Little Witch Academia Episode 11: Story!

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This episode makes me happy because it makes me think I can finally stop complaining about this show. The episode finally introduced the underlying plot of this series, which I guess ultimately boils down to unlocking the seven seals (with the twist being that Akko doesn’t realize she’s doing this). The episode also kinda showcases how far Akko has come along since the start of the series, and while I that’s okay, I still think that other characters deserve some attention too.

So based on what we saw in this episode, I’m thinking that magic used to be a big deal until some people took the spells too far, prompting the Nine Witches to seal away the world-changing magic and force the decline of magic so it could never happen again. That doesn’t explain why the professors in Luna Nova don’t know what’s happening, though. Unless that happened a long time ago or it was done in secret from even the magic community. We’ll see how this goes, but hopefully it’s all uphill from here.

This was actually kinda impressive for Akko. Still, it looked like Akko was directing the recreation of the statue, so I would hesitate to call it “restoration”.

That reminds me. Does this school have a system for “years” or “grades” or is everyone conveniently the same age? Or maybe they just start at different times?

Appropriate response.

What do you mean “also”? Wait…are you saying that Shiny Chariot is currently a professor?

Me too…

So mysterious…what will Diana learn? Honestly, I’m mostly distracted by the fact that there’s a star-shaped impression in the moon in this scene.

Okay, now you have my attention. This is either the reason that magic is declining or the way to bring it back. The big question here is…why did they seal it?

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a quest. Now we just have to release the seven seals and the Chosen can revive the goddess.

Well, the card did say “apparitions”.

I was with you for a second, but now I’m convinced this is a trap.

Yeesh…finally Akko rejects the shortcut and walks her own path.

Phew, these flashes were way too fast. Still, I’m assuming these are hints at the tragedy that befell magic? Or maybe they’re supposed to represent the future? That’s what the portal was meant to show, after all.

Rewrite Episode 23: The killing machine

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The series still feels like missing information, but it seems to be building to an interesting end. I’m not sure if we’ll see some kind of explanation in the final episode to clear things up, but I’m not sure I can stand behind this new version of Kotarou. He had a lot of moments that seemed smart in this episode and a lot of other moments in the episode that just felt lucky.

I guess the pink one is not for sale.

Interesting that Kagari seems to be listening to what Koutarou said about not killing the monsters despite being upset with him. He’s also killing the summoners, so the attention is being drawn to her anyway.

I love it when a plan comes togeth- oh crap, it failed.

I’ve heard it mentioned before that Guardian was set up better in the visual novel as having their own issues which make them an equally questionable organization to Gaia. However, there’s no similar background in the anime, so this looks like Kotarou mercilessly killing a guy just because he’s a threat to Kagari. Who knows? Maybe he’s just that desperate to save Kagari.

Oh…I guess that guy’s dead now. Moving on?

This just got really Interstellar for some reason. Also, am I supposed to get the sense that Kagari is broken right now? She’s supposed to be a personification of Earth, right? Why would she advocate leaving Earth behind? Or maybe this is her subtle way of saying “get out of my house, humans”.

This explains a lot.

Also, another cameo, I presume?

There’s a different angle that shows the full stack of hands in a second, but from this angle, it looks like Kotarou is having a private comrade moment with his loli heroines while the other two are doing something else above them. Also, Shizuru’s hand is larger than Lucia’s…for some reason.

Hmm…is Kotarou purposely throwing away his connections because he’s planning to sacrifice himself for Kagari or did his Rewrites in this episode cause him to lose a bit of his humanity? Hard to say with this scene, but poor Kotori, I guess.

This is kind of a mediocre battle scene…

Aww…I guess Esaka is just dead now?

Youjo Senki Episode 10: Victory!

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Alright, time for one last battle, right? Given that most of the magic battles so far have involved Tanya running into an entire unit by herself, it’ll be interesting to see her fight against someone of equal strength. Looking forward to that. I’m still wondering how this series will end, though. It looks like it’s building to an actual ending with the defeat of Anson (or whatever his name is) securing the victory for the Empire. But the general lack of Being X cameos so far makes me wonder if there should be more to an ending for this show than that. Plus, there are rumors of a second season…

Wait, they have magic camouflage? Use that more!

