Since I’m once again in wild catch-up mode, I won’t be able to give the last two episodes of Little Witch Academia the attention they deserve, but here we go anyway.
I expected the final magic word to be utilized in the final episode, at the big climax, but instead it happens in #24, and it makes sense, since it has as much to do with Chariot and Croix’s story as with Akko’s, and this ep was mainly devoted to the two teachers, first fighting, then rescuing each other and making up. Croix was always upset that that wand had gone to Chariot and not her, and Chariot felt responsible for stealing Croix’s dreams, as she put it (not fair–that green goddess chose her outright), and stealing Akko’s powers, well, her flying ability anyway. One other thing she seems to have picked up from Akko was her bullheaded determination, hopping aboard Croix’s rocket to continue the confrontation.
No surprises in #24 after that, but it was well done. The stick bit was funny–even the learned witches were going “What the hell is that?” And it was telling that Croix did not believe it was the Grand Triskelion, and so rejected the very thing she had built drones and missiles and sucked negative energy to get. Then after the students’ dramatic entrance we get a nice scene between Chariot and Akko. There’s a lot of making up in this episode. No surprises in it, but like the ones with Chariot and Croix, we had loose emotional ends to tie up before the big, more-or-less predictable finale.
Predictable in that we know the threat from the first minute, and everything else in the finale is devoted to stopping it. The bonding moments between estranged friends was already done. Apart from the concept of friends, former enemies, and rivals working together to build that super-broom (and the lovely sequence when they eject themselves one by one, when their magic was used), oh, and the “believing heart is your magic” line they’ve been using too much, with the mobs and people glued to media cheering them on (did they even know why they were cheering?) … well, those ARE a lot of emotional moments, aren’t they? Okay, apart from all THAT, it’s to get Akko and Diana, of all people, up to that magic missile and whip out some super combined power, beautifully executed by Studio Trigger at their most passionate …
This series took its time to get to the end. I believe 25 episodes was too much, especially when so many of the early ones were little more than Akko trying and failing and trying harder. But one season and 12-13 episodes would have been too few. So we got thrilling episodes that moved the story along mixed in with bits of fluff, often concerning Lotte, who was very nice and all but not very interesting. Not all the side episodes were bad–the trip inside Sucy’s head was a hell of a lot of fun. Not to mention that just about every episode had a moment of Trigger’s exhilarating animation. But I felt the main story almost got lost in the side stories. It got much better when Croix showed up and the show gained a focus. Still, overall the series was fun as hell. What’s Trigger going to do next?