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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 4: Recap and Review

Color cover of chapter 4 of Burn thw Witch
Color cover of chapter 4 of Burn thw Witch

Chapter 4 – If a lion could speak, We couldn’t understand

Chapter 4 of Burn the Witch opens with Balgo Parks whos still oblivious to his fate, finally being told that he’s a wanted man by Bruno. Ninny and Noel plan to shoot a spark off then escape with Macy and Balgo. Suddenly, Elly ambushes Bruno from the sky. He prepares to attack her but she disappears using Stealth Scale. The technique is rare for a dragon, allowing Elly to turn invisible to avoid attacks. Elly attacks Rickenbacker’s wing, slashing through it. She then takes to the air transforming into a larger dragon, Cinderella. She resembles a bird with dragon wings. Noel, Ninny, and Bruno are shocked that Elly turned out to be a Märchen. 

Märchen are ancient dragons that existed before Reverse London. They’re “progenitors” of the Dark Dragons and are authorized for elimination. There’s seven in all, named after fairy tails, Snow White, Red Dress, Golden Axe, Bubbles, Sugar House, Band of Animals, and Cinderella. Each one has six talons on each hand, the ability to use Stealth Scale, and Star Ash dust that explodes. Noel claims that they only mature “nocturnally.” With a new threat, Bruno decides to focus on eliminating the dragon. Bruno uses paint canisters to draw a symbol on Rickenbacker’s wing. He utters the phrase, “release code 0575 unlock” which summons a Hunger Shadow. Suddenly, a dark beast emerges and jumps on Cinderella’s face. 


Battle with Cinderella

It attempts to bite her, but Cinderella blows it away with an energy blast. Ninny and Noel arrive to provide backup. Cinderella has one weakness, the Crown-Shaped Horn on her head. The three of them separate and surround Cinderella. Ninny and Noel cast Magic #68: Supernal Jail, trapping Cinderella within several beams of light. Bruno uses another symbol to summon Greedy Curtain, surrounding Cinderella in sludge. She responds by blowing up the sludge and the top of the roof. Noel, Ninny, and Bruno are injured as Cinderella takes flight heading towards them. Noel and Ninny erect a barrier, as Ninny wonders why she’s attacking them and not Bruno. 

Shockingly, Cinderella stops moving and is shot through the Crown Artery by Billy Banx Jr. Despite that harrowing fight, Ninny and Noel aren’t paid very much. Billy claims that this is due to them begin charged for the damage. Bruno was given credit for killing Cinderella, enraging Ninny further. Macy becomes a dragonclad. Meanwhile, Wolfgang Slashhuat is given an application for releasing Balgo from the status of Punitive Dragon. Wolfgang notes that during the investigation of Balgo revealed that he came into contact with Macy months ago and this may have been the “trigger” that resulted in Cinderella’s appearance. They decide to use him to attract Märchen. Elsewhere, Sullivan Squire investigates the location where Billy shot Cinderella. She says that she’s “relieved” that she didn’t underestimate the “son of a hero.” 

Burn the Witch Chapter 3: Recap and Review

Manga

Burn the Witch Chapter 3: Recap and Review

Chapter 3 of Burn the Witch opens with Billy Banx Jr. leering outside of the Top of Horns meeting room. He’s confronted by Sullivan Squire, who asks “why he’s here.” Sullivan admonishes him for failing to “say goodbye” despite all she did for him. Confused, Billy wonders why Squire mentioned his Ninny and Noel at all. She tells him that the elimination of Balgo Parks has been approved. Sullivan implies that Bruno Bangnyfe’s “methods” are particularly harsh. Meanwhile, Bruno tells Noel and Ninny that he’s not “trying to kill them” Noel, in her dry tone, shocks Bruno by not knowing who he is. Ninny on the other hand is fully aware of him. 

Bruno calls for a Dragon blockade on Penfront Street that excludes Balgo. After the blockade is erected, Bruno accuses Balgo of being a terrorist. Bruno tells Ninny and Noel about the execution order and that a bounty will be activated in 72 hours. Realizing that Noel and Ninny aren’t going to step aside, Bruno turns hostile. Noel grabs Balgo, while Ninny asks Bruno “why he brought Macy here?” He admits to bringing her to Reverse London but he isn’t responsible for the dragon. Bruno reveals that Macy is a “Watcher,” a human with strong magical abilities. He deflects Ninny’s, Witch Kit, which Noel grabs and fires. In the chaos of the explosion, Ninny grabs Macy and flies away. 

Bruno chases Balgo

Annoyed, Bruno calls his dragon, Rickenbacker. Macy tells Ninny how she meets Elly. Macy admits that she always hated being in their group and would have quit if it wasn’t for Ninny. Later she finds an infant Elly, feeding her all kinds of food. Elly preferred fruits and vegetables, got larger, and never used the bathroom. She finally felt special having Elly in her life. Suddenly, Bruno tears through the Cloth they were hiding in with Rickenbacker. He mocks them while revealing that Balgo’s Punitive Dragon designation has been finalized. Burn the Witch is still filling out the universe but I starting to get the feel for how the governing body of Reverse London functions. It seems like the government is draconian, delivering harsh penalties without much consideration for the criminals. I think both Noel and Ninny will become outcasts, fighting against the government to rescue Macy and Balgo. 

Burn the Witch Chapter 2: Recap and Review

Manga

Burn the Witch Chapter 2: Recap and Review

The cover of Chapter 2 of Burn the Witch
The cover of Chapter 2 of Burn the Witch

Chapter 2 – Ghillie Suit

Burn the Witch continues to build the universe. Light Dragons are distinguished from dark dragons in many ways. The first thing you notice is that they are adorable and look like cartoon characters. They serve the residents as “natural resources” functioning as radio wave boosters, Plant cultivation, water cleaners, and even mass transit. Ninny calls annoyed that Noel has gotten the headline in the Reverse London Press. Meanwhile, the Chief calls them with a work matter that pays five times the pay and points. An illegally reared dragon is allegedly being kept in the west. The duo head west with Balgo in tow. 

When they arrive in the district, they notice an explosion in another area. Noel and Balgo rush to see what’s happening. The explosion is at the empty building of the Realists a tabloid. Ninny spots someone inside the building and flies up through the window. Inside is someone that Ninny knows, Macy. She plans on destroying the building to get revenge for a negative story the Realist wrote. It’s revealed that Macy used a dragon named Elly to cause the explosion. Ninny warns Macy of the potential consequences of coming into contact with the dragon, however, Macy refuses to listen. Her dragon attacks Ninny, but Noel shoots it. 

Bruno Bangnyfe makes an explosive entrance

Ninny says that Macy “has feelings for her” and becomes jealous when other women are friendly towards her. She decides that she will attack from the roof, while Noel distracts her. However, when Ninny reaches the roof she’s caught in an explosion caused by Bruno Bangnyfe. He apologizes, kinda, asking if she died because he’ll need to write an incident report. Things don’t look good for Macy though. If this guy doesn’t kill her, then she will probably get executed. Burn the Witch is still filling out the world but we are starting to see how the society functions. That said, we haven’t learned how the combat works yet. I’m going to guess that we will see in the next chapter. 

Burn The Witch Chapter 1: 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