I’m assuming this scene is meant to convey the fact that this guy trusts that Tanya will succeed and bring the war to an end, ignoring the concerns of everyone else at the table. I’m still not good with these “big wig” meetings.

Wow…they won that with relatively little fanfare. Fair enough.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that B was the communications headquarters and C was an ammo depot, but Tanya’s site was an abandoned facility. Way to contribute to the team, Tanya.

So now what? Now that the Empire has destroyed the Republic headquarters, I’m assuming this battle at Rhine is to mop up the remaining forces.

Spoken like someone who’s asking to die.

Nah…just a coincidence of an explosion.

Well, when you put on the map like that, it seems so simple!

I don’t actually mind this one. The visual aid helps and unlike the previous one, it comes with a decent explanation.

Celebrating in a show like this? That’s not allowed!

Holy crap…the Empire has flamethrowers too? Talk about focusing tech first, am I right?

No, not that guy! He had a conscience! Or something…

Also, this guy clearly had the jump on the main characters and he takes out some random guy on the right flank. He knows who the boss is, doesn’t he?

Okay, maybe Grantz is fine. They wouldn’t kill him after showing us this, right?

Little Witch Academia Episode 10: Not the bees!

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Honestly, I thought I’d be put off by the love spell concept of this episode, but it wasn’t bad overall. I admit that the bee was going a little bit overboard with the stings, but I think the interactions between the characters in this episode were generally solid. Andrew gets a decent introduction despite being arguably a side character and surprisingly Lotte gets a bit of extra character too in her interaction with Frank. Still, you have to admit that Andrew’s kind of an overused character type.

About a minute of this episode has gone by and I’m still stuck staring at this ice cream cone. That top scoop looks like it’s floating on nothing right now.

Really not being coy about the Cinderella reference, huh? More importantly, I understand that this is the only important shop in this series, but are there really no clothing stores in this area?

The shopkeeper mentions a Snow White set as well, but we’ll pretend like we didn’t hear that. It’s probably not important.

Cool, now I can pitch my squirrel army idea.

This is some excellent logic. Treat me like a guest because I’m here now! It doesn’t matter that I wasn’t invited!

Sucy releases this bee in the middle of a crowded room and it flies directly to Andrew…because the plot demands it!

Also, a bee normally uses its stinger as a defense mechanism…but whatever, magic bees. *grumble grumble*

Why does that matter at this point?

Yeah, but why, though? Because you can’t control them? Because they cause harm to the world with their practice?

Really thinking highly of yourself, huh Andrew? Also, this guy gets more characterization than most of the girls at the academy…go figure.

Come on, Akko…he hasn’t been drooling over you in this entire conversation.

You expect me to believe that in a room full of rich people who probably never go outdoors, no one freaks out that there’s a bee loose in the room?

Haha okay that was pretty funny.

Well this is a nice moment.

Rewrite Episode 22: Solving the world’s problems with tanks

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I’m intrigued by this episode, but also uncertain. On the one hand, it introduces the limits of Kotarou’s devotion to the mission. He doesn’t have grand delusions of saving the world and therefore inevitably runs into issues when he’s confront with pressing moral decisions. On the other hand, he’s kinda screwing the world over…a little bit. And I certainly wasn’t expecting a confession in this episode.

Meeting the big bad?

Maybe I’m just being crazy, but what’s that stuff in the bottom right? It looks like it’s a real photo that got pasted in the anime world for some reason.

Also, 3 guesses who this monster is…

Haha that was a good one. The pity headpat from Kotarou makes it even better.

Given that Kagari is being really impatient about taking down Guardian and Gaia, I’m questioning the roles for the loli heroines in this series. Are they just here as cameos or do they have purposes? I can see Kotori and Akane having roles in the story, but I’m not so sure with the others.

If Kotarou had a recording of the interview with Kashima Sakura, why did he consider resisting when accused by Suzaki? Was it just because the full tape was too damning and he didn’t think he could get away with just playing an excerpt? I would have preferred to see a little more of a mixed reaction from Suzaki when listening to the tape rather than just switching to trusting Kotarou completely.

