The Witch and the Beast #10 – Origin Witch



Staff List

Yuuichirou Momose
Shinji Itadaki
Episode Direction:
Eun-Su Oh, Honami Inamura
Chief Episode Direction: 
Makoto Tamagawa

Chief Animation Direction:
Hiroya Iijima
Assistant Chief Animation Direction:
Noa Kawamura, Haruka Maruyama
Animation Direction:

Eun Sook Won, Ju-Hyeong Eom, Hui-Gyu Jang, Hui-Yeong Yun, Jeong-Eun Jung, Hye-Jeong Kim, Joo Hyeun Lee

Key Animation:
Eun-Su Oh, Heung-Seok Ju, Jae-Yeong Jang, Yeong-Nam Ko, Momoko

The Witch and the Beast is approaching its conclusion with only 3 episodes remaining, and if this episode serves as any indication of what’s to come, I have a feeling that the series will end quite strongly. First off, we have the return of my favorite storyboarder in this show, Shinji Itadaki. I’m going to be talking about his great work on this episode and also some things about his previous episodes.

However before we begin, I wanted to note something I found rather interesting: ever since the break after episode 6, the latter half of the show has had much more consistent character models. You can clearly tell their attempt to achieve this by just looking at this episode’s staff roles. This is the first episode that contains Assistant Chief Animation Directors. The entire show’s CAD work has been done only by Iijima. (And not trying to spoil, since I’m writing this so late; the next episode is already out, and it also has Assistant Chief Animation Directors.) This again shows that they’re trying to fix the model issues, and I do expect this to transfer to the earlier episodes in terms of the Blu-ray corrections as well.

While Episode 8 was somewhat disappointing, (as I’ve already mentioned) another episode he worked on, episode 4, stood out. You might recall the visual style of that episode, featuring notably strong close-ups and defining shading. Typically, you wouldn’t credit the shading of characters to the storyboarder. But, if you’ve ever seen an Itadaki storyboard, you’ll notice his meticulous attention to detail, particularly in shading. His clear vision allows animators to replicate his boards directly, resulting in episodes with a consistently strong shading style, regardless of production quality.

Itadaki’s storyboard for Scarlet Nexus episode 16.

Episode 10 embodies all the pros I’ve highlighted in Itadaki’s typical episodes. The shading is exceptional, and the fidelity of the shots, particularly close-ups, remains one of the best in the series, showcasing the greatness of the character designs under skilled hands. Just take a look at the screenshots I’ll provide below; the camera angles are far more dynamic and intriguing compared to non-Itadaki episodes. From fish-eye lens shots that build tension to cool transitions using cloaks, it’s clear to see. All I’m trying to say is that Itadaki is undoubtedly one of the best storyboarders in the series, and this episode serves as a testament to that.

Overall, I feel this episode does showcase why, even with questionable production, I can’t wholeheartedly label it as a bad adaptation. Itadaki is my favorite, but he’s certainly not the only talented storyboard artist on the show. In fact, I would say most of the storyboard artists are doing a solid job. Moreover, this isn’t the sole aspect the show excels in; take, for instance, the impeccable art direction by Kakoi Hirotsugu or how the voice cast of this show is exceptional. Just listen to Kana Hanazawa’s mesmerizing performance as Angela in this episode for example.

In conclusion

This episode is what I would like to call a perfect The Witch and the Beast episode much like the Phanora arc, considering all the production issues throughout the series. It showed why, despite all of that (aside from my love for the source material), I still like the adaptation. While it tends to suffer in animation and models (more so in the first half), it never lacks in its aesthetics, in the ideas it wants to present, and in how it mostly stays true to the manga’s style and flair. I’m not sure if this series will get a second season (though with the preview of the last episode seemingly ending at the Vampire Arc, it became a lot more likely), but if it does, I honestly would almost prefer it to have the same storyboarders, directors, and especially the art director. The production of this show is really the only negative part of it, and if it ever gets a 2nd season, I really do think it just needs more time or honestly a better studio to reach its full potential.

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