Witch Craft Works – 03

Witch Craft Works-Rapid Stream Fail

Gogo Rapid Stream Fail!

spring13-highwI love it when I get to review a show like Witch Craft Works. For me, the best shows are the ones that give that mixture of action, humor, drama, and even romance and put it all together for an entertaining result. And so far, this show is really fitting that bill.

Plot Advancement

Witch Craft Works-Team Llama vs Team Rocket

Arguing about the important stuff

I don’t know if episode 3 quite lived up to episode 2 as far as sheer fun, but it took a significant step forward in two separate plot lines. One of those plot lines is NOT the squabbling among Team Rocket and Team Llama (gotta call them something), however. Perhaps there will be a point in the show where the Ivory Quintet and Ai, Mai, and Mi will not be complete losers vs Ayaka, but that day will not come soon (my guess is that sometime they’ll form some temporary alliance of convenience, which will fall apart after some initially promising success). Nevertheless, they’re doing very well at filling the role of comic relief, even in their short appearances. I especially like Kanna’s aborted attempts at being the voice of reason, only to repeatedly be squashed by Tanpopo’s overconfidence. A little more personality and interaction from the rest of the group would be welcome, too.

Witch Craft Works-Chronoire's Style

Chronoire definitely has a distinctive style

We knew that Chronoire Schwartz VI would be a major player, but I’m somewhat intrigued that she got involved now but didn’t push it farther right away. She certainly seems to be one of those characters where the main motivation is to be involved in interesting things, and smashing Ayaka and Honoka right away would be cutting off the fun she could have later, which helped keep this chance for exposition from seeming like just lame monologuing and time wasting. So we learned that Honoka is a source of magical energy for Ayaka, but that there’s much more inside him, possibly to be released. Although that could cause quite a bit of trouble for the world… not that Chronoire really cares about that.

Witch Craft Works-Dragon

Badass upgrade, this time she’s a dragon?

Of course, it was pretty lame of our heroes to just blunder into her trap, but presumably that’s why Chronoire is the powerful witch in charge, not a lackey (i.e., her plans actually work). She completely got the drop on Ayaka, even while acknowledging that Ayaka’s power could challenge her, which does set up some interesting plot points in the future: what is the device or spell that Chronoire used to immobilize Ayaka, and is there a counter? Yes, Ayaka busts out when Chronoire tries to take Honoka’s first kiss, motivated by the affection she seems to feel for Honoka, but if she needs to be pushed that far, and unleash what seems to be a dragon form, that’s not something for normal use.

How to Be a Witch

Witch Craft Works-Death letters Witch Craft Works-Cute Boyfriend

First you study, and she just can’t resist a guy in a big pointy hat

The other direction we got advancement in is Honoka’s witch training. It seems that being a witch starts with wearing the right clothes. I sure don’t mind that they wrote so much handwaving into the witch clothes, it’s the kind of device that works for me. And letting us know about them as Ayaka tries to teach Honoka about them worked really well story-wise, although Honoka is about as insightful as a dump truck (which certainly makes the watcher feel really smart compared to him). But anyway, the clothing does a lot of stuff, like make you lighter and hold a broom and make you less noticeable. It’ll probably do more stuff as we get to it, but “it’s tedious to explain, so we’ll leave it at that.”

Witch Craft Works-Hidden in Plain Sight

Two things I love in this image: The torn-up hem on Ayaka’s robe and Kotetsu just walking past not seeing them

I also like the continuing look we get into the world of witches, without it going overboard. Small facts like they usually fly at night, there are only 5 girls who protect the city from Tower Witches, they don’t meddle in the affairs of petty crime, they’re not superheroes or avenging angels. Of course, Honoka doesn’t quite understand this yet, and gets himself in trouble with the thug girls, only to be saved again by Ayaka, who avers that they were actually witches (somehow I doubt they were, but ‘going to hurt Honoka’ = ‘incurs wrath of Ayaka’, no matter who you are. But at least Honoka learned to fly, even if it seems to have forced JC Staff into some not-so-great CG. That was disappointing, because while the CG for their earlier flying sequence was safely in the ‘perfectly acceptable’ range, Honoka’s flight was more the “circa 2000 FPS game” style. Not very convincing, and felt super cheap with those long walled roads with no textures.

