Melissa is a powerful witch, but she craves more power to enter the Door of Truth: the goal for any spellcaster. The Door of Truth, however, can only be accessed by a Witches’ Marriage, a ritual where two witches use their combined love and power to open it. Melissa has been in several relationships to increase her own power and has discarded them afterwards, but her latest partner, Tanya, is different from her previous conquests. Tanya is a young, naïve but dedicated witch and is just SO cute! Can she be the one to thaw Melissa’s cold heart and help them enter the Door of Truth together?
The Witches’ Marriage is a comedy, fantasy yuri series, set within a world where witches are commonplace with different power levels too. So, if you’re a fantasy nerd, you may enjoy the aesthetics of this manga. The story so far doesn’t go into too much detail about how the world works outside of the main couple and the ritual they’re trying to invoke, but there’s plenty of little details that I enjoyed. Like the cutaway of one rival witch summoning a golem, the incantations that Melissa casts, and the general look of the witches too. But the forefront of this story is the romance between the main couple and comedy is thrown into the mix as well. The chapters are very short (a total of 19 within the first book) and nearly all of them are self-contained stories. They start with Melissa sweet-talking and training Tanya, with the selfish desire to increase her own power only, but the interactions between the pair end up making Melissa warm up to Tanya and increasing both their powers in the process. There is a certain amount of development across the book, Melissa being softer on Tanya, Tanya in turn learning more about Melissa’s backstory, but it’s only in hindsight you realise, as the chapters are so short and sweet. I wouldn’t call this a ‘slow burn’ romance, as from the first chapter we see Melissa starting to feel something for Tanya, but it’s not a super-fast, unrealistic build-up to romance either. There are few chapters that are not self-contained and do have some character development, mostly around Melissa and the true reason she wants to access the Door of Truth. It makes her character more interesting than just a power-hungry witch, especially with the intention still being vague enough to warrant audience interest to continue reading. There’s some minimal focus on Tanya as well, who was inspired to become a witch at a very young age; her devotion and sweetness is cute, but she’s still a bit flat in terms of depth by the end of the volume. It’ll be interesting to see if she grows as a character, as the pair develop as a couple, across the manga.
The story and art are provided by studio HEADLINE; the studio has over 20 members working together to create manga, all taking the roles of storyboarding, character designs, writing, etc. Sort of like CLAMP but with a much bigger team, and the volume kindly explains that at the back of the book. They have three series under their belt (mostly comedy-based series) but this is the first one to receive an English translation. The art style is very nice; the character designs are very detailed and have distinct but magical elements about them (the pages between chapters also break down each costume design, which I thought was a nice touch). The backgrounds are always full to the brim with detail as well, so it’s a very nice book to look at.
Eleanor Summers provides the translation of the book; there are no translation notes, which is a shame, but the book is easy to read, and the voices of each character are distinct too.
The Witches’ Marriage starts off as a collection of self-contained comedy sketches about one cold witch trying to deny her feelings for another witch, but towards the second half of the series, more layers are revealed which I wasn’t expecting. It’ll be interesting to see where the series goes from here, but for now it’s a fun, very quick read with very pretty art too.
Our review copy from Yen Press was supplied by Diamond Book Distributors UK.