W.I.T.C.H. is an Italian fantasy comic series created by Alessandro Barbucci, Barbara Canepa, and Elisabetta Gnone and published by Disney Italia. First published in April 2001, the series ended with October 2012's issue.The plot follows the story of five teenage girls who are chosen to be the new Guardians of Kandrakar. They serve as protectors of the center of the universe from people and creatures who wish to cause harm to it. For this purpose, powers over the five elements have been given to them. The new guardians are Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin, whose initials form the title acronym W.I.T.C.H.An animated adaptation of the comic was later aired on Jetix. See W.I.T.C.H..
Accomplice by Inaction: Ari of Arkhanta, who possesses a slave he uses only for his greedy motives, has a massive grudge against the oracle of Kandrakhar, the benevolent figure who saves everyone's life once a week. Why ? Unlike the man, who obsessed about changing his son, the Oracle didn't ever try to "cure" the child's autism.
All Your Powers Combined: Cornelia accidentally ends up with all five elemental powers early in the second saga, and attempts to use the power boost to restore Caleb to his human form. It doesn't end well.
It's also implied to be an ability of the Heart of Kandrakar, but it's never used.
Finally used in the penultimate issue of the New Power arc. Also, the Guardians acquire the power to do it at will (instead that as a desperation attack like in the New Power arc) in the final issue.
As Long as It Sounds Foreign: No, Taranee isn't an African name. Hay isn't a Chinese name, either. (though it's possible that the writers got it mixed up with the name "Hui" - not to be confused with the term for Chinese Muslims - which means "intelligent", "bright".)
Big Bad: Once a story arc. Some of them even come back!
Book Ends: The first page of the first issue is also the final page of the final issue.
Bully Hunter: Initially only Cornelia and Will, but by the end of the first story arc all the Guardians help in keeping in line their school's bullies.
By the Power of Grayskull!: Implied to not be necessary, but used anyways, sometimes Will calls every element, sometimes everyone calls her own. In a variation, while "Earth", "Fire", "Air" and "Water" have been always called, in the first issues, Will said whatever was on her mind (Energy, Heart, etc.) one time, she ended up saying just her own name◊
Came Back Wrong: Briefly happens to Caleb when Luba takes away Cornelia's powers before she can fully restore him to his human form. He gets better.
Child Mage: Will discovers that her baby brother William has magical powers. Also, many of the magical people the girls have found in the "Teach 2b Witch" storyline are children.
Cloning Blues: Early on the girls learn how to make Astral Drops, clones of themselves with their exact personalities and memories, to take their places while going on missions. That is, all of them except of Will who's distracted by Taranee's earlier capture. She ends up with a clone who's basically a blank state. At the beginning this only leads to some Hilarity Ensues... then the clones starts developing their own personalities.
When they start using the astral drops for non-guardian things all the astral drops band together and try to live without the originals to varying degrees of success. In the end the oracle grants them their own lives and they get to live independently. This also means WITCH can't use astral drops any more.
Cloud Cuckoolander: Hay Lin: very quirky and artistic, cheerful and absent-minded, constantly writing on her palms and using her own expressions like "spacious" (which in her language means "cool") and "weirdific".
Comic Book Time: Over ten years since the series started, and the girls don't appear to have aged at all and are still in the same school. Occasionally there is evidence to suggest events taking place during a certain season, such as summer holidays, but it's debatable how much time as actually passed most of the time.
Control Freak: Phobos, big time. He decides that he'd rather fall forever without ever dying than be imprisoned by someone else. He also goes into If I Can't Have You mode whenever he's about to be defeated, choosing to destroy whatever he wanted rather than let someone else have it.
Costumes Change Your Size: When the girls transform into their guardian forms, in addition to changing outfits and gaining wings, they get taller and gain boobs.
Depending on the Writer: Whether Yan Lin is Hay Lin's paternal or maternal grandmother. At the very beginning of the story (before going to Kandrakar permanently), Yan Lin addresses Chen as her son. But later in the comic, Joan mentions Yan Lin telling her bedtime stories when she was a child. Later again, Joan's parents are shown, and her mother is definitely not Yan Lin. Also, Lionel Cook's job. Depending on the issue, he's either a lawyer, a psychologist or a fireman.
