16 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Shinmaru /

Witch Craft Works 1 – The Witch Trials Made Me HNNNNNGH Too

witch-craft-works-crucifixion-moeSo moe I died. And so did they.

Of everything I have watched to start this new season, I don’t think any show vacillated more between “OH MY GOD FUCKING DROPPED” and “Wait, do I actually want to keep watching this??” more than Witch Craft Works. I don’t even know how I feel about it right now, and I sure as shit can’t recommend it to anyone else with any certainty, which probably makes this post worthless for many people. But I got such a confused feeling from this first episode that I had to document it somewhere, so here I am.

Right away, I can say the basics of the plot and characters aren’t all that interesting to me. Normal high school kid whose life is suddenly upended? Check. Magical protector? Check. Generic magical fantasy stuff? Check. Bunch of ladies want this normal dude for some nefarious purpose? Yep. It is of course not unusual for anime and/or manga to be loaded with cliches. It’s what you do with this stuff that makes it fun, yeah? (For instance, much of Noragami‘s content in the first episode left me similarly cold and uninterested, but the act of watching it at least made me feel energized since so much effort is put into many individual shots.) Wasn’t feeling it here, though. I’ve danced this dance so much before. Even the mostly nifty fighting didn’t get me all that excited. Hey, it happens, you move on.


But then there would be all these weird little things that would catch my attention for seconds at a time. You’ve got the bullying scene with the out of left field reference to U.S. President Barack Obama. I joked about it upon seeing it, because I am always down for a cheap laugh, but my quick research shows me that this was actually in the manga — the kid actually refers to Obama’s “Yes We Can” slogan from the 2008 presidential campaign, whereas the anime goes with the slightly more contemporary “The best is yet to come!” from Obama’s 2012 presidential victory speech. Why is this here? You got me. But I laughed.

Then there’s other stuff. A trap involving magicking a school building to drop on the MC. That army of robo-bunnies and their incredibly silly execution attempt. That great piece of comic timing where the MC jumps in to make some heroic save and gets whacked with a hammer, complete with the hollow, echoing metallic noise. (I laughed very hard at that sound while also cringing, because it seemed quite painful.) The main character being referred to non-sarcastically as a “princess.”  Witchy woman tying MC’s tie into a bowtie. Just little oddities that might not be incredibly consequential to the plot (though I do like these thoughts about some of this stuff), but stuck out enough to make me pay attention.

I dunno, this early in the season, the vague curiosity of “Maybe there will be more weird stuff in the next episode??” makes me want to keep going even though, again, I have no interest in the plot and little interest in the characters at this point. (However, I will admit to guffawing when all the witches were introduced as transfer students at the end of the episode. The show didn’t even wait for them all to debut before bringing them to class!) If there is any better indication that my time right now is worthless, then I’m all ears.


Also, wieners.

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  1. fathomlessblue
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    I’ll give it another ep for the ending alone. Frustratingly, the show seems one part inspired and unique for every two parts cliché otaku bullshit, meaning I can’t disregard it out of hand. Still, I can’t see myself sticking through it with a main duo like that. Anime, please stop having characters introduce themselves as utterly boring, then narrate the entire episode from their point of view. Please! The standard powerful-yet-subservient female lead isn’t up to much either, outside of rocking a hat and broom.

    Well, at least it made me look forward to Little Witch Academy 2 just that little bit more

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Definitely. If the cliche stuff is there to be upended and played with, then I won’t mind it so much. But if the weird stuff is just going to be the occasional oddity, then I probably won’t stick with this.

  2. Ken
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    This is different. I’m curious to see where they will go with this anime.
    The imagery of her cradling him in her arms like a baby with those massive breasts in his face makes me think they are marketing this to guys with a mommy fetish. But the way she towers over him emotionlessly assuming the masculine role of protector, calling him her princess, and sticking a wiener in his mouth implies symbolic gender swapping. If this gets romantic I know who will be on top.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Haha, yeah, that’s the basic dichotomy here. I could see it going either way, really.

  3. Shadow
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    I wasn’t expecting a review for this series honestly.

    I was looking forward for a Nobunaga the Fool review. The series had the best 1st episode from any of the other series so far.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Haha, I usually don’t write these first impressions posts unless something gives me some sort of strong feeling, even if it’s utter confusion.

  4. Cepech
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Manga reader here.

    Keep watching it. Or don’t and just read the manga and enjoy the glorious art: http://www.batoto.net/read/_/695/witch-craft-works_ch2_by_animexis/35

    Look how the flames over her hair has eyes and a mouth!

    I think the problem with the first episode is that it fails to hint how the story and execution is not generic at all, or maybe a little.

    I think this pic is pretty accurate:


    • 800020
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Got into the manga for the art, stayed for the… well, the art, but the plot isn’t too bd either.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      I don’t really read that much manga, so that probably won’t happen, haha.

  5. zb
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    The manga author’s notes state that Honoka was originally meant to have been a girl, but the character was changed to a boy at the last minute.

    The feminine name and some traits were retained however.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      It’s definitely more interesting with Honoka as a dude but keeping that lame duck “princess who is meant to be saved” role.

  6. Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Witches happily singing while being crucified and stuffed in iron maidens is the best thing I’ve seen this season.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      It’s pretty good!

  7. Nagisa33
    Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    The moe~ is strong with this one. I still don’t get why eyepatches are moe though. Maybe because it creates an aura of mystery???

    This ED is cray cray.

    • Shinmaru
      Posted January 9, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I dunno, they just look cute in some way?

  8. Ken
    Posted January 28, 2014 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    I’m up to the 4th episode of this show and so far it’s one of my favorite of this season. I like how after the bad witches get burned they blow off steam by singing karaoke.

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