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Manga / Tricks Dedicated To Witches

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In 2021, Harry Makito, genius magician, was holding a one time only retirement show in Tokyo when he burned to death in an unexpected accident. He was 17 years old. Or so one would think. But he lived, finding himself reincarnated 400 years earlier in Medieval Europe during the age of the Witch Trials! Now he fights against the church which unjustly brands women as witches with his tricks disguised as miracles. It's like real magic!

Tricks Dedicated To Witches (魔女に捧げるトリック; Majō ni Sasageru Trick) is a manga series by Shizumu Watanabe that premiered in Weekly Shōnen Magazine in August 2020. Although it appeared that the series had a successful start, with praise towards its unique premise, only 30 chapters were made when the series was cancelled in April 2021. Regretful that the story had not been finished, Watanabe hopes that one day he can return and continue it.


For my next trope, I will need a Witch!

  • Absurdly High-Stakes Game: During the card game between Makito and Guille, the latter suggests upping the wager to 500 thaler which Makito responds by raising it to 5000 thaler. Guille doesn't question it since he rigged the game which leads to him losing his tavern as collateral and being in Makito's debt since.
  • Abusive Parents: Because nobody could understand Brigitte's ability to speak to animals, her parents believed she was being possessed and would whip and beat the poor child, trying to beat the evil out of her and wanting her to be normal. When she sees her mother again after being taken in by Makito, her mother appears to embrace her, only to grab her and sell her out to Lucio, while denouncing that she's even her daughter.
  • Anachronistic Clue: Pietro presents Makito with a Joker card to show that he's also from the future since the Joker shouldn't exist yet.
  • An Aesop: Each of the witches have one in their introductory arc.
    • Mia accepts the witch trials as just and righteous, doesn't question the church, and submits to false accusations of witchcraft. Makito opens her eyes and encourages her not to give up so easily, question the world around her, and to start thinking for herself.
    • Liese's adoptive grandfather denies that he took her in out of pity, and despite the fact that she was a woman, a different skin color, and wasn't related by blood, all traits that made others look down on her, none of it mattered to him. He still saw her as family and his number one apprentice.
    • Poor Helga believed that her biggest mistake was to hold a sword as a woman, only for Makito to teach her that women in his time are strong and also capable of many things that men were.
  • Anything but That!: Liese is undeterred at most of the torture she faces, but she breaks when her hands are about to be crippled since she's The Blacksmith.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Makito is able to figure out how a trick works and formulate a counter-plan just by observing.
    Makito: Valery made one incredibly grave mistake... He showed a trick off twice to Harry Makito! I've got the key to it now, right here. I'm gonna blow it wide open!
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Filippo shows off his resurrection miracle by killing someone and bringing them back to life. He's really just killing a twin and having the surviving twin pretend that they were revived.
    • Makito prepares a spectacular trick to expose and one-ups Filippo by binding Liese's ropes in a way to make it look like she was hanged, getting in contact with the surviving twin from earlier and have him pretend to be the deceased one, and preparing a special armor and prop sword for the current twin pair to survive.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When they first attempt to save Liese, Makito has Mia distract the guards by having her act out the role of a deadly witch. She's too nice that everyone sees right past her act, but once they pull off some "witchcraft", she completely gets into it and really starts selling it.
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: After Liese joins the team, Makito starts going off about being in love, which gets Mia all worked up. He finally confesses that he's in love... with magic! Poor, poor Mia.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Mia initially accepts her execution and being called a witch since she grew up with the church's beliefs and still defends them after nearly dying. It takes Makito proving that he's from the future and that magic isn't real for her to change her tone.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Helga is downright the series' resident Cloud Cuckoolander. She's also ferociously powerful with a sword and by far the strongest of Makito's team.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Helga fights entirely to protect her little sister Laura. She declines joining as a witch until Laura tells her that she can take care of herself.
  • Big Eater: Helga always has room for more food in her stomach.
  • The Blacksmith: Liese's passion and she's the metalworker among the witches.
  • Body Horror: When Makito infiltrates Lucio's lab disguised as one of his men, he finds Father Lucio testing his poison on a test subject. The man's chest is not only ripped open, exposing his rib cage, but he's conscious the entire time as Lucio torments him to death.
  • Book Dumb: All of the witches, due to the time period. Mia is nice but gullible and naive, Liese is a great blacksmith but doesn't know how to write, and despite being gifted with a sword, Helga's mind is completely somewhere else when she's not armed with one.
  • Bread and Circuses: The public entertainment in this case is torturing and executing witches.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Filippo pisses himself in fear after his victims appear to come back to life to get revenge.
  • Burn the Witch!: How Mia was going to be executed before Makito intervened.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Makito passes out after a single sip of wine.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Liese has "Wunderbar" when she's praising something.
    • Filippo has "Perfetto".
  • Chemistry Can Do Anything: Mia's herbalist knowledge lets her make medicine, fake blood, and Knock Out Gas, all from using the right plants.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Briefly Discussed when Makito figures out that Valery's telekinesis miracle is really powered by electromagnets.
    Makito: It's just that you wouldn't get it even if I told you. Because as far as you two are concerned, in a certain sense, this trick is real magic.
  • Clear My Name: Inverted. Makito builds up his reputation as the Devil as a force to challenge the church.
  • Clear Their Name: Averted. With the Kangaroo Court that the church runs, Makito opts to just bust witches out of imprisonment and have them brandish their reputation instead of trying to prove that magic isn't real.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Mia quickly gets jealous when the other girls get anywhere close to Makito, and usually jumps in herself.
  • Close to Home:
    • Makito doesn't think he can help Mia at her execution, but the way she accepts the church's lies reminds him too much of himself buying a vase from conmen to speak with his deceased mother and he forces himself to try.
    • Mia assumes that Makito is about to tell Brigitte to leave behind the wolf that helped save her, but after hearing what she had to endure from others and Kyanti was like a second mother to her, he ends up in tears, sympathizing and offers to help.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: When she's not armed with a sword, Helga has a very odd personality. She'll express her gratitude with dance, says sound effects out loud, and has even tried to eat Makito.
  • Corrupt Church: The Big Bad who accuses, persecutes and executes young women to fit their twisted ideals.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: When Makito and the others are trying to find Brigitte before the Iron Hammer does, Mia gets the idea to call her name out in the middle of the forest. Makito thinks Brigitte won't be able to hear her, not realizing Mia intended for the wolf that accompanies her to hear it. Kyanti hears it and delivers Brigitte to them while getting captured in the process.
  • Cut Short: The series was cancelled after 30 chapters as a result of the series not selling well in Japan, and the mangaka claiming he was "out of his depth". Melanie, one of the witches advertised early on, had yet to be introduced, and the conflict between Makito and the Iron Hammer had yet to be resolved. Watanabe hopes that one day he'll get a chance to return to the series and continue the story.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Subverted. Liese matches the archetype and her skin color gets commented on, but colored pages have her hair as blue.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: After one of Lucio's test subjects dies, Makito uses a trick to mimic the man's appearance in front of an audience, giving them the impression that the man placed a curse on Lucio and came back from the abyss to take his revenge on him, just as he said he would.
  • Devil Complex: A Downplayed heroic example. Makito doesn't think he's the Devil, but he does embrace his given moniker against the church.
  • The Ditz: Mia manages to wander into a bullring to chase after a bag of chocolate for Makito without even noticing the danger she was in. That chocolate turns out to be a gemstone too since she forgot to describe what she was looking for as candy.
  • Doing In the Wizard: In-Universe.
    • Makito exposes miracles as frauds to show that the church isn't as powerful as they claim.
    • Defied by the Iron Hammer. Pietro explains that if Makito's tricks are exposed, then it'll prove that the Devil isn't real and the populace will start doubting the validity of the witch trials.
  • Doing It for the Art: In-Universe, Makito has this attitude towards magic and gets ticked off in his final performance at how the audience doesn't actually care. He gets absolutely pissed when he sees the church using magic tricks for their injustice.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Makito offers to help Helga save her sister, believing that he's looking down on her, she does not take it well and rejects his help.
  • Dressed in Layers: Makito is prepped to switch to his Cross Dressing outfit in the blink of an eye.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Makito is able to prep Mia and Liese's rescues by getting in close in a guard uniform.
  • Dumb Muscle: Helga is very much the Witches' fighter rather than one of their thinkers.
  • The Engineer: Liese. She demonstrates it well when she spots her grandfather's work and fixes it on the spot.
  • Eternal English: Makito can communicate without a problem in late 16th century Germany.
  • Evil Counterpart: Pietro reveals himself to be a magician just like Makito, and our hero suspects that he was also sent back in time just like he was.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Pietro which makes him look unnervingly calm.
  • Fakeout Escape: Makito and Mia manage to escape Valery's mansion by yelling that they've escaped, setting up the illusion that they did so via Magic Carpet, and hiding amongst the guards' weapons and slipping out once the gates are open.
  • Fake Wizardry: Makito and the church are respectively faking their magic and miracles to demonstrate their power to the masses.
  • False Confession: All too common in the setting with supposed witches. Cold-Blooded Torture is usually involved.
  • False Flag Operation: Valery's mansion gets blown up by Pietro to smear the Devil Worshippers.
    Pietro: "The Devil massacred both the priest, and the common people"... That shall become the truth of the events which took place today.
  • Fixing the Game: Guille has a reputation for winning in cards which he gets through loaded dice and having the dealer in his pocket.
  • Flying Broomstick: Mia appears to ride one away from her execution which marks her as a witch and Makito as the Devil.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Helga's Foolish to Laura's Responsible. Laura's the smarter of the two and can see past Valery's lies, but acknowledges that she's not anywhere near as strong as her older sister.
  • Giving Radio to the Romans: Makito and Pietro give their respective lieutenants modern day tech. The implications of doing so isn't explored so much as them already trying to change how the Witch Trials went.
  • Gladiator Games: Valery runs an underground fighting arena where he pits witches against swordsmen with predictable results. Helga was told to win against a hundred foes here for her and her sister's freedom and by the time she gets introduced, she's already fought for two years and only has two foes left to face.
  • Glasgow Grin: Helga gives one to a random kidnapper by shoving his own blade through his mouth.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Liese is able to craft one which lets Makito and Mia sneak into Valery's mansion.
  • Gratuitous German: A given in 16th century Germany.
  • Guile Hero: Makito is all about trickery and deception as a Stage Magician.
  • Hates Being Touched: Liese really doesn't take it well when Mia touches her after she joins the team. She later regrets it and tries to make up for it but doesn't hit the mark.
  • Healing Herb: Mia's expertise is in medical plants.
  • The Heart: Mia. Once she believes that Makito is from the future, she wholeheartedly asks and convinces him to help end the witch hunts.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Valery holds women as inferior to men and runs an underground arena where heretical women are forced to fight against swordsmen and are usually slaughtered.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Brigitte's wolf friend, Kyanti, uses herself as bait to distract Lucio's men and gets herself captured so the young human girl can escape. The others note that she'll likely be killed, and Makito agrees to rescue her.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Seeing as Makito is called the Devil and the rest of the main characters are labelled witches while they're up against the church...
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: With Mia as the distraction, Makito manages to sneak his way to Liese in a guard uniform and talk to her without any of the other guards or the crowd noticing.
  • Hollywood Healing: Zigzagged. Mia's legs get battered hard during her pre-execution interrogation, but she's able to walk and run just fine right after. Once they're able to rest though, Makito notices just how badly wounded she is and she patches herself up.
  • Horned Hairdo: Makito's hair sticks up like a pair of horns which gets him mistaken for the Devil.
  • Hustling the Mark: Makito plays up being a childish noble to bait Guille into gambling against him.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: Helga was going to finish off Valery and even points out that she's already killed enough people that another won't matter, but Laura tells her that she's not forced to fight anymore and that food will taste better than vengeance.
  • Instant Sedation: Makito knocks out a guard with a drugged cloth.
  • Intimate Healing: Mia administers some chocolate to Makito through a kiss when he's out of it from not being able to work out Valery's trick and the gravity of his situation catching up with him.
  • It Was with You All Along: Makito and Mia spend an entire chapter trying to find chocolate and fail. Once he collapses again, Mia tries to feed him some cacao medicine she bought a few days prior which Makito identifies as chocolate after some questioning.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Makito acts like a jerk to everyone around him, but it's a defense mechanism he adopts because he doesn't want to be taken advantage of and manipulated again. Despite this, although he won't admit it, he does care about the witches in his care.
  • Knock Out Gas: Mia develops some gas bombs for when the Witches need to stealthily take out guards.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Played With. Father Lucio adopts this tactic when he realizes that he doesn't stand a chance against Helga, despite being a member of the Iron Hammer. He makes a run for it, saying that he's not the fighting type. He does this to hide the fact that Helga was poisoned just by being near him.
  • La Résistance: Makito and the other Witches form this to go up against the church and call their group Worshippers of the Devil.
  • Lecherous Licking: Guille licks Mrs. Auer's face once he wins her in a card game.
  • Like a Duck Takes to Water: Makito's Stage Magician experience lets him easily see through Middle Age scams and he finds himself happier from having competent allies and an audience captivated by his magic.
  • Lost Him in a Card Game: Mrs. Auer allowed her husband to bet her in cards once they were out of everything else to wager which temporarily lands her in Guille's possession. When Makito tries to get his pendant back from Guille, he puts Romy and Mr. Auer down as his initial bet.
  • Magician Detective: Makito uses his stage experience to identify and expose how the church's miracles work.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: Averted, though Makito grew up to be a magician because he thought this was the case and was disappointed with reality.
  • Master Poisoner: Father Lucio's "miracle" is to heal the sick with a touch of his hand, when in actuality he's poisoning them, giving them the antidote when they're being checked for being a witch, and touches them just when it starts taking effect. The poison itself isn't fatal, but the pain is enough to drive anyone insane if they're not cured from it. Helga gets poisoned by him just by being exposed to him.
  • The Medic: Mia is an apothecary who does her best to treat everyone. Even after she's accused of being a witch, she made one last run to deliver medicine before her execution.
  • Medieval Morons: The average person here is superstitious, agrees with the church, and will point to any woman they don't like as a witch.
  • Mind over Matter: Valery's miracle is psychokinesis which he shows off via lots of knives that chase after his target. His trick is him using threads and electromagnets built in his home.
  • Mood-Swinger: Makito turns into a moody crybaby when he thinks about his late mother and real magic, but goes right back to his confident, professional self after eating some chocolate.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: And Helga makes up for it in speed and flexibility.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The manga makes no attempt to hide how well-endowed Mia is, and she even burst out of her room wearing nothing to show Makito the stigmata on her breast.
  • Nice Girl: Mia is a sweet girl all around, which makes her being declared a witch the more surprising by those who know her well. Even when she joins Makito, she only wants to help everyone around her.
  • Offhand Backhand: Helga delivers an offhand kick to a thug while reassuring a kidnapped child.
  • Once per Episode: A magic trick gets explained every chapter.
  • One Twin Must Die: The twin brothers believed in this trope and thought they'd go to hell unless they went along with Filippo's miracle.
  • Papa Wolf: Liese's old man doesn't take well to the idea of Makito putting his hands on his granddaughter's body, even if it's to save her life.
  • Paper Tiger: Father Lucio. When Helga makes short work of his men and sets her sights on him, he begs for mercy and quickly makes a run for it. Considering he's part of Iron Hammer, she's understandably confused. Although he succeeds in poisoning her, when Makito lures him into the forest, his thought process reveals that aside from his main weapon, he's really just all talk.
  • The Perfectionist: Makito has this attitude with his performances, though he's much less rude being stuck in the past and forced to perform with his life on the line.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: After witnessing Filippo kill a man for his fake miracle, Makito's plan shifts from sneakily rescuing witches to openly challenging the church and proving that the Devil is far more powerful than them.
  • Pose of Supplication:
    • Laura performs one to Makito when asking him to save her Helga.
    • Helga performs one herself when begging Valery to spare Laura.
  • The Problem with Fighting Death: Invoked. When Guille is about to get violent over losing the card game he rigged, Makito shows off his magic and tells him that he made a wager with the Devil and that he'll be eternally damned if he doesn't pay up. Guille folds quickly and is later shown being roped into helping Makito out of fear.
  • Public Execution: Naturally, since the church wants to put on a show for the masses which helps make Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? Justified.
  • Religion Is Magic: Invoked. The church presents their tricks as holy miracles and blessings.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Helga. It's part of her charm.
  • Scars Are Forever: Helga has a scar around her neck from her defeat against Valery two years ago. She keeps it hidden with a choker.
  • Self-Restraint: Subverted. Helga has an entire dining room feast to herself in Valery's mansion, and she's able to slip out for food whenever she wants. However, she can't truly leave since her sister is kept hostage there.
  • She's Got Legs: Exploited. Makito's Cross Dressing outfit shows off the legs to sell the illusion that he transformed into a woman.
  • Ship Tease: Between Makito and Mia. It's obvious that she develops feelings for him, and although he often acts like a jerk to her, deep down he actually does appreciate her and relies on her for support.
  • Show Some Leg: Liese unsuccessfully tries to lure over the guard watching her cell this way.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Valery swears hard and more than everyone else combined.
  • Slave to PR: Justified. The conflict is essentially a war of reputation between the Worshipers of the Devil and the church over which side is more powerful so neither side can afford to back down from a challenge.
  • Slipped the Ropes: Invoked with Makito setting up a fake knot for Mia to break free from during her execution.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Brigitte's unique ability is to communicate with animals. Unlike the others, Makito is so thrown back by it because he doesn't think it's possible.
  • Stage Magician: Makito is one who's a prodigy which lets him see through the church's tricks and bring his own to the table.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: Many witches are just talented women accused out of jealousy.
    • Liese was more skilled than the other craftsman which led to her being branded a witch.
    • Helga beat a reputable knight in a duel and was branded a witch for it.
  • Tap on the Head: Mia knocks out a guard with a statue bust to the head.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Justified when Helga fights Valery. She has to win by herself to get past her trauma, though Makito makes sure to inspire her and ensure that it's a fair fight.
  • Tomboy: Liese doesn't get along well with Mia at first, and later admits it's because she grew up around older men and doesn't know how to act around others. They're able to make up once she clears things up.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Mia's rescue leads to a mob chasing them down with farming tools as the chapter ends.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Chocolate for Makito. He eats it to pump himself up and it's the only way to get him out of his melancholic crying moods.
    • Once Helga tries one of Mia's bacon sandwiches, she quickly declares it her new favorite.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Makito keeps a pendant with his mother's picture inside it.
  • Trapped in Another World: Subverted. Makito initially thought this was the case but it's actually Time Travel.
  • Truth in Television: Yes, during the middle ages, animals were in fact held on trial for breaking the law and subject to the same treatment as humans.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Both Filippo and Valery have one when their "miracles" are exposed for the farce they are.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: It's the church during The Middle Ages, of course everyone will listen to them.
  • Visionary Villain: Pietro reveals that the reason he's ordering the witch executions is ultimately to prevent the Industrial Revolution from ever happening, and wants to keep the populace believing in things like devils and witches.
  • The Watson: Mia has this role in the beginning and asks how Makito pulls off his tricks.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Part of Makito's act is being able to disguise himself as a rather attractive woman, which he uses to even better effect in the time period he's now in.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: Brigitte's parents found her ability to speak to animals worrisome, and kept asking her why she couldn't be normal.
  • Witch Hunt: The setting takes place in the The Middle Ages during the Witch Trials.
  • Wrecked Weapon: A heroic example. Helga shatters Valery's sword to show that she's moved past her fear of him.
  • World's Strongest Man: Helga is known as The Strongest Witch.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Valery holds Laura as a hostage to coerce Helga into his Gladiator Games and uses her as a Human Shield once his duel with Helga goes south for him.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Each of the main witches have unusual hair colors. Mia has pink hair, Liese has blue, Helga has purple, and Brigitte is a greenish-blonde. Melanie, who had not been introduced during the series' run, has green hair.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Pietro has Filippo and Valery killed after Makito ruins their reputations.

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