Anime

Burn the Witch Episode 1 – 3: Recap and Review

Tite Kubo’s spin-off gets animated

Burn the Witch is an anime and manga series from Tite Kubo. The one-shot was so popular that Shueisha wanted to create a movie from it. The Burn the Witch film is based on the limited four-chapter series. In other regions the film was broken up into three episodes. If you read the manga, then the content isn’t new. The episode retells the four chapters released last month. We’re introduced to the main characters, Noel and Ninny, the world of Reverse London, and it all ends with a battle with an ancient dragon, Cinderella. 

Fans already have taken to the anime, many fell in love with Noel Niihashi. The stoic member of the Wing Bind agency, Noel seems to have become an instant fave of fans. The art style and creativity of Tite Kubo have fans excited as well. Ninny and Noel are the perfect pair whos personalities balance each other. The only downside to this series is Balgo. He a typical perve, constantly harassing Noel. I find him dumb, annoying, and distracting. If the series were longer he might grow on me, but I think the series is better without him. 

However, seeing a manga series animated is often more enjoyable. The anime is visually stunning, breathing life into Reverse London. You get a great sense of danger when you can see the civilians run and hear them scream. In Burn the Witch, the dragons benefit from being animated the most. Elly is an odd birdlike, skeleton looking dragon. Her movements are almost demonic. Only anime could breathe life into Elly. With the addition of music, sound effects, and explosions, Burn the Witch is a different experience when animated. 

Burn the Witch Chapter 4: Recap and Review

Manga

Burn The Witch Chapter 1: Recap and Review

The cover of Chapter 1

Chapter 1 – Witches Blow A New Pipe

In 2018 Tite Kubo’s Burn the Witch one-shot was released, the series is linked to the Bleach universe and features the same art style. Burn the Witch will be a limited series with only four chapters ending with the release of the anime on October 2nd. The anime will be a “theatrical anime project,” that will be streamed in several episodes on Crunchyroll. Chapter 1 of Burn the Witch is 60 pages long, although it’s unclear whether the other chapters will be. 

Chapter 1, Witches Blow A New Pipe, reintroduces us to the main characters Ninny Spangcole and Noel Niihashi. Ninny is a famous pop star the lead singer of a girl band Cecile Die Twice, she’s rude and abrasive. Noel is a super serious student. She begins the chapter chacing a Bud Buck, a creature that resembles a deer with bat wings. They’re interrupted by a massive batlike creature. Noel uses the spell Blue Spark to defend herself and the Buck. Ninny arrives and uses Flash Bumper: Spell 44 that captures Noel and the Buck in a net. The biggest threat to London are dragons who are responsible for “72 percent of all deaths.” The Reverse London Natural Dragon Management Agency Wing Bind is responsible for conserving and controlling the dragon population. 

Burn the Witch: Tite Kubo manga one-shot review


The World of Burn the Witch

Noel and Ninny are members of Wing Bind after each job members are rewarded. Noel loses achievement points for picking a flower off the Buck while Ninny gains some for saving them. Suddenly, an explosion occurs in a distance tower as Balgo clings to the tail a fire breathing “dragon canine,” Osushi. Neither Ninny nor Noel cares to help him until their told they will get overtime. Ordinary citizens are forbidden from interacting with dragons unless they pass a test. When humans come into contact with dragons they accumulate a substance in their bodies called dragotoxin. The Wing Bind has a mechanism to test for this toxin by requiring the human to lick the screen. 

Humans and Dragons that violate the Dragon Contact Prohibition Act are sentenced to 100 years in prison or they will be executed. Finally, if a human develops a high enough dragotoxin they become Dragonclad. They are considered “infected” with a disease whose most significant symptom of the dragonclad is attracting dragons. Balgo is a dragonclad and is suddenly attacked by a massive dragon. Ninny uses Barrier Tape to seal off the area and Noel uses Spell 4: Stun Ball. Assuming they had subdued the dragon, Noel calls headquarters for their reward. However, the dragon is a Dark Dragon. Ninny calls for an emergency blockade, meanwhile, Noel attempts to call the Sabres. However, Ninny stops her from calling, planning to fight the Dark Dragon themselves to “prove how strong they are,” and become Sabres. 

The Dark Dragon

Unlike normal dragons, Dark Dragons target humans. Wing Binds are allowed to kill Dark Dragons. Ninny charges at the Dark Dragon, while Noel uses a small gun and fires off Spell 75. Elsewhere, a group discusses the presence of a Dark Dragon. They appear to be heads of each of the different Corps, present are Bruno Bangnyfe of the Magic Circle Corps: Inks, Roy B. Dipper of the Incantation Corps: Anthems, Cquntnire Milieve of the Liturgy Corps: Sacreds, Tronbone Takkinen of the Minstrel Corps: Pipers, Sullivan Squire of the Tactical Corps: Sabres, Harry Shayk of the Accounting Corps: Billionaires, Wolfgang Slashhaut of Personnel Affairs Divine Punishment Corps: Gallows, and Saka Rynn of the Development Corps: Patchworks who was absent. They conclude that Balgo Parks should be eliminated. 

I’ve been excited about this series for years and it didn’t disappoint. I have always loved the art style of Tite Kubo, although his story choices aren’t always great. However, he does create interesting universes. Burn the Witch chapter 1 is largely an introduction to that universe. Chapter 1 reintroduces our main characters while introducing several new ones and setting up the conflict. Each character feels real and is visually distinct. This chapter could have felt overwhelming with all the new jargon but I thought it was paced well. That said, it’s disappointing to hear that this series is going to be limited, but considering Tite Kubo’s health issues I guess this is the most he can do. There’s still a lot to explain, but I’m excited for the rest of this series. 

Burn the Witch can be read for free on Mangaplus

Manga

Burn the Witch: Tite Kubo manga one shot review

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.