Little Witch Academia (TV)

“Atsuko Kagari is an ordinary girl who joins the renowned witch academy for witch girls, Luna Nova Academy. When she was younger, she went to Magical Festa, a magic show hosted by a witch named Shiny Chariot. Atsuko was so mesmerized and inspired by Shiny Chariot’s performance that she dreamed to someday be a “cool” witch like her. This young and impressionable Atsuko takes Shiny Chariot’s words as her own motto: “Never forget, a believing heart is your magic.“ As part of a class, Atsuko and her classmates go into a labyrinth under the Tower of Luna Nova. There, a sealed ancient dragon was unleashed by one of her classmates. Atsuko tries to stop the dragon, but…

-Anime News Network”

Alright, let’s start this list off right. I’m excited for Little Witch Academia, along with everyone else with common sense. I remember going to Anime Expo 2015, and the number one question I was asked was “oh! How was the Little Witch Academia panel?” to which I always replied, “I’m not into that weird loli stuff. Sorry.” I always got the “It’s not loli! It’s art!” response, but, let’s be honest… who hasn’t heard that line before and wasted a good thirty minutes watching trash?

Anyway, Little Witch Academia is great. The pacing is great. The dialogue is great. The story has just enough detail that you know exactly what’s going on, but not too much to overwhelm you. The art is great and feels unique enough for people to be able to identify it from that series specifically.

There have been two movies put out in the Little Witch Academia series, which is why this anime has a pretty dedicated fan following already. It had it’s fair share of cosplayers at Anime Los Angeles a few weeks ago.

One of the best things about the Little Witch Academia series, is it’s just plain fun. It (obviously) shares a lot of similarities with Harry Potter, and even though there are real and relatable struggles and emotions, you won’t get stressed out watching it. (Which, let’s be real, who ISN’T having a stressful 2017 already?)

 

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon

 

“Kobayashi lives alone in an apartment, until one day, Tooru appeared and they ended up living together. Tooru looks down on humans as inferior and foolish, but having been saved by Kobayashi-san, she does everything she can to repay the debt and help her with various things, although not everything goes according to plan. A mythical everyday life comedy about a hardworking office lady living with a dragon girl.

  • My Anime List”

 

Listen, I’m not proud that this is number two on my list. Specifically because of the things I said about hating weird lolita anime in my review above. It’s too late to turn back now though, so here I go. 

Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon isn’t going to be the most groundbreaking anime you’re going to watch in your life. It isn’t even going to be the most groundbreaking mythical cute girl themed harem anime you’ll ever see. (The show bears a lot of similarities to Monster Musume.)

However, it is very charming and entertaining, which I definitely cannot say for every all girl harem themed anime. It is also a little more bold, because the harem revolves around a woman instead of a man, so a handful of the characters are all confirmed lesbian/bisexual women (dragons). Which, I wouldn’t call outright progressive, but completely needed in the anime world in the 21st century.

My two biggest praises for the anime is it’s comedic timing, and refreshing ways to make the characters endearing. I really enjoy the way the jokes are set up, and move quick enough for it not to get stale, but still able to be appreciated. I appreciate humor that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and this anime fully comprehends that.

As for the characters, I was surprised at how I didn’t get immediately bored with an overbearing main girl, a serious loli, and (I’ve only seen the first four episodes) but what I assume are the token mature boob characters. (feminine and masculine, respectively.) I see most of them as unique and more creative versions of their respective stereotypes. You can see a million harem animes and get bored, but that hasn’t happened for me yet. Truthfully, the little girl dragon has catapulted her way into my top ten Lolis. She’s extremely endearing.

 

Fate/Grand Order: First Order

 

In 2015, the Chaldean Security Organization draws on experts of both the magical and mundane fields to observe the future of mankind for possible extinction events. Humanity’s survival seems assured for the next century—until the verdict suddenly changes, and now eradication of the species awaits at the end of 2016. The cause is unknown, but appears to be linked with the Japanese town of Fuyuki and the events of 2004 during the Fifth Holy Grail War.

In response, Chaldea harnesses an experimental means of time travel, the Redshift technology. With it, Ritsuka Fujimaru, a young man newly recruited to the organization, and the mysterious girl Mash Kyrie Light, can travel back to 2004 and discover how to save humanity. A grand order to fight fate has been declared—an order to change the past and restore the future.

