Manga Review: If Witch, Then Which? Volume One

If Witch, Then Which? Volume One tells the story of a young man and his childhood friend, who turns out to be a witch.

If Witch, Then Which? Volume One
Written by: Ato Sakurai
Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: September 22, 2020

The story begins when the main character, Haruka Kuze, is injured in an accident as a young boy. He has a rare blood type, and his parents can’t make it to the hospital for two hours. His childhood friend, Maruno Rinjou, says she has the same blood type and her blood saves him. Because of what she did, Haruko feels like he owes a debt to her.

Now in middle school, Haruka still tries to repay his debt to her, but Maruno seems to hate his guts and wants nothing to do with him. But Maruno suffers from low blood pressure, and Haruka tries to look out for her. One day, he stumbles upon Maruno in a room with a floating bottle. Maruno confesses that she comes from a family of witches, and that she has the power to resonate with the moon. But she has problems controlling her power. An important test is coming up to enter Eastern Woods of the Sacred Witch Academy, and she needs to figure out how to control her power. She demands that Haruka, who has always been analytical since childhood, to observe her and help her figure out how to control the power. Oh, and there’s only a few hours until the exam. Let’s just say that they don’t figure anything out before the exam.

But, as Maruno is struggling her way through the exam, Haruka realizes what the problem is. He disguises himself as a girl to get into the academy during the test. It turns out that Maruno needs to have her heart pumping from stress in order to control her power, and since she naturally has low blood pressure, she has a harder time. The disguised Haruka claims that he is also a witch, but that he and Maruno can’t use their powers when they’re alone… because they combine to form one whole witch. After holding her hand and giving her an unexpected hug, Maruno is able to use her power. Well, this turns out to get both Maruno and Haruka into the school, and the series sees Haruka having to disguise himself as a girl and trying to hide the truth.

After entering the school, we are introduced to three important characters. First is Saki Hanamiya, a stuck-up girl who thinks she’s better than anyone else. She becomes the main antagonist of the series. Miyu Suzunari is a quiet girl who has an ability to read crystal balls, and she becomes friends with Maruno and Haruka. Hikaru Hibiki is an athletic girl who has the power to resonate with electricity.

If Witch, Then Which? is a comedic manga, which also includes supernatural elements as well as some of the usual hijinks one might expect from a school comedy manga. And it’s also hinted that Maruno might really be a tsundere, hiding feelings that she has for Haruka.

This manga has an interesting story, and in some respects, some of what happens in this volume at the academy kind of makes me think of some of the early scenes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, especially the broom flying lesson. However, this academy is nowhere near as cool as Hogwarts, and there’s no evil villain such as Voldemort. We have Saki, who seems to kind of be this story’s version of Draco Malfoy.

I think that If Witch, Then Which? is off to a good start, and I would be eager to read future volumes of this series if I ever get the chance. I would recommend this series to readers who appreciate stories like the Harry Potter series, but also enjoy comedy and manga set in Japanese schools.

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