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.
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.