Honoka Makes A Deal
We’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
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.
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!
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.
The final showdown between Kazane and Chronoire didn’t last as long as this still shot
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.
And Team Rocket was Team Rocket until the very end