforms into a few more animals to let Vajarois chase her. Each time Akko falls short, Lotte and Sucy are there to back her up. More flashy magic displays and funny animal transformations to make Vajarois laugh but it serves to only piss it off. But everyone else is laughing. Because Akko’s magic is so crappy that it is funny! Meanwhile Ursula has been trying to research on Vajarois’ origins for Akko and finally in the archive she discovers that Vajarois was originally a princess. She ate a seed of sorrow that will make her sad eternally so as not to forget her lost friends. She returns to tell Akko this in the nick of time. The only way is to pull out the seed. Not hard to find once they get swallowed into its stomach. With the power of friendship and stubbornness perseverance, they finally pull it out as Vajarois bursts into a beautiful gust of magic dust. They see Vajarois true princess form for a short while. Akko and friends are happy they did it, so is Ursula because Luna Nova will no longer have any reason for this sacrifice ritual. Diana heard she is leading the contention to be Moonlit Witch but isn’t too pleased to hear Akko isn’t in the running because she broke some rules.

Episode 14
Ursula is nervous as she is about to tell Akko the whole truth. However the teachers call her as something has happened. The fairies are on strike. They are demanding to use extra powers from the Sorcerer’s Stone. However it isn’t possible as it is operating at near full capacity and there is none left to spare. So for now, Ursula is forced to get some energy manually. That will take days… Until she returns, the students will have to bear everything not functioning. The fairies try to barricade the Sorcerer’s Stone but a barrier falls off and almost hits Akko. She is saved by Croix and her magitronics (magic + electronic technology). She is a new teacher at Luna Nova and shows off her hi-tech magical devices. Wow. So futuristic. Akko tries to go negotiate with the fairies and drags Lotte as her interpreter. However she ends up siding with them! I guess she got persuaded. When Diana tells them off that they will all lose Luna Nova in the process, Akko stokes more fire by saying she is an aristocrat and knows nothing about the harsh life of commoners! You can’t win over an idiot… Soon both sides have a negotiation. Unfortunately energy is something you cannot easily create. However Croix has a solution using her Sorcery Solution System (SSS). It sounds very complex how it can create more energy, store them and even apply for government subsidy at zero cost! Wow. We love to have it! However Finnelan disagrees. Luna Nova is about upholding tradition. She tells Croix to refrain bringing her modern devices here. Diana’s subordinates bribe a fire fairy so they can have a warm bath. But somebody injured it. When the other fairies find out, they go on a rampage and attack everybody! Is it too late to accept their demands? Akko is once again saved by Croix’s hi-tech magic. She even uses the devices to absorb all the negative energy and revive the flame fairy! Croix is now loved by all the students and the teachers embrace technology wholeheartedly! SSS is installed and makes life much easier for all parties. From the looks of it, Croix has some ulterior motive setting it all up… By the time Ursula comes back, all her efforts are in vain as it is not needed anymore. As she goes to talk to Akko, she is shocked to see her admiring and being friendly with Croix. Ursula knows Croix…

Episode 15
Almost everyone is embracing technology in magic as Croix is the only sole developer. Diana is not impressed as she tries to do a background check on her. She might not look like much then but she has powers that could rival her and was considerably popular. In fact, Croix is Chariot’s senior. Though Croix put in hard work to improve magic, Chariot prefers to use it for entertainment despite having more natural talent for it. So impressed Akko goes to see Croix with those admiring eyes. Asking if she knows her whereabouts, she could analyse if she had something that belong to her. Shiny Rod? Akko is told to come to her lab as she has the instruments. Croix analyses it and it seems it reacts to high spirit energy and emotions. But the rod isn’t the only thing she analysed. Before Akko knows it, she is put into a trance and analysed too. When Ursula finds out about it, she makes her way there (couldn’t she sit on a broom to fly instead of running on foot?). She fights off Croix’s automations and realizes it was an attempt to test her skills. Ursula knows Croix has never changed as she wants the reconstruction magic all to herself. Croix is confident she can’t stop her but Ursula vows even if she cannot shine again, she will protect Akko. Akko wakes up back in Ursula’s place and is told she wasn’t feeling well and was brought back here. Akko mentions about a strange dream regarding Chariot so Ursula starts explaining about Grand Triskelion. Some infinite power that stretches everywhere but withered in time. It marked the decline of the age of magic. Traces of it remain only in leylines. But its original power was passed down in secrecy. The Nine Olde Witches sealed that great power to reconstruct the world in Arcturus. Seven words that were lost are able to break its seal. However simply reciting them won’t activate it. One must breathe life into its revival only will do. Akko has already breathed 3 of the words. There are 4 words remaining and she has to learn what they are for herself. Akko believes Chariot went missing because she was looking for those words. Now she wants to look for them in hopes of running into her.

