Hibiki no Mahou
(or Hibiki's Magic
) is a fantasy manga series that centers around a young girl named Hibiki. This manga is a collaboration between writer Jun Maeda, mostly known for his contributions to many Key Visual Arts visual novels
, and Rei Izumi, artist for .hack//Legend of the Twilight.
In Hibiki no Mahou
, Hibiki is the apprentice to a skilled wizard by the name of Shirotsuki. Hibiki has absolutely no talent for magic, however, and her only real skill is making tea. Despite this, she serves and studies with her teacher everyday in his humble research facility in the woods until one day, one of his magical experiments goes horribly wrong
. The facility burns to the ground, Shirotsuki's soul becomes trapped within the body of a gusk (a squirrel-like animal) and Hibiki is essentially forced to fend for herself. With nowhere left to live, she goes to the big city, and finds herself taken in by the famous Kamisaid Magic Academy, where Hibiki is (forcibly) granted the position of professor.
And thus begins her journey into the world of magic.....Hibiki no Mahou
, while considered cute and Moe
, breaks free of this appearance by delving into the darker side of magic and its consequences on magicians and normal people alike. Major themes throughout the work focus on love and deep bonds between people, sadness, and inspiration and hope.
This series provides examples of:
- Amnesiac Lover: Shirotsuki and Yui. Especially heartbreaking because he forgets her multiple times.
- Artificial Human: Shi-chan.
- Art Initiates Life: When Shiiraasan gets her hands on a packet of magic crayons. But they can't create living things, leaving her with only a drawing when she tries to draw the person she wants with her most...
- Big Sister Instinct: Misaki when Hibiki is grievously injured in a magical experiment. She is shown at her most emotional while trying to convince Ahito to go heal the poor girl.
- Birthday Episode: In which the characters celebrate Ikko's and Hibiki's birthdays, as Hibiki's was the day before. Or was it?
- Breather Episode: The Magic of the Mind, a largely inconsequential single-chapter story placed right in the middle of two extremely dramatic three-parters, one of which revolves around a childhood friend of Asuma's whose ambition drove him to an early grave, and the other being about Ahito's Dark and Troubled Past seemingly coming back to haunt him... oh, and Hibiki getting caught up in an accident that almost kills her.
- Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: Using magic always comes with a price of some kind. It can be physical, such as healing someone at the cost of your own eyesight, or mental, such as losing your memories. Ahito fits the former, Shirotsuki, the latter.
- Actually, Ahito's sacrifice seems to be simply his 'life'. The loss of eyesight is probably because of the experiments that were performed to give him magic in the first place.
- Blood from the Mouth: When Ahito was experimented on as a child, the pain he suffered through often involved him coughing up blood.
- Body Surf: Shirotsuki's research was based on finding a way to live forever through swapping souls between bodies.
- Cast from Lifespan: Ahito, Asuma, and Shi-chan most notably suffer from this.
- Child Mage: Hibiki, although she isn't very good at magic.
- Cool Shades: Ahito has a pair of these, although they do seem to serve the purpose of blocking his healing eye power when he's not using it.
- Curse: Ikko specializes in these.
- Ahito finds a cursed harmonica later on.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Ahito has one, which caused him to hate magic.
- Deconstruction: Of the 'magic academy' genre, and using magic as a whole.
- Demonic Possession: Hibiki becomes a victim of this for one chapter.
- Equivalent Exchange
- Eye Scream: Ahito's surgeries involve a needle to the eye.
- Geometric Magic: Shirotsuki specializes in magic circles.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Yui, Shirotsuki's lover.
- Heroic Willpower
- Identical Stranger: Setsuna is the spitting image of Mizuki, to Ahito's shock.
- Ill Girl: Mitsuki; the more she slept the deeper she slept.
- Riku also qualifies, although he is not a girl.
- I Know What You Fear: Shirotsuki hits Ahito with a spell that has this effect to stop him from attacking Hibiki.
- Interrupted Declaration of Love: Possibly, in chapter 20. The entire academy is under the influence of a spell that causes everyone to say everything they're thinking out loud, and at one point Hibiki is about to tell Ahito something... and just before she can finish the sentence Shii-chan shows up and sprays an antidote on her. Afterwards she doesn't even remember what happened while she was under the effect of the spell.
- Magical Incantation
- Magicians Are Wizards: Asuma is as capable of sleight of hand tricks as he is powerful and very real magic.
- Make a Wish: The demon girl that appears at the intersection once used to grant wishes to passersby, until she stopped when people started becoming greedy.
- Manly Tears: Poor Shirotsuki...
- Ahito too, regarding Mizuki's fate. Again when he and Shirotsuki are able to save Hibiki's life.
- Asuma as well regarding his friend Yuushin. In general, there is a lot of crying in this series.
- Megane: Shirotsuki and Ahito
- Mood Whiplash: Awww, look at the cute characters! ...Why are these stories so sad!?
- My Greatest Failure: His inability to save Mizuki continues to haunt Ahito into the present day. Finally seems to move past this when he realizes that by insisting his power can't save anyone, he might just lose another important person - Hibiki.
- Non-Human Sidekick: The squirrel-like gusk that currently holds the soul of Shirotsuki, Hibiki's teacher.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Once more, Shi-chan.
- The Power of Friendship/The Power of Love
- Small Girl, Big Gun: The homunculus Lord Shiraasan (a.k.a. Shi-chan), who often wields a rocket launcher.
- Smarter Than You Look: Asuma. Shows shades of it as an adult, but even as a child he scored first place on exams while still having time to goof off happily.
- Spell My Name with an S: In the Tokyopop release of the manga, Ikko (イッコ) and Yukko's (ユッコ ) names were translated as "Itsuko" and "Yutsuko." However, this is incorrect, since both names contain a sokuon, a symbol that doubles the consonant that comes after it. The sokuon in their names is shown as a small "tsu" (ッ). The translators interpreted the sokuon as a full-sized tsu, instead of doubling the "コ" that came after.
- Sugar Apocalypse: The cute character designs contrast with the serious tone and subject matter.
- Swiss Army Tears: Yutsuko's daughter's magic tears are used in a potion to save Shi-chan.
- Taking the Bullet: Hibiki does this for Ikko when a spell goes awry, putting herself in critical condition as a result.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Ahito and his baby cakes.
- Wizarding School: Kamisaid Magic Academy.
- Wizards Live Longer: Inverted, as using magic too much can shorten your life span or potentially kill you on the spot.
- Woobie of the Week
- Younger than They Look: Asuma's sacrifice for his magic is that he ages much more quickly than normal.
- Shiraasan qualifies, despite looking like a five year old. This is because she's probably closer to a few weeks old instead.