- Mangaka : Shimizu, Yu (Story) Ichihara, Kazuma (Art)
- Publisher : Yen Press
- Genre : Ecchi, School, Supernatural
- Published : February 2020
Houkago Bitchcraft (After School Bitchcraft) Introduction (No Spoilers)
Ririka is a girl with a dream. She wants to someday become a Veterinarian. She is also what one would define as a gyaru or “gal”; a style-conscious girl who dyes her hair and paints her nails and has a “reputation”, even if it’s undeserved. The girl underneath the makeup is sincere, hardworking, and innocent. Ririka knows that she needs to understand chemistry if she is going to reach her goal and when she gets stuck she tracks down the new chemistry teacher, Renji. She crosses the threshold of the lab into a world she didn’t know existed, a world of spells, alchemy, supernatural creatures, and her sensei who’s secretly a sorcerer. Ririka’s arrival in the room can only mean one thing she has a natural talent for the craft.
We weren’t sure what to expect with a title like After School Bitchcraft but were pleasantly surprised to read a cute, all be it, a bit sexy story about the supernatural. Ririka simply walks through the door and in the process crosses through a magical barrier, with ease mind you, just to talk to her chem teacher. The talk she ends up having with him will change her life. She learns that the world of magic does exist, that her teacher is an alchemist, and she apparently has the potential to become a great wizard. A turn of events that she takes in stride given she is nearly killed in a during a ceremony binding her to a familiar, or nearly suffocated by a blob, and eventually kidnapped by fairies, all in the span of a couple of days. She commits to being Renji’s apprentice despite all of those unfortunate events because for the first time in her life someone considers her special.
1. Working Hard at Witchcraft and Everything Else
Ririka deserves our respect. She may look like and act like a ditz but she’s absolutely dedicated to learning her craft or chemistry. The gyaru is what we see on the outside while on the inside we see a person willing to run blocks in the rain with an injured stray cat in her arms with the hope of finding a way to save it. Ririka is a great example of not giving up or not laughing something off because they aren’t good at it. She knows she doesn’t have a talent for chemistry, but to achieve her dream she studies and gets tutored so she gets better. She is an example for some of us that you shouldn’t use a lack of talent as an excuse not to try but simply a reason to try harder.
2. The Alchemists Ecchi Apprentice
We’ve already stated we respect Ririka for her mind so we can now talk about how we respect her body. She is drawn so well. She is often in her school uniform but she doesn’t let a dress code stop her with her oosened tie, and unbuttoned loose-fitting blouse not to mention the rolled-up skirt. Ririka also has found a habit of getting involved in lewd looking situations whether it’s being caught in the rain, covered by slime, or getting overly excited by mana coursing through her body. The story is classified as an ecchi and keeps it interesting for its “older teen” audience without crossing any lines into adult making if a fun distraction without having to worry about whos reading over your shoulder.
1. We’ve Seen This Story of Sorcery
The story of a young person who has untapped talent as a wizard being taken under the wing by another wizard in a world where sorcery is a secret had been told. Yes, in this case, the person learning to become a wizard isn’t your typical protagonist. We think the reason could be that the story has been told so many times, the role of a fashion-conscious schoolgirl was the only remaining option. We know this arc and can probably predict a lot of the events that will happen down the line, like bringing another girl wizard into the story, a “normal” friend enters the mix, and an evil person or association will try to stop or kill Ririka for being the descendant of Druids. You don’t have to quote us on that but we’ve read a few manga before and this feels about right.
We like the story. Yes. the plot arc will probably be predictable but the character of Ririka is just precious. We can’t wait for her to move from the “sensei you’re a perv” thoughts to “Oh, sensei I like you.” We also like the sincerity that the character of Ririka has to offer. She is a good role model for many a student that thinks just because it doesn’t come easy they shouldn’t try when in reality they should try and try harder. We didn’t know what to expect when we opened the pages of After School Bitchcraft but are happy to say its a nice story with fun and sexy art that we can’t wait to see more of.