Spectacle and Service — Little Witch Academia and the purpose of magic

atelier emily

diana cavendish floating teapot little witch academia episode 7, little witch academia episode 7 diana cavendish, diana cavendish little witch academia episode 7

How useful is floating a teapot in the air to serve hot tea?

Although both tea and wine have tannins — in varying amounts depending on steep time and prior to separating grape juice from the stems and skins in the case of wine — the former hardly needs to be aerated. Height is not necessary in the pour. And even if it was, a human could do the same with an equal amount of training.

What is the exact purpose of Diana Cavendish floating her teapot over to her teacher other than to pass her exam? Does she offer a service that couldn’t be provided by human hands?

No, she does not. The action is essentially useless.

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5 comments on “Spectacle and Service — Little Witch Academia and the purpose of magic

  1. marthaurion says:

    ive had a problem with this show in general because ive found it very hard to buy into this premise. all of the magic that ive seen so far in the show seems very applicable to scientific understanding. how useful is floating a teapot in the air to serve tea? at the very minimum, it gives you a free hand and also reduces the risk that you burn yourself on the pot. and if we can understand the mechanism behind it, it’s the basis for telekinesis or a new form of energy that can move objects invisibly.

    the reason that magic in the real world is considered to be just “parlor tricks” is because of the fact that the effects are not achieved by actually breaking the known rules of the natural world, but if we’re buying into the premise of little witch academia, the magic of that world clearly is. and if we can understand how that’s possible, we’re expanding our understanding of the natural world and potentially unlocking new fields for innovation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve only seen one episode of the show so far, but I liked the writer’s argument here. He makes magic comparable to art or even the liberal arts: as something not necessary, but which makes life more interesting.

      I suppose that one can usefully employ the magic in Little Witch Academia and render it as useful as scientific technology. But, adding a utilitarian dimension to what is originally art always makes it less valuable as an expression of beauty. Perhaps, Diana always pours her tea this way: one expects that Diana then has far less interest or delight in this magic than the other students or the viewer. To use another example, art used for the sake of propaganda is often far inferior to art for beauty’s sake. The former is more useful, but the latter has more intrinsic worth. At least, that is what I took away from the article.

      Liked by 1 person

      • marthaurion says:

        yeah, i get what you’re saying and i want to agree, but in my opinion, a series needs to make me believe it, not force me to buy into it. that’s the overall complaint ive had with the series is that it keeps shouting at me that magic is worthless and reduced to an art form, but just expects me to take them on their word even though they’ve shown me stuff to the contrary.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Luminas says:

    “the reason that magic in the real world is considered to be just “parlor tricks” is because of the fact that the effects are not achieved by actually breaking the known rules of the natural world, but if we’re buying into the premise of little witch academia, the magic of that world clearly is. and if we can understand how that’s possible, we’re expanding our understanding of the natural world and potentially unlocking new fields for innovation.”

    Well, sort of. One of the more consistent attributes of magic in most universes is that it’s a sort of “power of the heart.” That is, magic comes from one’s soul or identity, one’s brain and neurological activity (energy) if we want to be purely scientific….But we ARE talking about wizards. 😄 In fact the only anime I’ve seen where you can achieve it by “science” are alchemist anime. I.E. Fullmetal Alchemist. And even that has some weird, power-of-the-heart aspects.

    So, theoretically (And hell, this is almost always the case) trying to exploit magic to get it to produce more or different kinds of power involves exploiting people. Exploiting their emotions and feelings, or even their basic metaphysiology (Yes I just made up a word to explain what making a Philosopher’s Stone is exploiting). While this is technically possible…I’m not so sure the wizards’ board of ethics would want to do it.

    It could just be that in this universe, you can’t get as much mileage out of it as you can in Madoka or Precure or even Naruto. And maybe that’s A Good Thing.

    Like

  3. Luminas says:

    It could also be akin to knowing ways to induce lucid dreaming. Just because you can technically do certain gestures and cause magic to happen doesn’t mean you have that much control over it. You just have some. If you’ve ever been in a lucid dream, you’ll quickly realize that you know you’re dreaming…But you’re not very smart. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

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