Flying Witch – 02

Flying Witch - A famous composition

This is a famous image composition (click link for examples)

winter15-highw There may not be a lot of narrative or plot development in Flying Witch, but the things it does do are excellent.

Spring Has Arrived

Flying Witch - He's a bit scary

Chinatsu’s not immediately warmed to him

The first half of this episode dealt with the visit of an otherworldly presence, the Harbinger of Spring. Well, that’s what the ‘plot’ was, but what the episode was really about was generating that feel of ordinary life. Chinatsu coming home, having pudding, talking with her mom who then goes grocery shopping, and then talking with Makoto, extra proud of herself because she managed to get home all by herself without getting lost! It’s into this feeling of contentment that the Harbinger arrives, instantly throwing Chinatsu for a loop.

Flying Witch - Watch out where the huskies go

Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow

As in the first episode, Chinatsu’s reactions are final touch that the show uses to bring the realism all the way home, in a show about a witch. She’s distrustful, scared, but not freaking out about it, trying to appear grown up, calmly asking Makoto how to call the police. But when the scary guy doesn’t go away, she runs out of calmness, although Makoto realizes who it is. And I found it interesting and nice that Makoto doesn’t scold Chinatsu, or put her down, just explains that she’s never seen anyone like the Harbinger. The other interesting bit to me is that there’s this other world just running along with everyone else’s world, where there’s a spiritual being who brings spring to the area, then moves to another area to do the same thing. It really calls forth an interesting image of how the world works, and how people can personify the workings of nature. And also how respecting and helping that personification can help yourself.

A Different Sort of Harbinger

Flying Witch - Magic hands

Makoto has magic hands – oooOOOoooo

The second half of the episode dealt more with daily life than the special event of the Harbinger of Spring paying a farewell visit. First Makoto dreams about a good luck mark on Nao, and tries to explain how witch dreams can be prophetic. Except it’s not really proven. But the main focus turns to food, one that ties in with both life in rural Japan and with the culture of witches, finding wild plants and eating them. This time it’s Butterburr, or ‘Bakke’, a small plant growing on the side of the road. Kei convinces Makoto to try it, fried tempura-style, and Makoto really likes it. Of course Chinatsu has an opinion as well, and does her best to make it known. But that doesn’t stop Makoto, Kei, and even Kei’s mother from enjoying a school bag full (since Kei doesn’t bother bringing home any school supplies).

Flying Witch - Show your mom you don't study

Just show your mom you don’t study

And as it’s been throughout both episodes, the important thing about this segment is the relaxing atmosphere that it has, even when they’re frying things. Kei and Makoto talk about things like how he’d make a great girl, and he doesn’t get upset or offended, just agrees. He even asks Makoto to teach him something about making sweets. And when they get around to tasting the bakke, it’s not like tasting something Shokugeki no Souma or Koufuku Graffiti. It’s energetic and happy but not over the top. Even with Chinatsu expressing her disapproval. All in all, it just keeps the wonderful feel of this show going.

Flying Witch - Showing her displeasure

Someone doesn’t like bitter snacks


I spend way too much time looking around western Hirosaki on Google Maps because of this show. The temple and grounds at the beginning of this episode were of Hirosaki Castle, including a well-known picture spot including the red railing of a nearby park bridge, as well as the Shunyou-bashi entrance (meaning ‘Springtime Bridge’, fitting for the Harbinger of Spring, no?). I’ve also found the hardware store / mall where Makoto and Chinatsu shopped, and the liquor store that Nao’s home is based on (which is across the street from the grounds of Hirosaki Castle). I also wonder if we’ll have a hanami or sakura matsuri episode soon, since Hirosaki Castle is one of the most famous places in Japan for viewing cherry blossoms.

Also, note that if you look on Google Maps and Street View right now, they’ve actually moved Hirosaki Castle off of its stone foundation for some renovation. An interesting contrast to this famous picture.


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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9 Responses to “Flying Witch – 02”

  1. ProtoSovereign says:

    I’m not sure if I like Flying Witch or not. Its nice, slow, comforting and relaxing yes… but is it too slow, that is the question.

    • Highway says:

      Well, given that the point of the show isn’t to get to a destination, in a metaphorical sense, it’s not that it’s going to not finish the plot. So it’s not “too slow” in that sense.

      But I do understand what you mean, and I think that the way to deal with that is to really try to relax and always go with the show’s pace. When the show’s pace hampers its storytelling, for instance in a show like 35th Shoutai, then that’s something to worry about*. But if it’s just that you’re worked up and the show is slower than your mind is going, then I think it would help you to try to slow down to match. Especially a show like Flying Witch, which has beautiful scenery and background music, and yet really doesn’t linger on any particular shot for too long.

      *Note that this is a different issue than a show that just doesn’t do what you want it to with its time, a complaint that is usually expressed as “bad pacing”. Unfortunately, too many people use that term with no further explanation, and I find it to be a contentless criticism. If you wanted the show to spend more time on one thing and less on another thing, say that specifically (for instance, I want Asterisk to spend less time on Tournament battles and more time on character development).

  2. skylion says:

    …Highway is getting a lot more interesting destinations out of his Aomori prefecture show than I seem to be getting out of mine; if mine is even in in that prefecture.

    I thought they nailed Chinatsu’s behavior rather well. That sort of reserved yet still curious POV is all the rage with kids that age.

    • Highway says:

      Just ask Machi: there’s nothing interesting in Kumade Village. 🙂

      I think pretty much everyone in the show is done well, but of course we’ve had the most experience with Chinatsu, as the foil to everything. She’s the one who’s still learning just how weird Makoto is as a witch, but also is learning that city people are different from country people (as Kei told Nao, they ARE in the country).

  3. Namaewoinai says:

    Butterbur, Huh, That suppose to be a medicine stuff, but why they turn into a gourmet, OK now Maybe the Japanese like to make tempura more rather than to make medicinal herb. (Sorry for the grammar anyways…)

    And…The Harbinger of Spring…Hmmm, i wonder if that guy is unmask…and he is actually…you know


    • skylion says:

      I don’t think the Spring Harbinger is JoJo related…but I want to know what the mask represents. I was poking around an it reminds me of a skylark…being one of the first birds of spring at that latitude?

      As for why butterbur is food? Eat it before it eats you? Oh, it’s a plant, we’re at an advantage now~ Oh, it’s bitter. Soak it in water. Actually the method to gather and cook them is simpler than the same with rice or bread, both of which are VERY complicated.

      • Namaewoinai says:

        Ooops Silly me! Yeah I know!, It was actually a
        Show ▼

    • Highway says:

      One thing that I found interesting and funny is that hakobu in Japanese means ‘bring’ or ‘carry’, but “hakobiya”, the name of this character, has almost exclusively a criminal or underhanded connotation, as in smuggling or trafficking. So maybe he *is* a criminal of some sort.

  4. HannoX says:

    So far this show has been a great relaxing, slice-of-life show. I love the way they mix the gentle, laidback fantasy elements into regular life. The magic in this show isn’t (so far) big and flashy. It’s magic that’s part of nature which means it fits well into country life and the idea of witches being attuned to nature.

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