Little Witch Academia Episode 24: Closing the loop

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I stand by my disappointment with how this story has gone, but I still think that this episode did a decent job of wrapping things up. I didn’t really have any issues with Chariot and Akko’s reconciliation. On the other side of things, I’m not sure how I feel about Croix turning into a redeemable character. I would have been more convinced if last week’s episode didn’t set her up as a perpetually jealous character who was sabotaging Chariot from the beginning. I guess I’m just not convinced. Anyway, we’ll see how everything goes next week.

I don’t doubt that improving magic with science is possible in a world with magic, but it’s still a pretty funny thing to say.

Wow…they even added a lightsaber hum. This scene went full Star Wars.

I’m so surprised about this entrance that I’m questioning why Chariot didn’t bring in the other professors earlier. Though based on her reaction to their entrance, Chariot probably didn’t call them here.

Despite a huge boost of energy from human emotion, Croix still needs to drain the leyline of its magic. It’s probably because it makes it harder for the other witches to stop her or because she needs even more energy, but we’ll save that for later explanation.

Also, how convenient that Akko and friends are in the leyline when the magic goes out, which put them in Arcturus Forest in the very first episode. It’s like we’re coming all the way back around.

I wasn’t expecting a physical object to represent the world reconstruction magic, but I guess it’s just a stick.

I would say something about this scene, but I’ve met people who think this way, so I really can’t complain.

The one time the big death machine doesn’t have a self-destruct sequence…

This might actually be interesting. At first, I assumed that the Noir Rod went crazy because it received too much negative emotion, but I wanted it to be linked with Croix’s own emotional instability. Since Chariot never once triggered the Fuel Spirit, she’s probably doing the same now. So the Noir Wand probably isn’t rebelling against its master. It’s targeting another source of Fuel Spirit energy.

We really are coming full circle.

This feels like a familiar message…

I have to admit that the brief silence and “clicking” sound effect that happens right before the magic fully activates made me wonder if the spell would work on the first try. It was funnier than I expected it to be.

Hold on. We need to solve one last crisis before we’re done here.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 11: What am I missing?

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This episode was just frustrating to watch. There were a couple of interesting revelations, but I didn’t come out of that episode with a very good impression. I think a lot of it has to do with a general “is that all there is to it?” response to everything that gets revealed. Anyway, next week’s episode is the ending, and it seems like we have a determined plan for the main characters. Let’s see how it goes.

I guess they made it a point to show that Zero and Thirteen diverge on the incantation for this spell. Since Zero is the creator of magic, I’m assuming that she changes the spell based on her knowledge of the underlying nature of magic.

I literally have no idea what’s going on with this magic battle. Thankfully, there’s some convenient mouth blood to tell me who’s winning.

Here’s what I don’t understand. If Zero rejects all magic in Wenias, how does “spreading the knowledge” again allow the Sorcerers of Zero to regain their magic? Don’t they already have that knowledge? Also, Albus is unintentionally proposing that the Sorcerers of Zero should be the sole authority deciding who gets magic and how it will be used. Maybe she’s just trying to trick the Sorcerers of Zero into following her plan, but it seems like a questionable idea at face value.

I get that Mercenary isn’t supposed to be that smart, but this reveal doesn’t feel like much…

Eh…I’m willing to grant you this cheap laugh. Fine.

I’m a bit conflicted about this scene. On the one hand, I think it’s a great revelation that Zero purposely put mistakes into her grimoire in an attempt to control its power. On the other hand, I didn’t really need to see a flashback of the first scene in this episode just to point out the fact that the incantations were different. That was pretty noticeable the first time I saw it.

Well, that was easy.

Is this just a convenient way of giving the Sorcerers of Zero a way to find Albus as she attempts to set up the giant magic circle? Why does Albus even hold out the map if she doesn’t need it? The other possibility is that she’s now lost without the map, but I’m hoping that’s not the case.

This might be a weird question, but where the heck did the Sorcerers of Zero in this scene go? They were surrounding Holdem and Albus before they were restrained by vines. They never appear again for the remainder of the episode.

I wasn’t going to say anything when the gem camera was first introduced, but this scene has forced my hand. Before Albus tests the camera with her hand, she is clearly angled away from Thirteen, but he is still somehow the only person on the projection.

Huh…I wasn’t expecting Thirteen to show remorse.

Also, you know what might be fun? What if the novice witch who started the plague was Albus?

