Ursula Callistis (アーシュラ・カリスティス Āshura Karisutisu ), born Chariot du Nord (シャリオ・デュノール Shario Dyunōru ) and also known by the stage name Shiny Chariot (シャイニィシャリオ Shainī Shario ), is a main character in Little Witch Academia. She is the Magic Astronomy teacher at Luna Nova Magical Academy and the mentor (and idol) of the young witch Atsuko Kagari.
As Ursula Callistis
Ursula is an adult woman with back-length dark blue hair tied with bandages just before the end, forming a small ponytail over her right shoulder. She has red eyes with white pupils and fair skin complexion. She wears the default uniform of Luna Nova's staff: a dark violet hooded dress reaching up to her knees with long wide sleeves, a red flame-like design in the bottom, a single brown strap on the chest area, a belt around the waist, and the dress' inside is colored a deep red; a black choker; a dark violet witch hat with a dark blue band decorated with a red feather and a golden crescent-shaped object; dark blue knee-high boots with a deep dip and red tips; and black-framed oval glasses which usually obscure her eyes due to reflecting light, making their resemblance to Chariot's less obvious. She does not actually need her glasses, as first shown in "Blue Moon". She is notably younger than the other teachers and this shows in her appearance. This is not lost on them, as in "New Age Magic", they relegate to her the exhausting task of acquiring extra magical energy for the school, prompting Ursula to remark that "being young is suffering".
As Shiny Chariot
As Chariot, her hair was shorter and had a red tone similar to her eyes. Her hair was parted to the middle so as not to fall over her eyes, but part of it fell between her right eye. She also had bangs framing the sides of her face and curving in, with neck-length hair curving out on the back of her head. In her costume as Shiny Chariot, she wore a white jacket with long sleeves similar to her current uniform's which doesn't cover her armpits, clavicles, cleavage, and navel, giving it a similar appearance to a corset or vest. She had coattails on the sides of her hips; and two blue buttons holding everything together; a blue skirt; a brown body-belt with a golden ring-shaped buckle; blue thigh-high stockings (which appear to be folded over themselves); white boots with a diamond-like shape in the tip, two parallel buttons right under it, along with a red tip and heels; a white witch hat with a blue hatband and a red-and-blue diamond/spade-like symbol with a golden four-pointed star in the middle; and also a red cape with a brown strap and golden buttons.
Ursula's true appearance is first seen in "Chariot of Fire", later in "Chariot and Croix", and from the end of "Yesterday" to "Tree of Leaves". Without her hat and hair-tie, her red hair falls in the same way as it did before she became a teacher, though it has grown longer. Without glasses, her eyes are unobscured, and their color is more apparent. This "transformation" occurs when she is in or preparing for magical combat, and she also takes the skirt off of her uniform to make it easier for her to fight. With her uniform modified as such it resembles a black bodysuit with similar patterns to those on her skirt, and with her shoulders and cleavage visible.
After the world is saved by the witch students and her identity has been revealed, Chariot continues her role as Luna Nova's astronomy teacher and Akko's mentor. She dresses in the same manner as she did as Ursula, including her glasses, but no longer magically disguises her natural red hair.
From her early childhood, Chariot sought to become a witch who could make people smile. Her natural charm and radiant personality attracted everyone around her. However, Chariot's passion for magic exceeded her skill, which led to many blunders. Her faithfulness to her belief that magic should be used to make people happy brought her the staff of seven stars, Claiomh Solais, which she nicknamed the Shiny Rod. In her frustrations, she sought out the Fountain of Polaris, which grants the great magic power of the stars onto the witch with a hidden radiance. The Fountain opened for her but did not bestow the power upon her, as she was not yet worthy to wield it. She started to work harder and took her studies more seriously, eventually earning the power of the stars for her determination and dedication. Chariot became a very powerful witch, easily awakening the first six words of Arcturus. She never sought for power for its own sake, wanting nothing but to use her power to benefit others. When she performs, both as a child and as Shiny Chariot, her passion for magic is unmistakable. While there is never a time she does not enjoy what she does, Chariot is highly attuned to the reactions of her audience and is devastated when her magic does not make them smile. This did not become an issue until she became a magic idol and the public's expectations of her grew ever higher. Ultimately it was the pressure to please them which led to her downfall.
After this, Chariot left the stage and assumed another identity. She takes the name "Ursula Callistis" and becomes a professor at Luna Nova. She is calm and patient and quick to act in situations of danger, although she comes off as shy and timid when confronted by her superiors. Ursula is a very caring person, especially towards her students, taking time to help them in any way she can. She executes her teaching duties meekly and avoids confrontation with other teachers, but being Chariot, she hides a great charisma. She does not hesitate to use it to confront her superiors when they are unjust and to capture the attention of the public when there is a danger. Even as an adult, she still tends to be clumsy and somewhat "uncouth", which bothers the other teachers, especially Finnelan, who believes that Ursula is "too kind" to her students. The first clue to her true identity (besides her voice, eyes, and familiarity with the Shiny Rod) was her brief lapses of self-reflection whenever she is reminded of her life before becoming a teacher. While never quite losing the spark she had in the past, she has become somewhat cynical and her decade of being a humble teacher takes a toll on her. It is Akko who gives her new hope. Chariot's devotion to the young witch is the greatest illustration of her compassion and selflessness, and her guidance also reveals a great wisdom beyond the dreamy idealism of her youth.
