Seemly following on the heels of Hiro Mashima, creator of Fairy Tail and now Eden’s Zero, Tite Kubo, creator of Bleach, has now released a one shot called Burn the Witch. While, not a full manga series yet, one shots are often 15-60 pages. They tell a complete story, hoping to garner enough support to be turned into a full series. The process is similar to a television pilot.
The 62 page manga, Burn the Witch as the title suggests is about witches in London. Dragons are the main adversaries in this manga. Dragon were once reasonable for “72 % of all deaths,” the residents of “front London” were unable to see the dragons, but citizens from “reverse London” could. The story focuses on to witches, Wing Bind 1st order conservation ranger, Niihashi Noel and 2nd order, Ninii Spangle.
The “dragons,” are varied in design and uses in reverse London. The Conductor is used for “electric generation,” the Hammerback for “minerals,” the Wooly Wally “textiles,” the Matchbox for “fuel,” the Blue Appetite for “medicines,” and the Meatball for well food. The design of the dragons a weird and original, I liked them. Ordinary citizens from reverse London are banned from coming into contact with the dragons.
This is were the witches and wizards, whom passes the exam to become a member of “the wing bind agency.” I instantly thought of Harry Potter, but that’s not a bad thing. Meanwhile, in London a dragon sprouts out of a puppy and Niihashi and Ninii are ordered to exterminate it. The dragon is called a “Dark Dragon,” when “dragons come into contact with negative human emotions,” they become a threat to humanity.
They’re intelligent and can speak “the human language.” The dragon they’re facing is a “disguiser,” a dragon that “takes over a corpse.” Balgo the obligatory perv, taking care of the “corpse,” of the puppy he named Osushi-chan, but he’s in denial about his death. Just as Ninii attempt to capture Balgo’s friend, another disguiser attacks her. The new dragon “Selvie,” believes that by eating both witches he can gain “immortality.”
Ninii claims that it’s a myth, but Selvie believes that he won’t know for sure unless eat’s them. Selvie use to be the friend of Balgo that was killed saving his life when the were 7. He was hit by a train while protecting Balgo. Selvie attacks Ninii, but Balgo blocks it and is bitten. Balgo begins the typical, “we are friends and I’m going to save you,” speech. Niihashi steps in and destroys Selvie with “Absolute Dragon Shutter.” After being bitten by a dragon, Balgo becomes a “haunted one.” Haunted ones are classified as dragons and must be protected.
I really enjoyed this one shot, it didn’t reinvent the wheel but I found it charming. While I was gravely disappointed with how Bleach ended, I hoped Kubo may learned from how poorly that series ended. The most interesting part was the last two pages of the one shot that featured a reference to “soul society,” and a not so subtle reference to “Bleach” on the last page, seen in black letters in the title “Burn the Witch.” Is the Burn the Witch universe part of the Bleach universe? Is Kubo going to create a spin-off? Time will tell, but I hope Burn the Witch becomes a series.