Well, that’s one way to go about it. I’m actually a bit skeptical about these magic words, but maybe that’s just me.

Finally figuring this out, Kotarou?

We call that “hyperbolic discounting”.

Ugh…did we really have to use this wording for the translation? Is this closer to the Japanese version? Because it seems like we could have very easily said “Suzaki already has the other executives on his side” or “in his pocket” rather than evoking the brief image of Suzaki literally in bed with each of these executives.

Well, that plan failed spectacularly.

Oh…okay then. That escalated (and de-escalated?) quickly.

Ouch…rejected.

Youjo Senki Episode 9: No one expects the potato

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Well, this episode certainly makes it seem like we’re heading into the final battle. What better way to do it than launching our main characters into the middle of enemy territory in a missile, right? Anyway, still got plenty of time for the operation to go wrong, a cameo from our recurring villain guy, and some more Being X trolling. Should be fun, right?

I’m curious whether the series actually reaches a resolution. We could get the standard “this is only the beginning” ending, an ending where the war is over but Tanya still has more turmoil ahead before “defeating” Being X, or just a nice, satisfying resolution to everything. Is it sad that I’ve been conditioned to think that last option is ridiculous?

Oh yeah…I totally remember this guy. Also, telling Tanya stuff is always safe, right?

Pretty deep, dude. I should probably hold my criticism of this discussion because, as they say, it’s the first time they’re dealing with a world-scale war.

Something I’ve been wondering for a while now is whether the shields the mages use are constantly on or activated when needed. It feels like most situations where they are used are ones where it would be impossible to react in time, which means they’re likely just active in general. If that’s the case, though, then it makes their situation significantly less dire than that of most soldiers. Would be nice to get a brief explanation on that one, but maybe that’s just me.

You mean the human faces he uses to talk or the nutcracker?

Hasn’t this girl learned not to try and see Tanya’s actions in a positive light?

Stand back! He’s going to try science!

Apparently V1 missiles were a WWII technology. Truly a blessed message from Being X, huh?

Spoken like a good engineer. Control? We don’t need control! Just go straight at them!

I guess this means they’re taking the bait?

So no pressure or anything.

Wait…that’s your end game, Tanya?

Yeah, that’s the voice I would use when reading that letter too.

Little Witch Academia Episode 9: Pirates!

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Meh…overall, not an interesting episode. I know I’ve had my complaints, but I’ve generally appreciated the themes in this series. For this week’s episode, even that felt missing, to the point where we just got an extended explanation of the headmistress’s past through a chase scene.

Where has this headmistress been this whole time? Also, shoe on head.

Akko decides that it would be a good idea to use magic to solve her problems rather than just…putting the headstones back? It’s not like they could have cracked the headstone or anything…

Yup, we just needed a ridiculous reason to have a zombie. Random side note: the amount of brain this skeleton seems to have is incredibly unlikely.

Somehow the secret of magic has survived generations of witches like this.

Haha Sucy in the background is amazing.

Do police officers really allow senile elderly citizens go rampant with a weapon as long as a family member is present? I feel considerably less safe.

Again…really hard to believe this.

So…green hair means Miranda is probably the headmistress, right?

You mean the staff they showed us at the beginning of the episode?

Gasp!

Remember when Akko said she’d stop taking shortcuts? That was nice…

Oi Lotte. That’s my job.

Rewrite Episode 21: Super agent

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Overall, I have fewer complaints with this episode than the previous one. Setting up Kotarou to be the double agent within Guardian and Gaia sounds like it’s going to be fun. And I like this version of Kotarou who seems to know what he’s doing. That being said, the one issue I have with what was introduced in this episode is this concept of re-evolution. What exactly is humanity depleting that would prevent new life from evolving if humanity were annihilated? Sure, the annihilation of humanity isn’t in our best interest, but I don’t see why life on Earth as a whole would be ruined.

I can tell whether this is a misconception on the younger Kotarou’s intentions (in which case, it’s hilarious) or some incorporation of the information from the Moon Kagari.

