Witchcraft Works: An Anime Review
Witch craft works is a comedic action fantasy anime, and not a very original entry in this subgenre. We have our main leads and their budding romance, the various groups that of course fight with the male lead stuck in the middle. Does Witch Craft Works manage to stray from the done- to- death path? Keep reading.
Honoka Takamiya is a high school student bored with life. He sits next to the «Princess» Ayaka Kagari, the school idol that all girls want to be and all boys want to be with. Ayaka even has a rabid fanclub attacking any boy who comes to close, which of course Honoka. Still, he hardly knows Ayaka at all, until he is one day attacked by an army of tiny robot rabbits led by a group of witches. This is when Ayaka arrives and quickly disposes of the villains, revealing that she is also a witch and has been protecting Honoka for a while. Now she does not need to hide it anymore, and Honoka starts as a witches apprentice. But there is a war between factions of witches brewing, and the entire town is in danger.
It is also revealed that Honoka has an entity called Evermillion inside him, which may manifest as a woman called the White Princess. A lot of people want this creature, so they are coming after him. The idea of the main character having a power he did not know is hardly original, and the thought of having the power being a living creature with questionable agenda is not new either, look to Naruto, Bleach or a dozen other, similar manga and anime for examples. There is not much told about this woman, and she lacks any kind of presence. We are not even given an explanation of how she ended up inside Honoka, which seems like vital information.
The Main Characters
So, onto Honoka himself. What is there to say? He is a fish out of water in the magical world, afraid and troubled, but always willing to stand up for what is right. There is nothing original about him, and he does not seem particularly complex. He tries to become stronger even against the wishes of his protector, at least. I do wish he had a little more spunk, and was a little happier. He seems constantly worried or frightened, and while that is quite reasonable for a man in his position, it does get tiresome. Honoka also makes questionable decisions for the sake of the plot, like hiding an object a known enemy gave him from Ayaka, without knowing what it is used for. That is pretty stupid.
Ayaka is a silent, strong woman, again something seen before. She is extraordinarily powerful and defeats enemies so easily that it sometimes works to the shows disadvantage, sucking all tension out of the story. Also, I am slightly bored with the emotionless woman of anime. In some cases we can tell that there is a person behind the quiet face, and it is interesting trying to understand that person. Not in this case. Ayaka's only emotions seems to be tied to Honoka, whom she is in love with. How this crush started is never explained. She enjoys teasing him, and get furious whenever someone hurts him. She also says in the last episode that Honoka is her sole reason for living, which seems slightly creepy to me.
Then there are the minor characters. Honoka's sister does of course have a crush on her big brother, but I like that the mother, instead of being oblivious to the incest brewing under her roof, is strongly against it and tries to stop it. There are five minor enemy witches that never seem to be any threat at all, and serve as comic relief. Their characters are so poorly defined that I am not sure what most of their individual characteristics are supposed to be. Then there are a lot of other witches, I think a little too many for just 12 episodes, as none get any development.
Of note is the only male witch, or wizard, the science teacher. These shows always seem to have women as the only magic-users, and I have never understood why. He is also the only main male character aside from Honoka, disregarding the magical creatures. Interestingly, he vaguely comments that men are of low social status in the magic world, suggesting some sexism at play. This is not elaborated upon, sadly.
Animation and Ending
The animation is nice. There is some creativity in the strange magical worlds which I like, colorful and made of strange shapes. The fighting is, especially towards the end, of the “big explosions”- style. I do feel that the end dragged out a bit, though. There is a lot back and forth and way too many characters to balance, not to mention they introduce new ones almost at the very end.
Witch Craft Works is a bit of a mess, and not one I would recommend strongly. It certainly is more broad than deep, quickly glossing over so much magic and plot and characters that it never gets the time to truly explore. It does not stray from the walked path at any point, but if you are content with that I suppose it might be okay.