One of my favorite sayings is “Life is a journey, not a destination,” and I enjoy manga and anime that follow the saying. Series like Mushi-shi and Kino’s Journey are more about the characters the protagonists meet and the amazing sights they see. This allows these collections of short stories to have any mood and be about any subject, depending on what the author wants to write about. This is what drew me to the new manga series Wandering Witch. It too follows a lone protagonist who travels from place to place, learning more about the world along the way. What makes this different is that it’s an adaptation of a novel series. I haven’t read the novels, but after reading the manga I think it would have enriched my experience.
The book’s greatest asset is its main character, Elania. Sometimes in series like this the main character takes the role of an observer, but Elania is very active in the plot. She’s also got a fun, flawed personality too. She is always looking out for herself first, and it’s fun to see her talk to other characters. The dialogue is often witty and has a spark that makes every conversation entertaining. One example is when Elania tries to bargain with an innkeeper.
Every manga chapter covers an entire story, which I feel is detrimental to their plots. This is mostly due to page count, but I still would have liked to see characters and themes fleshed out more. Sometimes the story barrels to the ending, lessening their emotional impact. Maybe the novel is more fleshed out than the manga? Of the short stories, the best one is definitely the last and is certainly worth reading all the way through for.
Wandering Witch is a good book that could be even better with more pages. With the novel out now and an anime on the way, this series is going to be getting a higher profile. I hope in later volumes it can elevate itself to a great series.
Ever since she was a little girl reading books of magic and adventure, Elaina has dreamed of following in the footsteps of her childhood idol, the witch Nike, and living a life of travel. Now a full-fledged witch herself, Elaina sets off on a journey without a destination, wandering far and wide to see the world. With each new place she sees and person she meets, Elaina’s world grows a little bit richer.Add to CartLearn More