On August 27, 2021, “Earwig and the Witch”, which is the first full 3D CG animated film by Studio Ghibli, will be released nationwide.

This is an anime adaptation of a children’s book written by Diana Wynne Jones, who is an original creator of Howl’s Moving Castle. Miyazaki Goro is serving as a director, and it was broadcast on TV in 2020.

There are many witch/wizard characters in anime and games. They are depicted in various ways: some of them know how to handle any type of magic, and others are still in training, or are selling mysterious drugs in a remote area.

Therefore, Anime!Anime! conducted a readers’ survey titled, ‘Speaking of “witch/wizard” characters, who comes to your mind?’. There were 283 votes during the survey period from August 10 to 17.
For the gender ratio, the females with about 65% were a little more than the males with about 35%. For the age distribution, we received the majority of responses from readers of young ages: about 60% were teens, and about 25% were in their 20s.

■From experienced witches/wizards to the ones in training have ranked in!

1st Place

1st place went to Elaina from “Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina”. The support rating was about 15%.

The protagonist Elaina became a witch when she was still young. The comments received for her, traveling across towns, include, “Even though she is an experienced witch, she is a beautiful teenage girl with silver hair. I love the gap. Her strong-willed attitude and narcissism are also adorable” and “Just as she has high self-esteem to the point that she calls herself a beautiful girl, she is actually cute”. As these comments show, her personality full of confidence brings out her charm even more.

2nd Place

2nd place went to Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service”. The support rating was about 7%.

For training as a witch, Kiki starts her life in a new town. The comments received include, “How she straddles the broom and flies in the sky, wearing a black costume in company with Jiji, is just what I imagined how a witch is likely to be” and “The scenes where she straddles the broom and flies in the sky are depicted so realistically that I feel as if I could learn to fly in the sky”.

The masterpiece ranked high attractively shows the scenes of flying in the sky with a sense of speed, representing the works by director Miyazaki Hayao.

3rd Place

3rd place was shared between Sakasaki Natsume from “Ensemble Stars!” and Megumin from “KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!”. The support rating was about 5%.

Sakasaki Natsume is a leader of Switch, a unit related to magic. He is also active as a fortune teller, and the received comments include, “He is a self-proclaimed magician, and the tricks in the live-performances are magical” and “As an idol, he always cast a spell on us to be happy”.

Megumin is a user of Explosion Magic. The received comments include, “Even though she can use nothing but Explosive Magic, she is the sole witch of the Crimson Demon Clan that has ever fought with powerful enemies such as of a top member of Demon King’s Army. I want her to master the Path of Explosions someday!” and “She is cool when she chants an eighth-grader syndrome style charm”. A unique witch came in the top 3.

■Let’s introduce other comments!!
Harukaze Doremi “Ojamajo Doremi”
“Cheerful and energetic Doremi-chan came to my mind first. When I was a kid, I used to recite ‘Pirika Pirilala’ many times.”
Echidna “Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World”
“Although there are many witch/wizard characters in ‘Re:Zero’, Echidna especially has a typical witch looking, and even the protagonist calls her an evil witch.”

Kaname Madoka “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”
“She is cute and cool. Even though she looks just like an ordinary girl, not everyone can make the decision that she made at the end.”

Azusa Aizawa “I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level”
“She is not a typical witch in that she is reincarnated as ‘the Witch of the Highlands’, and enjoys a laid-back life for 300 years after her death from overworking.” Various types of witch characters have ranked in.

In this survey, witch characters stand out. Not only experienced witches with overwhelming powers, but also the ones that are still in training and always failing have ranked in.

■Ranking Top 20

[Speaking of “witch/wizard” characters, who comes to your mind?]
1. Elaina “Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina”
2. Kiki “Kiki’s Delivery Service”
3. Sakasaki Natsume “Ensemble Stars!”
3. Megumin “KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!”
5. Kirisame Marisa “Touhou Project”
6. Izayoi Riko/Cure Magical “Witchy PreCure!”
7. Kaname Madoka “Puella Magi Madoka Magica”
8. Cure Miracle/Asahina Mirai “Witchy PreCure!”
9. Harukaze Doremi “Ojamajo Doremi”
10. Echidna “Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World”
11. Azusa Aizawa “I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level”
12. Merlin “The Seven Deadly Sins”
13. Nishimiya Momo “Jujutsu Kaisen”
14. Harry Potter “Harry Potter” Series
14. Maji Hera Itchi “Mr. Osomatsu”
16. Kowata Makoto “Flying Witch”
16. Shiba Tatsuya “The Irregular at Magic High School”
16. Hatori Chise “The Ancient Magus’ Bride”
16. Vanessa Enoteca “Black Clover”
16. Yumeno Sally “Sally the Witch”

(Survey Period: August 10 – 17, 2021)

*This survey is intended to research the readers’ “interest in anime and characters today”. It is not intended to discuss the relative merits of each character nor work. I would be glad if this article can help you develop an understanding and interest in the anime and characters.