Akko Kagari enrolls into Luna Nova Magical Academy, a school for young witches, after being inspired at a young age by a witch named Shiny Chariot. She often spends her days hanging with her classmates, Lotte Jansson and Sucy Manbavaran. However, she has trouble paying attention in class, doesn't know how to ride her broom, and is often looked down upon for admiring Chariot. Many believe she gives the wrong impression about witches. One day, as a teacher instructs the class to explore a dungeon and retrieve rare treasures, Akko finds the Shiny Rod that belonged to Chariot. Meanwhile, the top student, Diana Cavendish, inadvertently breaks a seal on a dragon that grows more powerful by absorbing magic. Noticing the Shiny Rod still has power after all these years, the teacher sends Akko and her friends to reach the Sorcerer's Stone, the source of the academy's power before the dragon can devour it and become invincible. Arriving at the stone, the Shiny Rod absorbs some of its power, allowing Akko to fight against the dragon. Put into a desperate situation, Akko hears Chariot's words coming from somewhere, that a believing heart is a magic, and with renewed conviction, she uses the full power of the Shiny Rod to destroy the dragon.
The film begins with a magic show that takes place at a stage in the woods somewhere at Japan. There, the 6-years old Akko sees what appeared to be Big Dipper on the night sky which, to her and the rest of the audience's surprise, descend into the stage as seven light comets which then coalesce into an ornate beige and golden staff. Before long, the staff forms a large flower-like construct made of pure light from which its owner, Shiny Chariot, materializes on the stage. Commencing her show, she conjures a line of massive archways behind the stage followed by swarms of small, sentient animals and faeries-like constructs, one of which that approaches the young Akko. Just then, a massive dragon enter the stage, prompting to the stage performer to fly onto one of the archways with her staff's broom configuration to confront it. As Akko closes her eyes in such confrontation fearing the worst, Chariot reconfigutes her staff into a bow form with incantation "Makmur Mikmur Mektoral" and lets a conjured arrow loose, destroying the dragon into spectacular display of fireworks. Awestruck upon Chariot's performance, Akko takes Chariot's message to believe in herself to her heart, and thus have decided to become a witch like her role model someday.
Fast forward a decade later, we are introduced to Luna Nova Magical Academy, the very academy Shiny Chariot used to attend during her younger days. During a class, the now teenager Akko is dozing off during the lecture which prompts her roommate Lotte to wake her up to no avail. Noticing this, the history teacher summons a sprite which slams her head against the desk, waking her up and giving the brunette a bruised face. At the same time, we are also introduced to the academy's top student, Diana Cavendish.
At the cafeteria after the class, Akko has her bruised nose seemingly treated by her other roommate Sucy, only for the Manbavaran's medicine gave her an intended side-effect in form of turning it long and sharp much to her dismay. Lotte reasoned to Akko that this can be avoided had she not slept in the middle of the class, but the Japanese lamented how Luna Nova's subjects was so boring and wondered how Shiny Chariot was able to stand it all. This caught the attention of Diana and her cohorts, Hannah and Barbara as well as the academy's unassuming blue-haired teacher Ursula Callistis. An argument ensues when Diana called Chariot names with her cohorts don't help the situation by sneering the Japanese as a childish brat. The argument concludes with Diana giving a sarcastic curtsy and left as Hannah and Barbara laugh, but not before fixing Akko's nose with a prick of her fingers.
During the broom flight class at the New Moon Tower's flight platform, Nelson instructs her students to fly for a landing platform at the neighboring tower and discouraged them from showing off while doing so. Akko is outright nervous, as it's clear everyone except her already experienced in broom flight at least on the basest level while she has none, which doesn't help by the fact that they now standing several stories above the ground. To Lotte's shock and worry, when it's finally Akko's turn, the Japanese loses control over the broom before eventually plummets to the ground far below. Although trees below managed to slow her descent and she lands with minor injuries, the insult to injury comes in form of her broom falls on top of her head, knocking her unconscious in a rather humiliating manner.
Later that night, Lotte and Sucy reacted with mild surprise as Akko confirmed that she indeed lacked any experience in broom flight beforehand due to her mundane background. Sucy asks Akko why she didn't tell the broom flight instructor the same thing earlier, in which the brunette replies that as much as she afraid at that time, she cannot let it deter her if she wanted to become like Shiny Chariot. This brings up a topic from Akko's argument with Diana previously, prompting Lotte and Sucy to explain that Chariot has a bad reputation in magic community for her use of magic in her show, a fact that doesn't help Akko's mood that she chose to ignore their views about her role model. For the Japanese, regardless whether it is truly the case, Shiny Chariot is still the one who inspired her in the first place.
On the next day, the students begin their first dungeon exploration test under Ursula's tutelage. The unassuming professor instructs them to find and loot treasures in the labyrinth beneath the New Moon Tower as well as warned them about monsters that infested the area. Sucy indifferently remarks the test akin to generic "dungeon crawling RPGs", whereas Lotte is unable help but worry over dangers they will face and Akko is brimming with fiery excitement. Although their teacher made it clear that treasure hunting is their main priority, Akko ends up run off challenging a fleeing small creature her team come across shortly after commencing their assignment with Lotte and Sucy follow behind her.
