Witches, Magic and Manga! / 魔女と魔法とマンガ!

Yoko Hata, Young Adult Librarian, Little Tokyo Branch Library,
collection of Manga book covers

Halloween is just around the corner, are you getting excited? Halloween is a very popular holiday in Japan these days with people observing all the traditions of wearing costumes and handing out candy for the children’s trick or treating night. Both children and adults love to dress up and have fun; will you wear a costume? If so what will you transform into this year?

Today, I am sharing stories about witches and the magical world for Halloween!

Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka (ふ ら い ん ぐ ぃ っ ち 石塚千尋作)

Mikoto is a high schooler witch who moves in with her extended family in Yamagata prefecture (the countryside of Japan), with her cat named Chito. It is a heartwarming manga that represents the witch's everyday, ordinary life. Both the art style and story remind me of the manga series Yotsuba&!. So if you like Yotsuba&!, you will enjoy this series as well. The cat, Mikito's familiar, is such a fun character and adds some spice to the story.

The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rún by Nagabe (とつくにの少女 ながべ作)

"Totsukuni" means (the country of the other side). This manga is a story of a small girl named Shiva, who lives with a demon named Sense in the Totsukuni. Shiva has no idea how she came to live with the Demon. Her day to day life with the demon Sense is simple and peaceful, but then there are humans from the "Uchitsukuni" (the country of the inside) who try to steal the girl's life. The sparsely drawn and colored world that Shiva and Sense live in adds to the spooky mood of the story. From the beginning to the end, you feel like you are reading an artistic picture book.

Ancient Magus' Bride by Kore Yamazaki (魔法使いの嫁 ヤマザキコレ作)

A girl, Chise Hatori is sold into the British black market. She was born to have magical qualities, and the wizard Elias notices it and bids on Chise to be his own bride. Elias is a wizard with a horn like a goat on a big skull. In contrast with his looks, Elias has a gentle heart. It is a story of the wizards Elias and Chise.

Happiness by Shuzo Oshimi (ハピネス 押見修造作)

One day, Okazaki, a junior high school student is attacked and his blood drained by a strange woman—a vampire. After that, he becomes a vampire himself. As the author is drawing on his other series, Flowers of Evil and A Trail of Blood, this work also draws on the darkness of the human mind. Are human beings more likely to give you a scare than genuine witches or vampires? I recommend reading this manga with the lights on and when you are in a good frame of mind.

I’d also like to share with you a manga title which hasn't been translated into English yet. [The Japanese titles can be found at the Little Tokyo Branch Library].

The Dragon's School is on Top of the Mountain by Ryoko Kui (竜の学校は山の上 久井諒子作)

It is the debut work by Ryoko Kui who became famous with Delicious in Dungeon. It consists of nine short stories. Every story is a story about magic, magic world, and mysterious world. As is the case with Delicious in Dungeon, these stories are full of imagination and will surprise readers beyond their expectations.

By the way, for me who grew up in Japan, stories of wizards and witches are very familiar. It's because there were so many cute witch cartoons, such as Mahotsukai Sally (魔法使いサリー), Himitsu no Akko-chan (ひみつのアッコちゃん), Majokko Megu-chan (魔女っこメグちゃん), and Fushigina Melmo (ふしぎなメルモ). So even after I became an adult, I still enjoy witches and magical manga because of my memories of such cute and nice witches growing up!

Let’s enjoy reading manga!




Flying Witch by Chihiro Ishizuka (ふらいんぐうぃっち 石塚千尋作)


The Girl from the Other Side: Siúil, a Rúnby Nagabe (とつくにの少女 ながべ作)


Ancient Magus' Bride by Kore Yamazaki (魔法使いの嫁 ヤマザキコレ作)


Happiness by Shuzo Oshimi (ハピネス 押見修造作)

主人公の中学生男子、岡崎は、ある日見知らぬ女性に血を吸われ、自らも吸血鬼になってしまいます。悪の華(Flower of Evil)、血の轍(A Trail of Blood)でも一貫して作者が描いているように、この作品でも、日常の人間の心の暗闇をこれでもかと描き出しています。本物の魔女や吸血鬼より人間のほうがずっと怖いんじゃない?と思わせる作品です。心が元気な時に読むことをおすすめします。


The Dragon's School is on Top of the Mountain by Ryoko Kui (竜の学校は山の上 九井諒子)