The Luminous Witches official Twitter has finally confirmed an anime release for July 2022. Shaft (the studio behind Bakemonogatari and Nisekoi) will animate the series. With just four months away until the first episode, fans luckily have a few promotional panels and concerts to tide them over.
As far back as 2020, fans knew about the original anime based on the World Witches series via the official website. But the release was pushed back from 2021 to 2022. And now, we know that Renmei Kuugun Koukuu Mahou Ongakutai Luminous Witches will be part of the Summer 2022 anime season.
At AnimeJapan 2022, fans were treated to new goods to show off their excitement for the fandom. Those who attended the event in person could pick up a t-shirt, acrylic stand, tapestry, and badge featuring the character Virginia Robertson, the squadron’s sergeant hailing from Britannia.
Luckily for international fans, many of the goods from AnimeJapan 2022 are available online via Kadokawa and d Anime’s shops. They’ll only remain until April 3rd so pick them up before supplies run out!
What sets Luminous Witches apart from other entries in the World Witches series is that the squad is an idol group. Not only will this original anime follow the witches battling against Neuroi, but the voice cast will also perform songs for the series. The current voice cast is as follows:
Over on Niconico, the voice cast of Luminous Witches has had exclusive streams as far back as early 2021 introducing their respective characters and getting fans hyped for the series. While there isn’t translation made available for the streams, music is universal. The cast has released multiple singles including Flying Skyhigh and Smiling Singing.
Those interested in hearing the idol group live can see them on May 14th in Tokyo at the Kado Live event. Alongside singer Konomi Suzuki (who’s performed openings for No Game No Life and Re:Zero) and boy band Bad Town Reversal, Luminous Witches will perform their four singles and possibly give more details about the Summer 2022 anime.
The World Witches started from a series of ‘mecha musume’ illustrations created by artist Fumikane Shimada. Mecha musume involves the personification of militarized vehicles. While known in the West mainly due to the popular phone game Azur Lane, which depicts naval warships as cute girls, World Witches pioneered the concept back in the early 2000s.
Strike Witches — which followed the 501st Joint Fighter wing unit, a force tasked with battling an alien race during an alternative timeline of World War II — got off the ground first with a manga in 2005, a light novel in 2006, and an OVA produced by Gonzo a year later.
Following its initial success, Strike Witches received video game tie-ins along with an official anime series and films. In 2016, a spin-off anime, Brave Witches, was announced which followed a new squad, the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing.
Luminous Witches is another spin-off that follows the Music Squadron — a force of witches with healing powers they control through song. While the series may have a long history, it’s worth noting that, if Luminous Witches is anything like Brave Witches, it’s not necessary to watch previous entries to understand the general plot. That said, fans can watch the previous series’ on Funimation and soon on Crunchyroll following the completion of the merger.
Because the cast of Luminous Witches is also an idol group, the series relies heavily on its voice cast who are live performers as much as they are voice actresses. Unfortunately, early in the production of Luminous Witches, three of the performers were forced to retire due to health complications.
In January of 2021, the Production A team announced that Momo Hanae — the original voice actress of Maria Magadalene Dietrich — stepped down from her role to pursue treatment of an on-going health condition. Likewise, Kyo Tachibana had a similar announcement in June that year. And shortly after the previous roles had been recast, Miu Kotosaka announced her recovery as well.
While many may wonder why so many voice actresses left with health concerns in such quick succession, it’s best not to speculate. With the July 2022 release coming so soon, it’s better to focus on what’s positive to come this summer!