Luna Nova’s academic year continues and with exams around the corner, Akko willingly and boldly trudges onward, determined to overcome her shortcomings as a student of magic. This is a completely different Akko than we’ve seen before. While her determination was always prevalent, the inherent flaws in her self-absorbed approach have been exposed. No longer can she afford to ignore her lack of effort. After coming to startling revelation willingness alone is not enough to achieve your goals, she finds herself face-to-face with her lack of talent. And she’s every bit motivated to show Luna Nova she has something to offer.
Through Akko’s point-of-view, we get to experience first-hand what it means to work towards something. With exams around the corner, Akko studies hard, pays attention in class, and even takes notes on things people wouldn’t even ordinarily take notes on. For Akko, fun is just about the last thing on her mind—She wants to succeed at all costs.
But seemingly enough, nothing is changing for Akko (Well, at least on the surface). She hasn’t been able to keep up with the minimum that’s expected of her as a student: She can’t communicate with crows, she can’t make tea, and she can’t even use basic magic to open a window. Despite Akko’s best efforts to learn even the more mundane aspects of magic, the rest of Luna Nova wants to remind her she’s a talentless dunce that’s still failing all her classes. Continue reading “Little Witch Academia, Episode 7: Passion Counts”
March Comes in like a Lion’s episode this week comes to a head on Shimada’s match, but not before establishing the sacrifices he took to get there. While Shimada has long since decided the path he’d take at his proverbial fork in the road, the crushing weight of his past decision looms over him as residual feelings of regret. The exploration of these feelings through his dreams serve to enhance Shimada’s characterization while contextualizing his pain in a way that hits home for most people—a very simple, yet deeply humane fear of making the wrong decisions explored through the infinite world of ‘what if’ scenarios.
Through the introducing dream sequence of the episode, Shimada explores the ‘what if’ of the path he didn’t choose. As his ex-girlfriend beckons him over with a child in hand, Shimada comes to the startling realization he is in fact dreaming. That his hometown, his friends and family, his ex-girlfriend and any possible future with her, were all thrown to the wayside for the sake of an uncertain future. Everything about his dream—the hauntingly beautiful sunset, the bittersweet guitar melody, and Shimada’s sad monologue—evokes a sense of the harrowing death of a world unexplored. Continue reading “March Comes in like a Lion, Episode 20: The Harrowing Death of A World Unexplored”
March Comes in like a Lion’s shift of focus this week was on Shimada, whose narration reintroduces him as a complex character driven by simple but firm beliefs. In the past, we’ve seen glimpses of his drive: despite his aloof exterior, there’s a fiery passion within him that’s set ablaze by competition. What we hadn’t seen just yet was his reasons for being so.
We’ve been led to believe that’s just the way he is. However, his inner dialogue uncovers that there’s something even deeper and more fundamental to his character that keeps him going—his attachment to his home town and the people that have come to encourage him along the way. While competition is the vehicle for his passion, his love for his hometown is the fuel that pushes him forward.
Shimada is a character who values his connections with people above all else. There’s a stark contrast between Shimada’s inner dialogue and the visuals that accompany it, highlighting how he truly feels about his past. The things he says about his hometown being boring and underpopulated lead you to think he doesn’t care about the place much. Despite the matter-of-fact tone present in his words, the washed edges of the visuals and the small clouds of steam interspersed among the scenes where he’s surrounded by the elders permeate the atmosphere of his past with a gentle warmth—the kind where you’re nestling into your favorite blanket on a winter day with a mug full of hot chocolate—and effectively confirm how fond he is of his village. Continue reading “March Comes in like a Lion, Episode 19: Shimada’s Past”