Score: A+

I have to say it was nice surprise to see Akko get some legitimate character development in this episode. There is always the question of how this development will stick to her going forward, but I’d like to think Trigger will keep this moment as something she doesn’t instantly forget about. They’ve done a nice job building up this world and the place of magic in it and they continued that in this episode. The nice thing is that Akko got back into the focus a bit and we get to see her actually struggling with her lack of progress. It’d be boring if Akko simply made mistakes and yet never seem concerned by it. Instead we see her wonder if she is just a failure and actually try to seek something that could answer her questions one way or the other.

For someone who wants to be like Chariot, Akko’s failures to this point would be disheartening. It’d be weird if she was completely unconcerned about it. She can keep up an entertaining front and is a pretty crazy character, but Akko is still a person. By herself and still failing to accomplish her goal…I could see her becoming doubtful. She found Chariot’s Shiny Rod and used it successfully a couple times to this point. I can understand her thinking “doesn’t this mean I’m secretly special?” That kind of thinking clashing with the failure she’s actually encountered. Honestly her success in the first couple episodes might have resulted in her making more mistakes. If she could do something so amazing without really knowing what she was doing then wouldn’t her hidden abilities surface and lead to her doing normal magic without a problem?

Akko needed this kind of episode. She needed a moment to just see how important hard work is. The reality is that Akko is starting from behind most of her classmates. They’ve grown up with magic and have more experience. That is something Akko can only make up for through hard work and effort. She has to work harder than anyone else to eliminate that existing gap. But I can understand why she was so uneasy. She wants to be like her idol, gained the magical staff used by her idol and had some success. Falling short so many times would be discouraging when she needs to be so much better to accomplish her dreams.

They used a pretty classic move in letting Akko see that Chariot…wasn’t an instant success. Of course Chariot wasn’t like Diana when she started school. She made mistakes, struggled, and had to work hard to get where she was. Just like Akko she approached that fountain seeking power to make up for what she currently lacked. The fountain didn’t grant that so she had to find it within herself. If there’s anything to gain from this for Akko it is that she’s seen what hard work can do. Akko has the same kind of passion that Chariot did and like Chariot there is potential for her. If Akko has anything over most people it is passion. That passion may do nothing on its own, but if she channels it then she can grow faster than those who aren’t as interested in bettering themselves.

And yeah they are really blunt with the idea that Ursula is Chariot in this one. They didn’t show her face, but they did show a red haired woman who knew the guardian of that fountain. Not to mention they also showed that woman turning her hair back to Ursula’s hair colour. Toss in that Ursula also happened to find the Shiny Rod to return to Akko…and yeah that basically concludes it.

One nice thing is that this does explain Chariot’s flashy powers. When she was ready she went to the Fountain of Polaris again and did gain the magic power of the stars. Or at least the fountain injected that power directly into the Shiny Rod and transformed Chariot in turn. So Akko will likely be returning to that fountain at some point in the future. She’s just not ready for it yet. And I just did like seeing Akko get so emotional in this episode. We see the happy and excited Akko, but this shows just how much becoming like Chariot means to her. She doesn’t just casually want to be like Chariot, she really wants it.

The show does seem to be hinting a lot for Akko’s future. She’s not ready for the fountain, but we know she will eventually. There are all those cards that she can use to unlock the powers of the Shiny Rod. And we even have the Shooting Star broom that Akko temporarily tamed, but wasn’t truly ready for yet. So many little things that are likely to come back when Akko is ready to fully wield them. That should mean that there will be a time when Akko needs to be able to use those powers to solve some kind of crisis. It gives me hope for where the story might be going.

All of this kind of ignores the other character focused on in this episode, Andrew XD. I feel bad for leaving that guy out of it, but Akko’s moments were pretty spectacular in this one. This guy is actually pretty interesting. He starts out pretty similar to his own father in not caring that much about magic or seeing the point of it. Andrew just fits in with Fafnir and other characters that see magic being on its way out of the limelight. He just doesn’t have any interest and doesn’t mind bluntly expressing that. His clash against Diana was kind of fun and you can believe they’ve argued back and forth numerous times. Childhood enemies might be the best way to describe them XD. He didn’t care for Diana’s focus on magic and she didn’t care…for his popularity with girls!

His interactions with Akko were pretty fun. Starting out with grabbing the rabbit ears she transformed onto herself XD. They had a decent introduction, a bit of a debate, and then she basically dragged him onto her adventure. Andrew handled himself pretty well considering he got partially transformed (I’m pretty sure into a donkey) and got chased by the Polaris Guardian Arcas. A fairly hilarious moment as well when he and Akko were hanging off a ledge and all she could grab onto was his pants. The belt did a solid job, but…couldn’t quite keep his underwear out of sight. Good fun there with Akko saying it wasn’t on purpose and being sure that Andrew didn’t believe her XD. He got to see some pretty fantastic things and I wonder how his views on magic changed after meeting an odd girl like Akko.

This was a good episode and probably one of my favorites for the show so far. Akko really got a chance to grow and develop in this one. I’d definitely enjoy it if we saw going forward an Akko really trying harder on her own time for learning magic. Of course Akko is going to remain a source of comedy and be a bit crazy at times, that’s part of who she is. But I’d like to see this episode carry forward as spurring her to work even harder on learning things. If she wants to catch up and be Chariot then she’s got to put in that kind of effort. I also just wonder what went through Ursula’s head seeing a girl like Akko so desperate to become like Chariot.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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  • Andmeuths

    It boggles my mind that magic is derided as useless, when LWA Magical feats regularly break the laws of physics on a routine basis. There are no shortage of things magic can do that our technology cannot – teleportation, levitation, the transformation of objects and creatures into another, the freaking reversal of entropy, the accelerated growth of objects, casual creatio-ex-nilho conjuration – If not for the limiting factor of a need for a Sorcerer stone, the LWA world would likely have been one where magic would have been militarized to the extent we see in works of the like of Youjo Senki, Mahouka or even Nanoha.

