Name: Flying Witch
Genre: Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural
Director: Katsushi Sakurabi
Studio: J.C Staff
Original Airtime: April 10, 2016- June 26, 2016
Flying Witch is about Makoto, a young witch from Yokohama, that moves to Aomori to live with some relatives as part of her training. What follows is Makoto’s daily life as she gets used to her new environment and her relatives and the new friends she makes there are introduced to the customs and peculiarities of witchcraft.
Firstly the name ‘Flying Witch’ might come off a bit misleading. It’s about a trainee witch, Makoto, who knows how to fly but not in the proper manner. The show is not necessarily about her either, it’s about all the people that are around her as they go about their daily lives and how they interact with one another.
The thing with the story of Flying Witch is that there isn’t one; meaning there is no over arching plot. It is basically episodic. But that’s not a bad thing considering the show’s slice of life genre. It is plainly a group of people going about their daily lives with the element of surprise thrown in once in a while. One of the things I really like about the show is how easy going it is. No unnecessary drama or plot twist, just a fluid story you can sit back and enjoy. There is literally an episode where a one of the main characters follows a cat around the neighborhood, and then in the second half of the episode, another characters follows the cat around the same neighborhood. But that doesn’t mean it’s boring and this is where the show truly shines. It portrays the most mundane of things in the the most plain way possible but somehow it’s enjoyable and not boring for one bit.
Flying witch does a great job of mixing two worlds, the normal world and the world of the witches that is in plain sight but hidden at the same time. It does it so well that the whole concept of magic and witches become a slice of life itself as if there is nothing abnormal about it. It portrays magic in a non magical way making it plain and simple part of everyday life. While it does from time to time throw in the element of surprise but it is executed in a way that it doesn’t seem stand-off-ish or forced making Flying Witch an excellent slice of life anime with a mix of magic and the supernatural.
Flying Witch is a character driven anime but it doesn’t have a huge number of characters. I personally like it that way in a 12 episode show. It’s really tough to explore two-three characters in a 12 episode window so having a big set of characters in a short show is rather disadvantageous.
The characters of Flying Witch are really quite unique. The most interesting attribute of the characters is how laid back they are. They say and do the most peculiar things in the most laid back manner and with a straight face. This, many a times, leads to some quite enjoyable comedic moments. This was one of the most enjoyable features of the anime.
Makoto, a jolly minded witch in training, is the main protagonist. She is very gullible in nature and sincere about her training. She also has the worst sense of direction since Zoro. Despite being a teenager her actions are rather child-like I must say. Kei is probably the only standout male character in a rather female dominated cast and like most other characters of the show, he’s quite laid back. Chinatsu, Kei’s sister on the other hand is a very curious and enthusiastic little girl, who decides to become a witch herself after watching Makoto and her sister Akane. Did I mention that she’s also cute as hell?? #Imouto2016. Akane is another character worth mentioning. She is a genius at witchcraft but quite aloof and lazy. Nao, Kei’s school friend is probably the only character who acts normal in the anime. Most of the characters in the anime are too laid back and don’t act their age. For example Kei, despite being a teenager, has no interest in what most teenage boys would do. Instead he’s unusually good at cooking and farming. But in contrast to them, Nao is more realistic as a character who acts the way most normal teenage girls would, being conscious about her weight and boys. Finally we have Chito, Makoto’s cat familiar who has a much better sense of direction than Makoto, can understand humans and react to them. Apart from these, there are a few recurring characters such as Inukai and Anzu, both of whom are witches and there is also Kei’s parents. All of the characters have unique characteristics and are quite interesting to watch.
In terms of character development, Flying Witch doesn’t have much. In fact there is little to no character development. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The episodic and slice of life nature of the anime doesn’t really require any. The characters of Flying Witch is probably the strongest point of the show. What it lacks in terms of story, it makes up with a unique and interesting set of characters.
Here are some notable characters from the anime:
The art style of Flying Witch is beautiful to look at. The drawings are clear and the colors are simple, bright and vibrant which really helps to set the tone of the anime. They didn’t complicate things. I for one felt that the drawing resembled that of Bakuman to quite some extent.
The animation in Flying Witch is great. It’s not top notch like Fate/Stay Night UBW neither is it bad. It’s quite standard. But the beautiful drawing, use of color and the wonderfully animated surroundings really make this show stand out. All of these add to the relaxing and mellow tone of the show. I personally think that Flying Witch has one of the most pleasing animations of the season and definitely of one of J.C Staff’s most good looking productions.
Here are some screenshots from the anime:
The soundtracks of Flying Witch were directed by Yoshiaki Dewa, who also worked in composing music for the original Fate/Stay Night anime, Shokugeki no Souma and Nagi no Asukara. The background music are well made and suit the tone of the show. The theme songs are simple and catchy just like the show. I especially enjoyed the opening theme of the show, Sharanran feat. 96 Neko by Miwa. It was really catchy and the animations accompanying it was fun to watch!
Opening Theme: Shranran feat. 96 Neko by Miwa
Ending Theme: Nichijō no Mahō by Minami Shinoda (Makoto) and Eri Suzuki (Chinatsu)
Flying Witch is really enjoyable and relaxing. You can easily sit back and unwind to the anime after a long day’s work. It doesn’t have radical plot twist nor does it have any drama or forced character interactions that will give you the cringe. But despite being so laid back, it doesn’t get boring for a second. This is probably the strongest aspect of Flying Witch. The show is a perfect balance of light-hearted comedy, slice of life and ‘Huh!!?’ moments.
Flying Witch is also a very apt show for children and to watch with your family. This show is basically for everyone and anyone can enjoy it. I, being a fan of the Slice of Life genre, really loved Flying Witch and the atmosphere it creates. Unless you are fan of shows that really plays with your mind or die-hard action fan I really believe you will enjoy this.
I consider Flying Witch to be a hidden gem. I mean we all love watching shows with mind bending plot, great characters and flashy animation but once in a while it’s great to watch shows that are just easy going and relaxing. Flying Witch is exactly that and it does the job SO well. The whole package of the show starting from the story to the characters to the animation and music, all are designed to amplify the experience of relaxation. On the other hand it doesn’t make you sleepy and actually makes want to keep coming back.
Had a long day? Tired? Just take a dose of flying witch and relax. This truly is one of the better shows of 2016 and one of my top 5 anime of Spring 2016. If you love the slice of life, genre I firmly believe that this is a show you will most certainly enjoy.