As I’ve watched many a piece of media, I found out something rather interesting: I like witch characters quite a bit (though I’m not really a Harry Potter fan.) Most of this, of course, is due to the influence of anime, and it’s the ones there and in related media that strike me as the most appealing. Something about how they look and act just draws me to them, and I’ll try to explain it as best as I can.
What appeals to me most about anime-style witches is their balance of attractiveness and creepiness. At once enticing and frightening, they capture two opposites working in concert, much like the yin-yang symbol. They exude an air of danger and elegance that stirs the emotion and chills the blood.
Despite their incredible power, femininity is essential to the witch’s appeal; the collected calmness contrasts with the destructive fury they often assault their opponents with. For example, Sabrina from the first Pokemon season (pictured above with the green hair) embodies this perfectly, unleashing great power while maintaining a womanly yet creepy mood. On the other hand, Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender (pictured right) embodies a harsh, commanding mood reminiscent of a military man and thus fails to create that atmosphere — this is even pointed out in a late episode of the show, where Azula tries to flirt with two men at a beach party and fails at it.
Also, there needs to be some element of temptation — it could be as simple as making them attractive, but it’s better if they actively try to entice their target. Tharja (pictured right) from Fire Emblem Awakening is a good example of what I mean — she looks very good and shows great interest in the player, but at the same time her personality hints at peril for any man foolish enough to get involved with her. The target is pushed away and pulled in at the same time, creating a delightful ambiguity that holds the target’s interest.
The way I see it, the witch’s magic is more than just spells. It is a set of mannerisms that emphasize opposites all at once, showing two contradictory things working together with her natural feminine elegance. I hope to see many more witches in the future.
My novella Sword & Flower has no witches, but it does have a Japanese pop star that can shoot ki blasts.