Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina is a 2020 adventure magical fantasy anime series adapted from light novel under same title.
This story is about a girl named Elaina who has been fascinated by books of a witch who travelled from place to place around the world. Elaina aspires to be like that and aims to be a witch and set off on a journey of her own.
As you can see the plot of the series is simple. It isn’t an extraordinary concept with out of the world thinking created by burning millions of brain cells. No. This is just about journey of a witch who wanders from place to place, meets new people and becomes a part of their story and they become a part of her. It’s that simple but also doesn’t feel like any other anime I’ve seen because it doesn’t follow the pattern that most of the series of this medium follow. I also felt the stories and world could have been very good for an Isekai series but it’s not an Isekai series. So yeah, Wandering Witch tends to deviate from the mainstream points of anime medium so while watching it at sometimes it didn’t feel like I’m watching an anime but rather reading a tale of magical adventures from western literatures. And it strongly feels like that. So it’s simple and doesn’t feel like anime as well but also nails on what it was supposed to be by a great setting. Also like simplicity is its beauty.
Music of this anime also contributes to establish on what this anime was trying to establish it as. The music gives you fantasy vibes and establish this magical fantasy world in which Elaina travels. There are different kinds of themes setting up different kinds of moods and themes as the series progresses.
Well I don’t talk about Openings too often in a review because I think Opening songs aren’t much relevant to how good a series is. But I must talk about the Opening of this series because I believe there could not have been any other opening that would fit to this series so perfectly. Perfectly blending to what this show is about, becoming a perfect start to an episode to embark a new story in the Journey of Elaina.
Along with Music, the animation part does its job pretty decently as well. The animation of this series is pretty clean with some visuals and sceneries that were so mesmerizing. This series is handled by Studio C2C which is not a name that you see in the frontlines of anime. Also haven’t worked in big titles as well. So it’s pretty impressive for a studio like that to come up with. Well after showing top tier visuals, coming up with average visuals is a bit disappointing but it’s understandable. While, Wandering Witch shows some beautiful visuals, it also cannot keep up with it. But it’s still pretty much decent and the quality isn’t degraded below average. So it’s still pretty good.
Talking about the characters, the characters doesn’t have too much of depth. Just enough so that they can establish themselves as characters but it never felt like they needed that at all to begin with. Even though character doesn’t have much depth, they have certain traits which imprints those characters in our mind for a long time. Like how Elaina’s mother is such a good parent. Caring and loving her daughter while also letting her daughter to go on a journey on her own when she was ready.
Also how Elaina acts so matured on situations for her age. And Elaina’s teacher, Fran as well. For me, the interaction between Fran and Elaina was best in the series. She taught her a lot while also showing most important of the lessons in the life are taught through hard way. Making a precious teacher and disciple bond.
As I already said, this anime is not your everyday anime. And one of the reasons it doesn’t feel like it is the main character, Elaina. She isn’t your regular anime protagonist, risking her life to protect innocent from dangers. No sir. She’s just a traveler, travelling the world also showing us the magical world of this anime. And risking her life is out of question. If she doesn’t see her benefit in it, she wouldn’t help at all. Which makes this character pretty realistic. This is not what you see every day especially in anime. It caught me too by surprise at the beginning but eventually got adapt to it.
While a little witch on a journey, visiting new places, meeting new people getting to know about their stories seems pretty wholesome and bright plot, this series doesn’t hold back to show you some of the darkest aspects of life. In one episode everyone is having fun watching the characters doing fun things and the next episode is as dark as it can be. Elaina goes through all that and it makes you think she’s a pretty strong girl to not be effected by it at all. But at last we get to know that somewhere within her, it did affect her and made her to think about it.
Yes, I’m saying it again this anime is very simple. It doesn’t think it’s necessary to give every tiny possible details to audience if it’s something audience can figure it out by themselves. So it doesn’t invest in that. So this series doesn’t answer much of the questions which is pretty obvious and easy to find accurate answer of them. The most it will do is give us a hint and we can figure out it by ourselves like the some secrets of characters or what happened to the characters after Elaina left. Even though, this series is as simple as it can be, if you can spot some small things, those details will give you some big insights of life.
Well Wandering Witch was an amazing watch for me and I enjoyed this anime a lot. This is a simple anime but tries to give a fresh air by being quite different from other series. Not depending on easy shortcuts like fan services or the fact that this setting and plot could have easily been a good Isekai, it stood up on its own and turned out to be something I feel it wanted to be. Though, I enjoyed it a lot, I did feel like the ending wasn’t a climactic one. But overall this is a pretty good anime and was a good watch.