Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade is the follow up to Trigger’s 2013 anime short, Little Witch Academia. Enchanted Parade was funded partially through Kickstarter, and saw release in 2015. That crowdfunded money definitely did not go to waste, as The Enchanted Parade is about twice as long as the original short, coming in at just under an hour.
Akko, Lotte and Sucy have settled in quite nicely to their new lifestyle at Luna Nova Magical Academy, and the trio is especially comfortable with the principal’s office. Their latest meeting with the principal is due to a mishap in potion mixing class between Akko and Sucy. The principal, fed up with the group’s actions, has a special punishment in store this time around.
Akko and her friends are tasked with production of the annual Witch Hunt Parade. You see, beyond the magical walls of Luna Nova lies a world not too unlike our own, complete with cell phones and modern clothing. The Witch Hunt Parade is supposed to be a celebration in remembrance of the Witch Trials from long ago, but they’re really more of an excuse for people to harass the witches.
Akko immediately catches on to this, and makes it her mission to show people the wonders and joy of magic, just like her idol, Shiny Chariot, did for her when she was a kid. Along the way, she is joined by not only Lotte and Sucy, but three other delinquent witches named Amanda, Constanze and Jasminka.
Much like the original short, The Enchanted Parade provides simple, yet effective world building. I found it super interesting that the normal world continued to grow and evolve, while witches chose to preserve the world of magic by establishing a school to instruct young, hopeful girls. Even more interesting is the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Little Witch Academia told us that the Sorcerer’s Stone was the source of all magic, and The Enchanted Parade takes it a step further by showing us that witches also have to be within a certain proximity to the artifact in order to make full use of their powers.
During a trip to the city to collect supplies for the parade, Akko and the girls get into a small scuffle with a group of boys. Although they are initially able to fend them off using their wands, the girls quickly run out of magical energy to use, and they end up covered in tomato gunk as a result.
Akko’s character really shines in The Enchanted Parade, her charisma and positive energy are so much more enjoyable to watch when she’s channeling all of that into something that she’s passionate about. She comes across as genuinely enthusiastic about the Witch Hunt Parade, and I loved seeing the spark in her eyes whenever she landed on a new idea to make the parade a true celebration.
Amanda, Constanze and Jasminka make for great new additions to the cast. They are similar to the other girls in the fact that they initially seem to be very one note characters, but their interactions with Akko, as well as each other make them really enjoyable to watch. Special mention to Amanda, whose broom dance sequence is one of the more visually impressive moments that doesn’t involve action.
Lotte and Sucy take somewhat of a backseat in The Enchanted Parade. Early on in the story, both of the girls have a small falling out with Akko, and really only return for the film’s climax. Having said that, neither girl is any less enjoyable than in their debut, and Lotte actually gets some really nice background and development.
I’m happy to say that The Enchanted Parade is just as, if not more visually impressive than the original Little Witch Academia, particularly the actual parade event. Shortly after Akko and the girls begin the parade, an ancient titan rises from the ground and disrupts the show. But with some quick thinking from Diana and Professor Ursula, the witches are able to pass this off as a part of the performance, while also defending the townspeople from the monster.
The awesome broom riding moments from the first short return for The Enchanted Parade, and on a much grander scale this time around. Instead of flying through the sky, the girls are dashing and ducking through the city streets, all while passing around Shiny Chariot’s staff. This all culminates in one final attack from Akko, Lotte and Sucy, one that reminds me of a certain attack from the world’s most storied Shonen anime series.
The Enchanted Parade takes everything that made Little Witch Academia fun and special, and really expands on it. The story is more engaging, the world is richer, the characters are more fleshed out, and they even made Akko’s foil, Diana, really likeable. I’m giving The Enchanted Parade my highest recommendation.