Sunday, February 2, 2020

REVIEW: Guardian of the Witch Ch. 1

It's new series season once again at Shonen Jump and this week brings us the final new series of early 2020, a new fantasy story from Asahi Sakano titled Guardian of the Witch. Read on to check out my review of the first chapter.

This new series takes place in a world that might sound a big familiar to you. Humans are forced to live in walled cities for fear the endless horde of Evils, viscous monsters who want nothing more than to eat humans. The only proven line of defense between the humans and the Evils are Witches.

Witches are girls and women with magical powers capable of wiping out entire hoards of Evils with one blast. The City-State of Berne is protected by the witch Manasfa, Backing up the Witches are  specially trained soldiers called Guardians. Our protagonist is Fafnar Leorange, a Guardian sworn to protect Manasfa.

Fafnar outright hates Witches. This stems from his childhood when an Evil appeared in town and killed his family while the local Witch was nowhere to be seen. He became a Guardian to not only destroy Evils, but to revolutionize the system by eliminating the need for Witches entirely.

The relationship between Fafnar and Manasfa is what's going to carry this series. Even if she wasn't a Wtch, Fafnar probably wouldn't get along with Manasfa very much. She is a loud and annoying girl who always complains about everything.

However, since Manasfa is not allowed outside of the Witch's Tower, she views Fafnar as a her only friend besides her maid Nahta. She gives him a hard time but is still upset when he blows her off.

There is a big twist halfway through this first chapter that I don't want to spoil, but it sets the stage for an adventure where Fafnar and Manasfa have to team up and take on literally everyone else in the world to achieve a new, common goal.

The initial premise here is going to sound quite a bit like Attack on Titan. However, the twist turns the narrative around into something closer to something like The Promised Neverland. There's a dark secret behind the Witches and the Evils and our heroes are off to uncover the truth behind everything.

This first chapter of Guardian of the Witch is very promising and as of now I plan to keep reading the new series. It is very well drawn by newcomer Asahi Sakano, who previously worked as an assistant for Black Clover creator YÅ«ki Tabata which really shows in the level of intricate fantasy worldbuilding going on in every panel.

Guardian of the Witch is serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump. New chapters are available online and worldwide from Viz Media's Shonen Jump app and Shueisha's Manga Plus app every single week and once a backlog starts to grow you'll be able to read every chapter for just $1.99 a month.