Sunday, July 31, 2016

Movie Review: Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade

Wow sorry folks, a perfect storm of other obligations and impossible to predict events that dominated my time (who would've expected the post office to lose/steal THREE of my packages in one month?!). Which is almost fitting since I also got around to watching this special a year after it came out, I'm sure someone announced when it went up on Netflix and I just missed it. I also didn't see it earlier since I didn't back the kickstarter, I could see it was going to be funded just fine and I was still a cash-strapped college student at that point (which seems weird to write since I graduated a couple of years ago now!). 

Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade

Akko and her friends Lotte and Sucy are still witches in training at Luna Nova Magical Academy and are still getting into trouble left and right. As a punishment the three of them, plus another trio of trouble makers, are tasked with running the school/town's annual witch parade or they will all be flunked out. Akko is full of ideas for the parade but the other's caution here that not only is this usually a dull affair, with plenty of witches getting dunked/having rotten fruits thrown at them etc, but that magic doesn't work very well beyond the school's walls. Akko is hearing none of this and continues to make plans for the most enchanted parade the town has ever seen.

For some reason, before I saw the OVA I got the notion into my head that this would be short on plot and big on action sequences which did technically end up being right (although my reasoning behind this was way off, I had misremembered part of the Kickstarter stretch goals). I think this can be best summed up by the fact that I glanced at the time and saw that, even though the climax was already underway, it was only halfway done. A lot of Studio Trigger's works could be summed up as style over substance but LWA embodies this even more than most. I was actually surprised to see that Imashi wasn't the director on this short since his/Trigger's typical style of squishy character designs and loose action rules were on full display here. 

I've never been particularly fond of that style, I do like "sakuga" action sequences these days but LWA reminds me more of American cartoons with how the action interacts with reality and that was a big reason why I never got into most American cartoons! And yet here that's essentially my only reason for being interested in the short, I don't like any of the characters in LWA and the plot varied between being pretty simple to "man I don't like these cliches" for me. Obviously very few people are watching this for plot or deep character connections, I'm curious if the tv series will try to flesh these things out a little more now that they have a longer running time or if it will stay pretty light on the substance (which would be worrisome since there's no way Trigger will have the time or the funds to have this much animation in a full tv show).

I should say I didn't hate this or even dislike it, I was entertained at parts and spent other parts thinking "well that's OBVIOUSLY foreshadowing, oh I know how this will be resolved, oh I see the grade schooler message they're going for" etc, which I don't remember thinking during the first short. And I'm going to give the tv series a shot for sure, I'm simply thinking that the tv series might be too Saturday Morning Cartoon-like for my taste in the end.

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