Original Story: Trigger/Yoh Yoshinari
Art: Keisuke Sato
Translation: Taylor Engel
Lettering: Takeshi Kamura
What They Say:
“Don’t give up, and your feelings will reach!”
It’s time for the famous inter-school flying broom race, and everyone is betting on Diana to win! But when she falls ill, who’s going to take her place? And what will become of Akko and Luna Nova?! The mirthful magical fantasy series concludes!
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As the year continues the one thing all girls hate is quickly approaching, the dreaded school physical, however Akko in her wild passion for trying to desperately lose some weight decides to skip meals and replace them with face puckering umeboshi. But even as they watch their impulsive roommate continue to suffer from another wild scheme, her friends will not lend any moral support by joining in this fruitless effort, so much so Lotte tries to ignore her and Sucy continues to eat her lunch. But as this annoy girl continues to solicit any type of sympathy there rushes by one pleasantly plump classmate with a tray full of rolls who seems oblivious to the drama about to entrap her – Jasminka, the one person who none have ever seen slim and would seem to benefit from a diet. However even as this twin tailed student politely rejects Akko’s pleas to have a partner in her plight, the constant begging and sad expressions finally break her down, but she will only join this quest for one day. And yet as the day begins with several rocky starts with the untalented witch constantly catching her associate sneaking in snacks when she thinks she is not looking, is this going to be as simple as keeping watch or is there some other reason why the girl continuously feels the need to eat whenever the chance presents itself?
As another of her ill conceived schemes failed miserably Akko finds herself wandering the dark halls of Luna Nova one evening looking for a late night snack, but unfortunately for her the creepy corridors became all too confusing and the hapless girl is soon lost. Now grumbling to herself for now being lost and hungry she is just about to give up when a lone light shines ahead, its beckoning glow calling her toward a possible salvation. However as she enters the room which looks more like a laboratory than a dormitory a strange mechanical voice calls out warning of an intruder, resulting in the occupant to come out of the shadows prepared to repel the stranger with gun in hand, revealing herself to be none other than the mechanical witch Constanze. As with her normal attitude she immediately ignored the guest and went back to work, pointing out a pile of broken electronics when asked what she was fixing, only then to have a robotic assistant ward off any interference and insist Akko to leave. Although when the poor girl whined she would like to but is currently lost, the aid swiftly lead her out the door but did not slow when asked if they could stop by the kitchen for her long forgotten nibble; however as they neared the exit the sad student noticed a basket full of treats and wondered why they were there, but since Consey was preoccupied and there was no one else to ask Akko went ahead and helped herself … after all, what harm could there be for taking a few snacks?
With this strange tangent of the anime we knew as Little Witch Academia now coming to an abrupt end, one has to wonder what scribes Trigger and Yoshinari-sensei were considering as they wrote these volumes, even though it was stated at the beginning this title would be a departure from the original material. However even as we take this fact into consideration, this patchwork of daily school life surrounding Akko and her friends is still a confusing frenzy of humorous events which can take on a twofold understanding: either allow your recognition of the characters to guide the story or start anew as fledgling readers into the world of Luna Nova. But at the same time, since this series is largely based on the show itself the latter audience will miss most on most of the inside jokes which require knowledge of the cast and their individual quirks. And even though mangaka Sato-sensei attempts to propel us into this crazy world by keeping the wildly exaggerated animation style within these pages, you still feel as if you are missing something within the overall narrative, all while the writers try to separate the two venues with the common actors. And yet at the same time, this finale tries to close everything as a whole with an event which is completely relatable to fans of the anime – the great race at the close of the series, all with Akko trying to prove herself as being capable of becoming a witch even if she doesn’t have any powers. While we may have this overwhelming sense of accomplishment watching this determined girl who will not listen to others tell her what she can and cannot do, you still have an emptiness of not knowing all of what happens without information from all sources, so in the end the hollowness of the title only gives us half of the story … one in which makes the title as a whole feel incomplete for something which had potential of being something great.
Little Witch Academia had the potential of being a wonderful addition to the animated series, but when you take into consideration a complete understanding of the same named anime, it runs into problems for fans new to the world of Luna Nova. When books are published to work in conjunction with the original material it would make sense to create some attempt to reintroduce the cast, however in this case there is no such repetition and thus we are left with a story which is vacant in its completion. Even if you do recognize the characters the similarities of the various escapades and hijinks casts the familiar sense of déjà vu on the title as a whole, giving the series a shallow feeling of accomplishment, for instead of filling in unknown nuances for the cast you are given an endless repetition for jokes which quickly become stale to a life lesson which should have been given a more fulfilling purpose and thus well meaning satisfaction.
Content Grade: B+
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A
Series Grade: B+
Age Rating: All Ages
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: May 21, 2019