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Animation / Burka Avenger

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Don't mess with the lady in black.

This animated series out of Pakistan stars the titular Burka Avenger, who, when not standing up for women's rights and education, is a mild-mannered schoolteacher named Miss Jiya. Orphaned at a young age, she was adopted and raised by Kabaddi Jan, who taught her the art of Takht Kabaddi, which uses school implements, like books and pens, as weapons. She wears the burka primarily to hide her identity.

Basically, she's Batman, if he'd decided to use books as his symbol instead of bats.

Featuring the voice of Ainy Jaffri. The series is created, directed and produced by international pop star Haroon (AKA Aaron Haroon Rashid) with his production company, Unicorn Black.

Jiya is named by American magazine Time as one of the most Influential Fictional Characters of 2013. In 2020, the series received a comic book crossover where Burka Avenger teamed up with Hindu superheroine Priya's Shakti to spread awareness of Covid.


  • An Aesop: The show never hesitates to drive home the importance of education.
  • Animal Motif: Baba Bandook's is a snake.
  • Author Avatar: Haroon, a musician who is also the creator of the show, appears as... Haroon, a musician.
  • Art Shift: The opening sequence, showing how Jiya became the Burka Avenger, is in a 2D animation style, rather than the 3D of the rest of the show.
  • Badass Bookworm: What else would you call a superhero who uses books and pens as weapons and advocates education?
  • Badass Teacher: Her reason for being a superhero? Protecting girls' right to education.
  • Beard of Evil: Baba Bandook.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jiya's public persona is Ashu's favourite teacher, but she's the one who stops the bad guys.
  • Big Eater: Mooli, to the point that he is named after mooli (a kind of white radish).
  • Captain Ersatz: The villains are very clearly supposed to be the Taliban.
  • Corrupt Politician: Vadero Pajero, who pockets the money meant to go to the girls' school for himself.
  • Dark Is Evil: played straight with Baba Bandook.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Avenger wears a voluminous black niqab that opens to form a glider, has long, sharp, black nails... yet is averse to killing, fiercely dedicated to justice and equality, and uses her vigilante identity to protect the future of her schoolkids.
  • Dull Surprise: The male newscaster can apparently only utter one sentence, and he does so in a monotone.
  • Dumb Muscle: Munna.
  • Earworm: 'Don't Mess with the Lady in Black'.
  • Establishing Character Moment: All of the characters have them, but Jiya's is particularly noteworthy - we first see her catching eggs with her eyes closed, without breaking them.
  • Evil Laugh: The villains share one after discussing their plans.
  • Evil Sorceror: Baba Bandook tries to cultivate this persona, but he's a fraud who relies on fear rather than actual magic.
  • Hiding in a Hijab: How the eponymous Avenger maintains her secret identity. Bonus irony points for her enemies being the sort of people who want to force women like her to wear the burka in the first place.
  • Light Is Not Good: Vadero Pajero is clad entirely in white, but he is a sexist, corrupt Jerkass who will willingly deprive children of an education to line his and Baba Bandook's pockets.
  • Meaningful Background Event: When the townspeople are gathered outside the girl's school, none of the main characters are veiled or wear a headcovering, but there are clearly several women in the crowd wearing a full burka, the sort that covers everything including the eyes.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Munna, one of Baba Bandook's minions, is brought to tears by Ashu's impassioned speech about the right to education... while standing in front of the school that he's supposed to be keeping the girls from.