The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: A Witch’s Love at the End of the World Volume 1

Rai: I guess I’m coming out of the broom closet for this review. Yep, I’m Wiccan! And when I heard about A Witch’s Love at the End of the World – a manga involving witchcraft and girls’ love – I had to get my hands on a copy. To my delight, the manga did not […] The post The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: A Witch’s Love at the End of the World Volume 1 appeared first on TheOASG.

The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: A Witch’s Love at the End of the World Volume 1
Rai: I guess I’m coming out of the broom closet for this review. Yep, I’m Wiccan! And when I heard about A Witch’s Love at the End of the World – a manga involving witchcraft and girls’ love – I had to get my hands on a copy. To my delight, the manga did not disappoint in terms of witchyness, yuri, or plot.The story is about two young witches named Alice and Mari, who attend a witchcraft school. The purpose of this school isn’t just to teach students magic for personal use; there is an ulterior motive. In this world, witches work behind the scenes for political leaders and help their countries become more powerful. In exchange, the witches are not persecuted by humans. One day, though, the witches would like to take revenge on humans because of the witch trials. While attending school, Alice is considered a prodigy. On the other hand, Mari is hopeless when it comes to magic, except for one special talent she possesses. The head mistress asks Alice to tutor Mari, so you can improve her skills. They become roommates, they spend a lot of time together, and feelings starts to develop.First off, I love this manga’s concept. Yes, the magic school thing has been done many times before. The “talented underdog” character archetype isn’t a new concept either. However, witches running the world’s countries and secretly planning to overthrow the humans they work for? That is something I’ve never come across, and I adore it. The yuri is an added bonus as well! Aside from the unique concept, this volume’s storyline was excellent. It does start out a little slow, but a chapter or two in, it gets very interesting.The mangaka, Kujira, was able to intertwine action, character development, world building, and romance almost seamlessly. As we get to know the characters, the audience learns about the history of this world and how magic works. The pacing and action build up as the story goes along, and the volume ends with a cliffhanger and palpable suspense.I’m pleased Kujira did research on witchy practices. For example, the manga mentions flying ointment. This is an important part of witchcraft history in the real world, and flying ointment has modern alternatives. (No, it doesn’t really make you fly. It’s more for meditation purposes.) Of course, the mangaka obviously added their own flair and rules that don’t apply to real life. And I don’t agree with some of the characters’ practices such as killing animals – like frogs – for ingredients or summoning demons. Still, it was nice to see a portrayal of witchcraft that somewhat ties back to its roots in reality.Okay, that’s enough witchy talk. Let’s discuss the yuri next! Alice and Mari have the typical Serious Type and Dunderhead dynamic. Despite this, their relationship felt fresh. They challenge each other’s way of thinking while also helping each other. To make things more interesting, love is forbidden in the world of witches. Not because of homophobia or social standards – because falling in love can affect a witch’s magical abilities. This created tension and turmoil for me as a reader. I kept switching between “They’d make such a cute couple!” and “But it would be bad if they messed up their powers!” I’m even more interested to see where their relationship is headed.It was inevitable that I’d love this manga since I’m queer and Wiccan. But even if you don’t fall into either of these categories, there’s plenty to enjoy. Beautiful art, a unique concept, an exciting storyline, Harry Potter vibes, and last but certainly not least, a forbidden sapphic love. All of these elements make A Witch’s Love a great read. I can’t wait for the next volume! Rai’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 Helen: Witches were once persecuted in Europe and those that managed to survive did so by allying with human kings, all the while plotting their eventual revenge. Time has passed, the witches now have a dedicated school for training new witches in secret and top student Alice Keating isn’t sure why she’s been assigned to help the clueless transfer student Mari Muguruma, or why she’s starting to have feelings for her. Mari is referred to as a “half-blood” since her mother, a witch, fell in love with a human man, and, given the lack of witch men seen in the story so far, I’m curious how witches typically reproduce (my two pet theories currently are “asexual budding” or “demonic insemination”). Mari certainly doesn’t lack for power, but the issue is that a witch loses her powers if she falls in love (like Mari’s mother did) which apparently also extends to unrequited crushes. That’s another interesting story choice since you certainly can’t force an entire group of people to be aromantic so I find this plot point strained credulity a little too much. Obviously all of these issues exist to create greater problems in the story, like causing a sense of isolation for Mari (since she’s completely new to the world of witches and seen as a total outsider) and the threat of Alice losing the most defining aspect of herself, but these issues seem rather clumsily forced in. Kujira isn’t a new author but this awkward writing made me look up their bio to see if that was the case. The art at least doesn’t look awkward, it does look a bit generic and boring in parts (conventional paneling, use of screen tones, boring backgrounds etc) but I did like how Mari and Alice appeared to have different body types, as even if you swapped their hairstyles it would still be immediately obvious which character was which. Not a lot happens in this slim first volume: we establish Mari and Alice’s characters, put both of them into unfamiliar situations, and plenty more questions are raised (for instance, the words and art seem to suggest that one of their classmates is unknowingly actually a witch’s familiar). Presumably the revenge upon humans that witches have long worked towards will come around in the next two volumes (the series is called the End of the World after all) but I’m afraid I’m not entirely sure how the series will pull it off in only two more volumes. Helen’s rating: 2.5 out of 5 The post The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: A Witch’s Love at the End of the World Volume 1 appeared first on TheOASG.