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Manga / Flying Witch

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Magic makes every day colorful!

"Flying in the sky and looking down on this city, with everyone, things look different, it’s so magical."
Shan-ran-ran, Flying Witch Opening Theme

Flying Witch (Hepburn ふらいんぐうぃっち) began in 2007 as a one-shot manga by Chihiro Ichizuka. It later began serialization in 2012 in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine as an ongoing series released bimonthly (~6 chapters a year). A twelve-episode animated adaptation of the serialised manga aired in April 2016 as apart of the spring 2016 anime line-up. Produced by JCStaff and directed by Katsushi Sakurabi Flying Witch is available for viewing on Crunchyroll. Besides the twelve episode anime, there is also a set of shorts, titled Flying Witch Petit, accompanying the series. These CG shorts are posted on the official YouTube channel of distributor VAP and later were bundled as a part of the Blu-Ray volumes.

Fifteen-year-old Makoto Kowata moves from her parents' home in Yokohama and to live with her relatives in Aomori. While outwardly an Ordinary High-School Student, Makoto's involvement in witchcraft differentiates her from her peers: she moves to further her studies as a witch, and picks Aomori because of the abundant nature in the area. Moving in with her second cousins, Kei Kuramoto and his little sister Chinatsu, Makoto begins life in Aomori. However, things are rarely dull for Makoto: she is attuned with magical entities, and over time, begins introducing her friends and family to the magical things she encounters in her training. As she spends time in Aomori, she befriends Nao Ishiwatari, one of Kei's friends who helps run her family liquor store, and Inukai, a fellow witch cursed with the appearance of an anthropomorphised dog who specialises in fortune-telling. While life in Aomori might be quiet for Makoto, there is no shortage of adventure to be had as she explores avenues for her training as a witch.