Episode 16
Akko is now eager to find the remaining words. How? Search online. Internet too slow! And she said she is going to take whatever it takes to find them when she can’t even wait 3 minutes for the search results… Although Ursula knows that word, Akko says it but nothing activates. That is because she lacks something and she needs to find it herself. Now, now. Don’t be impatient… Akko and Sucy follow Lotte to her home since her family is serving pie given by the neighbour. Everyone is enjoying it. Except for Akko. It must be so disgusting that she spit it out. Yeah, Akko doesn’t even enjoy the sauna. The next day, everyone is shocked when the adults have turned into moss! It seems this is some Greenman disease. Coincidentally everything lined up perfectly for this rare disease to occur. Yeah, including that pie. There is an antidote for it and they have to make it quick otherwise the infected will stay a moss forever and wither away. So as they go collect the ingredients (Akko almost being a dick in trying to get them. Yes, a dick) but they are a couple of ingredients short when Lotte and Sucy now turn into moss. It is up to Akko. After getting the reindeer’s dropping, she has to get a yeti to make the medicine base. However he couldn’t make it exactly as per instructions so Akko had to tell to redo it again. Now he has lost motivation. What’s this? You’re lecturing him now? Even a yeti can be sensitive. See, now you made him cry and run away. She finds out he is a victim of online bullying. Screw all that! Who cares what society says? He is an artisan and genius. The yeti is motivated and gets back to work. Now that the base is done, it is a long trek home. At times Akko wanted to give up but she perseveres. At this time, little specks of moss are growing over her. As she mixes the medicine, she then chants the word. Shiny Rod becomes some sprinkler to sprinkle the medicine and cure everybody. Back at Luna Nova, Ursula is pleased another seal is broken and the key to it all was Akko’s patience. With 3 remaining words left, Akko is in a hurry to get them. I guess she didn’t learn…

Episode 17
Amanda tells Akko that she heard that the Holy Grail is being kept at an elite school, Appleton. They may be keeping it for some whatever ritual. Akko thinks it could be the key to the fifth word. In this school where Andrew goes, Akko can’t let herself be seen so she transforms into a mouse while Amanda masquerades as a man. Amanda picks a fight with Louis Blackwell, the son of Appleton’s chairman who is also the Defence Minister. She doesn’t care and wants to fight. When Louis spots Akko, he believes they are witches and wants to rid them. Till Andrew steps in to handle it. Akko scolds Amanda for starting unnecessary trouble. Amanda wants to go out with a bang before she quits Luna Nova. Akko and Andrew’s ideal clash again with the letter okay in following what fate has set in stone for him. Akko goes off alone to find the Holy Grail. She sees something strange (Croix’s cubes) leading her to a chest in what Akko believes to be the Holy Grail. Amanda exposes Louis for cheating in a card game. She really wants to fight but realizes she can’t use magic because her device is with Akko. She is caught and will be brought to trial as a witch. Black KKK? I didn’t know posters of a wanted mouse is up so fast. Well, they didn’t have to wait long to catch Akko. In fact she came to rescue Amanda but gets caught. Andrew storms in and disagrees with Louis method to execute the witches. At Appleton, they have a tradition to settle disputes as upper class society. A sword duel on top a high bridge? Wow. This is sure civilized. Of course Amanda’s wild style defeats Louis. Being the sore loser, he takes the Holy Grail and breaks it. The cubes then inhabit a knight’s armour in which it fully possesses Louis and goes on a rampage. Akko realizes the Holy Grail is a curse that inhibited a demon or something. Amanda tries hard to fight back. Only if she had her magic. Akko then throws her device in which the knight is easily unarmoured. The cubes fly away. When the adults come, they want to arrest the witches. Andrew explains everything but they think he is brainwashed. However Louis tells the truth that he was saved by them. Andrew will take care the rest so he lets the girls be on their way. The cubes return to Croix who is satisfied with the data she got.

