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Burn the Witch Chapter 4 "If a lion could speak, We couldn't understand": Spoilers and Discussion

How do you rate Burn the Witch Chapter 4 and why?


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Polgarena

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Maerchen is the German word for fairy tale. This is correct.

I have just read this last chapter of the current story. Especially now, a lot reminds me of the Quincies in Bleach and the death sentence that was (maybe still is) hanging over them. I am not fond of reading another variation of that topic and certain choices Tite Kubo made.

The story will continue, eventually. We will see where this will go.
 
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Maerchen is the German word for fairy tale. This is correct.

I have just read this last chapter of the current story. Especially now, a lot reminds me of the Quincies in Bleach and the death sentence that was (maybe still is) hanging over them. I am not fond of reading another variation of that topic and certain choices Tite Kubo made.

The story will continue, eventually. We will see where this will go.
That seems to be the case. Cinderella stopped after seeing the sword Balgo manifested out of nowhere for some reason, only to be killed by Billy.

Remember what the One-Shot said as well: the Eastern Branch aka. the Soul Society we're more familiar with simply kills all the Dragons in their region, rather than what Wing Bind does. If that's the case, who is it in Soul Society that handles Dragon extermination? Is it one of the branches of the Second Division. Is it the Kido Corps' job?

And we don't know what the relationship between the two even is, still. Reverse London is allegedly so overlapped with real London that any damage in one affects the other, but the "Eastern Soul Society" is more like its own realm.

Are the Witches and Wizards of Wing Bind the Eastern Branch name for the "Magic Hunters" that Quincy were claimed to be related to, or just regular Humans with spiritual awareness who are given dragon-hunting tools to channel that spirit energy into?

Because it is not enough to say that Wing Bind is the Western Branch of Soul Society without ever giving us any details about how they actually interact with one another. The nearest that can be figured is that Dragons are reishi-based creatures, which is why only certain people can see them.

But either way, it seems that the Maerchen dragons are in an even worse boat than the Quincy, marked for extermination just because they exist, even though they were originally considered fairy tales. When it came to the Quincy, Kubo had to conjure up Yhwach and the Vandenreich to reinforce the whole "Shinigami were justified in exterminating the Quincy". We'll just have to see what direction he goes with the Maerchen Dragons, though he's already got the whole "progenitors of Dark Dragons" point lined up.
 

darkeningcloud

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Wow, the difference between the last two chapters is like night and day. I don't even know where to begin.

First of all - the Maerchen. Having some kind of primordial or progenitor version of these dragons appear is pretty awesome as it raises the stakes and gives those who find themselves on either end of a petty squabble a reason to come together and form a united front. I'm currently going through the Toaru light novels so seeing fairy tale symbolism used as basis for magic had me hook, line and sinker. Kubo, you got me. I was wondering if another Top of Horns member was going to show up and force the dragon into experiencing "dawn" with high-level magic, thus breaking the spell of being Cinderella and reverting Elly into its normal form, but lo and behold the man a lot of you were expecting to be a powerhouse playing himself down on purpose came through with a no scope headshot. Boom. Having Sullivan find proof of it afterwards was just icing on the cake. I loved how that entire thing played out, ngl.

I find myself liking Balgo a lot more now that I realise he's just a meek, victim of circumstance that tries to stay out of everyone's way without being needy or annoying. Now that Macy is sticking around the two might be able to develop each others' characters and add a more human touch to this story grounded in magic and dragons. I hope so. Step-on-me Fraulein Sullivan becoming more prominent is very exciting as well. Rolling out the Top of Horns one by one makes it easier to bond with and be excited to see what they're all about. Bangnyfe himself was spectacular this chapter. That graffiti curtain was impressive in its own right but seeing different practitioners use different styles of magic through various mediums was the real highlight for me; it might actually be the thing that keeps this series fresh throughout its run.

I'm looking forward to seeing some of these other dragons, especially the one that's seemingly based on the golden axe/silver axe story. All in all, 8.7/10 too much water.

And we don't know what the relationship between the two even is, still. Reverse London is allegedly so overlapped with real London that any damage in one affects the other, but the "Eastern Soul Society" is more like its own realm.
I'm guessing it's the same way two species of bird on either end of the planet will adapt to their environment and evolve in separate ways in order to solve the problems that they're faced with - Reverse London worked for the westerners but the east decided to split the realms when they were subduing the powerful being that would eventually become known as the ReiO. Following this train of thought, perhaps hollows are endemic to Japan due to their history and mythos and Dragons are the same for England; both of these spiritual manifestations would have required different approaches to contain and manage, which may be why the branches are so different. Furthermore Ninny and Noel might have just referred to hollows as dragons because that's their interpretation of what they are when in fact there are no "dragons" in Japan or hollows in England.
 

