Tree of Leaves (言の葉の樹 Koto no Ha no Ki?) is the 25th and final episode of the Little Witch Academia anime series. It also serves as the fourth and final part of four-parter second cour finale (second season on Netflix) of the series.
On Netflix, the episode is titled "Changing at the Edge of the World".
Everyone seems powerless to stop the magical missile. But Akko believes otherwise, and her friends the "New Nine Witches" follow her lead.
As Pixels that hosted Noir Rod's digital consciousness hijack an ICBM loaded within a submarine far away from the main land and causing it to launch to the sky, Paul Hanbridge demanded anyone present to turn off the beeping noise across the meeting room at the parliament. Just then, they received a report about an unidentified object that flying on the nation's airspace, which Mr. Blackwell confirmed as the hijacked missile which unexpectedly displayed on the screen of his smartphone.
Back at Arcturus Tower, the same alarm blares from Croix's smartphone which allows the group to learn Noir Rod's survival. This surprised Croix as even after reduced into a handful of pixels, her magitronic monstrosity still has enough power to take over a missile in order to regenerate and continuing its rampage. To make matters worse, she can no longer shut it down with its systems evolved enough to prevent such an attempt. Simultaneously, the rioters back at the city also learned about the assimilated missile's progress through their smartphones while resting.
With a conjured magic screen, Chariot shows everyone Noir Rod's current missile form as Croix proposed it to be the result of accumulated negative emotions exceeding her calculations. Worse still, she also deduced that it's no longer a mere magitronic construct, but rather an out-of-control beast seeking to spread negativities all over the world by detonating itself at its marked destination. When it appeared there's no hope to stop the modern magic professor's creation, Akko reminds everyone that they can still stop the beast somehow, which Diana agrees owing that they now fighting a magical beast, a problem that witches can handle at best. Croix however, remains skeptical with their chance to succeed, adding that SSS units they can salvage from Noir Rod's husk barely contain extra magic reserves for the task. Even so, Akko insists that it's worth to try if they work together just like Nine Olde Witches who saved magical world long ago, going so far proclaims everyone present as Nine New Witches. The group eventually agree to stop the threat, with Diana added that she and Akko can catch up via. Shiny Balai once they are close enough.
As per Amanda's suggestion, the gang arranged their brooms in a multistage rocket-like formation with three rearmost brooms that have two SSS installed on them. Once the multi-staged broom is completed, Akko gives combined broom a finishing touch by reciting the 5th Word of Arcturus, fusing it and Shiny Balai. Before Akko, Lotte, Sucy, Amanda, Constanze, Jasminka, and Diana can set off for Noir Missile, Chariot and Croix magically changed their clothes into silver-white versions of their Luna Nova robes for protection along with their predecessor's blessings, giving them power boost for the oncoming fight. With that, the seven friends warped towards the Ley Lines as the uncertain Croix watched their departure. Through Chariot's reassurance, Croix placed her faith in the gang as she holds magical residue they left behind.
Blasting their way out of Glastonbury Tor, Lotte conjures an enchantment over everyone through wind faery's magic, easing the turbulence of their flight. Jasminka accelerates her broom in a burst of insane speed before detaching both herself and the broom from the rest, with Amanda and Constanze soon follow afterward. As with Noir Missile, their progress is somehow got broadcasted through everyone's smart devices, including those belonging to rioters and uncertain civilians of Great Britain's rival nation. As this happens, everyone in the parliament, including Andrew and his father, has moved to the control room in the light of the missile's sudden appearance. They and Mr. Blackwell begin to argue whether to warn the rival country about the hijacked missile when their intel picked up another unidentified object that chase said missile which, to their surprise, is Akko, Lotte, Sucy, and Diana on their multi-staged broom.
Back to the witches, Lotte and Sucy shift their brooms' position to side-by-side, allowing Sucy to infuse their straw ends with one of her concoctions which then ignited by Will-o'-chan's flames, adding a final boost of speed before detaching themselves and let Akko and Diana continue the chase. The students of Appleton Academy revealed to also watching their progress through one of their laptops as Frank recognized the girls as the same witches they met at Luna Nova. Whereas one of them cried out that they have a crisis to worry about, Louis correctly deduced of witches attempting to stop the missile. Back at the parliament's control room, the intel reported that the footage of Akko and co.'s chase for the missile has gone viral that taking it down is no longer possible, much to Mr. Blackwell's fury.
