In the first volume of Flying Witch, author and artist Chihiro Ishizuka introduces us to Makoto Kowata, a young witch who leaves her hometown in Yokohama and moves to live with her relatives in Hirosaki, in part of her training to become a full-fledged witch.

Flying Witch #1 covers six chapters of the series, and focuses on introducing the characters. It is a heartwarming and endearing story of a young witch finding her feet in living life as an ordinary teenage girl. The artwork in Volume One successfully depicts the easy-going and relaxed mood of the little quaint Japanese town of Hirosaki, and I thought this complemented the general tone of the story.

Even though the manga is just under 200 pages, the characters left an impression on me, through their individual traits. Ishizuka’s attention to their reactions and expressions really captures the characters’ nuances.

Protagonist Makoto is quite the eccentric, larger than life character, and so are the secondary characters, namely Makoto’s cousins. Kei is an older brother figure, and his younger sister Chinatsu is initially wary of Makoto but eventually warms up to to her upon discovering that her peculiar cousin is in fact, a witch in training!

The pace of the manga, which is quite mellow and relaxed, added to my enjoyment of the story, following Makoto as she navigates life as a “normal” teenager.

It has to be said that the main focus of the story isn’t witchcraft or magic. There’s not much flying going on as well, despite the title. However, fret not. Readers will be too absorbed with the story to care, laughing or smiling at the not-so-subtle humour, and the silly antics Makoto gets herself into.

In terms of enjoyment, Makoto’s story of settling into a different environment and learning the ropes of being a witch is ultimately a fun and light read.

Flying Witch, Volume 1

Writer/artist: Chihiro Ishizuka

Publisher: Vertical Comics