Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 3 by Kamome Shirahama (Witch Hat Atelier #3)
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Available Through The Book Depository: Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 3
Summary: Tho’ Qifrey sends the Knights Moralis hence, admonishing their captain for his aim, his doubts yet linger. dubious and tense, and Qifrey finds them difficult to tame. The witches’ adversary now draws nigh, and using magic’s power not for good, in Coco opportunity they spy, their dark ambitions not yet understood. Obsessed to know the brimmed caps intent, now Qifrey to his fellow witches lies, betraying all he claims to represent, in service of a gambit most unwise. Still, Coco’s none the wiser or the worse, but ignorance is innocence’s curse…
My Rating: ★★★★★
My Thoughts: Witch Hat Atelier Volume 3 is a magical manga series that gets better with each installment! This volume offers a break from Coco’s journey to delve more into the world and delightful characters of this dazzling world! Captivating story, detailed art, and immersive world shine throughout this continuation to Witch Hat Atelier!
Witch Hat Atelier is a truly unique manga series unlike any I’ve ever read before! It connects to this inner wonder we have about the magic around us! You can see there’s so much attention given to the stellar characters and world we’re immersed into, with each volume!
The story follows a young girl named Coco whose always dreamed of becoming a witch. But, in her world not all are able to learn this secret art. An unfortunate accident leads her on an adventure alongside a Qifrey, whose a witch, and he takes her to his atelier to begin her training.
Where this series truly shines is in the way Shirahama masterfully brings together world-building, characters, their motivations, art, even language, for each volume! Your presented with a new focus for each installment and you can’t help but continue to be captivated through the brilliant storytelling!
In Volume 3, were thrown right back into the conflict with the Knights Moralis who’ve captured Coco and Agott for casting magic that’s possibly connected to the Brimmed Caps, witches who practice forbidden magic.
Luckily, Qifrey gets to them in time, but its clear the Knights aren’t going to let the issue go unresolved.
What this volume dives more into which I really appreciated was, the layered politics it explores from the witches to the Knights, and the risks the girls put on those innocent people who could have had their memories erased if they discovered the secrets of magic.
When they’re all reunited and Qifrey runs one last errand with Coco in Kalhn, there’s a mysterious ink bottle that shows us that this volume will really be Qifrey’s story and I loved that! He’s easily one of my favorite characters in the series and you get more depth to his morals, what his motivations are, and what he’s willing to do to keep his witches safe. Even if means chasing after any lead that can uncover more about the mysterious Brimmed Caps.
There’s also a new character were introduced to, Tartah, grandson of Nolnoa who runs the magic shop that Qifrey has taken Tetia, Richeh, Agott, and Coco to in previous volumes!
We learn he has a condition called Silverwash, which means he can only see the world in a silver color. Though he really wants to be a witch, the fact that he can’t see color hinders his progress.
From Silverwash to Tranquileaf, Azuremoon flowers, a special twin coin and so many other unique pieces of the Witch Hat world, these additions just added more depth to the setting and how different parts of it make it even such a bigger place than we first realize. This series beautifully builds on its magical world in subtle and unexpected ways!
What made Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 3 a nice change of pace from the previous volumes so far, was how it focused a lot on the setting and different characters, like Qifrey and Tartah!
Tartah dreams of being a witch and when he’s given a chance to help Coco when she comes down with a cold, he isn’t sure he has what it takes to be one (though he’s dreamed of it for a long time). Similarly in a previous chapter, we see Coco get more page time with Agott when she returns her shoes!
Coco’s energy shines through these scenes in particular and it really shows the uplifting spirit she has that connects with me in so many ways! Her character is also what makes this series so beautiful, because no matter what hardships the characters face, she’s always there with a smile and carries this positive energy with her wherever she goes.
Back to Qifrey and his storyline, I loved getting more depth to his character and page time with him! He’s one of my favorite characters in the series and though we know he’s very wise and knowledgeable, we see the lengths that he will go to to protect his witches, even if it means putting himself in danger with the Brimmed Caps!
The world-building is a bigger focus in this volume compared to previous ones considering in this volume we explore more of the setting, townsfolk, and more background to the world of witches (like the witch’s belt, Pentacle of Proving, and the ink bottles).
As with previous volumes the artwork, paneling, and pacing are fantastic! There’s so much care put into the detail of the characters, setting, action, and expression/emotion, its shown across Volume 3! Another element I began to notice more in this volume specifically was how certain moments are placed outside of a panel, it really cements you in the world, as do certain detailed panels! For example, on page 74 as Qifrey is explaining the set of tests an apprentice can take, you see its a detailed map showcasing where all their different tests will take place along “The Pentacle Of Proving.” Where also on the previous page, you see Qifrey had been opening up old map!
Its details like that, where you see the brilliance of Shirahama’s art and how she beautifully presents panels that showcase literal and metaphorical elements of the storytelling that really tie together beautifully!
This series blends dark moments, with inspiring and heartfelt ones and that comes through with the dialogue presented throughout the volumes! Another one of those inspiring moments came from Qifrey and nearing the end of the novel he says:
“Dreams aren’t easy to address…All great discoveries are born of adversity” (185).
Though the volume ends on a happy note, we do a small glimpse into what the Brimmed Caps are planning next for Coco and her friends. I’m having a lot of fun trying to figure out the underlying mystery of the brimmed capped witches and what they’re up to! In Volume 3 what really makes them startling, sinister and such interesting antagonists is how they are really keeping their distance, but still feel closer than ever (especially for this volume)!
Witch Hat Atelier is a truly wonderful series that shines in every way and I can’t recommend it enough! Please pick up this manga series if your looking for a captivating series that features beautiful artwork, an enchanting story, phenomenal characters, and a gripping story!
Witch Hat Atelier Volume 3 is a delightful continuation to the series! World-building, development into other main characters, and depth to the Witch Hat setting are brought to the center in this volume! Each installment of Shirahama’s series will leave you wanting the next volume right away!