[Oct. 2019 Tour] Flying Witch: Magic and Normalcy

Another month, another OWLS tour post huh? Yup, nothing unusual about this at all. I was originally planning to skip out on this month’s tour considering that I am more of a science fiction fan then a fantasy fan. There is just something about basic and typical about how most fantasy stories are structured and told that just bothers me. Why? most of them have the same sort of story and character tropes most of the time. There are some strange exceptions that I really like though. With that thought in mind, something hit me. What if I talked about a fantasy series that had an interesting angle to it? Something other then another, typical fantasy adventure series. That lead me to the choice of anime that I going to talk about today. Excited? I know I am. Flying Witch is fun!

If you want an OWLS post from someone who truly loves fantasy, check out Shay’s video about from yesterday. It’s something special that you don’t want to miss. Oh, I should probably talk about OWLS.

About OWLS

For those of you who haven’t heard of what OWLS is may be asking me and other people what that is. Well, that’s an easy question to answer. OWLS, also known as Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect, is a group of otaku bloggers who promote the acceptance of all individuals. There will be no judgement of people based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, race, or disability here. All of this is about humanity for humanities sake and hopeful betterment. Each month, our members are given a topic to write about and each of us approaches that topic in our own way. If you want to know more, please click here to go to our OWLS Blog Page. Find us here and maybe you can join us! We are always looking for more people.

Our October 2019 OWLS Topic Requested by Aria from the Animanga Spellbook and written by our Chief Creative Officer Lynlyn is “Fantasy. To be more specific:

In the month of October, we will be exploring the world of fantasy in pop culture. The genre of fantasy focuses on telling stories about our external and internal environments. There are many ways we can interpret the word, fantasy. For example, we can talk about how a fantastical place could glorify what reality should be or the dangers of ideal expectations. Fantasy could also be seen as taking a “wild journey” or a “hallcuination” and how that can affect our psyche and well-being. Fantasy can also focus on our personal dreams and expectations and how those expectations do not align with our reality. Overall, our posts will reflect on how we view the fantasy genre and what we can learn about these pop culture mediums.

Examples:
Harry Potter
Norn 9
Ancient Magnus Bride

Fantasy Slice of Life

Flying Witch is an iyashikei or healing slice of life series featuring a young, high school aged witch by the name of Makoto. She traveled from Yokohama where her home is to the rural area at Hirosaki, Aomori to complete her witch training. There, she stays with some extended family who enjoy their non city focused life style. Makoto doesn’t know anything about farming while her family doesn’t know anything about magic, so the two sides introduce these things and wonderful and comforting in some ways.

The main cast of the story is great and everyone has their own sort of personality to them. Makoto is the newbie witch who knows magic but has to practice it while being infinitely curious about the world around her. Her curiosity makes her the best protagonist for this series possible. Especially with familiar cat Chito who has an attitude like most cats do. He does a good job of keepinf an eye on Makoto with his very uppity and proper personality. Makoto’s sister Akane and other witches show up to add some color to the journey as a whole and I love every magic character in this show.

On the other side are our non magical cast who have their own charm to them. Makoto’s cousin Kei is the same age as her and is sometimes called an old women because he does most of the chores around the house like cooking and such. Kei’s younger sister Chinatsu is the show’s bright spot because she’s so full of energy and as curious about Makoto’s magic and Makoto is curious about normal things. Plus, Chinatu’s interactions with Chiito are great. Their parents to make a more then strong appearance in the series itself in a lot of ways too, but they aren’t the main focus of the series. I do really like them though.

Magic and Studio Ghibli Comparisons

The Veil of Night is visiting your cafe.

If you read my plot summary paragraph and thought about how this show’s premise sounds very similar to a certain Ghibli movie by the name of Kiki’s Delivery Service, you are right. This series is heavily influenced by a lot of things from Ghibli and Flying Witch doesn’t hide it’s influences. Instead, Flying Witch indulges in those references and makes them it’s own thing in a natural way. Kiki is alone in her witch training, but Makoto gets a lot of guidance from her older sister that pops in from time to time so Makoto has the support system that Kiki never had. That element carries this show’s softer mood.

There is even a little bit of a Castle in the Sky in Flying Witch. This anime’s universe has flying invisible whales (to normal people) that carry ruins of ancient civilizations on them. Makoto, Kei, and Chinatsu take a trip up there to investigate and it’s one of the most interesting and beautiful places in existence in this series. Flying Witch is full of those fascinating world developing elements. I mean, how cool is when the Harbinger of Spring knocking on the door to greet you, the veil of night eating at a café that a witch can visit, fish that appear in the ground during festivals, or cafes run by a cute, shy ghost? So cool!

