After nine months, the first 13 episodes of Little Witch Academia (LWA) Season 1 finally showed up on Netflix. As soon as the episodes were available (I vividly recall it being 3:00 AM Eastern Standard Time) I binged it.
The story of LWA centers around a girl named Atsuko Kaari (or Akko), a commoner admitted into Luna Nova Magical Academy. When Akko was young, she saw a Shiny Chariot magic show which serves as a major source of inspiration for Akko in her quest to become a witch. As a novice to magic, she is rather bad and lags far behind her peers. Her lack of magic skill also gets her into trouble quite often. Luckily for her, she has two amazing friends, Lotte Jansson and Sucy Manbavaran, who constantly get out of trouble and help her grow as a witch.
The two movies that proceeded this series were magnificent. After watching them, I couldn’t wait for this season. But seeing those movies had an unintended outcome I did not expect: the movies showed us a somewhat competent Akko. She still struggles, but we see her as a budding witch; not a novice. If I knew this was a prequel, I would have expected this kind of show. But since I went in blind, I expected the Akko from the movies. I expected a linear, overarching plot. It was to my detriment, but not the show’s.
There’s no denying that LWA is fun. It is definitely not boring by any stretch of the imagination. And much like the two movies before it, the show shines through its imagination and characters. I love Sucy’s bizarre spells, schemes, and affinity for poisonous mushrooms. I love how easy it is to dislike Diana and her two lackeys, and oh my god is it easy. There are frequent Disney Princess movie references. I love Akko’s energy and her errors as an up-and-coming. The lore behind the school is captivating. Shiny Chariot’s backstory and her disguise as Akko’s mentor keep me wanting more.
The animation, like in every Studio Trigger production, is gorgeous. It is so easy to love and consume this show. Going forward though, I do hope to see a more linear storyline. I want to see Akko and friends go on an adventure and have to defeat a villain.
LWA is trope-y and definitely has some predictable episodic storylines. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t enjoy watching it. Little Witch Academia easily earns a 7.5/10. If you don’t believe me, just check out these 3 reasons to binge it.
It’s streaming on Netflix for forever I assume…
Sigh. Now to wait for the next 13 episodes.
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