Manga Review: Flying Witch 1 by Chihiro Ishizuka

May Contain Spoilers

Since Poppy had her ligament surgery, I have been having a very hard time concentrating on anything.  I have spent hours playing Mystery Match and Crafty Candy because they require little thought.  Just match the blocks and you’re good to go.  When that got boring, I turned to my mountain of neglected manga and pulled out a few random volumes to read while waiting for her stitches and her bones to heal.

The first book I read was Flying Witch.  Somehow I completely missed the publication announcement for this one, so I curious to see what it was all about.  I have enjoyed several Vertical releases, and since the production values are always high, I was delighted when this hit my mailbox.  It was actually perfect for my current state of mind; not too taxing, peppered with pleasant characters, and somewhat amusing.  It’s also bland and probably won’t stay with me long, but I would definitely read more of the series.

Makoto is a teenage witch.  At 15, she is considered an adult in the witch community, and she’s sent out into the world to hone her skills and learn some life lessons.  Because she is kind of a ditz and has the directional skills of a sponge, she is sent to her aunt and uncle’s house in the boonies. There, together with her cousins Kei and Chinatsu, along with her familiar, Chito, a black cat, she makes new friends and has adventures, all in episodic chapters.

Makoto has a lot to learn.  First, she’s got to learn how to keep a secret.  She’s not supposed to advertise that she’s a witch in training, or that there actually are witches, but she fails miserably at keeping this quiet.  Then, she’s got to get do something about her lack of directions. She gets turned around in the house, so I don’t see how this girl is ever going to pilot a broom to school and back again.  At least she is good natured and somewhat harmless, so at least she is making new friends, some of which aren’t even human!

The art, while functional, is unremarkable.  The cats and Makoto’s older sister have the most visual personality, but the rest of the art just works to move the story from point A to point B.  The translation is well done, and I think the cover is very cute.

Overall, Flying Witch did not have me jumping for joy, but I found it a pleasant diversion none-the-less.

Grade: 3 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book

Prepare to be Bewitched!
Makoto Kowata, a novice witch, packs up her belongings (including her black cat familiar) and moves in with her distant cousins in rural Aomori Prefecture, in the far north reaches of Japan, to complete her training and become a full-fledged witch.