Today I have some mini-reviews of some manga volumes I’ve recently read! Although I am now an old lady I still quite enjoy reading manga now and then. Especially when the story is engaging! Today I bring you reviews from two different series, Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi, and Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama.
Yona of the Dawn by Mizuho Kusanagi, Vols 22 – 24
A red-haired princess loses her family and her kingdom… Now she must rise and fight for her throne!
Princess Yona lives an ideal life as the only princess of her kingdom. Doted on by her father, the king, and protected by her faithful guard Hak, she cherishes the time spent with the man she loves, Su-won. But everything changes on her 16th birthday when tragedy strikes her family!
The mission to rescue Yona and Riri from Sei leads to reunions and revelations! Who is Riri’s secret crush? And has Yona come to realize her feelings for Hak? Later, masked visitors from the nation of Xing beckon Yona and the Dragon Warriors to meet their leader!
THOUGHTS: The manga continues to be fantastic! I laughed at a lot of the humor with Riri’s character in the first chapter of Vol 22 as she crushes on General Geun-Tae in front of King Su-Won. I also really love the interactions between her and the king. Do I sense a budding romance? Or is she just trying to understand him better because of Yona? (I ship it.) Either way, Su-Won continues to be one of the most fascinating antagonists that I’ve ever read. When we catch up with the gang the story drifts for a bit before picking up again when they go to visit the neighboring kingdom of Xing. We get to meet more new characters! And I love that Xing presents a different sort of conflict for the gang to deal with. Diplomacy! This is really Yona’s time to shine. She’s doing her best to protect her friends and keep peace as much as possible. And it’s interesting that while Su-Won and Yona have worked together before, they’re not by any means allies, even if they want similar things (peace for Kohka) at the end of the day–they have very different methodologies after all. Vol. 24 left off on a huge cliffhanger so I’m eagerly anticipating getting my hands on Vol. 25. These continue to be a 5/5 stars for me.
Witch Hat Atelier by Kamome Shirahama, Vol 1
In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch…until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician. After secretly seeing Qifrey perform magic in a way she’s never seen before, Coco soon learns what everybody “knows” might not be the truth, and discovers that her magical dream may not be as far away as it may seem…
THOUGHTS: Oh, this is definitely an interesting story. I love tales of young people learning magic, but Coco, our main protagonist, comes by her apprenticeship in a rather unusual way. This story is dealing with some interesting issues in the long run–mainly the use of magic and who exactly gets a say in who gets to use it and the way it’s being used. There’s a backstory that explains that once anyone could use it but now only certain people are allowed and it’s all kept very mysterious from those that can not use magic for very valid reasons. But…I feel like there’s always a ‘but’. There’s also an introduction of some kind of other witches (the brimmed hats) that may be working against the main witches (the pointed hats) and I’m keen to see where that goes. Not all of the pointed hat witches are ‘good’–we see people getting mistreated here and there. Does that mean that not all of the brimmed hat witches are actually bad, despite their use of forbidden magic? I guess time will tell! Other than that I’m happy to see a tiny school of magic as Coco is apprenticing with 3 other girls around her age. I do get a bit weirded out that there’s four young girls living with the witch teacher dude and another witch dude because, well, yeah. But other than that I think this is shaping up to be a really interesting series! Also, the art work for this is STUNNING. I would rate these an average of 4.5/5 stars.