Witch Hat Atelier impressions
Boy I didn't even know I missed fantasy as much as I apparently did. I've been consuming a lot of manga/anime set in modernish time and honestly it was so nice to just read a nice pure fantasy for once.
Anyway, Witch Hat is great
To get the obvious out of the way the art is spectacular
I love every single thing about art in Witch Hat, I love the detailed witch rooms that feel as lived in as they feel magical, I love the creative paneling, I love the fantasy species, I love the clothes, I just love everything.
But more than art the story is also amazing. It's one of those stories that is pretty tightly packed so after every chapter you keep saying 'just another chapter more'. But despite being a very fast read it also utilizes its characters in a great way so you never feel like their characterization and growth is suffering because we are chasing the plot, their growth kind of is the plot and if you are a character oriented person like I am, this one does a v good job. I haven't really found a single character I dislike yet (not counting the villains cuz we don't know a lot about them yet), like there are characters who have harsh edges and I've been making 'Qifrey is crazy' jokes all day but each character feels understandable and lovable so it's never boring no matter who the story focuses on.
Also the world building my god the world building. I fuckin love love love when I just get to sit and read about how another world works in its smallest details. This was one of the things I really loved in Beastars and it's really great here too. I love that we get to learn how magic is used in mundane ass ways such as washing clothes. I love how we are allowed to live through it and learn with the girls, I especially love how there's this whole ass on going narrative about disability which I so rarely see explored in any kind of magical setting like it's just so interesting!!
I just!! Love the detail and the thought put into everything in this story and this universe, it just feels like such a welled love setting. Like this person has thought about everything from chores to disability and weaves it into the story so skillfully it really feels like you are fully submerged into the world.
The conflict of morality over the magic is great, god it's so damn complicated like you get what the witch society was trying to do and that they were trying their best to protect the world from what already happened but also both the reader and the characters notice all these little holes all these little injustices and as different characters move against the current in different ways it's just very fascinating to watch where they'll end up in their effort to reshape their world in a way they wish it was. Like witch society is so fuckin rooted in victim blaming you can barely even save someone without becoming a criminal, they had to send a child out to wander aimlessly because he was a VICTIM of an outlawed practice but he would have been punished anyway because the magic was preformed on him. I love it, I love these kinds of fucked up societies where it's obvious why the strict rules exist as much as it's obvious they need to change.
And that's not even saying anything special about the characters, we gotten so many good stories and so many more hinted at or at the start of their journey. Qifrey is quickly gaining at my favorite mentor position and we don't even know the full deal with him, he's great. And all the kids ;-; my god the kids it's such a joy to watch them slowly learn and develop and build on knowledge they've gained in earlier chapters. It's always great to see an old basic spell make a return and be used in a new way so you really get the feeling that they are building on their fundamentals and not just pulling out random magic when they need it. That's nothing to say about their personal arcs god this story is so good about learning and growing and having fun while doing so.
It's gotten pretty damn late so Idk know comprehensible this is, but this just might make it as one of my favorite stories of all time.
Tl;dr: 10/10 gold star recommend
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