The Harbinger of Spring is a nice guy!

Flying Witch is full of these wonderful fantasy elements that just come out of nowhere with some more normal, grounded spells involving transformation people into animals, summoning crows, and other things. It’s that since of normalcy and wonder which really adds some soft and fun elements to the show. There is no anger or meanness in Flying Witch’s magic and story telling, only kindness. Kindness that captures Chinatsu and Kei’s interest and hearts. Chinatsu’s more then Kei, but that’s because it left her with strong impressions at a very young age.

Lessons from Flying Witch

If there is a lesson to Flying Witch, it’s magic is everywhere. Including everyday things. Just because you do something all the time doesn’t mean that it’s not magic for everyone else. I mean, modern technology is magical to anyone from history. Makoto learning to love and be excited about normal things and Chinatsu and Kei learning to love the magic that Makoto brought to their lives is the message the show is going for alongside the healing it brings the viewer watching it. Flying Witch’s positive environment is inspiring for it’s cast and everyone else watching it. Be sure to remember there is magic in your life even if you can’t see it right in front of your face.


Thank you for reading everyone. If you need more OWLS content, Takuto is posting about Sword Art Online: Alicization (for some reason). Is that enough? No? Please look at this OWLS tour schedule to see who is posting when and check out their blogs and their posts. I’m keeping an eye on you so you better do it.

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13 thoughts on “[Oct. 2019 Tour] Flying Witch: Magic and Normalcy

  1. The funny thing is that I’m a big fan of the fantasy genre and I think anime has gotten a lot better at it in the last 20 or so years for what it’s worth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wasn’t only talking anime. So many fantasy novels, at least the ones I’ve tried, are chosen one narratives focusing on people getting magical objects to save the world. Each book being extraordinary long doesn’t help.

      Fantasy anime has been pretty 50/50 for me recently. There has been a lot that I like which try to do something different like Maria the Virgin Witch, Snow White with the Red Hair, Yona, and some others I can’t name at the moment so you’ll have to forgive me,, but a lot of stories are the same story again.

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      1. Sure. A lot of Western fantasy books borrowed Joseph Campell’s Hero’s Journey structure. There are examples I can point to that break the mold, but you’re right that it’s pretty common.

        That said I think Western fantasy turned a corner after GoT.

        They definitely are extraordinarily long.

        I think same tropes in fantasy are part of a lot of shounen anime. I mean how different is Goku from Luke Skywalker?

        You can like whatever you want. I just like talking about fantasy, because it was my second geeky love after mystery novels.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do like the GoT novels quite a bit. If you have some suggestions, I’m so ears honestly.

        Yeah, shonen do borrow a lot of the same sorts of tropes which is why I kind of don’t like the main character usually. Cut to my dragon Ball super retrospectives where I actively say libel against Goku in the coming weeks…

        That’s fair 😁

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      3. So I would try the Mazalan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erickson. They’re a bit dense, but I like them.

        Then there are The Black Company books by Glen Cook. If you’re willing to mix in some mystery with your fantasy I would also recommend Garrett, P.I. and the Jim Butcher Harry Dresden books.

        Then there are some books with exceptional people, but not a big bad evil, like Talion Revenant by Michael Stackpole. He also does another one that has heroes in the name, but I can’t remember. But that one was excellent.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a good series. I’ve watched many iyashikei shows, but Flying Witch is one of the only ones that I went out and bought on disc,

    If you’re looking for fantasy recommendations (based on your other comment), I’m a big fan of Martha Wells, especially her Ile-Rien books. She’s not only a good writer, but (maybe because she has a background in anthropology) she brings a certain grounded realism and sophistication to her fictional cultures that’s fairly unusual for fantasy. For instance, unlike so many fantasy worlds that exist in a stagnant state of permanent medievalism, technology and political thought actually advance alongside the magic in Ile-Rien, going from Elizabethan tech and centralized monarchy in the first book to early 20th century tech (including cars and electricity) and a somewhat freer society by the time of the concluding trilogy. I appreciate that kind of attention to detail. More recently she’s been writing a sci-fi series called The Murderbot Diaries that’s had lots of positive reviews and won several awards, but I haven’t been able to get to those yet. Hopefully soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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