There's a princess in this picture, but it's not who you think it is.
Witch Craft Works is a seinen manga about Takamiya Honoka, an ordinary student who sits next to Kagari Ayaka, the most popular girl in school. Their interactions are limited because her fan club assaults him for simply speaking to her. But when the school's clock tower falls towards Takamiya, Kagari rescues him while flying on a broom. She proceeds to incinerate some strange rabbit monsters and reveals that she is a witch, he is her princess and her mission is to protect him.An anime adaptation is currently airing as part of Winter 2014 Anime. For a series with a similar premise but a very different tone, see Shakugan no Shana.The anime can be viewed here legally at Crunchyroll, for viewers living in the following areas: U.S.A, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, and Central and South America.
Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The ranking in the school goes from the Chairwoman, to the current reigning Prince or Princess, then the Student Council, and then the Teachers. After the Student Council President tries to break up Takamiya and Kagari, Kagari fires her with her absolute power over the council, appoints Takamiya as the new President, makes herself the new Vice President and moves the former Vice President to the new position of Vice-Vice President.
At least Kazane behaves like an adult mature woman, meanwhile Komachi, the mother of the Takamiyas, is a self proclaimed crybaby who looks just a bit older than her children.
Achilles' Heel: Kagari is made of fire and as such is effectively invulnerable except if you attack Takamiya
Affably Evil: The Tower witches in general. While they do attack Takamiya from time to time, they are also seen doing somewhat regular activities as well, such as eating at a restaurant, or singing karaoke.
All Just a Dream: Takamiya has one at the beginning of episode 7, when his mother makes a shocking announcement that she had another child in an affair and introduces her. It turns out to be Kagari, and Kasumi seems happy to have an older sister like her. He then wakes up and finds her in his house cooking food, and wonders if he's still in the dream.
All There in the Manual: These notes explains specific aspects of the WCW world such as the relationship between magical and physical, the nicknames of witches and other little gems.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: If Takamiya were to fall into the hands of the Tower Witches: All humans would die, the Earth would explode, the Demon King would return, and Giraffes' necks would elongate.
Armor-Piercing Question: Kasumi asks Takamiya a few in episode 4, largely wondering why he got a phone call from a girl on a Sunday, then rushed out to meet her.
Kasumi took it Up to Eleven after being double teamed by Tanpopo and Rin, she makes her familiar grow so big that one stomp takes them both out. She tops even that with Rinon's encouragement in chapter 32; her familiar's height reaches into low earth orbit!
Barrier Maiden: Kagari's mother. She maintains a city-wide magic field that prevents civilians from being injured or killed by magical attacks. The downside is that it drains her magic whenever this happens. A massive magic explosion that completely damages the city, caused by the witch Weekend, ultimately renders her powerless for a week.
Later Honoka makes the same contract as her, allowing the Workshop Witches to use magic again and restauring the protection of the city.
Battle of the Still Frames: The fight between Chronoire and Kazane in episode 12 boils down to the two trading blows in a bunch of still shots, with Kazane ultimately coming out on top.
Beach Episode: Averted in episode 9. Takamiya mentions a beach trip with Kagari, and she's seen in a swimsuit, but then it turns out to be a dream.
If someone ever tries to do anything to him... That person should at least write a last will before...
Big Brother Attraction: Kasumi, Takamiya's little sister, has one but is in denial, claiming her actions (such as joining him when he is taking a bath) is merely her right as his little sister. Kagari spending more time with him though drives her to levels of violence.
Big Fancy House: Kagari lives in a 41-floor skyscraper. Her mother even lampshades how nice their house is and is freaked out when it's destroyed during the fight against Medusa. She notes this is just her mother's mansion. The family has another mansion elsewhere.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The young woman trying to help the little girl find her lost mother in episode 2. She's very helpful at first, but the instant she recognizes Honoka, she immediately flicks the little girl off and starts attacking him. Though like with Tanpopo, she gets defeated rather quickly along with her two friends.
Black Comedy: The anime is extremely (yet bloodlessly) violent, and Takamiya is frequently subjected to gratuitous beatdowns that would normally break more than a few bones. No one seems to even try to understand Takamiya's plight, despite his constant bewilderment at his situation. Though considering the power of Kagari's mother, at least some of the violence can be rendered harmless.
