Flying Witch – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 9th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Makoto Kowata moves back to Aomori to live with her relatives, second cousins, Kei and Chinatsu. But Chinatsu suspects that there’s more to Makoto than meets the eye. When the two girls go out on a quick shopping trip, Chinatsu discovers that Makoto is actually a witch! It’s not surprising that Chinatsu figured it out so quickly, as Makoto isn’t exactly the best at keeping this a secret. Now Makoto, who just turned fifteen and has come of age according to witch law, must adjust to her new life with her cousins in Aomori, a land of bountiful beauty.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Flying Witch gives off an air of simplicity. One look at the backgrounds and characters and you notice just how plain everything looks. It’s not a huge drawback, but viewers who desire high definition and precision in their animation may find the style and quality of art a bit of a letdown. It’s not repulsive, but it has more to do with the fact that a lot of the time, the show looks like a bit of a washed out watercolour painting and the sequences with CGI in them stick out like a sore thumb.
Tom: I actually quite enjoyed the art, which is grounded in a realistic portrayal of the quaint Aomori area. The art is mature, depicting our characters in a more subdued style, not the bombastic bright pastels of other slice of lifes this season. The art for the rural area is extremely beautiful, bringing the calm air of this backwater town to life.
Linny: For a show dealing with a supernatural element, it does have a nice tinge of realism. I personally enjoy the show’s excellent portrayal of the curious but cautious little girl, Chinatsu. She’s a great source of humour and cuteness as she gets acquainted with her cousin, Makoto the titular witch. Makoto herself is your typical sweet and innocent airhead with a heart of gold, and a few marbles missing. That’s not to say she’s generic as the show plays its characters as more subdued and realistic rather than in your face with constant over the top reactions and behaviour.
Tom: Everything about Flying Witch has been brought down from the normal hyper and crazy heights Anime reaches, now firmly planted with feet on the ground in an attempt to keep things subtle and real. There’s no screaming or shouting with shock as Makoto reveals herself to be a witch, but rather muted disbelief. Makoto is a bit oblivious, an airhead who doesn’t quite know to keep the whole witch thing under wraps, then again, in a quaint laid back countryside like this it doesn’t seem like she needs to. Beyond her and little Chinatsu, everyone else hasn’t had enough screen time to really become defined yet.
Linny: Flying Witch gradually picks up enough steam to keep the story moving at an enjoyable pace. There’s more visual gags but even they’re downplayed, with people reacting with muted disbelief or confusion, rather than outright panic or exaggerated expressions. Even the humour starts out subtle and realistic, such as Kei fooling Chinatsu into thinking Makoto is her mother, and slowly descends into ridiculousness (as pictured in the image below) by the end.
Tom: Flying Witch keeps its energy level low to allow the humor to accompany the pace of its slife of life nature. I found it a lot of fun watching Chinatsu, and Makoto’s new classmate get to know her. The few moments where we delve into the show’s witchcraft are played for laughs and work really well when juxtaposed against the quaint and calm life of Aomori that’s so unused to the oddity of a witch.
Linny: It’s a little confusing trying to determine just how common or uncommon witches are in Aomori and to its residents. Some characters act as if witches are but a natural part of the society, while others seem to have never heard of them prior to Makoto’s arrival. Though Makoto does have a conversation with her new friend about witches and their presence in society, it fails to establish a clear image of the society and culture the show is set in.
Tom: Flying Witch is based off a monthly manga that’s still running. It’s mostly likely we’ll get through the three collected volumes, but fans will have to cross their fingers for a localization of the manga in order to continue the story. Flying Witch is a nice, slow comedy/slice of life that makes for a nice change of pace from many of the other bombastic comedies this season.
Linny: Flying Witch has the air of a mature story, suited for those who prefer series more realistic and restrained in their humour and characters. The story still has flair thanks to its supernatural premise, but the show plays it all off a lot more subdued than most other anime. It truly feels like a quiet slice of life out in the countryside, even with a witch as its protagonist.
Flying Witch is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.