Witch Craft Works – Anime Review
Synopsis: Takamiya Honoka is just an average student who just so happens to sit next to Kagari Ayaka, the “Princess” of the school, and has never said a word to her. However, one day when Takamiya’s life is put in danger, Kagari arrives to his rescue dressed as a witch. It is revealed that Kagari is what is known as a Workshop Witch within the city and Takamiya is under her protection and shall henceforth protect him from any danger that ensues… (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis.)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: One of the most promising features of Witch Craft Works is its strong female protagonist, Kagari, who consistently outshines the hero, Takamiya in combat and skills. It also helps that the show never degenerates into yet another cliche harem anime, despite the cast consisting of one male and a billion females. That said, it does have a fair share of issues. For one, it is extremely focused on its main male and female protagonist, which isn’t a crime but makes it frustrating when the show keeps throwing in new characters and antagonists yet never gives any of them proper exposition or airtime. It’s even more frustrating should you happen to find a new character interesting only for them to almost promptly be forgotten and neglected. New characters are immediately defeated by Kagari or have such minuscule roles that you wonder why the show even bothered to bring them into the mix. Also, if you are tired of the super popular and worshiped but stoic and almost mute heroine, Kagari will not impress you.
Tom: It’s fair to say Witch Craft Works is riddled with problems. While the series is working with a fun and interesting concept, a decent duo of leads, plus some truly beautiful artwork and character designs, there’s a host of problems to bury all of those positive aspects. As the old saying goes “a hero is only as interesting as his villain.” This is especially true for Witch Craft Works. The anime has a real problem introducing anyone interesting outside of our primary leads. New characters are introduced near every episode. Time is frequently devoted to introducing these characters, anyone from difficult allies to troublesome villains, but the show never goes back to flesh any of these additions out. The frequent introduction of new characters doesn’t just steal time away from expanding upon the old ones, but also providing crucial explanations to understanding Witch Craft Works unique and intricate world. This makes Witch Craft Works a frustrating watch as plot point after plot point whizzes by at break neck speed in order to cram as much as possible into each episode’s half hour run time.
Linny: Harping on about some of the other potential issues, Witch Craft Works unfortunately features the ever popular/generic and often dreaded younger sister in love with her older brother cliche. However, thanks to the show’s obsession with focusing on Takamiya and Kagari’s relationship, the incestuous plot line gets negligible airtime. There’s also the extremely hectic story telling that Tom has mentioned that might impede the show’s chances of engaging audiences as the rushed and cramped pace may leave you feeling confused and the show never really slows down throughout its entire run. There’s just too much happening constantly that you’re often struggling to catch up and keep track.
Tom: Despite it’s compounding issues, Witch Craft Works is a fun enough watch and probably works best now as a binge title rather than airing week to week. But while there is some fun to be had, the difficulty it presents in trying to follow the narrative under the weight of an ever increasing cast size makes it hard for Witch Craft Works to stand out as actually memorable. I believe Witch Craft Works really could’ve used double the episode count to give it the breathing room the story really needed. In the end, Witch Craft Works is a decent watch, but one that’s best left for a rainy day when you’ve run out of ‘must watch’ titles.
Linny: Though I have been bashing on the show so far, there’s still a few things I should mention in its defense. Witch Craft Works is definitely one of the shows I would recommend to anyone sick of women portrayed as the damsel in distress and often overshadowed by their male counterparts. Despite its dismal storytelling, Witch Craft Works features some beautiful art and animation, great gags and an extremely peppy and catchy ending credit animation and song. While these do not make it the best show ever by any measure, it gives it enough positives to ensure a higher chance of entertaining an audience especially one seeking an empowered female cast.
Witch Craft Works is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com