ARC Review: The Witch and the Beast, Vol. 1 by Kousuke Satake

The Witch and the Beast, Vol. 1The Witch and the Beast, Vol. 1 by Kousuke Satake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A WITCH’S CURSE

Guideau: a feral girl with long fangs and the eyes of a beast. Ashaf: a soft-spoken man with delicate features and a coffin strapped to his back. This ominous pair appears one day in a town that’s in thrall to a witch, who has convinced the townsfolk she’s their hero. But Ashaf and Guideau know better. They have scores to settle, and they won’t hesitate to remove anyone in their way…

Warnings: nudity, body horror and gore

The Witch and the Beast brings us a dark tale of a pair of magical agents who travel and solve magical problems – Guideau, who has been cursed by a witch into a suppressed form, and is itching to find the witch who did it, and Ashaf, her partner who is a mage, and both of them belonging to an organization that involves in magical matters. The first story brings them to a city which reveres its resident witch, and has a history with her grandmother, who was considered evil; the current witch has gained their good opinion over centuries, and they trust her, but the two of them, Guideau, especially, find her shady. The next story is about serial murders with a witchy twist.

I like the way the world of magic is folded into the regular world – it is obvious that centuries ago, witches were persecuted, but now mages and magical folk are part of the workforce, like the mage in the police in the serial killer story. It is not clear what Guideau is, but it is hinted that she is bound to her human-like form by the witch and she may have been much more powerful in her unbound form. What that will entail and why it was done would be an interesting mystery that will hopefully unravel soon. Even if that plot is a long game right now, the cases themselves can be quite engaging for the story now. It also has quite good artwork, and the designs and angles are awe-inspiring; it sort of reminds me of Tokyo Ghoul’s style in weaponry. The tone of the story is also very dark fantasy, which is all sorts of appealing to me!

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Kodansha Comics, via Netgalley.

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Buy links

The Book Depository | Wordery

Released on October 27, 2020

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