As expected, Little Witch Academia 23 is a mopey, sad episode where Akko, repeatedly told “A believing heart is your magic,” finds there’s nothing to believe in at the moment and vanishes, while characters spend most of their time worrying about her. The rest is Ursula’s flashback to Chariot’s wild days, and we learn an important fact that you’d think SOMEONE would tell AKKO about: Chariot had no idea what that Dream Fuel Spirit magic was doing to the audience, and when she discovered the truth, she dropped it immediately … and lost her audience, though not before trying to blow up the moon … Anyway, it wasn’t deliberate, and while Akko has every right to be upset, she shouldn’t be upset too much with Ursula, which Ursula and/or Croix should have told Akko last week, but didn’t. Ursula possibly because she would still feel responsible, Croix because she’s the bad person on the show. No, the only person who actually sits down and talks with Akko about all this is Diana, who reassures her while sternly refusing to let her drown in her own pity, and gives everyone watching the last of the backstory. Now we’re set for the final big story arc.
Considering there are only two episodes of Uchouten Kazoku left after this week’s, and now we have Benten actually pissed off at Yasaburou, I figured they’d be cramming in as many story bits as possible, but the episode took its sweet time getting anywhere, building up the tension, flitting from Yaichirou’s ceremony to Yajirou’s travels and meeting that nice young girl, to Yasaburou’s comfortable hiding … how would they get to Yasaburou? And who or what would they pull out of their enormous bag of tricks to do the job? With hindsight it makes perfect sense. I was wondering what was going on with Tenmaya and that gun … Well, he and Kaisei will get out of it somehow. I’m actually more intrigued by the idea that the now-decent Kureichirou might be an imposter; that has long-term ramifications for both families, and whether the time the show has left will be enough to take care of this news.
While Sakura Quest 11’s arc wrap-up was sweet, the series is beginning to feel more contrived than before. It always was to an extent, and I think that slice-of-life shows like this that have obvious themes for its arcs (here it was “outsiders”) have to bend realism a bit to get the theme to work in different ways. It’s not the theme itself doesn’t work; we have Ririko, the Resident Outsider, sad because she doesn’t fit in, who really just needed a hug, and that’s fine. We have the girl outsiders here for a visit, and they’re neutral. Then there’s Chitose, whose family life was broken by outsiders, and Sandal, part Manoyaman as it turns out, with his great grandfather being the outsider, for the counterpoint. Not to mention the origin of the dance, and the legends that go with it. The main idea gets viewed from several angles. Good. It’s the execution where we see the flaws. I can’t believe occult-nut Ririko hadn’t already known of the dragon legend and the various versions. And how Sandal’s song just happened to appear just at the right moment. At times like this my willing suspension of disbelief gets strained. Don’t even get me startd on the guy in the pond.