Witch Craft Works – 02

WitchCraftWorks-Ridiculous Parfait

Have the world’s most ridiculous parfait!

spring13-highwAhh, episode 2. The one that far too often dashes the hopes that you had coming out of episode 1. Sometimes it’s good, many times it’s not what you really wanted. Sometimes it’s good enough to not make you lose hope, but still isn’t inspiring, so you’re waiting for the more episodes. And then there are the times…

Second Episode Triumph

WitchCraftWorks-Just a little torture

Oh hey, just getting a little witch burning in before school

Where the second episode takes everything you liked about the first, builds on them, and adds more stuff you like. For me, Witch Craft Works just did this. I loved every minute of this episode, laughed out loud multiple times (and let’s be honest, you really don’t do that that often when you’re watching TV by yourself), and just felt a wonderful sense of anticipation. And while I’m not necessarily one to give a ton of credit to series directors, I do find it interesting that the last show I watched by director Tsutomu Mizushima, Girls und Panzer, had the same effect: I loved the second episode. To me, Witch Craft Works had the same earnestness, the same excitement and fun, that the second episode of GaruPan did. So in case you couldn’t tell, I’m feeling really excited about this series now.

WitchCraftWorks-A much better pursuit for them

This is a much better pursuit for them

The story did move along a little bit, as Honoka finds out why the Tower Witches are all after him. And he does find out the reason: They want his body, and the white stuff that he has inside it. To me, that was just brilliant, especially when Kanna completely lampshades it with “Tanpopo-chan, Tanpopo-chan, won’t he get the wrong idea from that?” We also learned that the 5 witches we met last episode are the Ivory Quintet, but really are, as skylion posited, Team Rocket. Essentially, they’re no match, at all, for Ayaka. Captured easily, defeated in seconds, and completely outmaneuvered at every turn. But I start to wonder how much of that power differential is because of Ayaka’s feelings.

WitchCraftWorks-Kazane and Chronoire

Kazane and Chronoire, Workshop Witch and Tower Witch

We also learned about the Workshop Witches and Tower Witches, although I have no idea why they’re called Tower Witches yet. A fundamental difference in worldview, the Workshop Witches are trying to integrate within human society, while the Tower Witches don’t care, they just want what they want. It doesn’t set up as much ‘good vs evil’ as you might have expected, and I think that’s good for the series. There are still ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’, but that’s really just a matter of perspective. Well, and who bats little kids out of the way, like Ai does, after starting to help the little girl in the mall (is it a rule that you have to have Ai, Mai, and Mii together?).

Don’t You Dare Threaten Him

WitchCraftWorks-StalkerImouto

Honoka even has a stalker imouto

For me, the scene with Ayaka’s mother, Kazane, did throw some light on the subject of Ayaka’s feelings. After she’s described the Workshop mindset, Ayaka gets chewed out by her mother for blowing holes in the school, the shopping mall, pretty much everywhere that Honoka got attacked. Apparently this is antithetical to the way the Workshop Witches are supposed to operate. And to me, that starts to point towards an indication of Ayaka’s feelings for Honoka. She’s not doing just what she needs to protect him. She’s punishing everyone who goes after her guy, with extreme prejudice. For the stoic Ayaka, who doesn’t really show emotions, that seemed pretty significant to me. In addition, her speech where she turns the subject from Honoka being her apprentice to his grammar test, that he should be worrying about studying for that, not about witches (he definitely shouldn’t be worrying about danball (cardboard box) stalkers following them all around the city) really felt, again, like it was more than “you’re the guy I have to protect because that’s my job.”

WitchCraftWorks-Bad as hell

This is a badass

But Ayaka is pretty great at protecting him, and now we get to see Honoka become an apprentice witch. I do hope this doesn’t cut down on Ayaka’s badass moments tho. There were some really great ones that were just awesome television. That pose when she came after Mei after defeating the rest of Team Rocket, I mean, the Ivory Quintet, and then after absorbing all of Ai’s bullets and responding with that deadpan “Bang”. Straight up chills for me. Sheer badassery. I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of seeing Ayaka standing there, statuesque, wreathed in flame. It really is a good, iconic look.

