Bleach fans, rejoice! Tite Kubo is back with a new manga set in the universe of Bleach. Burn the Witch, a manga following two high school witches that contain and control dragons is finally out in stores.
The first volume starts with Kubo’s original one-shot which introduces main characters Noel Niihashi, Ninny Spangcole, and Balgo Parks. The setup is exactly what you think; Noel is a cool and mysterious student and Ninny a hot-headed idol to the average people of London. However, in Reverse London (London but with magical properties), these two girls are witches that work for a special agency called Wing Bind. Wing Bind’s main duty is to protect regular humans, collect resources from dragons, and keep the peace of Reverse London. Noel’s high school friend Balgo is attacked by a dragon and now Noel needs to expose her alternate identity to her human friend. Once Balgo is safe, he is under Wing Bind’s watch for the foreseeable future due to his contact with a dragon.
Burn the Witch, at its core, is a really fun concept. It’s upbeat, action-packed, and the character designs are super cute. However, it has an incredibly slow build-up. Maybe this is because Kubo’s last series ran for 15 years, but if a series doesn’t have at least some semblance of a plot by the end of the first volume, it feels empty. There is a wink and a nod at a possible plot, but with the main cast not even fully assembled yet, one can’t be too sure.
If Bleach was never something you bothered to read but this manga sounds like something you’d love, have no fear. Though set in the Bleach universe, no understanding of the original series is needed. Each piece of equipment is explained and each character’s place in Wing Bind is laid out to first-timers quickly and smoothly, so you never miss a beat!
Overall, Burn the Witch is underwhelming but holds real protentional. With a series as rich and exciting as Bleach as a sister series, one can only hope it can soar to the same heights as Tite Kubo’s magnum opus.
Burn the Witch is available in all major book retailers both online and in stores.