Flying Witch provides examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: The Harbinger of Spring is present in the introduction, but beyond a short appearance in one episode, is only mentioned on a handful of occasions.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: While weeding the garden in the third episode, Makoto spends time chasing a pheasant around after becoming distracted by it.
  • Bag of Holding: The Harbinger of Spring and Akane both have bags that can fit considerably more items than their size initially suggests.
    • Akira, Makoto's mentor, becomes the ultimate example of this when she empties out the contents of her satchel across an entire cafe booth, the contents including whole tree branches.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: When Makoto accidentally summons a murder of crows with a spell in episode three, Akane beats a hasty exit and declares there's somewhere she has to be, leaving Makoto stuck with the crows she'd conjured earlier.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of the spell talismans written by Chinatsu in the manga are in Hebrew (for example, the one to "summon a crow" is צפור, Hebrew for "Bird")
  • Blandname Product: Pooky stands in for Pocky.
  • Blatant Lies: Kei decides to prank Chinatsu when she asks about Makoto, and Chinatsu plays along.
    Kei: don't remember, do you? You were only three the last time you saw her, after all. This person is... your real mother.
    Chinatsu: Mommy!
  • Brick Joke:
    • In episode two, Kei warns Makato not to pick butter-bur flowers near utility poles because dogs relieve themselves on the poles. At the end of the episode, a dog is seen urinating on the pole during a walk.
    • Kei jokingly remarks that Nao's screams can scare away bears. A few moments later, Nao screams in terror when a frog jumps on her, and elsewhere in the forest, a bear hears the scream and runs off.
  • Cats Are Mean: While talking Makoto around town, Chito wanders into a lot where a dog is tied down and stays just out of the dog's reach. Makoto implores Chito to stop teasing the dog and they make to leave, but the dog pulls itself loose and proceeds to chase them a ways.
  • Celestial Deadline: After eating some chocolates that Akane had made, Inukai takes on dog-like features during the day. By nightfall, these features vanish, and Inukai reverts to a fully human form.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The mandrake recovered from the empty lot early in the series surprisingly becomes this; at first Makoto gives some pieces to the Harbinger of Spring, and much later in the series she offers to use some to help cure the back pain Nao's father suffers from; it's then that we find Makoto's use of magical ash has caused the plant to breed into a subspecies of cute little living plants that're still classed as mandrakes.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: discussed. When Makoto visits another witch to discover her elemental affinity, he asks her a lot of questions about her hobbies and pastimes, as he's working on a theory that a witches' elemental affinity influences the things they enjoy. When Makoto turns out to be a darkness witch, known for their creative talents, Kei and Chinatsu points out that several of her pastimes include creating things; her garden creates vegetables, she created Chinatsu's witch robe, and so on.
  • Clever Crows: Prior to teaching Makoto the spell for conjuring a crow, Akane explains that witches would use this simple spell to summon as reconnaissance during conflicts.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • While visiting a festival, Makoto comments that Chinatsu would rather "hustle to get the food than look at cherry blossoms." Chinatsu interprets that she needs to do the hustle dance.
    • When Makoto, Chinatsu and Kei visit Café Concurio, Chinatsu is surprised by the café's outward appearance.
    Chinatsu: It's not as stylish as I was expecting.
    Kei: We have bigger problems than style.
  • Comical Overreacting: Kei denies Chinatsu's request for doughnuts as a treat for helping introduce Makoto to the area and showing her where the local shopping centre is, pausing dramatically and stating that he'd very much like some doughnuts, as well.
  • Credits Running Sequence: As more characters are introduced, their silhouettes in the ending sequence are replaced with their likeness.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Hina is a ghost waitress at Café Concurio who dates back to the Meiji Era and is very shy, speaking very little towards those she is unfamiliar with.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Despite being clad entirely in black and sporting an intimidating appearance, the Harbinger of Spring is a benevolent spirit who heralds the arrival of the spring season. He gives Chinatsu a vase with flowers as a gesture of kindness.
    • Similarly, the Paperboy creates an intimidating impression, being entirely clad in shadow and never saying a word as he slowly approaches the house. Despite his appearance, he is very polite, tipping his hat to Chinatsu before taking payment from Akane for a copy of the paper used by witches.
    • As of the manga's eighth volume, Makoto visits another witch to find her elemental affinity, and is discovered to be a very rare darkness witch. Chinatsu's worried initially, until the witch who did the testing reassures her "It's not like the Dark Side of the Force or anything!" In fact, darkness witches are also known as creation witches, as they are said to be closer to the source of pure mana and have a knack for, well, creating things.
    • Chapter 63 has the Kuramoto home visited by a being called 'Gasha'; they're a six foot tall black skeleton in a spiked cloak and proceed to destroy part of the house as they swell in size. True to the manga's form however, they're perfectly pleasant and apologetic for wrecking the Kuramoto's porch, and are only growing rapidly due to being taken ill. When provided with Makoto's tears as a cure, they promptly return to their regular size - about 1'/30cm and have their friends repair the house.
  • Domino Revelation: Chinatsu and Kei find it difficult to believe that ghosts can exist, despite having seen witches and other supernatural phenomenon in stride earlier.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Makoto shares a dream with Nao that indicated good luck in Nao's future while on the way home from classes.
  • Extra-Strength Masquerade: The Witches' society actively suppresses dissemination of information relating to magic and witches, with misfortune striking those who investigate too closely. One example is when the Harbinger of Summer's blunder (causing a July snowfall) leads characters to believe that the Society is slackening restrictions and may even reveal the presence of witches to the world.
  • The Fair Folk: Makoto characterises the Harbinger of Spring as a Spring Fairy despite the Harbinger's appearance being decidedly lacking the features of a fairy.
  • Festival Episode: Makoto, Chinatsu and Kei visit the cherry blossoms festival, exploring the park while cherry trees are in full bloom and stopping to take a picture in front of Hirasaki Castle.
  • Flying Broomstick: Witches employ broomsticks as a mean of transportation. When Chinatsu asks if Makoto will ride her broom to school, Makoto replies that brooms are uncomfortable to ride as they dig into one's crotch. Akane later explains that brooms are merely used to channel magic for flight so you don't actually need to sit on them, after which Makoto begins using her broom more frequently.
  • Ghibli Hills: The area in and around Hirosaki is beautiful, with verdant forests and expanses of unspoiled nature. Makoto takes an interest in the area for its beauty and is excited when Kei takes everyone out to pick wild edibles.
  • Giant Flyer: A flying whale appears in episode eleven, prompting Makoto and Akane to take a closer look. Upon reaching the flying whale, its size becomes apparent; it is large enough to host trees and ancient ruins on its back.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In episode three, Makoto ends up summoning a murder of crows rather than a single crow because she used her own hair. It turns out that using a Witch's hair amplifies the spell's effects.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Makoto attempts to create a potion that will lessen the effects of Inukai's spell and allow her to take human form during the day, but the potion ends up increasing Inukai's likeness to a dog.
  • Haunted House: While at the Cherry Blossom Festival, Makoto and Chinatsu find a carnival-style haunted house and decide to take a look, hauling a reluctant Kei in, as well. Moments later, everyone runs out screaming in terror.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: In one chapter, Kei develops a case of pick-ups, magically persistent hiccups that can be acquired by satisfying any one of thousands of oddly specific conditions, with new ones being discovered from time to time. The only cure is playing with dolls, which transfers the pick-ups to the dolls, who get over them in minutes. Kei's case came about because he'd gone fishing at a river with a cat without catching anything. Akane, who'd also been fishing, is seen at the end of the chapter complaining about persistent hiccups.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Akane finds Chinatsu adorable and asks Kei as to whether or not she can keep her.
  • Iyashikei: Makoto's everyday life with the Kuramotos in Hirasaki is peaceful and gentle.
  • Joke Item: Akane provides Chinatsu and Makoto instruction on making candies with a spell; when consumed, the candies induce uncontrollable laughter or tears.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Inukai has completely forgotten that she'd eaten the chocolates that gave her dog-like features of her own volition while drunk.
  • Maneki Neko: When Makoto visits Yokohama, she and her old friends take on a job investigating a temple suffering from unnatural rain. The temple is filled with maneki neko statues of all sizes, which are actually a manifestion of some cat-like spirits who protect the area. They're using the rain as a protest against centuries of offerings that cats like, the same few items over and over. They're appeased with a new catfood that they'd seen on tv.
  • The Masquerade: Witches are advised not to make their presence known, and while Makoto is blasé about this guideline, other witches make a more concerted effort in concealing their presence.
  • Magical Realism: Supernatural elements and magic coexist with the otherwise ordinary world of Flying Witch.
  • Magical Underpinnings of Reality: The seasons and their progression are heralded by Harbingers, entities who formally transition the world between different seasons. The thirty-sixth chapter of the manga states that if a Harbinger is late with their duties, unusual and localised weather patterns may occur.
  • Mistaken for Romance:
    • After meeting with Makoto for the first time in six years, Chinatsu wonders if Makoto is Kei's girlfriend.
    • Akane mistakes Nao for Kei's girlfriend when Nao visits Makoto's garden for the first time.
  • Otherworldly Visits Youngest First: Zig-zagged. While Chinatsu is the first to witness any actual act of magic from her cousin, Makoto, the rest of the family already knew of her "witch" status.
  • Our Witches Are Different: The Witches of Flying Witch are made, not born, and Akane mentions that it is possible for anyone to become a witch with sufficient training and study. Later, Chinatsu begins her own training as a Witch, having been inspired by Makoto and Akane.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: Harbingers bring in the different seasons. Early on in the anime, the Harbinger of Spring appears to delivers spring to Aomori.
  • Planimal: One parallel realm is inhabited by Plantelle: animals that are partially plant. Makoto, Chinatsu, and Sayo encounter a deer with wooden antlers, a jackal with a flower bush around its shoulders, and more.
  • Real Dreams are Weirder: In a vivid dream she has while sleeping in class, Makoto finds herself sitting on a bench in Yokohama with a conch in her lap and runs into Nao, who shows her a mole on her neck resembling the character for "excellent luck". When recounting this story to Nao later, Makoto states that Witches' dreams are prophetic and says that Nao's luck will be good.
  • Real-Place Background: The events of Flying Witch are set in and around Hirosaki City in Aomori, with area landmarks, such as the Hirosaki Castle and Park, and the Taisho Roman Tearoom, being featured as locations that the characters visit.
  • Repeat Cut: When Makoto wants to be introduced to Kei's friends, he insists twice that it is not a good idea.
  • Secret Shop: Café Concurio has an illusionary magic to give the impression that it is an a derelict house to those unaware of its existence.
  • Solid Gold Poop: Ohgetsuhime rice is a highly prized variety of rice, said to be so delicious that one could never eat ordinary rice again after tasting it and is produced by the Plantelle of the same name. It's described as otherworldly deer droppings.
  • Summon Magic: Akane teaches Makoto is a spell for conjuring a crow, noting that it is a simpler spell.
  • Super-Scream: After Makoto frees a Mandrake from the ground, it lets out an unearthly scream that can be heard from a considerable distance away.
  • Wicked Witch: When Makoto asks Chinatsu what she wants to do as a witch, Chinatsu jokingly replies that she'd be inclined to build a gingerbread house and then it would eat anyone who tries to enter.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: All the witches in the Flying Witch utilise magic to improve convenience in their everyday lives, as well as for amusement, as opposed using it in more practical or professional applications.
  • Unexpectedly Abandoned: After Akane recommends Café Concurio to Makoto and the others, they find it abandoned, but as it turns out, this is merely an illusion to keep the café's location secret.
  • The Unintelligible: Makoto has difficulty understanding Kei and Chinatsu's father because she is unaccustomed to his dialect.
  • Unnaturally Looping Location: In chapters thirty-five and thirty six, Makoto sets off to capture a Narunaru, a magical creature whose presence creates an infinite loop in the shopping street, causing people to become lost as it searches for insects to eat.


Video Example(s):


Flying Witch

Makoto tries out a broom before she buys it, revealing herself to be a witch in the process.

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Main / FlyingBroomstick

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