Bang

header-spr13-highway

As I said, Episode 2 was better than Episode 1 for me. And that’s a great sign. Now hopefully episode 3 will keep the same trend. I’m not too worried about the Ivory Quintet turning in to Team Rocket, since there definitely appear to be more worthy challengers coming, even the presence of the strongest Tower Witch, Chronoire (we’ll see how much Rie Kugimiya hams it up in that role, it seems to be just begging for it). But maybe Honoka will learn enough to be useful, or at least not be dead weight. The story’s forming around Honoka and Ayaka pretty well, so we’ll see where it can go.

WitchCraftWorks-HonokaOutfit

It’ll be cosplay time for Honoka!

About

Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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39 Responses to “Witch Craft Works – 02”

  1. zztop says:

    The ED sequence is proof that Japan can even make witch torture cute. (^ – ^)

    Wonder if Honoka’s stalker sister is a witch too…

    • Highway says:

      I’d say given that she manages to find them in that maid cafe, and that she can fit in a cardboard box, it’s likely. :)

  2. Kyokai says:

    I loved this! Ayaka is so win (her Bang was almost directly proportional to Akira’s from Eden of the East), more so for me because she’s voiced by Asami Seto who has previously pretty much voiced either obnoxious or whiny characters. This was a breath of fresh air really.

    I love the setting and characters. I can’t skip the ending ever because it’s so silly, cute yet addictive. I’ll be sticking close to this one. :3

    • HeLeru says:

      LOL what Seto Asami’s animes you’ve already watched? Bec. Chihaya, Ran, Yoshino, Natsuki, Konatsu, Shouko, Kagetsu, Aoi were sure all very far from whiny or obnoxious. Haruna Rin from C3 Bu is even a cool tough kicka$$ girl too, a bit hard but I wouldn’t call her obnoxious. And Asagi? Tsundere and a bit difficult, yes, but not a cruel bitchy or something.

      • Kyokai says:

        I guess you lost my train of thought on positives for Asami? My obnoxious definition has positive characteristics than negative (to me Chihaya and Shoko both were very obnoxious).

  3. skylion says:

    I was cool to the first episode, and this one was a big improvement. Maybe I just like seeing Team Rocket get kicked ten ways around?

    We got plot stuff going on. Workshop vs. Tower. I rather like the concept of the workshop; community and such making things better. I guess a Tower stands above all?

    • Highway says:

      That’s a possible explanation for the metaphor. I’m sure the detachment and reinforcement aspects make an appearance.

      Nobody’s even put up a credible fight yet. I don’t know if it’s just that they completely are outclassed, completely underestimate the amount of power that Ayaka will bring (because normally she’d fight with much more restraint, being a Workshop Witch), or they’re still just learning. The Tower witches sure don’t have a lack of self-confidence, tho, at least prior to encountering Ayaka (“Good job, me!”).

      • skylion says:

        As first stringers they are outclassed. Add the fury and it just gets worse for them.

      • HannoX says:

        Maybe they’re still apprentice witches and this is intended as training for them. It’d also be a way for their superiors to scout out Ayaka’s power.

  4. HannoX says:

    Count me as another who preferred Ep.2 to Ep.1. This anime is showing promise of being one of the best this season. And Ayaka is the biggest badass of the season! I hope every episode gives us one or more scenes of her wreathed in flames.

    • Highway says:

      That was one of the things that really drove me to compare it to Girls und Panzer. Mizushima would frequently show animated scenes of Miho being a complete badass as well (like that shot with the heat distortion coming off the destroyed St. Gloriana tanks). Not static, just with this powerful character standing amidst the chaos. Of course, Ayaka is a much more statuesque figure than Miho was, both in look and temperament.

      • HannoX says:

        Ayaka defines “statuesque” as well as “badass.”

        • BlackBriar says:

          And she’s quiet,too. Doesn’t have to waste her time with unnecessary talking and only explains what she feels is necessary.

          • AllenAndArth says:

            is this what is called Kuudere?

            • Highway says:

              See, I don’t think she really fits the definition of kuudere (but I tend to be pretty strict with the definitions of those terms, especially yandere). She’s never been that cool to Honoka, and she’s not that dere to him now (nor do I see her being that in the future). I think she’s just stoic and taciturn, with her expression of caring coming out in her unleashed flames.

            • AllenAndArth says:

              hnn…I guess…

  5. zztop says:

    Witchcraft Works will have an OVA in July, but to get it you must buy a special edition of vol 7 of the manga released during that time.

