“Little Witch Academia” (2013) FILM REVIEW
Written by Jambareeqi
Posted 16th January 2018
“Little Witch Academia” is an anime short film from Studio Trigger, currently available to watch on Netflix. It’s set at a school for witches, centering on a clumsy witch called Akko, who ends up taking on the task of saving her school from a ferocious dragon.
This Short has not only inspired a kickstarted 55 minute film called “The Enchanted Parade”, but also a 25 episode series. A lot of hype has surrounded the franchise, so I thought I’d give the short that started it all a chance. Unfortunately, I didn’t think that this short gave much of an exciting first impression.
Yes, the animation is vibrantly colourful and fluidly bouncy, but I just couldn’t find what the narrative hook was supposed to be? There’s so many stories about witchcraft & wizardry schools out there, and this short seems to be riding on the novelty of it’s overdone premise alone. Of course, 100% originality isn’t always possible, but this short’s execution is just TOO uninspired to excuse it’s lack of uniqueness.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this short. It’s pretty cute for what it is, with a light hearted upbeat feel to it’s overall tone & style. Akko also makes for an energetically enthusiastic heroine, and she has a likable dynamic with her friends. Like I said too, it is very pretty to look at, and the animation is bursting with personality. It’s just hard to shake off how generic everything feels, and it’s unoriginality distracted me enough to make me lose interest in what was going on.
Now, this franchise has branched out into further chapters, and I’m sure that maybe these next episodes help the series find it’s footing. However, I’m sincerely surprised that this short garnered enough hype to be expanded into further installments, I fail to see what makes it so special? I get the feeling that the short grabbed people’s attention mainly for it’s stylistic animation, because everything else is very standard.
It’s not a bad short, by any stretch, but it did feel like I was treading extremely familiar grounds throughout the whole experience. I can’t say that it’s anything more than just “Okay”, which isn’t enough to kick off my interest in what’s ahead. So yeah, I’m honestly reluctant to see more of the franchise, because this short failed to live up to the hype, but we’ll see how I feel in the future.
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