Anime DVD Review: Tweeny Witches Volume Two

Tweeny Witches Volume Two is a two-disc set that includes seven episodes of the Tweeny Witches television anime series. Technically, each “episode” included on this set is made up of two 8-9 minute-long episodes, so there’s actually 14 episodes here. The first disc includes four “episodes” and the second disc contains three “episodes.”

Tweeny Witches Volume Two
English Publisher: Anime Works
Format: DVD
Release Date: May 6, 2008

A human girl named Arusu who is a fan of witches and magic, mysteriously enters the world of witches. She meets two witch apprentices named Eva and Sheila, and discovers that they are capturing sprites. Arusu doesn’t like this, and she sets them free; this gets her branded as a troublemaker. Sheila is put in charge of Arusu, and Sheila and Eva are given the job of trying to reclaim the sprites. It’s quickly revealed that Arusu has the ability to do magic. In fact, a book she had with her in the human world that came with her into the world of witches turns out to be an important book from the witches’ world.

This set sees Sigma helping Arusu, Sheila and Eva enter the Wizard World. Unfortunately, he’s actually trying to get the True Magic book from the girls. On their way there, they are attacked by warlocks. Sigma claims that Arusu and Sheila are afflicted by a curse that will kill them in 24 hours. Eva hears him mention something about a flower, and musters up her courage to go find it to save her friends. She finds it, but it’s revealed that they weren’t really cursed.

Sigma then leads them into the Wizard World. Unfortunately, they are discovered and captured by the wizards, but they manage to escape. But before they do, Sigma shows Sheila the truth at the Sanctuary. And while Arusu is in the Wizard World, she learns that another human had been there years earlier, and that he says things that are similar to what Arusu says when it comes to magic. Unfortunately for Sigma, he is imprisoned for his failure to obtain the book.

When they return to the world of witches, Sheila talks to the Grand Master and tells her about what she learned at the Sanctuary. The Grand Master then tells Sheila the rest of the story. Later, the Grand Master collapses. Other witches begin collapsing as well and an epidemic of witches losing their magic begins. This is all being caused by the destruction of the magic world.

One night, after Arusu falls asleep, Sheila takes her to a ship to cross the Interdimensional Sea and return to the human realm. Unfortunately, the ship is attacked by a pirate named Lennon. Arusu helps to protect the ship, and she discovers that what she’s been fighting are apparitions sent by Lennon, and that Lennon is actually sick. Lennon also declares that he is Arusu’s “mirror.” The other witches on the ship find Arusu and Lennon and declare that they’re all going back to the magical realm.

Arusu finds her way back to Sheila and Eva with Lennon, and they heal him. At the same time, Eva is starting to gain a little more courage and confidence in herself when it comes to magic. Sheila is also given a mission to find a traitor among them who performs Black Magic.

I have to admit that the story of Tweeny Witches starts getting a little more interesting. Unfortunately, the storytelling gets rather choppy at times. This part of the story also starts incorporating the parallels with the novel, Through the Looking Glass, because this is a book that Arusu’s mother read to her when she was a little. She is starting to wonder if there are parallels, and also wonders about the similarity between her name and Alice’s name.

The animation in the episodes in this set deteriorates drastically over the course of it. It starts out by simply seeing the animators using less and less detail on the characters, and then it progresses to various cheating methods. These include having characters speak when their back is turned to the camera and suddenly pausing the action as a character is speaking. All I can figure is that either the production budget had been cut at this point or the animators were in a rush to get episodes produced on time. To be honest, I’m rather scared about how the animation will look in Tweeny Witches Volume Three.

As for the DVD set itself, Media Blasters used one menu design and used it for both discs. The only difference is the disc number changes. Both menus claim to have trailers and bonus features. However, if you choose “Bonus Features” on the first disc, all you get is a splash screen that tells you the bonus features are on the second disc. And if you try to access the trailers on the main menu of the second disc, you get a splash screen telling you the trailers are on the first disc.

The first bonus feature on the second disc is a Round Table with Sachiko Kojima, Houko Kuwashima, and Ryoh Hirohashi, the three main voice actresses for the series. It runs for about 14-15 minutes, and they talks about recording the voices, what they would do if they had magic, and what they find interesting about the series. The three of them seemed to have quite a sense of camaraderie, so that helped to make this an enjoyable viewing experience. There’s also two-and-a-half minutes of test animation, as well as a three minute promotional animation feature.

I can only truly recommend this DVD release to viewers who are already familiar with Tweeny Witches and want to add the series to their anime library.

Additional posts about Tweeny Witches:

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