Through her bonds with Akko and guiding her student and fan, Ursula finally saw what she was lacking in order to revive the Final Word. While hardwork and a passion for magic is necessary to revive world's magic, it won't be enough without firm self-worth. All this time, while acknowledging those who she considered better than her in many ways such as Croix and Akko, Ursula lost the sight of her own self-worth which contributed to her eventual failure and downfall in the past. It took Akko's love and admiration to her former identity Shiny Chariot and their journey together that Ursula finally saw what she lacked, and thus was more than determined to become the hero her beloved student saw in her and to do what was right. Towards the end of the series, Ursula continued to be the teacher of Luna Nova where this time, she embraced her true self by no longer magically altering her hair.
Abilities and Equipment
Born with a natural talent for magic, Chariot still faced difficulties in her youth but became great enough to acquire the magic power of the stars. Currently, she is an outstanding magic user, since as Shiny Chariot, she performed the greatest magical feats seen in the series. However, she actively chooses to limit how much she uses her magic to keep her identity a secret. Notably, her hair reverts to its natural red when she uses powerful magic spells.
She is a user of the Magic of Stars, a unique magic which has unknown yet powerful abilities. Although it is unknown if it is related to the former skill, Ursula is well-versed in magical astronomy, which is used to see the future. By using her wand, Ursula can project powerful beams and explosions of destructive magical energy, create powerful energy barriers, large energy orbs suspended in the air and a large sword made of magical energy. She usually changed the form of her own body during her shows such as obtaining dazzling wings on her back or the half of a horse's body, apart of being able to reverse the effects of this magic as seen with Andrew Hanbridge. She is also able to repair a broken object in conjunction with a magic powder to improve its effectiveness, levitate objects or people and move them as she wishes, and knows several magic languages. She is also shown to be able to transmit her voice over long distances with a magical megaphone and like other teachers, she can project images and scenes into thin air. In the past, she demonstrated great broom flying abilities, however, she lost her ability to fly when exposed to the Wagandea pollen. She is one of the few witches in the series shown to cast magic without a verbal spell.
In addition to magic, Ursula possesses an astonishing physical and acrobatic ability that is augmented by her magic. She can execute kicks that can break stones, knock over large statues and run on walls. She can also push back a monstrous version of the Noir Rod and survive falls from the midst of Wagandea albeit severely injured as a result. However, it is also implied that Ursula also had trained her body to peak level of human conditioning as over the course of her fight against Noir Rod's monster form, she was shown able to brush off otherwise crippling injuries, leaping to considerable height, and severely crippled the magitronic monster, all of which performed without magic.
Primarily used before she became known as Ursula, it is a powerful magical artifact that has amazing unknown abilities and responds to the heart of its owner. She can transform it into a broom, as well as into a bow, and create an arrow from thin air with the Seven Words of Arcturus. It can also increase the power of spells when used.
She stopped wielding the Shiny Rod when she caused a disaster in her magic show, damaging the moon's surface with the Shiny Arc and taking away the magic of her audience, which caused the Shiny Rod to wither away in her hands. Akko Kaguri had the Shiny Rod after her, but just like with Ursula, it faded away.
She has a straw broom with a crescent moon-like design in one end. She would use it to fly until she lost the ability to in "Wagandea".
- In the Brazilian and Latin American dubs of the first film, Ursula and Shiny Chariot have different voice actresses. This could be due to the producers of the dub not realizing that they are indeed the same person.
- It is also possible that this was done to keep the truth of Ursula being Chariot a secret.
- Currently, in the Latin American dub of the anime, this was noticed and changed, and now both Chariot and Ursula are voiced by Gigliola Mariangel.
- In the Brazilian dub of the TV series, Chariot was voiced by Flávia Saddy in the first episode like in the first movie, but Woodward's illusion of Chariot in the 11th episode was voiced by Miriam Ficher, Ursula's voice actress.
- Shiny Chariot shares some visual resemblance with Tabasa/Tessa, a Master level witch from Capcom's fighting game "Warzard/Red Earth".
- Ursula represses her magical abilities significantly to stay undercover. When she casts powerful magic her hair reverts to its natural red.
- Like in the anime, when Ursula used a powerful spell, her hair reverted back to its natural red in the first film. However, the transformation from her blue hair to red hair was very different, turning into flames as opposed to being a smooth, almost instant change from blue to red.
- Ursula's Shiny Chariot stage costume bears a striking resemblance to Woodward's appearance in the ancient textbook.
- "Ursula" means "little bear", derived from a diminutive form of the Latin word "ursa" (she-bear).
- As the show has so many connections with the Ursa minor/major (differs in the series and the movie) constellation, it is possible that this is where her name comes from. The Ursa minor/major is also called the Chariot in a lot of cultures which makes a connection between her names, the shiny rod, and the words of Arcturus.
- "Callistis" is a reference to the Greek myth of Callisto. From Wikipedia:
"According to Ovid, it was Jupiter (Zeus) who took the form of Diana (Artemis) so that he might evade his wife Juno’s detection, forcing himself upon Callisto while she was separated from Diana and the other nymphs. Callisto's subsequent pregnancy was discovered several months later while she was bathing with Diana and her fellow nymphs. Diana became enraged when she saw that Callisto was pregnant and expelled her from the group. Callisto later gave birth to Arcas. Juno then took the opportunity to avenge her wounded pride and transformed the nymph into a bear. Sixteen years later Callisto, still a bear, encountered her son Arcas hunting in the forest. Just as Arcas was about to kill his own mother with his javelin, Jupiter averted the tragedy by placing mother and son amongst the stars as Ursa major and Ursa minor, respectively."
- "Chariot du Nord" literally means "Northern Chariot" in French, referring to the constellation Ursa Major.