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Not for me, but a good story for watching with/as a preteen, with fun characters and a steadily building plot

/anime/595209/little-witch-academia
Review of Little Witch Academia
by Rivka
Posted on October 8th, 2019
Positive 7
Overall Rating
 
+

IN BRIEF: Atsuko is the kind of genki girl who's put all her energy into reaching her goal of becoming a great witch, like her personal hero Shiny Chariot. The real world is working against her dreams, however: most witches have the advantage of a lineage's worth of family tutelage previous to entering Nova Academy; most young witches can master spells faster than her; her idol Shiny Chariot isn't respected by the actual magical community so claiming her as a guiding light is social suicide; and finally, Atsuko keeps acting on impulse and getting herself and her few friends into trouble. Can she really make the grade at magic school?

***SPOILERS below.***

MY THOUGHTS: I think I would have enjoyed this series far more if I had been twelve, or perhaps if I had not binged it in 3-4 episode chunks (I rushed it, as Netflix is planning to pull it off their service in October). The more episodic hijinks were lost on me, as I found it hard to take Atsuko seriously (her optimistic outlook verged on delusional in a few episodes, and she constantly undermined her goals in Noodle Incidents of misbehavior when she should have been afraid of expulsion). On the bright side, the plot thickens at the midway point with the introduction of a scheming teacher, and the final revelations about Professor Ursula and the true effects of Shiny Chariot's public performances of magic were quite exciting to see unfold. If more of the show had felt as urgent as the ending stretch, I would have enjoyed it more.

Rivka
My reviewing system for films and shows that are NOT anime:
1-5: I hated it. I also don't think it has redeeming qualities, so you shouldn't watch it either.
6: I didn't like it. It's not my thing, I didn't like the execution, I don't want to see it again. However, I don't think it is a BAD film or show - it has qualities that will recommend it to those who like that kind of thing.
7: It was fine. I didn't love it, and I don't need to see it again. I won't be sad if I never see it again.
8: I liked it. I didn't love it, and while I'd like to see it again, I wouldn't want to see it often.
9: I loved it. I would be sad if I never saw it again. I might want to see it every few years.
10: I loved it beyond description. I wouldn't mind re-watching it every year.

*********************************

Clarifying my Anime rating system:
My number key below is an attempt to parse the small differences between 5 and 6, 7 and 8, & 9 and 10. When I rate, I consider my own enjoyment, the characterization and the plot, the appearance of the animation, and occasionally the soundtrack - in roughly that order. An anime will lose at least 1 point for presence of deal-breaker tropes (for example, comedic pedophilia), and more if the trope(s) ruined my enjoyment. On the other hand, it will gain at least 1 point for artistry in animation or sound.

Never Recommend:
1-4, inclusive. Further clarification: I don't expect to rate anything 1-4, as I would probably never finish watching something in this range of rating. It's likely to have bad plotting, subpar animation, bland characterizations, silly and/or irritating tropes, etc.; I would consider it to be pure excrement, and I would rather be getting unanesthetized surgery for the entire running time.

Cautious Recommending:
5: I watched at least part of it, and may have stopped due to not liking the plot twists, character derailment, specific tropes, etc. In this case, it started out with a higher score and slipped over time... because I normally don't watch anything that I would score below 6, except for movies (small time commitment).
6: I may or may not have watched the whole show, but I recognize deal-breaker issues in it, and I'm unlikely to rewatch (I would rewatch only if a friend begged me to). It just wasn't enjoyable enough for me to forgive its flaws. There would be huge caveats to any recommendation.

Likely to Recommend:
7: Not my thing, but usually I at least respect it. Generally, I didn't like it enough to think I would rewatch it, but also didn't see huge problems in the plot, characterizations, etc. and thought it was worth finishing. I might suggest it to someone if I know they like the specific sub-genre or other work by the studio.
8: I had a good time watching it, but it didn't move me the way a 9 or a 10 does; it's possible that over time I would upgrade it to a 9 if I liked it more on reflection. I would be willing to rewatch it. I'd consider it mostly harmless to view, and would recommend it with the occasional caveat.

Highly Recommend:
9: I enjoyed very much. It may have had one or two issues, but not enough to diminish enjoyment. It's possible that over time I would downgrade it to an 8 (changing tastes) or upgrade to a 10 (realize it's never left my mind). I'm likely to rewatch, and likely to buy the DVDs. I'd recommend it to most audiences.
10: Virtually flawless. I'd definitely rewatch, and definitely want to buy DVDs. I would shill this to anyone.
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