Monmon: Ello! Sorry for the lack of activity. I got the New Year laziness and then had to deal with real life jobs. Anyway, this is my first anime recommendation. It is a pretty safe recommendation of Flying Witch. Hope you like it!
Flying Witch is one of my favourite anime in recent memory. Released in Spring 2016, it features a teenage girl who has come of age as a witch moving in with a branch family to complete her high school curriculum. It is a slice of life anime with a hint of magical fantasy mixed in. Flying Witch is an amazingly beautiful anime that brings solace and peace in my otherwise hectic life.
In terms of plot, Flying Witch have very little of it that it can be perceived as lacking one. However that is not the case. The plot does progress, albeit slowly. So slowly that, each episode of the anime feels like a standalone episode. New characters are introduced with their own story which they share in the anime. There are also some minor plotlines that sprinkle snippets of progression throughout the episodes. In short, it is a very slow and simple anime.
In spite of this, the anime is by no means slow and boring. It goes at its own steady pace and the characters are always talking in their own scenes, engaging the viewer and leaving no dead air that breaks the immersion. Just from the first episode. The amazing visuals, the calm background music, and the characters and setting that are sweet and peaceful when the premise of it could be more exciting.
Throughout the whole anime, the intricately crafted scenery brings the anime out of the screen. Every one of them is beautifully drawn, complementing the setting and splashes across the eyes like fireworks. I recommend watching it at the highest definition possible. You can literally take one frame from an episode and you will get a picture that range from ‘Okay, it looks nice.’ to ‘This picture does not deserve this mistreatment of being the wallpaper of my messy desktop.’
The setting of the anime is tailored to a perfect fit. Set in the country side, the best scenes from Hirosaki’s vibrant festival to a warm family house plays the grace and peace of the anime so majestically. To be immersed in this is like being submerged in a lake of shimmering light. Not to bright and easy on the eyes.
Then there is the magical aspect of the setting. The magic element is so subtle and that’s what makes it so interesting. No grand magic circles, powerful magical beasts, or a spectacular magic show. Just simple magic spells usually drawn on paper or done with prayer, potions brewed like it’s a hobby, divine beings that are friendly, and secret places hidden by simple spells. All of these are sprinkled throughout the anime. Each of them are given ample time in the limelight, allowing me time to understand and appreciate it. The magical world of witches is so deeply integrated into the normal world that anything magical is met with curiosity and wonder. This is a huge shift from the current forms magic in anime which focuses on the shock and awe. If the setting is the lake of shimmering light, the magical element is like exotic fish that playfully swims around in view.
Flying Witch’s soundtrack is exceptionally well made and a treat for the ears. Some have an upbeat tone, but most of they are so soothing it makes one feel relaxed and as a matter of fact, lazy. The opening song is cute and energetic, putting the viewer in a good mood before watching while the ending song is slow and calm, signifying the end of the episode like a peaceful evening while returning home.
Lastly, the characters of the anime are just pleasant to watch. Kowata Makoto, voiced by Shinoda Minami, is very soft, caring and plays a spending old sister to Kuramoto Chinatsu. Chinatsu, voiced by Suzuki Eri, is just plain adorable as the little sister that tags around Makoto. Chinatsu’s older brother is Kuramoto Kei, who is a well-balanced guy who often leads the group into fun activities. Then there is Ishiwatari Nao who is voiced by Mikami Shiori and Kei’s friend from class. She is usually the tsukomi in situations revolving around magic and is all around a cute character to begin with. Last of all is Chito the cat. Voiced by Kayano Ai? Chito only meows though. She is Makoto’s familiar and is a very intelligent cat that while rarely focused on in the anime, is a fun watch when her scene appears. These are the main characters featured prominently in the anime. There are many more characters, each with their own quirky story. And if that does not stir your curiosity, then let me say this: There is a witch who is a furry and has a hamster as a familiar.
I would find myself watching in silence with a blank look on my face. And when the episode ends, I would be surprised at the seemingly short time the episode took and lament with a smile on my face. Because I keep experiencing this problem, it became a routine when I was well into an episode, I would occasionally check the episode’s time, hoping there is more to it.
One day, Q-ichi came up with a way to fully enjoy a Flying Witch episode. He suggested to clear a quiet afternoon and set a few minutes of quiet time before watching the episode. In doing so, he said that the episode would put me in an uplifting ‘zen mode’. I did exactly that and cleared an afternoon. That day was a clear sunny day with cool winds. And it just so happened that the most relaxing episode of the anime is released. For the rest of that afternoon, I felt like a well-fed cat experiencing the most comfortable afternoon nap.
So here is my first anime recommendation. Flying Witch. If you like nature and peaceful settings or you want something calm and soothing to watch, Flying Witch is a good one to watch.
However, if your preference is more towards high energy, action anime, this anime might not be suitable for you. Like cruising at high speed in a sports car, only to brake and slow down because a hospital is nearby. It might be frustrating to watch. But if you are willing to try it out, calm your nerves and keep an open mind before watching it. Maybe it will please you in the end.
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Also be sure to check out Q-ichi’s web novel R.A.M.!