Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 3: Something about clothes

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Okay, I think I’ve been approaching this series incorrectly. In the first episode, I didn’t want to say that I got the feeling that this series was a lot like Spice and Wolf because I wasn’t sure yet, but I think the combination of the first three episodes has convinced me enough. It’s a similar concept where there’s a clear goal in mind for the two main characters and they travel together to reach it, but each episode doesn’t really give you much of a sense that they’re making progress. Instead, the series focuses more on what’s going on in the places they visit, except in this case it’s more socially-focused rather than economically-focused. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad, but it’s different than what I expected. In fact, it’s arguably a good sign if I’m getting the same sense.

Uh huh, sure. So is this episode Mercenary-focused or are these introductions just random?

An entire introduction about the beastfallen and no mention that there are types. Or is this guy asking about the species of animal? If so, he’s too blind to be doing his job.

I’m actually going to side with Zero on this one. Claiming that the witches are Mercenary’s slaves saves them on the admission cost, so it’s a practical idea. It’s kinda messed up that Mercernary hits her for it later.

Aww…Mercenary’s such a good guy. In case you haven’t already figured it out. I’m not sure this was needed.

Goal!

I was completely expecting there to be some hidden value in the old outfit or something. This guy’s thirst was a bit too suspicious…but it turns out he was just being horny. Go figure.

Surprisingly, Zero answers “yes” to this. I’m assuming it’s meant to highlight her intense naivety because the alternative is that this is put here just to tell the audience about this beastfallen attribute. And they wouldn’t do that, right? Of course, this conversation is immediately followed by a scene showing a beastfallen that looked a lot like he was going to eat a human, so who knows?

Sorry, I have to nitpick here. While this is a funny gag and all, it’s clearly here just to be a gag. It’s barely dark in the scene before this and the next scene is the group going down to eat dinner. If they had forced Albus to eat while tied up, then it might have had some continuity, but as it stands, it makes no sense to tie him up at this time.

This is new.

While I don’t doubt that someone who hates witches as much as Mercenary does would know how to identify a witch, I’m curious how that works. What are the identifiers of a witch? I kinda doubt we’ll get any explanation, but I’m still curious.

I honestly expected more from this fight given how much they hyped it up. When you break it down, Mercenary mostly stood still while the other guy was quipping.

Okay, I’m guessing that this face just means that Zero will sleep on Mercenary again, but holy crap that face looks really dangerous.

Bit of an overreaction, don’t you think?

Little Witch Academia Episode 15: Quest received

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

As I’ve said before, I find this series more interesting when there’s a story behind the episode. The fight in this episode was also pretty cool even if it did look a little strange (might have just been me). Anyway, it seems like we finally know what we’re trying to accomplish…Grand Triskelion is intended to initiate a resurgence for magic. However, I’m hoping there’s something deeper going on there…that it isn’t as simple as breaking the seal.

So magic is like the internet now? I guess they did have witch Skype and witch Wikipedia in previous episodes. That being said, the leyline routers only allow access to magic more freely without the Sorcerer’s Stone, so it wouldn’t change the fact that Akko can’t ride a broom.

Please tell me Diana figures it out. Someone has to figure it out…

Okay, buddy. If you’re gonna spout lines like this, I’m gonna need you to explain how magic and science are different as they are now. If magic’s main difference is that it can break the rules of the physical world, then that hasn’t changed.

These parallels between Shiny Chariot/Croix and Akko/Diana are legitimately painful to watch. I get it already…

Even though I know where this is going, I’m actually fine with it. We might actually get to learn something interesting…

Yup, I’m with you so far.

Oh hey, an actual magic fight for once. This is actually pretty cool.

Oh right, the world reconstruction magic. I vaguely remember Diana reading about that earlier. Is it really just going to be a plot device? I thought they’d actually use it to stop the decline of magic, but this makes it seem like it’s just the thing Croix wants.

Ah, fansubs. Never change.

Uhh…

So, it sounds like Grand Triskelion is meant to be used to revive the Great Kharlan Tree…err Yggdrasil. Seems straightforward enough, but it begs the question of why the magic was sealed up in the first place. I’m hoping it’s because of something more interesting than “no one should be able to control that magic simply”. I mean…I’m okay if that’s the reason, but there should be more reasoning behind it than “because we say so”.

Recap!

Aww…why not just tell her, Ursula?

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 2: Old memes

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

I’m still not totally sold on this show. I’m trying to figure out what it is, but something about this show isn’t working for me. That being said, I thought that the fact that this episode presented humans and witches as equally irrational in their decisions was a plus for the episode. Since it seems to be pushing the idea of having humans and witches live in harmony, it’s nice to see these parallels being drawn when showing the humans negatively reacting to Sorena’s magic and the witches reacting similarly to Sorena’s death.

Can someone explain to me why there are so many sword clangs in the background of this image showing showing a battle between knights and staff-wielding mages?

We found the book! Series over!