So, make Kagari happy or the world is destroyed forever? Kagari is surprisingly needy.

Some things never change.

Haha I can’t stop laughing at this one.

Oh hey…I guess we’re now fighting against both Guardian and Gaia.

Human souls are corrupted by default? Where have I heard this before?

Also, Kotarou mentions that his personality made him perfect for infiltrating Gaia, which begs the question of why he didn’t originally join them. Was it just because he was upset with his parents?

Aww…Kotarou has a new pet rock.

LEEEEEROOOOOOOOOOY JEEEN-

Kagari goes from insulting Kotarou to listening to him pretty quickly.

Oh hey…it’s Kotari again.

Yelling this at a middle school student…real smart, Kotarou.

Good job, dude.

Youjo Senki Episode 8: War sucks

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So I guess this episode is where the dissent begins? Anyway, I think it’s easy to get on Tanya’s case about the paper subverting the law on bombarding cities and her refusal to disobey the order to take out the mages defending the civilians on the battlefield. But I refuse to believe that the Republic wasn’t using the civilians as a shield. They are equally culpable for sending them into the line of fire.

I wonder if I’m being too charitable with Tanya, but I think that there’s complexity with the concept of evil and I think it’s too easy to write someone off as evil and stop thinking about it. There’s a structure to the way Tanya approaches problems. But eh…maybe I’m just a bad person.

Oh we’re back at Rhine?

Yeah…she’s really impressive (what has she been doing again?).

Okay, I admit I had to rewatch this a few times to get it, but I think they’re purposely dancing around saying that civilians will be eliminated if they’re in the way. It’s why they make a big deal out of fighting in a city and why the officer asks “who would want to be a soldier”.

Well, maybe if you use the loli announcer voice again.

This fight is…kinda awesome.

This isn’t too bad. Weiss gives the doubtful soldier some validation in his opinion of the operation while also removing himself from the battlefield to give the soldier room to act.

Yes…protect…we must protect.

Just following orders, right?

Is this the part where the other soldiers start doubting Tanya or becoming more like her? Hard to say.

All according to plan, huh?

Well, this isn’t too surprising. Recurring antagonist is back!

Little Witch Academia Episode 8: Some bad ideas

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I guess the gist of this episode is impulse control. Our brains are powerful and can handle many thoughts behind the scenes, but if we pursued any random idea we had, we’re acting on impulse and can very easily make mistakes. Basically, the idea is that the rational portion of our brain is the sum of all of these thoughts evaluated against our own experiences.

It ends up being an interesting episode from a neuroscience point of view, but I think it assumes that the rational brain has more control than it does. The episode seemed to suggest that the rational mind had to be incapacitated (asleep) in order for these ideas to take hold, which isn’t necessarily the case.

Still, I have raise my usual complaint. For an episode that was meant to be focused on Sucy, it didn’t feel like we learned much about her other than the fact that she still considers meeting Akko to be an important memory. Most of the other stuff going on in her head could have easily been applied to anyone. Maybe that means the episode was more theme-focused rather than character-focused? I’m not good at this stuff.

Sucy has some really grand aspirations. I can respect that.

The transition from night to day here was both unexpected and hilarious. I love seeing stuff like this. Also, I hate that feeling when you want to trust that you did it right, but you don’t want to suffer the consequences if you messed up…

Suspended for a week for ordering pizza? That’s not even an experiment! These teachers are monsters!

“I volunteer as tribute!” Wait…that’s the wrong show.

So…how exactly does doing Sucy’s laundry and carrying her books help these two anyway? That’s still just a benefit for the original, right?

This actually happens. The human brain is really good at handling thoughts like this behind the scenes without the rational part of the brain (the original Sucy) realizing it. So right now, your brain is murdering little Sucys and you’ll never know them…

They’re making a really big deal about not showing this Sucy’s intentions…so she’s clearly evil.

Quality comedy.

Oops…good job, Akko. As always…

Wow, she really went full Maleficent. I guess we’re taking this Sleeping Beauty reference all the way.

Taking it all the way…

I feel like I missed something.