(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)
Who needs Christmas spirit when you have Fuel Spirit? Little Witch Academia shows us that emotions are powerful enough to grant magical abilities at all times of the year.
Released in 2003, the movie Elf had a great impact on a millennial’s upbringing during the holiday season each year. While it had its fair share of raunchy antics (Oh, the things you realize when you grow up!), above all Elf taught us the value of retaining our childlike wonder at any age. Little Witch Academia may be a much newer show, with its last episode airing on July 26, 2017, but the lessons it shares with us are just as timeless. A believing heart is, after all, your magic.
So what exactly does this TV anime about witches have in common with a feel-good Christmas classic? The most obvious similarity is the Santa’s sleigh dilemma. Just as how the sleigh loses its power to fly when people stop believing in Christmas, the broom Akko and her friends ride during the final battle is fueled by the emotional support of hundreds of people. Without their encouragement, Akko would be powerless against the literal missile of negativity zooming towards the planet’s atmosphere.
Something else both shows have in common is a clean resolution. Antagonists Walter Hobbs and Croix Meridies are largely responsible for the conflicts their respective protagonists must face. It ultimately falls to the villains to change their ways and save the day, and once this happens they are almost immediately absolved of blame. Walter’s crime is being stubborn and miserly, which seems much more excusable than Croix’s plans to manipulate the human race and use their negative emotions as a powerful form of magic, but in order to earn that family-friendly rating, the spirit of forgiveness must prevail.
Last but not least, Elf and Little Witch Academia show us the importance of believing in yourself, even when the world seems against you. As their stories begin, Akko and Buddy have decided to move away from home and pursue their dreams. Adapting to their new environments and the cultures that come with them is a struggle first, but by staying true to their ideals they carve out a spot for themselves and make friends along the way. Each show ends with the protagonists surrounded by their loved ones and doing what they enjoy most. Whether it be celebrating Christmas or practicing magic, these heartwarming scenes have a lasting impact and make these shows watchable for years to come.