“This is such a nice town. It’s so relaxing and time just feels slower.”
-Makoto Kowata to Chinatsu Kuramoto, Flying Witch, Episode 1
I don’t make a habit of writing about things I dislike on this blog.
This hardly means that I like everything I watch, but I can usually whip up a few tweets or rant privately to friends more quickly than writing out a longer blog post, devoted to a thorough, analytical dressing-down. I love analyzing things. My purpose in writing here is to showcase how I personally connect with an anime — or, occasionally, manga — rather than write from a specific position of authority, or enforce a particular framework.
This blog is a repository or aggregate of stray thoughts inspired by anime — this is why I have so many oddly-focused posts on art history and flowers. I don’t have to write about anything I don’t want to.
Yet, this post on Flying Witch from this past July was the most difficult post I’ve written all year.
At this point you may be wondering how on earth I could possibly hate Flying Witch — it’s in the title of this post, after all. The answer is that I didn’t hate it, I loved it. I still love it. It’s one of my top five anime series this year.
How do you express how much you like something, or enjoy something, when the series itself does all of the talking for you?
Flying Witch is a gem. An iyashikei series for everyone, even those who hate iyashikei series. It masterfully combines the magical and mundane in a small-town setting that borders on an advertisement for the Japanese pastoral without crossing the line into kitsch.
The results of Makoto’s magic are often hilarious, but never overly-cartoonish. Flying Witch deals in soft, muted tones. One moment, Makoto and her friends are riding a gigantic flying whale, the next, they’re having a five-minute discussion on the origin of pancakes. Nothing I write here will be able to convey the overwhelming amount of charm packed into every 23-minute episode.
And that’s okay, I suppose, as long as I keep trying to write about how things affect me and why.