What does this prove? Even if Thirteen annuls Albus’s contract, every other contract remains. Even if the Sorcerers of Zero are currently hunting Albus, I’m sure she still feels devoted to them. It’s not like she would eradicate them all by killing Thirteen.

Little Witch Academia Episode 23: Renewed hope?

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This episode had more worried for a bit. I was disappointed with Chariot’s story in the beginning of the episode, but I liked Diana’s conversation with Akko near the end. I guess I was expecting a bit more from Chariot’s background than what we got, so it felt like wasted potential. That being said, I’m still curious to see where the series will go with the final Word. Based on the quote from the Shiny Chariot card that Diana gives to Akko, I wonder if the final Word has to do with trusting someone else. Maybe Akko needs to entrust the final Word to Diana in order to make it work. That could be a fun way to end things.

Diana’s on the case! Since Diana knows that Ursula left to find Akko, her actions make a lot of sense. I always appreciate scenes like this.

This seems familiar.

This explanation of Chariot’s backstory is overall pretty disappointing so far. First off, Croix’s dissent is literally boiled down to jealousy about the Shiny Rod. The earlier reveals suggested there was more to Croix than that, but it seems like that’s all we get.

More importantly, I feel like there could have been more interesting ways to explain Chariot’s use of Dream Fuel Spirit. At the end of the day, Croix is just the ultimate villain of the series, tricking Chariot into using unsafe magic. I was thinking that the nature of her shows might force her to resort to using an alternate means of fueling her magic, since she couldn’t carry a Sorcerer’s Stone around with her. Alternatively, there could have just been a darker side to Chariot in the past…that would have worked too.

This entire scene suggests that Chariot only used the Dream Fuel Spirit on one show. I get why that might weigh on her conscience, but that seems like an honest mistake.

I’m not sure I’m willing to buy into this “more magic means more entertainment” idea. It feels like a general lack of resource management and creativity from Chariot. I suppose it’s stated that she isn’t a great witch, so that might make sense. I wonder if this scene is trying to suggest that Akko succeeds in that respect, using what little magic she can muster to provide entertainment.

She knows!

Ouch, Diana is coming up pretty big in this scene. I found it impressive enough that she didn’t flip out at Ursula taking her magic as a child. This line is just adding even more.

Diana’s probably the best character to find Akko in this situation.

I like how the scene blows past this revelation. It adds to the story, but there’s no reason to dwell on it.

I’m enjoying this conversation between Diana and Akko. Diana’s position is almost like a future state for Akko. She can see the paths that Akko and essentially gives her preference.

You could say that Diana believes in Akko’s heart that believes in her.

I can’t see this ending well.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 10: The master plan

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I think my complaint with this week’s episode is the same thing I said last week. Characters seem to appear for no reason and do things only to be tossed aside after that happens. And while I don’t think Thirteen is a convincing antagonist, I will admit that he was at least set up as the antagonist. I still don’t understand how the blood contract works, though. Presumably, the contract is the reason that witches disintegrate when they try to attack him, so how are they going to be able to kill him? I’m assuming he doesn’t expect them all to come attack him one-by-one and disintegrate. Anyway, I guess next week’s episode is the big finish. I have no idea what will happen in the final episode of this series.

That’s very discreet, Mercenary.

Yeah, that makes sense! Plus, you have gravity on your side! We’ve even seen Mercenary fall down the cliff once already.

I’m willing to accept that Zero is still upset about Mercenary’s unwillingness to return her feelings, but she sure does go through a spectrum of emotions in this scene.

Thirteen’s not very creative with his traps, is he? It almost feels like this could have been foreseen…

I haven’t been keeping track of the distinction between “sorcery” and “magic” in this world. I’m pretty sure Zero created magic, so is Albus suggesting that they deny all magic and then spread it again? What does that accomplish? Is she just saying “we’ll do it better this time”?

I was pretty sure that Thirteen was Him, but I couldn’t accept that everyone in the Sorcerers of Zero could follow someone they had never seen. Since Thirteen was obviously an enemy of the group, I expected that most of the Sorcerers of Zero would know him as the Sorcerer of the State. If this series wanted this reveal to hit harder, they could have at least given some form of justification for a group that could follow a nameless leader.

I’ll admit that using the blood contract to trick the witches into killing themselves is clever. However, it makes the Sorcerers of Zero even more idiotic if they swore a blood contract with someone they’ve never seen.

This is some series “old guy ex machina”.