Zero seems to know who Albus is talking about here, which makes me pretty certain that he’s talking about Thirteen. Is the pronoun game here supposed to indicate how much Albus worships Thirteen? Because it doesn’t come across very well.

The delivery of this joke is so random. Albus goes from finding a magic ring to getting shown up by Zero when he can’t sense its magical energy to deciding he’s not strong enough and needs Mercenary’s head. Seems like a long walk to make that joke.

Hey, why does this guy get to make references when I can’t? This is totally unfair…

These guys went from “there have been multiple thefts recently” straight to “these newcomers are totally suspicious”. Why would a group of thieves be just now arriving at the village if they’ve been stealing from it for days?

They’ve actually got a good point here. It actually reminds me of a recent political issue.

I feel like this conversation is almost trying to call into attention that it’s supposed to be thought-provoking. I’m not sure if I’m just being crazy.

But…why is this a problem? Do these knight detect excessive usage of magic? I would think that they’re constantly searching for witches, so using magic like this wouldn’t change things. And if Zero’s as important as she says she is, they’re probably especially searching for her.

I get the feeling that this is going to be important later. I should remember this line.

To be fair, the villagers don’t consider that business with Sorena to be a mistake.

Little Witch Academia Episode 14: Workers unite!

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Sorry to say, but once again, this episode strikes me as a strange choice of priorities. The class struggle between the faeries and the witches was an interesting conversation, but it was ultimately a backdrop for introducing a “villain” to the series. Also, the scenario in this episode seems like it would have been perfect for Lotte because of its focus on faeries, and yet she only gets a couple of minor translation moments. I agree that Akko makes more sense to join the strike, but Lotte could have done so much more to mediate the two sides.

And I’m ultimately annoyed with Croix. Her message seems like the correct way to move forward, bringing magic into the modern age, but it seems like she’s going to be demonized overall. I mean, I’m all for proper research and safety evaluation for new technologies, but the Luna Nova professors cling so hard to their traditions and this episode makes them look so justified…

Weekly reminder that Akko is reviving the legendary words. The song in the background isn’t bad, though.

Given that the new opening animation heavily displays a purple-haired student who seems to be a rival character for Ursula/Shiny Chariot, I sure wonder who this new professor could be…

Uhh…that’s new.

Okay, two things. First off, is “per diem” a common phrase? It seems overly fancy. And more importantly, I see available energy on the right, so this professor’s argument is completely invalid.

Uhh…this is a Roomba. And with the gadgets she used to save Akko, I was completely expecting to see Constanze instead. Just how are they different?

Haha I should have expected this.

Is that ten percent of the total energy output or ten percent of their current energy allotment? Honestly, either seems reasonable, but you might want to tighten up your language if you’re in a union.

I understand that this is supposed to sound like a commercial, but holy crap…

So now the sneaky guy is framing the witches? Isn’t this adding a bit too much to this episode? You’re effectively creating an artificial bad guy in a legitimate argument to make it easier for the situation to be resolved without addressing the issue.

Wait, machine? There’s no way that’s a coincidence, right?

They revealed this much more quickly than I was expecting. I was going to preface this post by saying “this episode only gets saved if Croix turns out to be the one behind the incident”. It’s kind of a shame, though. Her approach to magic seems interesting, but it’s going to be overshadowed by this. I’m assuming that her technology has some huge drawbacks (like maybe permanently reducing the output of the leylines) that she was hiding.

So did the other professors just not tell Ursula who the new professor was? It seems like something they would discuss as a group. I get what they’re trying to do here…Ursula’s probably the only one who knows about the dark side of Croix and this is supposed to be dramatic, but it doesn’t make sense.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho First Impressions (1): Nice and cuddly?

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

So I’m not too sure about this series yet. This first episode was interesting for many reasons, like a system of magic that may actually be following some rules and a fun main character combination (those scenes in the ending theme were pretty funny). But nothing in particular has really grabbed my attention yet in this premiere. Still, the series looks like it could be fun, so I’m willing to keep watching to see where it goes.

It’s really weird to start the series with a big prologue about how witches are persecuted in this world and then immediately cut to discrimination against beastfolk (or I guess beastfallen). I get that the heroine is probably a witch, but it still feels like they’re trying to force some kind of “it could be worse” message.

I don’t think this is how blood works, but I’ve never actually tested it for real, so…sure? I should get on that…

Yup, this is how we set up that this guy doesn’t like witches right before he runs into the female lead, who is probably also a witch. Never mind the fact that he’s probably been mostly mistreated by mundane humans his entire life.

Alright fine. I’m a sucker for comedy like this.

Well, she accepted his beast form, so I guess they’re friends now? Strange that this is the first such encounter given that it sounds like most witches can see his “human face”. And more importantly, how exactly did witches create the beastfallen? It sounded like they have the beast appearance from birth. Cursed in the womb? Side effect of residual magic that created the original beastfallen?

You’re not making much sense here. It’s sounding a lot like this guy hates witches because he hates witches.

