The Witch and the Beast (Season One) – Majo to Yajuu

The Witch and the Beast Title

Cursed by a witch, Guideau is hunting the one responsible to force her to undo the curse. Ashaf, a mage from the Order of Magical Resonance has taken it upon himself to assist her. However, finding a witch is not an easy task, let alone undoing the curse!

The Witch and the Beast (Season One) – Majo to Yajuu

What did you watch?

I’ve been looking at my tags lately and noticed that I’ve been watching an awful lot of fantasy, however, there’s been a real glut of good dark fantasy. The last one I watched, which may have been the reason for the drop in attempts, was Fairy Gone. Anyhow, I love my stories with a dark element to them. I love it when they make me gasp or sit wide-eyed staring at the screen so that I don’t miss a second. Well, as soon as I saw the title image for The Witch and the Beast, I knew that I had to watch it. I watched the first eight episodes in two days and then had to wait for the rest to air. Anyhow, let’s dive in!

The Witch and the Beast Episode 9 Guideau's normal body

What happened?

Ashaf and Guideau travel the world handling issues for the Order of Magical Resonance. He is a mage and she is something else entirely. Cursed by a witch, Guideau needs to find the one responsible and either kill her or force her to lift it. Ashaf is there to assist her and benefits from her special abilities with his problems. You see, Guideau’s body is not her own. They carry her real body inside a metal coffin everywhere they go. Luckily, there is a third way to lift the curse, if only for a short period of time. If Guideau kisses the witch, she can return to her old body which is utterly terrifying.

Every time they receive a black envelope from the Order of Magical Resonance, Guideau gets her hopes up. However, she has no idea what the witch who cursed her looks like as she’s able to change bodies. In fact, Guideau’s body is one that she discarded. So, Ashaf and Guideau move from place to place, solving dark and mysterious mysteries as they try to find witches and either kill them or bring them into the Order if possible. Of course, Guideau has no interest in that. She just wants to go back to her body permanently.

The Witch and the Beast Episode 9 Guideau kissing Helga

What did you think?

I kept the summary short because this is one of those series that I think you need to see without any idea as to what is going on. Or, as little as possible. I’ll quickly say that I absolutely loved this series and rank it as one of the best shows I saw in the Winter 2024 schedule, and that’s competing with Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End and Solo Leveling. Luckily, all three are very different types of shows so you can enjoy all without feeling like they need to compete with one another. Anyhow, this series was wonderfully dark. The first episode brilliantly introduced us to the world and showed us what to expect going forward. Then, it built on that getting better and better until we got to the final episode which had the most amazing reveal that left me desperate for more of the story. This is an amazingly crafted story.

The Witch and the Beast Episode 3 Guideau

What was your favourite moment?

I’m not even sure where to start. In episode four, Ashaf and Guideau encountered a corpse who had been reanimated by a necromancer. That piqued my interest straight away. However, they then handed over the case to another pair from the Order of Magical Resonance. At first, I was unsure how I felt about that since I was fully invested in Ashaf and Guideau’s story. Luckily, my concerns were for nothing as they brought in Phanora and Johan and they were awesome too. The story got incredibly dark as you might imagine it would with a necromancer reviving corpses for various reasons. After two episodes with them, we returned to AShaf and Guideau to continue as we were. It was a fascinating way to expand the world and made me want to learn more about the Order and who else they had in their teams.

However, the story kept going bigger and harder as the series went on and that culminated in the final episode when Guideau came face to face with Angela, the origin witch. She was the one who cursed Guideau and left them a clue carved into a man’s chest. Ashaf then gave us a lecture about the world and a mysterious island that sits in the middle of a bottomless pit. On that island, the Order of Magical Resonance had an elevator that linked this world with several other worlds. Angela’s clue led them to the one inhabited by vampires. This almost seemed to come out of nowhere, but thanks to the world-building that had gone on before, it felt believable so instead of pulling me out of the story, it dragged me into the bottomless pit in search of more.

The Witch and the Beast Episode 12 The Island in the Bottomless pit

What was your least favourite moment?

There wasn’t anything that I would say was my least favourite moment. There were plenty of moments where I gasped or recoiled from what I saw, but that just made the series that much darker and more fascinating. I loved the flashback to how Ashaf and Guideau met. They encountered a witch who could use spoken magic which made her incredibly dangerous, had she not been cursed by another witch so that she couldn’t speak. As well as the order, there are other organisations, some incredibly nefarious. One of these groups came after Flavell, but got more than they bargained for when Guideau kissed her, unlocking both of their curses temporarily. This series is incredible from start to finish.

