Paul Hanbridge (ポール・ハンブリッジ Pōru Hanburijji ) formally known as the Earl of Hanbridge (ハンブリッジの伯爵 Hanburijji no hakushaku ) is a character in Little Witch Academia. He is the count and Minister of State of the country.
He is a middle-aged man with gray hair and green eyes. He dresses in a brown suit, dark brown shoes, a beige shirt and a pair of glasses.
The Earl is a very serious and cold man. In spite of maintaining his manners and his good deal in public, it shows that in fact, he is a rigid person to which only his political duties concern him, something that left him indifferent with other people and Andrew's former dream to be a pianist.
Like normal humans in the present day, Paul is firmly convinced that magic and witches are outdated and have no place in the present age. Whereas Mr. Blackwell holds this belief out of bigotry against them, Paul's motives are more to that of pragmatism and justified in some ways: Through his visits at Luna Nova Magical Academy which financial resources he is partly in charge of, Paul sees that witches made little to no efforts in improving their culture, which only solidified his said belief. Despite this, he is still willing to make frequent visits to the academy and handling his part in maintaining its financial resources to maintain relationship between Luna Nova and the government of Great Britain.
By the episode Tree of Leaves, Paul seems to have changed his mind about witches, asking Andrew to tell him his full thoughts on them. Around this time, he also regain his faith that magical culture built by witches still has its place in modern world.
Paul attends the party organized by Luna Nova Academy in his name next to his son Andrew. During the party, he maintains his good manners with Principal Holbrook, asking that one of his students show the academy to his son. After the party, Paul states that the day was a waste of time that only reaffirmed his bad ideas about witches. When Andrew asks why it was in the first place, he responds that he wanted to maintain good relationships.
Paul is hosting a party for Andrew's birthday. When he learned that some witches had entered the party, he asked his son to pay them, reminding him of his duties as heir to the Handbridge and his abandonment of the piano. When Akko tries to get rid of the Cupid Bee in the middle of the party, Paul tries to make her leave but the bee ends up biting him causing Paul to briefly fall in love with Akko before she knocks him in the face with her giant fan, killing Cupid Bee and breaking the love spell.
Paul and Andrew travel to the Cavendish Manor by invitation of Daryl, picking up Akko on the way who also headed there. In the limo, all three have an uncomfortable discussion about what happened at the party and Paul complains about the attitude of people for a simple football game. In the mansion, Paul and Andrew have dinner with Dary, Diana, and Akko, revealing that the reason for the invitation was to sell them some of the Cavendish's family relics, which Paul rejects and leaves.
Paul maintains a very formal and distant relationship with his son. It always shows that the only thing that worries him is that Andrew becomes a worthy successor, without showing any interest in his opinions or interest, forcing him to give up what he considers inappropriate like the piano. Although Paul does not show to take into account the opinions of Andrew during the incident with the neighboring country, he finally manages to see the value in magic and asks Andrew to teach him his ideals.
Paul and Blackwell are political colleagues. Despite not sharing the same ideals, both work together for the welfare of the country.
Paul shows a constant bad attitude toward Akko. Initially, he rejects her like all witches, demanding that she be expelled from her son's party. After Akko accidentally hit him in the face during the party, Paul kept a very bad memory about her. Even believing her a problematic girl and a bad company for Andrew, he finally seems to have come to accept the witches thanks to her actions at the end of the series.
- For more images related to Paul Hanbridge, see the file category: Category:Images of the Earl of Hanbridge.
- Hanbridge greatly resembles and is possibly modeled after British actor Colin Firth.