Little Witch Academia: Episode 2 Review

Little Witch Academia continues its bright path with impetus, further building upon its whimsical setting with hearty humor and good fun. This episode focused primarily upon establishing the inner workings of the Witch Academy with the charming dynamic of Kagari’s silly witch trio as they go about their studies. The start of the episode was great, giving us a snippet into what exactly their daily lives as witches entails. Kagari herself is faced with some major unexpected hurdles which put her resilience to the test. With the reveal of a new prodigious rival abound and unbelievably not-so-magical classes, Kagari had her work cut out for her. This episode was even better than the first (and I had thought that it already had set the bar high). Each scene pushed forward with cohesion, as if every individual part was working in perfect harmony, seamlessly blending from one transition to the next. 

The beginning moments of the episode was quite comedic, reveling in the silly interaction between the witch trio. Kagari wakes up gleefully as ever, reminiscing on the events of days past where she summoned magic with ease, even if it’s at the cost of Lotte’s sleeping time.  She quickly reaches under her bed to show her new precious item, Shiny Chariot’s Shiny Rod, safely tucked away under her bed. She desperately attempts to relive some of the sparkle from when she had successfully used the rod, but fails quite terribly. Poor Lotte and Sucy have to hear about her infatuation with the Shiny Rod she found for the hundredth time. Lotte is practically forced awake while we Sucy remains unfazed, hard at work and committed to her studies of deadly poison. Sucy stays true to her maniacal persona, laughing heinously as she uses one of her concoctions to crystallize a poor spider.

The morning scene wasn’t just there to entertain us. It purposefully and skillfully crafted their personalities while also hinting at the failures that are about to befall our beloved Kagari. Her inability to recall magic reoccurred at a later, more pivotal time in the episode. Kagari also misunderstood just how glamorous the witch school’s everyday life was. She was under the belief that the witch classes were filled with a fantastical every day, only to realize that she will have to power through the mundane basics to get to that point. Kagari isn’t a talented which by any means; she’s clumsily falling behind her classes as she struggles to understand things such as magic linguistics, magic pharmaceutics, and magic numerology. There was also a hilarious moment of seeing Sucy play with Kagari, who snores away in the middle of class. Sucy drops some mysterious chemical in her hair to turn put a plant on her head. The consistency of the joke was what made it hilarious. It actually stayed on the screen for the next three scenes.

As if it wasn’t enough on her plate, Kagari was introduced to her prodigious rival, Diane. The girl was brilliant by every definition of the word, excelling in every facet of Academia. She could pronounce all the things Kagari could not, she came from a long line of witches spanning over a millennia, and she even had starry-eyed admirers. Seriously, this girl had her own goon squad at her beck and calling, repeating her every word. To add insult to injury, Diane tarnished Shiny Chariot’s name which lit a flame within Kagari to prove her wrong. Kagari absolutely had to defend her idol’s name. What followed was a bit sad to watch and we kinda saw what was coming next, but it was overall necessary for her character. Kagari tried to summon magic in front of everyone with the rod to disprove Diane of Shiny Chariot’s ineptitude as a witch, but she failed again.

Altogether, it was necessary for her character to struggle to make her more compelling. In life, its often the case that the road you choose to reach your goals isn’t as glamorous as you initially think it is. There will always be setbacks along the way – whether that’s physical or mental. For Kagari, her limitations are within both realms. She’s a human that wants to be a witch, so her magical skills are definitely lacking but she’s also seemingly a slacker. A double whammy that will undoubtedly manifest difficulties on her journey to reaching the level she dreams of. Her failure to summon magic the second time showcased this. She made an utter fool of herself in front of the entire student body and she only had her incompetence to blame. Diane ended up using magic to do what Kagari couldn’t do and basked in the glory that should’ve been Kagari’s. Normally, anyone would take this failure and sulk into a deep bottomless pit. Kagari on the other hand bounced back in gleaming fashion (with the help of her friends, of course). Kagari’s resilience as a character combined with her optimism and naivety make her an extremely magnetic character.

Which inevitably leads to how the episode wrapped up in all its magical glory. Diane attempted to resurrect a magical tree that no one else in the school could, only to see some weird mystical shells surface from it. She mistakenly interprets the tree to be corrupted in some form, so she prepares to eradicate it. This is when Kagari swoops in after being cheered up by Lotte and Sucy, connecting all the dots. Her character is not as foolish as she was made out to be. She knew that those shells were actually the larvae of a legendary butterfly. She takes Diane’s magic head-on to protect these larvae and attempts the impossible: she tries to use the shiny rod again, but this time using the aid of her friends and her trusty cards to use Shiny Chariot’s spell to summon the Butterflies. Diane ends up fixing her pronunciation and the spell succeeds.

The episode didn’t miss a beat. Everything came together at the end, showing the purpose behind every scene that led up to her bringing these butterflies to life. More wonderful characters were introduced and explored to reveal their unexpectedly underlying complexities. Sucy remained the consistently diabolical witch she has always been, but revealed a compassionate side when Kagari vented to her and Lotte. Lotte stayed consistent to her dorky theme, earnestly taking notes in class, but also shared in helping Kagari keep her optimism. Watching them innocently play card games together to cheer Kagari up filled me with utter joy. The introduction of Diane served to push the boundaries of Kagari’s character, while also fleshing her out as an appealing person. She wasn’t a one-dimensional rival, despite following the prodigious trope. She displayed that wasn’t okay with taking credit with Kagari’s revival of the butterflies. Altogether, the characters and their personalities came together well to give us more of the fun that we came to expect from the first episode, while also revealing a larger overarching narrative by setting in motion mysteries that surround this magical world. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next time!

 

— Palpable ヽ(´▽`)/

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