Episode 18
Wild Hunt is an event where hunters hunt ghosts before the year end. Since they are passing by this place, Luna Nova is all abuzz. Akko accidentally breaks Constanze’s Stanbot. She heads to her room to apologize bust stumbles upon a secret passage that leads to her secret garage where she is trying to design a ship to participate in Wild Hunt. Akko wants to help but Constanze is a loner and works alone. Each time Akko is kicked out, she always comes back. You can’t even cage her in. Akko notices Constanze is scavenging parts for her ship. When she couldn’t get them, Akko uses her charm to ‘borrow’ them. Because of that, Constanze allows her to work with her so long she could gather materials for her. On the night of the Wild Hunt, somebody leaked this to normal people so they gather at the spot in hopes of catching something paranormal. Too bad they can’t see all the spirits and action. Here comes Constanze and Akko’s majestic warship into the fray. Things are going well till the culprit unleashes strange cubes that turn ghosts into evil ravens? They attack normal people and even combine into one giant monster. Constanze and Akko transform their ship into a giant mecha! Can you believe this was Akko’s idea and Constanze loved and incorporated it into her blueprint? They fight the monster but quickly run out of power. Most of it was used up during the transformation. Dang. Ursula pleads the Wild Hunt hunters to help them so they lend their power to power the mecha up and fight back for an explosive victory. Later Ursula confronts Croix the culprit and wants to know her goal as she was trying to cause panic and gauge their rise in emotional energy or fuel spirit. She won’t tell and is confident Ursula cannot stop her anyhow. As thanks, Constanze gives Akko a high-tech broom. Very slow. Hey, at least she is flying now.

Episode 19
Diana’s mom used to tell her tales of Beatrix, one of the Nine Olde Witches. Akko is shocked to hear Diana is going to quit Luna Nova. Apparently she is the only one who can’t accept it and goes to confront her before she leaves tonight. It seems her family is having a crisis and she has to go back to become the head. But why now? Some stars aligning and the ritual can only be done in that specific time or else wait again a few years. Instead of worrying about her, Diana tells Akko to just go find the words. She has been researching them herself but it all boils down to the chosen one of Shiny Rod. That’s you, Akko. Not satisfied, Akko bugs Ursula on where Diana lives. Diana returns home and you can sense the hostility with her aunt Daryl. Akko hitch hikes her way. Nobody picks her up but Andrew. Sandwiched between father and son… So awkward. Apparently they are being invited by the Cavendish. Daryl isn’t familiar with Akko as an unwanted guest. Despite badmouthing her for not being of a witch lineage, Diana stands up for her. In her room, Akko wanted to touch a box but Diana won’t allow her. Inside is a Chariot card. Diana’s servant, Anna dresses Akko properly as Akko learns about Diana’s parents died at a tender age. Diana has to become the head of family now because if left under Daryl the proxy head, the Cavendish will perish. So after dinner (Akko being the uncivilized savage while eating), the thing Daryl wants Hanbridge to see are a few of the family’s works. She is hoping he would buy them. One of them is a tapestry of Beatrix. Hanbridge is not interested and leaves. Diana blows her top about Daryl trying to sell out the family’s assets. Daryl argues having pride won’t put food on the table. The reason the family is able to hold out this long is because she has been working all along for free. Aware of Daryl’s true intentions, Diana vows to conduct the ritual and become the next family head.

Episode 20
Akko is still trying to change Diana’s mind. Not working. As Diana begins her path to the ritual, she is ambushed and trapped by Daryl’s snakes. That was easy. Andrew asks Akko why she is so bent on helping Diana. It’s not like they’re friends. Akko may be selfish not wanting her to quit but she can tell Diana too doesn’t want to quit school. She knows Diana isn’t something who would do something halfway and abandon it. Especially if she was researching the words and Grand Triskelion. This prompts Andrew to remember Diana once couldn’t use magic but she persevered. There must be something she wants to do and the only thing she can do. When they hear Daryl has stopped Diana in her tracks, they go help her. Screw the curse that would befall on those who interfere. Rules are meant to be broken, right? Yeah, Akko is this broken in her head. Anyway, Akko is able to fend off the snakes to save Diana. Since she is a little poisoned, Diana takes her to a secret location where her ancestors healed anyone, friend or foe. She is then shown the abandoned library of the family’s medical cures. They became obsolete when science in medicine became advanced. There stands a statue of Beatrix who is the foremother of the Cavendish clan. Diana’s mother wanted to preserve the old traditional way but her weak body means she died after pushing too hard. Diana is proud of her ancestors and wants to continue preserving this home. Oh, now Akko is trying to persuade Diana not to give up and finish the ritual despite Diana has resigned on giving up! Shiny Rod glows and a cue for the fifth word. Diana has Akko repeat after her and Shiny Rod turns into Shiny Volley, Chariot’s broom. It has jet powers! Hold on! They might just make it in time for the ritual but Daryl and her daughters try to stop her. Because of that, they are cursed and turn into trees. Diana can’t let them be and uses her magic to return them back to normal. But that costs her the ritual since time is up. In the end, Diana has no regrets of the failure. But Anna doesn’t want her to forget her old childhood dream as she gives her the box. As she has no reason to be here now, please return to Luna Nova to pursue her dream. Until she can return here, they will protect it in her stead. Diana thanks her servants as she flies home. Daryl might not like Diana still but she now views her of having hope to save the family’s name. Akko is glad Diana is giving her a ride back to Luna Nova. But to her shock, Diana thanks her. That never happened before! Please say it again!

