In the witches' tradition, when a practitioner turns 15, they must become independent and leave their home to study witchcraft. Makoto Kowata is one such apprentice witch who leaves her parents' home in Yokohama in pursuit of knowledge and training. Along with her companion Chito, a black cat familiar, they embark on a journey to Aomori, a region favored by witches due to its abundance of nature and affinity with magic. They begin their new life by living with Makoto's second cousins, Kei Kuramoto and his little sister Chinatsu.
While Makoto may seem to be attending high school like any other teenager, her whimsical and eccentric involvement with witchcraft sets her apart from others her age. From her encounter with an anthropomorphic dog fortune teller to the peculiar magic training she receives from her older sister Akane, Makoto's peaceful everyday life is filled with the idiosyncrasies of witchcraft that she shares with her friends and family.
Flying Witch is possibly the best iyashikei (healing) anime ever made. If you love Aria, Non Non Biyori, and the Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou OVAs, then this is a must-see series. Flying Witch stands out because it makes even Aria look action-packed. Every moment of every episode unfolds naturally and organically; there's a very subtle but unmistakable message that humans (witch or otherwise) are truly inseparable from the earth, plants, wind, and sky. There's no overt conflict, no overly energetic comedy bits, and really no plot. I have no idea how an entire episode dedicated to the coming of spring, taking a few walks, and picking
fresh wildflower buds for tempura can be utterly captivating, but that's why Flying Witch is so magical.
One thing that's particularly refreshing is that all the characters, even ones from the magical world, are portrayed in a very realistic manner. Instead of relying on eccentric behavior to drive the story, the show just lets people be themselves. This is particularly important for the character of Chinatsu, a grade-school girl who's the younger cousin of Makoto (the titular witch of the series). It's great to see her reactions because she doesn't act like any of the anime tropes you might expect to encounter, nor is she given any odd quirks to make her more of a stand-out (e.g. Renge from Non Non Biyori). Chinatsu's just a normal kid, and that alone makes her a rare and wonderful creation.
Similarly, Chito, Makoto’s cat and familiar, actually acts and is animated like a real cat. Chito can be lazy, likes taunting the neighborhood dog, and goes on inscrutable adventures that only another cat could truly understand. I’ve followed a few cats on their adventures in my time and Chito is exactly like those real world felines. There’s a wonderful moment in Episode 5 when Chito decides to take a nap with Chinatsu, and the animators take the time to depict Chito circling around a few times before finally settling down. This is exactly what every cat ever actually does, and this show has the generosity to let Chito be true to Chito. All anime cats should be so lucky.
Generosity is perhaps the best word to describe Flying Witch. One can’t help but notice the small kindnesses that every episode contains. Whether it’s helping out with simple household chores, ensuring that a caterpillar finds a safe spot to feed on fresh leaves, or keeping a new friend company while she runs errands, one is constantly reminded of how these tiny actions are often so much more meaningful than the occasional grand gesture.
Flying Witch is a moment of utter serenity in the frenetic world of anime, and its real magic is in giving its viewers the chance to reflect on the smallest moments in daily life and realize that those can be the most enchanting of all. Flying Witch shows that a butterfly…or a caterpillar…is as beautiful and moving as a cathedral.
Do you want a show that is serene, tranquil, and perfect for relaxation? Maybe you are tired of how action-packed and over-the-top most anime are? Perhaps you want to relieve yourself of all the worries in real life and just enjoy the ride?
Regardless, I invite you to enter the world of Flying Witch. It is not heavy, exciting, or full of action. In fact, it meanders through quite uneventful situations. However, it is truly the pinnacle of slice of life as far as feeling good goes. It's a beautiful concoction of peaceful music, a laid-back setting, and genuinely sweet characters doing everyday things with no
worry or tension and magic thrown in. While more demanding audiences may find it dull, I can safely recommend it those who just want something sweet and soothing.