I think this scene is meant to show that Thirteen isn’t truly evil, but I dunno how willing I am to agree. The witches in the cave leave a big hole in this argument. How did they die if Thirteen claims innocence? Also, I would have been more willing to accept that the Sorcerers of Zero were themselves responsible for all of the horrible things they did if we hadn’t just seen them receiving an order from Him. You expect me to believe that Thirteen never gave similar directions?

This might be the one part of the episode I didn’t mind. Mercenary uses his head for once and uses the limited information that Thirteen gave him to beat him. I don’t even mind that Mercenary basically gives away his plan while he’s figuring it out. Anger is a difficult emotion to control, so Thirteen probably didn’t even realize how much he was being manipulated.

Sigh…I guess this has the same amount of validity as Thirteen’s statements.

This scene seems familiar…

Little Witch Academia Episode 22: The truth

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Phew…that was a hell of an episode. This second half of the series has really been a completely different series if you compare it to the first half. I was definitely not expecting the Shiny Chariot reveal to play out like this. I take back every complaint I made about Ursula’s reluctance to tell Akko her secret. This reveal does such a great job of explaining so many elements of the series, like Akko’s lack of magical skill and the general disdain for Shiny Chariot in the magical world. It even explains why Diana lost her magic as a child. I’m glad that this series was hiding such an interesting underlying story. I’m definitely curious where this goes, because I’m guessing Chariot had a reason for using the Dream Fuel Spirit. Croix’s not completely off the hook yet.

You sure about that? There are still three episodes left? You probably don’t want to rush it.

I’m sure that Croix has a hand in all of this, but it’s still pretty silly that countries are going to war over the outcome of a soccer game. That would definitely never happen in real life…right? Plus, the whole “goal/no goal” thing makes it sound like it was a dispute about a decision that the game officials made. Why would it spark enmity between nations?

Am I the only person who’s a little too suspicious about the fact that Ursula says “almost” here?

I would get mad, but they showed us Diana in the scene right before this one. It was practically a given that she would intrude on this meeting right as Ursula was about to tell Akko about Shiny Chariot. We have to save that for the climax, right?

The “almost” strikes! Nice to see that last week’s episode didn’t magically fix everything.

They’re friends now!

Using youtube videos to spark controversy? Where have I seen this before?

Also “discription”.

While I don’t disagree with Croix’s statement that the anger comes from within the citizens, I’m pretty sure we’ve already seen evidence that she was provoking them. Anger is a normal thing, but she threw gas on the fire.

I’m kinda curious about what the master plan is. You gather a bunch of magic and do what with it?

It’s happening!

Come again?

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 9: Picking up the pace

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While I understood some of the reasoning in this episode, a lot of the plot developments seemed really sudden. I can see why Albus might be on board with eradicating magic now, but the change seemed a bit abrupt as a reaction to a random comment from Mercenary. Similarly, the plan is devised and put into action without much discussion. It’s almost like the series is rushing towards an ending. And if Zero rejects all magic, do they still need the Grimoire?

Also, I don’t mind the rivalry between Mercenary and Holdem, but I wasn’t a big fan of how it was presented in this episode. At the rate the series is currently going, we could be moving towards an actual resolution, but we’ll see how it’s handled.

This is going to be an annoyance in the future, isn’t it? Also, this initial discussion about Albus makes it sound like she was just faking her gender to hide her identity. It also made it sound like she naturally looked androgynous, so this was easy to do. That’s as minimal as an explanation could get. Surely there’s more to it than that.

There’s no way the Grimoire is in the hands of some random mob character, right? Do we even know any other characters that could have the Grimoire?

If this mysterious “Him” turns out to just be some dude, I’ll be very disappointed. They’ve been pretty guarded when referencing Him and it’s not like there are many characters in this series.

So…the big plan is a giant transmutation circle under the kingdom. Where have I seen this before? Either way, this plan seemed to come out of nowhere.

Weird…this handles the inconsistency I noticed from last week, but it still doesn’t explain why Mercenary seemed to react in pain. Was he just reacting to the sight of it?

How are they going to get back to that place if they were teleported to this city? I guess Holdem followed them, so it can’t be too far.

I’m not sure I like the mirrored banter between Holdem and Mercenary. Also, didn’t these guys hear the witches say that they can’t harm Mercenary? What was that guy even going to do?

I thought we were done with this guy. Honestly, I was expecting them to say that Mercenary was attached to Zero enough to allow for the divination, but I guess they couldn’t set him on fire.

Wait, they’re already starting on the giant magic circle? I’m guessing they’re not planning on getting more than two circles done before Mercenary rescues Zero.

