The final episode of Flying Witch was a combination of material adapted straight from the manga and some anime original material as well, and I must admit that the latter was pulled off very, very well indeed – it felt like a harmonious whole with the series direct adaptation and fit superbly. For me it is an excellent reflection of just how well J.C. Staff pulled off this adaptation – it seems obvious to me that the production crew really “understood” and “felt” the source material very thoroughly, something which is not a common happening these days.

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The episode opens with Makoto doing some maintenance work on her broom. At one point she asks Chito to hop off of a pile of cloth she has brought out to air out (I suppose it is more continued maintenance?) and it turns out Makoto’s black witch’s robe is inside, something she made by hand when she was just beginning middle school. Unfortunately not only is the robe too small for her now, no surprise, but it has also been worn and tattered (and apparently Chito has gotten into the habit of sharpening her claws on it while kneading it before lying down on it).

Makoto takes the opportunity to hand sew a new one for herself, and after getting directions to the nearby fabric store from Nana (Mrs. Kowata – Kei and Chinatsu’s mother, in case anyone has forgotten her name) Makoto and Chito hop on their broom and head off to find the place. I must say that both episodes 11 and 12 show that Makoto has become much, much better at flying – the efforts she put into practicing what she learned in the lessons Akane gave her in episode 6 are showing!

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The flight to the store itself turns into a sort of taking stock of some of the other witches nearby. She comes across both Akane and Inukai. The former is apparently drinking and laughing it up with some older guys on the eve of the festival that is arriving that evening – the feast of Nebuta – while Inukai is plying her trade busily thanks to the increase of foot traffic because of said festival as well. Akane does not notice Makoto (no surprise) but Inukai does, and discreetly waves at her.

After landing near where she thought the map was indicating the store was and getting some much-needed help from Nao, who thankfully happened to be passing by on her bicycle making a delivery for her family’s liquor store (again, very likely thanks to the festival later that evening), Makoto heads into the fabric store. She is delighted to discover that the material is inexpensive, and after buying a small stretch of cloth Chito was interested in (probably for a pillow), her familiar also makes a suggestion of a possible use for some extra cloth since her budget allowed it.

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It turns out that the suggestion was to make a witch’s robe for Chinatsu (her first)! Random Wanderer on the animesuki forums had a great reflection on how this was an “…important point in Chinatsu’s journey towards becoming a witch herself. The sisters have taken her places and shown her bits of magic here and there, introduced her to creatures of many sorts, but this is the first physical, tangible thing she’s received from all this: something that is unquestionably hers, and which symbolizes that she’s part of the witch’s world. She still has lots of learning to do, and some maturing, for that matter, but there is plenty of time for that.” I couldn’t agree more! Chinatsu, of course, is delighted to receive the robe. ^^

Akane, by this time rather sloshed, slowly makes her way back home, literally stumbling across Inukai en route, and when she reaches there Makoto comes across her in the midst of an evening nap on the porch. It is then that the anime original material appears in the form of the “earthfish”. Apparently these little fish swim through the earth as if it were water, love festivals, and like alcohol too. When they drink some they change color from blue to red, swell up like little balloons, and glow with a soft crimson light like a lantern.

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The series ends with a lovely scene – Akane and Chinatsu both sleeping on the porch in the evening summer air while Makoto watches the myriads of floating, glowing red earthfish in the yard. The time is soon coming when she will have to give an official report to someone regarding the time she spent thus far in her probationary training period (perhaps that could be animated in a future OVA). Akane has stayed nearby to watch over her during this important time, yes, but even so many things have happened to Makoto, and she rightly says that she will have many things to say. Flying Witch ends in a way that is a perfect reflection of the core of the series – quiet, magical and centered around Makoto on the eve of a festival.

Needless to say one of the top ten slots for the year has been filled for me with this series! Thanks to all who have followed along with my watching and blogging it. I hope it has delighted and calmed you as much as it has me! There are few series that can really rightly be termed representative of the slice of life genre, but Flying Witch is definitely one of the few – it was a beautiful work by a staff that understood the source material and gave it extra effort and attention and care. What more can one ask for? ^^

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Currently the “oji-san” of the staff members age wise (in his mid 40’s) yet the most recent addition, he is also a Japanophile from his teen years while not quite an “otaku” who lives in the United States. Came to actively following anime late in life (in 2008), but in general loves the traditional arts, history and culture of Japan as a whole, both ancient and modern.

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