The ending animation revels in Burn the Witch!. While the Witches are singing the ending.
Blank White Eyes: Takamiya displays some in the first episode shortly after being saved by Kagari and trying to figure out exactly what happened.
Bridal Carry: Takamiya gets this treatment frequently from Kagari whenever she rescues him.
When Takamiya sees Kagari's injuries, he's understandably worried about them. However, she largely seems to brush them off as an inconvenience, even if she's been Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
In episode 9, explosions start taking place around the city and school. Their teacher orders the students to leave the classroom and Honoka attempts to comply. However, Ayaka tells him to sit back down and continue taking the test, which he does for a moment. It's only after a nearby explosion burns her test paper that Ayaka finally leaves the classroom to see what was going on.
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Kagari's early battles appear this way. Individuals battling her can take a while. Whereas when she's fighting groups of them, she beats them pretty quickly.
Conspicuous CG: Most notable when any witch is flying past buildings and vehicles.
Cruel to Be Kind: In episode 9, Ayaka leads Takamiya to a hidden area below the school grounds after they suffer a massive city-wide bombing. He is attacked by some of the workshop witches, causing Ayaka to retaliate against them, but the damage he sustained transfers over to her before she can knock them all out. Kasumi is also knocked out before she can do anything to protect him. Rinon then explains to him that they have to hide him because someone dangerous is looking for him. Due to what they just went through, he complies and both he and Ayaka are put into a room meant to hide their presence. Unfortunately it doesn't work as Weekend's teddy bear finds him and displays a message stating she's going to find him.
Ayaka easily defeats Tanpopo and her group that oppose her early on. Even when they try to gang up on her she still beats them up pretty fast.
She does this again in episode 12, when Tanpopo's gang wants a rematch. Even without her magic, which was still recovering at that point, Ayaka simply grabs two of them by their head, and the other three watch helplessly.
Kasumi easily defeats two Tower witches in episode 4 after she makes her giant teddy so large its head reaches the clouds.
Kagari is dealt one by her mother Kazane in episode 7 after she merged with Medusa.
Chronoire easily bests Weekend in episode 12, although it's not too surprising given that the latter has repeatedly stated she's not much of a fighter, hence all of her Crazy-Prepared planning she does instead to have things work in her favor.
Kazane easily defeats Chronoire at least twice in the anime. The first time Chronoire is seen wrapped up in bandages after said battle, and the second time Kazane simply punches her, and sends her flying with said hit.
Date Peepers: Though it's subtle, Kasumi can be seen occasionally following Ayaka and Honoka during the second half of episode 2 when he's out shopping with her.
Deadpan Snarker: Kagari doesn't joke too often, but when she does her affect is so dry Takamiya often can't even tell.
Deal with the Devil: Kagari seems to have made one with Medusa at the end of episode 6, although it doesn't get fully explored until episode 7.
Debut Queue: The first couple of episodes introduces a new character or two, and several minor ones. Generally speaking, the only ones you have to remember are the ones who show up during the Evolving Credits.
Defeat Means Friendship: While it takes a couple of defeats before it happens, Tanpopo and her gang of tower witches are seen living with Takamiya and Kagari in his house, secretly in episode 7, but with his mom's blessing by episode 8. They even help Kagari with Takamiya's duel against Rinon in episode 8. Even Chronoire is running the school for a day for Kazane.
Didn't See That Coming: In chapter 30, The Tanpopo's group of tower witches sans Tapopo, are working for Medusa and use powerful magic to deage Kagari to like a 4-5 year old, to a weaker point in her life. When they attack Takamiya, Kagari still shows up and curbstomps them, even though she is still a child. This means Kagari was a fully empowered witch before she was 4-5 years old.
Disproportionate Retribution: As is always the case in settings like this, once Kagari starts talking with Takamiya (the latter of whom knows about her popularity but never expressed any interest in talking with). He starts getting beaten up by some of the Student Council over it. Kagari eventually puts a stop to it.