There are other relaxing shows out there, like Non Non Biyori, K-On!, and the Suzumiya Haruhi Series to name a few, but not very many of them can create such a perfectly built universe that seems separate and devoid of anime clichés and stereotypes. It is merely a tale of a girl named Makoto visiting her family in the outskirts with her cat. However, their daily activities aren't very ordinary. In fact, they regularly involve magic. Think of it like Aria or Yokohama Shopping Log with fantasy flavor. Makoto herself is a witch and their everyday events include anything from planting a mandrake to helping a friend turn back into a human from a furry to visiting a Ghibli-esque café with regular customers that include ladybugs, foxes, and invisible people. The magical elements blend in so seamlessly, it's as if they're natural. It adds a level of extra beauty to an otherwise run of the mill story.
The cast of characters are very memorable. They all have stunning chemistry together and their conversations flow with ease. Each of them also have many personality traits that adds a level of familiarity that most SoL anime don't have. While I was watching it, I didn't feel like I was just watching characters talking with each other. I felt like they were genuine people that I knew closely. Don't expect them to be well-developed or complex though.
Now I come to the big issue - Unfortunately, not everyone will appreciate Flying Witch. Regardless of how cute and cuddly it is, a large portion of the audience will find it boring. There is no overall plot, no drama, no conflict, no character development, and no degree of complexity. Those who want something exciting, thrilling or deep won't get what they're looking for. I had to be in an undemanding mood to enjoy it to the fullest, so I found myself bored while watching it some days.
The production was done by the masters of slice of life themselves, J.C.Staff. Like all their shows, the animation is rather standard. It doesn't look choppy or ugly but certainly doesn't boast anything special. The designs are very typical but don't stick out as terrible or anything. I can say the visuals fit the calm style of the narrative but only that much.
As for the music, it does a good job of being soothing and restful but like the visuals, it's not fantastic. Most of the soundtrack is composed of calm piano and flute pieces, as well as some stringed music. None of the tracks in particular are very memorable but as a whole, it does its job. The opening, on the other hand, can be described in one word - Cute. With the adorable dance routine, upbeat song, and colorful visuals, you can't help but feel warm inside after watching it. It does a very good job of preparing for what's to come. There is also something special about the voice acting. Quite simply, the VAs sound genuine. None of them deliver squeaky or overly obnoxious roles (unlike a good portion of slice of life), so it sounds very nice.
So, sit back, relax, drink a cup of tea, sit on your couch, and enjoy the ride. Are you having a bad day? It will be a great remedy for that. In the end, what you have is definitely a basic slice of life type of show - but one of the best ones out there. Even if you're a cold-hearted bastard and spawn of Cthulu, you should still get something out of it.
Flying Witch, a show that pretty much speaks for itself judging by the title. Yes, it’s literally a series about a flying witch named Makoto and her friends. Yes, it has magic in the series because what else would witches excel in? And yes, this is the type of magical story that will entice you in such a comfortable charm that you won’t ever forget.
The series is adapted from the manga of the same name and essentially, it’s a hybrid of slice of life and fantasy. We follow the life of Kowata Makoto as she returns to living in a rural town with her friends
and relatives. In essence, it explores the daily life style of how Makoto gets around while also developing her magical skills as the flying witch. Her friends and family guides her while we also learn about their characters. There is no linear storytelling as each episode seems to be an episodic adventure of itself. However, that’s what actually makes Flying Witch so special because just how unique the show can be as we see its imaginativity.
A good deal of the enjoyment about the series comes from the characters. It’s a small yet diverse and unique cast because every character has their own attributes and characteristics. Makoto is the polite type of girl with a down to earth type of personality yet also has a problem of getting lost. Throughout the series, this humorous gag is played as we see how clueless she can be with directions. Then, there’s Chinatsu Kuramoto (Makoto’s cousin). As a younger character, it comes to no surprise that she is curious about the world around her and the people she meets. Furthermore, she has a peculiar interest in magic after seeing it with her very own eyes. It’s also interesting to note that Chinatsu gets a decent amount of development as she experiences with magic as well. Akane Kowata is the witch of the series, literally. She is not just the older sister of Makoto but also acts as her mentor figure as well. However, unlike Makoto, Akane is more of an airhead and often speaks what’s on her mind no matter how brutally honest it is. Despite that, she deeply cares about her family and we can see that she has a gentle heart. From Chinatsu’s family side, we also have Kei Kuramoto who serves more of the older brother type. Although by personality, I find that he is more similar to Akane with his down to earth personality. It’s these characters that gets a good deal of emphasis and each episode explores their relationship in the story. And to be quite honest, it’s quite special.
