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ANNCast - Little Witch Academia

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Nemo of Mentis

Joined: 26 Jul 2012
Posts: 39
PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:58 pm Reply with quote
Another fine episode! I'm too lazy to write properly, so here's just a list of observations.

1) It's cool that so many people are impressed by LWA TV enough to assume it must've been a lavish (and lavishly funded) production, because it's actually a bit of the opposite. The show was designed - to paraphrase what You Yoshinari said at ANext - as a "60% effort" production in order not to burn out the studio, and also to help level up some of the less experienced talent. (Shuuhei Handa of course immediately noted that it sure didn't feel like just 60%.)

Nevertheless, if you look at the staff for each episode, you'll note that it's not exactly all-hands-on-deck. Folks like Porigoshi, Masaru Sakamoto, and Kai Ikarashi put in a lot of fantastic animation work, but it's pretty much just them - everyone else is either a) very new or b) from Liden Films or Jumondo. Lavish? No way. But it shows that the right touches by the right people can do wonders.

2) Dragon mouths! I love them too. That particular flourish was invented by a guy named Yoshinori Kanada back in the early 80s in a movie called Genma Taisen (Harmageddon), and is probably the only interesting thing to come from that movie. Animators who admire Kanada and follow in his stylistic footsteps - like Imaishi, Ikarashi, and so many other Trigger animators - have copied it ever since, calling it the Kanada Dragon. Note how the dragons ripple and move - that's a very important part of what makes a Kanada Dragon too. It's rad as hell.

3) I'd have to agree that the way in which the didacticism of LWA TV works seems different from any modern magical girl show, which generally don't tie learning the lesson as directly to the solution of the problem of the week as LWA - if only because the solution is almost always "punch the thing that's causing trouble and then use magic on it."

(I specify "modern" because as others have pointed out, Akko is named after the protagonist of Himitsu no Akko-chan - and I honestly know very little about formative magical girl shows. There may be an interesting article to write about that, but someone else should write it lol)

4) Another common complaint regarding Akko is less about the character and more about the show's handling of her arc. At first it seemed the show was building an "is awful at everything and then gets better as she gains self-awareness and starts truly applying herself" arc for Akko, but the show seemed to be going extremely hard at the "is awful at everything" part to the point it felt almost mean spirited. And yet the creators couldn't show Akko succeeding in a real way because it hadn't given her any real development yet - it'd be thematically dissonant. This was my own problem with the show up to the second half where it became much more clear how the show was going to handle the threads it'd set up.

Would it have been better if Akko's friends had shown more sympathy, or if Hanna-Barbera wasn't constantly there to laugh at Akko for continuing to fail? Honestly, I dunno. But they imbued the show with a certain coldness which makes it hard for me to fully get behind the first half as much as I'd like.

5) Yoshinari once described Akko and Andrew's relationship as a "guy-guy friendship." Which I buy 100%.

6) You guys are great. Please don't do Sound! Euphonium. You'll never engage a show with due charity if you resent having to engage with it in the first place.
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Joined: 31 Dec 2002
Posts: 6088
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:26 am Reply with quote
navycherub wrote:
*quietly enjoys Kiznaiver in the corner*

Seconded. I thought Kiznaiver was decent for what it was.

As an aside note, You Yoshinari's brother, Kou Yoshinari is currently working on Made In Abyss. He did quite a bit of animation for Little Witch Academia, such as this scene.
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