Review: Little Witch Academia’s 2nd Season is a Watery Brew

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Little Witch Academia, produced by Trigger, concludes the story of the witch-in-training, Akko, in its 12-episode final season, but like the first season, season two falls flat.

Akko’s witchcraft school, Luna Nova Academy, is shaken up when a forward-thinking witch named Croix arrives, promising to rejuvenate witchcraft worldwide with her fusion of magic energy and modern technology. Meanwhile, Akko continues her quest to unlock the seven words of the Shiny Rod wand and activate the Triskellion and world-shaking power. Akko is enamored with Professor Croix and her stunning new magic, while Professor Ursula, Akko’s mentor, is wary of the tech-savvy newcomer.

Like season 1, season 2 boasts colorful and high-quality animation to bring the fun and whimsical world of witches to life, including intermittent pagan imagery such as a Wild Hunt sequence to Celtic symbols to the Sami people of Finland. The voice acting is earnest and colors each character, from Akko’s loud declarations to Sucy’s cynical comments to Diana Cavendish’s upper-class haughtiness. Other than that, the animation is adequate but nothing ground-breaking or innovative.

The characters, which had limited development in season one, are even more stagnant in the show’s latter half. While Diana, Andrew, and Professor Ursula are all expanded upon, supporting characters such as Lotte, Sucy, the headmistress and Amanda are all neglected. In fact, each of those supporting characters does little more than make an extended cameo in one or two episodes. This is most obvious in Lotte’s case; she was Akko’s best friend and guide to the magical world in season one, but here, she is almost entirely omitted. This underuse of the prominent support characters makes the season feel sloppy and lazy throughout.

Season two focuses Little Witch Academia‘s plot on Akko’s search for the seven words, as well as the crisis of diminishing magical power worldwide. Akko, Professor Ursula and Professor Croix all convene in this season to reveal the mysterious relationship between those two teachers, as well as Akko’s unwitting role in it all. The plot takes some odd and cheesy detours that border on contrived, including mass riots over a soccer game between two unspecified countries. The plot, when fully developed, is functional and resolves the show’s mysteries, but is bogged down by its simplicity and somewhat cliched nature. The show has a sort of non-ending, showing Akko finally flying a broom properly as her classmates watch.

Little Witch Academia, as a whole, has token novelty with the cartoony witch visuals and the clash of tradition versus the modern world, but most of its ingredients are stale and thin.

Score: 5/10

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