Why did Albus use chalk for the first circle when it’s apparently so important to make these circles hard to erase? It’s not like there weren’t trees available.

These guys go from ally to enemy really quickly. How did the mysterious “Him” even know that Albus was trying to dispel all magic in the kingdom? Did I miss something?

Mercenary seems to be having fun.

Little Witch Academia Episode 21: Don’t go to the light!

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This week’s episode still felt pretty scripted, but it at least made Croix look a bit better. She could still be a pretty simple villain, but the episode seemed to suggest that she might have some interesting motivations. I almost wonder if Croix lost her magic because of the Wagandea pollen and uses her magic technology to mask that fact. And based on what we’ve seen so far, it looks like her plan is to use energy from non-magic people harnessed from her sketchy app to power her fake Shiny Rod. Seems simple enough.

It’s gotten to the point where even Andrew realizes how much Akko pulls him into the story.

Aww man…I was going to guess that Croix was behind Emotion Refresh, but that gets immediately revealed. Also, given the current political climate, it’s a bit comical to see protests breaking out because of the result of a soccer game.

That’s a bit harsh, isn’t it? There’s nothing wrong with telling Akko the meaning of the Word to put her on the right track. This feels like one of those few times when I’m actually on Akko’s side. Plus, the very next scene shows Akko researching the meaning of the Word.

Yeah, that lesson of “patience” is turning out to be really effective here. I get the sense that the series is trying to explain away Ursula’s reluctance to tell Akko about the meaning of the next Word, but I don’t see how Akko could have come to the conclusion that she needed to go to Wagandea just from knowing that alone. Also, why would you give Akko such a vague date range unless you wanted her to go to Wagandea against your orders?

Akko’s reasoning is that she’s unlucky enough to guarantee the worst outcome when it comes to how long the pollen will linger. However, based on that logic, the pollen should be guaranteed to release before she can find the Word. I don’t think this is helping her case.

I’ll be very surprised if this episode doesn’t end with Ursula losing her magic to save Akko.

This seems a bit too easy.

I’m not sure what to make of this flashback. It’s not hard to guess that Croix would be jealous that Chariot was chosen by the Shiny Rod, but it doesn’t feel like enough of a motivation for her character. Plus, I feel like it’s been suggested that she helped Chariot along the way. Please tell me there’s more to her character than this.

This seems like a problem that’s very easily solved by showing Akko who you are, Ursula. I would say that she has some other reason for hiding her identity from Akko, but I’m pretty sure there was a recent episode that showed her preparing to tell Akko.

This looks promising. It seems like Croix wasn’t broken by seeing the Shiny Rod choose Chariot, so there has to be more to this story. Maybe she’s upset that Chariot failed to awaken all of the Words or something.

These things look a lot like healing lights, so I’m gonna say that that Ursula had her magic taken by the pollen, but it was restored by the magic of lov- err…I mean, the power of the Lyonne spell. I’m going to take that as a victory.

That can’t be good.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 8: Time to question everything we know

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It looks like this series is dead set on keeping our merry band of travelers together if they’re adding wolf guy to the mix. The revelation this week was kind of an interesting scenario. It’s not like we made a bad assumption…the series explicitly told us otherwise despite our suspicions and then went back on it. I feel like that’s just a frustrating form of misdirection. There could have at least been a second character that could plausibly be Sorena’s granddaughter to lead us off the trail. But when you drag on long enough, you eventually run out of other options. Meh…maybe I’m being too hard on this. What did everyone else think?

This scene might have been funnier if Mercenary hadn’t called this guy “Mister Wolf” in the scene directly preceding it. Now it just looks like a bad gag.

Well, this explains a lot.

This is such a casual way to become a beastfallen. Are we even sure he was being serious enough for this to qualify as his own will? It almost sounds like it was a joke that eventually became serious. He barely knows Sorena.

It looks like we need to give the wolf guy credit for bringing Mercenary and Zero back together.

Is healing something that can only be done once? Can’t Zero just do it herself if it’s incomplete?

The scene switches between the beastfallen conversation and the witch conversation is probably meant to indicate that the conversations are related. I mentioned last week that there’s a theory that Albus is Sorena’s granddaughter, which is seeming more likely with Holdem’s flashbacks. I wonder if there’s supposed to be a link between “Him” and Thirteen as well.

Yes, Albus is Sorena’s granddaughter and we need to emphasize this by capitalizing the entire word.

Haha this line…just…wow.

I know the hypocrisy has been pointed out by Thirteen already, but I want to emphasize that Albus is calling his fellow witches to battle here in the name of peace and harmony. Yup, this makes a lot of sense.

