THE WITCH AND THE BEAST 1 by Kousuke Satake
A REVIEW by ALEXA DUNCAN
Hello, dear readers. It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed manga, so I figured it was time. And since it’s officially Spooky Halloween season, I wanted to do a scary one. The Witch and the Beast by Kousuke Satake isn’t exactly scary, per se, but the subject matter is very Halloween. Our story opens with Guideau, a semi-feral girl with fangs, and Ashaf, a mysterious man who carries a coffin around on his back. They’re in a European-like city on the hunt for a witch. When they find one, a spectacular fight ensues, and the purpose of Ashaf’s coffin becomes clear.
That’s all I want to say about the story–I don’t want to spoil it!–but the rest of the volume follows the two on their hunt for witches. It’s a fast-paced, fantastical story that doesn’t stop moving until about halfway through the volume when the reader finally gets a break. The fast pacing isn’t a bad thing at all–in fact, it kept me entertained–but it might prove confusing for some readers who need a slower pace.
As with all manga, one of the most important factors to a successful series is its art style. I won’t read certain manga if I don’t like the art. That’s not the case with The Witch and the Beast. The art here is incredible and extremely detailed, the action pieces so lively that I found myself flipping pages just to see what the next panel would look like. The character designs are also really cool. I love Guideau with her fangs and Ashaf is very distinctive. None of the characters blend together. Instead, they’re their own people, designed in different ways, making them easy to pick out.
Overall, The Witch and the Beast is a great manga series for older teen readers who are looking for something a little more mature than your standard shonen. With mature characters and complex worldbuilding, it’s an immersive story for fans of Fullmetal Alchemist and Tokyo Ghoul.
You can check out the first three volumes of The Witch and the Beast at the Argenta library today!