Episode 21
Akko is eager to find the sixth word. Remember, patience. Like what you’ve learnt. As she hits a dead end, Croix talks to her about Wagandea tree where that word might be. Ursula disallows Akko to go there since its toxic pollens will be released. Even her friends feel it is better for her to heed Ursula’s words. Talking to Croix again, she offers to bring her there. They inspect some of the buds and find it hasn’t open yet. This prompts Croix to warn Akko to be wary of Ursula. Why did she lie to her? Is there something she wants to hide? She claims to be Chariot’s classmate but Croix recalls no such student named Ursula. As Akko treks up Wagandea, Ursula receives word that Akko has gone there. She flies as fast as she could only to be stopped by Croix. They remember vividly on that day they were before the tree. Croix was shocked the staff chose Chariot as the one who will find the words to activate Grand Triskelion. Ursula believes Croix is afraid of Akko who might get Grand Triskelion before she does. Anyhow, she won’t get it. Croix thinks the staff has erred in choosing its owner like before. It doesn’t matter to how. She doesn’t need that staff. Ursula tries to persuade Akko to return but she becomes mad for trying to prevent her. Akko doesn’t care about the words and her goal is only to meet Chariot. She did all Ursula said just for that. Croix has Akko trudge further while she ‘convinces’ Ursula. As Akko nears the top, she sees a swarm of pollens released. She panics and falls off. Ursula saves her. A few bruises here and there but they’re safe. Akko feels regret and sorry she said those means things and Ursula still saved her. Ursula remembers apologizing profusely to Croix when she got the staff. But Croix entrusts her to get Grand Triskelion since she was the chosen one. Akko continues to weep all she wanted to say was thank you. Her tears activate the sixth word. Ursula notes Akko has grown a lot. Back at Croix’s base, she comments she has no need for Shiny Rod or the words. She has a more forceful method to take Grand Triskelion.

Episode 22
A controversial goal in a football match has both sides protesting and a war might break out. Politicians think it is inevitable but Andrew wonders if they’re going to put all their efforts of peace to waste. They tell him not to step over his line and even his father tells him to not get involved in this one. Akko sees Ursula who tells her the seventh word. However she doesn’t know what it means accept it lies within her heart. She wants to tell the most important truth but Diana comes in looking for Akko. Andrew has left a message to meet him in the streets. That’s about right now. Sorry. Maybe next time. Diana then asks Ursula about some magic irregularity at Luna Nova ever since Croix installed her technology. Ursula has an excuse to excuse herself since she sees Croix flying away. Andrew returns Akko’s hat she left in his car. They see the street protests as Andrew feels disappointed that both nations who were always at war, recently achieved peace, all for it to fall apart again. Akko thinks they should watch Chariot’s magic show and be happy. Andrew tells her she is always talking about it. Why rely on Chariot when she should be making them happy herself? Akko takes up the challenge. She then sees a cube and tries to catch it. It leads her to Croix and she is shocked to learn she is the one who developed it. She reveals Noir Fuel Spirit harnesses human emotions and converts them to energy. Magic is on the decline and will one day disappear if nothing is done. Using human emotions as the new source is fantastic and what better way than manipulating the crowd. Akko disagrees with her method. Since she sounds so much like Chariot, Croix points out that is why she failed. Her cubes become a giant salamander to pin Akko down. Here comes Ursula to bust her out. At that point, Akko sees Ursula’s true Chariot identity. She cannot believe it. The truth is out. Ursula tries to stop Chariot but is pointed out she did the same thing 10 years ago and has no right. She did something to the moon. As Ursula remains silent, Croix continues explaining. Dream Fuel Spirit converts the power of dreaming into magic. When Akko and others saw Chariot’s magic show, Dream Fuel Spirit took and converted their dreaming energy into magic. That is why Akko lost her magic. Ursula admits she absorbed her magic. Akko hopes it is all a lie. But with flashbacks of Ursula always supporting her, I guess it got to her this time. Her dream has crumbled. Akko runs away in tears. Croix mocks Akko won’t be looking for the final word now and Chariot has failed again.

