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 the 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 "Akko" Kagari.
As Ursula Callistis
Ursula is an adult woman with back-length dark blue hair tied with what appears to bandage 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 purple hooded dress reaching to her knees with long wide sleeves, a red flame-like design in the bottom, and a single brown strap on the chest area, and the dress' inside has a red color; a simple black choker; a dark purple witch hat with a dark blue band decorated with a red feather and a golden crescent-shaped object; knee 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 eyes. She also had bangs framing the sides of her face and curving in, and neck-length hair curving out on the back of her head. In her costume as Shiny Chariot, she wore a white jacket with sleeves similar to her current uniform's which doesn't cover her armpits, clavicles, cleavage, navel, and part of her back, giving it a similar appearance to a corset or vest, coattails on the sides of her hips; and two blue buttons keeping everything together; a blue skirt; a brown belt with a golden ring-shaped buckle; blue thigh-highs (which appear to be folded over themselves); white boots with a diamond-like shape in the tip, two parallel button right under it, and a red tip and heels; a white witch hat with a blue band and a red-and-blue diamond or 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", and later in "Chariot and Croix", and from the end of "Yesterday" through 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 now being much longer. Without glasses, her eyes are unobscured, and their color more apparent. This "transformation" happens 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.
Ursula is a calm, patient, level-headed, and quick to act in situations of danger, though comes off as shy and timid when confronted by her superiors and tends to be clumsy and "uncouth", latter traits she retained from her childhood. She is a very caring person, especially towards her students, taking time to help them in any way she can.
Her most defining traits are charisma and passion for magic. Ursula's faithfulness to her belief that magic should be used to make people happy, and only wanted the power to benefit others become the reason why Shiny Rod chose her as its wielder. Like Akko, her passion for magic exceeded her skill when she was young, which led to many blunders. It took the rejection by Fountain of Polaris to make her realized that dedication and determination being they key to her success. From there, she worked harder and took her study more seriously, earning her power of the stars from the fountain. The testament of her passion for magic best displayed when she performs as both child and Shiny Chariot. She is highly attuned to the reaction of her audience and is devastated when her magic does not make them smile, something which becomes an issue upon becoming a magic idol with the audience's expectation grew higher. Ultimately, it was the pressure to please them which led to her downfall.
After this, Chariot left the stage and assumed new identity "Ursula Callistis" where she becomes astronomy teacher of Luna Nova. While never quite losing the spark she had in the past, the decade of becoming humble teacher and shadow of her former self takes its toll on her. Ursula had brief lapses of her self-reflection whenever reminded of her past life as before becoming a teacher, and become hopeless until she met Akko, her fan who brings her hope for redemption (as the young witch came to her life as new bearer of Shiny Rod). Her devotion to the young witch is the greatest illustration of compassion and selflessness, and her guidance also reveals a great wisdom beyond the dreamy idealism of her youth. Moreover, it was the bond between the two (coupled with her discovery of Woodward's role in her fallout with Croix) which led to her discovering what she lacked in her attempt to unlock the Final Word long ago and ultimately, becoming the hero her beloved student saw in her and to do the right thing, more than her own mentor can ever be. 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.
Powers and Abilities
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.
- Peak Human Conditioning: It's implied that Ursula had trained her body to the point of her bodily functions enhanced to the pinnacle of human conditioning, resulting her strength, stamina, speed, senses, agility, reflexes, accuracy, longevity, durability, intelligence, healing time, and flexibility are greatly heightened to peak level. In fact, during the fight against out-of-control Noir Rod's dragon form, Ursula displayed superhuman feats without magic as she delivers crippling blows on the magitronic monster multiple times, leaping across considerable distance while carrying Croix away from Noir Rod, brushing off severely crippling injuries, and fighting for prolonged periods until the beast gained upper hand. She even survived being devoured by Noir Rod dragon until saved by Akko with Shiny Arc.
- Magic: Like other witches, Ursula is skillful in magic. She is 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. She is one of the few witches in the series shown to cast magic without a verbal spell. Notable skills she displayed in the series are:
- Body Strengthening Spell: Ursula can enhance her body's strength to superhuman level.
- Leg Strengthening Spell: Ursula can enhance her legs' strength to superhuman level with this spell.
- Restoration Magic: Ursula also excels in Restoration Magic with or without aid of Mending Magic Powder, a skill which she later taught to Akko.