    • d-LaN says:

      Doesn’t matter to those of us who watch anime through certain “means” anyway ;P

    • BlackBriar says:

      That’s considered a small trifle if it’s something you really want.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    It’s official! If I want to have a female bodyguard, even if it means being help up somewhat like a damsel in distress, I’d go with either Moka Akashiya or Ayaka Kagari. Not to sound cliché but Ayaka is hotter when she’s on fire and wearing her witch hat. And that “bang”… I envy Honoka.

    This was an improvement after the already great first episode and it made think just how morally and ethically bankrupt these Japanese schools seem to be with what’s allowed. “Torture Club” and there’s even a sign for it. Big and broad. LOL. Exactly what kind of administration do they have that such a club could be authorized?

    Side note: I just realized something. This show is full of witches and Strike the Blood has recently started an arc that has witches in it as well. I don’t want to believe in coincidences because this line up feels a bit too perfect.

    • Highway says:

      Don’t read too much into that ‘coincidence’. There’s also Wizard Barristers, Mahou Sensou, and Tokyo Ravens that have plenty of magic. Every season there’s plenty of magic in anime.

      The Torture Room was a gag. Of course, the administration is Kazane Kagari, the leader of the Workshop, so maybe they do have a witch torturing room, but I’d imagine it doesn’t get used much. It’s not like it was really doing anything permanent to Tanpopo and Friends.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yeah, I saw the first episode of Mahou Sensou and wow, was it fun to watch. The shock of the characters suddenly turning into magicians is understandable. And the second episode arrived not too long ago.

  7. AllenAndArth says:

    I-i-i want to eat that parfait…looks so cool
    and…i liked the steam-punk bunnies more…

    • BlackBriar says:

      That parfait is about big enough to fill someone up three times over. Plus, imagine the brain freeze.

  8. lvlln says:

    This director does have Another on his resume, but I think he’s a name to pay attention to now after Girls und Panzer and the first 2 episodes of this show. Ep 1 had some very good action, and this one had lots of little touches similar to what we had seen in the non-action scenes in Girls und Panzer that had set it apart from most shows. The Solid Snake wannabe in particular I thought was done very well. It’s always a fine line with such gags between making it so obvious that the show is just screaming it in your face, and making it so subtle that only hardcore fans paying attention to every frame notice it, and the show walked that line very well. Though it did start falling into the too-obvious side toward the end with like a full second showing just the cardboard box.

    That white stuff joke was horrible, though. I feel like I’ve heard variants on it a million times already, and it was barely funny the 1st time. Naturally, that white stuff will be his bones or teeth or eyeball or the like… Though I’m sure some doujin artists will run with the most obvious interpretation…

    • Kyokai says:

      I am horribly reminded of Lotte no Omocha…

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Lotte no Omocha is a heartwarming tale about a girl and her mother together with her half-sister and her father.

        Only perverts think of it as perverted!

        • Sumairii says:

          Lotte’s Toy was crippled by its attempt to appeal to both a serious audience and a fanservice audience. Both were turned off by the inclusion of elements intended for the opposite audience, resulting in an unfortunately mediocre work that no one appreciates.

    • Highway says:

      I think I’m a little bit spoiled on the box’s occupant, although I think everyone should be able to figure out who it is. I thought the obviousness worked, Show ▼

      I was actually taking a more magical interpretation of ‘white stuff’ (like they’d need to transmogrify him or something, not just take pieces of him), so the joke worked for me. Sure it’s a bit puerile, but that’s a lot of the point with double entendres. And I liked the way they played it that most of the witches are thinking about something completely different, to the point that they’re not thinking like teenagers, except for Kanna, who immediately walks it back.

      • Sumairii says:

        I thought it was very obvious the box’s occupant was Honoka’s sister? Or did I get it wrong? No need to answer if serious spoilers.

  9. AllenAndArth says:

    i was looking back on this episode for the fun of it and… what was that box! didn’t anyone notice the box following them it even had a hole for someone to see

    • Highway says:

      not about witches (he definitely shouldn’t be worrying about danball (cardboard box) stalkers following them all around the city)

      Yeah, I mentioned it, and that’s what lvlln was referring to with the Solid Snake comment. :)

  10. Hime says:

    Ayaka’s Spike Spiegel impersonation was spot on, loved it. I will also never get tired of Takamiya in peril, lol. WcW is showing a lot of promise!

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