Ironically, Diana turns out has a similar thing in mind; fighting monsters over looking for treasures. Yet, because of her already impressive magical skills, she finds none of monsters her team encountered so far worth her a challenge, which doesn't help by their remarkable loots she perceived as mere common drops and Hannah and Barbara's constant fearful attitude. Just as she and her cohorts got ambushed by a Minotaur, Akko's team entered the scene because the Japanese thought the small creature decided to harass someone else. Neither Akko nor Diana is able to significantly harm the humanoid bovine (being skewered with hurled swords by Diana only enraging him further) until Sucy steps in and feeds it with one of her concoctions, literally melting him alive and causing his remains to burn through concrete floors below it. Rather than thanking Akko and co., Diana and the reluctant Hannah and Barbara descend through the hole while unamused Akko and her roommates pursuit them through safer path.
Descending into deeper part of the tower's dungeons, the blue team arrived at a cavernous section where they stumbled upon a skeletal-looking iron maiden. Undaunted by its appearance and rumors of it being used to drain witches of their blood, Diana arrogantly unsealed the contraption only to find a baby red dragon sealed within. Unaware of its true nature, the unimpressed Hannah and Barbara bombard the small creature with spells, unknowingly accelerating its growth until it's too late. As this happens, Akko, Lotte, and Sucy begin searching for something worthwhile at a chamber full of junk until the Japanese notices a nearby familiar-looking magic staff. Before she can take a closer look on it however, the sealed dragon, now around the size of T-Rex, blasted its way through the pile with its dragon fire from below and flew its way to the surface with the disheveled Diana, Hannah, and Barbara in pursuit. Feeling responsible for the creature's escape, Diana borrows Hannah and Barbara's wands each with floating brush equipped and combined them with hers into a broom to fly chasing the dragon with. After giving a not-so-subtle remark about the young Cavendish, Akko uncovered the magic staff she found which, to Lotte and Sucy's shock, is none other than Shiny Rod itself.
The released dragon finally reaches the New Moon Tower's hall, scaring the daylight out of the already gathered witch students with their respective hoard there. Despite Ursula's attempts to control the situation (keeping the beast trapped with the entrance's wooden bars), the students wind up worsen the situation by hurling their best spells at the dragon all at once, further increasing its size in process. As the bespectacled professor orders everyone to evacuate the Tower, Diana arrives in time to see how worse the situation had become. Before the Cavendish can explain how the whole mess started, Akko abruptly interrupts her by crash-landing in front of them and showing Ursula the Shiny Rod with Lotte and Sucy following from behind. Pleasantly surprised to see the light in the staff has somehow returned (a hint of her true identity as Shiny Chariot), Ursula, knowing what to do to stop the released dragon, implored Akko and her roommates to secure the academy's Sorcerer's Stone as she and Diana evacuate the students.
As Akko, Lotte, and Sucy make haste for the Stone (with Lotte lends the Japanese a ride with her broom), Ursula conjures a flare of magic on the tip of her wand to distract the released dragon. Unfortunately for her, this only worked so long until the beast sensed Shiny Rod's magic, prompting it to chase the red team instead. To make matter worse, the beast finally reaches its adult state upon absorbing magic from Sucy's enchanted poison gas without any ill-effects before knocking Akko and Lotte off their broom into the tower. Relieved to see Lotte unharmed from the crash, the Japanese only has a moment of respite because the dragon is attempting to reach the Sorcerer's Stone at that very moment. It is then Shiny Rod begins to siphon the Stone's magic on its own, prompting Akko to struggle to maintain her grip over the staff. Ursula appears to ask the Japanese to pass her the staff, but the beast knocks her away before proceeds to consume the Stone. Horrified and desperate, Akko blasted the Stone away from its approaching maw with a blast of magic at the very last moment, thus discovering her ability to use it. With no time to lose, Akko recklessly snatches the Stone, jumps out of the tower, and attempts to reconfigure the staff into its broom form like Shiny Chariot did long ago to no avail.
Magically propelling herself away from the approaching dragon, Akko loses her grip over the Stone and climbs her way on the beast's back for it. However, the beast hinders her attempt to do so, causing her to lose hope for a moment. Just then, she hears Shiny Chariot's voice encouraging her not to give up before a witch with fiery hair magically hurls a boulder onto the beast's head out of nowhere, knocking both it and Akko from the sky. Not taking any chances, Akko turns Shiny Rod into its bow form via. incantation from the show back then, successfully turning it into its bow form for the first time in years and let loose a magical arrow that flies straight into the dragon's maw, overloading it with its magic and causing it to burst into rapid, spectacular firework-like explosion not different with one her role model made in the same show.
