I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Yuiko Ohara -- Hoshi wo Tadoreba (星を辿れば)

At the end of 2016, my anime buddy and I had been surmising that the Winter season of anime this year would be rather fallow, so he had thought about just going through some of the shows that he had already gotten but not shown. However, happily we have been proven wrong. There have been quite a few entertaining anime for us such as "Gabriel Dropout" (ガヴリールドロップアウト) and "Kobayashi-san no Maid Dragon"(小林さんちのメイドラゴン)this season. And then there is this one which I like to call the little anime that could, "Little Witch Academia" (リトルウィッチアカデミア).

Made by the same studio, Trigger, that brought us the propulsive "Kill La Kill", "Little Witch Academia" isn't quite as borderline insane in the action. But there is some of that giddy nuttiness and pop-cultural awareness. It started out as a short anime creation born in the Young Animator Training Project funded by the Japanese government and released in theatres back in 2013. It got some acclaim which led to a second movie in 2015 and then begat not just a full TV anime this year but an anime that will last until June. And basically it brings together cute girls and "Harry Potter" with the main character of Akko Kagari having an even tougher time than Harry in trying to make it big at the Hogwarts-like Luna Nova Magical Academy.

Ah, Sucy...I do love the Machiavelli in her. Anyways, the last couple of episodes (7 & 8) I caught last night had staffers from "Kill La Kill" and "Space Dandy" working on them so they were entertaining at the very least. The latter episode especially was just absolutely bonkers and hilarious, and they had viewers like me trying to catch all of the movie references. It was pretty much "Inception" on acid and anime.

Although the ending theme for "Little Witch Academia" hasn't been the instant earworm that the themes from the other aforementioned anime this season have been, "Hoshi wo Tadoreba" (If You Follow The Stars) by Chiba-born singer-songwriter Yuiko Ohashi(大原ゆい子)has nicely grown on me. I think it's the early 2000s arrangement especially with the strings that helped me ease into the song.

Ohashi made her major debut in 2015 when she came up with the theme song "Magic Parade" for the second of the two preceding movies "Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade" (リトルウィッチアカデミア 魔法仕掛けのパレード). "Hoshi wo Tadoreba" happens to be her 2nd single which was just released on February 22nd.

Here's hoping that Ohashi continues to flourish in her career. And here's hoping that "Little Witch Academia" enjoys some further "Harry Potter"-level success.

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