lotte jansson

Little Witch Academia and “a big bad” (or lack thereof)

“The show is getting boring. I still like it, but there’s no big bad.”

Naturally, this is paraphrased. Yet a common complaint of the first half of Little Witch Academia‘s television run was that there was no true antagonist. Akko Kagari wasn’t improving fast enough in her magic. Watching her fail episode after episode was becoming tedious. Diana Cavendish wasn’t Akko’s adversary as much as she was her rival. Even then it was a one-sided rivalry. Akko failed most of the time while Diana continued to garner acclaim from her peers and teachers alike.

Episode 13 marked the end of the series’ first half and the end of Akko’s complete failure. With her magic at the Samhain Festival, Akko stepped up and became the witch who impressed her peers and teachers alike. Even the visiting alumni were dazzled.

The series has now entered its second half and a presumed “big bad” — at the very least, a true antagonist — has appeared: Professor Croix.

Yet, I maintain that she too is not a true antagonist. And that Little Witch Academia doesn’t need a big bad to be compelling.

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Becoming Diana Cavendish — perception and visual framing in Little Witch Academia

Who is Diana Cavendish?

What makes her, Diana Cavendish?

Take away the prestige attached to her recognizable family name and the simpering sidekicks. Treat her like any other student at Luna Nova, albeit with similar magical talent but less training. Would she inevitably rise to the top of the school or would she become just another student as magic continues to fade from existence?

If she isn’t the last hope of Luna Nova and the art of magic, then just who is Diana Cavendish?

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