Hibiki's Magic

Review covers all of the volumes released so far

Imagine a small kitten. No, wait, let's make it a puppy. A really small and really, really cute puppy. Let's say it's found a cardboard box, about three times its size, and it's poking it with it's nose. It's trying to get into the box, but it can't quite reach up high enough. It keeps trying, but all it is achieving is to knock the box slightly further and further away. Then it sits and stares at the box for a little while, until finally it makes a little leap up... and it's in the box!

There, isn't that a sickeningly cute little thought you've got in your head now? Did you enjoy it? If so, you're probably going to enjoy reading Hibiki's Magic.

To be honest I'm not sure why I'm standing here talking about this book. I'm pretty sure that Hibiki's Magic has small little girls in mind as its intended target audience, and I get the feeling that a grown man like me ought to feel a tiny tinge of shame from even toughing the thing. But still, I've brought both books and so I'm going to review them anyway.

The titular character, Hibiki, is a small little orphaned girl who is taken in by the kind-hearted Magician Shirotsuki as an assistant. However, a magical accident (which, among many other things, Hibiki blames on herself) transforms Shirotsuki into a small squirrel, and Hibiki is left on her own again.

Hibiki wanders into town and meets some members of the local magical academy. Assuming being Shirotsuki's former assistant to be a mark of extreme skill, Hibiki is offered a job as a teacher, despite being under half the age of the students she is teaching. And there starts a long running theme in the Manga, where Hibiki is repeatedly given tasks that she can't really cope with, and we get to watch the results. Like watching the puppy trying to get into the box, if you will.

I honestly didn't enjoy the first volume very much. I felt that Hibiki was just too annoying and pathetic for the story to carry at all well. There are a lot of interesting characters in the book, all of whom would have made for a far better main lead than Hibiki, and all of whom are instead reduced to spending time looking after her.

Thankfully towards the end of the first volume and throughout the second Hibiki is given both more self-confidence and more competence. I found this made a world of difference to the Manga's readability; she not only became a character in her own right but started to gel well with the other characters in the book.

While I found the quality a little inconsistent, the stories all stay sickeningly cute throughout. And I'm not saying that being cute is necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, but you ought to know yourself whether you're a sucker for something small and cute. And if cuteness sounds good then I think I can recommend Hibiki's Magic to you.