The girl in black and the girl in purple
“The Witch of Artemis” is a little too…typical. The art is typically good. The storyline is typically interesting. The characters are typically cute and sassy. Nothing here is bad or sub-par, but at the same time there isn’t a lot to hook you into the story right off the bat.
Kazuki is an eleven-year old boy who grew up on his father’s stories of another world called Artemis, and a promise from his father that they would journey there someday. Kazuki’s brother never believed the stories and is a level-headed realist, but even after their father’s death Kazuki still has faith in the childhood fantasy realm. One day (of course) two outlandishly-dressed girls appear on Earth and are able to do magic. Kazuki gets in their way and is branded with a death-curse for his trouble by the girl in black. The other girl in purple (the one on the cover) suddenly whisks Kazuki to the planet Artemis which is the only place she is powerful enough to break the curse. Of course, she doesn’t have enough power to return him to Earth, and Kazuki is strangely calm about now being a permanent resident of Artemis.
The girl in purple turns out to be Marie, the immortal Grand Witch of Artemis who has dedicated her life to doing good deeds even though she does them in secret and is feared by the people of Artemis. We find that they are slowly forgetting how to do magic and the remaining magic-users like Marie are becoming outcasts. Kazuki seems to have been recruited by the woman in black for a specific reason, and something secret is driving Marie’s desire to do good deeds. Kazuki decides to help Marie help others, and takes on his first challenge a woman whose husband has forgotten her, even though he paints her image in his magical paintings.
There is some potential here, and I think whether or not “The Witch of Artemis” will be worth reading regularly will be decided by the next volume. Marie makes a good foil for Kazuki, and is far away from the typical “magical girlfriend” role. In fact, she appears to be more of the “magical girlfriend’s bratty little sister who tries to get in the way” -type stepping up to the main character spot instead of the supporting role. I am interested in why Marie is compelled to do good deeds, and just who she is trying to save. I assume that Kazuki has some deeper connection to Artemis, most likely through his father, and I would like to see that played out as well.
But author Yui Hara is going to have to go a little deeper in the next volume to really keep my interest going, and to move “The Witch of Artemis” up a notch from just being…typical.