Witch Craft Works – 12 [END]

Witch Craft Works-A final deal

Honoka Makes A Deal

spring13-highwWe’re at the end of the ride, but unlike a roller coaster, it’s not getting less bumpy. I’m really impressed that Witch Craft Works was able to keep this pace and interest up for the whole series.

True to the Very End

Witch Craft Works-Ayaka loves Honoka

A last declaration by Ayaka

Well, Honoka, you never listened to anything Ayaka told you to do, so it’s completely in character that you didn’t listen here. But at least you ended up saving everyone, even if the world is now covered in penguins (the images of penguins). But because nothing is ever straightforward in this show, Honoka giving up his life for Evermillion’s power to save everyone doesn’t kill him, and it doesn’t kill Ayaka, who apparently had already made a deal with Evermillion in the past that if Honoka tried to give up his life for her power, her life would be taken instead, as she gave the power of her contract from Honoka back to him. Got all that? They even explained this in the show and it’s still pretty fuzzy.

Witch Craft Works-Ayaka gives up her life

Ayaka gives up her life

But the gist is that Weekend needed Honoka to die, because then Evermillion, who apparently resides in him somewhere, would then be out and able to be picked up or something. And because he didn’t die with her power, then all her planning goes out the window. I think we do have to give Honoka some credit, in being willing to make the trade for his life (and Ayaka’s, even as he apologized for it) for everyone else. And we also have to give him some credit for not collapsing when he gets stabbed by a kitchen knife in Weekend’s spiteful attempt at revenge (she couldn’t even have won at that point). And then he loses that credit by completely wussing out and not being able to kiss Ayaka on the lips. The forehead? He’s getting FARTHER away. Man up already!

Witch Craft Works-Can't kiss her

He can’t even kiss her with help

The show wrapped up a lot of the other threads as well, with Chronoire being the one whose meddling (in breaking the first seal) being the main reason that Weekend’s plan didn’t work, and then totally beating Weekend, right before she gets beat herself by Kazane. Seriously, no chance, Kazane wiped the floor with her. The lesson here? Tower witches are completely weak compared to Workshop witches. It was also cute having the bear and mechabunny talking to each other and making friends, even if Kasumi and Tanpopo aren’t really friends. The only thing that really got left wide open without even a single mention in the finale was the breaking of Honoka’s seals. While it might have put a damper on the triumphalism of the finale, that it went by without even a mention or a ‘We’ll deal with that later’ feels like an omission.

Witch Craft Works-Showdown

The final showdown between Kazane and Chronoire didn’t last as long as this still shot

Overall Thoughts

header-spr13-highway

Witch Craft Works started fast out of the gate, and while a lot of shows impress in that first episode, a lot of those either fall flat right afterwards, or just coast back to Earth over the entirety of the run. For me, Witch Craft Works didn’t do either of those, but stayed a very exciting, very energetic, and very entertaining show throughout. I started off thinking that it was stylistically similar to Girls und Panzer, since both are directed by Tsutomu Mizushima, and it stayed that way until the end. It’s not that the shows are even anything alike, except for the fast pace, pretty relentless action, huge number of characters, a catchy bouncy ED song and animation, and the ability to draw you in, but they just both have the same kind of feel, such that they share a kinship. I don’t think that Witch Craft Works overtook Girls und Panzer on my list of favorites (I don’t know if anything will), but overall it’s an excellent show with a unique aesthetic, tremendous style, good – if a bit shallow – characterization, and a fun story. I think the show rewards multiple watches, especially with the visual details, and kept up a high level of quality throughout, with the sole exception of some disappointing CG work early in the series for the flying scenes. And to the contrary, I actually thought the battle and fire, and even Medusa, was very good CG (others disagree on that last one, but those people tend to dislike any CG). It used textures that fit in completely with the show, which kept it from sticking out too much. So I definitely think Witch Craft Works is the best of this winter season, which I thought had a lot of depth of better than average shows, if not any real standout shows.

Witch Craft Works-Team Rocket

And Team Rocket was Team Rocket until the very end

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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19 Responses to “Witch Craft Works – 12 [END]”

  1. MgMaster says:

    I liked WCW albeit more when it was being silly and less when it tried to be serious but that’s not a serious issue as it managed to switch back & forth and still work out nicely.

    My main issue lies with Honoka & Ayaka. I felt that they were kind of bland both as individual characters as well as together. And it’s a shame really because they got a plenty of focus.

    But anyway,whenever I’ll think of this anime the first thing that I’ll remember will be…TANPOPO! Seriously that name! Team Rocket will be remembered.

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, I’ll agree that Honoka and Ayaka were a bit disappointing throughout, especially because there was so little hint of any reciprocation of Ayaka’s feelings from Honoka. I think there would have been a lot more spark and interest between them if Honoka had been able to get over his Hime-worship of her. She started off (in his mind) out of his league, and he never acknowledged that she wanted to be with him because she loved him.