Polgarena

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Thank you all for your interesting views and posts; I'll probably reply to you tomorrow. :loyal Now, a bit of trivia.

Kubo's comment: https://www.viz.com/blog/posts/mangaka-musings-09-13-2020
Having a series again after a while was really fun!! There was an announcement already, but please relax and stand by!
The current view count on MangaPlus:
~ Cumulative 262.524
~ Cumulative English 220.950
~ Cumulative Spanish 41.574

The view count on 07th September was 192.920+36.411=229.331. The increase over the week:
~ Total 33.193
~ English 28.030
~ Spanish 5.163

Mangahelper's poll results for the previous issue: https://mangahelpers.com/forum/thre...-discussion-and-toc-talk.3015155/post-5345181
1. Jujutsu Kaisen 120 - 134 J-Points
2. Chainsaw Man 83 - 75 J-Points
3. My Hero Academia 283 - 72 J-Points
4. Undead Unluck 30 - 71 J-Points
5. Magu-chan: God of Destruction 10 - 66 J-Points
6. One Piece 989 - 60 J-Points
7. Mashle 29 - 50 J-Points
8. Black Clover 263 - 42 J-Points
9. Burn The Witch 3 - 35 J-Points
10. World Trigger 200 & 201 - 33 J-Points
11. Mission: Yozakura Family 49 - 32 J-Points
12. Kokosei Kazoku 1 & 2 (New Series) - 31 J-Points
13. Agravity Boys 34 - 26 J-Points
14. Kaiju No.8 9 - 26 J-Points
15. Hard-Boiled Cop and Dolphin 9 - 25 J-Points
16. Dr. Stone 164 - 22 J-Points
17. Jigokuraku 110 - 22 J-Points
18. Seraph of the End 94 - 19 J-Points
19. Me & Roboco 8 - 19 J-Points
20. Ayakashi Triangle 11 - 17 J-Points
21. Spy x Family 32 - 12 J-Points
22. Phantom Seer 2 - 11 J-Points
23. We Never Learn 172 - 10 J-Points
24. Moriking 18 - 9 J-Points
25. Twin Star Exorcists 85 - 8 J-Points
26. Blue Exorcist 124 - 7 J-Points
27. World's End Harem: Britannia Lumiére 6 & 7 - 2 J-Points
28. Ghost Reaper Girl 5 - 2 J-Points
29. Excuse Me Dentist, It's Touching Me! 1, 2, 3 & 4 (New Series) - 2 J-Points
30. Platinum End 54 - 0 J-Points

Notes:

-40 Poll Voters + 30 Comment Voters
-Tied mangas decided by which is older
-Total number of votes is the combined between both polls
***

There was certainly a lot to unpack from this chapter.

First, I'll rant about a detail from the colour-spread.

~ At this point, I am not sure how Kubo is able to create absolutely fantastic looking characters and then flop so hard with highly controversial designs. Designs that are insulting, but that I'm afraid not too many people will care about because the contemporary internet culture is all about thick, thighs, hype, click-baits etc.

~ See, Bruno is all about that urban casual style and it looks amazing. Roy looks as if he's switched from the Kingsman universe to Reverse London with that smartness. Wolfgang, fittingly, looks intimidating in the background, while Sullivan looking good in black and on the foreground. Harry has a leisurely dynamic design from those shades, the clips for the cape, suspenders, short pants down to those sandals. Tronbonne is unique in how familiar he looks.

~ And then there's Cquintnire Milieve... Her design is on the level of Orihime's almost nonexistant bikini from the coloured illustration he drew especially for Bleach Jet (under the excuse that she chose something Ichigo would like). Milieve is nothing but an object at this point. Not only has she not said anything in these 4 chapters, which can be excused because Harry, Tronbonne (and Saka Ryunn) didn't either, but the way she's drawn on the colour spread suggests nothing but sexual objectification. She has that mind-numbingly disrespective crotch window, her breasts are surrounded by two knots (from above and below) and you can't see her hands. The way she's drawn reminds me of those prehistoric objects where women were presented, at times without heads, as just boobs and buttocks figurines (example 1 and example 2).

~ Although, I did see some comments (not that many of them, really) that heavily criticized Kubo's poor and unreasonable choice when it comes to Milieve.

Rant over. Now, onto more positive stuff. It may be out of order.

~ Bruno on page 1 looks exactly like how @Tommo2304 would draw him. It made me smile.

~ Kubo went all out on the lore and world-building. And I'm quite proud of him in that regard because the world is colourful, the dragons arrive in all shapes and colours, just like the human characters. The Wing Bind system is not perfect and that's something Kubo is famous of as well. The name as well, knowingly or not, coupled with the "Why abuse Dragons" sign suggests that - it binds the wings of those dragons, for better of for worse it depends on the situation.

