- Mangaka : KUJIRA
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Fantasy, Magic, Romance, School, Shoujo Ai, Josei
- Published : November 2020 - Ongoing
Hidden in the shadow of society, magic and witches are treated as tools by those who wish to control it. Sternenlichtl, an academy that has been established in a place where no human can enter, guiding young witches to become full-fledge witches and take revenge on the humans for the witch hunts they had committed. This is the story of Alice Keating, who is the star pupil of Sternenlictl. But her view of the world suddenly flipped upside down when Mari, a new recruit of the school and unfamiliar with magic, enters her heart.
The manga started with a history lesson of the witch hunt done by the humans that results in the near extinction of the witches. Humans are afraid of things that couldn’t explain, which is expected in the seventeenth century. Back to the story, due to Mari’s lack of experience of magic, Alice was assigned by Madam Dolly to be Mari’s tutor. The artwork is unique but lacking at the same time for the overall experience, and the character development between Alice and Mari is at decent pacing with the external factors coming into places.
1. Conflict of Interests
The first few scenes depict how Alice and Mari feel toward humanity. Alice intends to eliminate humanity to please her grandmother and Sternenlictl, while Mari believes there is no reason to seek revenge. Madam Dolly decides to have Alice work as Mari’s tutor. Mari may be a novice when it comes to magic, but Dolly sees a value behind Mari’s potential to be utilized against humans. After that development, it is a bit odd how Mari is somewhat fine with this decision which we probably find out in the later chapters.
Alice is well verse in any kind of magic that the school has to offer, but she first saw Mari’s real magic, Resurrection. If you think about it, Resurrection is fitting magic for Mari as she possesses empathy for every living thing in life along with her personality and beliefs. The warmth coming from the spell brings forth Alice’s love. That is where it brings a slight complication. Alice’s grandmother had warned her that a witch should not fall in love as they will lose their power. So, Alice has to keep her feelings in check whenever she thinks about Mari.
The character development between Alice and Mari progresses whenever they are together as a teacher and student moments. Every spell has moments of its own, from extracting frog livers, gathering plants suitable for specific spells to controlling spells to avoid them going haywire.
3. Character Background
There are a few occasions of background stories of Alice and Mari that, even if they aren’t much, gives us an idea of what makes them who they are and why they act that way. Mari was seen as an anomaly back in her school days in the human world, and her mother blamed her for revealing her power to society which led to the other witches to come and extract her. So, Mari has been forcefully enrolled into Sternenlictl, and she has nowhere to call home. Alice remains a bit of a mystery in this volume, and we hope that the upcoming volumes will explain her nature further.
The character designs gave off mixed traits of European and Japanese, which is good, but the inconsistencies, odd choices of art representing the shadows, and beta that were applied on clothes and buildings can be difficult to immerse ourselves in the story environment. It is a unique approach, but we feel that the backgrounds can be done more to complement the characters’ presence. So, if you care about the artwork while reading the story, it might not be a pleasant overall experience for you.
Sekai no Owari to Majo no Koi (The End of the World and a Witch’s Love) has an interesting premise of a Yuri manga in the world of magic and witches where both characters have their difference in views regarding humanity. One wanted to destroy humanity while the other doesn’t. The character development between Alice and Mari are somewhere in decent pacing. The romance manifested within Alice is complicated under the laws of witchcraft, and she has to find a way to not fall in love with Mari while guiding her to be a full-fledged witch. There is a background story for Mari to help us understand her personality and choices. The artwork, especially the background, is lacking, and difficult to distinguish the characters’ clothing, surroundings, and buildings. So, if you don’t mind about the artwork, but more interested in the story, you might want to give this manga a try and explore the world of witchcraft. It may be dark, but it is something that can remind you of something important.