Episode 23
When Chariot was young, her dream was to make people happy via magic. However she sucked at school but persevered till she got Claiomh Solais and followed Woodward’s advice to revive the words. However the final word did not appear. She is scouted by a producer who made her do magic on the big stage. But soon the people got tired of her magic and she needed to try something new. Jealous Croix introduced her to Dream Fuel Spirit. It was amazing. The crowd loved her again. However when Croix reveal how that magic absorbed magic of others, Chariot becomes devastated and wouldn’t want to use it again. Croix blew her top about Chariot being the chosen one to find the words. Is this what Claiomh Solais has chosen her to do? Chariot continues her magic shows without Dream Fuel Spirit and once more the crowd are pressuring her to show them new magic. She gave in and accidentally unleashed amnesiac magic. Diana learns from Akko’s friends that she hasn’t returned from town. She talks to Ursula about this but she keeps apologizing. This has Diana reveal her research that there was no such student named Ursula in Luna Nova. She believes Ursula is Chariot. Busted, Ursula tells her the truth of what happened to Akko. Since Ursula insists there is something more important than finding Akko now, Diana blows her top. Fine. She’ll find her herself. Diana returns to tell the friends what happened as they all go out looking for her but to no avail. Lotte is most distraught as she doesn’t want Akko to leave school. Sucy assures her that Akko isn’t smart to think of difficult things and will be back when she’s hungry. Is that an insult or compliment?

Diana finally finds Akko sitting out in the cold. Taking her to a warm place, Akko continues not to respond to her until Diana shows her the premium Chariot card. Diana reveals she once admired Chariot. Because of her circumstances, she could only collect them in secret (just one?) and dream of attending her shows. One night, mom managed to let her attend a Chariot show in Japan. It was amazing and she never forgets it. Of course she also lost her magic. However she won’t sympathize with Akko since she was able to get it back via hard work. Diana never gave up not only because she was going to be the head of her family but she knew that she couldn’t keep up with this childish dream forever. The more she learns about magic, the more her heart grew further from Chariot because of expectations placed on her. Hence her true reason enrolling in Luna Nova was because it was where Chariot went. At first she hated Akko for being carefree telling others how much she loved Chariot. But she was able to do the things she couldn’t. She was envious. Thinking back, she left Luna Nova was to run away from Akko. She can’t accept she was closer to being Chariot than her. She gives Akko her card and wants her to believe the magic in her heart as it is stronger than anyone else’s. The other friends happily reunite and what a big relief for Lotte. Meanwhile Chariot confronts Croix to stop her from her final phase of Noir Fuel Spirit. I guess this is the important business she was mentioning of.

Episode 24
Chariot tries to stop Croix but since she is still recovering from the effects of the pollen, she has no magic. She gets trapped but before Croix finishes her off, Finnelan and Holbrook stop her to seek an explanation. Because of the riots growing even more restless, more negative emotions are absorbed. Human hatred knows no end. The machine activates himself and negates all magic at Luna Nova. Croix then rides her machine to Arcturus Forest where Grand Triskelion is sealed. Akko and co return to Luna Nova but because magic is nulled, they fall into Arcturus Forest. Croix uses her technology to activate Grand Triskelion. Hey. It’s just a twig? What’s all this happy-happy magic? This isn’t it. Meanwhile Andrew tells the adults a coup detat is imminent. They want to take this chance to use the military and show the moderates and pacifists the use of force. Andrew is not pleased they are trying to exploit the crisis and is told to gather more information. Oh, now they want him involved? Croix is disappointed the world reconstruction didn’t happen. Even more so when Woodward says this twig is Grand Triskelion. She becomes so disappointed that things didn’t go as planned that her machine absorbs her negative emotions. Now it can’t be stopped. It turns into a monster trying to eat her. Chariot saves her despite everything she has done. Luckily Akko and Diana combine their magic to help out. With Shiny Rod glowing, Akko recites the words to turn it into a bow and destroy the monster, restoring magic to the area. Akko confronts Chariot. She returns Shiny Rod to her as it isn’t hers. She is glad to have met her and describes the wonders of seeing her as a child. Coming to Luna Nova was life changing for her. Since she isn’t used that Chariot is her professor, she hopes she can be Ursula and teach her again. After all, she cannot be Chariot as Chariot is Chariot and Akko is Akko. Time for a big hug. Shiny Rod glows as Chariot wants Akko to recite the final word. It becomes a twig as she uses Grand Triskelion to change the world. Everything becomes so beautiful and happy-happy! Amidst the happiness, a missile is launched into space.