~ The Dragons - I'm inclined to think that they are beings that just (CFYOW spoilers) naturally came into existence similar to how Hollows and the Soul King did all those millions of years ago, long before the world got split between dimensions. The fact that they're inherently tied to emotions, accumulating them, eventually turning into Dark Dragons, infecting people with dragon-toxins and turning them into Dragonclad people - this all gives the excuse for Wing Bind to exterminate them. But, are they really that bad? To paraphrase a certain character from Jujutsu Kaisen chapter 121: the dragons are us.

~ Moving on. The hype scale kept increasing through the chapter. Elly molted into a being befitting its name and lore. Its bond with Macy triggered this transformation. Usually, or at least in Slavic mythology, dragons have a unique form of intelligence, so much so that I think that Kubo's choice for the chapter title tells us that they're not just beasts meant to be tamed, used or exterminated, but that they exist on an entirely different plane of intelligent thought. Simply put, I am in awe of Cinderella's grandeur.

~ Kubo's love for huge explosions returns!

~ Noel is not just an action girl, she's knowledgeable as well. More so than Ninny, she's thorough about her research, spells and action. I'm quite sure there's a lot of training (mental and physical) behind all that. It makes me want to see just how did Noel and Ninny find out they can see Dragons and become Witches. Ninny may be all about ambition, but Noel's the one who has better stats at the moment.

~ However, Ninny has a lot of heart and depth as well. I find it surprising that the narration from chapter 1 actually took place during this. Re-reading the chapter is a must by now because I want to fully understand what Kubo meant with that and other speeches.

~ Bruno's mask looks cool. His relationship with Rickenbacker looks like that of a genuine bond. His techniques are as sharp as his style. His spells look great; I like the fact that it's street art and graffitti. It reminds me of early Bleach. Hunger Shadow looks like a wolverine. Greed Curtain spells "Just Choke You" showing Kubo's love for typography and the power of words because Bruno probably wanted just that - to choke/suffocate Cinderella within that prison a la Ichibe'e.

~ Team work was nice and so were the rest of the spells.

~ Finally, it's been a while since a chapter made me jump from my seat. First there was Balgo when it looked like he summoned the Sword of Gryffindor from the Sorting Hat a sword from the trumpet when I thought "Oh, he'll do something cool and help", followed by a One-Hit Knock Out. Except, it was Billy Banks Jr. who fired that shot and Sullivan's on to him!!! I knew he wasn't just a lazy chief who takes all the credit to himself.



Concluding this long post, here's what I hope Season 2 brings us (aside from what looks like Noel and Ninny visiting Saka Ryunn):
~ Even more lore and dragons.
~ Seeing other characters in action and an overall better character establishment and development.
~ Perhaps even a flashback about Billy's father, the hero.
 
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~ At this point, I am not sure how Kubo is able to create absolutely fantastic looking characters and then flop so hard with highly controversial designs. Designs that are insulting, but that I'm afraid not too many people will care about because the contemporary internet culture is all about thick, thighs, hype, click-baits etc.

~ See, Bruno is all about that urban casual style and it looks amazing. Roy looks as if he's switched from the Kingsman universe to Reverse London with that smartness. Wolfgang, fittingly, looks intimidating in the background, while Sullivan looking good in black and on the foreground. Harry has a leisurely dynamic design from those shades, the clips for the cape, suspenders, short pants down to those sandals. Tronbonne is unique in how familiar he looks.

~ And then there's Cquintnire Milieve... Her design is on the level of Orihime's almost nonexistant bikini from the coloured illustration he drew especially for Bleach Jet (under the excuse that she chose something Ichigo would like). Milieve is nothing but an object at this point. Not only has she not said anything in these 4 chapters, which can be excused because Harry, Tronbonne (and Saka Ryunn) didn't either, but the way she's drawn on the colour spread suggests nothing but sexual objectification. She has that mind-numbingly disrespective crotch window, her breasts are surrounded by two knots (from above and below) and you can't see her hands. The way she's drawn reminds me of those prehistoric objects where women were presented, at times without heads, as just boobs and buttocks figurines (example 1 and example 2).

~ Although, I did see some comments (not that many of them, really) that heavily criticized Kubo's poor and unreasonable choice when it comes to Milieve.
I could only roll my eyes all the way up to the back of my head when I noticed that. I mean, seriously? In what world would any woman realistically wear something like that? There's no point to it! She's supposed to be one of the division heads of Wing Bind's, and Kubo designs her wearing something like that?!

