Little Witch Academia: Is It Really Like Harry Potter?
By: Steve Zec
Ever since Little Witch Academia debuted in 2013, it has been compared a lot to Harry Potter. Is that a fair and good comparison?
Well to start, both are about a magical school with students broken up into teams of three, and the main character at first is looked down on. There is a upper class blonde rival from the prestige magic family. There is a stone that stores the magic… Yeah I can see the similarities.
That being said there a vast differences. First of all the obvious one, Luna Nova is an all-girls school, while Hogwarts is inter-gender. Another difference is while in the world of Harry Potter normal humans, or muggles as they are known, don’t know about magic, in the world of Little Witch Academia everyone knows about the existence of magic.
Let’s look at the characters. Harry and Akko are both similar in that they came into the story as the outsider to the world of magic and we learn about it though their eyes. However while Harry is for the most part a level headed kid, Akko is super high energy. Lotte I guess fills that Ron/Hermione role of trying to keep Akko grounded or not too far into the stars. But is there anyone like Sucy in Harry Potter? Are there that many characters like Sucy period? Probably not, and at the very least someone that acts like Sucy is very rare.
And of course let’s compare Draco Malfoy to Diana Cavendish. They both come from an important magical upper class family and as a result get a lot of advantages in the world. However the way they each handle it is totally different. First of all Diana does not rest on her family legacy, she works really hard at her magic and she can back up all her critical acclaim with her actions. Draco on the other hand just comes from a rich family and coasts his way through life. While Draco is the stereotypical bully to Harry, Diana doesn’t go out of her way to put Akko down. And like my fellow podcaster Beatriz Mourad said, Diana is as much like Hermione as she is Draco.
So is Little Witch Academia similar to Harry Potter… yes but not completely. And to be honest I think another franchise that Little Witch Academia is similar to just as much if not more than Harry Potter is The Worst Witch. Akko is Mildred Hubble to a tee, Lottie is Maud Spellbody, Enid Nightshade is as close to being like Sucy as you can get, though she is a little bit more like Amanda. The Worst Witch has some teachers that are antagonistic towards our main three just like a lot of the professors are to Akko and her friends in Little Witch Academia. But Diana is nothing like Ethel Hallow. Diana is such a better person than Ethel and that even includes the version of Diana in the two short films when she is a little more snobby and harsher than in the series. But Ethel is the worst; she makes Draco look like a good person, though in the 2017 Worst Witch TV series she has more depth and is more sympathetic than all previous versions of that character. And who knows maybe Little Witch Academia had a little influence when they revised her.
In fiction there are always going to be similarities to other works of fiction. Nothing is completely original. What maters is the quality of it and how it mixes in its own unique take on the tropes, and in that regard Little Witch Academia is no exception.