REVIEW: ‘Witch Watch,’ Volume 1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Witch Watch Volume 1 - But Why Tho

Witch Watch is a shonen series written and illustrated by mangaka Kenta Shinohara. The series is published and localized in English by VIZ Media through their imprint Shonen Jump — yes, this means you can dive into more chapters immediately after Volume 1 in the Shonen Jump appWitch Watch Volume 1 is translated by Adrienne Beck, features lettering by Annaliese “Ace” Christman, and a design by Yukiko Whitley.

Morihito Otogi’s family is descended from a long line of ogre familiars, and he has the inhuman strength to prove it. One day, his father comes to him with the life-changing news that he is to become the familiar of his childhood friend, the teenage witch Nico. With bad omens and a prophecy of doom in the cards for Nico, Morihito —or as Nico calls him, Moi– has to protect the young witch from the world and herself. The kicker? They have to live together alone, under the same roof.

For the most part, Moi is calm and cool. He’s Nico’s polar opposite in nearly every way. Nico is erratic and spacey and just sees the kindness in the world around her. Moi, on the other hand, remembers being bullied in his past, protecting Nico, and is aware of the darkness looming in the world. But while Moi tries his hardest to keep Nico safe, the young with has romance on her mind… When Nico first shows up to Moi’s house, she can’t help but admire how much he’s changed since they were kids. She thinks he’s hot, thinks about holding his hand, and can’t hide her excitement at being under the same roof as her one-sided crush. In this way, it’s clear that Witch Watch is a shonen romance instead of a shoujo one, and it works. Nico is helplessly in love with Moi, and even if he can’t act on anything because of the prophecy, it’s clear he sees her as someone more special than just someone to guard.

There is a sweet awkwardness between Moi and Nico that feels entirely focused on showing just how intense and panicky teens can be. The two have clearly been special to each other since childhood, but Moi’s ability to put safety first gets the two into the perfect rom-com cadence. There is lightness and humor throughout every part of Witch Watch. There are visual gags and adorable dialogue that make the volume just the right amount of funny to go with the whimsy. Throughout the series, there is a wonderful portrayal of magical realism. Nico’s particular view on magic is on the small things to make life easier, not large sweeping spells which make the series a wonderful fantasy story.

Overall, Witch Watch Volume 1 is a fun ride. It captures the awkwardness of being a teenager from crushes to the first days of school. The volume is also doing a lot of work to build a fantasy world that exists in our reality. This foundation sets up the next volume well, and with a cliffhanger ending, this is definitely a series to keep an eye on.

Witch Watch is available now wherever digital books are sold.


Witch Watch Volume 1
5

TL;DR

Witch Watch Volume 1 is a fun ride. It captures the awkwardness of being a teenager from crushes to the first days of school. The volume is also doing a lot of work to build a fantasy world that also exists in our reality. This foundation sets up the next volume well and with a cliffhanger ending, this is definitely a series to keep an eye on.