Flying Witch — Slowly Taking to the Skies

In contrast to the past season (which only managed to produce a few watchable shows, including the indelibly gripping Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi), there seems to be a fair number of promising anime shows this time around.

flying witch

Makoto, the Flying Witch

This early, I have already marked a few titles that I would happily watch until the last episode — Anne Happy, Bungou Stray Dogs, Kuma Miko, Kuromukuro, Shounen Maid — and then, there is Flying Witch (JC Staff).

If, like me, you harbor fond thoughts of that Hayao Miyazaki classic, Kiki’s Delivery Service (Studio Ghibli), you will most likely be partial to Flying Witch, too. In fact, after the first 5 minutes I was practically seeing Makoto (the titular witch of this series) as a slightly older version of Kiki, because they share so many similarities — both of them are budding witches-in-training and have to leave their homes in order to become full-fledged members of their order, both have black hair, and both have black cats as their familiar.

Flying witch & her familiar

Makoto and her familiar, Chito

This slice-of-life series moves at a slow, meandering pace, but it is served well by its gentle humor, quirky characters (Makoto’s ditziness and horrible sense of direction make her even more irresistibly charming), and gorgeous artwork.

There are a couple of shows that I am still keeping my eye on — Mayoiga and Haifuri. It’s still 50:50 for me at this stage, although I am already strongly tempted to write them off.

They seemed to be okay at first, but I am slowly edging away from them for a couple of reasons. In Mayoiga‘s case, despite a promising start, I immediately got turned off by its cast of characters, who seem to be a bunch of much-parodied standard over-the-top cliche characters, it’s almost like being hit in the head every time you hear them spout stale lines. As for Haifuri, the premise of tasking a bunch of schoolgirls to handle warships and make command decisions with minimal training — and still manage look cute and girly while doing it — is just too much of a stretch, even for me.


I Miss the X-Files

[Note: X-Files will always be one of my all-time favorites. It took an awful long time for me to join the bandwagon, but the moment I did, there was no turning back. Below is one of the first posts I wrote about X-Files (around 2005, I think), a few years after the show itself had ended; this piece reflects exactly how I feel about this one-of-a-kind TV show.]

Dang. I miss the X-Files so much it hurts. I miss racing home Monday nights so I wouldn’t miss an episode. I miss being intrigued by mind-boggling, outlandish conspiracy theories. I miss being ‘spooked’ by monsters — humans or otherwise. I miss the wacky paranoia of the lone gunmen. Most of all, I miss Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. There will never be another show like the X-Files. *sigh* dang.

Mulder & Scully

Why do I miss it?

Let me count the ways.

When these two are on the case, your eyes can’t help but be glued to your TV screen. I don’t know of any screen couple who can combust without so much as an eye contact. Even nature’s call is unceremoniously swept aside when these two walk into the scene and expound on their conflicting theories. The grisly nature of some of their cases only adds to their chemistry. The first time I saw them together (in Mulder’s basement office), I couldn’t make up my mind whether I wanted to be Scully or Mulder. I liked Mulder’s intensity and unflinching conviction, and yet I couldn’t help but be impressed by Scully’s cool-headed logic. They just balanced each other out.

Scully smiles

When Scully flashes one of her rare, hard-won smile (I think this happened in the pilot episode)… time crawls to a stop.

Mulder in His Office

After years of watching the X-Files, I can barely recall ever seeing Scully break into a spontaneous, no-holds-barred smile (well, except for that Las Vegas episode where she got drugged and kept flirting with a roomful of enthralled guys… but that’s another story). There were times when her lips twitched and her eyes actually lit up — but that’s all it was. Gillian Anderson’s grave, brooding looks were simply custom-built for this role. And, of course, Mulder (David Duchovny) — for all his horny tendencies and occasionally wacky episodes — had this impenetrably serious side to him. What can I say? They just looked good together.

In Hollywood, it’s practically a near-impossible task to find somebody (much less a couple) who can convincingly radiate formidable intellect and look yummy at the same time, but these two — they did it effortlessly.