Meet Little Witch Academia, the newest anime to pick up fans at lightning speed, both abroad and in Japan. Released on the Internet only a few days ago, on Friday, April 19, this 26-minute gem has already stacked up thousands of views and received an enormous amount of praise, particularly from fans outside Japan. The storyline is captivating (it’s about the school-life of a group of young witches-“magic girls”-studying at the Little Witch Academy), and the characters are so likeable that fans are already calling out for merchandise.

We’re predicting big things for the animation studio behind this work, so get on board before all the cool kids do and check out the entire clip, complete with English subtitles, after the jump.

This short animated film is one of a few select films that were screened in theatres last month as part of the “Anime Mirai” project. This project is an initiative, funded by the Japanese government, which encourages animation studios to train young animators. Now, Trigger, the animation studio behind Little Witch Academia, has done the unthinkable and released the entire episode for free on the net, complete with English subtitles!

Quite naturally, the English-speaking world has come out and given a deep, 90-degree bow of gratitude. But it seems this 26-minute taster has fans in such a state that there have been offers of money, tearful pleas and passionate demands to get more of Little Witch Academia. Take a look at some of the comments, from many corners of the world:

“I’m dying to see a second episode! My friends and I are already planning to cosplay as these characters.” (USA)

“More of this, or I will cry.” (UK)

“This one episode is better better than seven movies of Harry Potter.” (Malaysia)

“Breathtaking. Magical. Fantastic. And incredibly cute!” (Finland)

“Every single second of this is one of the most visually amazing seconds of my life.” (Canada)

“This is the coolest thing since Summer Wars.” (Thailand)

“Please! Please! Please! Please turn this into a series!” (Australia)

“So when will the TV series start?” (Mexico)

“If you put up a donation link, I’ll donate $10 just for this episode. I really want to see more!” (Poland)

“Trigger, make this a series! You can be sure all of us will eat it up.” (New Zealand)

“We need merchandising of this.” (Argentina)

“I think this studio could easily rival Studio Ghibli.” (UK)

“Accomplishes in 26 minutes what many anime fail to do in 26 episodes.” (USA)

Studio Trigger is still a fairly new company, only set up in 2011. To get such accolades and produce a global hit like this in such a short amount of time truly is something. We hope they continue to make great strides in the future!

Now sit back, relax, and enjoy Little Witch Academia.

Source: Trigger

[ Read in Japanese ]