Witch’s brew

Fly­ing Witch, Vol­ume 1 Writer/artist: Chi­hiro Ishizuka Pub­lisher: Ver­ti­cal Comics

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Reads - Re­view by KEVIN LOH star2@thes­tar.com.my Fly­ing Witch and Toppu GP are avail­able at Ki­noku­niya, Suria KLCC. Call 03-2164 8133 or e-mail: ebd3_kbm@ki­noku­niya.co.jp or visit www. ki­noku­niya.com/my.

IN the first vol­ume of Fly­ing Witch, au­thor and artist Chi­hiro Ishizuka in­tro­duces us to Makoto Kowata, a young witch who leaves her home­town in Yoko­hama and moves to live with her rel­a­tives in Hirosaki, in part of her train­ing to be­come a full-fledged witch.

Fly­ing Witch #1 cov­ers six chap­ters of the se­ries, and fo­cuses on in­tro­duc­ing the char­ac­ters. It is a heart­warm­ing and en­dear­ing story of a young witch find­ing her feet in liv­ing life as an or­di­nary teenage girl. The art­work in Vol­ume One suc­cess­fully de­picts the easy-go­ing and re­laxed mood of the lit­tle quaint Ja­panese town of Hirosaki, and I thought this com­ple­mented the gen­eral tone of the story.

Even though the manga is just un­der 200 pages, the char­ac­ters left an im­pres­sion on me, through their in­di­vid­ual traits. Ishizuka’s at­ten­tion to their re­ac­tions and ex­pres­sions re­ally cap­tures the char­ac­ters’ nu­ances.

Pro­tag­o­nist Makoto is quite the ec­cen­tric, larger than life char­ac­ter, and so are the secondary char­ac­ters, namely Makoto’s cousins. Kei is an older brother fig­ure, and his younger sis­ter Chi­natsu is ini­tially wary of Makoto but even­tu­ally warms up to to her upon dis­cov­er­ing that her pe­cu­liar cousin is in fact, a witch in train­ing!

The pace of the manga, which is quite mel­low and re­laxed, added to my en­joy­ment of the story, fol­low­ing Makoto as she nav­i­gates life as a “nor­mal” teenager.

It has to be said that the main fo­cus of the story isn’t witch­craft or magic. There’s not much fly­ing go­ing on as well, de­spite the ti­tle. How­ever, fret not. Read­ers will be too ab­sorbed with the story to care, laugh­ing or smil­ing at the not-so-sub­tle hu­mour, and the silly an­tics Makoto gets her­self into.

In terms of en­joy­ment, Makoto’s story of set­tling into a dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ment and learn­ing the ropes of be­ing a witch is ul­ti­mately a fun and light read.

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