Witch Craft Works-Flying

And then a lovely flight. The music in this flight scene was great. Hold on, Kitty!

header-spr13-highway

With another good episode, Witch Craft Works is really separating itself as the class of Winter 2014, as far as I’m concerned. We still have some significant plot points to come up to, including Honoka’s sister becoming more of a major character, more on the relationship between Honoka and Ayaka (Protip: Don’t read Wikipedia if you don’t want spoilers), and the coming Walpurgis Night, where it looks like there will be a showdown. Also, will we get more explanation of the bond between Ayaka and Honoka that allows power and damage transfer? Finally, one other thing I have been thinking is interesting with the show is that it seems to take the approach that every episode is kind of it’s own discrete thing, with Honoka introducing himself every episode and giving a short backstory. I also like the naming convention: Takamiya-kun and X, where X is “Chronoire’s Trap” or “the Witches’ Motive”. It just gives it a nice consistency.

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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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15 Responses to “Witch Craft Works – 03”

  1. zztop says:

    I’m guessing Honoka’s white stuff is some kind of magical energy reserve, although more exposition is needed in this regard.

    • Highway says:

      I actually got spoiled on what the deal is with Honoka. If you’d like to find out, the information is there, but if you don’t want to find out, don’t go looking at Wikipedia or other sources. I’d imagine they’ll get to it in the anime.

  2. AllenAndArth says:

    i can see it…the plot is here o/
    and
    i’m starting to feel sorry for the tower witches
    and
    by the way…Ayaka sure is passionate for a emotionless girl…she reeeeeeally want to protect Honoka…the flying scene scuked by the way…somehow i’m sure he would have liked staying with the thug-girls…he even almost lost his virginity…

    • Highway says:

      I think it’s an error to say she’s ’emotionless’, she’s just not normally demonstrative. But Chronoire trying to steal Honoka’s first kiss from her really got her riled up (as I think Chronoire was intending).

      Did you think both flying scenes were bad? I thought that the first was ok, but the second was less detailed than it needed to be. The music along with the first one really helped as well, making it a romantic getaway for the two of them. :)

      • AllenAndArth says:

        i said emotionless to make a comparison
        and
        yeah i didn’t like it… J.C. could have made it much better… take it Railgun or Shakugan no Shana, both are from J.C. as well, i’m not saying it has to be some kind mind-blowing level, but the show is made of witches, there’s more to a witch than spells flying seems like an important thing to me…so i expected a little better on it

  3. skylion says:

    I’m officially on board with this show. The past two episodes just did not “ping my router”, but I think they managed to pull the bytes and bits I found that made it at least watchable.

    As it is, I’m in it for the Tower Witches, as they seem to be the most fun of the whole bunch.

    I loved the scene stealing that Chronoire both evoked and put a lampshade on, she’s an evil Taiga!

    • Highway says:

      We’ll see what the Workshop Witches fire back with next week. We’re definitely getting introduced to Kasumi, Honoka’s younger sister, who seems to have quite the crush on him. And I think it’s pretty obvious that she’s from the same workshop (has lived there, is Honoka’s sister, and is obviously a witch from the preview). I just hope she’s not too much of a brocon so as to become annoying.

      I have to say that I really like Rie Kugimiya in this role. She’s playing it nicely hammy, but not annoyingly so.

      • skylion says:

        She played it so atypical, I thought it was another voice actress. Good on her.

        • Highway says:

          You didn’t recognize her? I thought it was very like her in general, but without that annoying edge that her tsunderes have. I recognized her much more easily here than as Koko in Kyousougiga.

          • skylion says:

            Yeah, it’s just like I said, it was outside my expectation for her.

  4. Highway says:

    Also, for some interesting and cool news on this show, the ED single release will feature cover art that’s an homage to Kraftwerk.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    This show keeps getting better and I enjoy seeing Ayaka and Honoka together. Chronoire mentioned a contract between the two. I wonder when that was established.

    Chronoire’s one I don’t want to be found alone with in an alley and she’s proven to be very sadistic and is only playing around. Anyone who ignores the moral ramifications of their actions to the point of not caring what happens to the world is capable of anything.

    • skylion says:

      …and I love her to bits for that…

    • Highway says:

      The relationship between Ayaka and Honoka is another thing you can get spoiled on if you go read stuff other places. Just so you know. :) It seems like an interesting plot point, hopefully they’ll get to it.

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