Sabrina Spellman, Hermione Granger, Kiki, Glinda the Good Witch, the Sanderson sisters; these are just a few of the fictional witches we all know and love. But what about Akko Kagari? Does her name ring any bells? She’s the protagonist of Little Witch Academia, and she deserves more love! For all those still waiting for their Hogwarts letters, Akko’s the perfect role model. She has very little magical ability, but goes to magic school anyway, and succeeds through pure bullish determination.
The first season of Little Witch Academia focuses on Akko’s attempt to learn magic at Luna Nova Magical Academy. This part is a bit Harry Potter-esque. Akko comes from a non-magical background, makes two intensely loyal friends, and gains a nemesis in snooty rich blonde girl Diana Cavendish (although Diana’s a lot less awful than Malfoy). Even though Akko sucks at magic and can’t even fly on a broomstick, she never gives up. She truly embodies Jake the Dog’s iconic phrase, “Sucking at something is the first step towards being sorta good at something.” If you’re ever feeling down on yourself for not being able to write or draw as well as you’d like, just think of Akko completely blowing most of her assignments, yet making progress anyway.
The second season is a tad darker, and deals with the deterioration of magic throughout the world and Akko’s journey to save it. I’m currently reading Kat Howard’s An Unkindness of Magicians, and the magic system in it is dark, painful, and unforgiving. If I lived in that world, I don’t think I would want to be a magic user. But strangely, it made me think of Akko. In a world where magic is fading because people don’t care about it anymore, Akko fights back in classic shoujo fashion, with the power of friendship and positivity.
When Akko was little, she saw a magic show by famous witch Shiny Chariot, which fueled her love of magic and filled her with happiness and wonder. To me, this alone makes Akko highly relatable. Surely everyone has at least one thing that’s inspired them to make the world a better place in some way. Maybe you’ve read a story that touched you significantly and inspired you to write, or eaten a cake so delicious that it led you to learn to bake and send more sweets out into the world. No matter the circumstance, using your passion to light up the world around you and refusing to give in to negativity is an admirable task, and watching Akko use hers to save magic is a great example.
(One more biased thing to celebrate about Akko is that she doesn’t fall for Andrew, the boy character meant to be a love interest. We love a m/f platonic relationship!)
Little Witch Academia is available on Netflix, both subbed and dubbed, and would make a great non-spooky addition to your Halloween watch list.