Yet another lovely episode of slice of life goodness courtesy of J.C. Staff as they continue their excellent adaptation of the Flying Witch manga. And in keeping with their pattern from earlier episodes they tend to break up manga chapters to adapt two “mini-stories” per episode, sometimes skipping ahead in the chapter order of the manga and then doubling back. This week’s episode was an adaptation of chapters 20 and 21 of the manga, whose titles are “witches have almonds for nails” and “witches and bees don’t mix” respectively. The title of the episode took a little bit from both chapters and “Bad with cooking and bad with bees” was settled on.

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The first half of the episode focuses on a cooking class at school – Kei, Makoto and Nao form a group for the class and … well, Nao’s had a bad experience as a little kid with cooking and has zealously avoided the kitchen and cooking ever since (although how she avoided the cooking classes that take place every so often in the Japanese school system up to now is another question). At the other end of the spectrum Kei once again shows himself to be a very well rounded person skill wise, though it should come as no surprise, as we have seen him in the kitchen at his home a couple of times already in this series. Makoto is definitely much closer to Kei’s side of the spectrum skill wise.

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The cooking itself is able to be pulled off without any serious problems, and we even get to see Makoto exhibit that tiny streak in her personality where she is comfortable with things that normally freak or weird other people out (like the mandrake plant in episode 1) – in this episode it is in her baking “witch pinky” cookies. And yes – they really do look like an old woman’s fingers chopped off of a hand; it was absolutely no surprise that Nao reacted the way she did! The material in the first half of the episode was incredibly faithful to the manga source, with just a few anime original additions here and there – for example, the first few minutes of the episode where Nao is hiding her head in her hands and dreading the upcoming cooking class.

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Nao vanishes in the second half of the episode, but Kei and Makoto are still there, and along with Chinatsu, Akane and the two cat familiars we get to see the Papa and Mama and a handful of other new characters who are helping out. This part of the episode was dedicated to taking care of apple orchards – in particular during the season when the trees flower – to help pave the way for the trees to grow the best possible apples. (This is something the family as a whole has done before too, so it is likely that the fields belong to them.) After a charming display of Akane and Makoto being unable to understand his super heavy accent, Kei’s father hands over the explanation side of the task to Kei himself – and the practice and “logic” of how to thin the blossoms was actually kind of interesting to learn and made a lot of sense as well.

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The actual process of the thinning of the flowers and showing the characters busy at work (when they were not hitting their heads on low lying branches XD) was thoroughly charming and heartwarming, with Makoto’s treetop vista being perhaps the best part for me. I also liked how they showed the bees. Yes it is faithful to the manga (the mangaka knows their stuff) but it is also something that I see often in the part of the world where I live – there are many fruit and nut tree orchards nearby and the owners rent the use of beehives to be brought to the orchards for a time to help the growth and production process. As with the first half the material in the second was very faithfully adapted with just a smidgeon of anime original material (like Chinatsu standing up in the bed of the truck right behind the cab), but one of the best choices was having Makoto share her witch pinky cookies with the older ladies helping out with the flower thinning, effectively typing the two halves together.

Flying Witch - 10 - Farewell

As a sidenote before finishing the post … it looks like Flying Witch will be taking off next week and then airing two eps in a row the week after (on some stations). No reasons are given, but I am betting (hoping?) that they are putting some extra effort into animating some of the upcoming scenes. To quote from the announcement: “This results in the schedule for Flying Witch being juggled a bit: Episodes 11 and 12 will both air on Nippon TV June 26, 2016 (Sunday); on Aomori Broadcasting Corporation, the entire broadcast is bumped by one week. Episode 11 (originally scheduled for June 25) will air on July 02 (Saturday), while Episode 12 (originally scheduled for July 02) will air on July 09, 2016 (Saturday); Episodes 11 and 12 will both air on Sun TV on June 30, 2016 (Thursday).”

So it is quite possible that there will be no post made next week!

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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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