Just last Friday, viewers of Space Patrol Luluco were treated to a pleasant surprise, with an extra scene being shown after the credits rolled. The final episode of the Studio Trigger anime had doubled as a baton pass to an upcoming Little Witch Academia TV anime, with the eponymous Luluco meeting the Little Witch Academia protagonist Akko Kagari while flying!
For the uninitiated, the Little Witch Academia project began as a short movie by Studio Trigger produced with the blessing of the Japan Animation Creators Association (JAniCa), and sponsored by the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs as part of the 2012 Anime Mirai (fun fact: ‘mirai 未來’ means ‘future’!) initiative. This initiative – which also includes the Young Animator Training Project – provided a grant of 38 million yen (approximately USD480 000 at the time) each to four well-known animation studios, namely GONZO, Trigger, Pierrot and Madhouse. Anime Mirai was borne from the concern that too much animation work for anime was being outsourced overseas, which would mean that there would be less opportunity to pass down these techniques to a younger generation and continue the legacy of anime. As described by the staff, this is the plot of the original Little Witch Academia movie:
Akko Kagari is an ordinary girl who joins the renowned witch academy (which is for witches), Luna Nova Academy. As a child, she went to Magical Festa, a magic show hosted by a witch named Shiny Chariot. The young and impressionable Akko was so mesmerized and inspired by Shiny Chariot’s performance that she dreamed to someday be a ‘cool’ witch like her. As Shiny Chariot would say, ‘Never forget, a believing heart is your magic.’ These were the words Akko brought with her as she grew up. As part of a class activity, Akko and her classmates go into a labyrinth under the Tower of Luna Nova. There, a sealed ancient dragon was accidentally unleashed by one of her classmates. Akko tries to stop the dragon, but…
Arguably, Little Witch Academia has managed to capture the essence of Anime Mirai. With its quirky but gorgeous animation style and charming characters marked out by their lively personalities, the movie directed by Yoh Yoshinari quickly won a massive fan following. Hence, it was no surprise that when the sequel to the first short movie – Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade – was put up for funding on crowdfunding site Kickstarter it soared past its initial goal of a modest USD150 000 to USD625 518 (slightly more than 4 times the original goal!) within a month! Fans have been clamoring for a TV anime of the series ever since the first movie was released, and with this announcement they would no doubt be pleased.
Ролик с анонсом аниме-сериала Little Witch Academia. pic.twitter.com/Zo9gjjoRMI
— Кагаяки (@kagayakiru) June 24, 2016
Accompanied by a tweet from the official Little Witch Academia Twitter account, which called on fans to ‘look forward to a new Little Witch Academia world’, statements were also made by the higher-ups from Studio Trigger. President Masahiko Otsuka has revealed that the series would have 30-minute episodes with the original director for the movies, Yoh Yoshinari, returning to take the helm for the TV anime. It appears that the same staff which worked on Space Patrol Luluco would be in charge of the Little Witch Academia TV anime as well, with the statement that the staff were ‘diving headlong’ into production after the recently concluded anime. Unfortunately, further details are unavailable at this point in time!
We at J-Network are definitely looking forward to the Little Witch Academia TV anime! If you haven’t watched the movies, the first one is available in both subbed and dubbed forms on Netflix!
Clip from Space Patrol Luluco Episode 13 courtesy of Twitter user kagayakiru (page is in Russian)
Images © Studio Trigger