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A Witch’s Printing Office Vol. #02 Manga Review

4 min read
Humorous and heartfelt, this volume mixes fantasy and real-world problems in a delightful way.
A Witch’s Printing Office Vol. #0

Magic swords, dragons, demon lords, deadlines.

Creative Staff
Art: Yasuhiro Miyama
Story: Mochinchi
Translation/Adaptation: Amber Tamosaitus
Lettering: Erin Hickman

What They Say
Dragons, typhoons, and demon lords, oh my! The popularity of Magic Market has boomed beyond expectation-in fact, it’s such a hit, news has reached even the highest echelon of the underworld. As the Holy Land teems with all manner of human and monster, will Mika be able to keep order and find a way back home, or will chaos ultimately reign under the arrival of the Demon Lord?!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Some second volumes settle into familiar routines, degrading a punchy one-shot plotline into a drawn-out banal joke which has already been played out. I am happy to report that A Witch’s Printing Office doesn’t do that. It has hit its second volume with frantic chaotic energy which carries, and the humor which wasn’t the story’s strong suit in the first volume comes out strong from this volume’s first chapter.

We’re introduced to several new and hopefully reoccurring characters in this volume. The first is a young lady of noble blood named Aile, who wants nothing to escape the drudgery of her aristocratic upbringing. She escapes on an airship heading for Magic Market without realizing her destination and gets a lesson in all things convention. Then there is a magic sword who was once the savior of the world who is just waiting for a new hero to free him, a charming old wizard who is on the run from the people working him to death, and a ferocious red dragon to hunt! Not to mention the demon lord that has decided to attend Magic Market.

Previous characters we had met in the first volume return for appearances as well. The knight Broadway is still around keeping the crowd in check. No sign of that necromancer girl though.

Mika does her best to reign in the chaos she created, remaining a very likable lead. Throughout all of this Mika remains dedicated to her work. It’s almost as if she’s forgotten the reason she started the market in the first place. The author hasn’t, because at the very end of this volume we get a tease that Mika isn’t the only Japanese person whisked away to this fantasy world.

This series already had a strong start with the artwork, which has a rich level of detail and a wide-ranging cast of fantasy characters who all look spectacularly different. This is one of those series where the artwork looks like it killed several assistants in the process of creation.

The story is strong enough that the many references to Japanese culture worked into the place and character names that fly over my head don’t hinder the enjoyment of the jokes. Sure, some people and places are named after real-life people and places but the crux of the jokes don’t hinge on the reader’s knowledge of things. (I do find it odd that the translation notes are placed right after chapter 1.) There are a few very obvious video game references in this volume which even a novice player should pick up on.

In Summary
Humorous and heartfelt, this volume mixes fantasy and real-world problems in a delightful way. Need to source some dragon hide for book leather? Why not negotiate directly with the dragon for it? Meeting a world-famous wizard or a demon lord is nothing when you’re used to dealing with high profile guests. I would like to get to know Mika’s coworkers a little bit better and to find out how she managed to get settled into life in the world she now so comfortably inhabits. Until we learn more though, the day-to-day operations for a magical publishing company are more than enough fun.

Content Grade: A –
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A –
Text/Translation Grade: A –

Age Rating: Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: April 21, 2020
MSRP: $15.00 US / $19.50 CAN

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