The biggest problem with any show that deals in magic is that it is all going to be referred back to ‘Harry Potter’ and how they did it. It can put a damper on things, as you want to let all of these institutions and locales teach magic and all its complexities in their own manner. It’s just that “Little Witch Academia” started out practically like a Harry Potter rip-off.
Akko Kagari (her of the center) enrolls into Luna Nova Magical Academy, a school for young witches. But she has zero magical abilities. She can’t even ride a broom! On her way to school, she has to pass through a portal in a high tower (and not Platform 9¾, OK?), but can’t do it. She is befriended by two others who HAVE the power, Lotte Jansson (on our right), a Finnish witch who specializes in talking to fairies and Sucy Manbavaran (on our left), who hails from the Philippines and deals in poisons.
Well, they get in trouble right off the bat and end up on everyone’s radar as being troublemakers. However, Akko manages to obtain the Shiny Rod, a tool used by her hero, Chariot de Nord, and the reason she got into magic. The series details her adventures and misadventures as she tries to become a real witch, over the objections of practically everyone in the academy.
Yes, we have the Star of the Academy, the very pretty, incredibly smart, and totally obnoxious Diana Cavendish from Britain. I mean, she is the elite of the elite and she feels those like Akko are nothing more than a blob of marmalade on a napkin. Yes, Akko is able to do more, and in serious situations, than Diana does or can achieve. But how well does Diane accept this?
We also a key moment in the series. It is a 25-episode run, so when we get to Show #14, we have the switch-over to the new plot and the new foes and the new situations. It’s that it was rather naked in what it wanted to achieve and where it was going, but it did not detract from a rather compelling five-episode closing arc, where all the questions are answered and everything is revealed.
There is nothing overall wrong with the series, but one got tired of all of Akko’s misfires and Diana’s haughty preening and the exposed machination of Croix Meridies. I mean, even Harry learned how to do something, so he wasn’t that big of a bumble, but Akko takes forever to achieve anything of merit under Diane’s scornful eye. Yes, it is part and parcel that we see Akko flail and fail, but, still, there has to be some headway in all of this. But I still say you see it. Aside from the approach to wizardry presented, it does it in an appealing manner, and the rather cartoony artwork helps, rather than hinders (although Professor Ursula has got hips to spare!)
Now, as it stands, it could be over, but there is enough energy to continue on for another season. Time will tell. Oh my flaming gosharoonie, you have to, you must, you had better, binge, binge, binge. OK, we really see what an enormous clothead Akko is and it’s a wonder she can put on her hat and not suffocate herself in the process and that might get tiresome, but the rest of the cast holds up marvelously and if you are willing to overlook Akko’s liabilities for her enormous zeal and commitment to all of this, you will be rewarded. This will especially help with the concluding arc episodes, where it comes at you fast and furious (Hmmmm. That’s a good name for a movie franchise).
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Effective, despite the cartoony approach)
Plot 7 (Rather typical, even for magic)
Pacing 7 (A lot of ‘nick of time’ rescues)
Effectiveness 8 (Slowly comes around)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability 10 (A perfect candidate for such an action)
Overall 8 (Springs far from common ground)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Never forget, a believing heart is your magic.