Wednesday, January 24, 2024

#IReadsYou Manga Review: WITCH OF THISTLE CASTLE Volume 1


MANGAKA: John Tarachine
TRANSLATION: Motoko Tamamuro and Jonathan Clements
LETTERS: Jessica Burton and Cale Ward
EDITOR: Phoebe Hedges
ISBN: 978-1787741416; paperback (October 31, 2023)
176pp, B&W, $12.99 U.S., $16.99 CAN, £9.99 UK

Azami no Shiro no Majo is a fantasy manga from writer-artist John Tarachine.  It began serialization in the Japanese magazine, Comic Tatan, in 2019.  Titan Manga is publishing an English-language edition of the manga under the title, Witch of Thistle Castle.

Witch of Thistle Castle, Vol. 1 (Chapters 1 to 5) opens in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Spirits and magic are everywhere in this city's streets – if only you dare to see it.  Marie Blackwood is the last in a long line of Witches of the Black Wood, and she is also known as “the Black Witch of Albion.”  However, Marie Blackwood lives a quiet life in Edinburgh – away from the scrutiny of the Church of London, which oversees magic.

Then, the Church thrusts 13-year-old Theo Edison into her hands for safekeeping.  Marie suddenly gains the responsibility not only of taking care of a teenager, but also of protecting the world, and Theo himself, from the amazing power that lives inside of him.  It is the power known as “the Blood of Righteous Anger.”  Is Theo Marie's apprentice or burden … or more?

THE LOWDOWN:  Beginning last month (October 2023), Titan Comics started providing me with print copies of their manga publications for review.  Witch of Thistle Castle 01 is the second.  The Witch of Thistle Castle manga is also the first title created by John Tarachine that I have read.

Witch of Thistle Castle Graphic Novel Volume 1 is intriguing simply because of the way that author John Tarachine presents magic.  In this world, magic works by negotiating with spirits that humans can't see, and even magic users need special means by which to see these spirits.  The narrative is at once playful, but there is always an air of menace about it.  Tarachine seems to use the sense of mystery and of the unknown as a lure to ensnare readers, which if fine by me.  Like me, I think readers will want to know more, much more about the world of this series.

Witch of Thistle Castle presents some of the most beautiful drawn manga art that I have seen in a while.  The figure drawing is a combination of sexy angles and playful elegance.  The detailed backgrounds are lavish and imaginative, and they serve to transport readers to this world with its unique and eccentric methods of magic and madness

My second experience with Titan Manga is also a win.  I hope to keep reading Witch of Thistle Castle.  I highly recommend this magical girl manga that is like no other.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Fans of magical girl manga will want to try Titan Manga's Witch of Thistle Castle.

★★★★ out of 4 stars

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2023 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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Buy Witch of Thistle Castle Vol. 1 at AMAZON.

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