Distracted by the Sexy: Ayaka attempts to help Takamiya concentrate to help him summon a magical creature. Unfortunately, he can't do it because she's pressing up from behind him with her large chest.
"Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: "Witch☆Activity" anime ending theme is sung by the ensemble of Medusa underlings. It can double as Image Song for that gang of Tower witches. Another song from the Ending Theme single album is briefly flashed to be something those bored, put on standby witches even sing in karaoke.
Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Takamiya has some when walking to school with Kagari for the first time. It's largely due to all the scorn being heaped on him by her jealous fan club.
Ear Cleaning: Used in episode 7 between Kagari and Takamiya as a method of forming a stronger bond with each other.
Justified, as the cape she wears endows increased strength.
Enemy Mine: Kasumi forces Tanpopo's group to help them defeat Weekend in episode 10. The latter says they're only doing it to earn their keep in the house, later stating that one bomb deactivated on the workshop witches being held hostage would equal to one month's rent.
Epic Fail: Honoka is told to kiss Ayaka in an attempt to help resurrect her after she sacrificed herself in his stead during episode 12. Atori, who is helping him with it, watches as he does it. He lowers himself to her lips, only to then suddenly swerve at the last second, and kisses her on the forehead instead. Atori is understandably upset at it, and Honoka tries to argue he's not ready to kiss Ayaka on the lips. Fortunately for them that kiss on the forehead works, as Atori hilariously tries to push his head down and force him to kiss her after his failed first attempt.
Every Scar Has A Story: Kagari sports a long, thin, diagonal scar across her abdomen. This is why she doesn't wear midriff-baring clothing when its obvious that she'd look good in it. Thing is, Takamiya notes that it is virtually identical to the scar on his mother's left shoulder. Neither one tells him how they got it, which in Kagari's case, she doesn't remember how she got it in the first place.
Evolving Credits: The ending gradually adds characters introduced during the episode. For example, in episode 02 Kagari's mother Kazane and her familiar, as well as the three Tower Witches that attacked them in the city, are now included.
Faux Affably Evil: The Tower Witches Chronoire Schwartz VI and Medusa. While Chrono seems very unassuming and likes to engage in conversation but she's one of the strongest Tower witches in the series. A hint is given in episode 7 of the anime, when Chrono asks why Kazane ordered every Workshop witch in the city to hunt her down.
Flying Broomstick: Goes along with the pointy-hat witch aesthetic, and is somehow magically stored within witches' robes.
If you pay closer attention, you'll note "someone" was stalking Honoka for the entirety of the date, starting from the moment he answered the phone in his house. The box was merely the most obvious disguise said person used.
Kasumi's teddy bears.
Also in episode 2, while at the maid cafe, Takamiya tries to eat the item he ordered, but it's been completely frozen due to Touko falling on it and freezing it. He tries to gnaw at it, but to no avail.
Good Is Not Nice: Many of the Craft Witches, while utterly dedicated to protecting their cty and the people in it, can be just ruthless and cruel as their opponents, the Tower Witches, when fighting. More specifically, Kasumi outright states that she doesn't really care what side she's on; her only concern is protecting Honoka.
In the first episode, as Honoka is getting beat up by some of Ayaka's fanboys and girls, the guy beating him up says "The best... is yet... to come!"
In episode 8, after Rinon and her minions trash the school, she delivers a letter of challenge to him. As they leave, he says "What?", trying to comtemplate what just happened.
Green-Eyed Monster: Virtually all of the school does this when they see Kagari hanging out with Takamiya. They make little effort to hide their scorn and disgust of him for being so close to her.
Heroic Sacrifice: Honoka attempts this, asking Evermillion for power to restore the town at the cost of his life in episode 12. She seems to grant it, but then Ayaka offers herself instead. Becomes subverted when they find out Ayaka made a separate deal with Evermillion years earlier to sever her contract with Honoka if he ever tries to risk his life like that, and Honoka actually saved the town with his own power, and therefore didn't require Evermillion's help for it.
Huge Schoolgirl: Ayaka Kagari. At 197 cm (or around 6 feet 4 inches), she towers over everyone. This was actually toned down in the anime adaptation, where she's "merely" half a head higher than Honoka, rather than him barely reaching her shoulders.
Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Honoka is stabbed with a kitchen knife by Weekend in episode 12. It doesn't seem to faze him much, as he pulls it out, pushes her down, and nearly stabs her with it as well.
Impossibly Cool Clothes: Some witches have some quite unrealistic outfits... But their clothes are really cool and awesome, so who cares!.
Improbably Female Cast: There's no indication that women are naturally better at magic—one male wizard does appear, and he seems to be quite powerful—but the vast majority of spellcasters are female.
Innocent Innuendo: Tanpopo. She tells pretty clueless Honoka that "his woman" Ayaka is just after the white stuff, which is inside his body. Take it the wrong way, you ask? Why would he?
Insane Troll Logic: According to Kasumi, she is not a bro-con. She just wants to marry her brother and have three kids with him, but that doesn't mean she likes him like that. Further, she believes no sex would be involved (since that would be disgusting) since she took her mother's word that babies come from storks and never grew out of it.
In-Series Nickname: Ayaka Kagari is either called "princess" by classmates and teachers alike or "Fire Witch" by other witches.
Instant Fan Club: Kagari is almost always surrounded by starry-eyed female students and, when Honoka's with her, furiously jealous students of both genders.
Invisible to Normals: The witches when wearing their witch outfits, although it doesn't become obvious until episode 8 after Kagari and the others help Takamiya to win his fight against Rinon.
Knight Templar: Kagari once more. She justifies using magic on bullies attacking Takamiya on the basis 'If someone attacks Takamiya, that person must be a chaos witch.'
Last Name Basis: Honoka is called "Takamiya" by everyone, except his family, meanwhile he always calls Ayaka "Kagari".
Loads and Loads of Characters: There are quite a few characters in this show. And although only a handful of them get much character development, they are at least distinct enough visually with their different looks, hairstyle, and outfits that viewers shouldn't confuse them.
Locked Out of the Loop: Takamiya initially, when he's attacked for no apparent reason. And also his mother, and pretty much anyone that's not a witch.
Loophole Abuse: In episode 12, Honoka makes a wish with Evermillion to restore the town at the cost of his life. Ayaka then intervenes, telling Evermillion to take hers instead and collapses, presumably sacrificing herself for him. However later on a Flash Back reveals Ayaka made a contract with Evermillion that if Honoka's life was ever in danger, his contract with her would be severed, so he couldn't fulfill that contract. On top of that, the town was saved using his own power, so Evermillion also tells him he didn't that contract.
Mala Proper: Takamiya is unable to remember correctly the last name of Tanpopo, Kuraishi', calling her "Crazy-san" or some other english words.
Meaningful Name: Chronoire Schwartz. In the original it is written kuro noir schwarz i.e., "black" in Japanese, French and German.
Ayaka gets worried about training Takamiya after he gets hurt from fighting her summon and says they should stop. His injury? A scraped elbow.
Tanpopo was going to use a gym she rented, but then suffers a stubbed toe and sprained ankle before being able to step foot in it. They decide it's better to treat that "life-threatening" injury first.
Mood Whiplash: Near the end of episode 10, Takamiya starts seeing visions of Weekend setting off more bombs and other things going wrong. The music continues playing a dramatic tone, and ends abruptly when Ayaka headbutts him to knock him out, complete with comedic sound effect, who states that he'd be in danger if he keeps using his powers. As Weekend approaches Ayaka and Takamiya, the cheerful Black Comedy ending song plays.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Any witch with '-End' in their actual witch title. It used to indicate a witch who could 'end the world' with their power alone but nowadays, a witch who reaches a sufficient level of notoriety and power is given this - similar to reaching Hall of Famer status. This also doubles as a Red Baron since any witch who has this has more than earned it. Both Kagari Kazame and Chronoire Schwartz are 'End Witches'.
Non-Action Guy: Takamiya, although not by choice. He wants to learn how to fight, but Ayaka won't train him for some reason, and instead only focuses on showing him techniques to escape. By episode 9 she relents, although only because Kasumi was planning to teach him in secret, which she isn't too fond of.
Noodle Incident: Kasumi mentions being bullied at school due to her brother being too close to "The Princess", Kagari. When he asks about if she's still being bullied, she simply mentions that he wouldn't want to know what she did to them.
One Head Taller: Kagari is at least one head taller than anyone in the school, including Honoka(as best seen in chapter 12). It's not quite as extreme in the anime, but she's still significantly taller and more imposing than her "princess."
Really 700 Years Old: See the bit about the Crusades, above. This is also implied for the more powerful witches. Fridge Logic sets in when you realize that Kazane went to school with Takamiya-kun's mother, Komachi.
Remember the New Guy: A minor one, Takamiya's sister isn't even mentioned or hinted at until chapter 7 where Takamiya narrates who she is. This is rectified in the anime where she gets an appearancenote seen from behind at first, then in the background stalking Kagari and her brother as early as the second episode before her introduction in the fourth.
Save the Princess: Both beautifully inverted and lampshaded at the same time. With Ayaka outright telling Honoka he is her princess that she needs to protect.
Scenery Porn: The detail added in the chapters are breathtaking.
The anime also loves showing detailed background of the city. The flying scene in episode 3 are prominent example.
Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Kagari, being elected the princess, which is second in power at the school (only the administrator ranks higher, which also happens to be her mother), uses this power to fire the student council president. She then names Takamiya as the successor. She decided to do this to curb the Green-Eyed Monster jealousy going on around the school due to them being close.
Schoolgirl Lesbians: The Takamiyas' mom, Komachi, flat out tells her children that she had this relationship with Kazane, Kagari's mother, and that they would have gotten married if they could have. So instead they decided to have their children marry as their way to become a family.
Secret Legacy: Takamiya's family turn out to be magical beings, something he didn't know until currently.
Secret Test of Character: Evermillion does this to Takamiya in episode 5. When Kagari turns to stone, the former asks what he's willing to give up to bring her back. He wonders if she meant his soul, but she says reversing petrification doesn't need that big of a commitment. She then asks for his eyes, and he willingly accepts without hesitation. She balks at his sudden answer, and tells him that she wasn't serious about it, but was testing his trust in her, since he was responsible for her turning in the first place, so he needed to have a strong bond with her to reverse the condition.
Self-Parody: Anime soundtrack has a "Watch Activity" song, a spoof on the "Witch☆Activity" anime ending theme. It is not used in the anime itself. Oh, and The Watch are an actual faction introduced well into the series.
Shipper on Deck: Takamiya Komachi ships her son with her ex-girlfriend's daughter!
The cover of the single for the ED theme Witch Activity looks suspiciously like the album cover of Kraftwerk's 1978 album The Man-Machine.
The subsequent Witches Non Stop and soundtrack album's covers◊ followed suit, making it a series of...witch Kraftwerks.
In episode 2, after Ayaka delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle yet again to Tanpopo's group, she then breaks through the floor where Mei was trying to escape with Honoka. The latter then wonders if she's Mario with a superstar.
Show, Don't Tell: Ayaka's usual method of trying to teach Honoka various spells. She will explain some of them, but she usually tells him to watch as she does one.
Sleep Cute: Honoka falls asleep on Kagari's shoulder after a lengthy broomstick-flying lesson. It's adorable! He does it from time to time, indicating how much he trusts her.
Spit Take: Chapter 9, and several characters do it in the anime as well, so much so that it becomes a Running Gag with Kazane not wanting anything strange to happen while drinking tea.
Spoiler Opening: The opening gives away some plot-related elements that occur later in the show. Such as Weekend showing up, and engulfing Kazane in an explosion.
Squishy Wizard: While some of the lower-ranked witches are noticeably 'squishy', most of the higher lvl witches are definitely NOT. Both mother and daughter Kagari, in particular, are well-known for their 'brute force' tactics even without using magic. Ayaka has incredible physical strength and fighting skills thanks to her mother's Training from Hell. Chronoire is also quite a lethal fighter, and even takes out several other Tower witches on her own near the end of the anime simply because she was bored.
The Stinger: At the end of episode 5, Chronoire is attacked by the Workshop witches and captured. Kazane then proceeds to torture her because of the latest incident in that episode which caused the former's mansion to collapse.
