Majo no Tabitabi
Premise: This show is about a young girl enamored and enthralled by the adventures she sees in her favorite person in her favorite book, Niké the Traveling Witch. She endeavors to become a witch and have adventures of her very own, create her own distinct identity in the process overcoming trials and tribulations, facing light and dark times to do so. It’s both episodic and had a continuous underlying story so it can be a bit odd, even off-putting, if you’re not paying close attention to the most minute of details.
Setting: The world is varied, with a multiplicity of different environments for the main character to find herself in. It’s all based in a sort of fantasy type world where magic is done with wands, witches are the stereotypical over the top ride on broomstick and do grandiose supernatural magic type and it’s extremely pale. Other than a few characters who are specifically mentioned to be from a Far East nation which is presumed to be Japan, it seems to be based in European nations with no other people of color to be found. That could be a product of the perceived time period of the show which, in most fantasies, is further back in history than the current era.
Characters: This one took some serious thinking on my part. At first as I was watching, I would’ve told you that the main character was a horribly written, self-centered piece of crap and that I was only finishing the show to be able to review a witch containing show properly. However, I changed my mind as time went on and the show neared its end. In fact, after the ending, I went back to the beginning to look for certain clues that I thought were there. I was right. Elaina is a very well written character. Her development and process throughout the show are subtle but true to the cues and context clues that are given from the very beginning. Her greatest struggles are with her sense of identity, feeling special and subsequently her feeling a need to endure everything to get through and overcome in order to be like or better than her idol, Niké. From the beginning, we’re given clues about her relationship to Niké and Elaina is given a few different sets of advice about how to behave that’s counter to her nature in some ways. As she journeys, she works to integrate the advice with her sense of self while dealing with what the information she doesn’t want to realize means for her identity/dream.
Other characters that are introduced, even the ones who are around for only a single episode, manage to get you vested enough in them to care what happens to their town, to them and to want Elaina to do something for them, etc.
Art: The art is beautiful. Even when I wasn’t enjoying the show at all and dreaded watching the next episode for the content, I knew that the art itself would be worthwhile. Especially when there are fights scenes. Those are done so well. Studio C2C did a great job of giving it a not quite ethereal feel but keeping it light and soft so to speak overall while making the action scenes impactful.
Score: The opening and closing were well chosen in terms of mood and songs. I cannot say that they were superb by any means but they were not terrible. I enjoyed the opening a fair bit for sure. The OSTs throughout the show did their jobs to set the tone and keep things flowing properly. In fact, I’d say that they were quite well done for flow of the show. Never once was I jarred or felt that the mood didn’t match at all.
Overall Impressions: This show is probably better binged than week to week because you’ll better be able to catch and put together the little details that are really important. Furthermore, it’s a better show for the super analytical people who are willing to take the time to get into Elaina’s head to figure out her motives based on all of her past experiences as she moves through her world. If you take her at face value with what she says, you’ll likely detest her as I did at some points. There are many beautiful and horrific places to see and discover, many people to meet and, a grand adventure to undertake both physically and mentally/emotionally. There’s bits of comedy thrown in so it’s not all fights and emotionality. Watching it twice will probably make it even better. It definitely improved for me the second time around.
Conclusions: This is a show for those who either want to get really into the character or don’t want to get into the character at all. It could go either way. If you just want to see a cute loli witch go off and do her thing and you don’t care how or why she does it as long as the fights are spectacular, watch this show. If you want to watch a show with good art, music and some serious character development that you’ve gotta pay attention to detail to see, then this is for you, my analytical friends.