Witch Craft Works – 02

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It’s only been two weeks, but we have a good feeling about Witch Craft Works if it keeps up this level of quality. This was a complete episode: we got lots of tasty plot, colorful characters, explosive action, and even a little romance, as Kagari and Takamiya end up on what amounts to be a first date. We’re also consistently impressed with how funny this show is; since he’s “normal” like us, and a newcomer to the magical world, he can comment objectively on all the weird witchy stuff going on around him, with comical results.

And a lot goes on around him: turns out Takamiya isn’t as “normal” as he always thought: he’s a very “popular” young lad, and in the wrong hands he could start a war; a magical nuke, if you will. We see many of those wrong hands, the Witches of the Tower, as they descend upon Takamiya with talons spread. They’re vain, greedy, selfish, cool-looking witches who thirst for power, unlike Kagari, who’s a member of the Crafting (or Workshop) Witches, who build cities and maintain the natural balance and peace. It’s a neat little (actually, huge) conflict going on right under noses of the muggle multitudes, of whom Takamiya knows he’s no longer a member.

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Takamiya, meanwhile, continues to not be threatened by Kagari’s power, or opposed to being protected out of misplaced masculine pride. At the same time, he doesn’t want her to keep getting unnecessarily hurt for his sake (he quickly realizes her sudden scarf was hiding a wound). He wants to help her, and so asks to be her apprentice. Maybe once he learns a little magic, the Tower witches may think twice about spur-the-moment attacks, like the one Ai attempted at the mall. What’s great is that all of the Tower witches we’ve seen in action so far exude a dangerous malice despite their inability to lay a scratch on Takamiya.

They don’t come off as bumbling incompetents; it’s more that Kagari is such a badass that she makes dealing with them look easy. In fact, at this point they only seem to be poking around, assessing the prey along with its guardian. Kagari says straight up that she wishes she could protect Takamiya without him knowing anything, but that time has passed and there’s no going back. While teaching him magic is prudent, the witches are likely to keep hunting him with ever larger, more organized attacks, no doubt led by heavies like Chronoire Schwarz VI. Takamiya may find himself in a perilous new world with numerous targets painted on his body, but he can’t say he’s not enjoying the ride!

9_superiorRating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • Tanpopo mentions the Towers are only interested in Takamiya’s body; specifically, his…“white stuff.” Whatever that is, it’s apparently not the first thing one would think of.
  • Despite her always-serious face, Kagari does crack the occasional joke!
  • We love how sweet Ai acts when we first see her, then how coldly she tosses the child aside when she recognizes Takamiya. Bad witches hate kids; that’s science.
  • We techincally meet Takamiya’s little sister, who seems to be very interested in her brother’s goings-on. How do we know? Well, the episode smartly avoided any big “brother-complex” scenes, and instead kept her in the far corners of the frame or in the background, spying on his date with Kagari. Very subtly, cleverly done. I don’t think we ever saw her face.
  • The thing Kagari went shopping for? A smart warlock outfit for Takamiya. Awesome.
  • The ED, in which five witches are being tortured in various ways, strikes a fine balance between cute and macabre. The theme is quite catchy too.
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Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta – 02

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Our introduction to Isla last week was dominated by Kal’s evening with Claire Cruz, but this week we learn more about the world and Isla’s mission, and we’re given a lot more names to remember, including an Admiral Luis de Alarcon, who makes very inappropriate remarks to the students. We also get a taste of what will probably be an ongoing class war within the academy, as a pair of commoners are bullied by a noble. But while the classes live separately, they’ll be training together.

This is good news for Kal, who after spending every possible moment he could with Claire after meeting her, still can’t get her off his mind. She’s thinking of him too, but as we later learn, she’s an extremely sheltered young lady, under the watch of a stern maid and held to a curfew. It’s possible Claire is so enamored of Kal because simply because he’s the first person her age who’s ever been so nice to her. Not to discount the romantic potential, but Kal is clearly the more socialized of the two at this point.

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A bit about the world: it’s certainly a very neat-looking one, with three nation-continents, two seas separated by one huge, awesome waterfall, and a whole lot of unknown left to explore. But much is being made of the fact that no one aboard Isla will be returning to the nations they left behind, and little is known about the mythical Holy Spring—at least we’re told little. When a student asks what all this military paraphernalia is meant to protect exactly, the faculty dodges the question.

Speaking of secrets, Kal’s is revealed thanks to the audible thoughts of Ignacio Axis (AKA Mister Angst): Kal’s a former Crown Prince. While it’s still unclear why he’s now pretending to be a commoner, we can guess it has something to do with a coup, purge, or some other betrayal, which means Kal may have a score to settle with the parties that caused his fam’s downfall. He may have arrived at Isla bitter about his situation, but thanks to Claire, now he’s glad he came. Kal and Claire’s romance is still simple and pure, but it’s bound to get more complicated as their respective secrets come to light.

7_very_goodRating:7 (Very Good)