Perhaps because I greatly love Little Witch Academia series, I at times imagine how the series would looked like if its storyline has different approach instead of the one we know and love. We all know this anime mainly about cute witches (especially Atsuko Kagari who new in magical world) but NO magical girls. In this blog, let us imagine how the franchise would looked like if it has more magical girl elements where Akko, Lotte, Sucy, and even Diana gain the ability to transform into powerful magical superheroines who combat evil akin to magical girls featured in Yuki Yuna is a Hero and Studio TRIGGER's Kill la Kill (though the latter series only featured two actual "magical girls" who happened to be Kamui users; Ryūko Matoi and Satsuki Kiryuin). I personally felt if the franchise eventually goes to the said approach, it will be as awesome as Little Witch Academia episodes Chariot of Fire and Sky War Stanship.
However, should Studio TRIGGER decided to add magical girl elements in future storyline of Little Witch Academia anime in which Akko, Lotte, Sucy, and Diana gain the ability to transform into powerful magical girls and fight evil who threatened the newly restored magical world, I wished they make the following approach:
Beautiful yet Gallant CostumesEveryone knows majorities of heroines featured in typical magical girl franchises such as Sailor Moon, Pretty Cure, Tokyo Mew Mew, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica usually depicted with fancy and beautiful-looking costumes. Through observations, most of their costumes are technically dresses which design and aesthetics provide little protection against attack, and thus impractical to protect against life-threatening punishments. This however, not always the case, as Kill la Kill features Kamuis, series of magical girl costumes that designed as powerful body armor in spite of their extremely skimpy appearance due to dangerous nature of Life Fibers they made of. Hero costumes in Yuki Yuna is a Hero appeared to provide protection against attacks like armors, but not on same extent with Kamui. As such, instead of fancy dress-like costumes generic in typical magical girls, it would be appropriate if Akko and co. outfitted with beautiful but gallant suit of armor in their magical forms since they would likely face serious dangers in their battles against evil. I personally felt that way as magical girls who combat evil with fancy and girlish costumes might not realistic enough.
Minimalistic but Impressive Transformation SequenceWhen it comes about transformation sequence, a magical girl usually begins her transformation with use of a magical trinket which, upon activated, causes her to float on the air as her civilian clothes magically disappear into bright light. As this happens, her magical girl costume materializes in place of her dispersed civilian outfit, with the transformation ends with her magical girl costume forms the rest of its accessory. This kind of transformation sequence has been common in various magical girl franchise that it become generic and somewhat boring, as it often similar with that of other tokusatsu series such as Power Rangers and some iteration of Kamen Riders. Then when browsing internet comparing various transformation sequences found in magical girls and other tokusatsu series, I stumbled upon tokusatsu dark fantasy franchise GARO] which features heroic Makai Knights who displayed simple yet impressive transformation sequence: The Makai Knight spins his transformation trinket (a Makai Blade) on the air above his head, opening a portal from which his Makai Armor descend and assemble around his body, completing the transformation in matter of seconds. Such transformation sequence somewhat atypical that it confused me at first, but the more I understood its process, the more it hooked me. The creators of GARO series deliberately established it to make it stands out with other generic tokusatsu series, one of factors which make the franchise very popular.
If Studio TRIGGER have Akko and co.'s transformation process into magical girls minimalistic while maintaining its beauty and impressiveness similar to Makai Knights from GARO, why not?
Avoid Making The Plot Too Edgy And Having Excessive Abstract Elements
One of reasons I made this blog is my disappointment on Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I became intrigued with Puella Magi Madoka Magica series since I learned somewhere in internet that Yoh Yoshinari originally intended that the storyline of Little Witch Academia anime TV series to be as dark as Puella Magi Madoka Magica ever did, the concept which then used for the series' second cour. Because of it, as soon as I finished watching Little Witch Academia anime, I decided to give a shot on Puella Magi Madoka Magica to compare it with the series' second cour. That's the moment I glad the second cour of Little Witch Academia never as dark and edgy as Puella Magi Madoka Magica ever did (though episode Chariot and Croix did came close to it), as I already dismayed that Puella Magi Madoka Magica greatly similar with Neon Genesis Evangelion in many ways.
What Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Neon Genesis Evangelion shared in common are about facing monster of the week that mostly abstract/lovecraftian in nature, dark and depressing atmosphere, main protagonists who often seemingly weak due to psychological issues from either their role as magical girls, external factors, or both so bad they found it hard to press on and overcome it, and the later part of their respective storylines somewhat greatly emphasize psychology and philosophy which made it more and more abstract that it not helped its worsen atmosphere. The only positive aspect that I saw in Puella Magi Madoka Magica is Madoka's ability to become better person after overcoming her psychological issues and self-introspection by the end of the said series, contrasting to Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion whom I perceived as disappointment and failure of the failures. Even though Yuki Yuna is a Hero appeared to be not as dark as Puella Magi Madoka Magica, they still similar in basest level.
It's not that I hate them, but a tokusatsu or magical girl series don't have to be extremely dark and gritty as well as excessively emphasizing abstract aspects like that. Through further understanding its story and lore, I figured out tokusatsu dark fantasy series GARO technically as dark as either Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Neon Genesis Evangelion, but able to balance it out with awesome actions as well as more optimistic, and lighthearted moments. In my perspective, such factor is what allow the second cour of Little Witch Academia anime TV series not to be completely depressing. Also, while adding abstract aspects such as psychology and philosophy can improve a story, it is not necessary to greatly emphasize them so the story won't be extremely convuluted. As such, regardless of how the story of Little Witch Academia with magical girls approach looked like (be it adventure mystery, comedy, action, etc.), it would be wise if its storyline balanced out lighthearted and dark moments as with in both cours of previous Little Witch Academia anime.
Parallel Lives and Call Back MomentsThroughout the first and second cour of Little Witch Academia, we have seen how Akko, Ursula aka. Chariot, and Diana's experiences humbled them into characters we know and love. For the oncoming new story of Little Witch Academia series, regardless whether it will has magical girl elements in it, it would be better if there are some call back moments in addition of brand new storyline. The example would be either:
- Certain circumstances that forced Akko to revisit Wagandea once again,
- Akko and Constanze builds upgraded Grand Charion,
- Akko and Ursula helps a troubled parent and child whose situation not so different with theirs in the oast
- And so on...
It would be heartwarming to see how these witches' experience enable them to relate with others, right?
Some of the statements above might a bit offensive, so if it does, I deeply apologized for that.