Episode 25
Croix explains those cubes have accumulated into that monster missile. Yeah, she can’t deactivate it since it has grown too big for her system to control. Always like this, right? The theory goes that hatred breeds more hatred so the missile’s mission is to spread hatred all around the world and once it is filled with all the hatred, it will explode. Nothing they can do, right? Well not if you’re Akko. You won’t know if you don’t try. So all the girls pool their brooms into one giant broom ride. The teachers ‘power up’ them with new outfits. Strange. I thought it just felt like colour palette swap. Off they go blasting in the sky to catch the missile. So the 7-witch broom isn’t just for show. They serve as a booster to propel them further. So after a certain range, one by one it falls off like a rocket booster. Akko and Diana are left as they finally catch up to it. However they are losing magic. At this point, Croix and Chariot is relaying videos of Akko’s heroics to the world and Chariot makes a worldwide broadcast to believe in them. I guess everyone is afraid if the missile would hit them and start supporting them. Their support automatically converts into magic to power them even further. A couple of intercept missiles are launched but the monster missile has a mind of its own and easily takes them out. The politicians are still doubtful however so Andrew had to tell them to support instead of interfering. They would not have listened to him had not the Prime Minister tells them otherwise. Akko and Diana have gotten close enough but the missile now attacks them. With great agility and adept transformation magic, Akko is able to evade certain death. Akko gets more boost by reuniting with Shooting Star. Using the wish of Grand Triskelion, together with Diana, the feverish support from everybody, Shiny Rod turns into a giant bow as they fire a giant arrow into the missile. The missile explodes and its magic dust drops drift down onto several parts of the world. I’m sure everyone is having a great time watching this super light magic. Hanbridge apologizes to Andrew of his misconception of witches and wants to learn more about them. Akko is sad when she senses Shiny Rod diminishing. She thanks and releases it as it becomes part of the stars. Croix leaves Luna Nova as she wishes to find a cure for Wagandea’s curse before returning. Life returns to normal. This means Akko still can’t use her magic. Keep trying. I believe it isn’t because everyone is here to watch her defining moment but rather her stubbornness because everyone is now shocked to see Akko flying! Hooray! Seeing is believing!

Magic Tragic: Himitsu No Akko-chan
Wow. Such a great and happy climax and ending. It really makes me feel good because you know, witches rarely have happy ending themselves. Just saying… The world is saved, magic’s reputation is back on the rise and to top it off, Akko can now fly. Well, I hope it isn’t a fluke because if we all know Akko, she’ll shortly drop back down. We certainly didn’t see how long she kept herself in the air after that, right? But I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and say that she finally has some magic that enables her to fly. But what about her magic in other areas? Well, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. For now, it is great that Akko is able to make some improvements no matter how miniscule and basic it looks.

In the first half of the series, it is very fun to watch despite many of the episodes feel like standalone fillers. They are not related to each other and it feels like you can watch them in any order you like. Yeah, it happened to me once. I think I was careless in clicking the wrong episode and didn’t occurred to me till I finally finished watching it. Hence I didn’t lose much considering the nature of it. The adventures are so random and fun that it doesn’t heavily affect the flow of the actual plot slowly building up in the background, which is Akko having to find all the 7 words and revive Grand Triskelion. Of course as the series reaches its second half and with Diana having her own problems, that is where the story and plot start to pick up.

Another thing that one might notice is how cartoonish the overall feel of the anime. Don’t get me wrong. The series still has enough elements to make it feel like a Japanese anime but a few over-exaggerated scenes of magic and action make it feel like everything is quite cartoonish. Especially Akko. I believe this is to enhance her character’s reputation as an idiot and to make her funny. Not that I have any problems with it since it worked well. And you thought crazy series like Teekyuu can only make everything look so stupid and silly. Well, nobody has got a monopoly over that. Even the action magic bits like in the last episode, it is so over the top and exaggerative that it feels cartoonish although it is exactly that why it feels so fun.

