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Considering the recent release of the sequel and my almost undying love for the series, it's about time I finally make a topic about this and introduce you to a unassuming golden nugget. Little Witch Academia was a short created by Trigger, the same studio you may recognize as the minds behind Kill la Kill, Inferno Cop and Ninja Slayer. The series and both films that comprise it were created and directed by Yoh Yoshinari, a former Gainax animator known for his exuberant, elastic style that's quite evident in his work: he was an animator and character designer for Gainax anime such as Gurren Lagann along with Panty & Stocking. Both of the films center around a teenage girl by the name of Akko Kagari, who enrolls Luna Nova Academy, a school for young witches. She later meets her two (somewhat) reluctant best friends, Lotte Yanson and Sucy Manabaran. Misadventures that later result in near death experiences ensue. Let's dig in in the two films. Little Witch Academia (2013) Note: half of these things don't appear in the actual film. Especially that guy with flowing hair or the hot air balloon. Disappointed? I feel you. This received a fair amount of hype surrounding its release in April 2013, and I remember every bit of it. To give some background, this was a short film funded by the Young Animator's Training Project, and later aired at Anime Mirai 2013 before being released in Japanese theaters and online shortly after. I'll just give a synopsis from MyAnimeList so you'll have a view of the short's events: At least somewhere in this thread, you're at least somewhat getting Harry Potter vibes. Despite the universe taking place in a boarding school filled with wizards, please don't compare it with HP. Both are quite different in terms of stories and characters, so drop that preconception before you get to watching this film or its sequel. Despite it's half-hour long runtime, Little Witch Academia is an innocent, uplifting and just a magical breeze throughout. Although its story isn't its strong suit and the characters come off as underdeveloped due to how short it is, there's still plenty of fun to be had here. The animation, backgrounds and general art design is absolutely sumptuous, especially when you put into account that it was done by relatively young animators who were putting their work into this. It doesn't even necessarily feel like an anime to me, the whole time it felt like I was watching a Disney film. Almost everybody's movements is silky smooth, nor does it ever seem like it was majorly budget constrained. Every penny was put to optimal use here for the animation. The color palette is a joy to look at as well, everything pops out at you without looking garish. And that's only just some of what it has to offer. That, and I forgot to mention the music. Michiru Oshima's score is seriously gorgeous, especially for a relatively low-key project such as this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN1HjISTTBw So yeah, putting it short, if you're bored or want to cheer yourself up, LWA is definitely something worth watching that will definitely lift your spirits afterward. It's something that awakens the child inside of me like few things can, despite me acknowledging its flaws. It's innocent, adorable, exciting and above all inspiring fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=662DVAVks3g Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade (2015) As some of you probably already know, LWA had a sequel in development after the runaway success of the original short. After many teases intensifying throughout this year, The Enchanted Parade was finally aired at Anime Expo 2015 a couple days ago. I haven't watched it for myself despite having the means to watch it, but I will definitely set aside time for myself to do so and give my thoughts later on. This time around, The Enchanted Parade is an hour long, and has an ostensibly different plot from Akko and co.'s previous escapade: The Manga There's a nifty one-shot manga that serves as a prequel to the events of the first LWA. You can read it here, it's honestly pretty good. So yeah, that's pretty much it from me. Hopefully this topic somewhat convinced you to check out the series if you haven't already, and if it did, then more power to you! Please go check it out for yourself, I promise that you won't regret it. The Enchanted Parade is available on HorribleSubs, so go check it our there. Both movies have English subtitles, even if I wonder how good a dub would be. For people who are already LWA fans, discuss anything pertaining to the series here!