Flying Witch, Vol. 1

By Chihiro Ishizuka | Published by Vertical Comics

Makoto Kowata is a novice witch who, in the tradition of witches, has left home at the age of fifteen to become independent. Her parents are concerned about her safety, though, so she’s staying with relatives in Aomori, located in the Tohoko region where it’s easier to perform magic thanks to abundant wilderness and natural resources. Accompanying her is her familiar, a black cat named Chito who is indisputably my favorite character.

Flying Witch is a calm, slice-of-life tale depicting Makoto’s attempts to fit in to her new surroundings. Makoto’s young cousin, Chinatsu, is scared of her at first, but changes her opinion to “so cool!” after a ride on a broomstick. Makoto starts high school and forgets that she’s not supposed to be talking about witchy matters with people who aren’t family. She tries to give a mandrake to an ordinary girl as a present. She starts a vegetable garden. She receives a visit from “the harbinger of spring” and another from her world-traveling sister.

It’s all very peaceful, but there are some amusing moments scattered throughout. I love that Chinatsu’s dad has a heavy regional accent (rendered as Southern in the translation) and that, after everyone else has tried and failed to capture a pheasant, he gives it a shot himself, comically muttering, “Dang it!” But what I really love is anything to do with Chito. Ishizuka-sensei does a terrific job at conveying Chito’s facial expressions, including an adorable panel of the kitty sticking out her tongue and going “pbbt.” The best, though, occur during the chapter in which Chito leads direction-challenged Makoto for a walk in the neighborhood. She assures her they’re going to a good spot, but it ends up being a location where Chito can taunt a dog on a tether, remaining disdainfully out of reach as he goes berserk.

Even though the premise is very different from Yotsuba&!, that gentle, slice-of-life feeling summons a similar response. I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I expected to, and now eagerly await volume two, albeit mostly for more Chito.

Flying Witch is ongoing in Japan, where five volumes have been released so far. Vertical will release the second volume in English later this month.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

Did you enjoy this article? Consider supporting us.


Speak Your Mind

*