So yes, you’re probably asking yourself: what should I really expect from Flying Witch? Do we just get to see a typical slice of life/fantasy story that we may or may not like? While the pacing of the series may feel sluggish, it’s the atmospheric feel and ways to embrace the fantasy genre that really can win fans over. Throughout the show, there’s all type of supernatural gags that makes their appearances ranging from sonic screeching mandrakes, flying whales, mysterious ghosts, and even anthropomorphic characters that can transform into a dog. Familiars such as cats and hamsters are also no stranger in this series either. The point is that the series wants the viewers to experience what it has to offer by bringing all sorts of content to the table. It succeeds in this by bringing a sense of magical realism by combining elements of supernatural with daily life experiences.
From a story perspective, the series can stray some viewers from pursuing further into the series as at times, the pacing can feel uninteresting. If you’re dying for some magical action, then you’re looking at wrong place. This isn’t some series about witches trying to take over the world. In fact, Flying Witch emphasizes a lot about its premise and themes rather than story development. I confess to myself that the series is perhaps one of the most charming shows I’ve watched in recent years. Just for the fact that each episode, there’s the graceful feeling the series brings in with its character and setting. Even the comedy, which I wasn’t sold on at first, convinced me that the series is a rare gem. It’s down to earth humor that is very consistent about what it tries to do. In the meantime, I’m also satisfied with the directing of the series despite that it follows more of a rearranged adaptation.
J.C. Staff helms the series and it’s quite an elegant feeling you’ll see with its artwork. Characters look simple yet makes you wonder what to expect about them. There’s a refreshing feel whenever you see characters like Makoto on a broomstick or Chinatsu with witch aesthetics on. The familiars are also convincing that blurs the line between magical realism. Even the setting of a rural town is crafted quite well with a countryside feel that is nostalgic.
Soundtrack and music plays an important part of the series as it brings the atmospheric feeling to life. The overall tone of the show has a gentle tone and is wonderfully put together with its soft instruments. Both the OP and ED theme songs are also lighthearted and reminds us how charming the series can be. Furthermore, I have to give praise for the overall voice mannerism of the series as they sound exactly as their personalities is reflected.
Ah Flying Witch. Dubbed by some fans as “Comfy”, it’s definitely a show that is recommendable to just about anyone. From the unique cast of characters to magical realism, it’s a series that takes slice of life and fantasy to a creative level. What you expect is what you will get. And that is, a show about flying witches, familiars, and giving you a comfy time.
The title "Flying witch" suggests there will be flying and magics. I think both happen maybe once in each episode and that's it. But it's not a bad thing, it's just regular 'slice of life' anime.
Story follows young witch Makoto living with her relatives in some nice countryside. The vibe really reminds me of "Non non biyori" - almost no people in the background, just main characters doing everyday things. Well, sometimes 'everyday things for a witch', but it's not flashy fireworks show. I really liked that, the magic rituals shown are simple - no lights, no wind, mainly drawing magic circles, using small items
and awaiting effect. Flying on a broom is a way to travel around town, no racing or great speeds, just floating short distances.
You've seen these characters before - 7/10
Unfortunately nothing great in terms of characters, but they work nicely in this enviroment.
Some nice ideas - 9/10
The witches are among us, and so are some interesting ideas about how they live, and what other magical things there are in the world.
Sound - 7/10
The opening is great, you will clap along in no time. Soundtrack not so much unfortunately, but it provides the relaxing atmosphere.
Nichijou - 7/10
Nothing special in terms of story, but I enjoyed short episodes from life of a witch. Familiar situations with just a little bit more magic.
Non Non Witch - 10/10
For me that was really more of a simple life in the countryside, relaxing atmosphere and no real problems.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this anime to anyone looking for something peaceful to watch this season.