WITCH HAT ATELIER
Writer/Artist: Kamome Shirahama
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
I have a weak spot for anything magical. Witches, wizards, warlocks were all part of my fantasies during childhood. Ever since Harry Potter’s adventures with Voldemort ended, I’ve been on the lookout for new magical world to immerse myself in. While scrolling on Instagram I discovered this gorgeous cover of a manga called Witch Hat Atelier, published by Kodansha Comics. The cover art is absolutely beautiful, showing an adorable witch flying over a pretty little village. Needless to say I was intrigued and ordered it immediately.
Kamome Shirahama is an amazingly talented illustrator, who has created a lot of gorgeous cover art for DC and Marvel. Her art style in manga is very pretty, detailed and has an overall romantic feel to it. The architecture is stunning as well as all the different characters she created and their wardrobes. After reading the dialogue I find myself gazing at the artwork.
The story is about Coco, a little girl who is obsessed with magic and has the dream of becoming a witch herself. She was born in a non magical household, working with her mother in a tailor shop. In this tailor shop she meets Qifrey, a witch that spikes Coco’s interest in magic to unseen heights. In a series of unfortunate events she is suddenly forced to become Qifrey’s apprentice. Even though the circumstances are tragic, Coco is being a very strong girl who takes all the chances she gets to work on making her dream come true.
Witch Hat Atelier isn’t as lighthearted as you might assume, it isn’t just cute but really lays out all the emotions that you’d experience when learning something new during a hard time in life.
In this first volume we meet some fascinating characters with well thought out personalities. They are all very different and each play a very clear part in the story. There isn’t one character I don’t want to get to know more. Their interactions feel real and I can’t wait to read more about them, because it is made very clear that adventure awaits them.
I am so happy to have read this first volume. It is a breath of fresh air, a unique experience in the ancient subject of adventures in a magical world. The concept of being a witch that Shirahama created is very cool and perfectly documented in the book.
This manga I can only praise highly, with its exquisite art and beautiful storytelling. I also recommend buying the first two volumes in one go, since the end of the first one is quite the cliffhanger! This will be an amazing read to add to your October pile, a nice change from spooky books while still keeping this months atmosphere of celebrating the world of witchcraft and wizardry.