Lotte Jansson is the star of Little Witch Academia’s fourth episode, “night fall,” where we witness her passion, loyalty, and support for a long-running series that spoofs Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga. While Lotte did receive some character development in the second film, this episode’s window into her interests reveals a girl full of confidence and conviction. The uncertain and meek Lotte who usually graces the halls of Luna Nova disappears. By showing us this side to the young witch’s personality, the anime hints at future growth in her self-confidence towards her own magical ability and her supportive friendship with Akko and Sucy.
“night fall is a series of novels that have been a huge hit all around the world…it’s a story of love, adventure, thrills, conspiracy, friendship, and youth! It’s a literary epic encompassing every genre imaginable and presented as a historic fiction novel for girls!” -Lotte, “night fall.” Little Witch Academia (TV)
First, some examination of how night fall compares to twilight. Yes, I have read all four books of the Twilight Saga, as well as seen the films. While I have no delusions of grandeur regarding Meyer’s works, I still respect the story as entertaining in its own right. I might even consider it addictive. I took small pleasure in the work’s appearance in episode four, as well as in Lotte’s fervent fandom of the series in its entirety. Though the chosen font for both works is the same, most everything but the initial framework differs. night fall spans a staggering 365 books, and includes twelve different authors all under the same pen name of “Annabel Creme”. The unveiling of the 365th book includes an event that rivals convention status, as well as a never-before-offered chance to see the reclusive author. We saw a hint of the fan base with Lotte’s online correspondence the night before the event, but I was still surprised at the number of fans present the following day, which covered a wide age range and featured quality cosplay.
“…my own worries seemed trivial in comparison. I’m sure there must be many more people like me who felt they were saved after reading this.” -Lotte
One of the first impressions I had was an immediate sense of respect from LWA for not only the Creme’s work, but also for the people who celebrate it. twilight commands a strong fandom, but also receives plenty of criticism regarding everything from its author’s writing skill and personal life to the work’s messages conveyed to its readers. Lotte’s encouragement of Annabel to do what she loves regardless of anyone else’s opinions seems to underline not only the attitude towards writers and fans of works like night fall, but also that of LWA’s overall message. Usually it’s Akko who champions the idea that a strong will can pave the way, but now we also have Lotte to lead us in that regard.
“…you’re the only one who loves it more than anyone and also has the ability to do it. If you stopped writing, then the real night fall would be gone forever. Only you can write the night fall of our time. Only you can be Annabel.” -Lotte
“I learned a lot today….You don’t want to be like the person you admire, you want to support them. I’ve never considered that before.” Akko to Lotte
My second takeaway from “night fall” was how Lotte cast aside all hesitancy in the face of her favorite author. Lotte’s involvement with her costume and unparalleled knowledge about the books shows us a witch brimming over with excitement and determination. Up until now, I always saw her as the more “normal” of the trio, subdued in her humility and proper-ness. She plays the serious end of the comic group and tends to voice the first trepidation. With night fall on the line, she throws caution to the wind and quickly agrees with Akko’s idea to sneak out of the school and their well-deserved punishment from a prior infraction. Although this passion is aimed towards her favorite book series, I think it bodes well towards her magical studies and friendship with Sucy and Akko. She has proven her own capability and compassion for others, and I look forward to seeing her blossom along with her friends throughout the rest of this anime season.