Deus ex Machina: This is sadly the standard way the Guardians win in each arc- they never actually win by their own merits. Meridian Arc? Elyon beats Phobos while the girls are tossed aside. Nerissa Arc? Shagon is directly responsible for Nerissa's defeat, damaging her almost fatally. Ari's arc doesn't suffer from this... but the human world situation, which was really bad, is solved by the Oracle(who is just an observer). Endarno Saga? Himerish beats down Phobos off-screen. Then, Phobos' backup plan is foiled by... Napoleon(who in the comic is a mere housecat). The most ridiculous Deus ex Machina sequences were the superpower manifestation in the Dark Mother Saga- after the girls get beaten down they somehow let loose a new power they didn't know anything about and it overpowers Dark Mother with ease, and the defeat of the white queen, where the girls literally pull a completely unknown tactic out of their hats- and we never see it in use again. If there was one thing the cartoon improved, this was it.
Disney Death: Near the end of the first saga, Caleb is reverted to a flower by Phobos as punishment for his betrayal. Cornelia is later able to restore Caleb to human form in the second saga.
Empathic Shapeshifter: During the Teach 2b WITCH saga, Cornelia meets Leah, a girl whose appearance changes depending on what people around her need. Because she had changed so many times, she had forgotten what she originally looked like. The girls eventually brought her to Yan Lin, who helped Leah change back to her real appearance.
Even Evil Has Standards: Yua in the third saga. She's a banshee, whose race is basically said to be Always Chaotic Evil, has been a slave to Ari for several years now, and her revenge plan is basically to make him suffer by kidnapping his only son. When said child is seriously hurt due to the actions of both, she looks sincerely sorry, and stops her attacks on him, and quietly disappears into her swamp after Maki is cured.
Expanded Universe: There have been some books based on the comics. The Adventure books and the Crystal Birds series. It's one book per girl. These books (at least the adventure series which this troper owns) have images from the magazines inserted.
The Fashionista: Hay Lin, in a quite artistic way - she actually makes and designs many of her own clothes. To a lesser degree, Cornelia.
Expy: Luba with her red robe, animalistic ears and long, white hair may remind some anime fans of Inuyasha.
Facial Markings: The oracle (in the short lived manga) and Caleb in the comic both have these.
Fate Worse Than Death: Combined with Deader Than Dead through a strange series of events. Phobos split himself in two. His physical half chooses to fall into Eternity rather than be imprisoned, then the other half of his soul is destroyed,
Fish out of Water: Subverted with Orube. She's sophisticated enough to realize that tv sets are machines, not magic, but she still needed to be explained that romantic melodrama movies aren't Real Life.
Five-Girl Band: There are five main girls and without a doubt The Leader is Will and The Lancer is Cornelia... the other three don't have a the traditional positions associated with the trope, and each can embody parts of The Smart Guy, The Big Guy or The Chick: Taranee is the smartest on their daily lives, but in battle she is the strongest, but due to the nature of her power, she mostly uses it in the most basics forms. Irma is a happy-go-lucky girl who isn't very book smart, but is rather perceptive and always try to make fun of any situation(sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't) and is the one who experiments more with their magical powers. Hay Lin is a Cloud Cucko lander, but she is very creative and her quirks have proved useful on more than one occasion(Particularly, she once defeated a Big Bad By taking notes on her hand. She was reminded she had still things to do in life and broke a spell that took all her friends. The team also has a Team Pet in the form of We, and basically a Sixth Ranger per saga, which includes Caleb, Elyon, Orube, And even the original Oracle, Himmerish, got in the fun
Foreign Exchange Student: The Ragorlang saga gives us Erin, who turns out to nt even be from Earth, but from a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of India - oh, and she was recruited by the Ibsens to create strife among the Guardians. In the end, she makes a Heel-Face Turn, reunites with her missing brother, and returns to her world.
For Want of a Nail: At the end of the second saga Cornelia and Caleb end their relationship because neither are willing to leave their world. A special explored what would've happened if either of them had followed the other (hint, it's not happy).
Gender Bender: In the anvilicious football special, Irma and Vicky decide to dress up as boys so that they can join the football try outs.
Genre Blindness: the Oracle told them many times that their greatest strength is their unity. Anyway, the girls will often use the Let's Split Up, Gang move at the worst moment. Will also told Hay Lin that monsters don't exist at the beginning of the Ragorland saga, ie after 60 issues in a All Myths Are True series.
