Well, the spring season of anime has just wrapped up so I managed to catch the finales for a few of them yesterday at my anime buddy's place. I've mentioned a couple of them already: "Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear" (くまみこ) and "Flying Witch" (ふらいんぐうぃっち). The two of them have a commonality in that both of them are set up in Japan's northlands with the former taking place in the fictional hamlet of Kumade while the latter is in the very real-life Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture. Both shows also deal with magic to a certain degree for which the characters in both accept in the same way that they accept coffee or tea with their breakfast.
However, although "Kumamiko" never really lived up to its promise (we started getting fed up with the main character having her weekly mammoth nervous breakdowns) despite the fact that I liked the earworm-y ending (and perhaps opening) theme, "Flying Witch" was definitely the nicest way to wrap up a Sunday night and it is the only anime from this season that I will be missing (my buddy feels that most likely there won't be a sequel series for some reason). It stood out for being a magical girl series that really wasn't a magical girl series. It was really about the teenage witch Makoto's comfortable new life in a smaller regional city for which the magic didn't bombard us as a terrifying weapon or as this extremely dense and arcane philosophy; it was simply there to introduce some nice people and situations. Of course, this type of show won't attract absolutely everybody, but for me, I've always been a fan of the slice-of-life anime and "Flying Witch" provides it with slabs of life as thick as wonderful Japanese toast with the huge pat of butter soaking into the spongy nooks and crannies.
I've already written about the country-folksy opening theme for "Flying Witch", "Shanranran" (シャンランラン) by miwa, so here is the nice and mellow ending theme "Nichijo no Mahou" (Everyday Magic) by Minami Shinoda & Eri Suzuki（篠田みなみ・鈴木絵理）who played the roles of Makoto and her foster little sister Chinatsu. I think in one way, this ballad sums up what the series has been about....finding the magic in the everyday whether it be helping a classmate get over her fear of cooking at school or attending the annual summer festival in town. Although I was able to get the ending credits with the theme at the very top, I couldn't find the full version of "Nichijo no Mahou" with Shinoda and Suzuki but I did find a cover version starring a couple of Vocaloids, Miku Hatsune and Zunko Tohoku（初音ミク・東北ずん子）. The song was composed by Shuhei Mutsuki（睦月周平）and written by Natsumi Tadano（只野菜摘）.
After having read Noelle's adventures in northern Japan over the last few days and watching "Flying Witch", I wouldn't mind visiting good ol' Hirosaki or even Sapporo someday. And if you are interested in reading about some of the places that Noelle and I have visited over the days, and in my case, years, check out the new category in Labels called Sites.