Well there goes my character focused episodes theory unless the purpose of this episode was to introduce Fafner the dragon. I think only trigger can manage to turn a situation with dragons stealing a magic stone into a tale about the academy trying to pay off a debt owed to to a dragon who works in the stock market. Dragons in particular are known for hoarding treasure with Fafner being a dwarf who turned into a dragon and guards his treasure hoard. So a modern interpretation of this being a dragon who acts as a loan shark while working digitally with the stock market is a stroke of genius. I certainly wasn’t expecting that after a powerpuff girls reference at the beginning of the episode. The Dinotopia reference with dragonese being essentially footprint alphabet I didn’t catch until reading discussions. Also found out that dinosuar show I watched way back in 2002 was called Dinotopia and was based on books. I will be damned. Other than that this did give the troublemaker trio of Amanda, Constanze and Jasminka some time in the spotlight, especially Constanze who has likely won more fans with this.
In my book any character than can pull out a Spaz shotgun and shoot down dragons is a character worth remembering. The diversity of nationality is pretty unheard of for an anime as well with Akko being Japanese, Lotte being Finnish, Sucy is from southeast Asia, Amanda being American(Considering her second name is O’Neill, she’s most likely part Irish too.), Constanze is German, Jasminka is Russian, Diana is British and even the announcer from the broom race looked Africain. I can’t think of many anime with a cast like this other than maybe Jojo and that anime that represented each country with an anime character(Helalia was it?) Considering that Little WItch Academia appeals more to a western audience than a japanese one this could be fanservice on Triggers part and boy do I love them for it.
It’s a little early to call this a demerit to the show but if not remedied soon Akko’s attitude could become a problem. Akko’s main gimmick is that she is a girl with incredible passion and daring which will most likely cause a change in the magic world. Right now however when Diana was laying into her about her faults I found that I agreed with her 100%. Akko doesn’t think about how her actions affect others and despite talking up about how she is going to be the best that ever was, she never makes a real effort to try. Ursula is more than willing to give Akko the help she needs but she is getting shunned or ignored fast by Akko. The big factor in this episode is that Akko placed her friends in real danger just by butting into a problem which would have been resolved without her. As I said it’s a little early to call this a flaw as Akko’s development is clearly going to be a big part of the series but she is going to need to at least start changing a little. One thing that constantly had me wondering while watching this is that Akko and her friends went to take on dragons and for some reason Akko did not bring along Shiny Rod. She was lucky in this case as the dragon in question didn’t intend to hurt them but to go up against a dragon without the deus ex machina stick isn’t bravery, but pure foolishness.
Fafner does bring up a point which is likely to play an important role in this series, namely that magic has become outdated for the modern world. The luna nova teacher state that there is a decline in students and it doesn’t help that they have proven themselves fairly incompetent so far in the series. Magic does look to have great benefits like with Diana reforming the potion that broke during Akko’s and Amanda’s fight. However those benefits come with an immense downside as the witch’s can only use great magic within the grounds of the school. In that regard just what does one gain from studying to be a witch? Constanze has proven it well enough that technology can not only do what magic does but it can do the job better. So the big question is what caused of the decline of magic? For Shiny Chariot could once use great magic outside of school so what exactly changed? Could it have anything to do with that star shaped scar on the moon? For that scar doesn’t appear to be on the moon in the very first episode during Chariots show. Perhaps the fall of magic could be related to why Chariot gave up being an entertainer and lost the power to wield Shiny Rod.