Monday, March 21, 2011

The Witch of Artemis vol. 1 Impression

Can a planet where magic and witches be real? Kazuki is about to find out on Artemis.

Yui Hara draws one nice looking, cookie cutter manga with The Witch of Artemis volume 1 from Tokyopop. Flipping through the pages the learned manga fan will see character designs, settings and background on par with the shoujo genre’s finest upper-middle class. While this may sound not so appealing know this; Artemis is a thing of beauty to read it’s just not awe-inspiring but then again how many manga really are. Besides solid art what else is this book about, glad you asked …

Planeto is normal and average as is Kazuki. He and his brother live a fairly normal life minus the fact they are orphans. Their father passed but not before he told Kazuki many stories of the magical planet Artemis. A planet very similar to Planeto with the fact it contains witches and magic. Tall tales according to his brother but ones Kazuki dreams about all the time. These dreams turn to reality when Kazuki’s confronted by a witch, one from Artemis who’s searching for another which who finds Kazuki, curses him and puts him on Artemis with the only hope of being cured residing with the rude little witch who started the whole line of events (whew!) Seems this witch, Maria, is the Grand Witch of Artemis. Strings are being pulled form hidden participants and Kazuki is at the center as is Maria but for what? As the two get to know each other and help others on Artemis the mystery unfolds but to what end?

Mystery is the name of the game in Artemis. There is not super engaging about Kazuki or his world. The real interest lies with Maria, who she is and what her goals are. Her temper is fiery yet hidden. She feels more central to the story than Kazuki who just feels like a piece, which his is, to a larger puzzle. The solid if not original art mentioned earlier makes a character like Maria easy to like and engage with. Great show of emotion from anger to sorrow but for what? The mystery is what drives this tale of magical worlds and journeys across the stars familiar to fans of shoujo manga.

The Witch of Artemis is well drawn but it’s real redeeming quality is it’s story which is mystery driven. This book won’t be for all manga fans but those loving a good magical girl type misery should take a look. It’s not Harry Potter and it’s not Tenchi’s Sammy but it is a mixture of both that’s fun and enjoyable.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think Tokyopop will be releasing anymore volumes. There are three volumes.