- Object Repairing Spell: With Object Repairing Spell, Ursula can magically fix small to medium-sized broken objects.
- Super Object Repairing Spell: With Large Object Repairing Spell, Ursula can magically fix larger broken objects.
- Suspension Spell: Ursula can magically encapsulate target in an orb of magic energy suspended in the air. She can choose to have the orb either put those trapped inside it under the trance or otherwise, as she let Arcas conscious to let the bear-like creature recognize her.
- Metamorphosis Magic: Metamorphosis Magic is one of Ursula's signature abilities.
- Clothes Transformation Spell: Ursula can magically change clothes that she wear or others as well as enhancing their attributes with this spell.
- Transformation Spell: Ursula is adept in transformation spell, as she was shown magically shapeshifting into various forms during her days as magical star Shiny Chariot. She can also undo the effect of transformation spell as well.
- Flight Spell (formerly): Ursula can fly with her broom with this spell, but due to exposure to Wagandea pollen, she cannot use this ability until the cure for this ailment to be found.
- Floating Magic: Ursula can use the same spell to magically walk on the air by generating floating magical platforms beneath her feet at short distance.
- Communication Magic: Ursula has an average mastery over Communication Magic.
- Spirit Calling Spell: Ursula can summon and communicate with spirit who reside within old objects with this spell.
- Object Control Magic: Ursula can magically manipulate object from distance at will.
- Magic of Stars and Astrology Magic: Ursula 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 astrology magic, which is used to see the future.
- Magic Energy Manipulation: Ursula can manipulate magic energy to perform various feats such as projecting beams and/or blasts, simulating telekinetic force as a form of object control magic, and generating solid constructs out of the energy's tangible form.
- Magic Blade: Ursula can form superheated, lightsaber-esque blade around her wand out of magic energy that can virtually cut through anything.
- Loudspeaker: Ursula can conjure loudspeaker-like construct that can amplify her voice like an actual sound amplifier.
- Grappling Hook: Ursula can project strand of magic ends with grappling hook from her wand to pull objects from distance.
- Magic Screen: Ursula can project floating, energy screen to show images to aid her briefing the lesson/situation.
- Counter Spell: Ursula can magically absorb an enemy's magic attack and redirect it back to them with same power.
- Explosion Spell: Ursula can generate omni-directional explosion of magic energy around herself with this spell.
- Barrier: Ursula can conjure powerful barrier of magic energy to defend herself of those around her. The barrier's durability depends on how much magic energy she used, as when using highly durable barrier against beam attack of Croix's sentinel statue, the increase of magic energy output for barrier's creation and reinforcing caused her hair to turned to its original color.
- Body Strengthening Spell: Ursula can enhance her body's strength to superhuman level.
- Shiny Rod: 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. Also, it can increase the power of spells when used. She stopped wielding the Shiny Rod when she caused a disaster in her magic show by 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.
- Broom: She has a straw broom with a crescent moon-like design in one end.
- Magic Wand: Like other witches, Ursula has a magic wand in her disposal. For close-range combat, she forms lightsaber-esque energy blade around it.
- "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.
- In the Brazilian and Latin American dubs of the first OVA, 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 dubs of the TV series in Latin America, this was noticed and changed, and now both Chariot and Ursula are interpreted 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 episode 11 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 OVA. 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 is similar to Gai Kurenai aka. Ultraman Orb from Ultraman Orb Chronicle:
- Both have a close friend who eventually became their bitter archenemy out to envy from being chosen by an artifact of great power (Croix Meridies grew resentful towards Ursula/Chariot for being chosen by Shiny Rod whereas Juggler was similarly upset upon seeing Gai become the wielder of Orbcalibur and later, Orb Ring).
- Both are plagued by the guilt from unintentional harm they done on someone they deeply cared about (Gai blamed himself for the harm he had unintentionally done on Naomi as well as that of Natasha during his battle as Ultraman Orb against Maga-Zetton and Galactron respectively, but eventually found the closure after learned that Naomi never hated his Ultra alter-ego for what he had done and indirectly revealed Natasha's survival. Ursula on the other hand, similarly ashamed from having unintentionally using Dream Fuel Spirit on her audience where among them turned out to be her future student and daughter figure Akko).
- Both displayed peak-human strength and formidable combatants, though in Gai's case, he was used to be a soldier and enhanced by the light of Orb.
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