Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.
This time: Hibiki no Mahou, with art by Rei Izumi and scenario by Jun Maeda
Is it just me, or does anime/manga have a creepy obsession with weepy girls? Okay, anime kind of has a creepy obsession with everything, but when your main female lead is a little girl who starts bawling at the drop of a hat, it starts to get uncomfortable pretty fast. And she’s also borderline incompetent, with essentially no appreciable skills other than making tea and crying. Wait, you mean this was written by Jun Maeda, mastermind behind Key classics like Kanon, Air, and Clannad? Suddenly, this manga having a creepy, weepy girl with childlike intelligence as a main character makes perfect sense!
The story starts with Hibiki being hired on as an assistant for a highly prestigious sorcerer for… some reason, considering her lack of skills. He’s apparently terminally ill (mark another square on the Key bingo card, I guess) and is researching methods of reaching immortality through magic. Except he’s researching by far the most nefarious kind of immortality: body-hopping. Seriously, is there any worse way to become immortal than by screwing over other people? Anyway, a ridiculously convenient run-in with vagrants (that mostly involves Hibiki crying) means her master transfers his soul into the body of a squirrel, who hangs around as a pet from then on. Hibiki is summarily left homeless, with her former lodgings burned down.
Not that it matters, since Hibiki gets scouted for the local magic academy solely because she was the assistant to her master (prestigious sorcerer, remember?). Normally, this wouldn’t be that egregious, but the faculty proceeds to make her into a professor based on the same reason. Seriously, what the hell? So now we’re at a magical academy (because it’s not anime without a fucking school setting) with an incompetent, weepy child working as a professor there. Of course, she’s younger (and dumber) than all of her students, causing conflicts to arise, etc. She doesn’t even manage to get through the conflicts herself, having to be bailed out each time by her squirrelized master. It’s almost insulting.
Verdict: Magically Bad
I only read a few chapters of Hibiki’s Magic before I had to put it down. It was that annoying. I’d rather see competent characters than crying ones, and as such this manga failed to garner any sympathy from me whatsoever. If you’re super into the whole anime crying thing, then this might be for you, but I’m headed to greener pastures. Hopefully, anyway; who knows what manga I’ll end up rolling next week.