Little Witch Academia is one of the four anime works that each received 38 million yen (about US$480,000) from the “2012 Young Animator Training Project.” Just like in 2010 and 2011, the animation labor group received 214.5 million yen (US$2.65 million) from the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, and it distributed most of those funds to studios who train young animators on-the-job.
– Source: MAL
Now that I think of it, Little Witch Academia is the first Young Animators Project I have ever watched. From this experience, I am happy to say this is the most satisfying short I have watched in a long time. Twenty-six minutes of thorough entertainment, a great heroine, Kagari who was both adorable and had incredible firepower in her. She doesn’t let people sway her when they disregard her idol/inspiration, Chariot. Her friends had minor roles, but Sucy gets the cake. Her mischievousness and crazy potions was priceless. I burst into a fit of laughter when she killed the beast off with his acidic potions. I pity and worry for Kagari who has been shown to serve as her lab rat for testing her potions. I also found it cute that to see Diana is secretly a fan of Chariot (in fact she is actually in the audience in the beginning).
Was this flawless animation? No, but when it had its shining moments- you can really see the clarity and how seemingly natural the animation is. There is no blur, there is no missing beat, it just flows like water down a stream. Kudos to young animators, they did a magnificent job. Job well done.
I found the character designs and animation style shared a mix of Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, another show that has the western’s ‘cartoonish’ touch. True enough I am not a huge fan of this particular style, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like Little Witch Academia’s. In fact, I felt that is suited the short just fine and gave it felt fresh and original feel.
It is really too bad that this is all we’re going to get, since there is so much more they can expand on. Regardless, they wrapped up it nicely, and prevented it from feeling incomplete. You should definitely watch it because it is definitely worth 26 minutes of your time. :3