ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘The Dawn Of The Witch,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Dawn of the Witch

The Dawn of the Witch Volume 1, published by Kodansha Comics, is written by Kakeru Kobashiri, illustrated by Tatsuwo, and translated by Jacqueline Fung. The new series is a spin-off of Kobashiri’s previous series, Grimoire of Zero. Volume 1 introduces readers to Saybil, a magic student who does not remember anything about his past life before meeting a silver-haired stranger in an alley. In the present day, Saybil must travel with two of his classmates and their teacher, Loux, as a way to make up for his academics at the magic academy. This trip they’re all going on is “special training” that will improve their academic standing, but things take a turn when an ominous force lurks in the shadows. 

Not having any real knowledge of Kobashiri’s previous work, I was excited to check out this new series. However, there could be some worry about how much readers will need to know about Grimoire of Zero to understand the basics of The Dawn of the Witch Volume 1. It was reassuring that this new series does an incredible job at setting itself apart from the original series. If anything, this new series will make readers interested in Kobashiri’s previous work to see just how everything is connected. 

The amount of world-building that was established in The Dawn of the Witch Volume 1 is incredible. For one, the new magical world that the series is set in is established well and easy to understand. The rules of academics that students of the magic academy must follow are laid out in a way that sets up the story without making things too complicated. The way in which spells are cast fits a more traditional sense of what has been seen in other works. There are, however, special magic incantations that are unique to the story, which will leave fans excited to see just how far magic can go in this series. The Dawn of the Witch series also delves into witch-hunting and the role that the church plays in this. Using historical context while incorporating novel ideas could attract readers that don’t normally read manga.

One major downside of The Dawn of the Witch Volume 1 is the consistent amount of fanservice in its art. There were several times where certain characters were drawn in revealing positions that were distracting from the overall plot. Many manga have done this before, but that still doesn’t mean that it should be a continuing trend. There is also the way certain characters are designed that don’t seem to fit the much darker tone that the series establishes. However, the upside of the art is that the fight scenes throughout the first volume were done incredibly well. They flowed well from panel to panel and were easy to follow.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Dawn of the Witch Volume 1. Not having any real sense of the story or knowledge of any previous work from its writer, the story still made sense and was a great read. The world-building throughout the first volume sets up the world excellently as well as the tone and the dangers that lurk in the shadows. However, the art could at times distract readers from the story in terms of how characters are designed and drawn. Ultimately, this is a series that I will continue to read. 

The Dawn of the Witch Volume 1 is available April 19, 2021 wherever manga are sold. 

The Dawn of the Witch Volume 1
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TL;DR

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Dawn of the Witch Volume 1. Not having any real sense of the story or knowledge of any previous work from its writer, the story still made sense and was a great read. The world-building throughout the first volume sets up the world excellently as well as the tone and the dangers that lurk in the shadows. However, the art could at times distract readers from the story in terms of how characters are designed and drawn. Ultimately, this is a series that I will continue to read.