Summon Magic: Generally every witch has a familiar that they can interact with and also summon one or many of, such as in the case of Tanpopo's armored rabbits. Some of them can even summon Kaiju-sized renditions that they can control.
Sweet Tooth: Both Kagari and her mother like their sugar with a bit of tea.
Taken for Granite: Medusa's power, as you can expect. Takamiya is immune to it due to being the vessel for Evermilion. Kagari is not immune to it, but in a strange way: when Takamiya loses confidence in Kagari's ability to win against Medusa, the protection he grants to her is weakened.
He's not quite immune to her power so much as she kept her eyes covered and bound her arms in a weird straitjacket just to see if she could capture him while bound.
Taking You with Me: In episode 10, Rinon tries to negotiate more time to find Takamiya after Weekend sends a workshop witch rigged with explosives to go off after thirty minutes if he isn't brought to her. The latter then taunts them further, by stating that she's weak physically, and wouldn't be a match in a fight with the former. But even if they defeat her, the bombs would still go off, so there would still be casualties.
That Came Out Wrong: Kuraishi just has to say it... She means Evermilion. At least her friend does realize and warns her about the other implications.
When Takamiya mentions Kagari getting love letters and then he ends up getting hate mail when he opens his locker.
Kazane mentioning how well things are going, only to then see a giant explosion happen either on the news or within view of her office. Later she mentions the city being peaceful again in episode 7, only to have a giant explosion occur right outside her office again.
Honoka tells Ayaka that he hopes things will be quiet for a while at the end of episode 12. Immediately after he says that, Tanpopo and her gang shows up demanding a rematch with Ayaka. However, Status Quo Is God is in play here, and Ayaka defeats them easily even without using magic.
Ayaka subjects Honoka to this in episode 9. His first practical training is to fight against her giant summoned fire wolf. She then drops him off a skyscraper for his next lesson.
Hilariously Flip Flopped as in between attempts she chastises Takamiya for a scraped elbow and suggests they stop for the day.
In episode 10, Kagari singled-handedly stops a Tower Witch without the use of her magic by kneeing her in the face. When both the witch and Takamiya inquire as to how, she tells them that she was forced to fight really difficult opponents without magic while growing up. A Flash Back then shows her mother atop some giant vicious looking monsters, while telling Kagari and Rinon they can't have dinner until the monsters are defeated.
Villain Decay: Tanpopo's group of witches. While they were certainly a threat early on, by the latter part of the series they largely end up helping the workshop witches more than hindering them, and being played mostly for comedy relief.
Wham Episode: In episode 9, the Big Bad, Weekend, appears. She tells Kazane that her plan was to use Chronoire and Medusa as pawns to find out where Evermillion was at, and then take Takamiya once she found out where he was. She also releases a magical bomb to drain Kazane's magical powers by forcing her to use her magic to prevent the city-wide explosion from hurting anyone, although it drains all of her magic in the process. Weekend then starts looking for Takamiya, and seems to have found him rather quickly despite the Workshop witches attempting to hide him.
Wham Line: Kazane gives one to Kagari in episode 7, after the latter merged with Medusa. She tells her daughter that Evermillion doesn't like corruption, and by merging with her, Kagari lost her powers of invincibility granted to her by her.
Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Touko, the vice-president and Kagari's childhood friend, is mentioned to hold several part-time jobs. The known ones are bartender and waitress.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The former student council president does this towards Rinon in episode 8. She basically tells the latter that Takamiya did horrible things to her and then usurped her position at school. She then immediately clarifies and says it was all a lie, but Rinon was apparently too fired up by that point to hear that part, and believes he really did all those things. This backfires on her after Rinon finds out that she lied about all of it.
Xanatos Gambit: Weekend has several traps in store to ensure she can capture Takamiya. She first takes Kazane out of the picture by setting off a massive bomb throughout the city and forcing her to use up her magic to save it. Then she captures some workshop witches and rigs them with explosives set to go off if they don't bring Takamiya to her. And even after she's captured, she sets off some regular explosives to escape a cell the workshop witches put her in. And then sets off some other explosives to take out the remaining workshop witches gathering around the field in the school.