Japanaten: The Greatest Witches of All Time


Shiny Chariot would be proud

Witches are fascinating. They enchanted us all the way back to Bewitched, they're creep us out in American Horror Story: Coven, and they're still the subject of near-daily discussion when it comes to Trigger's excellent Little Witch Academia OVA. Seriously, we're still salivating over it.

We've come a long way from pigeonholing these powerful spellcasters into roles where they're only allowed to be present as green, mole-clad filth beasts, and though the origins and powers of witches vary from series to series, one thing remains the same: they're awesome. 

Anime is a vast and thriving landscape for witches of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, and we've amassed a rather long list of witchy-poos over the years. Why not round up ten of the best? I looked way back in the archives and even scoured more recent series for a list of ten witches who'll put a spell on you and now you're mine in no time. 

Spoiler alert -- if you haven't seen some of the series below, you may want to avert your eyes, as there will be some spoilers sprinkled throughout. 

Akane Aikawa, Mahou Tsukai Tai!

The little-known Mahou Tsukai Tai! was a charming OVA that united magical classmates together to practice their spells, but it turned into much more than that as they became wrapped up in a war between alien invaders and the human race. It's out there to be sure, but Akane Aikawa was but one of many reasons why it was so pleasant to watch. Though she's clearly meant to be the ditz of the main trio of witches (with Sae Sawanoguchi and Nanaka Nakatomi) she provides comic relief and brings the eye candy in droves. Except for, oh you know, Aburatsubo. Hnnnng. Akane may not be the most talented witch of the cast, but she's been useful far more times than you can imagine. Hey, at least she can ride a broom. 

Akko Kagari, Little Witch Academia

Akko of Little Witch Academia joins Luna Nova Academy after being inspired as a little girl by the popular witch Shiny Chariot, then ends up using Shiny Chariot's powerful Shiny Rod wand to defeat a dragon. Though she comes from a background devoid of magic users, she does her best to learn, even if it's tough at times. Her winning personality and infectious energy are just one sliver of what makes Trigger's excellent OVA such a joy to watch. Akko, I know you weren't born into a magical family, but enough hard work will get you there! Keep at it!

Alice, Tweeny Witches

Alice of Tweeny Witches is a bit of a tomboy, but she's a cheerful presence and believes that magic should be used only for good. I disagree, because sometimes I want to do something evil like take away every tween's access to social media for a day or so, but you know, different strokes. She fell into the magic world after falling from the rooftop of her school one day, and has been honing her magical abilities-- which rival even some of the more experienced users' skills-- ever since. Plus, she rides a broom like a skateboard. How can you not appreciate that?

Alice Sena, Witch Hunter Robin

Robin is a special case, having started out Witch Hunter Robin as, well, a witch hunter. Her pyrokinetic abilities and the fact that she's saddled with the memories of generations of witches soon make her a target of the very same organization she worked with in the first place. Robin's labeled a witch, and hunted just the same. She's a powerful adversary to have though, and deserving of a spot on our list.

Bayonetta, Bayonetta: Bloody Fate 

Okay, okay. So technically Bayonetta is a video game character and not from an anime series. And I haven't actually seen the animated movie yet. But a list of awesome witches without Bayonetta would be like peanut butter without jelly. Or Japanator without Annotated Anime. So the Umbra Witch and her set of pistols (Scarborough Fair) are sitting pretty here among all the other greats. Hair monsters, killer poses, and a rockin' body are only some of the reasons Bayonetta is amazing. We could go on for hours, but there are other witches to count down, so get in on some nonstop climax action and pick up the game while waiting for the anime movie to release.

Beatrice, Umineko no Naku Koro ni

Don't let this picture fool you. Beatrice is a horrible person, but she's a powerful witch. The Umineko no Naku Koro ni antagonist can summon items, repair objects, and even control life and death if she so chooses. Of course, that doesn't mean she uses her gifts for good. She does just the opposite, as evidenced throughout this creepy series. Still, you've got to give it to her -- she embodies the "wicked witch" trope.

Chacha, Akazukin Chacha 

The diminutive Chacha is a little clumsy and not as good at her craft as she could be, but that all changes throughout Akazukin Chacha, as her gifts mature with her. With the help of friends Riiya and Shiine she can transform into the Magical Princess, Chacha's magical girl alter-ego, with all the abilities necessary to square off against series villain Daimao. She may be cute, but she can be deadly when it comes to protecting her friends.

Chocolate Meilleure, Sugar Sugar Rune

Chocolat is a hardcore tsundere, but that doesn't keep her from being a formidable witch deserving of the new role as Queen of the Magical World. Though Chocolat and best friend Vanilla are competing against each other in the human world to capture hearts of human males, opposing forces are at work to see the duo fall. Chocolat uses powerful magic to keep enemies at bay while winning over the hearts of those who matter. Plus, she's pretty darn adorable, right?

Kiki, Kiki's Delivery Service

Young Kiki makes her living as a delivery girl, though as a witch all she has learned so far is how to ride a broom. The plucky and independent young magic user runs into some pitfalls throughout her journey as she matures into a confident witch, but in the end she blossoms when her friend (and crush) Tombo is in danger. Think a younger, more pleasant Sabrina the Teenage Witch and you'll have an inkling as to why everyone likes her so much.

Yuko Ishihara, xxxHOLiC

The mysterious raven-haired beauty of xxxHOLiC believes in fate, but that doesn't mean she doesn't rely on powerful magic to solve problems. Her shop specializes in granting wishes, but only for customers who can provide something of equal value. Though she possesses knowledge beyond measure and a past relationship with Clow Reed (yes, that Clow Reed) she still seems more like a drunken party girl most of the time. We can dig it. She's earned that kind of personal time, after all.

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Brittany Vincent
Brittany VincentContributor   gamer profile

3 I'm Brittany, and I'm the resident creeper, er, community manager over here at I'm here to make your experience more + disclosures


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