By Allison Diaz
“It’s not about the destination…”
“What’s your favorite story? Does it have a hero who slays a destined for greatness? Well, my favorite story is a little different. It’s the tale of a witch who travels the world, seeking nothing in particular. With no quest of her own, she’s free to wander wherever the wind takes her, adding a few pages to the story of whomever she meets before setting off on her next adventure. At the end of her travels, the witch takes on an apprentice who will one day begin her own journey. And so the cycle continues, or so the story goes. Now, the witch who starts the story anew…who could she be?”
Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina is a fantasy light novel series written by Jougi Shiraishi and illustrated by Azure. The light novel was adapted into an anime and attracted a large audience. The anime consists of 12 episodes and can be streamed on Funimation.
As a young girl, Elaina, the protagonist, loved reading books, yet there was one book that she loved the most. ‘Niike’s adventure,’ a book full of short stories that the writer experienced throughout her journey around the world. Elaina was so inspired by Niike’s adventure that she decided to start her own adventure. The anime follows Elaina’s journey throughout the world seeking nothing in particular.
The Journey of Elaina has its cheerful short stories, however, it can get dark. As Elaina travels, she meets twisted characters and witnesses people who have devastating living situations. Each short story concludes nicely, but even so, the characters’ stories won’t always have a happy ending.
Typically, the main character is the central focus of the story, however, in Wandering Witch, things are a bit backward. Although Elaina is present in the stories of the characters, the stories do not focus on Elaina. She is, “the eye that the viewer experiences the different tales.”
Elaina is not a hero nor she is a savior, Elaina is a realistic character that will not get tied up with someone else’s problems. Although some of the character’s lives are dark and they are on the verge of losing themselves, she will never get involved since she promised her parents that she would not put herself in harm’s way as she ventures around the world.
The Wandering Witch Original Soundtrack, which was created by AstroNoteS, was beautiful to hear. Each episode was enhanced by the unique music. Overall, Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina was a wonderful anime that I highly recommend. Each short story was unique and had wonderful characters.