—Akko, The Road to Arcturus
Atsuko Kagari (アツコ・カガリ Atsuko Kagari ), more commonly known by her nickname Akko (アッコ), is the main protagonist of Little Witch Academia. She is a first generation witch from Japan, and is an admirer of Shiny Chariot.
Akko is a girl of average height. She has long, brown hair with blunt side-bangs and a side ponytail. She also has a long lock of hair on the left side of her face. She has crimson eyes, pale complexion, and displays Asian characteristics.
When she was still a 6-years old child, Akko's hairstyle looked almost the same as her current one, but shorter and lacked a ponytail.
Concept artwork reveals that Akko originally had teal eyes, along with slightly longer hair.
Akko is best described as an excitable, impulsive, reckless, optimistic, energetic, and short-tempered girl, which is consistent with her normally exaggerated expressions. Due to her great determination, she is always up for a challenge, even if it seems too difficult for her. As Akko is very social, kind, and truly compassionate, people are often drawn to her happy disposition.
Akko has an idealized view of witches inspired by her childhood idol Shiny Chariot, which clashes with her fellow students' perception. Being a fan of Shiny Chariot, she displays a poster of her in her room, and Shiny Chariot is often idealized in her fantasies. It is worth mentioning that she is also very immersed in her own fantasies and sometimes does not account for other witches opinions. This trait is, however, less evident in the television series. This does not mean that she is a selfish and arrogant person: in the OVA, Akko realizes she almost jeopardizes her friendship with Sucy and Lotte, thus resulting in her sympathizing for what she had done.
Through her first visit at the Fountain of Polaris, Akko realized she has to work hard to achieve her dreams. This contributes to her later improved mastery over magic and helps her awaken the Second Word of the Seven Words of Arcturus. While she took this lesson to heart, Akko still retained her impulsive and reckless attitude.
Her impulsiveness and recklessness, coupled with her idealized view on witches, repeated rule-breaking, and inferior magical abilities, sets her off from the rest of the school and makes her an eyesore to Anne Finnelan. However, her determination to be like her idol, Shiny Chariot, and desire to spread joy with magic causes the Shiny Rod to appear before her in the Arcturus Forest.
As revealed in "What You Will", Akko at times felt insecure about her magical abilities and often comparing herself to Diana, who seems perfect on things. She initially believed that she could prove herself through emulating Chariot and outperforming Diana. However, as Woodward indirectly pointed out through a magic mirror she used to change Akko's likeness to that of her rival and confirmed by Ursula, it was not the best way as, instead, she must prove herself with her own qualities. Akko ultimately lets go of her insecurities through her performance in the Samhain Festival, where she freed Vajarois from her sadness with the help of Lotte and Sucy, and unlocked the third Word in the process, ending the tradition of keeping Vajarois appeased via sacrifices once and for all.
Though she has a little discipline for study and finds most classes boring, Akko is very clever. This is first seen in "A New Beginning" when she lures the Cockatrice so that it gets entangled in the vines of a Mandrake plant. In "Night Fall", she gets Lotte into the city by catching a ride in Luna Nova's food delivery truck. And in "Blytonbury's Undead Travelogue", she is able to quickly bring Mr. Holbrooke to Luna Nova by grabbing onto the Bell Tower's bell and using an object restoration spell to reunite it with its clapper, knowing the clapper is on campus as Miranda Holbrooke's staff. Akko is very creative and eschews tradition for innovation. However, she does not have a great sense of her own capabilities and her overconfidence contributes to a tendency to look before she leaps, and her motivation to do her very best and inch closer to Chariot is often dismissed as naivety by others.