    It makes me wonder: is it the continued practice of magic itself that was the Earl’s enemy, or is it the traditional conservatism of Magical society that prevents the state from freely exploiting the power of magic for both military and civilian purposes? Because it seems to be that if LWA magic can be militarized and put to service in the state, the main obstacle would be the structures of traditional magical society that prevent the state from breaking mages into the service of the state. The existence of Luna Nova and traditional Wizard and Witch family structures do not permit the state to easily make super-natural reality warping soldiers out of wizards and witches. Break the power and the economy of the traditional wizarding society, and you can force magicians to be servants rather than ivory tower practitioners.

    I’m not sure whether LWA would pursue the political angle to that extent of course. But shows with seemingly naive main characters and semi-sugary settings have shown themselves capable of actually having complex world-building undertones underneath. And the “magic is obsolete” plot thread just smells fishy to me, since magic can pull off all sorts of feats beyond the reach of Science and technology because these feats break the fundamental laws of physics casually. There are no shortage of practical uses for casual reality wrapping.

    • Zebimicio

      Nice insight. I do agree some of your points, however I have to say that scientific advancements is expanding very fast int this day and age that it basically is almost like magic.

      Now we don’t know how magic exactly works, I think magic is more a spiritual energy that can easily surpass the boundary of logic, where as science it is a slow process but can achieve the same thing. If people from back when the industrial age see a glimpse of a fighter jet soaring the sky, they’d probably think it’s witchcraft lmao. And take the factor that most of their magic energy came from the sorcerer stone in this show. I do think they can make a miniature version of those stones but due to the nature of the witchcraft world, I don’t think they will explore that field in a while. Which also shows how intuinitive science is when there is no magic involved, like constanze who showed us multiple times that her enginuity is basically on par with magic.

      In terms of political side, I think there are some boundaries that they can’t or feared to do, like for example imagine you go on magic revolution and all that, and out of those revolution we get maniacs like “the guy who should not be named” but multiple that by like a hundred because of how easy and accessible magic is to the public. I think that is why the magic commitee wants to be more of a preserved society rather than open gated like science. And we all know how disastrous scientific studies can be to nature sometimes.

      And as for casual reality warping, i’m not sure about that, while it is possible, not all mages have the potential to cast such powerful spells. And science can too cause the same things. Let’s look at some kids sci-fi shows/games that have one of the most ridicolous reality warping stuff happened in their series. Digimon has beings that can alter programs that can cause portals to appear to the real world, pokemon lately (and that one episode in the 90’s) delved in the dimension hopping stuff via technology (porygon is basically data). So it’s not fair to say that magic can do stuff like that easily and left out scientific fields in the dust like that.

      TL;DR my take on it is taht while magic is easier to do and more powerful, the society is very closed door towards normals which prevent many improvements, while science is open to everyone and that is why people are flocking to that field making it easier to access and backers will feel secure in investing towards science and technology.

      • FlareKnight

        It does seem like the magical society is so closed off that they have basically been left in the dust. Instead of trying to appeal to a inward looking society for magical solutions, the rest of the world has turned to technology. Something they can all use and something that is rapidly developing.

        There’s an interesting back and forth with magic and technology. Magic when you know what you are doing can be very easy to use. But in that sense it’s a specialized skill. While technology needs specialized skills to make, but once the technology is built it’s pretty easy for regular people to make use of.

        In some ways can see why the traditionalists feared opening up the door too much. But their choice hasn’t worked out. People found a fast evolving source to turn to in technology and magic is gradually slipping in public awareness. Even witch families must be ditching traditional magic education which explains Luna Nova’s declining attendance. There is a risk to opening the door and things getting out of control, but clearly ignoring the world around them isn’t working too well.

    • FlareKnight

      I know how you feel. In some ways it is pretty boggling that people can consider magic useless. But, I think that might just be partly on the fault of witches. I mean look at Akko going into this school. She really didn’t have a concrete understanding of how magic works or what witches can do outside of the things she saw Chariot perform. The big issue may simply be witches having turned inward so much that the rest of the world doesn’t really even understand magic. But technology is everywhere so they are more comfortable using that. If real efforts were made for magic to evolve it could still be the biggest thing going on in that world. As we can see…magic can do some crazy things. Dimensional transport, flight, transmutation, the possibilities are pretty endless.

      A good question of what is the Earl’s real enemy here. Is he the type that wants magic completely gone so technology can reign supreme? Or does he just want the traditionalists out of the way so magic can be used for more questionable purposes and free of the traditional restraints? Considering his son had no interest at all I’d probably lean towards the former. If the most magic this guy gets to see is the “dance” they were shown then I could kind of see his point. Magic really isn’t being used for anything particularly useful so if it fades that’s hardly a tragedy for him.

      It would be interesting if they go a more complex route with all this. If they keep it on the level we’ve been shown then the biggest threat to magic is the traditionalists who refuse to try and grow and change. The question is what exactly are most witches using magic for? What are they doing with it on a regular basis? If they haven’t integrated into modern society well then it makes sense that a school like Luna Nova is suffering in attendance. Most people are probably avoiding going to magic school and just going to a regular school to get regular jobs.

      There are other directions to go and that might explain why Chariot has gone to the extent of hiding her identity and going to Luna Nova to teach. Maybe there is something far more serious going on that would involve her going back to that school, finding a successor to the Shiny Rod in Akko and trying to teach her.