As for the characters, Akko is mainly the star and focus of this series because you can bet that she is involved in every misadventure throughout the season. Although her pals like Lotte and Sucy get some episodes of their even, it is very far and few in between. Even Amanda and Constanze have their moments but still not enough. Subsequently as the real plot thickens, they feel less relevant and almost to the point of being forgotten. Because eventually it all boils down to Akko as she is not only the biggest idiot of Luna Nova but the biggest busybody since she can’t leave things as they are and must stick her nose into it. Yeah, sometimes it feels like as though she is virtue signalling because she can’t accept any other way than her way. Despite all the misadventures and troubles they have gone through, it is a good thing that eventually things turn out for the better because otherwise the friends would not have respected Akko in the end.

So we learn of Akko’s secret of why she cannot use magic despite her numerous attempts. Because she is an idiot! Like the legend of how idiots can never catch a flu, right? But it made me think if this is all Akko’s determination because as revealed, Diana got back her magic through sheer hard work and sacrifice. So if Akko actually put in her hard work too, why has not she improved a single bit? My theory is that because she is an idiot and simpleton, she thinks she has worked hard but apparently it is not as hard as it is supposed to be. It has to be even more than that. That’s why sometimes I am in a dilemma to wonder if I should feel sorry for Akko when she can’t effectively use her magic after trying so hard. After all, she has the passion and dream. Or is that not enough? And after all that hard work, the magic that she can ‘effectively’ use is transforming into chibi animals? Being a carefree idiot like her sometimes also makes me want to admire her because she has a simple dream unlike others aiming for higher dreams. To each his/her own. This also means it makes her stubborn and would stick to her ideals for better or worse. She doesn’t give up until she ‘succeeds’. This charm of hers would definitely charm you. Yeah, Akko is everyone’s lovable idiot! Never change, Akko. Never change. Okay, she does have some change but nothing that drastic that it alters her base character. At first I wanted to put her on the same level as Kill La Kill’s Mako because of the same vibe they give off but I surmise that Akko is Akko and Mako is Mako. They may be similar in some ways but are still totally different in many others.

Diana comes across at first as a snobbish and prideful lady with a famous lineage. There is this danger of turning her into this stereotype bully character. However as early as the second episode shows that she isn’t one to tread this path. It is rather her subordinates who are the typical bullies and look down on Akko. Thus if your fan girls act this way, I’m sure we would think the boss is also similar. Diana has more pride and elegance to stoop that low. Despite sharing the same dream and goal, both Akko and Diana are at different ends of the spectrum. Because if Diana were to be like Akko, I think we would have overlapping idiotic characters! This series is not big enough for 2 idiots! So while Akko takes centre stage, Diana diligently does her research in the background. But like any normal human, she too harbours envy for Akko because she gets to stay true to herself unlike Diana who has to mask herself with layers and layers due to circumstances and family issues.

Andrew is a pretty nice and reasonable guy. One look and we sure would love to say there is some sort of romance brewing between him and Akko. But then again, nothing very conclusive because this guy also has his pride and comes from an important family just like Diana. Sure, he finds Akko interesting but is there more to that reason why he continues to side by her with any given chance? So maybe he is trying to keep up his pride and not let his feelings show. Because that would be very uncouth seeing how far we have come to know Andrew as.

Their other friends like I have said didn’t get much screen time so we just know what they show us. Like Lotte who is the brainiest and loves reading. Amanda is a delinquent (nearly overlapping as an idiot character with Akko) and taciturn Constanze loves tinkering with her machines while Jasminka loves stuffing her face with food or at least most of her thoughts are if something is delicious or not (whether it is edible or not). Of all these characters, my favourite is Sucy because she is really an eccentric doom and gloom girl. This in a way makes her a cool character because of her very sleepy-like voice. Her favourites are poison and mushrooms and I believe she has one of the funniest lines and comebacks in the series. Especially those that are aimed at Akko.

It didn’t surprise me that Ursula is Chariot. There were very few vague hints but even before all that and in the first episode I was already guessing she is her. Because you know, why did such a nerdy teacher started giving ‘preferential treatment’ to Akko? Everything about Ursula feels like a big guilt and taking Akko under her wing thinks she can make amends. There is this fear of having Akko hate her if she tells the truth but the truth reared its ugly head in the most unlikely fashion. It is a good thing that Akko and Ursula reconcile and realize what is most importance between them. Akko may have dreamt of becoming Chariot but that was a long time ago and just a few minutes of show time compared to the amount of time she spent with Ursula (despite it’s just Chariot incognito). So it is only right that Akko has more attachment to the teacher than the magic performer. She has achieved her dream of meeting Chariot. Time to move on.

