During the summer I had the chance to go to the AX premier of Little Witch Academia 2. It’s the second in its series of animated short films (around the length of a TV episode) directed by Yoh Yoshinari. The Little Witch Academia series is funded through Kickstarter and is part of a project for training young animators in Japan. In that respect, it has a lot more creative freedom than a lot of other TV based anime. Here’s a scene towards the end of the 2nd film (it’s actually the only one I could find on Youtube):
As a lot of reviews have noted, there are a lot of western influences and the whole experience kind of reminds one of a Disney film. The lively animation is definately very refreshing 🙂 Especially the parade+”battle” scene (you’ll need to watch the full film since I couldn’t find that scene online).
Also, for those who are interested in some of the experiments some anime studios and artists are experimenting with, there’s actually an ongoing project for experimental shorts (some more like pitches for longer series/films) with one released almost weekly: http://animatorexpo.com/ There are a lot of very interesting shorts and they span many different animation styles.