Fucking. Hated. This. Thing.
Back when I was the type of fanboy who blindly bought into new things like a homeless man who found a book on Mormonism in the trash, I contributed to quite a few Kickstarter projects upon its discovery, waited months/years to receive my prize whilst feeling good about myself that I was supporting a dying industry, reaped the rewards, and said happy expression quickly turned to sullen joylessness when I realized that the final product – with no exception – wasn’t very good. In fact, they were worse than not good. They were utter shit that I could have watched for free anyways, so I might as well have spent the money on a video game that everyone knows is shit but I wouldn’t personally know for sure until I played it myself. Like say, Ride to Hell: Retribution.
It just goes to show: try before you buy. Now to be fair, I did try the first Little Witch Academia back when people could actually say the word “Studio Trigger” without a mild snarl in their voice. I remember liking it at the time, but I honestly can’t remember why. In fact, I can’t remember anything about the first Little Witch Academia at all aside from the characters’ designs, the animation being nice, and this one cartoonish expression a dragon had right before he spontaneously combusted. What I did remember was that the cast consisted solely of little girls, so I went into the sequel with a bit of fear whilst reminding myself that Euphonium’s cast was mostly girls and it was…well I didn’t love the show or anything, but it was tolerable. Certainly a better well-animated cute girl thing than this banal pile of horseshit. Sixty bucks well-spent, huh?
The story of this sequel brings back the girls from the first installment, whose names I’m not going to even bother remembering because they have zero personality and thus I have zero interest in treating them as people. After pissing off their potions master and getting ten points taken from Gryffindor, they are forced to prepare for a local parade and learn about the nature of hard work and how goofing off tends to lead to trouble during important events. Oh wait, that would be the plot of a half-way decent kids’ show (unless you’re Gravity Falls, in which case it would be an awesome plot in an awesome kids’ show). The OVA is actually about the girls wasting time with lots of talking and ideas for the parade that never go anywhere, and then when some kids show up all mopey, they cheer ‘em with magic, defeat another monster in a rehash of the dragon climax from the first installment, and then deliver a final lesson scraped off of a Disney Channel checklist that was thrown into the janitor’s office. As far as plots go, it’s right up there with that one episode of Da Capo SS when Aisha tries to teach little kids how magic can solve anything by having Junichi’s harem dress in mahou shoujo outfits that look like they belong in a strip club.
Yes, I’m sorry to say that Little Witch Academia 2 is the shit kind of sequel. Most anime sequels never do as well as the first to begin with, but this is the kind that’s basically the same as the original except with twice the length and twenty times the bullshit. There’s very little added to the formula and the stuff that is added is just used to pad out the runtime rather than contribute in any major way. Also, I’m not quite sure, but I think the girls act more spazzy than before. It’s not as bad as Durarara’s gimmicky additions, but at least Durarara waited an entire cour before giving up on itself and going “fuck it. Let’s do the same thing Nintendo does with its franchises”.
The animation is still of good quality, so at least the visual-loving fans have something to slobber over after having eye surgery to repair the damage caused by Santa Company. And if you, like me, are tired of seeing Trigger turning into Shaft with their cheap animation-saving tricks whilst someone makes bad catchphrases in the recording room and repeating their stories with more self-referentiality than Platinum Games, you’ll be pleased to know that at least they kept at least one of their usual annoying quirks out of the thing. Now if only they’d fix the other fifty, maybe they’d actually produce some good stuff. But we live in a world where everything that can go wrong will go wrong, so I wouldn’t hold out hope for that unless it turns out that they’re making a remake to Thundercats or something.
So is there anything new in this thing? Um, there’s a parade? People like parades, right? Unless they have singing dinosaurs voiced by John Goodman, I mean. There’s…um…see, this is the reason why I don’t like reviewing, let alone watching cute girl stuff. They lack substance, they’re not funny, and they’re so bloody hard to write about. At least when something ends up as a trainwreck, I can work with that. And speaking of cute girl stuff, Hell will freeze over before I watch any more Girls Und Panzer or that movie about the three goddesses that A-1 Pictures is releasing. Hell will have Satan turned into a pussy bitch when A-1 releases something good.
See? Now I’m insulting studios who have nothing to do with the anime I’m talking about just to lengthen this review out the same way Little Witch Academia 2 has the girls chat about the practicalities of magic like I give a fucking damn just to fill up an hour worth of screen time. Well you’re not pulling me into your evil any further. To sum it all up, you’ll notice as of this writing that Little Witch Academia 2 has a slightly lower ranking on MAL than its predecessor. There’s a reason for that, since I’m pretty sure that a good chunk of the users who record the thing liked the first one.
The story is ripped out of every kids’ book cliche ever whilst borrowing too heavily from the first. The characters are either completely unrelatable or act like bad parodies of characters from much better kid shows. And the humor sucks balls, realized it didn’t like the taste, and vomited for three minutes when it decided to show up, because there were large sections of the anime that felt like I was watching the pointless filler from A Troll in Central Park again. It’s a poor product from a disappointing studio created through terrible means that wasn’t at all worth the wait, and I’m happy to just forget it existed and continue refreshing my western cartoon feed waiting for a new episode of Gravity Falls to finally get released.
PS: So anybody want to buy this thing off me when it inevitably gets sent to my doorstep?