  • My Anime List”

 

Hello world, if you follow me you KNEW this was going to make my list without a doubt. I follow almost everything from the Fate Stay Night universe that I can, and Fate Grand Order is no exception.

I’m truthfully (don’t hate me) still learning about the Fate Grand Order universe. I will tell you that it’s a mobile game that uses characters from the Fate Stay Night universe all together. Many of the characters from the Fate Stay Night world are not in the anime, visual novel, or manga but there are a few that were mentioned or hinted at briefly.

This animated special makes an effort to change that, bringing in many of the characters that became popular through the Fate Grand Order game. Even though many are still hoping and holding out for more of their favorite Fate GO characters to be introduced, the anime did a pretty good job of introducing them.

It was well made, and everything about it seemed likable. The art was familiar, but still great. I had a harder time getting into this than I did all the other Fate series I usually watch. Fate is, truthfully one of the hardest series to get into for me, so I wasn’t surprised that this was any different. By no means was it bad, but I didn’t immerse myself in it as much as I’d hoped. It was difficult for me to continue watching at some points. I’m excited for all the continuations of this universe, and hope that they can answer all the questions this special left unsolved.

 

Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish)

“To the outside world, Hanabi Yasuraoka and Mugi Away are the perfect couple. But in reality, they just share the same secret pain: they are both in love with other people they cannot be with.

Hanabi has loved her childhood friend and neighbor Narumi Kanai for as long as she can remember, so she is elated to discover that he is her new homeroom teacher. However, Narumi is soon noticed by the music teacher, Akane Minagawa, and a relationship begins to blossom between them, much to Hanabi’s dismay.

Mugi was tutored by Akane in middle school, and has been in love with her since then. Through a chance meeting in the hallway, he encounters Hanabi. As these two lonely souls spend more time together, they decide to use each other as a substitute for the one they truly love, sharing physical intimacy with one another in order to stave off their loneliness.

  • My Anime List”

When I first drafted this article, I put Scum’s Wish at the bottom as an afterthought. I watched the first episode and was hooked. I really enjoy this on a level I do not with many other Slice of Life anime recently.

First of all, the best thing about this anime is everyone who has seen it, sees it entirely differently. My experience with people talking about Scum’s Wish is they relate it to their last relationship, no matter what that relationship is. It was fascinating to find out that everyone say the main couple in a completely different light.

Some people saw it as the guy taking advantage of the girl and hurting her. Fewer people saw it as the girl taking advantage of the guy. I saw it from a much more neutral, and two sided perspective, and since I’m the one writing the article, you’re going to hear my side of it.

Awkward sex is an important part of growing up. Heartbreak is an important part of growing up. Depending on the person, these experiences can be seen as fulfilling or tragic, but regardless I view most of our experiences as important milestones on learning our relationship with the world and people.

This anime is extremely honest on a level I seldom see in most types of media. Many of the experiences the main character goes through, whether one party views them as platonic or it’s a consensual intimate relationship, echo almost identically to experiences we’ve had growing up.

I won’t go into spoilers, but one scene, involving a slumber party, was a very straightforward and non pandering approach to youth and unwanted but uncontrollable teenage urges. I used to host a lot of slumber parties in my youth, so I later learned that many of my friends had extremely similar sexual awakenings in a very similar way.

Bottom line, I strongly reccomend this anime not only to watch, but if you still think from time to time about your early relationships and the choices you made when you first started dating. Watching this series with an open and honest mindset, while being careful to pay separate attention to each of the main characters stories of their sexual journey from puberty onwards, it could end up helping you with past feelings you never quite closed the door on.

 

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Shelby Mcweeb is the world's most acclaimed (only) nationwide Anime Convention Culture Journalist. Shelby has been working in the Film, Television and Journalism industry for over a decade. Shelby has traveled across the country, both as an award winning cosplayer and as a historian to document every aspect of Nerd and Anime culture possible. She is a Co-Host of Anime Weekly, which airs every Wednesday at 9pm. Rumor has it that if you stand directly in the center of any anime convention and whisper mean things about my favorite anime characters, I will materialize instantly to defend their honor.