Anime, Other, Show

“Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade” is enchanting in a different way

Yeah, so this whole blogging while I have a full-time job during the day that involves a ton of writing may not be my best idea. I’ve been at this job for a total of three days, and I’m exhausted. I’m enjoying my new job, and I love my new apartment but adulting definitely isn’t easy.

But, because I love doing this and I promised here’s my view on Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade (erroneously referred to as Enchanted Parade in previous posts because I didn’t double check.)

The short opens with our main three: Akko, Sucy and Lotte learning Fusion Magic, during which Akko and Sucy begin to argue and accidental create a giant mushroom/brownie hybrid which destroys the class.

As punishment, the girls are assigned to organize the annual witch parade held in the village next door. The only issue is that the parade is focused around the mockery of witches based on outdated stereotypes, rather than celebrating them. The townsfolks love it, the Luna Nova students less so.

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Left to right: Constanze, Amanda and Jasminka

They are teamed up with another trio: Amanda O’Neill who has a penchant for stealing the school’s treasures, Constanze who sneaks in, creates and sells high-tech gizmos infused with magic, and Jasminka who simply sneaks in food during class. Their mischief is played with a lot more intent, but they’re perfectly nice to the main characters and talented witches, though not very happy with the assignment, but they’re willing to do the work. Which is better than how most school projects go.

Planning the parade causes the rift between the main three to grow. Akko has one idea with how the parade should go, but the others disagree. This ends with Akko then getting into a fight with Lotte after she accidentally rips Lotte’s copy of a special song passed down through generations of witches from her town.

So now, Akko has neither Lotte or Sucy on her side. And things get even worse.

Akko and the other girls get teased by village boys for their witch heritage and are pelted with tomatoes. In hindsight, it’s…kind of disturbing considering it’s played for laughs.

Then the town’s mayor decides to destroy an ancient seal, which lets giant loose just in time for the fairly impressive parade. And it’s up to the girls and Shiny Chariot to save the day, without letting the village audience on to the truth.

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With the giant defeated, a playful fight ensues

In the end, the short ends up being really, pretty good. Everything comes into play. And it never feels too busy. It’s perfectly paced, without feeling too on-the-nose or coincidental and its helped by having Shiny Chariot herself, as such a great showwoman.

Compared to the original short, there is a more to this OVA. There’s plot, conflict and a bit of character development. It gives me a lot of hope for the series because it shows that the team is more than capable of handling a story on a larger scale, while keeping everything balanced and well paced.

While the second trio never gets an arc or much characterization, I don’t think they need it. They’re secondary and their schticks are never too played out. And they play important roles in the final battle

The thing about this OVA is that until re-watching it for this review, I never realized how much I enjoyed the exaggerated expressions and movements. They don’t feel out of place in the whimsical setting .

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The friends make up

The other thing I never really noticed was how it treated the oppression of witches and preservation of culture. Yes, it’s mostly played for humor but there’s a definite undercurrent of uneasiness. Diana hates the parade, as does Akko,

However, they both have very different views on magic: Diana sees it as a tool and an inherent part of her being, she hates it seeing used for frivolous activities. Magic for her is a tool and a way of her finding power and prestige in a world that doesn’t like her.  Akko sees magic as part of being as well, but wants to share it and celebrate with everyone by performing. She didn’t grow up with it, and respects it, but doesn’t see why she can’t change it and use it for fun.

Lotte even has her moment when she sings the song that was passed down from witch to witch in her small village. It’s beautiful, and a simple haunting song. It’s exactly what you would expect from an old ancient song. It’s great that Lotte still has the song itself even after her scroll gets ripped.

It’s interesting how the short introduces these complex concepts and actually does quite a bit with them without it being terribly shoved into the viewers’ face and mind. It just kind of presents them as background to the issues, but it’s definitely interesting and a concept I hope to see more of in the series.

It’s something I probably wouldn’t normally notice, but things have been odd and with all the events happening in the world. There’s a lot happening and this could be somewhat relevant to the vast cultural shifts our country is undergoing right now.

Or I could be reading too much into it. Who knows?

I can’t wait to watch it.

And for now, that’s the scoop.

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Score: 9/10

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If you enjoyed this review read: Go forth and watch Amazon Prime’s “Lost in Oz”

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Release Date: 2015

Length: 55 minutes

Available: Netflix

Director: Yoh Yoshinari

Producer: Naoko Tsutsumi

Writer: Masahiko Otsuka

Voice Actors: Megumi Han, Fumiko Orikasa, Michiyo Murase, Yoko Hikasa, Arisa Shida, Rie Murakawa, Reina Ueda, Noriko Hidaka

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