December Anime Challenge: Flying Witch

Our anime challenge for December is Flying Witch a feel-good nichijo-kei slice of life with magic elements. It is adapted from the manga series of the same name and the series aired from April 10 to June 26, 2016. The opening song of the anime is Shanranran by miwa featuring 96 Neko (96?), and the song theme is Everyday Magic by Minami Shinoda and Eri Suzuki. The staff includes Katsushi Sakurabi (Tsukihime) as the director, series composer Deko Akao (Akagami no Shirayuki-hime) and character designer Masato Yasuno. The studio producing the anime is none other than J.C. Staff, the studio responsible for anime like Prison School and Heavy Object.

Flying Witch, a slice of life, supernatural manga, is written and illustrated by Chihiro Ishizuka. The series began as a one-shot manga in the August 2010 issue of Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shounen Magazine. The manga was serialized in August 2012, and so far a total of 3 volumes have been compiled and released.

Nippon TV described the series in English:

“Aomori, Japan

In a land blessed by nature’s bountiful beauty, bizarre things begin to take place. Makoto Kowata, 15 years old, is a professional witch. She left Yokohama with Chito, her black cat, to live in the house of her relatives in Aomori. This is where she begins to train as a witch.

Even though Makoto’s powers are still limited to just flying through the sky, she and her second cousins Kei and Chinatsu surely make the most out of each and every day.”

Week 1 December 6 – 12, 2021

Episodes 1 – 3

One anime movie that a lot of slice of life anime lists suggests is Wolfchildren (Okami kodomo no ame to yuki). In the movie two students fall in love, one happens to be a Wolfman. They get two children and the Wolfman dies tragically leaving the poor woman, Hana to raise her children Yuki (which means Snow) and Ame (Which means Rain). He passed his affliction on to the children making them Wolf Children. To live peacefully, Hana must make the difficult decision to move to a small town and close to nature. She faces problems such as whether to bring the children to a paediatrician or veterinarian.

Week 2 December 13 – 19, 2021

Episodes 4 – 6

This week we share an interesting video that talks about the narrative structure in Slice of Life anime. The video is quite interesting as it draws from interesting sources to get the point across, such as The Simpsons animation series, and the anime series K-On and Shirobako. Enjoy the video!

Week 3 December 20 – 26, 2021

Episodes 7 – 9

Speaking of witches and slice of life, if there is a movie that has both, then it is Kiki’s Delivery Service. Kiki lives with her parents and pet cat and best friend, Jiji until the night she decides to leave. As it is traditional for 13-year-old witches to leave home for a year on the night of a full moon to pursue their skill through training, she leaves her home in Karikiya for a year in order to train as a witch. She travels by broomstick to the port city of Koriko, where she helps the (very pregnant) owner of a bakery, Osono in change for accommodation. She opens a “Witch Delivery Business”, delivering goods by broomstick. Her first delivery is a disaster but her pet cat/familiar Jiji helps her. Her adventures are quite entertaining.

Week 4 December 27, 2021 – January 02, 2022

Episodes 10 – 12

Our recommendation for this week is the slice of life/food anime Koufuku Graffiti also known as Gourmet Girl Graffiti. It is based on a four-panel manga written and illustrated by Makoto Kawai. It has 12 episodes and aired in Japan between January to March 2015. The opening theme is “Shiawase ni Tsuite Watashi ga Shitteiru Itsutsu no Hoho” (The Five Methods of Obtaining Happiness That I’m Aware Of) by Maaya Sakamoto, and the ending theme is “Egao ni Naru” (Become a Smile) by Rina Sato and Asuka Ogame. Rina Sato and Asuka Ogame also play the main characters Ryo and Kirin, respectively.

Ryo Machiko is a second-year middle school girl who has been living alone since her grandmother passed away. She is an exceptional cook but feels that her own cooking does not taste good. Then she met up with her second cousin, Kirin Morino, who starts to stay with Ryo over weekends while attending cram school in Tokyo. Will Kirin convince Ryo that she is a great cook?