A calm, honest, and serene series with a bit of a twist on the slice-of-life genre. There’s beautiful scenery, funny moments, and a cat! Oh don’t forget the magic. I sure hope that cat has magic powers too.
If there is a show this season that can slow things down, calm you down, and just generally leave a smile on your face, this is the one. Everything about Flying Witch is just so perfectly serene and comforting. And it does this without falling in to the most egregious of anime tropes for a slice of life. Sure, Makoto is travelling to live with her second-cousin that she hasn’t seen in six years, but its a pretty normal set-up. They don’t seem to be long lost lovers (weird, maybe) or destined to reunite. It’s just how life is going for them. The number one aspect of this show that jumps out at me is the realism. There’s no super-moe characters (despite cuteness) or fanservice, they’re all reasonably normal looking human beings, and they all behave as such. The character designs look mature and realistic, with clear contrast between the high-schoolers and younger kids. There’s so much honesty in everything that we see. How does it manage to do that and be a show about magic? In the most believable way I could have ever possibly imagined, that’s how. It’s just all so believable.
I think we could use a little bit of a pace change from the onslaught of high-action super dramatic shows that bombard us from time to time. A lot of those types of shows are among greatest ever made, don’t get me wrong – I just think the timing for this is perfect. The animation off the top is clean and detailed. The music plays a soft upbeat melody. The characters smile honestly.
And if its honesty you’re looking for, our main heroine is Makoto Kowata, a somewhat aloof young witch looking to make her way in the world. She just happened to pick the safest location possible as well. Choosing to live with your second-cousin is a little too safe, maybe. He, being Kei Kuramoto, is at first a seemingly average character. He looks a lot like every other standard male lead in this category, that’s for sure. But he has a good sense of humor, and again a realistic one at that. Just when you think he’s too normal and boring, he pulls something great out of his pocket. I understand you, Kei – and I agree, that’s way too much stuff. Not even going to question what he was doing with his friends after school though…
That had to have been the funniest way to introduce someone to a child that I have ever witnessed. Chinatsu didn’t even miss a beat with playing in to the joke. I’m definitely looking forward to her moments in this series. She is also as brutally honest as a kid can be – clearly not very welcoming of this dangerous older woman in her territory. But when she finds out that Makoto is a witch? It’s just the best reaction ever.
So she talks to her cat, Chito (amazing name), and flies around on a broomstick in plain view. Of course that’s going to break the mind of a normal functioning human being. Poor Nao needed a few more minutes to take that in, from the look on her face. And the realism just keeps on flowing, as Makoto explains her situation as a witch. They’re expected to leave home at 15 to go at it on their own, but her family wants her to finish high school as being a witch probably doesn’t pay the bills. She’s also living with a family member to put her parents’ minds at ease. It’s so normal! So normal in fact that she doesn’t even realize that she’s spilling the beans to a no-mag or whatever. I wouldn’t want any trouble either!
Where could this show go? I don’t even really care – and I don’t say that very often. I’m not a huge slice-of-life fan, but this was just right. It looks poised to go somewhere, with a few characters left to be seen and likely a conflict of some kind. It was a nice touch having the mandrake scream allow us to look at a few people before we know who they are. As long as the characters and atmosphere can hold it up, I’ll be watching. Or if I just need something to relax.
– Everything could use more cats.
– If there is a magical society, I wonder how they deal with dimwits.
– Why would someone ever want a mandrake!?