Never has there been a more enchanted tale than that of a school of young witches and the small, newly founded animation studio that created them. Their success story reads like a fairytale: two former Gainax employees create Studio Trigger in 2011, release the animated short Little Witch Academia two years later, and thousands of fans across the world immediately fall madly in love with their film, eagerly raising funds through Kickstarter for a follow-up movie, which surpassed its goal of US150,000 in five hours, and ultimately made $625,518 for their next film.

Now it’s time to see what this group of dedicated fans helped to create, as the new film, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade has finally hit big screens for a limited two-week run in Japan. And to add to the excitement of the highly anticipated release, there’s a line of exclusive merchandise available for film-goers to purchase until the film finishes screening on 23 October.

The original 26-minute short film that caused a sensation around the world was produced by Trigger for Anime Mirai 2013, a screening of shorts created by participants in the Young Animator Training Project, an initiative funded by the Japanese government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs in order to support training animators. Little Witch Academia stole the show and picked up thousands of overseas fans when it was released with English subtitles on YouTube from April 19 2013.


The original story of Little Witch Academia revolves around a group of young witches known as “magic girls”, who study at the Little Witch Academy. With a girl who doesn’t know how to ride her broom, a fight with a dragon and a journey to find the Sorcerer’s Stone, comparisons have been made with the enormously successful Harry Potter series. However, this is a group of adventurous girls propelling all the action, and not only that, they’re beautifully drawn Japanese anime girls.


After fans made tearful pleas and passionate demands to get more of Little Witch Academia and its cast of intriguing characters, the creators set up a Kickstarter campaign. Now it’s time for fans to receive their very early Christmas present with the new movie, Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, finally appearing on the big screen for two weeks in Japan.

For a sneak peek at what’s in store for the girls’ new adventure, take a look at the trailer below.

This time, in Little Witch Academia: The Enchanted Parade, the girls are under pressure to make their annual witch parade a success in order to avoid expulsion. There’s magic, ambition and a giant on the loose, all packed into 40 minutes of action that fans and newcomers alike are bound to enjoy. When the quality of the work is this outstanding, you know it’s all thanks to the experience of Trigger’s team, particularly its co-founders, Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masahiko Ohtsuka, who came from the highly acclaimed animation studio, Gainax, where they worked on Neon Genesis Evangelion.


As a bonus for fans in Japan, there’s a great lineup of exclusive merchandise to coincide with the screening of the film in cinemas. The range includes T-shirts, clear files, badges, PVC book covers, rubber cellphone straps and tote bags.


To find out where the film is being screened and where the merchandise will be available, check out the Toho Cinema website. Ohtsuka has mentioned that if the film does well, they may consider producing it as a full-length film or television series. If that’s true, we’ll happily start saving our yennies for the next fundraising campaign!


Source: Naver Matome
Top Image: Eiga.com 

Insert Images: TRIGGERGood Smile CompanyTOHO CinemasEiga.com