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Article: Why Bleach Fans Should Watch Burn the Witch (And Vice-Versa)

Why Bleach Fans Should Watch Burn the Witch (And Vice-Versa)

Why Bleach Fans Should Watch Burn the Witch (And Vice-Versa)

Five years ago, Tite Kubo closed out the 15-year run of his supernatural shonen manga Bleach. Two years later, he returned for the first one-shot run of BURN THE WITCH. The series starred all new characters in an all new setting — well, not all new. And that's what's so cool about it.

If you're a Bleach fan who hasn't jumped into BURN THE WITCH, or vice-versa, you owe it to yourself to give Kubo's sister series a try for a double dose of magical action... here's why.


Soul Society and Reverse London Go Together

Ichigo as seen in the anime

The setting of Bleach is linked to Soul Society, an in-between alternate world where souls go as they await reincarnation. It's connected to our world, and can only be traveled to and from by people with a certain set of abilities. BURN THE WITCH has a similar setting in Reverse London — an alternate version of the British capital — but that's not just a thematic similarity.

In BURN THE WITCH, it's exclusively stated that both Reverse London and the Soul Society of Bleach are part of a larger Soul Society. The two locales are referred to as its Western and Eastern branches, respectively. So even if you're new to BURN THE WITCH, you've been here before. Sort of.


A New Way to Fight Hollows

The heroes of Burn the Witch

Much like the heroes of Bleach, their London counterparts have their own paranormal "monsters" to worry about. But instead of Hollows, the stars of BURN THE WITCH are hunting dragons. Well, sort of.

"Dragons" are actually a wide variety of supernatural beings who are invisible to most people but can be dangerous. Traditional-looking dragons are in the mix, but so are Dragons resembling dogs, wombats, pigs, and inanimate objects. These "Light Dragons" are tamed and used to produce goods; but even Dark Dragons, corrupted by negative human emotions, can be domesticated.

Hollows and Dragons may not be the same beings, but Reverse London prides itself on not resorting to simply killing off all its monsters as the Eastern Soul Society does.


Technically, It's a Sequel

Ichigo, manga style

So where do Bleach and BURN THE WITCH fall in relation to each other? We actually have that answer!

The events we witness in Reverse London take place 12 years after the Quincy Blood War as depicted in the Bleach manga. This, by extension, places BURN THE WITCH two years after the final chapter of Bleach. Given how much is going on with Reverse London's Dragons, there's not likely to be a lot of real crossover. But it's fun to see how that broader world fits together, and where all the pieces fit, even if they're on opposite sides of the world.


A Continuation with a Twist

The Witches of BURN THE WITCH

When a much-loved title ends, all you want is for it to come back so you can keep enjoying it. At the same time, continuing something past its natural end can ruin the story, or at the very least stretch it thin.

Kubo found a great way to keep the world of Bleach alive in BURN THE WITCH: a Western aesthetic, a new take on the series's monsters, and a twist on the worldbuilding he'd already done. Reverse London and Soul Society clearly coexist in a setting where secret worlds run parallel to our own. But it's an opportunity to take many of the same themes and run them through a different filter... scratching that Bleach itch while creating something new.

Not only is there more Bleach coming (the final story arc will be getting an anime adaptation), there's also more BURN THE WITCH on the way! Keep an eye out, so you can enjoy both sides of the story.

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