Flying Witch is a 12 episode slice of life anime series, adapted from the manga by Chihiro Ishizuka. The director of the anime is Katsushi Sakurabi, the writer is Deko Akao and the studio that produced it is J.C.Staff.
Flying Witch can be watched on Crunchyroll.
This review will start by defining the term ‘iyashikei’, because that’s exactly what Flying Witch is. Iyashikei is the Japanese for ‘healing’, a term used for anime or manga created with the intent to have a healing or soothing effect on the audience.
Flying Witch is arguably the pinnacle of this, being compared to being wrapped in a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day.
The focus of Flying Witch is on a young rookie witch named Makoto Kowata. She moves from Yokohama to Aomori to live with some of her relatives as part of her training to be a witch. As you may be able to guess, the anime focuses on Makoto’s daily life in which she adjusts to her environment, whilst her family and friends are introduced to the world of witchcraft.
Makoto is a witch in training. She is a polite and kind girl, though she has absolutely no sense of direction and thus gets lost really easily. She tends to focus more on preparing potions rather than casting spells. Also has a black cat familiar called Chito.
When she first meets Makoto, Chinatsu is wary of her. However, after the two bond thanks to a flight on a broom, Chinatsu becomes absolutely fascinated by the world of magic.
Akane is a full-fledged witch, who can be brash and loud-mouthed, in contrast to Makoto. She tends to travel the world a lot, though she will take breaks from travelling in order to check up on Makoto. She has a cat familiar called Kenny.
That’s just a few of the characters seen in Flying Witch – there’s also Chinatsu’s older brother and parents, as well as several others who have some connection to witchcraft. There’s certainly an interesting and varied bunch of characters, partly due to some of them being magical beings.
Talking of witchcraft, magic seems to be rather mundane. It doesn’t have big, flashy effects and there’s almost no fanfare surrounding it, but it definitely exists. Of course, this fits with the whole laid back theme of the show, though there are parts of witchcraft that contrast with this relaxed approach. An example of this is the gag at the end of the first episode.
Magic doesn’t take centre-stage here – growing plants, picking herbs and cooking are a few examples of typical everyday things Makoto does over the course of the series – none of these involve magic, but it all works well for creating a comforting show.
Flying Witch has a great sense of humour, too. Akane provides a fair few memorable moments, and the characters reactions to various events are enjoyable to see as well.
When it comes down to it, nothing happens in Flying Witch. If you want action or romance or anything, really, you’ll be sorely disappointed by this. There’s no conflicts to resolve, no quest to go on and certainly nobody falling in love here – just the everyday life of a witch and the people around her.
Whilst Makoto serves the role of main character, it could be argued that Chinatsu is the true star of the show. She’s a child, and tends to approach new things with utter wonderment – particularly when it comes to magic. She’s enthusiastic about everything she does, and cute as well. Each character is great in their own ways, but Chinatsu just happens to stand out due to her youth and just general happiness.
The bond she develops with Makoto is also a joy to watch.
If you ever find yourself wanting to kick back and just relax, Flying Witch is the perfect anime to watch whilst doing so. It’s so laid back, and the soundtrack just contributes to that perfectly.
No action, no romance and no plot. What you will get, though, is a soothing anime that has so much charm to it. Watching Makoto and the others go about their daily lives helps to let your trouble fade away.