I do have a soft spot for slice of life anime, so I was quite excited to get on board with Little Witch Academia.
At first glance it seemed quite similar to the Harry Potter series (at least the early books), just detailing school life within a magical community.
This was enough to get me through the door to watch the series in its entirety, and I am extremely happy with the results. The series completely captivated me from the first episode to the point where I couldn’t stop watching. I actually finished all 25 episodes in a day!
So, let’s analyse some of the great aspects behind Little Witch Academia and what I think makes it great. I will be keeping this as spoiler-free as possible so that you may experience the series with the same wonder I did should you choose to watch it.
Little Witch Academia Opening Theme Breakdown
Little Witch Academia sports two opening themes. The first is ‘Shiny Ray’ by YURiKA. This theme is straight up gorgeous. It is everything it needed to be. The visuals are stunning and introduce you to the shows wonderful cast of characters.
It includes some beautiful shots of Luna Nova and just completely captures the wonder of the magical world of the show. The song itself is perfect, featuring outstanding vocals and a great combination of strings and percussion to create the main theme. ‘Shiny Ray’ was the perfect OP to use to introduce the audience to the show.
After ‘Shiny Ray’ ran for the first thirteen episodes, we were treated to a new OP – ‘Mind Conductor’, also by YURiKA. This opening was quite different from the first, losing most of the visual artistry from ‘Shiny Ray’ and singling out character dynamics.
The music was also vastly different for ‘Mind Conductor’, increasing the percussion while trading in the strings for piano and heavy guitar. Despite the tonal changes, the song still managed to keep the same awe and beauty that makes Little Witch Academia so wonderful.
I will admit, I did enjoy ‘Shiny Ray’ a lot more as an opening theme, but that’s not to say I don’t love them both. They do a fabulous job of capturing what the show is all about and get you invested from the get-go.
The cast and story of Little Witch Academia:
Little Witch Academia has a wonderful collection of characters to talk about. Our main protagonist is Atsuko Kagari, known more commonly as Akko. She is a character that anyone could get behind. She’s kind and hard-working, doing everything she can to help others.
Akko’s goal is to use her magic to make people smile just like her idol, Shiny Chariot, but she lacks natural affinity with magic. This just means she has to work harder to achieve her goal. She is also not without fault, being stubborn and proud, and sometimes prioritising her own ends above others.
She is aided by Lotte – a kind-hearted recluse who is also a closet fangirl, Sucy – an oddball girl obsessed with mushrooms and apparently apathetic to everything around her, and Ursula – a teacher at Luna Nova who takes Akko under her wing to help her keep up with the other students.
Akko also meets Diana – a magical prodigy from a well-known family, who becomes her rival, and Andrew – a sceptic of magic and budding politician who Akko takes a liking to.
One of the strongest things that Little Witch Academia has going for it is that all of these characters get the proper treatment and development that they deserve. None of them feel particularly lacking and have satisfying stories. Additionally the ensemble cast behind the leads are entertaining and only add to the hilarity of the show.
Final Thoughts on Little Witch Academia:
I absolutely loved Little Witch Academia. The art style is cutesy and adorable, the visuals are beautiful and the narrative is captivating. You can get really invested in these characters. You WANT to see what happens next!
Even in the episodes that don’t revolve around Akko’s main story shine in this show. From flying races, to love bees, to entering Sucy’s mind and meeting all of her unfiltered personalities and seeing them function as a society (yes you read that correctly).
Little Witch Academia allows itself to be free in its weirdness while still grounded in the world it creates. It embraces everything about high school anime and then goes beyond that.
I honestly hoped there would be more when I finished, not due to an unsatisfying conclusion, but I had become so attached to these characters that it was hard to let go. Little Witch Academia is lovely and the perfect show to watch under a blanket with a loved one.