Unfortunately for Akko and Diana, Shiny Balai begins to run out of magic. Both girls soon startled by the appearance of two interceptor missiles aimed for Noir Rod's missile form. To Mr. Blackwell's shock, Noir Rod swiftly evades its attackers and even warped its form at one point before retaliating with a salvo of small guided projectiles, destroying them. As a result, only Akko and Diana who now stand between it and its path for destruction.
In the uncertainty among citizens of Blytonbury, one of them recalled about witches who chase the hijacked missile as they speak. Unsure at first, they realized said witches now the only ones who can stop the threat. One of the rioters, a young woman with a brown bowl cut, rallies the others to voice their support upon them. The citizens' heartfelt support and their believing hearts soon reach Akko and Diana in the form of plant-like trails of Fuel Spirit which help them keep flying. Both girls soon notice this and use them as their advantage. At the Arcturus Tower, Croix is surprised by such a phenomenon, as it worked without undergoing any process like in her Fuel Spirit experiments. Chariot explained it to be the result of Akko and Diana's believing hearts moving everyone, which gives Croix an idea; hacking every TV screens and other devices across the world (including Annabel Crème's laptop, Fafnir the Dragon's computer, and Last Wednesday Society Proprietor's TV), she has the video of Akko and Diana streaming worldwide and asked Chariot to rally everyone's support. Telling the audiences of brave witches' fight against the monster, Chariot pleaded to them to lend the girls their support and placed their faith in them, before concluding that everyone's believing hearts is their magic.
Outraged by this turn of events, Mr. Blackwell demanded that the entire broadcast must be shut down, but Andrew argued it to be futile since everyone has placed their support on the witches, which only adds another fuel for the flame because the public supported the very thing he despises. Paul Hanbrige on the other hand, apparently not understanding the scope of the situation, nowhere as supportive as he argued witches only make things worse. Having enough of being the helpless one, Andrew stands up not just for the witches, but also for his own ideals and beliefs. Fortunately, to Andrew's delight, the newly arrived Prime Minister expresses his agreement with the young Hanbridge, prompting Mr. Blackwell and Paul Hanbrige to stand down. The Prime Minister even requested everyone to lend both witches their support and prepare a backup plan in case of their failure, before encouraging Andrew to continue to cheer the witches.
Still pleasantly surprised by the unexpected extra magic, Akko can't help but wonder whether it's more than enough to catch up with Noir Rod. Pointing out it does, Diana reminds Akko that they still need to deal with the magitronic construct. Just as Noir Rods begins to attack them with a salvo of small missiles, Shiny Balai's magic begins to form something, prompting both witches to switch position on their broom. As they do, Shiny Balai manifests a wand for Akko to use, prompting her to begin counterattacks by turning oncoming projectiles into colorful animal constructs. Perceiving both girls as a threat, Noir Rod splits itself into smaller, serpentine missiles to directly attack them. The fight soon becomes one-sided, as not only one of the serpent-missiles knocked Akko off Shiny Balai, but also bombards Diana with attack-after-attack until finally knocks the young Cavendish off it as well. Fortunately, when it appears the hope seems lost for them, a flash of vermilion light snatches Akko on the air, subsequently allowing the latter to save Diana and unveils their savior as none other than Shooting Star itself!
With the legendary broom on their side, Akko (after retrieving fallen Shiny Rod) and Diana outpace Noir Rod's split form, prompting it to recombine and even partially regains its dragon form at that instance. By the time both girls are on the considerable distance from the monstrous construct, the support from the entire planet formed a manifestation of Yggdrasil around them, followed by Akko who pleads to Grand Triskellion to bring joy and happiness upon everyone. Sharing a heartfelt smile with Diana, both girls perform Final Shiny Arc; reciting the First Word of Arcturus together, they turn the Shiny Rod, which empowered by both Grand Triskellion and entire nation's Fuel Spirit, into a massive bow with a proportionally huge arrow loaded with both powers before letting it loose upon Noir Rod. The arrow hits its mark in that instance, not only it enters the magitronic construct's maw but also evaporating it from inside out into a titanic smiley of light. The smiley then disperses into infinite magic which spread all over the world in the next instance, bringing joy and happiness upon everyone in it. Among those who celebrate are a Slavic girl and an American little girl inspired by Akko and Diana just as the latter two inspired by Chariot's show a decade ago.
