Series Name: Little Witch Academia
Episodes: 1 (26 min runtime)
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy,
While I don’t exactly agree or subscribed to Steve Job’s school of ideology, I will admit he had it absolutely when he said “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Little Witch Academia seems to be playing into this rule in spades as it gained support through two Kickstarter’s by studio Trigger that way above their goal; notably the second project that achieved its goal in one day and totals up $625,518. I am not sure how much of this is genuine support for the project itself versus just plain fervent support of “anime fans”, but since gained so much eager support it must be exceptional, right? Wanting to indulge in the madness myself and see if this worth the pre-order purchase, I decided to check it out. Needless to say, it was actually a nice opening act for a full-fledged series or at least another film. Although, it is nothing I seriously want to throw cash at haphazardly. For the time being anyway…
In short, Little Witch Academia tells the story of a normal, young girl named Akko Kagari trains to become a witch just like her idol Shiny Chariot, a well-known figure in the magical world and looked down upon by her peers for giving magic a bad name. It is not what I would call a novel idea, but it is the presentation for Little Witch Academia that is most striking than the actually storyline itself for the time being. Highly reminiscent to the world-building found in most High or Epic fantasy literature, Little Witch paints an acceptable if not amiable setting with the limited time it is given containing flying witches, bizarre magical spells and items, as well as angry and cute creatures; one of which leads the story to its climax and denouement – a dragon. All-in-all, with little contextual background to the world or characters themselves other than what the viewer sees, it is actually a nice teaser and opens up a realm of possibilities for it’s in production sequel. I know I would be definitely interested in learning if there are anymore non-magical inclined characters like Akko joining the cast or learn more about the existing ones such as Sucy, one of Akko’s buddies with a strange penchant for developing weird potions. The world-building and story construction aspects are present without a doubt, all I can do is hope that the studio will capitalize on them, since I think they are really on to something. Sadly, unless there is a full-fledged TV series in its future, I doubt the sequel film will care to submerge itself in anything beyond what this OVA has done. Nonetheless, I think anything would be fine to see where it leads.
Being fairly new to the anime roundtable, there is not too much I can possibly say technically about studio Trigger other than what I seen from this production. A few things that quickly come to mind is the hilarious exaggerated expressions some of the characters make, which right away I could tell come straight from You Yoshinarai, best known for his quirky designs and key animation in FLCL and Gurren Lagann to name a few. While that was the most recognizable, the most notable came from the background and foreground designs that are very vivid and bright in color and actually a nice fit for the world itself. Inadvertently, as project that was made on a budget as apart of the Young Animator during its conception it is surprisingly how crisp and lively all the details are.
As aforementioned, I am really curious to see where Little Witch Academia goes next and for the most part, seen why the 2nd Kickstarter project was such a success. I highly doubt even if I had the power to rewind time that I would scrounge up money to support it, but just like everything else, it does deserve a chance – especially if are fan of the fantasy genre. With the sequel waiting in the wings and studio Trigger to release its first anime T.V series: Kill La Kill, I am expecting great things from the studio and give a solid nod of approve to Little Witch Academia.
Pros: Excellent animation, character and background designs very lively
Cons: world-building could be fully utilize