      But overall, it was a nice and fun ride. I think they never really got rid of the silliness, even if it was less comical. And I liked that even when the enemies and the plot got bigger, they didn’t forget about Tanpopo and the rest of The Ivory Quintet. I also liked that only Weekend was really a complete ‘enemy’. Medusa and Chronoire were really more ‘rivals’, since they would comply when beaten.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I also liked that only Weekend was really a complete ‘enemy’.

        And she’s paying a hefty price for it by Chronoire. Getting skewered repeatedly by swords while still alive must be unbelievably painful. Ouch! After seeing that, getting a swift death would be like an act of mercy. Which, of course, is not what Chronoire is into.

    • BlackBriar says:

      But anyway,whenever I’ll think of this anime the first thing that I’ll remember will be…TANPOPO! Seriously that name!

      True and I agree. Tanpopo is such an oddball name, especially when it’s chosen for a designated antagonist. Well, the fellow Tower Witches in her group are also oddballs so I guess it does suit her.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Witch Craft Works was a good series that managed to remain consistent with its material. It didn’t improve much beyond what it achieved in entertainment but didn’t feel like it was lessening in quality either.

    For the leads, Ayaka did well as a badass witch coming up with her surprise attacks and plans along with many good looking forms in the process. Honoka was alright. Though he didn’t get to do much, which isn’t his fault, he didn’t become the continuously whining and near useless protagonist I thought he’d be at the beginning.

    I think Honoka did want to show he cared for Ayaka, just that it was always tried in a physical manner with him wanting to do things all by himself so she wouldn’t feel burdened instead of simply saying how he felt.

    • Highway says:

      That’s too ambiguous for me, tho. That fits more in with the general Japanese dislike of being burdensome, more than “I want to do these things because I like her.” As you say, Honoka didn’t turn into a complete damsel in distress, so the balance worked there. I just wanted more overt romance and love, which was so one-sided that you almost felt bad for Ayaka.

      • Highway says:

        And actually, a lot of the time it felt like Honoka’s attempts to do more things himself were MORE burdensome to Ayaka, like when he would get himself caught because he didn’t listen, or when he would blow things up or expose them.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Well, you can say it comes with the territory. He was suddenly thrown into a world he doesn’t fully understand and is trying to make sense of things.

  3. Mexu2d says:

    Is it just me but during the last episode of Witch craft works, the animation quality itself became more exciting. Well it was already very beautiful, but surreal feeling shot up. It was entrancing. Awesome story by Ryu Mizunagi and awesome production by J.C Staff.

    :)

  4. skylion says:

    I honestly just wish there was more material to work with, a new series would be good news. I went from blase to greatly entertained, and never left the feelings of the
    later behind.

    But, I’m actually pleased that there was no real romance in the show. Given anime and manga, they love to tease and only go to smaller measure than whole ones. It would have gotten in the way. As it is, it was good to see both of them act on the level’s they thought they were on, not quite match up, and still work it all out.

    Just do it without letting yourself die next time, guys.

    • Highway says:

      It’s interesting that one of the consistent messages of the show was “value yourself more, Honoka”. Don’t give your eyes or your life up, don’t belittle yourself. Even Evermillion, in talking to Honoka earlier, told him to not let it get to a point where he would need to see her. He’s just too eager to make too much sacrifice.

      It’s a good thing Ayaka is there to balance that, because she wants him to not give up anything, and believe in his own strength to do things.

      I’m glad you got into the show. I know you were cool on it in the beginning (unlike me), but I think it really has a way of charming you into the show.

      • skylion says:

        Well, personally I loved the Tower Witches so much more….all of them.

        Yes, Ayaka did balance things out, and provided a axle upon which their wheel is to spin into traction. And that is why I would like to see more. They developed the underscore to possible romance in partnership. Typically it’s love at first site and then struggling to partnership; which can fail or soar, depending on the story.

        • skylion says:

          I think the jury is still out on Honoka. He has far to much to figure out about his illusive past, that it boondoggles his present. But…..at least he isn’t Ghost Banri, right?

          • Highway says:

            Is there anyone as bad as Ghost Banri?

            I thought Honoka really wasn’t a bad male lead. He had the right impulses and the right attitudes, just zero aptitude. He really was in a situation that he was just not prepared for, and I thought that his growth throughout was pretty good, from being thunderstruck at the beginning to being his own agent at the end, and the turning point really was the student council thing, it was the first time he effectively stood up to Ayaka and got her to stop.

            • skylion says:

              Yeah, it was that point he stopped being the water in the pot that the plot points stewed in…

        • Highway says:

          I thought they did a good job with the Tower witches. It was surprising just HOW weak they were compared to Ayaka and Kazane, but they still weren’t useless. I also thought the show did very well differentiating between so many characters.

  5. Kyokai says:

    This was a surprise hit for me. Going in without any expectation at all, this was one of the few anime I actually watched regularly. Overall, a total entertainer with perfect pacing.

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