By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
Is it just me or does the majority of anime tend to follow around children between the ages of 12-17? Maybe that’s just the demographic anime is trying to target these days, who knows. But, it is safe to say, most anime involves students in some way, shape or form… usually. Witchcraft Works is no exception. Brought to us by J.C. Staff studios, Witchcraft Works follows the life of high school student as he finds out the high school life isn’t exactly as it seems.
Honoka Takamiya is a second year high school student living a rather normal life. He does find it odd that he always sits next to Ayaka Kagari, the school idol, on the bus every day, and even next to her in class. While Kagari is viewed so highly, Takamiya is the opposite. One day after school, he finds himself being attacked by a girl who is one of the “Tower Witches” and her army of robot bunnies. Takamiya is in no way equipped to protect himself from such an onslaught. Thankfully, Kagari comes to his rescue. She, too, just happens to be a witch, and a fire witch at that. More importantly, Kagari and Takamiya are bound together, if you will. Not only is the student body repulsed that Takamiya is around Kagari, but he also has tower witches and a deeper plot unfolding before him. If this is what the second year of high school brings, will Takamiya make it to his third year?
The series plays out opposite to standard story plots. What I mean by this is that the female lead, Kagari, is the “alpha”, if you will. Takamiya is the one constantly needing to be saved. And while this goes against traditional narrative, it was a nice change of pace. The problem arises with how absolutely pitiful the character of Takamiya really is. It almost seems as if he literally can’t do anything for himself. Sure, when he is pitted against witches with powers of hordes of henchmen, most of us wouldn’t fare too well. But he’s constantly walked on by the female student body at school and repeatedly told how low he really is. I’m hard pressed to think of any character, anime, television or film, who comes off as this lowly. It’s almost to the point where you wonder how he even manages to dress himself every day, or feed himself. It is pretty bad.
We tend to believe that the protagonist is going to be victorious at the end. And, nine times out of ten, maybe more than that, we are correct. Witchcraft Works is the same way. Kagari is constantly fighting a new tower witch, it seems, though we get that feeling that these witches are just a set up for whoever is pulling the strings in the background. But Kagari is so overpowering when it comes to these other witches, it’s not even a challenge. There is no real threat to Kagari, or Takamiya since she is protecting him. It isn’t until later, when more powerful adversaries arrive, that there is actually some challenge. But again, we kind of know what the end game outcome will be.
Witchcraft Works isn’t a bad show. It is just very predictable. The show looks great with wonderful visuals, and the comedic elements (most of the tower witches in particular) are pretty funny. It is one of those shows that is good on a superficial level, but if you want anything deeper than that, you’ll just have to look elsewhere. With so many quality anime shows available, Witchcraft Works is on you go to if you’ve already finished the others.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars