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Shout Out / Little Witch Academia

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The reference frequency in the TV series starts out relatively modest, by Studio Trigger standards, but soon accelerates to ridiculous levels.

The Shorts

  • The main character, Akko Kagari, is most likely named after Atsuko "Akko" Kagami from Himitsu no Akko-chan.
  • The two girls that follow Diana are named Hannah and Barbara.
  • Plenty of nods to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Sucy's eyes and hairstyle recall Fluttershy, even though they couldn't be any more different personality-wise.
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    • A Rarity figurine shows up on Lotte's desk in Enchanted Parade.
    • For the record, Creator Yoh Yoshinari appears to be a Brony.
    • The show's official comic took the references full circle by having pony versions of the main characters make cameos on a page.
  • One of the girl's in Akko's History of Magic class looks suspiciously like Mami.
  • During the history lesson, there are two girls sitting next to each other that are reminiscent to the Patil twins.
  • Among the treasures collected (or otherwise discovered) by the students in the dungeon:
  • The shot of Shiny Chariot drawing her bow is a Homage Shot to Akazukin Cha Cha.
  • The fake noses worn by the (very unhappy) witches in last year's parade resemble those of another tried witch.
  • Akko's attempt to dance with her broom recalls the infamous Lightsaber Kid video, down to the lightsaber sound effects.
    • As for her attempts to make the brooms themselves dance, she seems to have learned how from a certain Sorcerer's apprentice.
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    • The dancing figures the brooms turn into during the parade resemble the dancing bombs from Robot Carnival for a shout out going back 30 years!
  • Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones Quartey were spectators in the parade. Joining them are Connie, Mabel, and Dipper.
  • Akko's White Mage costume at the end of Enchanted Parade resembles Sapphire's prince garb.
  • O'Neill's thief outfit is identical to that of Catwoman.
  • One of the boys in Thomas' gang eerily resemble the titular character of Eddsworld; double points for the former's name being the more formal variant of "Tom".
  • Among the pile of electronics Constanze is shown fiddling around with, one can see a Furby, a Nintendo Game Boy and a Super Famicom/PAL SNES.
  • The mayor's statue in "Enchanted Parade" depicts him as a towering man with a finger pointing upwards, much like Kamina's statue in the middle of Kamina City.
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The Series

  • Hannah and Barbara are already mentioned above. A third girl who teases Akko in the first episode is named Avery, after Tex Avery. Other background characters are named Mary and Blair, which together form the name of American artist and animator Mary Blair. Not to mention that "Blair" itself is a name related to witches.
  • Several episode titles are allusions to music, film and literature, with English sentences even in the Japanese original:
  • Episode 1:
    • The little fairy that emerges from Child!Akko resembles Pearl, while others resemble plump horses.
    • Among Akko's possessions there is a volume of Tokimeki Tonight.note 
    • The inside of the wormhole they travel through to the school looks very similar to the wormhole between stargates.
    • The pamphlet Akko consults to find the Leyline Terminal reveals the name of the town to be Blytonbury, likely a reference to the town of Glastonbury, and possibly to English children's author Enid Blyton.
  • Episode 2:
    • The Shiny Chariot card game, in addition to magical secrets, is a shout out to Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! among other collectible card games.
  • Episode 3:
    • The name of the shop 'Last Wednesday Society' is almost certainly a nod to The Last Tuesday Society Oddities Museum in London.
    • The Shooting Star broom takes Akko to a trip around the world, including a family's living room. For a split second their TV shows an image of Inferno Cop.
    • Word of God says that the shop clerk running the magic item cafe is based on Chumlee from Pawn Stars, partly due to his Japanese dub voice actor being hired for the character, and also due to the producer liking him.
    • DC Comics villain Starro is visible on a store shelf at the Magic Shop. It's also a nod to Daicon IV.
    • Skeleton heads that resemble Jack Skellington are on the same shelves as Starro.
    • The Shooting Star broom's design is based on The Three-Eyed One's signature weapon, the Red Condor.
  • Episode 4:
    • Lotte's favorite book series is Night Fall. Between the book's cover design and Lotte's summary of the series, it's obviously a parody of Twilight.
    • Lotte does the Gendo pose.
    • Annabel uses a teleportation device that is shaped like a walnut.
  • Episode 5:
  • Episode 7:
    • Constance makes a Transformers-bot, complete with sound effect.
    • Akko's Merman antics are reported in a trashy newspaper entitled The Moon, almost certainly a dig at The Sun, an actual British tabloid.
  • Episode 8:
  • Episode 9:
  • Episode 10:
  • Episode 11:
    • The statue Akko is trying to emulate is a copy of the ancient statue The Discus Thrower.
    • Indiana Jones is referenced when Akko opens the passage with the light of the blue moon and the shiny rod.
    • The hats of the Nine Olde Witches that founded Luna Nova are shout outs to other famous mages in fiction, from Witch Bandora/Rita Repulsa to Final Fantasy, Scarlet Witch and The Wicked Witch of the West.
    • The Nine Olde Witches themselves are probably a nod to Disney's Nine Old Men.
  • Episode 12:
    • The promotional art for Episode 12 by animator Takafumi Hori is identical to an episode promo of Steven Universe (where he worked on one episode).
    • The makeup that Akko-as-Diana paints on Hannah and Barbara's faces is that of two members of KISS (Eric Singer and Paul Stanley to be exact).
    • Akko's transformation into a flying elephant is an obvious shout-out to Dumbo. The feathered ears are a less obvious shout-out to Pao Pao from Jungle Kurobe.
  • Episode 13:
    • Akko's mouse transformation is a nod to Gamba no Bōken
    • Akko's Dumbo/Pao Pao-clone elephant flies again.
    • Another of Akko's transformations looks like Angry Birds. But given the feet, Blush Stickers, and hair arranged like a rooster's comb, may be a nod to Gu-Gu Ganmo.
    • What looks like her turning into a hippo is the horse Tarezo from Midori no Makibao.
    • It turns out Professor Badcock's first name is Samantha, like the main character in Bewitched.
    • The freed Vajarois resembles Princess Bubblegum.
  • Episode 14:
    • The strike draws many parallels to Red October, including Akko calling Diana out as being part of the bourgeoisie, and towards the end noting that she's been promoted to the position of General Secretary, just like a certain someone.
    • Croix arrives in the "Gainax Pose"note  and her sunglasses are reminiscent of Kamina.
    • When Ursula is being forced to do manual-magical labor to soften the effects of the strike, she says that "Being young is suffering", making a reference to the "Being Meguka is Suffering" meme (it may've been just the work of the fansubbers, though).
  • Episode 15:
  • Episode 16:
    • Right in the title, it references The Kalevala. Pohjola is a dark cold land ruled by an evil witch in the far north in that epic poem.
    • The design of Lotte's neighbor Janne is based on Little My, one of The Moomins. Of course, Lotte Janson is most likely named after another famous Finn, Tove Jansson, who invented the Moomins.
    • A picture of Moominpappa can also be spotted in Lotte's parents' shop.
    • The pies that drove the plot are real pies from Karelia, a region in Finland and Russia, though in real life the stuffing is usually rice, egg, and butter, instead of surströmming, which was probably added because it's stereotypically Swedish (to show Lotte's Mixed Ancestry), and stereotypically revolting (so that Sucy would love it).
    • The Lotte family shop, "L-Kiosk" is a parody of a Finish chain of convenience stores, R-kioski.
    • Aladdin's Lamp is for sale in the store.
    • The Yeti that Akko meets is eerily similar to Skips in terms of his design and helpfulness.
    • The moss curse is basically a comedic take on The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill.
  • Episode 17:
  • Episode 18, like 8, is swarming with references.
  • Episode 19:
    • Diana's ancestor, Beatrix Cavendish, one of the Nine Old Witches, is named after a star in the constellation Orion, and also possibly a nod to Harry Potter.
      • The plot is heavily reminiscent of the Chamber of Secrets - a young spellcaster with snake-themed ancestors is assaulted in a dungeon by serpents controlled by the (other) heir(ess) to said dungeon.
    • The Tapestry of Beatrix references the 15th century Tapestries The Lady and the Unicorn.
    • Aunt Daryl and her daughters are clearly an Expy of the Wicked Stepmother and the Wicked Stepsisters from Cinderella.
  • Episode 20:
    • Akko's mouse and elephant return.
    • Akko skidding to a stop as a mouse uses the braking sound from The Flintstones.
  • Episode 21:
    • A ton in the smartphone comment avatars:
    • Speaking of Kingsman, Croix's plan in this episode is mostly the opposite of the evil plan from that movie. The film's Big Bad distributed SIM cards that caused a Hate Plague by making people homicidally angry, while Croix invented a smartphone app that is supposed to calm down feelings of anger, while it actually turns them into magical fuel for her experiments.
    • The quotes from the book Akko is reading are all from Victor Hugo.
    • Croix's dark rod resembles the one stolen by Lalaco, which, in turn, is likely a reference to the original Shiny Rod.
    • Wagandia bears a strong resemblance to the beanstalk in Jack and the Beanstalk.
    • The healing golden tendrils sprouting from the Shiny Rod are referencing the Ohmu's feelers from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. Wagandia's pollen could be referencing the toxic spores released by the Sea of Corruption from the same film.
    • A possible non-intentional one but Croix's motive out of not being able to have a legendary weapon and be The Chosen One is similar to Mumkhar's.
  • Episode 22:
    • The soccer riots threatening to spill over into a war is probably based on the real Football War of 1969.
    • One of the women in the protest/riot looks like Vicky Pollard from Little Britain.
    • The episode is about young girls having their emotional energy drained for magic by a red and white character with the girls eventually losing something very important. It's an Homage to Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
    • One of the shops that Akko runs past is called Marks and Sponcer, which is quite similar to the UK retailer Marks & Spencer.
  • Episode 23:
    • Shiny Chariot's web page looks like a MySpace page. Appropriate for an entertainer in 2007-08.
    • Croix's "Amnesia Magic" is reminiscent of the Neuralizer from Men in Black.
    • Diana says to Akko "I believe in your believing heart". Quite similar to Gurren Lagann's famous catchphrase.
  • Episode 24:
    • Chariot turns her wand into a lightsaber! Complete with actual sound effects!
    • The Eldritch Abomination Croix reveals in the preview is similar to EVA's Berserk form.
    • At one point, Chariot uses Naruto's mirror image technique. Liker Croix's Gainax pose in episode 14, this is ironic because of the other voice actor.
    • Like in Episode 15, Ursula/Chariot's fighting style (i.e. kicks) and talks about loss is both a Shout-Out to Gun Buster's Noriko Takaya and a an Actor Allusion to their shared voice actress.
    • The Dragon that Croix's cubes form bears a strong resemblance to the Dragon in the first Little Witch Academia OVA.
    • The stick of the Grand Triskelion resembles the namesake of South Park: The Stick of Truth.
    • Akko's "Chariot is Chariot and I'm me" line bears a striking resemblance to the final part of Simon's "My Bro is Dead" speech.
  • Episode 25:
    • Diana and Akko avoid a Macross Missile Massacre with an Itano Circus.
    • Stacking 7 brooms together to make a rocket is reminiscent of various Rube Goldberg devices from Kerbal Space Program.
    • One of the computer screens showing reaction to the Witches attempt to intercept the missile is a 4chan thread. Another looks like Youtube. Another is Facebook. And yet another is Reddit. And one is UKN (BBC) news.
    • One of the background characters is Mako Mankanshoku as an adult with the same hair and eye colours. Appropriately, she is the first to cheer the witches on.
    • A nuke was launched by a sentient malevolent entity, because of the hero temporarily stopping it. Are we talking about Our War Games, Summer Wars, or Little Witch Academia?
    • Also the final episode is where the moon has been damaged and a giant monster is going to crash into the Earth and destroy it as the rivals who are now allies get a Golden Super Mode to stop it with the crowds looking on as something ends up dying and disappearing after the final battle. Is this Sonic Adventure 2? It's not the first time Studio Trigger has referenced it either.
    • The resolution of the episode is also similar to the classic Dragon Ball Z climax: the heroes are broadcasted all over the world, every character from the series plus the whole world population lend their energy to power up the final attack, which results in a massive explosion that can be seen from space. Only this time the results are even more positive and brighter.
    • The visuals of the emotional energy that supports Diana and Akko at the climax are also highly reminiscent of the Lifestream from Final Fantasy VII. Both the wave of emotional energy and the Lifestream manifest as iridescent tendrils of green force. The mechanism by which these two events interact with the respective plots' final obstacles is similar, too—both emerge from the Earth to intercept a calamity streaking down from the sky.
    • Two references to Peter Pan in this episode: Diana and Akko gain power through Clap Your Hands If You Believe, and Akko is able to fly by being buoyed by happy thoughts.
    • The pose Akko and Diana makes while firing the Shiny Rod at the ICBM is similar to Madoka and Homura firing an arrow in some artwork.
    • The main characters use themselves as rocket boosters and then fall away into the atmosphere while their companions continue upward, a la Trigger's own Space Patrol Luluco.
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