Kneel Before Frodo: it is almost a running gag: at the end of most sagas, the Oracle orders the assembly to kneel before the guardians. Which they shouldn't, given that it is the guardians duty to protect Kandrakar, but every time the Oracle underlines that they did way beyond their duty, and were smarter than the "wises".
Lethal Chef: Will is on the same level of Akane Tendo, having once put powdered soap in place of the flour. Orube can't cook due lack of familiarity with Earth ingredients and cooking implements (the first time she cooked she set the kitchen on fire, but only that once) and clumsiness outside the way of the warrior, but while she's slowly getting better she still has a long way to go (she once set on fire the water for the pasta!).
Light Is Not Good: the girls sided with the White Queen, won... And wondered whether they chose the good side.
Magic Map: Hay Lin's grandmother gives her a map that shows the locations of the twelve portals that need to be closed as glowing areas.
Mind Rape: Near the end of the fourth saga, Phobos attempted to get Will to give up the Heart of Kandrakar by repeatedly showing her a vision of what he claimed her future would be like if she kept her powers, in which the other girls no longer speak to her and Matt breaks up with her. It almost works, but Will refuses to give up and makes Phobos pay. Afterwards, the Oracle reveals that the vision was actually created from Will's deepest fears, and that no one can actually tell what the future will be like.
Noodle Incident: We know there were guardians before W.i.t.c.h., including one with Hay Lin's grandmother. But we never find out what they fought against. (The portals open every 1000 years, and Phobos and Elyon are humans, so it's very unlikely they fought against them, or that they are 1000 of years old)
Matt being from Kandrakar
Parodied when Will asks how important he was, and just then Kandor call him "captain".
Oh Crap: Happens when the villains realize they are about to lose, but the most epic one happens to Phobos when he finds himself defenseless before the Guardians and Will, still furious at him for the Mind Rape he performed on her the previous issue, calls dibs on the finishing shot.
Phobos also counts as it seems to be really inconsistent just how old he is (he said to be either just REALLY old or as old as time itself)
One Steve Limit: Will's baby brother is named William. During a visit from other members of the family, Will got frustrated when they started calling William "Will" while referring to her by her real name, Wilhelmina.
Screwed by the Network: The creators of the series got screwed out of it halfway through the first arc! Disney Italia dismissed them, and thus the rest of the story went in a different direction then what was intended. If one reads Issue 7, this change becomes obvious (Elyon suddenly pulls a Heel-Face Turn and is revealed as "The Light of Meridian", she and Cornelia are suddenly said to be best friends, Caleb is introduced out of nowhere as Cornelia's literal dream man, Phobos comes out of the shadows sooner than one would expect, the general story changes it's focus to the Crown of Light, etc, etc.)
Alessandro Barbucci & Barbara Canepa: "We conceived of "W.I.T.C.H." together with Elisabetta Gnone, the then director of girls publications for Disney. We worked for three years in secret on it and she then presented the project to the big bosses at Disney. They thought that this project was crazy, a sure-fire bomb, complete waste of time, and that mangas wouldn't have a chance in Europe anyway (!!!). However, we didn't let ourselves be led astray and worked for another year on it anyway, with a tiny budget and without publicity. And then the series became a worldwide hit. The official version from Disney is, of course, that "W.I.T.C.H." is a product of their brilliant, visionary marketing strategy...the end of the series was then taken out of our hands, we actually had something a lot more intelligent planned for it. Now, as you can see, Elisabetta Gnone and the two of us no longer work for Disney...a really sad story."
Sealed Evil in a Can: Nerissa was sealed inside a coffin inside a mountain until the aurameres were merged together, breaking the spell that kept her locked away.
And now we have Nihila
Secret Keeper: Will tells Matt her secret in the fourth saga, and in the seventh saga Irma decides to tell her new boyfriend Stephen about her powers after he questions her about her strange behaviour.
Sexier Alter Ego - The titular W.I.T.C.H. are fairly average (albeit skinny) teenagers in their normal form. When transformed however, the are changed to look much more.. adult. Lampshaded on more than one occasion.
Breast Expansion is present is the comic book, but not as prevalent as in the series.
The Ibsens in the Ragorlang saga are probably named after Henrik Ibsen. In keeping with the Norwegian theme, the Ragorlang's appearance is based on The Scream (the chapter in which it appears is called "The Screaming Man").