Croix is set up as the main antagonist of the series but I would like to see her as just a misguided and jealous character. It’s like after she failed to be the chosen one, she tried to defy traditional magic by corrupting and inculcating it with technology. It is good if you put it to good use. Even her Noir Fuel Spirit looks pretty decent and good idea because using negative emotions as an energy source feels like you can now vent your anger and put it to good use. Of course there’s the risk. So when Croix’s plans backfire in her face, she realizes that perhaps in the end, she wasn’t fated to be the chosen one even if she tries to carve out her own destiny.

I kept thinking about Croix’s technology mix with magic and wonder how different is it to Constanze. Because the latter also uses some sort of technology, right? But I realized that they are vastly different. You see, Croix uses technology to develop her magic whereas Constanze uses magic to develop her technology. Sounds the same? Confused? Croix develops high technology and infuses it to magic and hence why I said she corrupted it. On the other hand, Constanze uses her magic talents to invent things. She does not alter the nature of the magic like Croix does so I believe there is a big difference there. Because assuming if Finnelan knows about Constanze’s tinkering, why was she only objecting to Croix’s heavy technological use? Should she have warned Constanze to stop too as it goes against tradition?

A reason why the art and animation looks cartoonish is because they are produced by Trigger. The same studio that gave you anime series with their own brand of visual art style such as Kill La Kill, Space Patrol Luluco and Ninja Slayer From Animation. After all, the staffs from here were from Gainax who did crazy shows like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt and FLCL. That is why some characters like Lotte in particular I thought she came out from that Peanuts comic strip. The overall art style may not be as deep and rich but it works for this series. The cartoonish aspects make it feel acceptable even if the magic special effects are just okay and nothing too spectacular. Is it me but does that monster missile look like it was designed based on that antagonistic alien life form in Kill La Kill?

Youko Hikasa as Diana is the only seiyuu I recognized but that is somewhat later as at first I mistaken her to be Marie Inoue. Haven’t heard the latter for a while so are they starting to sound almost similar? Megumi Han did a good job bringing out the character in Akko. She doesn’t voice such characters and they’re mainly the serious type like the titular character in Mushibugyou, Jeanne in Shingeki No Bahamut series, Benio in Sousei No Onmyouji or the cute type like Ore Monogatari’s Rinko. So I guess it is surprising and hard to picture her here all very lively and loud. The rest of the other casts are Fumiko Orikasa as Lotte (Rukia in Bleach), Michiyo Murase as Sucy (Garie in Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX), Norihiko Hikada as Ursula/Chariot (Kikyou in Inu Yasha), Junko Takeuchi as Croix (titular character in Naruto – this is how she seriously sounds like not in that ninja mode?), Ryousuke Kanemoto as Andrew (Torway in Nejimaki Seirei Senki), Arisa Shida as Amanda, Rie Murakawa as Constanze (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori), Reina Ueda as Jasminka (Shiori in Sakura Quest), Ikuko Tani as Holbrook (Lizzie in Overlord) and Rurika Yamamoto as Finnelan. The list of seiyuus is long since there are tons of other characters just making their cameo in an episode or two.

Opening and ending themes are okay but nothing that special for me. But somehow I prefer the first opening and ending theme, Shiny Ray by Yurika and Hoshi Wo Tadoreba by Yuiko Oohara. The former had this bewitching feel to it despite a lively anime pop beat and the latter is a slower and decently calming pop piece. Mind Conductor by Yurika and Toumei Na Tsubasa by Yuiko Oohara as the second opening and ending theme respectively are a bit faster. Not that I really like it that way. There are also a hand of BGMs that give that magical and bewitching feel to the episode and scenes.

Overall, this series is quite a fun and enjoyable watch and despite certain exaggerated and cartoonish scenes, it doesn’t feel like they are overdoing it. You’ll have a blast if you stop overthinking its minor flaws. Despite being an original anime, it still isn’t a complete masterpiece nor perfect. Though, it still has got plenty of magic, comedy, drama, friendship values and lessons to be learnt, trials to overcome and uhm, more magic. It would have been ground breaking and awesome if it was shown a decade ago or even more in the 90’s. Because with all the fanservice, violence and sci-fi thingy in today’s entertainment media, magic looks like it is really on its way to the exit. Who goes to magic shows these days? Oh wait, there are still… But you don’t really need magic to change the world if you really want it. All you need to do is get up and do something. Because the world changes not by your thoughts or feelings but by your actions. Imagine a small kindness today can go a long way tomorrow and in the future. That itself is already magic. Saying magic is like a lazy term when you can’t explain it in science, huh?

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