As soon as she realizes she still plummeting to the woods far below, Diana catches the falling Akko, saving the Japanese's life. Watching the Stone absorbing all magic the-then destroyed dragon consumed previously, Diana inadvertently lets a slip of her being familiar with Shiny Chariot's magic, arousing Akko's suspicion and resulting them having a brief argument about it. Unknown to them, the witch with fiery hair, who later revealed none other than Ursula herself and that she indeed the retired Shiny Chariot, watched the two with smile. As Akko and Diana fly for the still floating Sorcerer's Stone, the former waves her hand back to Lotte and Sucy at the top of the tower before the latter shoulders the Japanese, revealing the rest of Luna Nova students who (including Hannah and Barbara) fly alongside the academy's unexpected savior. Eventually, Lotte and Sucy join them as well...
|Atsuko "Akko" Kagari||Megumi Han||Erica Mendez|
|Lotte Jansson||Fumiko Orikasa||Stephanie Sheh|
|Sucy Manbavaran||Michiyo Murase||Rachelle Heger|
|Diana Cavendish||Yōko Hikasa||Laura Post|
|Ursula Callistis||Noriko Hidaka||Alexis Nichols|
|Barbara Parker||Chinatsu Akasaki|
|Hannah England||Eri Nakao||Jennifer Alyx|
|History Teacher||Hisako Kyōda||Eileen Galido|
- "Main Theme"
- "Magic Show"
- "Chariot's Theme"
- "Flying Lesson"
- "At the Dorm"
- "Iron Maiden"
- "Emerging Dragon"
- "Here We Go!"
- The original poster for the movie reveals the original design for the characters, such as Sucy and Lotte.
- There are several scenes that were eventually changed later on in the anime.
- Chariot's performance was much shorter and didn't feature the Magitronic monster from the episode.
- The hat Akko was wearing as a child was purple while in the anime it was colored white and was stylized more like Chariot's witch hat.
- Akko can actually use a broom but can't properly fly as she can't control the broom as opposed to not being able to fly at all in the anime and being forced to rely on others to carry her.
- Diana's personality is somewhat different as she has more pride in her ability and goes forth to call Akko, Lotte and Sucy names as oppose in the anime where she's above mocking them.
- The Shiny Rod was found underground in Luna Nova and not in the Arcturus Forest like in the anime.
- The Shiny Rod actually feeds off of the Sorcerer's Stone as opposed to being able to perform spells right from the start.
- Just like in the anime, Ursula's hair changes back to red whenever she uses a powerful spell, however, the transformation is more flame-like as opposed to being a smooth and instant transformation from blue to red and vice versa.
- Chariot and Ursula are voiced by two different people despite being the same person in the Latin American and Brazilian dubs.
- As shown in the booklet that came with its Blu-ray release, its concept arts (see the gallery below) and Little Witch Academia Chronicles, the film had undergone extensive development during which Yoshinari and his fellow animators in Studio Trigger came up with several ideas and concepts, some of which that eventually didn't make it to the final product:
- There's supposedly a scene where Akko studying hard so she can enroll at Luna Nova that eventually scrapped due to both time constraints and she would likely learn Chariot's reputation much sooner.
- Sucy was originally envisioned as an exchange student and "loser" who works part-time as a magic show assistant to support her poor family, yet at the same time gifted with the ability to split her own body apart into pieces and control them as she wishes (a nod to witches in Polynesian mythology who can perform similar feat). This idea was scrapped not only because her said gift would made her stand out too much from the rest of main characters, but also in order to have a character that can play off and comment on Akko and her actions.
- On a related note, Sucy's mother, Mrs. Manbavaran, also intended to appear in the film before eventually cut out for unknown reasons, most likely because of time constraints. Though she eventually appeared in Terio Teri manga, she was depicted with a different design compared to beta one that depicted her as a slender woman whose both eyes exposed as opposed to completely obscured by her hair.
- Diana was originally intended to be somewhat meaner than in the final version and even her TV Series iteration as well as not a top student like either and meant to make Akko stand out from her peers. Additionally, rather than mistaking the iron maiden as a disguised treasure chest, she unsealed Ancient Dragon because Elizabeth tricked her to do so.
- The film's storyline was supposedly much darker with some of the witches dying along with more dark comedy moments to boot, but eventually kept lighthearted thanks to Masahiro Otsuka's part in its development.
- Lastly, there were characters that eventually scrapped during the development:
- Elizabeth: A mischievous Luna Nova student who, unlike her peers, is a vampire characterized by her ability to sprout bat-like wings on the sides of her head. She was intended to have antagonistic role in both the film and its sequel before eventually scrapped, but some aspects of her eventually adapted into Croix Meridies.
- Samantha: A witch who fights with sword and has a tomboyish streak. Although she eventually scrapped due to her presence deemed unnecessary for the film's plot, she nevertheless became the basis to Amanda O'Neill's character and even shared her name with Samantha Badcock.
- Monica: A mad scientist-esque witch with amazing mechanical abilities that allows her to build magic-mechanical equipment on ease. Although she eventually scrapped due to her presence deemed unnecessary for the film's plot as with Samantha, she nevertheless became the basis to Constanze Amalie von Braunschbank-Albrechtsberger's character.
- For more images related to Little Witch Academia (film), see the file category: Category:Little Witch Academia (film).
- Banners & posters
- Concept Arts