They’re such good friends now…

Also, does the beast guy really have any reason to believe this?

This is a common trope with witches…I can give points for having an actual reason not to give the main characters names. Plus, Zero is a pretty cool-sounding name.

These are some nice expressions.

So magic doesn’t require the summoning circle and produces more effective results? What’s the point of sorcery in that case? It sounds like the only drawback to magic is this “sacrifice” thing. I thought that meant sacrificing the demon, but it doesn’t seem to be the case…

Haha well that’s one way to counter a spell. Also, Albus has something in his hand when he’s casting…maybe magic requires material components? Zero seems fine without it, though.

So I guess they’re all friends now?

Little Witch Academia Episode 13: Performance

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Watching this show in a timely manner for once. I’m running out of stuff in the new season (I would have done Boku no Hero Academia, but half that episode was flashback). Anyway, this week’s episode was another one that I quite liked. All of my concerns from the previous episode were handled nicely. And Akko’s performance was a nice nod into how she’s trying to follow Shiny Chariot, but not copy her. Instead of performing at the same level, she takes advantage of her mistakes and turns the routine into a comedy routine.

This feels like a repeat of stuff from last week’s episode. Even this exact Sucy reaction.

So, I like the way Akko is thinking here, trying to challenge a tradition that most students would just follow unquestioningly. It fits her role as the “non-mage” entering the magic world and shaking up the foundation. However, her plan is a bit frustrating. I get that metamorphosis is all she’s been practicing, but I’m getting annoyed of her just copying Chariot.

This certainly is a random way to trigger some self-evaluation in Lotte, but I’ll take it?

The team is together!

School talent shows, right? Always like this…

Really pushing this “magic is art” thing, huh? Well, it seems to be the point of the festival, so I won’t push too much on it.

Urgh…I really want to analyze this. Given that Akko didn’t finish the incantation, she must have finished it while her head was engulfed. So, that would mean that she can either control where her center of mass is when the transformation happens (which seems advanced) or it always concentrates at her feet. The second option makes sense, I guess…it would mean that any transformation to a smaller creature doesn’t suspend you in the air.

I’m guessing this performance is pointed towards comedy in general, particularly at the same that “comedy is the lowest form of entertainment”. It explains why the professors call it vulgar in comparison to the other performances.

This feels like it could have been explained better, but I think the idea is that constantly inducing sorrow involves remembering the death of her friends? It really does seem like two unrelated things, though.

Haha why is Sucy tied up too?

We did it?

I’m good with this. It also makes Diana question herself if she ends up winning.

Wait, this was going into the background behind Ursula, right? Mysterious challenger?

Little Witch Academia Episode 12: Something about talent

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

This week’s episode was another tough one. I think the idea of it was “don’t get caught up in being someone else if it sacrifices fostering your own talents”. But as I’ll elaborate on below, I think an opportunity was missed in the themes that could have been used here. But anyway, I guess we’ve got the festival next week. Should be fun?

Also, this concept of “not comparing yourself with others” is a tough one for me because I’m not sure I’m completely on board. Sure, I would say that you shouldn’t waste time trying to become someone you’re not, but I don’t see a problem with seeing the places where you can improve in others.

Why do I get the feeling that Diana is doing most of the interesting things while Akko is bumbling about? She seems to have figured out the Shiny Wand here, which makes me wonder whether she will try to take matters into her own hands.

Uhh…progress, I guess?

But there are still like five choices left. Did every team go already? That means that there are some tasks left unassigned, right? This feels like a crappy system.

Oh, the sacrifices just get consumed by a giant blob? I saw the tentacles and thought this was going in a completely different direction.

Witchepedia!

Well, this is new. Does this mean we finally get to learn more about Diana?

While this is a fun gag and all, I think an opportunity is missed here. The mirror offers Akko a chance to see what it’s like to be “born with talent”, and yet Akko cannot do any of the amazing things that Diana can do. This is actually fine, though, because it would be a display of how much of Diana’s talent is a result of her own hard work, but I feel like this isn’t explored. For example, Akko could have noticed that she’s more proficient at the spells she has studied or something. Although, now that I think about it, what exactly does magic talent do for you?

The real Diana, despite not hearing the request from the other student, is able to jump in and correct the pose of the statue. How did she know what pose to give the statue? It sounded like it was based on a professor’s preference.

She’s not wrong. Akko not only got a simple role that even she could perform, but she’s also failing at fulfilling that role. It’s kinda sad…

This scene actually worries me. On its own, it’s a good scene because Akko is finally learning some humility. However, it gives me this nagging sensation that she’s going to become the Moonlit Witch because of some stupid technicality, which will undermine everything.

Wow, this is turning into a real quest. With real quest indicators…

This is a good sign.

Little Witch Academia Episode 11: Story!

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

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.

Little Witch Academia Episode 10: Not the bees!

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

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.

Little Witch Academia Episode 9: Pirates!

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

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.