Part of the problem with magic shows is that everything is eventually going to link back to ‘Harry Potter’, and “Witch Craft Works” does have some touch-and-go moments to Harry, but it can’t fully commit to what it wants to be.
Takamiya Honoka is a regular student at Tōgetsu High School. He is a standard, typical anime male, in the fact that not only is he clueless, he pines on endlessly for the Most Popular Girl in the School. He also lacks the spunk or the desire or the lead in his pencil to speak with her. The person in question is Kagari Ayaka, the school’s “Princess”. She is everything you want your girlfriend to be: she’s pretty, she’s smart, she’s adored, she’s tall and (although you can’t see it in this shot), build like a brick chicken house. They have never spoken to each other and any small interaction between them immediately results in her fan club beating him for his insolence.
One day he is attacked by a quintet of oddly-dressed girls called the Tower Witches, who had been covertly making attempts on him. However, the attack is thwarted by Ayaka, who turns out to be a Workshop Witch and has been protecting Honoka for quite some time. No longer having to hide her mission, Ayaka decides to become friendlier with him, though their relationship earns Honoka the ire of a lot of his class mates. She also decides that he needs to become her apprentice so he can at least learn how to defend himself from these almost daily assaults.
Here is where the disconnect occurs: Ayaka never really sits down with Honoka and gives him the complete 411 on what is going on. He is basically told to shut up and do what he is told, despite him wanting to intercede to reduce the beatings that Ayaka takes.
Now, the Tower Witches are about as effective as a screen door on a submarine and get defeated with astonishing regularity (much like the Houston Astros) and aren’t even that good of comic relief. And it seems that every time they bring out something bigger and better, the results are the same, save that they last perhaps another 20 seconds longer than the previous time.
The series was irritating as you felt for Honoka. Look, just lay the whole thing out for me to understand and I will understand. I am left in the dark so much, I think I’m growing mushrooms on one side. And even when the ‘evil’ people show up, you never really get the feeling that they were that scary. Another aspect that undercut the show was minion fighting.
Sometimes, you do not wish to dirty your own hands, so you send in your reserves. For this show, they manifest themselves as either tin rabbit soldiers or a giant teddy bear. I mean, if I saw two Gundams fighting, at least that would make a caliber of sense, but for this approach, it made it cutesy. True, no one ever really dies and the fighting still has a kind of ‘gentleman’s agreement’ to things, but I never felt any truth or consequence with things, despite the savagery that Ayaka gets dealt to her.
It could have done more but didn’t, and the ending smacks of a second season. There is an OVA in the offing, but was not available at the present time.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Appealing artwork)
Plot 7 (Just not enough information)
Pacing 7 (Got a bit to DBZ at the end)
Effectiveness 7 (Too many distractions)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t really end)
Fan Service 5 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)
Overall 7 (Failure to fully connect)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. What is this ‘white stuff’?