Makes me worried about the personality he's given her (if we ever see her do anything).
 

darkeningcloud

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~ At this point, I am not sure how Kubo is able to create absolutely fantastic looking characters and then flop so hard with highly controversial designs. Designs that are insulting, but that I'm afraid not too many people will care about because the contemporary internet culture is all about thick, thighs, hype, click-baits etc...
It's not that they don't care, just that it's not surprising. I personally hate it; I had an inkling this character was going to end up being the awfully dressed sex object when we first saw the Top of Horns, I've been in the game too long lol. After the "ass-chest" Orihime problem (you ALL know what colour spread I'm referring to) a lot of people just wrinkle their noses and move on. What can you do about it, really? The industry uses shit like this to market to young men, practically boys, and manipulate them into buying their merchandise or supporting third-party brands that they're partnered with. If I were a woman, I might be a little disgusted at the portrayal but this isn't just a case of thirstyboi illustrators - it's a lure used by a predatory industry to make money off of the psychological vulnerability of young men... Something I don't actually see being addressed whenever a topic like this is brought up.

The real question is how much of this kind of thing is the author's and illustrator's doing and how much of it is at the behest of the editors & publishers? We'd have to see a "design works" or some draft illustrations to be sure.
 
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After "I can see your panties" and all the panties talk earlier this woman shown on the colour spread is actually displaying it framed by a heart. On top of that her outfit has parallels with Orihime's dress in the Hueco Mundo story. Her super balcony is not much of a problem compared to that. This is one of the worst sexist outfits I have ever seen and I am really disappointed in Tite Kubo.

The woman in black with the SS parallels seems to reflect another example of male fantasies.

After reading the last chapter again, I like the story more than I did but choices like these put me off.
 

Polgarena

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Especially now, a lot reminds me of the Quincies in Bleach and the death sentence that was (maybe still is) hanging over them.
I understand your feelings, but the thing here is that Bruno was the loudest advocate for that execution order. Now that he's interacted with Noel, Ninny, Balgo and Macy (not to mention that he's witnessed an awe-inspiring "dragon slaying" power that made him go back to earth after soaring on the wings of ambition), he's reconsidered his behavior and suggested the removal of the kill-order.

Of course, I can't say I'm a fan of such dramatic elements, but how else are you going to build up drama in such a short series?

***

That seems to be the case. Cinderella stopped after seeing the sword Balgo manifested out of nowhere for some reason, only to be killed by Billy.
See, that's something I'm not sure about yet. Did Balgo really summon that sword out of his own power. Or was it Billy who tampered with the trumpet and when the sword appeared, he used it as a beacon in order to know where exactly to aim that shot. :headscratch

Are the Witches and Wizards of Wing Bind the Eastern Branch name for the "Magic Hunters" that Quincy were claimed to be related to, or just regular Humans with spiritual awareness who are given dragon-hunting tools to channel that spirit energy into?
This is why I would've preferred if Burn the Witch existed in a completely separate universe compared to Bleach. Now with West Branch Wing Bind being a thing, people are basically forced to look for parallels, explanations, make theories etc.

I really like how @darkeningcloud explained it, though. :thumbs

But either way, it seems that the Maerchen dragons are in an even worse boat than the Quincy, marked for extermination just because they exist, [...]
The Maerchen are marked for extinction - even though at least Cinderella (and only now have I made a connection between cinder - ash - explosives) is drawn like a beautiful creature - because the Witches and Wizards still haven't found a way how to prevent the destruction they cause and how to prevent Dark Dragons from appearing.

We don't know for how long has Wing Bind existed, or do we?

I would like to write more about dragons in general, their mythological roots and how they're presented in media, but don't have time right now.

***

Bangnyfe himself was spectacular this chapter. That graffiti curtain was impressive in its own right but seeing different practitioners use different styles of magic through various mediums was the real highlight for me; it might actually be the thing that keeps this series fresh throughout its run.
Agreed on everything said here.

***

I could only roll my eyes all the way up to the back of my head when I noticed that. I mean, seriously? In what world would any woman realistically wear something like that? There's no point to it! She's supposed to be one of the division heads of Wing Bind's, and Kubo designs her wearing something like that?!

Makes me worried about the personality he's given her (if we ever see her do anything).
Lol, I think I've done the same thing - rolling my eyes all the way back. But, I'd like to fix what you've said: In what world would any PERSON realistically wear something like what Kubo made Milieve wear. I too am worried about her personality.

What were the editors doing? I'm well aware of the target audience and their sales projections they have to meet by using the hormonal impulses men, young men and boys are going through...

And, while we're at the editor. From what I remember, Kubo's got a new one right before Bleach ended. WSJ has a habit of pairing veteran authors and freshmen editors, but unless there were some changes (and I haven't been paying attention), that editor has had 4 (or 3, if we take into account that Kubo drew this a long time ago) years of experience.

If I were the editor, I would've returned that colour spread, I would've tried to reason with the author to change the character design. This, once again, comes down to the fact that Shueisha has a problem in the editorial department because none of the editors for WSJ are women and their female readership base is growing without representation in the editorial department.
 
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