Little Witch Academia ReviewHaley Nicks
Little Witch Academia begins with our main character Akko Kagari when she is small and attending a magical performance starring her idol, Shiny Chariot. Chariot is a witch and dazzles the audience with her powers, from flying on her broom to defeating a giant dragon creature with her signature Shiny Arc technique. Amazed at what she sees, Akko decides to fulfill her dream to be an awesome witch like Chariot.
She enrolls at an academy for young witches in the hopes to gain the skills and magical abilities that make a great witch. Unfortunately, she does not have a lot of magical talent. She does not come from a witch family and even calls herself a "lowbrow" witch. We are shown that this statement rings true as her studies are not going so well. She falls asleep in class and her first attempt at flying on a broom leaves her wrapped in bandages. Thankfully she has her two friends, Sucy and Lotte to help patch her up and to give encouragement.
Akko keeps her determination up as she still wants to aspire to Shiny Chariot's level. However, we learn that in the world of the witches, Chariot is not the most liked person. Thanks to Diana, another witch in Akko's class and who fills the role of antagonist in the show, we hear that many believe Chariot gave witches a bad reputation. Witches are not supposed to perform their magic to audiences. They are to be feared and respected.
The next assignment the witches are given is to enter a room that is expansive and multi-level like a dungeon. Per instructions, there are monsters to defeat inside and they are to collect whatever rare treasures they find. The group with the rarest treasure wins. Akko is fired up and ready to show everyone, especially Diana, that she has this task in the bag. Diana, on the other hand, does not want anyone to surpass her. She takes her group down deep to the lower levels in the hopes to find the best treasure. They discover a creepy looking coffin that easily opens with Diana's powers. Out walks a baby dragon.
Diana is disappointed at the small creature as she was hoping for a rare treasure. Her group blasts it with magic ready to move on to the next room. The dragon is not so easily defeated. It grows on magic and becomes stronger. Soon a raging behemoth of a dragon is busting through the dungeon bent on escaping. Akko and her friends race out with Diana's group, but not before Akko discovers a treasure that she believes is worth huge points: Shiny Chariots rod.
The dragon is not far behind and bursts out of the dungeon room and takes off. Akko's teacher quickly informs the girls that the dragon feeds on magic and will have its eyes set on the Sorcerer Stone, a magical item that feeds the magic of the witches' word. She asks Akko and her friends to take Chariot's rod to the stone as it can help re-power the rod. As Akko takes off with the rod, the dragon follows and it becomes apparent that Akko and her friends must take the beast down. I won't spoil the ending, but Akko definitely would have made Shiny Chariot proud.
For just a 26 minute episode, this was a very well done story and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I really hope it may be looked into becoming a series one day as it has some real potential. Little Witch Academia was a part of the Young Animator Training Projects done here in 2013 along with other anime shorts that were produced by the animation studio, Trigger.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.