Flying Witch S1 (2016)

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There’s a kind of anime show that uses a supernatural background, often a secret society of witches or something similar (e.g. Windy Tales), to highlight the splendor of mundane existence. It’s kind of ironic that some of the best slice-of-life shows, shows that by definition lack any kind of overarching narrative and just look at the experience of day-to-day living, deploy that kind of backstory, and yet it often works.

Flying Witch is about a young witch who having reached the age of 15, where witches should become independent according to the rules of their secret society, goes to live with some relatives, as her parents aren’t quite sure she can handle being completely self-reliant at that age.

What it amounts to is a city-girl coming to life in a rural area, though this aspects is less important for the show than you would expect. It’s merely a series of rather low key events, simple things like gardening, following a cat during the day, meeting a few of the more supernatural characters in the village and stuff like that. It’s hard to sell the show as being great at anything specific, but on the other hand its just extremely pleasant to watch if you’re in the mood to see nice people doing mundane stuff without any overt melodramatic elements.

It’s a show that is oddly compelling despite the lack of tension and any larger plot developments. And I think that’s its selling point, not purely because it’s different, but because it gives us something most shows don’t, that the quiet, slow, simple moments of our lives are neither pointless nor boring.

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