This post contains spoilers. There are no spoilers of specific events, only of concepts and ideals that are revealed to be important to the plot, and how they relate to specific characters. If you plan on watching the show, I highly suggest you do not read this post until after you have done so. However, if you are still on the fence about whether or not to watch it, give this post a read and hopefully you it will convince you that watching LWA will be well worth your time.
Kersti Rating: 10/10 for an animated tv show.
I just finished watching Little Witch Academia and it is one of my favorite animated TV shows of all time. I think I may still like Airbender slightly more, but LWA is now above Steven Universe on the Kersti favorites scale.
There are so many things to love about LWA. The animation is great, the characters are adorable, the setting is intriguing, the world is beautifully fleshed out, the writing is fun and funny. But the main thing that synced its place among the greats is its message and the delivery of the message. The show has a very clear simple message, and every episode explores a facet of that message in a responsible, heartwarming and completely relatable way. To summarize, the message of LWA is: “You can change the world.” The entire show is a guide to doing just that.
The Grand Triskelion
The Shiny Rod is a magic wand capable of summoning the Grand Triskelion, an ancient magic with the power to change the world. The Shiny Rod chooses the witch that will wield it, a witch capable and worthy of unlocking the seven words. Upon speaking the seven words, the wielder of the Shiny Rod can summon the Grand Triskelion. However, the wielder must feel the meaning of the words within their heart for the words to work.
Essentially, there are seven lessons that one must learn in order to change the world.
The Seven Words
Strive for your ideal.
This is the first word that Akko, the main character, unlocks. It is a reminder to always strive for what you believe in, never compromising your ideals or your dreams. No matter how difficult, or how many times you fail, one must never give up, never falter, but always push themselves towards the best possible outcome. Learn from your mistakes, but never accept defeat. “Never let the flame in your heart go out.”
You do not get the things that you dream of, you get the things you work for.
The second word embodies the importance of hard work. It is not enough to want something, you have to earn it. You must put in the effort to get that which you seek. Hard work is difficult, and is not always as inspiring or as fun as the concept of your dream. But it is only through effort and work that you will make progress towards that dream.
Do not compare yourself with others, do what only you can do.
This to me is one of the most heartwarming lessons in the show. This lesson teaches that you cannot hold yourself to the standards of others. You are your own person. You do not have to judge yourself on the standards that others hold. You can make your own standard, your own meaning, your own purpose. There is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’, no scale that can measure you as a person. Only you can know, and fulfill your own potential, and it is up to you to do so.
To see it through, patience is important.
No matter how hard you work or how good your aims, there are things that just take time. If you are not willing to wait, you can lose rare opportunities, or overreach yourself. Having patience may seem like it will have fewer results, but the results will be of much higher quality.
When traditional and modern powers mingle, the gate to an unseen world will open.
When striving to change the world, a person must not only look for inspiration from the modern world, but from that of tradition as well. The ideals and practices of the past had their wisdom, and are what have led to the wisdom of modern times. Our ancestors have dealt with the same problems that we will face. By taking their wisdom, and combining it with the technology and wisdom of the modern era, we can create a better path to the future.
My very favorite word. It is a lesson in gratitude. No matter how hard you have worked, no person is an island. There is always something in your life to be grateful for. Your experiences, your genes, your upbringing, your privilege, your friends and family, the hard work of all those before you upon which you can build your own works. No person gets anywhere by themselves, and it is important to recognize this lesson, and be humbled by it.
Connect with other people, and your dreams will grow.
The final and possibly most important lesson. You cannot change the world if you endeavor to make something for yourself. If you want to change the world, it will inevitably be a world in which other people live. If you can make a world that they want to live in, if you can inspire them to see your dream as well, they will help you.
There are a few characters throughout the show who seem deserving (or at least believe themselves deserving) of wielding the Shiny Rod and unlocking the Grand Triskelion. But it chose Akko. So what characteristics are these other people lacking that make them less deserving than Akko?
Diana is a very selfless and hard working young woman who inspires those around her. Through the show, she has revealed herself to be surprisingly similar to Akko. She demonstrates herself worthy of the ideals of all of the seven words, except one. The very first.
Diana loved Chariot, just like Akko. She was inspired, and a dream blossomed within her just like Akko, to be like Chariot. However, unlike Akko, Diana was convinced that she had to ‘put away childish things’ as she grew up. She compromised her dream, her ideal. She still maintains all of her other qualities that make her fit to wield the Shiny Rod, but the fact that she was willing to put aside her dream, made her less worthy.
Despite their vast difference in personality, Chariot and Croix proved unworthy of the Shiny Rod for the same reason. Both fulfill all of the ideals of the seven words except the very last one.
Croix is a much bigger violator of this ideal than Chariot. She has good intentions, she wants to restore magic to the world. However, she is willing to compromise the happiness of others to change the world. Like any dictator in history, she has what she thinks are good intentions and the ability to change the world, but she is willing to do so at the expense of the happiness and well being of others. It is this outlook, this inability to connect with others, that prevented her from being chosen in the first place.
Chariot Du Nord
Chariot was obviously worthy of the Shiny Rod when she received it. However, she was never able to discover the meaning of the final word. She proved herself unworthy of the Shiny Rod before she was able to unlock the Grand Triskelion.
In the flashbacks Chariot is portrayed as being widely loved by those around her. She says that all she wants is to make people happy. Her downfall was her show. Her desire to be loved overshadowed her desire to make others happy. This, coupled with her inability to forgive Croix for what she had done, separated her from others. She demonstrated an inability to connect with Croix, and thus demonstrated that she was not worthy of the Shiny Rod.