Witch Craft Works
Takamiya is an average student who doesn't stand out much. While taking out the trash at school, a section of the building flies through the air and nearly crushes him. He's rescued by the beautiful stylish most popular girl at school, who's also a witch. Ayaka has never spoken to him, but with her cool demeanor she rarely speaks at all. She's been watching over him in secret, but now that attacks by rival witches on Takamiya are out in the open, Ayaka insists they stick together at all times.
Takamiya has a sealed power various witch factions want to exploit. Tower Witches act in their self interests, and seek to use his power for their own desires. Ayaka is a Workshop Witch, those who want to to build, and protect human civilization. Dealing with this latent power will cause problems, not only due to the Tower Witches who want to abduct him, but because Workshop Witches believe he's too dangerous if his seals are broken - which they're starting to do and it's only a matter of time before they all unravel. The most difficult problem might be handling the situation with beautiful school idol obsessed with him.
Can one character make a show? This appears to be the case with Witch Craft Works. It's strong in some areas, botches a few, but mainly suffers from too many ingredients in the cauldron. That aside I loved the hell out of it, mainly due to Ayaka.
Ayaka is a total badass, kind of psycho and stalker level obsessive over Honoka. Her cool demeanor is typical these days, but works well for her character. This contrasts with overly emotional Honoka (who's often annoying). I'm not sure if it was intended this way, but it occurred to me when Ayaka refers to him as her "princess" that their roles are reversed. From that perspective it's rather clever. Ayaka is the knight in shining armor, while Honoka is a princess. If their sexes were reversed they'd be cliche.
The character count spirals out of control quickly. By the end of the first episode there are already 5 witches introduced. There are at least 16 characters introduced within 12 episodes which is WAY too many. Worse still, at this point in the story most are unnecessary. Perhaps they'll have important roles in the future as the story progresses; so maybe it's just a matter of being "in the middle" that's the problem. I would have preferred it only introduce them when they have a defined role important to the story, but most of them are at least likable..
The pacing is great at first. It's fun, and energetic with a rich environment. I figured it could do no wrong, but the pace tapers off after the first main opponent's defeat. Witch Craft Works introduces more and more stuff, does little with it, and juggles so much it's hard to keep strait. I like where the story is going, and I'll watch more. If for no other reason, I'm especially curious about the white princess Evermillion (a ultra powerful elven woman from another universe (or somewhere) who whimsically blows off serious problems - easy to do when you can effortlessly obliterate anything I guess).
It has a few weaknesses, and leaves a lot up in the air, but I enjoyed Witch Craft Works. Originally I rated this one better, but decided to scale it back due to the lack of conclusion. I think it's worth watching now, and I'm confident the bigger story will be good, but I can't say it's above average until the story is fleshed out.
Ayaka: Was someone rough with you? If anyone tries to harm you, make sure you tell me... I'll burn them.
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