Sorry about putting this here guys. There’s this new site that has been stealing all my content (and content from a lot of other great bloggers) called Anime Sensai. They really suck. But I figure I might as well use the opportunity for some advertising. So if you actually came across this post on Anime Sensai, please know that 1 – they did not write it and 2 – although their bots are doing a pretty good job at stealing posts from all over as soon as they are published, they don’t seem to do to great at lifting al the awesome screencaps I collected or all the extra material bloggers put into their content. So make sure to go visit the source link you see on top of posts and as for this one, just come visit my blog: I Drink and Watch Anime. I post daily and actually have awesome readers to interact with. I’m going t be posting this paragraph on top of my posts for a little while. I hope it doesn’t annoy you guys too much.
The year is just starting and I thought we could start things on a sweet note. Maybe a manga about witches is more suited to fall than to winter but I think the themes in this one are going to resonate with you regardless of the season.
Besides, it’s kind of difficult to find a January-themed manga!
Why I Picked up Majo to Neko no Hanashi
As is often the case for me, I liked the cover art. But this time I actually read the synopsis and I thought it sounded nice:
When witches turn thirteen, they summon a guardian “cat” who stays with them and supports them their entire life. This is a story of witches and cats, a story of four friends at magic school — Suzu, Kei, Mary, and Nina — who all learn something about life as they turn thirteen and meet their cats.
My First Impression
This art is really lovely.
Let’s get the technical details out of the way. Majo to Neko no Hanashi is a single-volume manga with 7 chapters. Each chapter tells an independent story featuring the same characters. What I mean is that for instance, there are 4 main witches and 4 of the 7 chapters are the stories of how each witch met their cat. The remaining three are a flashback to when one of the main characters’ grandmother was her age and stories of the girls helping people from the nearby town. So it’s a little magical Slice of Life manga.
The official summary explained it pretty well The universe of this manga is very reminiscent of Harry Potter in that it’s essentially our world but there are some people in it who have magic. In this case, we are following 4 young witches at an Academy for witches who are about to turn 13.
I don’t quite remember if only girls have magical powers in this universe or if we only see witches (and no warlocks) because it’s an all-girls school. In any case, the manga does have male characters but not of the magical type.
At its core, it’s basically a soft coming-of-age story, or like 5 coming of age stories, and a celebration of friendship. Basically, cute witches doing cute things. There’s a touch of wistfulness to it though. At only 13, witches summon their cat companions. They only get one and they have to spend the rest of their lives together. This sense of finality at such a young age makes each of the reflect on what they want out of their futures and who they want to become. And sometimes, that also means giving up on a few dreams.
Personally, I loved this little gem. It was soothing and, for lack of a better word, kind. A little touch of magic to liven up grey days. So I got a little curious about what other people thought. Now, this isn’t a hugely popular manga (yet) and as such I couldn’t get a huge array of opinions. I did see that both Anilist and MAL had it rated in the low to mid 70% which is o.k. but not exactly impressive.
Unfortunately, when I tried to figure out what people disliked about the book, came up empty. There are only 3 reviews on MAL and all of them are highly positive, just like mine is.
If I had to guess, I would say some readers may have found the story a little boring. In many ways, it’s a series of generally calm and mundane events taking place in a magical universe. There’s also not too much depth to the characters since each of them only gets a little time in the spotlight. But they all get satisfying arcs which takes a pretty skillful author to pull off.
Readers’ expectations probably come into play as well Majo to Neko no Hanashi is a very wholesome story without much bite to it at all. And if someone was hoping for something either titillating or more exciting, I could see them being disappointed in this manga.
However, if you go into it knowing what you’re in for, Majo to Neko no Hanashi delivers a heartwarming and rather pretty tale of magical maidens and feisty felines. And doesn’t that sound grand?