Wait, did Mercenary light the bomb on a random torch? Okay, I have to admit that’s pretty cool.

How exactly does Zero’s charm work? Mercenary took a bite to the arm and a punch to the face, but they don’t seem to be transferring over to Zero.

You want Mercenary and Albus alive, but you’re sending assassins? You know what that word means, don’t you?

Little Witch Academia Episode 20: Why did it have to be snakes?

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Phew, this week’s episode was quite fun to watch. I know I take my shots with this episode, but my overall impression of it is surprisingly positive. I think the series has been doing a good job of developing its characters in the second half. I’m happy to have a better understanding of Diana’s motivations and background. It’s actually making me reconsider how much I really know about the other characters. Anyway, I’m a little sad that we have to get back to that sketchy business with Croix after this.

Yeah, Akko. I’m sure that will convince Diana to listen to you.

Huh…today I learned that “Venusian” is a word.

Oh no! It’s an opportunity for Akko to save the day again! Also, Diana was clearly standing on the plant bridge when the snakes attack her, but she’s magically on the platform in this picture. Sorry, I couldn’t resist pointing that out.

Squirrels are the natural enemies of witches! That aside, I’m not really surprised by this revelation, but Diana is a much more interesting character if she has this kind of backstory. Plus, this gives her a chance to relate with Akko, right?

Did this series just give Akko the convenient conversation where the bad guys reveal their evil plan so she can interfere with it? Sigh…

I know that Akko is impulsive and all, but how does she not notice Diana or the snakes before attempting to cross this plant bridge?

I was going to ask that too.

I have to admit that using a water drop in this shrine to represent the tears that Diana wouldn’t shed while talking about her deceased mother is a nice touch.

Aww…they’re friends now.

I’m torn on this. I liked that this scenario gave Diana another chance to show her compassion at the expense of the ritual, but it makes no sense that these three are here in the first place. How could they have known that Diana was coming here to do the ritual? They were clearly content to put their feet up and wait for the eclipse to pass before Akko overheard them.

Wait, is Diana’s goal at Luna Nova related to the card? Is she searching for Shiny Chariot too? It would certainly make sense.

This is the correct reaction.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 7: Trust issues

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I think I like the episodes like this one that focus on Mercenary and his daily troubles more than the ones that focus on the politics of the witch society. It’s interesting to see how Mercenary’s world has been shaped. That being said, there was a surprising amount of reused content in this episode. I have no problem with flashbacks that seem relevant, but I didn’t really understand what they were adding in this episode.

Also, Thirteen still doesn’t make sense. Does he really just want to keep Zero locked up in a cage? He seems pretty obsessed with the idea that Zero should still be in the cave. Why? What would make him think like that?

Yeah, I’m pretty depressed too, Mercenary. The first two minutes of this episode were in last week’s episode.

Those darn witches are taking all of our food!

I guess the show knows how much we want to see how Zero and Mercenary’s fight is resolved. Just look! They’re right back to focusing on how the beastfallen are treated!

Was anyone else bothered by how abruptly this cooking scene started? It was over before I realized what was happening.

Honestly, part of me was expecting this tavern girl to be Zero in disguise. Maybe I put too much value on eye color…

I think it would have been nicer to see more scenes like this before Mercenary betrayed Zero. We’re shown why Mercenary might have trouble trusting even the nice gestures that humans offer him. It’s really hard to blame him for having some form of doubt when dealing with someone as mysterious as Zero.

Seriously? There’s another flashback in this episode?

Aren’t these witches similar to the ones that attacked Mercenary in the first episode? Were those just rogue witches? I guess it’s not important.

I think this conversation illustrates what I was assuming last week. I don’t really get the sense that Zero is upset with Mercenary…she’s probably just hurt.

I was going to say something about the lack of wound on Mercenary, but this protection spell seems to explain that. I’m a bit worried about this, though. I guess there’s still time for Mercenary to realize that Zero was devoted enough to him to protect him, but this feels like something he will find out when he reunites with her. How are they going to motivate him to search for Zero again?

I think there’s a message in here somewhere about heavy stereotyping encouraging people to follow the negative stereotypes. Maybe they’re trying to say that the beastfallen wouldn’t necessarily resort to allowing their rampage to run wild if people didn’t constantly reinforce the idea that they can’t control themselves.

I’ve seen the theory that Albus is actually Sorena’s granddaughter and his current role in the story is making me really want to believe it.