And there we have it. Considering Flying Witch as one of the best in the iyashikei/slice-of-life genre on par with Aria and Hidamari Sketch isn’t an over-exaggeration nor an over-appreciation. To each his own tea, as they say, as a certain sub-market of anime consumers tag Flying Witch (or any other iyashikei/SoL shows) as “boring” or akin to “watching a paint dry”. Now, being biased towards this genre in general should leave me feel offended but rather, I do feel sorry to those who weren’t able to fully appreciate and enjoy Flying Witch‘s simple yet flawless architecture. I know that you like burgers and fries but, c’mon, veggies are equally tasty too!
It’s the small things we take for granted
Flying Witch transitions from a mundane topic, to that of a supernatural one and vice versa in a seamless and straightforward fashion. Neither of which theme overshadows the other, and none of which feels insubstantial in its own department. The two are basically infused to one another in a perfect blend which leaves us relaxed and interested at the same time. A primary contributor to this factor are the nuances of its visuals and ambient music. It changes without us noticing; it’s not sticking out like a sore thumb as its main intention is to support what is happening on-screen. At one point, a serene tune plays while the camera pans to showcase the full splendor of Aomori’s beauty, then a playful beat cues Akane to do her usual silly magic tricks. The music plays a huge role at setting the atmosphere and pace of the show, and I can’t really imagine Flying Witch as the same if without it. It goes without saying that music direction is indeed an important factor for shows that thrive on character interactions and comedy, and it also goes without saying that Flying Witch played this down to a T.
As per visual goes, it’s consistent from start to finish. I’m not talking about how the character moves or how they’re drawn or anything. Don’t get me wrong, the animation of the characters are great, but what truly stood out to me is how they highlighted inanimate objects to strike at us where it matters. An example of this is Kei and his hotcakes in episode 11. Describing how he adds his personal touch to the hotcake is not entirely enough to convince our tummy to growl, but why not show us how it looks like instead? Sure enough, we’re rewarded with a legitimately delicious looking hotcake with syrup overflowing and what not. I can say that such moments are what makes Flying Witch‘s world feel alive and vibrant as if it’s our own too.
The character development and interactions are simple and effective. There are no interactions that felt unnecessary, and each of which contributes to each cast’s final product in their chemistry. Flying Witch is more on the ‘show don’t tell’ category, and it truly is a wonder that there are a lotsa things I missed that directly influenced the story’s causality. It’s one of the little joys I find when watching the show. Remember when Makoto started her own veggie farm? Turns out she planted way too much radishes, which, in turn, became a subject of discussion between her and Nao/Anzu at a later part. Kenny studies anthropology? Why, that explains Akane’s wanderlust! Chinatsu asked her mom to buy two more puddings? I’m sure you didn’t noticed but there were three puddings in the fridge later on. You see, Flying Witch isn’t trying to be overly simplistic despite its tame appearance, nor it is being overly complicated for that matter. Every action, every conversation, every meeting are connected and has repercussions in the end, and it’s up to us as viewers if something as universal in our real life will pass by our head or not. Normally, there are a lot of things we tend to ignore in our day to day lives that will actually be of some meaning later on. So nope, we’re not watching a paint dry here, fellas. We’re watching a painter paint a picture.
Makoto and the crew’s vacation
We actually got 2 episodes to close off this season’s Flying Witch. Something that I wasn’t expecting, but is nevertheless a great farewell gift from J.C Staff. Now, I don’t really want to call it a farewell, given that it doesn’t really feel one at all. The manga is still on-going, and the Kuramoto fam and co.’s antics will surely follow the same passage of time as we do considering its slow pace. As such, I’d feel better calling it a vacation. Who knows? Maybe two months from now, Chinatsu will learn her first ever magic trick. It’s easier to miss characters that feels like a real person to you (I’m looking at you, Shirobako), and Flying Witch isn’t an exception to this separation anxiety. Their story may be fictional, but the adaptation manages to breathe life to a colorful world wherein the mundane and the magical coexists together in a natural way.
But honestly, I’m just contemplating the thought of not seeing any more Inukai. Guess it’s high-time to read the manga, no?
Let’s cap it off with Inukai because best girl.