- Genre: Shoujo, Magic, Supernatural
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: J.C.Staff
Honoka keeps running into the school princess, Ayaka. They take the bus together, they’re in the same class, they even share cleanup duty, but he’s never managed to have an actual conversation with her. Despite the completely innocent nature of their relationship, Honoka keeps getting attacked because of it. Honoka’s a bit of a doormat so he just takes it but then MAGIC! and before he knows it he’s in the middle of this magical war or something and Ayaka is a super powerful witch. And she’s huge you guys. Like amazon princess witch. That was cool. Oh, she decides to be his bodyguard.
A little while ago I got in a witchy mood, as one does, and ended up watching three “witch series” back to back: Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Flying Witch and Witchcraft Works. At their very core, all three of these series tell the same story, namely the story of a teenage witch trying to find her place in the world and come to grips with her powers. But this is pretty much the only thing they have in common. Presentation, style, tone and even message are all so different that in a way, it was quite the Rashomon effect… No, no it wasn’t. I was just trying to sound smart. You caught me.
I probably liked Witchcraft Works more than most people and overall I would say I quite enjoyed it but I can understand why someone would have complaints. The plot is a hero’s journey/ clash of the titans type story, not that original but also interesting enough. I’ve seen much worse. What I think may be at fault here is an unskilled adaptation. I’m just assuming, I’ve never read the manga, but it seemed as if chunks of storyline had been just roughly carved out. It’s not so much that there was huge gaps in the background information that would render the story difficult to follow like for instance Pandora Hearts but you can easily tell if for instance a character should have had a larger pat or if a series of events that led to a particular situation had been omitted. It’s not that the show is shallow exactly but it feels hollowed out. Like a cheap Easter chocolate bunny.
I understand the need to condense content to fit the format but I always feel cheated when its done with such a lack of finesse. Especially when a lot of the components happen to be pretty interesting. The hapless tower witches (those are the enemy witches) were entertaining and at times amusing. The light shoujo-ai touches throughout were fun. I appreciated the magical powers and the visuals associated with them. The entire cute but threatening aesthetic with monstrous stuffed toys and killer bunnies is right up my alley! The story seems to hint at an epic war of magic and ancient powers that could have been amazing. Sadly, those visuals gave the show a grand sense of scale that the plot just couldn’t sustain.
And that’s the other major problem I have with this series. I often had the feeling that the best stuff was happening offscreen. Like all my friends were having fun without me. Honoka and Ayaka are perfectly fine characters and protagonists but they’re also, in my opinion, the most boring characters the show has to offer. I get that making your protagonist very eccentric is difficult since they need to serve as an audience stand in and get all the exposition out, but I still would have liked a bit more implication from the chorus.
As I mentioned above, the story refers to past events and a great war out of which the current unsteady, and rapidly crumbling, truce among the witches is built but we never really see any of it. This mae me sad as it sounds so much more interesting than what was going on.
To me, this show shines brightest on its periphery. The B stories and fillers were usually amusing and the supporting characters were pretty much all great. This is where we get to the actual purpose of this post – my Kazane appreciation thread. I LURVE Kazane. I have no logical way of explaining this to any of you – it was love at first sight. From the second she entered the scene, a bit of my drink dribbled down my chin, and I have been hopelessly and irremediably in love ever since. There’s really no help for me. I love her design, her personality, her smoking, her drinking, her voice sends those pleasant little tickles down my spine… you get the idea. I would have watched a much worse show for this character alone and enjoyed it deeply.
Now normally I’m the jealous type when it comes to my waifus but surprisingly I even had a ship for Kazane. There was in fact a second lady who, under normal circumstances, would have totally stolen my heart but the competition was just unfair here. After I saw Chronoire Schwarz in one of the first episodes (in a great scene that basically sold the show to me), I spent the entire series wanting to learn more about her. Unfortunately, the show is very stingy with both her appearances and her history. I nevertheless savoured every moment she was on screen and when she happened to share the spotlight with Kazane well – let’s just say I had to replace my yuri goggles cause my pair melted.
I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what I was supposed to get out of this series. As far as the young witch coming into her own story went – I dunno, it was fine. It was presented through the lens of stepping up to one’s duty and accepting responsibility that comes with power and growing up. The romance element was definitely present but subdued and the gender swapped hero/damsel dynamic was cute. There were funny moments. If you have a “witch week” of anime to fill up – this is a pretty good choice. I’m going to go hold my breath for a Chronoire and Kazane spinoff now.
Favorite character: Take a wild guess
What this anime taught me about myself: I will wait for Kazane forever.
Don’t cry over spilled milk…it could have been beer!
Suggested drink: Witchcraft
- Every time a new tower witch is introduced – take a drink
- Every time Kasumi is way too attached to her brother – take a drink
- Every time Takamiya gets beat up – take a drink
- Every time Ayaka flames – get some water
- Every time Ayaka princess carries Honoka – take a drink
- Every time there is a new character in the end credits – have a drink
- Every time we see a familiar – take a drink
- Every time someone mentions everything going fine – brace for impact
- Every time there is Les Yay – take a drink
- Every time Kazane comes on – lay off!