The Japanese animation studio Studio Trigger has uploaded an official, English-subtitled video of its animated short Little Witch Academia on Youtube. The cartoon tells the story of a young witch-in-training named Akko who attends a wizardry school to follow in the footsteps of “Shiny Chariot”, a witch she admires despite her idol’s showy magic earning the disrespect of her peers. When a grave threat to Akko’s academy emerges, Akko’s talent and faith in her idol is put to the test.
Little Witch Academia was one of four shorts produced for the annual Anime Mirai Project (a.k.a the Young Animator Training Project) and screened in Japanese theaters starting in March 2013. A creation of the Japanese Animation Creators Association, a labor union for workers in the Japanese animation industry, the project receives funding from the Japanese Government’s Agency of Cultural Affairs as a way to hone the skills of up-and-coming animators in the industry. The other shorts funded for 2013 were Gonzo’s Ryo, Madhouse’s Death Billiards, and Zexcs’ Aruvu Rezuru – Kikai Shikake no Yōsei-tachi. A trailer promoting all four shorts can be found below.
Studio Trigger was founded in 2011 by former Gainax employees Hiroyuki Imaishi and Masahiko Ohtsuka. Little Witch Academia is a creation of animator Yoh Yoshinari, who is credited as director, animation director, the character designer and for the art setting. The short features a score from Michiru Oshima (Fullmetal Alchemist) and scriptwriting from Masahiko Otsuka, who among other things served as an episode director for Gainax’s FLCL and Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt.