Burn the Witch

Burn the Witch

Burn the Witch anime movie cover art
Burn the Witch

“Movie” Overview

Burn the Witch is an anime “movie” that’s actually three episodes. It’s more of an OVA than a movie considering how it’s presented. But, what it’s classified as doesn’t really matter. It’s about an hour of content.

Something else I found out after watching the movie is that it’s a spin-off of Bleach — or at least is set within the same universe. I’ve never watched Bleach. I have no interest in watching Bleach. And I don’t think you need to have any knowledge of Bleach to watch and enjoy this movie.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the movie is going to be easy to understand. After the opening scene, which doesn’t really matter for the rest of the movie, we’re thrown into the deep end.

We aren’t given explanations for anything. I don’t know what the job of our protagonists actually is, what a “Dragonclad” is despite them apparently being important, or how the organizations within this world are connected.

You have to infer all of these things from context. And the problem with that is that there’s really not much context to get from an hour-long movie that’s trying to tell a small piece of a larger story.

From my understanding, Noel and Ninny work for the government to babysit people known as Dragonclad. And I think Dragonclad are people who have had contact with dragons. But also apparently coming into contact with dragons is illegal and results in execution. So why is there a government agency in place to babysit them?

Also, the movie is based on four chapters of manga that seem like they’ll never be followed up on. And yet, the movie sets up a story that would take at least 24 episodes to cover.

Burn the Witch Characters

Noel Niihashi is one of the two main characters of Burn the Witch. She works for the organization known as Wing Bind in Reverse London (some magic version of London). Noel is very competent with magic, cares most about getting paid, and has a very dry personality.

Ninny Spangcole is the other main character. She works alongside Noel in Reverse London but also works as an idol in normal London. Of the two, I vastly prefer Ninny. Though, I think part of what makes Ninny so good is that Noel is there to be her opposite.

I shouldn’t say that they’re complete opposites, though. Ninny is also competent with magic. And while she doesn’t care much about money as she’s an idol, she does care about earning points from completing jobs so that she can rank up (or something, it’s not explained).

Noel Niihashi and Ninny Spangcole from the anime movie Burn the Witch
Noel Niihashi and Ninny Spangcole

The part of Ninny that’s the opposite of Noel is her personality. As I said, Noel has a very dry personality and does things by the book for the most part. Ninny is brash, loud, and seems to generally view workplace rules as mere suggestions.

Balgo Parks is a supporting character and the main Dragonclad of the series. He has a dog/dragon named Osushi and dragons are attracted to him for some reason. He’s also kind of an idiot and is in love with Noel. Noel and Ninny spend a lot of time babysitting him so he doesn’t cause trouble.

The final character I want to mention is Bruno Bangnyfe, who sort of serves as the main antagonist of the movie. He’s a member of some other governmental faction and hunts down Dragonclad and dragons. While he seems like a typical meathead at first, I think he became a pretty good character.

I’d Watch a Full Series

While I’m still not interested in watching Bleach even after watching Burn the Witch, I am interested in more Burn the Witch. If this was made into a full series, and that series was animated as well as this movie was (unlikely), I’d absolutely watch it.

Despite the fact that I didn’t really understand what was going on for a lot of this movie because I was missing context, I enjoyed it. A full series would be able to add the explanations and context that couldn’t fit within the movie’s one-hour run time.

Sure, the plot that was eventually revealed of defeating the 7 special dragons or whatever seems kind of bland. But, I care less about the plot and more about exploring the world and characters that were set up within this movie.

Ninny holding her wand(?) to Bruno Bangnyfe's head from the anime movie Burn the Witch
Ninny holding her wand(?) to Bruno Bangnyfe’s head

As long as I get to go on adventures around Reverse London with Noel and Ninny, I don’t really care what those adventures are. Though, I get the feeling that those adventures would become less interesting as the series progressed and got into more serious plot material.

Another thing that a series could do better than the movie is supporting characters. There were a lot of supporting characters introduced who just never mattered. It’s clear they were introduced because they’re going to matter later on. But since there’s currently no “later on,” they just waste space in the movie.

For example, there’s a woman named Sullivan Squire who’s a member of some other government organization that I don’t believe is ever stated. I don’t think we even ever see her interact with Noel and Ninny. But she exists and is in multiple scenes, so I’d like to learn more about her.

Conclusion

Some people are definitely going to think this rating is high based on how rushed the story is. But I think Burn the Witch is a 7/10. Even if a lot of it doesn’t make sense, it’s fun to watch. And it looks really good too. I like the art and the animation was good.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Toma for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

My review of Burn the Witch #0.8 is available now.

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