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Manga / BURN THE WITCH

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BURN THE WITCH is the third manga from Tite Kubo.
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The series takes place in London and follows two witches, Noel Niihashi and Ninny Spangcole, who work for an organization named Wing Bind, which fights against malicious dragons that threaten the human populace. Things get complicated when a human named Balgo, whom Noel is acquainted with, ends up the target of a dragon attack.

The manga started as a one-shot in 2018. On March 20, 2020, in a livestream that also announced the anime adaptation of Bleach's "Thousand Year Blood War" arc, it was mentioned that the oneshot would receive a theatrical anime short by Studio Colorido. The series began serialization in Shonen Jump on August 23 of the same year.

The one-shot can be read for free on Viz's website. Has nothing to do with the trope Burn the Witch!... we think.


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Examples

One-Shot

  • Cute Witch: Noel and Ninny are regarded as witches and naturally are quite the lookers.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Oshushi gets this reaction from Balgo and Selby.
  • Dead All Along: The dragon that took on Selby's form reveals that he died when Balgo and he were little, the former pushing the latter out of the way of an incoming train and getting hit in the process. The dragon's been in his form ever since.
  • Draconic Abomination: While many of the Dragons are bizarre creatures, Dark Dragons — regular Dragons corrupted by negative emotions — tend to be monstrous abominations. Special mention goes to Selby, who has multiple arms, tentacles for legs, and the ability to unravel his head into a corkscrew-shaped mouth.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • Balgo tries to appeal to Selby when he reveals he's a dragon that his friend is still in there since Selby didn't try to attack him earlier. But the dragon tells him the Selby he knew is long dead before proceeding to try and kill Nini and him.
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    • In the anime, Macy tries to appeal to Elly/Cinderella based on their previous friendship, but Elly ignores her and attacks.
  • Feathered Dragons: Cinderella, one of the Märchen, appears as an imposing, majestic dragon covered in thick plumage and with a noticeable bird-like beak.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Balgo thinks back to seeing Noel taking a phone booth down to Reverse London, his best friend Selby asks him what's up with the flashback.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Balgo is one and constantly tries to see Noel's panties.
  • Magic Wand: Noel and Ninny use wands designed like guns to fight dark dragons.
  • Meaningful Echo: Nini delivers her "Fairy tales are such bullshit" speech twice in the series.
    • The first time's an internal monologue at the start.
      "Fairy tales are such bullshit. It's always some girl getting a spell cast on herself that turns her into a princess, getting to wear a pretty dress, pretending to choose some hot guy and being chosen herself. Not to mention, the spell randomly breaks in the middle of it all. Lame, right? Yet, for some reason, every girl wants to be a princess. Like, are you serious? The spell just breaks randomly. It was inevitable because you broke your promise? Or time ran out, so what can you do? But you can do something. You're all fools. None of you know the real reason the spell breaks. If magic only works on fools, I'd rather be the one casting the spell."
    • The second time, it's spoken to Macy at the climax.
      "Fairy tales are such bullshit. What's the point when the spell breaks in the middle of it all? It was inevitable because you broke your promise? Or time ran out, so what can you do? Inevitable, my ass! It's all so stupid! You and everyone else have no idea why the spell really breaks. The reason why the spell breaks so randomly... is because it wasn't your own doing. Macy, we're supposed to be the ones casting the spells."
  • One-Winged Angel: Dragons, especially Dark ones, are able to transform into more powerful, grotesque forms. Märchen Cinderella is only able to take her true form under moonlight.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons in the series are very different than the usual fare, mostly being used in the world for things like electricity, food, minerals, etc and having very various oddball forms to boot. But then you have dark dragons that feed off negativity and become a danger to humans. The ones seen in the one-shot are morphers which can take on a form to hide in the human world. In this case, Balgo's puppy, Oshushi and his best friend, Selby. We later learn of the existence of the seven original Dark Dragons known as "Märchen" and code-named after fairy tales.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Noel is not pleased when Balgo keeps trying to see her panties, and is prone to throttling him when he keeps asking. Even moreso when Oshushi, having absorbed these negative feelings, keeps parroting it out loud for all to hear. The one-shot ends with her chasing down Oshushi and Balgo because of it.
  • Sempai/Kohai: Nini is Noel's sempai, and in Noel's first appearance, demands that Noel show her more respect.
  • To Serve Man: Selby reveals that some dragons think they can become immortal if they eat witches. Though Ninny tells him that's just an old wives tale.
  • Shared Universe: With Bleach, according to Word of God.
  • Stealth Sequel: At the end of the one shot, we're shown a sign that reads "Soul Society: West Branch" revealing this series takes place in the same universe as Bleach. This is hidden even in it's stylized title.note 
  • Theme Naming: The legendary dragons are named in reference to various fairy tales.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Noei and Ninny share this dynamic. Noel is reserved and polite, even stating she likes her dress uniform at the start of the pilot. Nini is brash, rude and can't seem to talk to without yelling at someone.
  • Voodoo Shark: The reveal that the story's setting is the Western Branch of the Soul Society, meaning it takes place in Bleach's universe. While this answers the question of why the afterlife seen in Bleach is predominantly, if not entirely, Japanese, as well as implying that there's other branches we don't know about, it raises the question of why none of the other branches got involved in the Karakura Town or Blood War conflicts, since they could have resulted in the world of the living being completely destroyed.

Alternative Title(s): Burn The Witch

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