The Witch and the Beast Episode 12 Flavell using spoken magic

Who was your favourite character?

Normally, my inclination would be to pick Guideau straight away and upon seeing the title image, I was certain that was the way things would go. In fact, after the first episode, I was all set to lock her in. However, Ashaf grew on me. He was a marvellous character. He was mysterious and suave. When he spoke, everyone listened. By the end of the season, he had tied Guideau for first place, which given that the series is about the two of them, seems like the perfect outcome. I need much, much more of these two.

The Witch and the Beast Episode 1 Ashaf and Guideau

Who was your least favourite character?

This one is much easier. While there were lots of heinous characters doing all sorts of horrendous things, the necromancer stood out to me as the worst of them. We learned that when someone dies in this world, their soul returns to where it came from before returning to another life. However, a necromancer breaks that chain when he revives them. As such, their soul can never rejoin the cycle. Now, if someone chooses that before they die, then that’s on them. However, the necromancer was adding corpses to his collection simply because they had red hair. Each one of them is destined to nothingness for all eternity. He was also creepy as hell and got exactly what he deserved.

The Witch and the Beast Episode 5 The Necromancer

Would you like some more?

I’m desperate to see where the story goes next. I’ve been looking into the manga. The good news is that there are ten volumes, which will probably take things beyond the end of the season. However, the series is on hiatus because the author is ill. So, I’d like to wish Kousuke Satake a speedy recovery and not least because this is their only series so far. We need to find out how this story ends and I’ll be keeping an eye out for any future projects.

The Witch and the Beast Episode 5 Phanora

What have you learned?

I tend to write stories that focus on one or two characters. This series showed me that it’s possible to keep a story going with different characters and it did so without changing the way it tells the story. We switched from Guideau and Ashaf to Phanora and Johan, and it felt natural. Better yet, it allowed the world to expand beyond the perspective of the two main characters. Often, I find a story can get silly if the main character is forced to experience anything. My best example of this is the movie adaptation of World War Z where Brad Pitt travelled the world and everywhere he went something bad happened that instant. The original story followed a wide variety of characters telling their story of the zombie apocalypse to a journalist. That allowed us to experience each of those harrowing instances without cursing the luck of a single character who showed up at the worst possible time, every time. This opens up some fascinating ideas with regard to storytelling.

The Witch and the Beast Episode 12 Guideau and Ashaf going to the vampire world

Other shows from Winter 2024

Series Information

English TitleThe Witch and the Beast
Japanese TitleMajo to Yajuu
ReleasedWinter 2024
Animation StudiosYokohama Animation Lab
GenresAction, Fantasy, Magic

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    • With that ending they just opened up the story to basically anything. There is no limit to what they can do with it now. That’s crazy exciting!

  1. Sometimes a series can make or break depending on the narrative’s perspective. It’s a bit harder if an author goes for a story that has no main protagonist at all like Ishura for example. That series seems to not click with me though I’m starting to remember that I ain’t keen on “battle royale” premise.

    But focusing too much on the main protagonist (a.k.a. protagonist-centric) when the overall story isn’t meant to be about that person can feel like it’s a semi-romanticised “Chosen One (one of my least fave tropes)” story as that’s how I see it in 86 anime adaptation where I feel the author’s narrative is too biased for the main protagonist though I’ve heard she gave spotlights on the supporting characters, which I find some of them relatable, in later arcs.

    Guess I shall tune in to Witch and Beast soon seeing how you praise the narrative being able to give balanced focus on important, whatmore relatable or likeable, characters.

    • It’s a tricky thing to navigate while writing stories. TV shows can get away with head-hoping much more than a book can, so it’s not always the best example of how to tell a story in that context.

      I think you can have a single focused narrative that doesn’t feel like the chosen one, but it’s also very easy to slip in to.

      This was a very good series and it surprised me several times by just doing simple things really well. Stories can get lost when they try to be too clever, so it’s nice when the author realises that and focuses on telling a great story rather than going for the shock factor.

    • It’s been a while since we’ve had something this dark and gothic that stayed true to the genre. I hope we get more shows like this soon!

What did you think?