Jesus titty-fucking Christ, Japan... We GET IT! We know that you love Harry Potter. For the love of GOD, you've been making wizarding and witching high school anime series for something like 15 years now. Just, just stop. Please. I mean, unless you have a new and unique take on the subject, just stop.
And no, Little Witch Academia has no new and unique take on the whole subject. It is simply yet another Negima, Familiar of Zero, Witch Craft Works, Maburaho, Flying Witch, Tweeny Witches, Petite Princess Yucie, and on and on and on...
Yeah, I did enjoy the 2 Studio Trigger Little Witch Academia mini-movies that came out a few years ago. They were short and fun and EXTREMELY well animated. But in the four years since they came out till the time this 25-episode series debuted, the folks at Trigger seem to have forgotten what made the original premise actually FUN. And after waiting all this time for this series, I'm a little pissed off at them for it.
The story is the same basic high school tale that you've seen over and over in anime: Stupid, untalented girl (Akko) wants to go to a specific school because her idol (Shiny Chariot) went there. Akko is a loudmouthed moron who somehow makes a few other loser friends and doesn't get kicked out for her incompetence due solely to her will to never give up (despite the fact that the audience hopes that she does). She finds a rival (well, another student who is light-years above her academically and socially, but Akko says she's her rival), stumbles through some life-threatening situations because of luck and other people saving her ass, and finally makes her dreams come true due to her inability to understand her own failure. Oh, and there's magic and witches and strange mystical creatures all over the place... But nothing is unique enough (the characters, setting, magic, or plot) to make anything here stand out.
I mean that was essentially Naruto's story as well. And My Hero Academia. And ANY story set in a "specialty" high school that focuses on things other than real academics. My only overstated point is that Little Witch Academia is the farthest from anything "new," just like most otaku are the farthest things from "healthy," "attractive," "fit," "desirable," and "bathed."
Anyway, the main challenge for Akko in this tale is that she finds the magic wand of her childhood idol (Shiny Chariot) while getting lost going to her first day at the Luna Nova Witching School. Chariot was a witch who used to put on magical shows where she would transform herself into a flying centaur, or a flying mermaid, or ride a flying bear or somesuchshit... I don't really remember, but none of it was ever as cool as anything Penn and Teller did.
Akko is then specially tutored by the only teacher at Luna Nova who gives a flying fuck about her — one Ms. Ursula (who of course is actually the not-very-well-hidden Shiny Chariot) — and she is taught that Chariot's found wand has the power to save magic in this world (which is slowly dwindling away because science in this world is so much more powerful). But the wand can only work if its wielder gives more than just a single shit, and she can find the seven magic words to unlock it. Guess what Akko does... Well, other than act like a whiny prat for 25 episodes of idiocy, and pretty much fail at every spell that she tries to cast, she does in fact find the seven words and "save" magic, even though NOBODY else in this universe cares, except the 50 or so witchy faculty and students at this lame school.
Seriously, all the normal townsfolk, the politicians, and everybody outside of the walls of the witch school has an outright disdain for magic. And they've proven over and over again in this production that science and mechanical devices are just as useful, if not MORE so, than the ways of the devil-worshiping harlots at this school. And hell, two of the most impressive witches who are at the magic school use science and technology more than spells. Magic is dead, and the Luna Novarians should have just let it fade away... Tradition is something that only exists when it serves a purpose. The writers failed to even make the viewer root for magic's salvation in this tale. That's pretty shitty storytelling there.
Other than the "been there, done that" narrative, and the dumb and useless main character, is there anything else I want to comment on? Yes. Yes there is. The animation quality for this series is ATTROCIOUS for the most part. After the high standard of Kill La Kill's animation, as well as the LWA mini-movies, I was expecting something equivalent here, but instead, I'd say 22 out of the 25 installments looked like they had half the average budget of an early 2000's shitty Flash-animated series' episode. And half of that was blown on hookers. The character designs are off much more than they're "on," the animation is choppy as fuck when people and objects do in fact move, overall there's very little definition in character designs in most scenes, and the color palette for a show about a magic high school is laughably droll and blah.
Little Witch Academia is more or less a kids' show, true, but that doesn't mean it should be cheaply produced and lamely told. Hell, the two mini-movies that preceded the series were everything I wanted in a Harry Potter ripoff! They actually got me excited for the prospect of this series. But the final result was bad. Not "alright," just bad. I was very disappointed and only completed this thing because I hoped that Studio Trigger would pull a rabbit out of its hat before the final credits rolled. They did not. They in fact only pulled out a dried piece of rabbit shit instead, after the furry beast bolted without them knowing.
Little Witch Academia is like Harry Potter-lite, yo, only with muuuuuuch stupider characters, no drama or excitement, and nothing really amazingly "magical" happing in it.
Come on, G! Why the hell did you even bother here? Why waste your time, Japanese animation studio? I mean, if you have the budget for a new TV series, why waste all that money on something that's already been done before, and like 20Xs better? I mean, I didn't think that Kill La Kill was the second coming of Tupac, holmes, but at least that shiznit was original.
I never saw this TV show, despite it even being on Netflix. I don't care for stories about witches. Not that I hate or fear the supernatural like a Christian with an agenda, I just find the use of magic as a storytelling device as weak. Add to that, I despise stories where kids are the main characters and they're either way wiser than their years should allow, or they're way stupider than kids normally are. By all accounts the characters in this witch show are dumber than Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson's love child. No thanks.