Winter Anime 2014 First Impressions – Witch Craft Works & Nobunaga the Fool

Witch Craft Works

Unflappably majestic teenage bishoujo-witch repeatedly saves understandably perplexed male MC from the wrath of a more sinister witch and her army of temperamental mecha-bunnies… What’s not to like?

Seriously though, I watched this on a whim and can’t say I wasn’t entertained.

The debut episode of Witch Craft Works was fun, but I’m not totally convinced or excited to keep watching this show yet. There was a nice balance of gags and action scenes but it doesn’t really amount to much if the characters aren’t… well, interesting. The male lead (Takamiya) is your average scraggly-haired intorvert, and the female lead (Kagari) is a super-powered fire witch who just happens to be the most popular girl in school. This dynamic (unpopular kid meets popular kid) isn’t even anime-exclusive. It’s been done to death all over the place.

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The direction is very flashy, but the unerlying set-up doesn’t feel very inspired at all. On the other hand, it’s cool to see the traditional gender roles reversed (Kagari even refers to Takamiya as ‘princess’) and the reactions of Kagari’s school fanclub were legitimately funny.

I think I’ll give Witch Craft Works the 3 episode rule before dropping it – but I’ll be genuinely surpirsed if it gets very interesting.

Nobunaga the Fool

East meets West in an ambitious historical fiction with warring states, bishounens, mechas and a wildly eccentric hero, featuring Leonardo Da Vinci yelling through an amplified Tuba.

If this is already too much, look away. Or dive in. I’m not quite sure what to do myself, but I’m much more intrigued than I expected to be.

Nobunaga the Fool’s debut episode was kind of messy, yet somehow held together in a bizzare mix of crisp animation, fair CGI implementation and highly enthusiastic voice acting. Esteemed VA Miyano Mamoru seems to relish the role of The Fool, and it comes out in his delivery. The rest of the cast does great, but veteran really gives it his all and stands out here.

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The pacing of this debut episode was uncomfortably choppy. Before the space-travel we got a total of 4 character re-incarnations and the whole exposition felt kind of botched as a result. It did slow down as we got to know Nobunaga and his two buddies, but other events would pull the direction elsewhere before long.

Despite these hiccups, I found that I was very intrigued in Nobunaga the Fool by the end. I’m not familiar with him as a historical figure but I don’t think this will be required reading for the show considering Leonardo Da Vinci and Magellan were depicted. I’m very curious to see how the show handles Nobunaga’s “foolishness”. Is he a tragic figure that hides his real sadness  behind a weird mask of laughter and erratic behaviour? Or is he just kind of… twisted?

Lets see what happens.

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One Response to Winter Anime 2014 First Impressions – Witch Craft Works & Nobunaga the Fool

  1. Romance says:

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