Hibiki's Magic: Volume 1
By Leroy Douresseaux
January 14, 2007 - 11:32

Writer(s): Jun Maeda
Penciller(s): Rei Idumi
Cover Artist(s): Rei Idumi
ISBN: 978-1-59816-766-5

Hibiki is a lab assistant/apprentice to an accomplished researcher of magic, Master Shirotsuki.  Gentle and loving, Hibiki isn't sure of her abilities (her pet phrase: "I don't know."), but she makes a darn good pot of tea.  After tragedy strikes Hibiki and Shirotsuki, the duo travel to Kamigusk, the home of the Royal Kamisaid Magic Academy, where much to her surprise and chagrin, the academy's director, Master Asuma, appoints her a professor.  Right from the beginning, Hibiki is battling belligerent students, especially the teenaged boy, Misaki, who suffers scars from an encounter with research into magic.  However, Hibiki eventually gains a new and unexpected friend.

TOKYOPOP has labeled Hibiki's Magic as a teen-oriented comic or Shojo Manga, but it could certainly be Kodomo Manga (for children).  I imagine that the appearance of a pistol, and the fact that it is fired and frequently used to threaten a character results in a teen rating.  Still, Jun Maeda has crafted a gentle, yet highly engaging story about deep friendship and strong love and devotion.

Cute and sprinkled with super-deformed her art may be, but Rei Idumi is a strong artist.  Her can flat out draw, and she understands the flow of a sequential visual narrative and how to design and form it to maximize narrative impact.  Her visuals are also emotionally potent.  It's as if both the writer and artist understand that Hibiki's Magic absolutely has to work on an emotional level, so they have to hit all their marks.  In the long run, Hibiki's Magic may end up largely forgotten, but as a story about a truly generous soul, it is successful.



Related Articles:
Dan Hibiki - Street Fighter's Loser
Hibiki's Magic: Volume 1