ProfessorTakeda in the Teach 2b Witch arc may well have been inspired by Gendou Ikari: a brilliant Japanese scientist who undertakes questionable experiments motivated by the loss of a family member, while ignoring his introverted daughter Shinobu.
Sixth Ranger: This happens in the third saga of the comic when Taranee temporarily leaves and Orube takes her place. When Taranee comes back, Orube becomes a true Sixth Ranger.
Sixth Ranger Traitor: Even before the WITCH are revealed to be the chosen ones, the Oracle shows a photograph with the five of them, plus Elyon. When his assistant objects they are six, he answers the sixth will betray them. Elyon performs an Face-Heel Turn soon.
Snark Knight: Taranee's friend (and Irma's rival - at least for a time), Sheila Jensen.
Tomboy: All the girls have different quirks and hobbies that don't classify either as complete girly girls nor Tomboys: Will prefers baggy clothes, but is very sporty, with swimming being her main hobby. Hay Lin main hobby is to sew and design clothes, but is also a complete geek, specially over anything space-related. Taranee is a dancer and Cornelia an ice dancer, but neither shy away from breaking a sweat doing manual labor. The girliest is Irma, but only in her clothes, that often have flowers and girly details.. she's also a couch potato that likes junk food and is not above of making bad jokes to irritate Cornelia.
Transformation Trinket: The Heart Of Kandrakar, although when they got a power-upgrade in the seventh saga, it appears they can now transform without it.
Also, unlike other trinkets, there's no risk of losing it, as it's normally dormant inside Will's body, and only appears when needed.
The Heart Of Kandrakar is not needed for transformation, the Guardians have transformed before the power-upgrade without using it. Cornelia transformed at least while Will was elsewhere.
Irma also transformed once without it to draw some boy's attention (she hid her wings). More than a Transformation Trinket, it just make them more powerful in their Guardian forms. Also, they no longer use it to transform.
Though technically, his human form was literally created by Elyon, so you could say she is his mother.
Un-Person: Happens to Cornelia in one comic after Endarno releases some sort of magical butterfly, only the other W.I.T.C.H. girls were able to remember her. The butterfly eventually transforms into a crystal-like clone of Cornelia and shows her visions of her past, and then Cornelia destroys it.
Weak, but Skilled: Caleb. In the comic, he possesses some very slight magic power, yet uses it well. When granted a minor part of the Guardians powers, he was the one to invent the teletransportation ability the girls still use. When using powers he was completely new to, he once easily defeated someone who had Elyon's might backing him...
Weirdness Magnet: Heatherfield. For some reason, all of the interactions between Earth and the other realms seem to happen there.
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: It sounds like the magical powers of an old lady the girls meet in the "Teach 2b Witch" may fit this trope; she explains that she has the power to turn invisible, but can only do it when it's raining, and the wind has to be blowing from East, and there has to be a full moon, and she has to be wearing red.
What the Hell, Hero?: the Oracle tells the girls off for treating their Astral Drops as if they were the Guardians' slaves.
Where The Hell Is Heatherfield: Most people seems to agree it's somewhere in Europe... and that's as far as the guessing goes...There's one issue where there is the flag of the USA in either the Principal's office or somewhere within the girls' school, but in another issue they use euros.
The confusion continues. In yet another issue, they use dollars.
There is almost certain confirmation that the girls are actually supposed English. They believe in the Father Christmas version of "Santa", not the typical american view. They have to fly to get to Rome. The Magical Bus journey more or less pinpointed Britain as the only reasonable choice due to the timeframes it took for it to reach Italy and then America. Some inconsistencies exist, but really, Britain, or possibly Ireland is the only logical possibility.
Who Would Want to Watch Us?: On the Magitek world of Nune-Boreal WITCH is so popular they have merchandise, cosplayers and an actual movie; Hay Lin jokes about buying an action figure of herself because it has an MP3 player included. The costume players actually help them defeat the villains of the issue.
Wings Do Nothing: At first, the guardians wings are pretty much useless and Hay Lin is the only one who can actually fly. At one point in the third saga, Orube asks why they even have them if they can't actually use them. However, in the seventh saga, the girls get a power upgrade which include bigger wings that allow them to fly (but Cornelia is afraid to).