Flying Witch is an 2016 manga adaptation of the Flying Witch manga which will have its first volume released Spring 2017. It is also running alongside two minute CGI shorts. Flying Witch Petite episodes will be bundled with the Blu-ray and DVD copies.
Flying witch is being made by studio “ J.C Staff” of “ Bakuman “ ,” Toradora” and the very popular “ Shougeki no Souma. “
In a land blessed by nature's bountiful beauty, bizarre things begin to take place. Makoto Kowata, 15 years old, is a professional witch. She left Yokohama with Chito, her black cat, to live in the house of her relatives in Aomori. This is where she begins to train as a witch.
Even though Makoto's powers are still limited to just flying through the sky, she and her second cousins Kei and Chinatsu surely make the most out of each and every day.”
As with all true slice of life series , Flying Witch’s plot is hardly the forefront of the show. It’s very muted and derivative of Studio Ghibli's , “ Kiki’s Delivery Service “. How ever Flying Witch takes this to an even further degree than most show. Since it’s a “ Iyashikei “ or a healing anime. A specific sub-genre within Slice of Life. A show so relaxed and soothing it can be described as a healing device for the soul and mind. There is no real conflict , no bland character drama , no epic battles. No , to truly enjoy this show you just need to sit back, relax and enjoy. When I said that Flying Witch was derivative of Kiki's’ delivery service I meant purely by the plot that they share very closely , however they are two very separate entities. The magic in Flying Witch is used purely to accent the characters and separate it from other Iyashikei.
The writing and dialogue are reflective of the shows purpose. They mimic and feel very close to reality but a very idealized reality. Characters talk without much flair and drama but can still touch very emotionally. Humour is character driven.There’s a prevalent but not overbearing theme about humanity’s inseparable connection to nature.
What’s really outstanding about this show is how it can make anything no matter how small entrancing. An episode about picking flowers from Flying Witch held more of my attention that any of the epic drama in Big Order.
The OP and ED are both very fitting , delivering some nice visuals that are representative of the characters and themes. The music is calming and sets the tone very well.
Iyashikei are often linked very closely with music and it’s emotional impact, J.C Staff did a great job with this. Yoshikazu Iwanami , the sound director ( “ SAO , Psycho Pass season 1 and 2 ) does a great job pairing the scene and track to create enthralling moments. The range of music isn’t too wide but you could argue that it keeps it from wandering away from the central themes.
The backgrounds are all extremely beautiful with a detailed, almost pastel like , landscapes that carry an enormous amount of detail within them. Unique animated character backgrounds are nice punctuation for punchlines. The background characters are very undetailed and sometimes are just blank slates , but are shifted out of focus enough to let us know that we shouldn’t be looking at them too hard. Which some sort of compensation...I guess.
The setting isn’t that creative but serves as an idealized little town where people feel like they could live without any worries in life.
There’s a few imaginative shots and almost every single episode has one scene where the sound design , composition and music chain together to create a panorama sequence. Which is quite hard to explain in words but trust me , is always great looking.
There’s some playing about with different Visual effects which work very nicely.
The character designs aren’t that creative but have very crisp black outlines which make them somewhat more recognizable amongst other Iyashikei characters.In particular the MC has a very piercing set of green eyes.
Character animations are very subtle and toned down without the useless eccentricity. Movements look natural and convey a lot. They have enough sharpness however to work well with the comedy.
Something that particularly caught me as an , off guard, pleasant surprise was how well used reaction faces were. I think it was the first time I’ve ever seen them done so well. Let me break it down. In a usual comedy scene , a character will do/say something , it’ll cut to the reacting character have them pull and other the top face and concentrate on it for a good few frames. Flying witch however blends the reactions in with expert speed , mixing them within the conversations and giving them no more than 3 or 4 frames. Instead of being the punchline they serve to underline the punchline.
This show I can only give a very wide recommendation for , one ( of course ) if you’re not a fan of slice of life as a rule then you can rule this , two if you like slice of life for the over-the-top characters and absurd situations then again I’d also advise against this. Of course that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give Flying Witch a try if you have the chance. Especially if you’re feeling over-burdened with life then this might lift some of that weight off for you, who knows ? Now this is my first time with this type of show , so I can’t really tell any dedicated , Anime Healers , where it stands amongst other shows in the genre.
So far it’s been ranking very well , across the board, with both Japanese and foreign viewers giving it very high ratings. I personally don’t see it having much rewatch value since it lacks depth but I can definitely see someone using a specific episode or scene to un-wind so I can’t predict how the Blu-ray's and DVD’s will say. Having the anime released before the first volume might boost the manga sales up quite a bit. So the chances of a second season are up there and J.C has been quite generous with multiple seasons. Bakuman receiving 3 for example.