Back in the parliament's control room, everyone present is in the middle of the celebration as Paul decided to talk to Andrew about something. To Andrew's surprise, Paul has realized how much he misunderstood witches all this time and asked his son to tell him his full thoughts about them and the importance of their existence, apparently hinting a newfound faith in magical world's future. Delighted by this, Andrew nods that he will.
Watching the newly restored magic which spreads across the world thus marking the cosmic tree's rebirth, Croix noted how magic truly came from one's believing heart, which makes it much more complex than she believed to be. Chariot agrees with such statement, and with humanity's believing hearts fully reinvigorated, Yggdrasil will continue to grow. Although their bonds have been destroyed not too long ago, Woodward watches her students with a smile of approval from distance, a smile she also shares to Akko and Diana. Back to Akko and Diana, as both girls enjoy the sight of newly restored magic, the former notices Shiny Rod begins to disappear. Though she is visibly about to tear up at first, Akko nevertheless let her precious staff go as it disappears back to the stars, saying farewell to the very thing that changed both her life and that of her idol.
Two months later, Chariot, now no longer hiding her identity as Ursula (as she lets her hair in its natural red color), alongside Holbrooke, accompanies Croix as the latter is about to be taken into custody by Dorlin and an unnamed wizard. Despite the Headmistress' reassurance that she will be accepted back to Luna Nova, Croix stated that it'll take a while before she returns teaching, and when she does, she'll break Wagandea' curse so Ursula can fly together with Akko one day. As Croix, Dorlin, and the wizard departed, Ursula promises that she will wait for her friend's return. Meanwhile, the gang is enjoying the day with Hannah and Barbara (who joins Lotte in reading the latest Night Fall volume) tag along as Akko makes another attempt to fly to no avail. As Lotte noted, Akko makes an actual improvement unlike before (the straw end of her broom briefly emits weak magic instead of not reacting with her incantation at all), though Diana and Amanda argued otherwise. Just then, Ursula and Holbrooke, alongside Andrew, Frank, and even Finnelan appear with Andrew returns Akko's hat. Shortly after Lotte and Sucy reminded Akko that believing heart is one's magic, the former notices that Akko managed to float an inch of the ground. As everyone finally realizes this turn of events, Akko cries in joy as they begin to celebrate...
Order of appearances
- Akko and her friends' mission to stop the Magitronic missile makes a small allusion to the fourth episode "Night Fall" where Lotte mentioned one of the Night Fall stories she read included Belle stopping a nuclear warhead (though with her bare hands instead of magic).
- During the battle against the missile, a part of the missile is transformed into a whale by Akko, which might be a reference to the British book series, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- This episode bears a few similarities to the 24th episode of Kill la Kill (another anime developed in 2013 by Studio Trigger) where the series took its climax in the battle between Ryūko Matoi and Ragyō Kiryūin.
- Ryūko and Ragyō took the final stage of their battle outside of the Earth and into space; while Akko and Diana lured the Noir Rod missile on a wild chase out into the thermosphere.
- Ryūko sorrowfully parts with her Kamui Senketsu, due to the latter sacrificing himself in order to bring Ryūko back to Earth safely; Akko tearfully gives her thanks and farewell to the Shiny Rod as it disintegrates and returns to the Big Dipper constellation soon after reviving Yggdrasil and destroying the missile for good.
- In addition to this, the woman who's the first to cheer on Akko and Diana bears a striking resemblance to Mako Mankanshoku from the aforementioned anime.
- This is the only episode where Constanze provided her dialogue, reacting to Akko's management to fly on her broom.
- This is the only episode in the series without an opening intro.
- However, the full version of the opening song of the first cour, Shiny Ray, plays when Akko rescues Diana from her fall using the Shooting Star broom. The song stops playing after Akko and Diana use the power of the Grand Triskellion to save the world.
- The ending theme played in this episode is the first cour's ending theme, Hoshi Wo Tadoreba.
- In Netflix worldwide release, the episode's title name was changed to "Changing at the Edge of the World".
- Although most of this episode takes in February, Akko's flight party takes place in April.
- As illustrated by Shiori Miyazaki and later confirmed by Yoshinari himself, pastries the gang bring during the aforementioned flight party was cooked by Diana under the guidance of Luna Nova's goblin chef.
|Tree of Leaves has an associated gallery here.|
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