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AKA: リトル ウィッチ アカデミア
Genre: Fantasy comedy
Length: OAV, 26 minutes
Distributor: Currently available streaming on crunchyroll.
Content Rating: 10+ (violence)
Related Series: ittle Witch Academia 2 (sequel)
Also Recommended: Kiki's Delivery Service, Magic User's Club.
Notes: One of the premiere series from Japanese animation studio Trigger, founded by ex-GAINAX employees Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masahiko Ohtsuka in 2011.
Rating: Four StarsFour StarsFour StarsFour Stars

Little Witch Academia

Synopsis

Akko Kagari entered into a magic school to be like her idol, the flashy Shiny Chariot, but finds the classes boring. She's also a fairly poor witch, unable to even fly a broom properly, and everyone claims her idol Shiny Chariot is a flashy fake. But when an awakened dragon is unleashed during an underground exploration with her fellow classmates, will Akko be able to prove herself?


Review

I brought this up before in my review for Rumiko Takahashi Anthology review, but there's also a certain charm to half-hour standalone anime that you don't find in longer ones. That rings true once more in Little Witch Academia, a fun little OAV one-shot animated by some of the most well-known people in the anime industry.

Now granted, the characters themselves are pretty typical. Akko is the brash, clumsy girl, her friends are her typical friends, Diana is the typical stuck-up brat with her two yes-men underlings, and so forth. But considering the 26 minute running time, the pacing is brisk and wastes no time getting to the plot. There's no filler, and Akko, while not the most original character, has this try-hard charm to her that helps her carry the OAV's running time. There's more done here in 26 minutes than some other anime do in much longer stretches of time.

Little Witch Academia is directed by You Yoshinari. A veteran animation director for GAINAX, this makes his first major directorial debut. (Yoshinari was also in charge of the character design and animation direction.) The GAINAX influence is pretty obvious, as Akko and company look and animate not unlike Yoshinari's earlier animation work on FLCL. The world of Little Witch Academia is bright and colorful, with nary a whiff of CG. The character designs are cute and easy to tell apart, which is important considering that all the characters wear virtually the same attire. The animation's also really good - this was shown in theaters, and the big battle at the end of the OAV shows its budget.

With a running time of only 26 minutes, I wish there was more to talk about concerning Little Witch Academia. Perhaps there will be a future television series or movie to expand upon the brief glimpse of the world shown here. But as far as one-shots go, it tells its story quite well. It has comedy, a bit of drama, a likable heroine, and an all-ages appeal that is sorely missing from anime these days.

Little Witch Academia is fun, sweet, and wastes no time with its appealing, all-ages story about a girl believing in herself.Tim Jones

Recommended Audience: Little Witch Academia is mostly harmless content-wise aside from some bloody violence, like a monster bleeding to death.



Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll stream, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Little Witch Academia © 2013 Y.YOSHINARI/TRIGGER, Inc.
 
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