Despite her impulsiveness, ultimately Akko is a selfless witch who will risk her own self and her reputation to do what is right, such as during "Orange Submariner" when she used her last bit of magic in her wand to break open the fishing cage to save a fish's family rather than using it later when they find Pisces (although she coincidentally found Pisces in the cage), "Luna Nova and the White Dragon" when she convinced her friends to go with her and take back the Sorcerer's Stone from the dragons, and during "Sleeping Sucy" when she volunteered to be the "sacrifice" to go into Sucy's mind and wake her up. In "New Age Magic", her kind heart has allowed her to feel sympathy towards the spirits who went under strike and joined their cause in getting more magical energy. Not only that, Akko's peerless compassion, coupled with her selflessness and determination, became the key factor of Shiny Rod drawn to her in the first place. It also allowed her to gain so many friends and allies as well as earning respect from her rivals. The loyalty that was created from her compassion was strong that Akko's teacher and childhood idol, Chariot Du Nord, sacrificed her own magical abilities to protect her student and Diana willing to give up her childhood treasure if that meant Akko stays at Luna Nova. Diana admits to Akko that these traits of hers make her envious, but also appreciates and cares for and concludes that Akko's beliefs are the only true path that can save the magical world.
Abilities and Equipment
Due to her mundane background, Akko is very incompetent with magic, especially in the use of flying brooms despite having practiced this skill several times. However, her potential with magic is unmistakable (though only a certain few are able to see it), as she can use the Shiny Rod that once belonged to Shiny Chariot with impressive prowess, showcased through turning it into bow and arrow, ballista and ax forms. Even so, her prowess in magic improves over time as seen in the second short film where she is much better than in the first short film, albeit not very remarkable. While this remained consistent in the TV series, her development is obviously slow compared to other witches. Her inability is revealed to be due to the Dream Fuel Spirit used by Chariot in her magic show, which drained out her magic capabilities.
Like most witches, Akko can project beams of energy by using her wand, (which became great explosions while using the Shiny Rod in its offensive forms), is able to levitate objects or people and move them to a certain extent, and change the form of other animals. With Ursula's help, Akko was able to learn to repair objects with magic and later to repair larger objects.
In the beginning, she was terrible at this spell, only giving her animal traits. However, over time, the Metamorphosis Magic become one of her strongest abilities after hours of training. At the Samhain Festival, she was able to transform herself at will and maintain it for extended periods of time. By becoming different animals, Akko is able to take advantage of their different qualities for certain situations.
—Akko demonstrates her insane determination, Don't Stop Me Now.
A powerful staff that has amazing yet unknown abilities. Although Akko is initially unable to use it at will, she is able to use it in moments of great importance in response to her feelings, managing to revive the Seven Words of Arcturus. It can transform into a bow and create an arrow from thin air. She also managed to transform it into a great ax to launch a frontal attack and a grappling hook, a mixing machine and a flying broom. After breaking the seal of Grand Triskellion, the Shiny Rod merged with the Grand Triskellion, allowing it to access its powerful world reconstruction magic.
Akko eventually loses the Shiny Rod towards the end of the anime, after she used it to help spread magic throughout the world, allowing it to disappear into the stars.
A legendary, sentient flying broom filled with its own magical energy. Akko rode the broom twice; first during the Luna Nova Cup in "Don't Stop Me Now" and again during the battle against the Noir Rod missile in "Tree of Leaves".
- Her English voice actress, Erica Mendez, also voices Ryūko Matoi from Kill la Kill, another Trigger production. Similarly, Diana's voice actress, Laura Post, also voices Ragyō Kiryūin in the same series.
- The way Akko obtains the Shiny Rod is different between the anime and the first short film. In the short film, she found it within Luna Nova during a treasure hunt. However, in the anime, she found it in the Arcturus Forest while trying to become a student at Luna Nova Magical Academy.
- Akko makes a cameo in the post-credits scene of the thirteenth and final episode of Space Patrol Luluco, another anime series produced by Studio Trigger. This announced the Little Witch Academia television series.
- Atsuko "Akko" Kagari shares a name with her predecessor in one of the first magical girl series ever made, "Himitsu no Akko-Chan ".
- Akko's surname can mean both "bamboo basket/frame" (篝) and "light, shine" (火狩) in Japanese.
- Depending on the writing, Akko's given name can have various meanings, such as "warm child" (温子) or "passion/heat child" (熱子).