Prepare yourself.

I’ve been trying to ignore UK politics (we’ve had an election) and every other recent tragedy (first Manchester, then London), but with wall-to-wall coverage on TV, it’s kind of hard. It’s times like these when I guess I’m grateful for whatever I can find online.

Well after what seems like forever, Little Witch Academia has finally hit us with the feels, and it will be sadly only end with the conclusion next week. Professor Ursula has had enough of lying and decides to spill the beans to Akko. In the meantime, the local town has been wrapped up in a protest over a football match (as the British do…that is, if this fictional place actually was the UK, which so far looks like it). These emotions of anger and frustration are being channelled by Croix, with the intention to develop a new energy source, as she sees magic is dying too. Once again, this is something that almost mirrors Kill La Kill, only I will repeat what I said last week, in that Croix pales in comparison to Ragyo. It wasn’t some alien species that turned Croix; she brought this madness on herself…or so it would appear to seem.

Akko, who is still oblivious, begins to get frustrated with Croix’s highly unorthodox ways of teaching (I would have thought last week would have tipped her over the edge, though) and confronts her on why she does what she does. Then Ursula steps in to save the day, in full-on “hands-off-my-daughter!” mode, to reveal who she really is…

…and more. I won’t spoil in this post since it’s a pretty huge part of the show’s plot, but I didn’t see it coming either.

I’ve already seen the short PV for next week’s episode, and I guarantee it to be a tear-jerker. We’re so so close to the end of the show, and with Croix hellbent on doing whatever she plans to do (which is still not fully explained), both Akko and Ursula/Chariot have to find that common ground again. Akko still has one more Word to find, and at this point, I have no idea how, or where, she will find it.

Over in Sakura Quest, the short story concerns a matchmaking trip planned by the Tourist Board.. Because of lack of interest, only 3 women show up, so Yoshino decides to promote it as a reverse harem, what with their being so many 30-something guys who all look and act the same. The matchmaking trip is shadowed by the actions of Ririko, who has developed a deep depression and this is something I can relate to as she has something I was diagnosed with as a child: social anxiety disorder.

I could talk forever about it (I actually did a piece on my blog a year ago with Tomoko Kuroki as a case study if you’re interested), but what I can tell you is that it isn’t a nice thing to have. You constantly feel as if there’s something wrong with you, you feel like the entire world is judging you 24/7, and the tiniest of decisions/mistakes stay inside your head for days, months and even years (where you’re left with a ‘what if?’). You could almost describe SAD as a silent killer, only it doesn’t quite kill you…it only gnaws at you from the inside, and will never ever stop.

Shiori is someone who befriended her in elementary school, and despite her saying she’s changed since joining Yoshino’s team, Ririko still doesn’t feel any different.

  • …because she only speaks when she has to.
  • …because she doesn’t join in in their jokes.
  • …because she’s the youngest out of the five.
  • …because she still lives with her grandmother, and doesn’t have the independence the others have.

Despite being best girl, Ririko stands out, and she feels that she does it for all the wrong reasons. With the other four sticking firmly together to get this matchmaking event working, I’m not sure if they can even see what is eating at her. The end of this week’s episode has a plot point though: Ririko stuck at a bus station in the thunderstorm; next week will bring this small story to an end, and maybe the other four can actually see what they need to do to get Ririko to join them properly, but helping someone with Social Anxiety Disorder isn’t like turning on a switch.

I recall someone on my Twitter feed who was trying to find shows that would make great live-actions; I think this stemmed from the announcement of a live-action Cowboy Bebop recently. Well I can easily say that this, along with the other two shows in P.A Works’ “working” series (Hanasaku Iroha & Shirobako) would work easily, as they blend real-life comedy and drama, and ignore sci-fi/fantasy, which has the capacity of putting off a good portion of a potential target audience.

There is so much in Haibane Renmei that I had actually forgotten; much of this episode especially. It has been a long time since I last saw it, after all. Rakka develops a fever after touching the wall in the previous episode, and as punishment, she is requested to return to the Temple and go actually inside the Wall to collect ‘light leaves’…particles that are used to create halos for the Haibane. I would have thought that they would have made a good part of this episode as that scene, since it could have had so much more potential, but alas only 3-5 minutes were used instead.

This episode also begins to focus more on Reki. As Rakka’s ‘depression’ arc has ended, her own begins. The episode itself begins with a flashback, to when Reki was a newborn. She is cast aside for being Sin-bound, but her mentor, Kuramori, takes her in regardless. It is clear here that Reki wants to project that Kuramori did to her onto Rakka, when she learnt of Rakka’s black marks. When we discovered that Rakka wasn’t Sin-bound after all, Reki begins to look inward, and blame herself once again.

We’re brought back to that Circle of Sin riddle: One who recognises their Sin, has no Sin. Reki can’t remember her dream, thus cannot have of Day of Flight, and neither can she understand what it is she has done to deserve to be Sin-bound. As Rakka accepts her punishment gladly, and learns that being at the temple regularly is to become her job now, Reki begins to feel more anxious, and a little selfish too. The relationship between her and Rakka is to be the focus of the closing episodes.